Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Why I Hate Blogs

[posted by Callimachus]

The -- I hesitate to use the word "liberal" here -- anti-something blogger Blue Girl, Red State has a post about Michelle Malkin titled Michelle Malkin: Crazy Bitch. In about the space it takes to recap a minor league baseball game, she manages to string together "Michelle-the-Malignant Malkin" ... "what a jingoistic tool you really are" ... "paranoid, delusional, goose-stepping moron" ... "this hateful bitch - this self-loathing immigrant" ... " idiot child" ... and urge people to "contact the editorial board" of their local newspapers to stifle Malkin's column, boasting of having done the same for Ann Coulter. The labels on her site for this post are "goon-squad," "Harpie" [sic], and "Harridan."

The spark for this ugly fire is Malkin's reaction to the news that the infamous "flying imams", who shook up a U.S. Airways flight and spooked the passengers, had filed a lawsuit for unspecified damages for "fear, depression, mental pain and financial injury," targeting, among other entities, unnamed passengers on the flight who had reported on the imams' behavior to the flight crew.

Read the passenger accounts of the flight and think about what you would have done. As a legal layman, I wonder about the ramifications of this lawsuit. Imagine a situation where you call the police on your neighbor who is abusing his wife, then the cops show up and get aggressively stupid (it happens) and shoot the guy. Imagine him suing you. Imagine being a corporate whistleblower, but the case -- against, say Wal-Mart -- is thrown out on a technicality. Now you've got the lawyer team for the Big Blue box smiling at you and circling your home like sharks.

There are sides to be argued here. The issues are complex, legally and socially, and urgent for the way we live today. There are good cases to be made. Opportunities to be persuasive and eloquent. But you'd never get a word about that case by reading Blue Girl's post. She's interested in none of that, apparently. It's pure ad hominem Malkin-bashing from one end to the other. That's what America needs right now, yeah!

It's the very essence of that "anti"-side blogging style that I despise: Performance Anger. In a few cases where I've tried to have a discussion with some anti blogger, I've felt like I was talking to her, while she was turned 90 degrees away from me, orating her responses to her audience.

And sure enough, in the comments, Blue Girl's friends bring up the "chickenhawk" argument. I swear to god. Not enough that you can't have an opinion about the war without getting smeared by it. You can't even have an opinion about domestic airline flight security without being told, "we know y'all don't have the nads to actually fight ...."

Speaking of Malkin (let's get it all out of the way in one post) is she right that the gloves always are off for female commentators on the right side when the left weighs in? That rhetoric that would not be allowed in other contexts gets the green light here?

And so it is with conservative women bloggers. Because we have "betrayed" feminism, because we hold unorthodox political views on abortion, government race/gender preferences, education, the war, and taxes, and because we reject identity politics, we're not "authentic" women, we deserve what we get, and we just don't count.

I'm not talking about misogynistic sociopaths, who certainly are out there in the comments threads, but they're not primarily political creatures. I'm talking about women and men writing things they otherwise would not tolerate. Or about answering a woman's opinions with slurs about her looks, her ethnicity, and her personality.

Malkin, of course, gets the double-whammy from the left because not only is she a conservative woman, but because she is a child of immigrants (but herself born where America was) who writes in favor of strict limitations on immigration and government profiling of potential threats based on national origin.

Labels: ,