Good. Evil. Bratwurst.

The Outpatients Are Out In Force, I See.

Posted on by arlen

Now this is strange.

I’ll make no secret of this: I’m not one of Jessica McBride’s fans. You want proof? The first line of her comment is disgraceful. I’ve even gone so far as to speculate on when her last remaining synapse might die of loneliness. But there’s a line between disagreement, even strenuously enthusiastic disagreement, and abuse.

You wonder why I’m writing these lines? Have a look.

I know, calling names seems to be what passes for political discussion these days, but even in that light, this kind of crap is appalling. You want to know why I don’t like to be seen in the company of people who share my political views? You need look no further. Crap like that actually makes some of the right-wing shills look good.

I don’t for a moment expect this to have any effect on the writer; from all available evidence the writer thinks it’s clever and funny to behave badly. I’m just making my own POV clear: The real problem with most left-wing positions isn’t with the positions, it’s with the people themselves.

Calling names doesn’t solve anything, doesn’t bring us any closer to getting things done. Like public masturbation it will gratify the performer, but polarize the spectators. At best, it lowers one person’s blood pressure at the expense of another. Net gain: zero.

(In the interests of accuracy, and for the education of one of the commenters on the referenced blog entry, the word and its suggested definition is found in the current OED as well as the 1991 edition. American Heritage, Encarta, and Merriam-Webster also support that usage, though none, including the OED support it as the primary definition. That isn’t the point. The point is the kindest description of the term any of them put forward is “vulgar;” all but OED also include the adjectives “disparaging” and “offensive.” Encarta adds “highly” to “offensive,” even. That’s the point. Politics are fair game; people aren’t. “But they’re calling me names!” someone cries. If they jumped off a bridge, would you the same? To borrow a line from West Wing, “You’re the Good Guys. You should act like it.”)

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October 2007
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