Tuesday, November 20, 2007

That Stupid

The thing that irritates me about the blogger who goes by the name Jon Swift is not so much that I don't think his shtick is very good. I don't, but that just might be me being humor-challenged. His site is set up as a neo-prog's parody of a conservative. That could be a rich field for a clever thinker, but despite the smoothness of the prose and the lack of gratuitous cussing, Jon Swift's blog is as shallow as a carnival game. It's just Kos in a better suit. He's not mocking anything real, only the progressive straw man version of an unthinking conservative, which already is a mock-up. You get no medals for shooting up cardboard targets. You don't get to do an end-zone dance after scoring against tackle dummies.

His "satire" lacks what Calvino identified as the redeeming quality in satire -- ambivalence, "which is the mixture of attraction and repulsion that animates the feelings of every true satirist toward the object of his satire."

No, it's not any of that that irritates me. It's that so many "progressive" bloggers have urged me to bookmark this guy's site as a true fellow conservative. Yes, they think I'm that stupid.

UPDATE: Racking my brains to remember who it was that was urging Jon Swift on me as a "reasonable conservative blogger," I recalled that one of the people who goes around blogland playing that juvenile prank is ... Jon Swift.

However, in writing this post I sinned against the blog Commandments by linking to the subject of it indirectly, via the post elsewhere that sparked my reflection, rather than directly. And since he is the stern guardian of blogging propriety, as well as one of those privileged to punk it, he called me on it. I hereby atone for my grievous transgression by linking directly to Jon Swift, and enlarging the link with a couple of quotations from the blogger's namesake, brought to mind after examining the blogger's efforts:

But when a creature pretending to reason could be capable of such enormities, he dreaded lest the corruption of that faculty might be worse than brutality itself. He seemed therefore confident, that instead of reason, we were only possessed of some quality fitted to increase our natural vices; as the reflection from a troubled stream returns the image of an ill-shapen body, not only larger, but more distorted.


In pleading, they studiously avoid entering into the merits of the cause; but are loud, violent and tedious in dwelling upon all circumstances which are not to the purpose. For instance, in the case already mentioned; they never desire to know what claim or title my adversary hath to my cow, but whether the said cow were red or black, her horns long or short; whether the field I graze her in be round or square, whether she were milked at home or abroad, what diseases she is subject to, and the like ....

I bet that's the longest single link he ever had.