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April 15, 2006

Comments

Kip Manley

He's like Brer Bear and Brer Fox standing around the briar patch hollering hey, little rabbit! Y'all better come out of that brair patch now before you get all stuck with prickles! Because people hate rabbits that are stuck with prickles! And they'll make it easier for us to grab you! Yeah, that's the ticket!

Carlos

Yes, of course he's trying. Can't you feel the effort?

"Can't we all just get along? You moonbat freaks disgust me. I am a model of civility!"

Rich Puchalsky

Wait a minute. "the excess that dominates the lefty blogs" -- first we have Gnostics channeling Zizek, and now Hewitt too?

Phritz


As with so much blog-speak there is in Hewitt's rant this reification of categories; as if the political terms and concepts-- were distinct from facts, policies, arguments, suggestions, and possessed some nearly platonic character. Ideological writing, polemics, op-ed pieces all rely on these sort of summations and generalizations; and pointing out the lack of evidence or "cogency" of is itself trite. But in some real sense, political reform, economic reform, a discussion of ethical issues-- say, regarding oil, enviro., transportation, housing, distribution in general etc.--is greatly hampered by this sort of potshot approach, tho' many leftists are just as guilty of it. When the moderator sees the V word (i.e. verification) he will be probably deleting this, but some retrofitting of V., at least in regards to poli-speak, would be proper; that is, if blog-writers took poli. and econ. reforms seriously.

jholbo

I like verification just fine, phritz. (I'm honestly not sure why you would think otherwise.)

Phritz

OK. Much as I don't care for him, Hewitt has a point, however difficult it would be to confirm: the blogger-left has an issue with hysteria, and with emotion-driven politics instead of fact-based politics. Not to indulge in the PoMo bashing and potshots, but "Theory" contributed to the hysteria factor, I believe-- though it's always been a problem for the social realist, Norma Rae left: academic Marxism feeds on that emotional resentment, and a nearly fundamentalist vilification of the enemy, however he is defined that particular week.

Chomsky's political writings from the 80s, and other sorts of progressives, greens, "pre-postmod-invasion' were very specific, factual, a bit dry, but hardly theoretical or hysterical. (Similarly for JK Galbraith, another progressive model and non-hysterical writer.) I don't always agree with chomsky's American-bashing (tho' his research on Vietnam provides quite convincing evidence of the US's guilt), but this was a writer one could argue with, dispute, even refute (just referring to politics here); that is hardly feasible with the postmod. cadre, or really with literary people. Indeed, it is not incorrect to hold many literary academics/departments as sort of the instigators of American postmod and the associated irrationality of much leftist blog-writing--but literary scholarship has never been a model of empiricism.

Adam Kotsko

I've just got to say: Any post that scrolls the pig head further down the page is a good post.

Phritz


Yeah biological realism typically scares the frick out of a sunday schooler: tho' Billy Sunday eats a sausage McMuffin now and then, I wager, or Big Macs. The pig's head raised the carnivore/vegetarian issue fairly effectively, intended or not. Would most suburbanites be willing to , say, kill the animal whose meat they dine on? In the Golden Rule society, even clerics--that is, if any are left-- must work a few days in a slaughterhouse on occasion. And those types of basic "consequentialist" issues (regarding carnivorism, food, work etc,), are typically overlooked by the emotionalist and/or postmod. left, as well as by xtians

Jacob T. Levy

John, you introduce me to the best blogs through your comics links!

jholbo

Thanks, Jacob. (Drop me a line. Tell me what's up.)

Phritz (how to explain this?) We want you to be more POLITE to people. I realize you don't want to do this. But WE want you to do this, and it's OUR site. Do you think you could manage to make your points with just a tetch more mild-manneredness?

Cala

It's like having your very own auto-Dr. Bronner's-Magic Soap Generator, though, jholbo.

All Peace Unity Frege All in One!

Adam Kotsko

John, It's my fault. He had already pissed on this comment thread, and then I had to invade his territory.

jholbo

Good one, cala.

Phritz

It's amusing how the one fairly serious response to Mr. Hewitt's rant (by one who knows what Hewitt is about), is not merely ignored, but is followed by a mini-etiquette lesson, and then is subjected to some childish insults by one Rev. A.K., and possibly by "cala."

if jholbo took verification seriously, first, Rev. AK would be the one on the defensive-- continuously ; as would the CT and LS types of irony-at-any-cost faux-leftists.

That said I will attempt to be a "tetch" more civil, at least to those who are capable of argument (which excludes Rev. AK). And if you don't agree to commonly accepted forms of argument, at least produce a miracle or a cool hack. (anyone want to wager on that event happening?)

Phritz

on the other hand, I realize this is a phamily affair, as well as of course more comedy workshoppe, as the Valve/Weblog/CT/LS/Hedgehognomy, etc. specialize in. Like the Spickvak thang: str8-up wacky postmod. humor via Bollywood. SO delete my stuff: sort of non-ironic "analytic naturalism" and not much phunn phor the Phi. Phrat.

Carlos

Fritz, you're not serious. Stop pretending.

zwichenzug

I'm doing my best to parse brer Phritz here, but honestly I'm puzzled.

First, what is it that Hewitt is supposed to be right about? I'm familiar with all of the words Phritz uses, and have dipped my toe in a few of the intellectual currents he seems to be swimming in, but I honestly can't see the connection between his comments and Hewitt's rant.

Phritz's criticism of the left seems to have something to do with postmodernism, something to do with the idea that the categories we deploy when describing the world are, in some robust sense, up to us. This, I take it, is thought to undermine the left's ability to engage in political debate because it supposedly implies that those on the left can't really be committed to the judgements they express.

Now, first, I just don't see how anything like this can plausibly be attributed to Hewitt. Maybe in his philosophical moments Hewitt is committed to a simplistic foundationalism, and maybe from that perspective he'd react against the postmodern impulse, but in his political writings he's pretty clearly a hack. As to the idea that he has in hand any kind of sophisticated critique of discursive practice, well...let's just say that a verificationist should expect some evidence.

Phritz


No, the point is that the nutcase right, or moderate right, as with Hewitt, often is as guilty of generalizing (and hypostasis in some sense) for the sake of political effect as are leftists, yet regardless of the lack of substantiation in H's post (which leftists, which bloggers?), I do think Hewitt is anecdotally correct: there are plenty of angry, emotion-driven leftists, and the anti-rationalist aspects of postmodernism and marxism as well may have contributed to this "emotivism" (though I grant ideological cause would be difficult to establish). But that's not to say that ALL leftist or progressive emotivism is misconceived: many of the absurdities of the free market/corporate model might result in humans, including educated, skilled humans, becoming frustrated, angry, indignant. It's the question of what is righteous and what is not righteous indignation, and also how one views the source of that leftist anger: are there real objective ethical rules being violated which led to the anger, or are they just being overly-emotional? I would say in some cases, the anger of impoverished, un- or underemployed people is justified, regardless of race, especially for skilled and laid-off workers. But the reasons for that should not simply because the situation makes them feel bad, but because market injustices--a great disparity in wealth, "perqs" and income, for one-- are objectively wrong in many cases. (I think there are grounds for objective views of ethics from secular grounds, if you are asking--and those were stated fairly well by Hobbes way before Rawls & Co--and those objective views of ethics may "entail" planned, controlled economies, though not necessarily marxist and/or non-democratic)

zwichenzug

Wait, so Hewitt is 'anecdotally correct' to say 'lefties are hysterical' because some lefties employ rhetoric that is driven by emotion rather than reason? By that logic, any global statement is anecdotally correct just so long as there is a single instance.

Frankly, I find that kind of inference to be a lot more suspicious than all but the worst excesses of postmodernism. Or, at any rate, I find the extension from anecdotal correcticallity to anything at all significant to be suspicious.

Which isn't to say that there's nothing to criticize about postmodernism.

It strikes me, though, that a lot of this flailing about blaming intellectual movements for broad sociopolitical consequences is pretty unhinged from the concrete. It's easy to say that lefties are detached from the empirical consequences of their categories, but why say it? Why not instead get elbow deep in an actual policy issue and make a stand there? You know, with facts and stuff.

Phritz

There is evidence of market injustice, or at least non-equitable situations--everywhere. The Forbes 400 list will do. Or NASDAC. Oil /energy stocks and futures. LA/SF/NY housing and real estate. Hollywood. I don't claim to be JK Galbraith, but the leftists--postmods, especially--rarely show any interest in the sorts of concerns that irritated a Galbraith (and he is not that difficult a writer). And I do write on factual matters using econ. data/stats.


Many American liberals (whether they call themselves lib. or con.) have this utilitarian outlook which holds, more or less, it's only wrong if they find it untasteful, unappealing--they define "good", just, ethics more or less according to subjective taste; and marxists often show this tendency as well--that ethics, economic justice, distribution of goods and services--these are aesthetic affairs.

Hewitt could be read in that sense as well--but really Hewitt is one of these new-school moderates who's sort of liberal and tolerant and hip on the surface, but their "ideological deep structure is racist, theistic and governed by controlphreak-ism"--we might call them police-state moderates; or perhaps, bootlickers. At least with skinheads, radical libertarians, etc. you know what their position is: they never assume some bogus tolerance or piety, and they hate Feds, bureaucrats, and irony, whether that of cafe-artiste left or suburbanite right.

Phritz

There is evidence of market injustice, or at least non-equitable situations--everywhere. The Forbes 400 list will do. Or NASDAC. Oil /energy stocks and futures. LA/SF/NY housing and real estate. Hollywood. I don't claim to be JK Galbraith, but the leftists--postmods, especially--rarely show any interest in the sorts of concerns that irritated a Galbraith (and he is not that difficult a writer). And I do write on factual matters using econ. data/stats. When "leftist" anger, indignation is driven by factual, verifiable concerns--disparity of wealthy and poor, finance, labor/management issues, housing, etc.(--say the record profits posted by Exxon in the last few quarters)--then it may have some power and validity. The grand marxist proclamations on Capital in general, or hegemony, etc. more often resembles a pep-rally though, and not only that, anyone who objects to the grand theory is given a "liberal" badge. Academic marxists tend to be mostly confused prattling clowns, and their approach ("Praxis"-- hah)in many ways may be detrimental to the interests of poor and marginalized.


Many American liberals (whether they call themselves lib. or con.) have this utilitarian outlook which holds, more or less, it's only wrong if they find it untasteful, unappealing--they define "good", just, ethics more or less according to subjective taste; and marxists often show this tendency as well--that ethics, economic justice, distribution of goods and services--these are aesthetic affairs. I realize that may be too anecdotal for you, but that is my experience, and that of many other burnt-out progressives and/or greens.

Hewitt, on the other hand, is one of these new-school moderates who's sort of liberal and tolerant and hip on the surface, but their "ideological deep structure is racist, theistic and governed by controlphreak-ism"--we might call them police-state moderates; or perhaps, bootlickers. At least with skinheads, radical libertarians, etc. you know what their position is: they never assume some bogus tolerance or piety, and they hate Feds, bureaucrats, and irony, whether that of cafe-artiste left or suburbanite right. And the libertarians--even NRA-hicks, bikers, freedom worshippers-- are in general closer to leftist anarchism left than liberals are to leftist-anarchism, however primitive or unappealing you might find that to be.

Phritz

Got dat? But get this: you know what caused this sort of collapse of rational progressive politics, even more than ol Papa Marx did?: I suggest (anecdotally, alas) it was LITERATURE, INC. Yass, Shakespeare & Co. has assisted in the destruction of rational politics. Add romantics, conty. lit., victorians, modernists, even genre, sci-fi, pulp, and ho-wood product as well: tho' I do not see eye to eye with Adorno on hardly anything, I read the LIT. Biz as part of the Culture Industry, tho' would include social realist/existentialist/lit. as part of that deception as well. Fiction is symptomatic of wide-spread deception, or at least escapism, delusion, as is entertainment. You want economic/ political/green reforms? Close English departments, and movie theatres and ban pop music/entertainment.

Carlos

You should start a blog!

Phritz

SO should you--well, maybe after you learn how to write.

Carlos

Cool. I will definitely take you up on your kind offer.

fnook

Phritz, I'd like to second Carlos' advice and recommend that you start your own blog. You could call it Tedious Notes From A Burnt Out Progressive and/or Green Regarding the Many Splendored Mysteries of Hugh Hewitt's Political Soul.

Phritz

I've been bloggin' for over 3 years, fnook. An early blog of mine was "how to recognize the faux-liberal and chichi literatteur-ironist." Google 'er.

A New York City High School Math Teacher

Does this Tatler, claiming three years tenure at his own scribble, deign to generously and graciously measure out, in the fullness of day risen on the limb of the world, as Helios ascends this dawn, the scant half-dram of wit he yet conserves?

Methinks it is not wit he pours for our delighted sipping, but another liquor, fermented most foul in serpentine passages behind a most useless navel.

Phritz

Methinks you should stick with Euclid, schoolmarmy. This wasn't abuot "wit," anyway; if you had any, you might have realized it.

Carlos

I like Fritz! He can spell! And his Spanish is flawless! Concocer!

Carlos

I want Fritz to teach me to write like he does. He's so erudite and secure, and he never ever relies on lies and personal attacks and silly names to make his point, like the rest of the blogosphere does.

Carlos

But mainly, I like Fritz because he transgresses the paradigm of our flawed blogospheric discourse so flawlessly. I want him to have my babies! Often!

Phritz

Uh, where did I misspell "conocer," deep thinker? The first writing lesson, though, is you address the argument, and not what you think is someone's character (known as ad hominem in some quarters). And I've yet to see one post of yours that addressed Hewitt's points, or any points really. But you probably have a tetch of an "in" with management, like most fratboy liberals do. (Btw it's Phritz with a "Ph")

Phritz

Uh, where did I misspell "conocer", deep thinker? The first writing lesson, though, is you address the argument, and not what you think is someone's character (known as ad hominem in some quarters). And I've yet to see one post of yours that addressed Hewitt's points, or any points really. But you probably have a tetch of an "in" with management, like most fratboy liberals do. (Btw it's Phritz with a "Ph")

Carlos

Like I said! I want Fritz to teach me to write like he does. He's so erudite and secure, and he never ever relies on lies and personal attacks and silly names to make his point, like the rest of the blogosphere does.

Phritz


Erudite? Not perhaps as much as say a good catholic is, eh. But then what precisely does Erudition consist of? Do we need like a society of Polonius-like parasites? Nyet. "Erudition: Dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull," according to a rather non-erudite but nonetheless talented writer, Ambrose Bierce.

But "secure"--heh. You are aiming for your AA in Psych. as well as Moral Pheelosophy, Maestra? Yes, I am secure. I would like to see some evidence of a lie, tho, Maestra. THat's another sort of claim, and if not true (i.e I am not a liar) sort of like defamation (in fact a type of lie).

But I must say apart from all your morals, you missed your first lesson in Moral Pheelosophy, Maestra: Hobbes' Leviathan. Read that about 10 times, at least say the first 20 chapters or so , and then maybe you'll be ready for Lesson 2. Andale!

Carlos

I think the gay innuendo represented a lie, since I'm not actually gay. You're the only man for me, Fritz!

Also you look back on that thread, you'll see that you certainly did misspell a conjugation of the verb 'conocer', as well as committing certain, shall we say, solecisms? Yes, solecisms.

By the way, I'm really not interested in your political or literary views. Just your child-bearing hips!

Phritz


I don't use the g-word, Maestra. Silly, colloquial, imprecise, as well as ugly. Queer is not much better, but somewhat superior and more accurate. And I don't detest queers like fratboy closet-cases detest queers and lesbians; indeed ,as Great Analytical Philosopher Herr Holbo knows, Alan Turing, who was queer, was a powerful logician/mathematician, who helped assist in the crack of the nazi radar--a key victory for the allies. And yeah, I am man enough to cop to reading some Burroughs back in the day with some admiration (not much). Today's reading, Class, is WS Burroughs' "Salt Chunk Mary."

As far as conocer, as I told Rev. AKski, usted usually takes conoce; tu takes conoces, however usted conoces is acceptable in some dialects. But it's a silly lightweight point, like all of your points. At least you're consistent, Maestra.

As far as solecism, point it out (that is after you google the definition).

Say some more sheet about my character, tho' Carlita, and I'd hold up some old-school honor (you'll need to google that too, puto) and challenge ya to a duel, whatever weapon you prefer.

Carlos

My goodness! And I thought you were interested in literary discussion. I guess you're only talking to me for the sex. I know, I know, my raw animal musk is overpowering you even through the screen. But please, restrain yourself. I know your fingers are so used to typing c-o-n-c... in the chatrooms that you misspelled 'conoces' the way you did. But you must, simply must conceal your mad desires from these philistines. They wouldn't understand you, or us. Our mad passion! You are so deep, but I think I can go deeper yet! Your fertile womb cries out to me with a thousand alliterations! I will Burrough deep within, probing the folds of your intellect, and plant my spawn within your flesh.

And I will name it Huey!

Phritz


Ah Carlita shows his real character: a lil' g! You're no wit, puto, jus' another jo. Why not go back to your twink sites, or whereever you crawl around in? Or your spanish lessons.

Or instead put the gloves on for some mano-a-mano. LA, anytime, pendejo.

Carlos

OH GOD YES! THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE!

coyu@aol.com . Arrange it.

Carlos

I WANT TO HURT YOU! WHY HAVEN'T YOU RESPONDED YET?

Carlos

WHERE IS MY EAGER FRITZ? ODI ET AMO!

Phritz


No e-mail chitchat, pendejo-flunkie; LA, Los Angeles, name a time and date, locale (say Roscoe Bud parking lot), and your peasant face in the assphalt. Of course that ain't likely to occur; I suspect you are as cowardly as you are irrational and superficial.

Carlos

As the challenged party, Fritz, the choice of time and place is mine.

You put too much on yourself, you poor man. You need to rest. Let me do the peasant work of planning. All that massive intellect, used to debate lowly old me. It's no wonder you've forgotten the fine details. An ice pack will do wonders.

peter ramus

Carlos, your correspondent "Phritz" is engaging in typical perezoso-related program activities, which irruptions may be connected affectively to selene cycles, but which in no sense should be taken personally.

peresozo/Phritz isn't capable of deviating from the peculiar constraints of the rhetoric he's developed, which has been identified with that of the Troll of Sorrow (an identity he rejects).

Compare for example comment #127 here with comment here. The "Adorno says, after something, something is impossible," is a distinctive field mark of perezoso/phritz.

The referential dog-chases-tailisms of his style and the vigorous snarls (directed at you in this case) to which it eventually devolves are characteristic.

You can put him on your life list now, though, rare bird he is.

Phritz

Rant and rave, Petie, like the wannabe-cheka member you izz. ID'ed! You got a Badge, byatch? I doubt you know what a valid argument is, much less who Thomas Jefferson wuzz.

MOre garden-variety blog demons, who'd be happier hangin' with like the 5 points gang, or blackshirts, or KGB than with Descartes, TJ or Russell. Maybe you can get Great Analytical Philosophaster Herr Holbo and some valve pals to run like a celebration of La Cosa Nostra.....

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