Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The apex of self-awareness

Victor Davis Hanson's article: The Rise of the Uncouth. And, yes, he is indeed speaking of "teh left" as the uncouth party. Note to Mr. Hanson--by stating that the left is uncouth, and then just basically arguing that they did all the same stuff as you did and are hypocritically and unfairly tarring you as uncouth, isn't the inevitable syllogism that you, as well, are uncouth? Plus, there's this interlude (a propos of nothing) about Kanye West:
Then a buffoonish rapper Kanye hijacks a music awards show, to scream out that he prefers the loser to the poor embarrassed winner, standing mute before him with the trophy. But how can the audience that honors the violence and degradation of hip-hop / rap, then be outraged that they get a live version of such crude behavior before them of what they buy on CDs?
I guess this narrowly qualifies as not completely idiotic since Kanye West did talk about how George Bush didn't care about black people, but it's not like the liberals liked what he did. Umm...

Plus, in an article that is ostensibly about how uncivil the left is, he not only includes such red herrings as the West bit, rehashes the Dan Rather memogate, and the "Chicago political style". Seems like something they're throwing that around a lot--I don't get it. Obama isn't Mayor Daley, he's not really corrupt, and Michelle Malkin's book might sell to the dittoheads but this is as bizarre, insular, and fruitless an attack as the one about the Czars, or the Census, or whatever Glenn Beck has been thinking about today.

The weirdest part of the article is that I'm not quite sure what his argument is. Here are three quick quotes from the piece:
  1. "The truth is that a new generation of boors has come of age without sober wise people to teach them how to act. A Rep. Stark or Rep. Wilson, whether left or right, were Sixties people, a generation known for its hip crassness and uncouthness."
  2. "The Left is now furious that, as the new establishment, the rules of discourse are not more polite. But from 2002-8, they (Who are “they”? Try everyone from Al Gore to John Glen [sic] to Robert Byrd to Sen. Durbin [sic -- parallel construction]), employed every Nazi/brown shirt slur they could conjure up. NPR’s folksy old Garrison Keiler [sic -- does PJM even have an editor?] was indistinguishable from mean-spirited Michael Moore in that regard."
  3. "The solution, of course, is for the majority to simply say enough is enough, and declare a personal code of decency: 'I will not stoop to smear and slur, won’t interrupt a speaker, won’t call anyone a Nazi, won’t do to others what they’ve done to me.' Only that sort of code will end the craziness."
So, based on these, Hanson's theory is as follows: that Uncouthness is possessed of both political parties' baby boomers, and the left is now angry at this (BTW, Al Gore called Republicans Nazis? I'd love to see that clip) after years of being arch practitioners of the art of Uncouthness. Therefore, Democrats should become more decent than Republicans, who admittedly call Democrats Nazis, and for God's sake to become less like Garrison Keillor. In his zeal to trumpet the canard of hypocrisy--an extremely overrated sin, all things considered--Hanson failed to make an intelligible argument. And there's more right-wing cliches than you can shake a stick at [And yes, I am aware that's a cliche itself. Irony!]. Though I do think that we should all of us strive to be a little less like Garrison Keillor.

So, basically, Davis Hanson has now hit the wingularity. Godspeed, Vic.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.