Sunday, June 26, 2005

"South Park Conservatives"

A careful, attentive reading of the NY Times review today illustrates that this idea is pretty half-baked:

  • Where does Rush Limbaugh get off pretending he's not a member of an elite? The guy comes from serious money.

  • If there is indeed a "new generation of Americans who refuse to accept public censure for their scornful attitudes toward gay men and lesbians, Native Americans, environmentalism and abortion rights," well, guess what? They're going to get the censure anyway. Why not? Because they're proud to avoid actually thinking bout issues? Did anyone in that august group of South Park conservatives ever - for a millisecond- stop to consider just who might benefit from their not thinking deeply about an issue?

  • One part merits a quote & response:

    What are the concrete abuses Anderson believes the left has perpetrated on the country's dittoheads -- given that a Republican president in his second term, backed by a Republican Congress, continues to prosecute a war that few on the left support? During the last election, somebody keyed Anderson's car because his wife had put a Bush sticker on it. Also, he writes, liberals call the conservative majority names: '' 'Racist,' 'homophobe,' 'sexist,' 'mean-spirited,' 'insensitive' -- it has become an ugly habit of left-liberal political argument to dismiss conservative ideas as if they don't deserve a hearing.'' As if that weren't bad enough, network television portrays businessmen unflatteringly, doesn't show enough black criminals on prime time and is overly tolerant of extramarital sex and homosexuality.

    I don't like people keying cars. I think it's stupid and juvenile, and hateful to attack others' property, just as I think it's stupid and juevenile and heteful for Bush- but about 12 orders of magnitude worse- to have invaded Iraq. To have tried to turn CPB into agovernment funded Fox network (although FAIR for years has shown that CPB is simply corpratist- there was the Firing Line long, long, long before there was Now.)

  • Liesl Schillinger, ends the review by quoting the argument sketch from Monty Python:

    Obviously, Anderson knows his audience: this book isn't intended for readers of The Times and The Economist and watchers of CNN. It's for the people who are sick and tired of mainstream media and are fans of the blogs and right-wing commentators he cites so abundantly. Still, like Rodney King, he professes to want us all to ''get along,'' reminding us that ''democracy requires a willingness to engage the arguments of those you disagree with, recognizing their equality as citizens.'' Is this a process that reasonable liberals and reasonable conservatives can acknowledge? Perhaps the argument clinic of the Monty Python Tories can light the way. First speaker: ''Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.'' Second speaker: ''No it isn't.'' Exactly.

    Now we all know - we all know - the the whole idea behind "Foxification" of the news, at Fox, at CPB, at Bush rallies, and so forth- was the avoidance of being held accountable to critics of the Bush regime, "conservativsm" and so forth.

    Schillinger doesn't come right out and say it, but quite simply South Park conservatives use the technique of faux umbrage at being "called names" as an attempt to avoid accountability for the very real flaws in their arguments, positions and so forth.

    You can see this in the blogosphere: the major liberal blogs allow comments, most of the conservative ones don't.

    They can't stand not to control the message, and where they can't control the message, they have to use thug techniques. Hence a book on the celebration of thuggishness.

    But folks who willingly shill out money to get flattering pictures of themselves qua thugs probably belong in the same class as those who get exercise and diet books that tell them how to stay fat and be a couch potato.

    On the other hand, there's the folks who buy the self-help books- if they didn't think they needed a self help book, they wouldn't buy one in the first place, and so if they thought they were OK, they wouldn't buy a book that would tell them they were OK, or could become OK if only they thought about themselves like this...

    Ah, so, it all becomes so clear now: South Park conservatives are simply folks who got bilked by shoddy New Age bilge, turned conservative, and swallowed some more New Age bilge dressed up in the garb of conservatism.

    P.T. Barnum was right.

No comments: