Thursday, September 23, 2010

Standing Athwart History
W/ Its Thumb Up Your Ass

We don't know or care who this dip is, though he is linked often enough by the Usual Gang of Idiots at The Atlantic. (Gangleader Sullivan, for example, dragged this before our eyes.)
I think it is easy for some liberals to miss just how antagonising flip mockery of absurd religious beliefs can be, though it's hard to believe they don't, at some level, grasp what's at stake. To laugh at someone's views on the evils of masturbation or witchcraft or gay marriage is clearly to imply that these views, and the people who hold them, deserve to be laughed at and, thereby, diminished.
Sweet fucking blood of Jesus, what other possible reaction is there? The typist himself admits these beliefs are absurd. Does he wish to be ruled/led/manipulated (however you care to describe the dynamics of human politics) by the patently absurd?

Oh crap. We read Douthat's bullshit about liberals loving the culture war, thought it garbage but decided not to bother. Now we realize this is part & parcel of that. (W.W.: "Mr Douthat makes an excellent point.") What've we gotten ourself into? Well, fuck, good money after bad, eh? Let's break it down.

Confusion follows:
It is easy to believe that Fox News is so popular among conservatives simply because it caters to their prejudices. But another way of saying almost the same thing is to say that it treats conservatives with the respect they feel they deserve; it asserts on their behalf a claim to social status that acknowledges the efforts of liberals to weaken that claim, all the while encouraging pride in the identity-constituting affiliations and convictions liberals seem to disdain.
No, no, liberals are all identity politics & resentment of their betters by minorities the libs keep on some pseudo-metaphorical "plantation." Noble conservatives judge by individual character & reject identity-constituting affiliation. Didn't he get the memo?

One really has to wonder how such a clear summing-up of reality leads to a 180°-wrong conclusion. Again & again.
Unlike liberalism, social/moral conservatism is essentially a creed of lost causes. It is about delaying the inevitable, standing firm against the tide of progressive social change for one more decade or year or day. Vulnerability—a sense of a treasured way of life under siege—is at social conservatisms' heart, and embattled reaction to the slings and arrows of liberal reproach and condescension is intrinsic to conservatism. In contrast, liberalism is generally confident, sure that it is the vanguard of history. But the arrogance of liberals frustrated by the futile intransigence of America's morally conservative majority is fuel for the conservative grief machine. That is to say, overly blatant liberal confidence only delays the hour of liberal victory. From time to time, liberals grasp this. So they tend to prefer Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's relatively subtle (but still annoyingly supercilious) cultural politics of satire over Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck's anxious hours of direct, aggressively self-righteous defensive actions in an openly-waged culture war.
W.W. continues to admit reactionary causes are absurd & lost. Yet they must be respected. Why? What will happen if not? There is no useful reaction beyond mocking & sneering. No reasoned discourse will disabuse reactionaries of their self-proclaimed deep faith & other lost causes. Why shouldn't the eminently foolish be sneered at superciliously? While liberals "sneer" (Oh, horrors!) reactionaries literally demonize those w/ less or different religiousness. (Sometimes they just cry "Witch!" Does that fall under literal demonization?)

And how long would Mr. Wilkinson have us wait for the progress he admits is inevitable to arrive? The aged among us may remember (Youngsters, you could look it up!) as long ago as the 1960s, when certain groups advised what they would call "the coloreds" (If they were in a good mood.) just to be patient, it had only been a few hundred yrs. & they'd get some rights soon enough. Well, it's been all of human history for all of us, & some of us are damned tired of waiting for these clowns to go through their little act & then die off.
However, sometimes a conservative figure comes along who is so outrageously ridiculous that liberals just can't hide their sneering sense of superiority, their cultural politics becomes unusually overt, and conservatives emerge to correctly point out that culture war is waged by liberals too.
Not to get more playground than usual, but who the fuck started this? If perpetual candidate/grifter C.O'D. weren't so anxious to cram her absurdities down the throat of real Americans who don't wear mittens all the live-long day, no one would have heard word one about her, would they? See also: Knee-jerk accusations of "class warfare" whenever it's pointed out that the middle-class (let alone people who work for a living, or who can't work for a living) has been under attack for 30-some yrs.

Damned if one resists, damned if one doesn't.

[Also posted (in the first-person singular) at a more adult venue.]


Morbo said...

Oh sure, liberals may be right, but do they have to be so smug about it?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Yeah, Morbo.

And then they post the same thing at Thers.

What makes them so holy????

M. Bouffant said...

Churchillian (Around The Waist, At Least) Editor Declares:

"We will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them ..." & however the rest of that goes.