Thursday, April 18, 2019

I Had A Blog Subject All Picked Out

     It would have taken only a little research and been interesting.  I remember that much. 

     Darned if I can remember what the topic was; I was distracted by one of the more dimwitted aspects of the Culture Wars: people making up childish variations on the names of candidates and politicians, complete with semi-obscene speculation on their personal habits.

     Look, I have no doubt this kind of thing goes way back; read the graffiti at Pompeii and Herculaneum to remove any doubt, or look up some of things people from Pharaohs to workaday scribes wrote about enemies from the guy next door to foreign invaders in the various Egyptian kingdoms.  If we could read cave paintings, we'd probably find more of the same.

     Grow up: either politics is serious business, worth the intelligent attention of mature adults, or it's a tribalist exercise in playground-level name-calling.  You can't have it both ways; there's no calling the politician you don't like "Mr./Ms. Poopyhead" and claiming the intellectual high ground.

     I'll give you one or two; even Buckley and Vidal resorted to name-calling and threats of fisticuffs when they first crossed swords.  But for all they disagreed and loathed one another, they managed to figure out that scuffling like schoolkids meant they both lost the debate together.  --All right, Gore and William F. were indeed unusually smart.  But it shouldn't take a self-styled intellectual to figure out (after a mulligan or two) that names like "Drumpf" and "Fauxahontas" don't add anything to our understanding of the issues involved -- or even of the personalities.

1 comment:

fillyjonk said...


There are so many bad policies, bad platform planks, bad ideas that politicians have - why not criticize those instead of making fun of their appearance or ancestry or whatever the hell the flavor of the week is? I burned out on people telling other people they were "ugly and their mama dressed them funny" back in 1976 or so when I regularly heard it on the playground.

I mean, yeah, cheap shots are cheap because they're easy and a considered discussion of why a particular policy is ill-advised takes thought and research, but...we're amusing ourselves to death with the cheap shots.