Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Law (Professors) of the Schoolyard

by Tom Bozzo

In yesterday's Total Drek guest post, I said I usually eschew the Wingnut Watch. Today's the exception that proves the rule, really!

I've been a few days behind in my blog reading, even for indispensible sites, so I am a little late to the party. Still, take a look at this brilliant argument from Ann Althouse (no link to her, you know how to find it if you're so inclined):
Glenn Greenwald is such an idiot. [emphasis in original.]
SECOND GRADER: No, you're the idiot, idiot!

And then, Glenn Reynolds comes to her defense, showing off all the rhetorical skills a Yale J.D. buys you (apologies to Yalie Oscar and numerous other Yale J.D.s) and hurling:
Glenn Greenwald is extraordinarily lame. [emphasis in original, link omitted.]
SECOND SECOND GRADER: Lamer, lamer, lame-er! Neener neener neen-er!

I await the big NYT article on the implosion of the brightest [sic] lights [sic] of the conservasphere into mindless vituperation.




[crickets chirping]

OK, well, maybe if they start using the F-word. Hope springs eternal.

So the flap is over the use of the terms "Christianist" or "Christianism." Reynolds, showing why he's called Prof. Lloyd Christmas in some circles, objects on the grounds that it creates a "false equivalence" with "Islamism." Avedon Carol explains very nicely why this argument is silly. Note also, it's not that there isn't such a thing as "Christianism."

Really: the Wisconsin LGBT community, and to a lesser extent all other unmarried Wisconsinites, were just constitutionally enshrined as second-class citizens in a vote that was motivated by what can only be called Christianist hardball politics. (Even if it backfired on its chief architect, the Congressional election loser and presumptive future lobbyist John Gard.) What of all that "Christian nation" rhetoric? Just so much bullsh*t to turn out the rubes?

Ann is apparently now pulling the twin tricks of decrying Greenwald as "extremely partisan" (direct quote, not Altmouse parody!) even as her post-election thought [sic] was:
Only pacifists and isolationists should feel good about the way this election was won.
Which is both extremely partisan and totally wrong. (Hello, James Webb not happy? Joe Biden?) Meanwhile, she wonders aloud — evidently, going for the Purple Teardrop with Clutched Pearls Cluster — why people don't just engage her instead of trying to make an "enemy" of her.

Short answers, regarding which I have some personal experience:
1. Ann doesn't like engagement on terms other than submission, and she tends to take disagreements very personally, which inhibits lively discussion;

2. Her actual arguments on policy matters that may be of interest to "political" bloggers from the reality-based end of the spectrum frequently range from the nonexistent to the terrible, so much legitimate disagreement is likely. I mean, she's someone who supports George W. Bush primarily on national security grounds!
The second-to-last words. Greenwald's post title was "The Meaninglessness of Tenure." Ann replies, "But I do love the pathetic jealousy of your post title." OK, so tenure allows Ann to dump lots of time into activities that I understand to be between a fifth and a tenth as lucrative on University of Wisconsin pay scales as "scholarship." Is this something to brag about?

The last words: If you're going to insult someone, do it well. I think Roy at Alicublog points to a good one for Ann: "She plays dumb with great brio." (*)

Thus endeth the rant.

(*) Said in reference to Jennifer Coolidge, lately in "For Your Consideration."
"OK, so tenure allows Ann to dump lots of time into activities that I understand to be between a fifth and a tenth as lucrative on University of Wisconsin pay scales as "scholarship."

Sorry for being dense, but I don't understand this. Does Ann Althouse get paid to blog? By whom? I trust not UW, which presumably isn't in the business of supporting blogs of any sort (except indirectly, by providing time and computers).
I understand her blog income to derive primarily from advertising -- when I'd heard about it a while back, she was reportedly pulling in about 1/10 of her 10-month salary (the latter of which is published in UW system budget doucments). I included the upper end of the range to allow for subsequent traffic growth and whatever the NYT pays for op-ed columns.

This is, I gather, a lot by blogging standards (this blog is totally noncommercial because the income potential at its traffic level isn't worth the utility cost of losing independence, at least by my preference orderings) but peanuts compared to income supplementation by professors with, say, more significant consulting practices.

Anyway, by "tenure allows..." I am referring mainly to the UW's indirect contribution of time.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?