The viciousness of online discourse has been pondered from many perspectives, but it really comes down to the fact that people think they can say anything they want and never get their asses kicked for it.
Shoot, there are people who’d tell me that this is my business plan. Although probably not to my face, which is sort of the point*.
*One of the fascinating things about the years 2001-2009 was watching a bunch of putatively intelligent people never quite work out that if the American government was as bad as they were claiming those people would not be allowed to publicly complain about it. An observation that is probably still applicable today, alas.
I’m really looking forward to the day when tech CEOs feel comfortable in saying “Damn RIGHT, I helped kill newspapers! I’m running a business here!” – Matt Welch.
He goes on to suggest a certain amount of shock therapy, which just happens to resemble high school bullying. Speaking as somebody who suffered from it once*, it does have a certain motivational power to it. It does also breed a certain desire for blood-soaked revenge, so caution seems… best.
*Once. It turns out that diving off of a bleacher your freshman year to tackle somebody does wonders for ensuring a reasonably tranquil high school existence. My only regret is – well, my only two regrets are the lack of a video camera and that I was unable to convincingly froth at the mouth.
Well, I wasn’t looking for popularity. I was looking to do my time and be left the Hell alone.
Prison metaphor deliberate.
Crossposted to RedState.
Oh, you’re going to just love this one. Robert Stacy McCain went down to the site of the Sparkman murder in Kentucky to do some on-the-scene reporting, and he’s already found a situation where an Obama supporter and Democrat who was skeptical of the media treatment of this story got turned into a stereotypical government-hater by a reporter.
I think that Dan and Stacy have gotten the details worked out by now, at least for Act I. Real short version: it appears that Dan has discovered the blogger who spread around the Palin divorce rumors a couple of weeks doesn’t seem to have the job that he said that he did, and may instead be subsidized by deep-pocketed liberals. More on that here:
I normally try to adopt a back-away-slowly reaction to Andrew Sullivan – I’m not a trained psychological professional, but frankly that man’s a crazy as a outhouse rat these days – but R.S. McCain, in the process of idly smacking around Sullivan for the latest exercise in conspiracy thinking (honestly, if the Weekly World News won’t go with it*, why is the Atlantic doing so?), notes something:
The “how was your day” question is kind of weird for a blogger to explain…
Ain’t that the truth. I suspect that my wife approaches that question the same way that a bomb squad approaches a suspicious package. Alas, I always ask her how her day went, so she’s stuck.
A year ago I would have called that a step down for Douthat. Then again, a year ago Andrew Sullivan hadn’t decided yet to start stalking Sarah Palin online. Since the Atlantic is apparently institutionally fine with that, hey, any port in a storm.
Conservatives are now a guerrilla resistance. Harassing the enemy — staging raids and ambushes that prevent him from enjoying his conquest at leisure — is basic to guerrilla resistance. If we are doomed to destruction, as least let it be said that we died fighting. But those who never fight, never win.