Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Around the blogs

I think we need some new issues, as it gets harder and harder to take ‘serious blogging’ seriously. Here are two things that have caught my eye this morning:


Dunce of the Day:

Brave Scot Steven Wood finds his way to Thought Mesh and unleashes a positive torrent of anti-American leftist cant, cleverly overcoming the problem that half of his arguments contradict the other half by simply ignoring it. AOG (also known as Susan’s Husband on this site), systematically destroys each ill-thought point in turn, but with the anti-American left, it isn’t so much what you argue, more the fact that you’re arguing that counts. And AOG finds himself fighting a Hydra: every time you cut off a head, a new one grows back.

And talking of brave Scots...

Most preposterous comment of the day

Inevitably, Lou Gots on BrothersJudd wins, with his comment on the possibility of Scottish devolution.

18 comments:

martpol said...

Leftist bloggers do seem to have a knack for couching their views in an unattractive anti-Americanism (rather than simply opposing US foreign policy). I like to think I'm one who doesn't. When I finally get round to writing my all-encompassing article on why it really was wrong to invade Iraq (best guess: December), perhaps Think of England will be good enough to show me to the lion's den by publishing it?

Brit said...

In the interests of free speech, certainly I will, but I'd recommend reading the rest of the comments on that thread first, especially that by David Cohen, so that you can preempt the assault.

Peter Burnet said...

Martpol:

Oh do, please. I fancy myself as a bit of a conoisseur of efforts to slam everything the Americans are doing while insisting there is no anti-American motive for the argument. It's an art form and not many have the talent to really pull it off.

Maybe I can help. We Canadians are particularly good at it, but then we've had so much experience. You can just about guarantee that midway through the main course of any dinner party here you will hear: "I really like the Americans, but..." followed by much pained, reflective nodding of heads. (Anguished sympathy for the poor unsophisticated boobies is probably the safest track, but conspiracies by Texas oilmen or theocratic terror can also work well if understated--the trick there is to disown the loonies.) The rest of the meal is given over to wallowing in the "buts".

The French Foreign Ministry is no slouch on this score either.

Brit said...

'Wallowing in the Buts' would be a magnificent title for your first book on the subject of Canadian/US relations, Peter.

Brit said...

To be fair to martpol, and so as not to pre-judge his efforts, however, it is perfectly possible to argue against the Iraq invasion without falling into anti-American cant. After all, the British were in the invasion too.

(nb - however, he will blow this if at any point he mentions the word 'oil').

Peter Burnet said...

...or international law.

Brit said...

Hmmm... I suspect international law is going to figure heavily. But again, it is possible to mention it without anti-American cant (unless of course the magic words "rode roughshod over" or "drove a coach and horses through" are invoked).

Peter Burnet said...

Or ignored "world opinion".

Give it a go, Martpol, we're just having fun here.

Susan's Husband said...

I am a bit worn out myself. At least Wood hasn't gone the "Bushitler" route, which makes him better than 90% of the anti-invasion argumentors I encounter.

martpol;

For me, the key test of anti-Americanism is whether one applies one's standards to other nations. E.g., it's not anti-American to think its leaders are evil and venal if you think every ruling class is evil and venal. It's anti-American to think that of the USA and not France, though.

annalouise said...

Aww, is getting far too sensible.
Can we not just have the go at the French again.

Peter Burnet said...

SH:

What a great idea! No more wishy-washy dissembling Canadian-style on the anti-Americanism for me. I'm going to let it all rip in one bitter, frothing rant, but I'll preserve my credibility and reputation for evenhandedness by inserting "and Norwegian" each time I use "American." :-)

Susan's Husband said...

Isn't your credibility and reputation for evenhandedness automatically inviolable because you're Canadian?

martpol said...

Everyone:

I'd love to go ahead and write that piece right now, but to do it justice I'll need to find at least a few days where I'm not jumping in my car and traversing the windy roads of Wales in an effort to convince students to take an interest in global affairs.

But my executive summary will doubtless be along the lines that, if it wasn't for their obsession with global oil supplies and trampling the Geneva Convention underfood, America wouldn't be anywhere near as evil.

Brit said...

Very good :)

And be warned: every time you throw the word "quagmire" at us, we can chuck back a "fungible".

Peter Burnet said...

Martpol:

I can hardly wait. Already I sense we will have enough to argue about to keep TOE humming for weeks. But I warn you, don't underestimate the chasm between us. Even your opening assumptions will be tested. Just to give an illustration, we here think the world would be a much safer, more just and more prosperous place if Welsh students took no interest in global affairs.

martpol said...

Welsh students specifically?

Peter Burnet said...

Oh my goodness, no. Canadian students, Scottish students, Swedish students, American students---the list is endless. There's nothing discriminatory about my middle-aged crankiness, I assure you.

Brit said...

For me, yes - Welsh students specifically.