July 23, 2007

Irony, thy name is Irony

In a post defending Karen Armstrong’s Guardian piece (on which Dan wrote here) advocating for an Orwellian idea of “tolerance” — by way of an institutionalization of politically correct speech when the objects of that speech are protected groups designated by the elites who presume to prescribe the parameters of what counts as “tolerant” — Mahablog counts protein wisdom among the “haters” whose “knee-jerk reactions” could be reduced to this:

Short version: Because there is Muslim terrorism, and because there are Muslims who commit unspeakable atrocities, we are justified in hating all Muslims and denying them the same degree of tolerance and respect we want them to give us.

But compare Maha’s helpful encapsulations to Dan’s actual argument — one that you’ve also heard me make on a number of occasions:

the [Danish Muslim] cartoons that were printed were printed precisely because they had spawned murderous outrage in the Muslim world, and because some of them were faked, and because it was news, and because we in the West must defend our freedom of expression, even against the sort of person who would murder a filmmaker for criticizing Islam [...]

As far as our freedom of the press goes, I am sure that there are many Muslims who admire it precisely because they would like similar freedom of expression. There are also likely some who understand the wonderful job it does of apologizing for the excesses of some of their co-religionists, in articles such as the one you’ve just had published.

[my emphasis]

I’ll leave it to you to decide if Mahablog’s “shorter” formulation approaches anything near the original argument, which explicitly separates out the two groups of Muslims Maha is at pains to claim “rightwing haters” conflate for purposes of sating their inveterate bigotry.

Of course, expecting Mahablog to correctly characterize an argument made by one of her ideological opponents is like expecting Michael Moore to ignore a cheese platter or a box of Mallow Pies. So there’s really nothing remarkable to it, other than its readily self-deconstructing audacity — obvious to anyone who bothered to click the links and not take it on faith that Maha was fairly characterizing the arguments she claimed to be summarizing. Which, I’m guessing, excludes a fair number of Mahablog readers.

No. The irony comes when Maha claims in her comments that she is “intolerant of intolerance” — which she essentially uses as a handy excuse (ala Mona) to disregard the opinions of those who are, by nature (which to a leftist, boils down to political ideology, the personal being the politcal and all), conservative. Because, the calculus goes, 1) conservatives are haters, 2) haters are intolerant, and 3) Maha, as we are told, is intolerant of intolerance. Thus, she refutes all conservative arguments without having to trouble herself with considering them: birthed from hate, conservative arguments are illegitimate. And Maha only listens to the kinds of legitimate arguments that aren’t born of hate — namely, those that come from people who share her worldview.

Nice and compact, that is — though it doesn’t leave much room for plot twists.

One of the arguments that made it through Maha’s filter — before she shut down the comments, citing (as justification) the arrival of the haters — comes from E. Nough, a well-respected and extraordinarly intelligent conservative who writes:

Between Armstrong’s article and this post, there is so much question begging and conflation, it’s frankly difficult to know where to start unraveling the whole mess.

Well, let’s begin with this idea that “right-wingers” who don’t embrace Muslim incursion into Western society “hate Muslims.” This use of the term “hate” is as trite as it is useless, except as leftist demagoguery. It reduces well-thought-out opposition to Islamic cultural imperialism to “knee-jerk” emotional reaction. At that point, of course, it’s easy for the likes of Maha to dismiss it. Failing to embrace Islam, warts and all, is not motivated by “hate” any more than failing to embrace the Iraq War was motivated by “cowardice.”

Armstrong’s claim that “free speech implies respect for the opinions of others” is nonsense, easily refuted by Maha’s own attitude to “right-wingers,” whose opinions she clearly holds little respect for. That’s not to say Maha is against free speech: she simply knows that Western notions of free speech require only a respect for the right of others to hold an opinion or religious belief. (Then again, maybe not: after all, she is “intolerant of intolerance”.)

Armstrong also conflates two very different episodes of what she perceives as “Islamophobia”: the publication of Mohammed-mocking cartoons in Jyllands-Posten and the attempt to block the construction of a huge mosque in London. One was an exercise of free speech, which happened to be offensive to Muslims — which was the entire point, since the paper was protesting against existing pro-Islamist self-censorship in the Western press. The other was a more clear-cut case of restriction on Muslims in the West. Armstrong incorrectly — but quite deliberately — makes them out to be the same thing: to her, mocking a religion is the same as restricting religious worship. To call this “wrong” is the mother of all understatements: it’s anathema to the real liberal principles of Western Civilization. (And once again, we have “Islamophobia” reducing well-founded opinions to irrational fear — an odious tactic that the Left seems to have embraced enthusiastically. Apparently, all opinions must be respected, except those that disagree with the Left’s dogma.)

Finally, Maha begs the question that publishing the Mohammed cartoons, or even preventing the building of that humongous mosque in London, is “discrimination against all Muslims — in retribution for the wrongs some of them do. Yet again, this trivializes many people’s issues with large-scale Muslim presence in Western society, to mere childish tantrum. The presence of large numbers of Muslims in western society is not without consequences, as India, Persia, Malaysia — and now Thailand, Spain, the UK, and France are finding out. Surely it’s valid to ask how much of a footprint Islam should be leaving on one’s society, especially given its ingrained intolerance of principles we supposedly hold dear? (And no, it’s not just limited to “some “small numbers” of Muslims, as a quick glance at Muslim societies would tell you.)

Armstrong’s conflation of speech and oppression, and Maha’s “[intolerance] of intolerance,” seek to prevent even the asking of the question. Funny how they still consider themselves “liberal.”

Pointed — and dead on. But more importantly, filled with specific arguments and refutations that systematically take on the assertions made by someone claiming to be intolerant of intolerance.

Maha’s reaction? Predictable:

E.Nough: “Well-thought-out opposition to Islamic cultural imperialism”? Jeez, son, how much Kool-Aid did you drink this morning?

There are some people who are so much up to their eyeballs in bullshit they can’t see it any more. I try to respond reasonably to reasonable people, but you’re too far gone for me to salvage.

Go away.

— immediately followed up by another Maha comment, signaling that her threshold of tolerating intolerance had been met:

Folks: The rightie haters are showing up and being nasty; so I’m closing comments. To anyone whose comments I deleted: I’m sorry for you, but I’m not your therapist.

To recount: Maha completely mischaracterized the argument offered by Dan (among others) that took Karen Armstrong to task for promoting and defending an idea of “tolerance” that is, at its core, the opposite of tolerance: which is to say, by institutionalizing restrictions on speech that are determined either by the groups under critical examination (who have reason to want criticism muzzled) or by those who hold that “tolerance” is synonymous with “not giving offense” (who would reduce freedom of speech to a glorified speech code, with “freedom,” in this new formulation, replaced by “approved,” and with themselves and the identity groups they favor in charge of doing the approving), Armstrong is effectively arguing for a “free speech” that is, by design, only “free” once the content has been socially sanctioned.

Which is not all that unusual — after all, we have laws against libel and laws against inciting violence — but those are very narrow restrictions; what Armstrong — and Maha, and many progressives, including certain presidential candidates — want, however, goes much broader, and would add “giving offense” to the list of restrictions placed on speech.

But given that offense is completely subjective, advocating for such a position is precisely the same as advocating for the end of free speech, which is itself based around an idea of tolerance that is precisely opposite that being espoused: namely, the willingness to accept offense as a necessary proponent of true freedom of speech. It is difficult to tolerate things we don’t like — but that’s what makes it tolerance in the first place, and is precisely what gives free speech its power.

Turning “tolerance” into a demand that no offense be given is to turn tolerance into an intolerance of those things that give offense — even though free speech was designed exactly to protect those things that DO give offense.

By closing her comments, Maha shows that she is indeed “intolerant of intolerance”. The only problem being that her idea of “intolerance” is anathema to those of us who remain committed to free speech: because Maha’s conception of “intolerance” — giving offense, “hating” — marks the kind of toleration that gives free speech its force.

So by claiming that she is “intolerant of intolerance”, what she is really saying is that she doesn’t tolerate the traditional notion of tolerance that undergirds free speech — or, more succinctly, that she is intolerant of free speech.

Which explains why she shuts down comments in the name of tolerance, I suppose.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:51pm
99 comments | Trackback

Comments (99)

  1. There are some people who are so much up to their eyeballs in bullshit they can’t see it any more.

    This is so sweet it is almost unbearable. Is there such a thing as developing irony intolerance as a result of comsumption of irony so sweet?

    TW: protected, whim That thing is scary…

  2. The mindset Maha displays was deftly parodied many years ago by Tom Lehrer in the introduction to his comic song “National Brotherhood Week”: “I know there are people out there who do NOT love their fellow man. And I HATE people like that!” (From his “That Was The Year That Was” album.)

  3. That’s more than mischaracterizing the argument, that’s outright lying about what Dan said. This isn’t about free speech, and it isn’t about “tolerance”, this is simply an attempt to shut down a dialogue that the left is losing and knows it.

  4. “…or, more succinctly, that she is intolerant of free speech.”

    - Which reminds us all of another “National Socialist” movement, in all its charming glory.

    - When you know going in that you have no chance in honest debate, owing to the basic fact that your idea’s are about anti-Western culture, the only thing you can do is try to capture the narrative, play lexicinal jump rope, and refuse to debate, but rather attack and dissemble.

    - The last is what you get at the end of most efforts to engage a SecProg. Projection, followed by shut down.

    - The only thing sillier than most of their arguments, and propaganda, is their delusion that anyone buys the demogogery. For elites, they sure are dumb.

  5. Is there such a thing as developing irony intolerance as a result of comsumption of irony so sweet?

    I believe the clinical term is Irony Sufficiency Bulemia.

  6. Come on now, Jeff!

    Free speech is only truly free when you are free to express a tolerant view towards the intolerance that is seered, SEERED, into the very fiber and being of conservative haters and their Cheneyminions. Once we have diverged from The Narrative™ our very nature dictates our intolerance as it moves away from those principles that the enlightened have determined reflect real tolerance, therefore your very tolerance of those intolerant views markes you as intolerant, for which she … has … no … tolerance …

    OW, YEEEEOWWWWCH!

    Crap! Ears bleeding again…

  7. This is just like when Mike was going to take Greg, Peter and Bobby camping but since he had just gotten married and all he decided to ask Carol, Marcia, Jan and Cindy to come. At first the guys were bummed out cause the camping trip had always been just a guys thing, but they went and it turned out everybody had a great time.

  8. Intolerant of intolerance? Wow, what a great oxymoron!

    Hey, ya can’t get too much moderation, that’s what I say…

    SB: agnostic identity

  9. Sure it’s anti-PC (the both-sides-of-the-aisle kind), but I have to wonder if there isn’t a legitimate national security interest being upheld by preventing a huge mosque from being built in the middle of a major city. Consider where terrorism is born and bred…

  10. The most categorically astounding thing of it all is that she is, as was posted before in the other thread, a child; clasping her hands to her ears and shouting “LALALALALALALA.”

    The most insane part of it all is that she is claiming the moral high ground for having done so; that it is our fault for disagreeing with her!

  11. Hmmm. Preventing a huge mosque from being built in a city… How unusual!

    Guess what happens every time the LDS want to build a temple? Protests, lawsuits, etc. up the wazoo, even though LDS temples raise the surrounding property values and those who patronize temples aren’t known to vandalize property or strap on suicide vests.

    And yet five’ll get you ten that Maha would protest an LDS temple being built near her for whatever reason, and she’d never notice the contradiction.

    BECAUSE OF THE THEOCRACY!!!

    TW: rids Sacramenti. Exactly.

  12. Proving yet again that no one is so intolerant as a tolerant liberal.

  13. “So by claiming that she is “intolerant of intolerance”, what she is really saying is that she doesn’t tolerate the traditional notion of tolerance that undergirds free speech — or, more succinctly, that she is intolerant of free speech.”

    So she’s a wannabe fascist thug.

    Big suprise coming from a reactionary leftist.

  14. “Because there is Muslim terrorism, and because there are Muslims who commit unspeakable atrocities, we are justified in hating all Muslims and denying them the same degree of tolerance and respect we want them to give us.”

    She says this like it’s a bad thing..

    I dont hate Muslims .. but respect is something that’s earned. The day I see a sizeable portion of the oft mentioned ‘good Muslims’ stand up and loudly reject Islamic Extremism as well as any number of their backward and sometimes barbaric 11th century customs and traditions (e.g. female genital mutilation, honour killings, jihad, etc) it will go a long way toward earning them respect in my mind.

  15. Guess what happens every time the LDS want to build a temple?

    Hey, just look at the left’s reaction to evangelical mega-churches. Or a Promise-Keepers meeting.

    TW: “opposition mass”. Dang, Jeff, this thing’s scary!

  16. Maha is very tolerant of intolerance based in Muslim extremism.

    tw: send witchcraft. Heh.

  17. Q: What do you call someone who wins an argument with a liberal/progressive?

    A: “Racist!” or “Hater!” or “Intolerant Racist Hater!

  18. To paraphrase Ring Lardner, “‘Shut up,’ Maha explained.”

    Slap a “Walmart” sign on that mosque and watch the southpaws flow into the streets.

  19. Oh, and if you’re reading this E. Nough…well done.

  20. As Jeff points out, this is interesting only insofar as it is archetypal. It bothered me so little, when I read it, that I didn’t see the point in replying, myself. I’m not her therapist.

  21. “Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo”
    -Ambrose Bierce

  22. I am shocked – SHOCKED! – to find the comments closed at maha. I’m sure the fact that they were closed after E. Nough’s withering critique of her original tripe is purely coincidental.

  23. I think Maha has confused tolerance with acceptance. Not the same at all Maha.

    tw; fuse republican

    with what?

  24. “Slap a “Walmart” sign on that mosque and watch the southpaws flow into the streets”

    Hell, just call it any kind of Christian church, and watch them go into conniptions.

    Those god-bothers are a threat to our Republic, and they fear some bogey-man theocracy that never quite is definable. At the same time, if they worship Allah, and follow the words of Mohammed, they have a stated desire to rule under religious doctrine, yet that does not concern them. Maha’s rights would be markedly different under Sharia governance.

  25. I’ll note again that upon asking her if she was tolerant of honor killings, I was summarily deemed incapable of rational discussion and banned.

    Blinkered idiots like Maha are the reason I stopped expending any significant effort on interacting with the left.

  26. Pablo – One might think that folks like Maha would be interested in the fact that given the stated objectives and concerned of the splodeydopes, their biggest quarrel is likely with the positions of the Left. Fortunately for them, the Right is around to stick up for them, as they would not likely recognize the threat until it was far too late.

  27. Pablo is an irrational racist sexist hater !!!

  28. MMMmmmmmmm ….. book-burning …. and marshmallows! Maha knows the value of a good bonfire.

    tw: “Really“, she said, with mirth.

  29. I searched in vain for the name Pablo supposedly called Maha that got him banned. Can anyone help me out here?

  30. Jeffersonian – It was likely “Maha”. HATER !!!

  31. “Yes, I am intolerant of intolerance.
    That should cause an autoimmune response that no ointment is going to fix. ”

    Though there was no name calling in this one, it clearly gave Maha the vapors.

  32. I searched in vain for the name Pablo supposedly called Maha that got him banned. Can anyone help me out here?

    Call Mr. Spock. You’re going to need the Vulcan mind meld to find it, because it exists only in her cranium.

  33. I was saving my name calling for this post, as I did not want to disturb Maha’s feel good karma. She is one sincerely dumb human. The Buddhists will take anyone nowadays. Twatwaffle.

  34. Pingback: empty rhetoric

  35. Toleration toleraters tolerate tolerater toleraters tolerations.

    Parse that one, baby.

  36. I AM INTOLERANT OF INTOLERANCE !!!

    I am intolerant of douchebags as well.

  37. Can’t really add anything, my thought have already been captured here. But ….. teh TW is just to good to pass up liturgy things.

  38. Apparently teh gerbils have taken over my keyboard.

  39. The Bhodisatva once met a powerful warlord, who had conquered many people and slain many more. This warlord boasted of his power and the glory of his campaigns, and reveled in the sad fates of those who resisted or even displeased him.

    The Bhodisatva listened respectfully to this man, shared a meal with him, and at the end of the meal took up a knife and slew the warlord at his very table. The reason for this act was compassion… compassion for the current and future victims of the warlord.

    Stick that in your pipe and scream like Renfield, Maha.

    Yeah, I know, the story is probably apocryphal, but the brief summaries of the people the Buddha killed in his various incarnations found in the sutras are less poignant. You know, fake but accurate and all that. :)

    The bullet-point summary is:

    * The Buddha had compassion
    * The Buddha had respect
    * The Buddha sought understanding

    Not seeing a lot of checkmarks for Maha here.

  40. The Buddha was a violent bad-ass mother-fucker too !

  41. Not surprisingly that Dhimmi Armstrong doesn’t bring up Surah 5,& 9, “kill the Jews and Crusaders where you find them” the fate of the Jewish colonies of Yathrib (Medina) and Khaybar; killed or converted. Or the first 200 hundred years of Islam’s spread; domination by the sword from Arabia to the
    frontiers of Frankish territory; ‘assimilating’ all the Christian settlements in North Africa, and Babylonia; not mention that little squabble
    with the followers of the prophet Hussein.

  42. There is one very crafty – but transparent bit of linguistic hocus-pocus going on here. “I am intolerant(1) of intolerance(2)” … using the same word to assign opposite meanings.

    Intolerance(1) = Courage, strength, enlightened morally superiority, speaking truth to power!
    Intolerance(2) = Cowardice, bigotry, ignorance, hate!

    Intolerance for me but not for thee!

    It calls to mind a quote of Jeff’s from a few months back regarding the left patting themselves on the back and reeking from “the stench of undeserved self-satisfaction.”

  43. She has an interesting perspective on free speech – If you have views that differ from hers, your views are inherently offensive and not deserving of protection. In fact they should be suppressed. Nice understanding of freedom.

  44. Thank you, Jeff and all. I feel justified now in my long-standing policy to not engage in debate with The Left. It’s a waste of time, I believe. They don’t want to be confused with facts or reality. And I don’t want to get lost in their maze of a mind.

    Hi, dicentra!

  45. I find this site to be highly bigoted. When Jeff G first linked to the “weenie boy” post on my blog, many of the 85 or so replies made comments about women’s studies professors being “bull dykes.” That was a bigotry “two-fer” because it was expressing a sneering contempt for both women and gays. Even more telling are “jd’s” references to me as a “pussy” both on my site and (I believe) in his responses to me on this sight. Of course, calling a guy like myself a “pussy” is a way to convey contempt for him by identifying him with female genitals (which are understood as inherently contemptible). In this sense, jd was using his misogyny to insult me. But jd took it one step further on one of his comments on my site. He placed the “pussy” insult at the very end of his reply as a way to heighten the personal character of communication. It was like he was trying to get right into my ear to let me know what he really thought and expected that the “intimate” dimension of the insult would give more weight to jd’s sense of superiority. From my perspective, jd was adding a bizarrely homoerotic element to a schoolyard insult. No surprise there though. A lot of bigotry has a twisted sexual dimension. That can especially be seen in the history of lynching where crowds would sometimes castrate their victim and stuff his penis in his mouth as he was being hanged.

    One of the things I’ve learned in dealing with right-wingers is the flexible character of their bigotries. One week or month, the target is African-Americans and the rants are about affirmative action or crime. Another time, it might be Muslims in relation to terrorism or torture debates, gay people in relation to gay marriage, or women in relation to divorce issues. And of course, the right has made a determined effort to draw white liberals into the circle of groups to whome they can express social bigotry.

    As for arguments about Muslim immigration, it’s obvious that the “well-founded” opinions that Jeff G. cites both spring from bigotry and are intended to appeal to the racial and religious bigotries of the right-wing audience. What Collins, Jeff G., and E nough are doing was providing intellectual rationalizations for religious and racial bigotry. Martin Luther King wrote in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” that he was more disappointed in the “moderates” who accepted segregation (while disapproving of the “extremes” of the Klan or Bull Connor) than he was in the virulent racists. In the same way, I want to emphasize that people who provide complex and plausible sounding rationalizations for social bigotry are in fact much worse than the primal bigots. One of George W.’s few real contributions is to highlight the existence of evil in the world. Certainly, conservative rationalizers of bigotry are a much greater evil than the crude bigots.

  46. Yes, Ric, you are a bigot. A racist bigot. A racist sexist homophobic bigot.

    The sneering contempt was reserved for you.

    I do not find pussies to be inherently contemptible. I love them. Quit projecting.

    If you look back, I clearly defined in a scientific manner (much like you did for weenie-boys) exactly what I meant when I referred to you as a pussy. I cannot help it if you cannot read, or cannot comprehend.

    The rest of your screed is simply a variation of Maha’s “I am intolerant of intolerance”. Merely disagreeing with your enlightened social policy positions does not a bigot make, unless you really just do not want to debate the issue, in which case, it is easier to call someone a sexist, racist, looks-ist, circumcision-ist, etc … Once you define the terms to the extent that you create a pseudo-moral high ground for yourself, it gives you the leeway to simply disregard good faithed disagreement. I do not even know why I bother, because you managed to call me all of the above, while also throwing in a homoerotic barb,

  47. “One of George W.’s few real contributions is to highlight the existence of evil in the world. Certainly, conservative rationalizers of bigotry are a much greater evil than the crude bigots.”

    Doesn’t your computer get pissed off when you type this gibberish?

    I am assuming that the evil that President Bush has identified is Islamic extremism, Iranian fanaticism, and just full on krazy in N. Korea? Kudos to W for having the stones to say what the rest of the world should know.

  48. Professor, just because you STATE your generalizations and ad hom attacks as observations doesn’t make them so.

    Remember, right-wingers hate affirmative action not in any good faith, but just because they hate black people. It is so obvious. Also, they’re gay for you.

    Caric, you’re a charlatan. A fraud, a pretentious child masquerading as an academic. That you are an instructor at a university cheapens all of academia with your infantile and self-serving treatises about how people who disagree with you are evil because they disagree with you. You are a fool who has no place even pretending at higher learning, and, frankly, I am a better person than you, and there is a very finite list of people who I get to say that to.

    At this point, I would mention that I am not even going to dignify your tripe with dismissals in the future, but, that was never your goal was it. Unlike the folks here, you’re don’t even have the decency to PRETEND to be interested in honest debate. You merely want to tar people you disagree with.

  49. Ummm, Ric–stating inconvenient truths about Islam doesn’t make the messenger a bigot. Let’s just leave it at “Islam has a bit of problem with contructive criticism.”

    As for your sputtering characterizations of wingers and the President, what color is the sky in your world? There are real people out there who know what real fascism, oppression, and evil are–ask any mother in Darfur or North Korean gulag inmate.

    Idiot.

  50. Used to be that you could count on the absolute most liberal newsgroup or forum commentators to have, in their sig file, that quote about how no matter how much they hated what you had to say they’d die for your right to say it.

    I don’t think I’ve seen that quote for ages.

    I think it’s rather terrifying, really. Free speech and tolerance is fundamentally about defending the right for people to say the things that your or I don’t like. Tolerating the acceptable isn’t tolerance at all. Free speech only for acceptable speech isn’t free speech at all.

    What happened? Where did that quote go? Why did a concept that was so clear just a few years ago suddenly become “I am intolerant of intolerance?”

  51. Just an observation … Professor Fluffer is a perfect example, coming directly on the heels of the Maha “I am intolerant of intolerance” comment. It shows an absolute inability to separate the personal from the political.

    This can be described as a Tale of 2 Trolls. I like timmah. He is probably a really good guy, misguided, but a good fellow. I would have him and his family over for a meal. We could talk politics, discuss why he does not use part of his brain, and have a nice evening. Most of the people around here are that way. The fact that Prof. Fluffer holds this place out to be the bastion of right wing conservatism shows a fundamental lack of understanding of most the the content and comments here. People like timmah, I imagine, come to ruffle feathers, stir things up, have actual discussions. People like the pseudo-academic come here to denigrate, assert their moral superiority, and basically to drive a little traffic towards his blog which appears to be frequented by one commenter, tim mayo, who has demonstrated a remarkable ability to cut and paste A LOT of content. I would be itching for more traffic too if that was all I was able to attract.

    Professor, you are right. I do not like you. I guess in this instance, the political has become the personal, because that is the manner in which you wish to discuss things. I take that back. You do not discuss things. You lecture to us like some first semester freshman trapped in your classroom.

  52. Synova – I just went and read some of your posts. Good stuff. I like your style.

  53. Professor Caric – You really are an ass. I was trying to think of a nicer way to say that, but it simply does not exist. You are the picture perfect example of all that is wrong in political discourse today, and of the victimhood mindset preached by those on the Left. Had you taken even a nominal amount of time to acquaint yourself with the people that frequent this site, you would likely find most of us to be rather friendly, at least when we are not being called racist, sexist, homophobes who fetishize killing brown people, especially women and children. I pity your students, but what more could they expect?

  54. JD, you are right, there, and I really don’t say it enough; Cynn and timb and… do we even have a few other lefty types hanging around regularly? They are not on the list of ‘inferiors’ Caric is on. I disagree with them, and every now and then I accuse either of them of dishonest framing, but they demonstrate, at the very least, that they regard their fellow PW commenters with at least the smallest amount of good faith. Not to romanticize, but the juxtaposition is a worthy one.

  55. Man, Caric has really gone off the deep end.

    One wonders if anyone could be that locked into an insular ideology that literally everything they see, read or hear is through telescopic coke-bottle filters that spit out only what the wearer expects.

    And then one remembers “social studies” professors, and no longer wonders.

    I hope you know, Caric, that you are part of a dying breed. Win or lose, the society that follows your efforts won’t tolerate your vapid meandering uselessness. That’s often the irony behind hypocritical self-satisfied bourgeois leftist twonks. See Jean-Paul Marat if that helps.

    In the context of human history, we in the modern West live in a momentary oasis of prosperity and stability. The left has been chomping at the bit to tear down that oasis since before I was born, and I’m running out of excuses to carry on that “conversation.”

    If the left has any belief left in pluralism, mutuality and debate and discussion, y’all need to take a fucking valium and calm down. This ain’t gonna work any other way.

  56. Three paragraphs of the perfesser’s own intolerance. Now THAT”S irony. BTW perfesser, there’s a mote in yer eye.

  57. There’s Liberalism, then there’s ‘Sure, why not?’ liberalism.

    Jeff’s part of the former, Ric, the latter.

  58. “many of the 85 or so replies made comments about women’s studies professors being “bull dykes.”

    Could you provide a link to that thread? Because I can’t find it.

  59. As for arguments about Muslim immigration, it’s obvious that the “well-founded” opinions that Jeff G. cites both spring from bigotry and are intended to appeal to the racial and religious bigotries of the right-wing audience.

    I remember in high school geometry, when we were new at formal proofs, sometimes we’d get to a step where we couldn’t figure out how to prove something we needed to be true. At that point, we’d yell out in frustration, “It’s obvious!” Most of the time, the “obvious” claim was wrong, but we needed it to be right since that gave us an easy path to QED. That was the magic of the “It’s Obvious Theorem”: with it, you could literally “prove” whatever you wanted.

    I’m guessing geometry wasn’t Ric Caric’s strong subject.

    What Collins, Jeff G., and E nough are doing was providing intellectual rationalizations for religious and racial bigotry… I want to emphasize that people who provide complex and plausible sounding rationalizations for social bigotry are in fact much worse than the primal bigots.

    Ah yes: first, accuse people of blind, stupid bigotry and knuckle-dragging racism. Then, when it’s pointed out to you that the “bigotry” is, in fact, not at all blind or stupid, and the knuckles are well off the ground, get even more outraged because your opponent just refuses to be an easy target. Your opinion is the Light and Truth, dammit, and using facts and rational, “complex-sounding [sic]” arguments to disagree with it is just plain evil!

    To recap: there is only One Proper Worldview, and Ric Caric holds it. If you disagree with it, you’re an evil heretic. If you defend it against chartes of herecy, you are an “even worse” evil heretic. Caric’s Worldview must remain completely undisturbed.

    A few hundred years ago in Spain, Mr. Caric would have made a fine foot soldier for the Inquisition.

  60. When Jeff G first linked to the “weenie boy” post on my blog, many of the 85 or so replies made comments about women’s studies professors being “bull dykes.”

    That’s just you, cracker. Don’t generalize.

  61. Oh, and how do you feel about honor killings Perfessor Caricature?

  62. I find this site to be highly bigoted.

    I find this site to be highly embiggening. (It’s a perfectly cromulent word, and has more meaning than Caricature’s use of “bigoted.”)

  63. Consider these two statements from sainted prof ric:

    One of the things I’ve learned in dealing with right-wingers is the flexible character of their bigotries. One week or month, the target is African-Americans and the rants are about affirmative action or crime. Another time, it might be Muslims in relation to terrorism or torture debates, gay people in relation to gay marriage, or women in relation to divorce issues. And of course, the right has made a determined effort to draw white liberals into the circle of groups to whome they can express social bigotry.

    What Collins, Jeff G., and E nough are doing was providing intellectual rationalizations for religious and racial bigotry. Martin Luther King wrote in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” that he was more disappointed in the “moderates” who accepted segregation (while disapproving of the “extremes” of the Klan or Bull Connor) than he was in the virulent racists. In the same way, I want to emphasize that people who provide complex and plausible sounding rationalizations for social bigotry are in fact much worse than the primal bigots.

    Shorter caric: My bigotries against “right wingers” are not bigotries at all. In fact, due to my doctrinally sound liberal thinking, I can be as bigoted as I desire, broad brush half the country’s population (or more), call you whatever contrived names that emphasize my own bias (weenie boys, cancer, misogynist) and yet be secure in the knowledge that none of it represents bias or bigotry in any way.

    Black is white; up is down; absolutely nobody even freakin’ whispers for ice cream!

    Thus we are left with the definitive construct of the foundational underpinnings of The Narrative™: Define objective mindsets within the framework of liberal/progressive “truths” and then seek to intimidate opposing views by the very sort of crass, simple minded labeling that used to define real racism/sexism/intolerance. Close the lid tightly by defining said opposing views attempting to engage in reasoned debate as “much worse than the primal bigots, ” thus completing the circle jerk that leaves The Narrative™ untouched by word or deed, if not by thought.

    Do this all in the name of “intolerant of intolerance.”

    It is the measure of Caric’s supremely insular arrogance that he sees his writings as righteous and enlightened rather than the utterly illiberal, intolerant bigotry of ideas that it represents. Once he has, through the glorious insight of his education and blinkered academic experience, determined real “truth” he must not brook any interference in its proclamation. Any libel, any slander, is perfectly tolerant to protect the “truths.”

    Somewhere, Josef Goebbels is sighing with deep satisfaction.

  64. Okay, not to change the subject, but McGehee kudos to you for the Simpsons quote. I love that quote and spent a good three minutes chuckling about it. I am so looking forward to Friday’s premiere.

  65. I’ll make the offer again, Ric.

    Let’s debate the merits of race-based affirmative action and racial categorization; we can do the whole “race as a social construct dance” on the way, too.

    Then, when we’re done there, let’s debate feminism. My contention is that of the two of us, I’m the only real feminist — your bona fides as an instructor in second wave feminist propaganda nothwithstanding.

    From there, we can move on to Muslims in relation to terrorism and torture. You can bring along your theories about poverty, western hegemony, and cultural imperialism; I’ll embrace those, engage them, dismantle them, and hand them back to you in the shape of a crescent, or maybe Daniel Pearl’s severed head.

    We can then move on to a debate over gay marriage: does failure to support gay marriage equate to homophobia? Are openly homosexual men and women who disagree with a policy of gay marriage homophobic? Inauthentic? Self-hating? Or are you just “gayer” than they — despite where you plant your gourd?

    Finally, we can debate just how it is that criticism of today’s progressives is, to your way of thinking, just another way to express social bigotry. Hint: it might help if you define social bigotry up front — or at least, be prepared to — because such an accusation lies at the heart of your entire wordlview: as with Maha (and Mona and Greenwald, et al), and previously expressed in my insidiously complex sounding rationalizations, you have conveniently taken as the neutral point of social equanimity all the policies that you favor; and in so doing, you have rendered all those who don’t favor those policies as de facto bigots.

    It is from that base assumption — and yes, Ric, that pun, once you figure it out, was intended — that is derived every assertion that you make.

    Now it’s time to turn those assertions into actual arguments. Because a lot of establishment feminist psychologizing about right wingers’ fear of the vagina is not going to count as anything more than an ostentatiously shaved metaphor.

    You are, in short, an academic Brazil wax: narrow in your focus, ostentatious in your display, but very thin all the same and — frankly — a bit on the scratchy side, to boot.

    At long last — put up or shut up, professor. And yes, I’d be delighted if you invited some of your academic friends over to give you a hand in my dismantling. Me, I’ll rely solely on my coterie of bigoted weenie men and women to aid in the assault against all that is good and righteous.

  66. I’M A BIGOTED WEENIE MAN YAY

  67. Have I told you lately how much I love this site? Great writing from Jeff and Dan. Well not bad for haters anyway.

  68. This is typical of feminist blogging. If you’ve followed the Duke lacrosse argument, you’d find the same thing. If somebody, usually a man, says something like, “one of them can prove he wasn’t there”, he’s accused of rape apology, rape enabling, misogyny, patriarchal bullshit and so forth. His arguments are misrepresented, he is subject to spluttering obscenities, and then banned.
    The same goes for any argument in which the femblogger or commenters find themselves faced with an argument they cannot manage with facts and logic.

    The interesting thing about misrepresenting another’s argument is that it must fail. It is one thing to misrepresent what, for example, I said to somebody who hasn’t any way of knowing what I said. But to misrepresent it back to me is supposed to do what? And the readers can scroll back to see what I actually said.
    What’s the point?
    If there is any tactic more likely to prove one is a liar, it’s misrepresenting the arguments of a commenter on a blog.
    TThat it continues must mean that being outed as a liar–again–isn’t all that important. And that’s interesting.

  69. “It is difficult to tolerate things we don’t like — but that’s what makes it *tolerance* in the first place, and is precisely what gives free speech its power.”
    Well said, if folks can’t agree on that basic concept of free speech it is a dire thing.

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  71. Iadmit it! I said that perfesser ummmm got his ass beat by bulldykes! So, OBVIOUSLY, to the “ladies man” that means all or the majority of the commenters said it too. It was base, but, sometimes I aam pretty base.

    However, perfesser ummm. That doesn’t indicate any of the drivel you vomited up earlier in the thread. It does mean that I can’t stand overbearing in your face lesbians with low self esteems and visceral hatred against anyone with a penis. This obviously leaves you out. You’re just one of the girls, so it’s cool. See, it’s not that they’re gay, as to me there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being gay. It’s that they’re assholes. Now, admittedly, I don’t know the ladies that compromise your women’s studies department, so I definitely was off base by judging those of whom I don’t know. And for that, I apologize to them, but not to a horrid little dipshit such as yourself.

    Good luck getting your ass deconstructed by Jeff and others. Is being a masochist worse than being a weenie?

  72. May I suggest that we not refer to Ric Caric as either “pussy” or “ass” in the future as it’s an insult by association to perfectly decent pussies and asses everywhere… Instead I propose we use the term “Nellie-boy” which is defined as an effiminate man or sissy.. True, this would make us Nellie’ists but there arent all that many Nellie’s out there to be insulted..

    tw: freeborn wrangling (I love it..)

  73. Ouroboros:

    How about Nellie-Waffle?

  74. icontempt for him by identifying him with female genitals (which are understood as inherently contemptible).

    (BLINK) WTF?

    And if I were to call this fellow a total chowder-head, would it show an understanding that savory cream-based soups are inherently contemptible?

  75. Wow. Jeff, BJ, Dan, all you guys are so much freaking nicer than I could ever be. I would be willing to bet dimes to dollars that Rickie does not bother to engage, but will continue to wait until midnight or so, and toss out pot shots from the sidelines. Prior attempts to engage him have gone unanswered, or the topic quickly changed.

    Why use a euphamism for Ric. He is a pussy, ass, dick, pile of fetid smegma, etc … My ability to utilize the English language and its vast vocabulary is much less than the likes of Jeff, Dan, our Ric Locke, etc … so I will stick with those vulgar, base words that perfectly describe the sentiment I intend.

  76. Q30, I did not understand that one at all. In order to hold that position, the caric-ature has to have no knowledge of me whatsoever, and be so divorced from reality, to think that I could ever view that little piece of heaven as inherently contemptible.

  77. I dunno- I think it has something to do with the stranger (Marcottian?) strands of feminism that have it that men are terrified and repulsed by the female genitals… while other strands of feminism that you see have it that men are jealous of female genitals… while still other stands have it that men only think about accessing female genitals to slake their perverted lusts.

    That these are all mutually-exclusive arguments do not seem to matter. They are all acceptable, as long as men are painted as being fascists. The inherent fascism of masculinity is as unchanging as the position of Polaris, even if it can be said to appear in directly opposing ways.

    Furthermore, as a man, you’re both a super-incompetent moron AND a super-competent oppressor of women. You’re driven by a wide spectrum of neurotic emotions AND you’re incapable of feeling a wide spectrum of emotions. You want to have sex with women because you hate them. Your penis is too small and soft to please a woman, yet it’s large enough to permanently maim her if it enters her non-consensually. And so on.

    Don’t even try to understand these nuances. You can’t because you lack the pussy that you love/hate/fear so much.

  78. I FEAR THE VAGINA !!! And midgets. Clowns. Dwarfs.

  79. Rusty: That’s no mote, it’s a space station!

    Regarding Ric: Evan Sayet thinks he knows why Ric is such a twonk. Ric is so terrified of the concept of discrimination, that discriminating against Africans and discriminating against high prices and discriminating against terror-apologists are morally equal in his mind.

    I’m not sure it’s an original idea of Mr. Sayet’s, but it’s a brilliant formulation of it, and it has helped me understand why the left seems so darned insane.

  80. Ha. Just now read The Perfesser’s 10:44 comment because it was linked from another post. Ha.

    Did I say ha? Because the irony is the irony, obviously, The Perfesser. See, what you conveniently bundle up as bigotry around here is nothing more than sticking it in your face.

    To wit: I sure hates me some non-whites.

    Now, The Perfesser, does that make me a bigot or does that make you more or less a dimwit because you simply never saw it coming? IOW, the entire site is like this and has been for about, like, forever.

    Naturally, you can (and surely will) intentionalize the shit out of that. Just, please, as you do so — again — kindly resist simultaneously considering yourself so much as a light year from having a grasp on anything of any actual substance whatsoever. Because between that flailing miss — or the simple dishonesty of doing it intentionally — you do not.

  81. McGehee kudos to you for the Simpsons quote.

    Heh.

  82. Does hating hatred make me a lover?

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  88. I really don’t even see a point to engaging Maha, and even less of a point in engaging such tiresome self-righteousness. Hers is a quite common conceit: she’s so convinced of her own integrity that she need not ever show it. What she says is so obviously the truth that she will not deign to defend it, as she cannot even countenance the idea that her opinion can be assailed in any way. I’m sure her and her mirror are very good friends.

    The larger point is that liberalism itself represents and odd inversion of the concept of tolerance. Most liberals share Maha’s conceit, and exercise her serial dismissal of critique as “hate”. In fact, I think such an instinct is simply part of human nature. However, liberalism is currently in position where it doesn’t face the sort of scrutiny that brings an appreciation for real tolerance, and real questioning. In reality, liberalism isn’t liberal, but quite reactionary, and as such generally treats dissent as a moral or even actual crime.

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  92. Pingback: Free speech? Come on. How will that promote tolerance?

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