Thursday, May 11, 2006
O! Asshat! My Asshat!
So. Better late to the party, then never to arrive … that’s my philosophy. And a pretty handy one, seeing as how I go days between posts and would never get to partake in any of the hip jokes if I subscribed to the momentarian ethos of the blogosphere.
Plus, there’s usually a few half-drunken rappin’ 4tays still laying around to swig from, and some crusty spinach dip.
But it’s one thing for little old lame-ass me to arrive a week or so late to some meme – in this case, bagging on Ed Morrissey’s project to reclaim the phrase “101st Fighting Keyboardists”. It’s quite another for Capped-On Ed hisself and his loyal wingnut seamen [Ewww! – Ed.] to show up a couple of years late to a running joke, then claim it to be “defenestrated” by their tardy commentary.
Writes the Cap’n on his super-duper clever new toy (invented by Tbogg two years ago):
Yesterday we saw some goalpost-moving as the lefty bloggers attempted to equate "chickenhawk" with child molestation -- which again questions why they used it for anything else prior to the formation of the 101st FKs. It's a tactic born of desperation, as they see their favorite namecalling device defenestrated.That comment was in reply to this trenchant analysis by cabinboy Mitch Berg:
It's a good thing I have Cap'n Ed and King on the air with me on the NARN show. They are both very diligent in reminding me that when I slag on leftyblogs that there are exceptions to the rule; when I refer to leftybloggers who've been comedically outmaneuvered as "shrieking like a cagefull of poo-flinging monkeys", both were very conscientious about reminding me that there are exceptions. Josh Marshall, Matt Yglesias, Jeralynn Meritt [who?], Flash [double who?] - they tend to be able to separate the fever from the swamp. ...Capped-On Ed continues with his elaboration on cabinboy Berg’s point:
… namecalling is all these sites have. Writers like Glenn Greenwald, John Aravosis, Peter Beinart have actual argument on their side; they don't need to resort to name-calling to make themselves feel better. We may not agree with them, but we respect them and feel challenged by their arguments -- and they make us better at what we do with that challenge.Well. Color us pwned. You know … !!!!11!!!fourscoreandsevenyearsago!!!1!etc!!! We are so sixth-rate intellects. But let’s respond anyway, with a bullet-point stylee:
Others, however, simply make up slurs and silliness and pass it off as wit. One such example that I have seen recently is a perfect example of this. [Exampleporn! - Ed. Wood] Some sites have now taken to referring to me as Special Ed. [Not this one! – Gein, Ed.] This supposedly sets them apart as intellectuals. …
That's all they've got, these vapid and emotionally stunted people with computers and free time [Uh, we've also got pron - blindEd.], on both sides of the political spectrum. They can't win with argument, so they use invective and silly schoolyard taunts instead. They fill their posts with obscenities [He's fucking on to us! - *&$@#!Ed.] and dance around with delight every time they come up with another taunt. It's the perfect example of why we formed the 101st Fighting Keyboardists [no, um, Tbogg did that two years ago … but carry on – Dept. of Ed.] and adopted the chicken hawk as our mascot. It reveals the intellectual bankruptcy of these very bloggers ... and provokes them into revealing it themselves.
● When one wingnut blogger - out of the hordes who have dumbly endured the “101st Fighting Keyboardists” taunt, originated by Tbogg and perfected by The Editors – finally stumbles, years after the fact, upon the blindingly obvious tactic of embracing an insult and reveling in it to disarm its mocking firepower … it is not a victory. It is a baboon playing with string, accidentally tying a working slip knot.
It is, quite literally, one amongst 1,000 chickenhawks pounding on keyboards for 10 million man-hours finally producing a crappy Petrarchan sonnet ... that only really works if you count the near-rhymes. It is validation of the old adage that even a stopped clock tells the right time … only instead of “twice a day”, it’s “once in two years.”
For the past few days, we've watched the jabbering, jostling wingnutosphere marvel over the mundane strategery of reclaiming an instrument of mockery. It has been not a little reminiscent of “2001: A Space Odyssey” – with Capped-On Ed in the role of the ape who picks up the bone … the howling primates played by a cast of thousands pinging stupidly away … Queer Nation as the monolith … Kos as Hal … Tbogg as Dave … Michelle Malkin as, I don’t know, Gary Lockwood or something.
● We use schoolyard taunts against Capped-On Ed because people who play pretend dress-up sailor are practically begging for it. When they are also Midwestern call center managers in real life, they might as well just direct deposit their milk money into our IRA accounts.
● When cabinboy Berg refers to “leftybloggers who've been comedically outmaneuvered”, it is worth noting yet again that it was a “leftyblogger” who invented the very funny and useful (if day-before-day-before-yesterday) construction “101st Fighting Keyboardists”*. Not Capped-on Ed, certainly not Mitch Berg. So claiming to have the comedy goods on said leftybloggers as if you had willingly hoisted yourself on your own petard for everybody’s amusement - is akin to Adolph Eichmann demanding credit for “Springtime for Hitler”.**
What’s more – and this lesson ought to be heeded by Berg and Capped-on Ed and every other comedy-challenged wingnut who has tried so earnestly and tortuously and scantily to dissect humor in the weeks since Stephen Colbert hit the "Bombed-Heard-Round-the-World":
Saying something isn’t funny can actually be funny. But only if you say it in a manner which is generally accepted as funny. If you can accomplish that feat, people might even begin to regard you as funny. And after regarding you as funny … perhaps they might even begin to consider you as qualified to judge whether what other people say is funny or isn’t funny. The upshot, if such an unlikely chain of events plays out? That thing you were saying wasn’t funny, way back in the beginning … may be regarded by people as actually not funny!
BUT … and this is a big “BUT”*** … if you choose the decidedly more treacherous route, and attempt to say something isn’t funny without you, yourself, actually being funny in the process of saying that particular something isn’t funny … all that will happen is people will look at you funny.
Got it? Good. Now go fuck yourselves.
* Actually, it was “Keyboarders” originally; “Keyboard Kommandos” in its final form.
** Ooh! Godwin! Ward Churchill! Zero Mostel! Passed off as wit!
*** Saying “big but” at any given time is funny to six-year-olds; perhaps a starting off point for would-be wingnut humorists? Like, “baby steps”?