Blogging Liberally in the Badger State
And so it goes…
Too many of us liberals today seem to embrace a lack of decorum with the language we employ in our posts – as if using the F-word would convey some defiance of “authority.” Similarly, using cutesy terms such as “Rethuglicans,” “Obummer,” “Banksters,” etc., tends to cheapen us and our ideas. It makes us look like no more than powerless ranters; like school kids sticking out their tongues at the principal’s office window in protest of some disliked rule. We all know how foul the right and their polices are, without all the constant, vulgar reminders. Let’s take the high road. We are worthy of it in spades.
Too many of us liberals feel the need to scold other liberals for a perceived lack of decorum in our posts – as if using the F-word was somehow indicative of a failure of language when, in fact, it’s a word like any other word.
Forgive me if I call you a scold, but I don’t react well to prissy, prim and proper. It’s a joke. Get over yourself.
Call me whatever you like. No harm done; no offense taken. The fact remains, the Right will use any small excuse – valid or otherwise – to marginalize us. So why give them any more ammunition – jokingly or otherwise.
Pat yourself on the back. It certainly needed to be said.
Yeah, Lonnie, NO, it didn’t. Phil was right.
In any event, whatever terms progressives use to describe the rightwing, pejorative or not, they are generally coupled with a reasoned argument/policy position, one supported by actual evidence, and, in large part, are just intended to “poke the bear” with good humor.
Wingnuts generally don’t do the same, nor do they “scold” one another for failing to do so or based upon the need to rise above “brutish” behavior. Why should progressives hamstring themselves with Charles Kuehn’s “ivory tower” sensibilities.
I call teabaggers and wingnuts “teabaggers” and “wingnuts” all the time because it calls attention to certain embarrassing tendencies on their parts. That it gets under their skin is just a bonus.
Teabaggers coined the term “teabaggers” originally, well before more worldly and informed progressives pointed out that “teabagging” had gay sexual implications, and started having fun with teabaggers over it. The discomfort which the teabaggers now experience, the outrage they now express, at being held up to derision because of that, was entirely their own doing. They should just deal with it, already.
Moreover, the terms “wingnut” and “teabagger” effectively capture and elucidate the fringy extremism you find dominating the Right these days. Rightwingers know that, and get exorcised by it, because it is a simple, shorthanded way to say “extremist” and/or “Bircher” and/or “I want to take my country back [to a 1950s, “Leave It To Beaver”, Caucasian -centric, kind of world that never really existed]”.
Charles, progressives have a reason and a valid purpose for using the terms that they use. Rightwingers/teabaggers/wingnuts? Not so much. They’re just irrationally venting the extremist steam constantly building up in their heads as they throw temper tantrum after temper tantrum over the inexorable change that this country is experiencing, as demographics change, as the 99% wake up to the class warfare in which the 1% have been engaged, as it sees the Right struggling to find ways to divide us and to prop up the Republican Party through the use of racist dog whistles, voter suppression, and variations on the Southern Strategy.
So, Charles, if the “teabagger”, “wingnut” or “Republithug” [not really MY thing, but if others choose to use it, so be it] label fits, I’m using it, your tender, “ivory tower” sensibilities, notwithstanding.
No one that matters is really keeping score, anyway, Charles. And, ironically, the only people who are are the teabaggers and wingnuts who first lay down a withering fire of insults and irrational blatherings, and then, while ignoring the substantive arguments and evidence presented to them, hypocritically and inaccurately accuse the Left of doing nothing more than throwing insults at the Right. If an Independent sees such things in tandem, I’m absolutely comfortable with the kinds of conclusions they’ll draw from it.
To sum up, Charles. Grow a pair, climb down out of that “ivory tower” of yours, and have a little fun with the current state of “civil” discourse. It is what it is.
There’s a reason that your parents told you, when you were growing up, to respond in kind if someone hit you. On second thought, maybe they didn’t, and you just got punked like that with regularity. Hmmm. Well, that would explain a lot.
Anyway, Charles, Phil has nothing to apologize for. Neither do the rest of us. AND you need to lighten up, my tightly wound and oh so proper “scold” of a progressive brother.
Gee whiz . . . such a vehement and lengthy – and, I might add, disrespectful – response to a relatively trivial topic . . . Those who would emasculate another who has simply suggested a bit of civility may even be part of the problem today. Assertiveness is useful and even admirable if used wisely; petty incivility serves no purpose.
My “‘ivory tower’ sensibilities” – if that’s how you wish to label my demeanor – are the result of my upbringing. My parents called it “manners.” “Decorum might be a more erudite term. Whatever.
Far from being taught to “respond in kind when someone hit [me],” I was taught, from a young age on, to “be the bigger person,” rather than stooping to the level of the aggressor. That lesson has served me well in my six decades of life;. Rarely have I been “punked,” and on occasion I’ve even had to take the provervial poke at some jerk. Seldom – and after much provocation followed by continued provocation. No need to “grow a pair.” I’m well stocked.
You’ve done an admirable job of laying out a valid argument, which I respect. Your attack on my masculinity, however, is uncalled for.
Charles wrote: “Rarely have I been ‘punked,’ and on occasion I’ve even had to take the provervial poke at some jerk. Seldom – and after much provocation followed by continued provocation. No need to ‘grow a pair.’ I’m well stocked.
You’ve done an admirable job of laying out a valid argument, which I respect. Your attack on my masculinity, however, is uncalled for. ”
“Grow a pair” was a metaphor, Charles. If only you could have just “unclenched” long enough before reading it to have understood that.
My “[valid] argument”, as you put it, was predicated on my realization that giving as good as, or better than, you get has currency in the macho culture of The Wingnut Nation.
I start with the currency of ideas, Charles. Given the usual irrational and generally less-than-“erudite” response of teabaggers/wingnuts/rightwingers to something like that, I start to fight fire with just a little intelligent, tongue-in-cheekery, taking on the wingnut/teabagger tendency, one which appears to find explanation in a singular lack of discernible intellect and/or “book learnin”, to engage exclusively in ad hominem attacks and/or the unhinged, illiterate regurgitation of rightwing talking points, unattended by logic or evidence.
Since we’re on the same team, Charles, just do me a favor. Fight the ideological battle in any way you see fit. Just let the rest of us fight it the way that we see fit, all right? We’re every bit as “erudite” as you. If we choose to take the fight to the other side in a manner different than that which you choose, just let us to do it, and put aside your impulse to “scold” us for it.
My original suspicion is that you probably breathed the rarefied air of academia as a part of your professional life. When I attended the University of California at Berkeley, I worked for the Chancellor, and, as a consequence, had the opportunity to rub shoulders with any number of high-level academicians. I get the same “proper”, “emotionally distant, “scolding shush of a librarian” vibe that I got from them from you.
So, look, nothing personal, but, Phil Scarr is an effective and highly intelligent advocate for progressive causes. So am I. Get off our backs, let us get back to work, and turn your sights on people who actually need to hear what you have to say. “Scold” the wingnuts, the teabaggers, the rightwingers, the Republicans, the Birchers, the birthers. There’s plenty of fodder on that side of the political spectrum for the application of your “ivory tower” sensibilities.
And just let your allies who happen to be a bit more “street” than you do their thing.
Far from being a product “of the rarified air of acedemia,” I have recently concluded a forty year career as a union ironworker (structural steel erection, rebar placment/tying, etc.). By very association, no shortage of “street” on this end.
Yes, “grow a pair was a metaphor” (believe it or not, even some blue collar types have a smattering of literacy). Unfortunately it was applied in an inflammatory and antognistic way and as I noted, it was totally uncalled for. We can agree to disagree – that is healthy in any discourse; it is your tone and additude to which I take offense.
Since you choose to continue to attack me personally, this exchange must now conclude. This will be my last response.
“Since you choose to continue to attack me personally, this exchange must now conclude”.
MUST IT? (*laughing*)
Well, “Professor”, the “street” just come through in your comments, doesn’t it?
You seem remarkably thin-skinned. There was nothing “inflammatory” in anything that I ever said to you, nor was there any disrespect even remotely implied.
That said, I have a great deal of respect for what you say you did in your working life [for the record, it took me a decade before I finished college because I dropped out, much to my parents’ chagrin, and worked with “the brothers” in a warehouse in West Oakland, California for six years]. Great wisdom can be found in every walk of life. Ironically, some of the least wise people that I ever met i met in academia.
Look, Charles, you’re clearly an intelligent person, one who apparently happens to have a blue-collar background. Every job has dignity, and I never disparaged yours. I disparaged your apparent need to “scold” those who approach political discourse differently than you do. The curious thing is that, given your background, you talk like, you “scold” like, an academician with “ivory tower” sensibilities. That’s quite a disconnect.
You’re an interesting person, Charles. I’m curious. Coming from the background that you did, how did you come to adopt the approach you take to political discourse? It truly seems counter-intuitive.
Zuma and Charles,
I think you guys have wandered way off topic, and I still think it’s too bad that the racist motherf**ker is the only guy on the national stage arguing against war with Iran.
I guess that, apart from the notion that ironing out such differences is always a part of any conversation, you’re right, we did kind of veer off the “Ron Paul is a racist mutha [“Shut yo’ mouth”] who raised $28 million in 2008 and didn’t win a single primary” topic, as well as THE topic as you’ve apparently “refined” it. . .[*hands up at shoulder level ala Seinfeld*] NOT that there’s ANYthing wrong with that. [*wink*]
As I’ve mentioned to you, Ron Paul’s non-interventionist ideas resonate with me, BUT that wasn’t really THE topic here, was it? Hmmmm?
Ron Paul, with all of his fringy, “crackpot-ish” quirks kind of reminds me of a more dangerous, but just as crazy, version of Ross Perot. There must just be something in the water down there in Texas, huh?
Love ya, brother, but I just don’t understand your dalliance with Ron Paul, regardless of how he talks about Iran.
His neo-Confederate ideas, alone, disqualify him in my mind, no matter how much I agree with you on minding our own business vis-a-vis getting involved militarily around the world. Every time I see a maimed veteran of either Iraq or Afghanistan or find myself painfully reflecting on all of the lives lost in those wars, or think about the billions and billions and billions and billions and billions and . . .[ad infinitum] of dollars of our treasure that they wasted, as a result, I curse the day that George W. Bush, Dick Cheeeney and the rest of the neocons were ever born.
I’ve said it before. And it bears saying again, George W. Bush was a stupid, arrogant, insipid man, and the worst President ever in the history of this country.
AND he was from Texas. That should be a disqualifier right there.
Ron Paul is from Texas, you say? Well, then. . .f*ck ’em.
I’m not having a dalliance with Ron Paul. Glenn Greenwald does a good job of explaining my point of view.
This is me staying out of this… 🙂
It’s too bad that racist motherf__ker is the only guy on the national stage arguing against a war with Iran.
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