May 02, 2006

Therapy Watch

As noted in an update below, a recent post of mine has caused local left-wing Web monkeys to throw their fecal musings in all directions. Care of Dana Garrett:

The implied argument—that Rep. John Murtha is an Al-Qaida fellow traveler—is so stupid, readers might wonder why I bother to point it out. I'm interested in the post because it illustrates well the impulsive (thus "reactionary") nature of the USA's radical right-wing.

Notice how the argument—implied through juxtaposing the separate quotations—begins with a conventional and relatively uncontroversial hatred for the terrorist group Al-Qaida and links itself to a subject of hatred that is unconventional and highly controversial: Rep. John Murtha. The purpose of the linkage is to suggest that the right-wings' hatred for Murtha is justified*. In short, the general argument is: "We reactionaries are correct to hate dissenters on this matter." [Emphasis mine.]

I know Hube has terminated the response line to Dana due to the latter's petty silliness, but still, I have to say that it's amazing how much conjecture Dana managed to "imply" here. Of course, in order to read so much into a post as short as the one I penned, Dana necessarily had to bring a lot of himself to the issue in order fill the space of missing facts. Put another way, a short post can be like a Rorschach test; it can reveal a lot about the observer/commentor.

In this case, it doesn't reveal anything we don't already know. It's getting to be a joke on the Delaware blogosphere that Dana sees hate and conspiracy wherever he wants to. Others have called him on it elsewhere, so I see no need to go into it in any significant depth here. But what has emerged is the portrait of a man whose worldview is so fixated on the hatred he imagines conservatives have for (fill in Dana's pet topic of the moment), that he can manufacture "proof" of his conclusions from anything. This is a person that masks emotion as analysis.

Which nicely segues into a recent article on the blog as a therapy. The author observed that, "[...] it looks to me as if the world of blogs may be filling up with people who for the previous 200 millennia of human existence kept their weird thoughts more or less to themselves. Now, they don't have to. They've got the Web. Now they can share." People just scream into the abyss. It makes them feel better. They get it off their chest.

Shockingly, this is remarkably similar to the rage-filled, liberal bloggers described in a recent WaPo article. Still, while typing one's left-wing political rage 'til your finger tips bleed might be cathartic, it doesn't exactly sound convincing unless your readers are similarly deranged. And of course, you don't want to sound crazy. But what if you dressed it up a little? Toss in some big words and a little pseudo-intellectual posturing, and suddenly you can still have therapy on the internet without anyone knowing. At least, that's what you hope. It must be very frustrating for such people when that veneer of sober, detached commentator rubs off.

Which is why anymore it's hard to get too bothered by what appears on left-wing blogs, whether it's the more shrill ones, or the ones like Dana's Delaware Watch that make a failing attempt at sounding well-reasoned. Remember: it's their therapy.

UPDATE (May 3 at 11:00 a.m.): Dana has up a response to the above post (see update at bottom). In it, he interprets the fact that I didn’t bother responding to the substance of his original smear as an admission. Hmmmm, by that logic, since Dana didn’t refute my statement that Delaware Watch is his therapy, I guess he’s conceding the point. Thanks for confirming the obvious, Dana.

The bottom line is that nothing Dana has to say really warrants a response on the merits. Powerline once commented about (I think) Paul Krugman that because his bad faith is a given, his opinion is irrelevant. The same is true of Dana. In Dana’s world, with enough generic moral outrage and conjecture, there is no molehill that can’t be made into a mountain. He dresses up his emotion and tries to pass it off as analysis. He sees hate and conspiracy where there isn’t any. If he doesn’t like what you say, he attributes the basest motivations to your opinion, but if he interprets (wrongly) that you are playing the same game with him, he throws a fit, tosses around threats.

To me, this doesn't seem like the behavior of someone that deserves to be taken seriously. Other bloggers can if they want, but I prefer just to call a spade a spade and keep pointing out the obvious fact that Delaware Watch is Dana’s long, cathartic scream.

Posted by JakeM at May 2, 2006 07:45 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

99.99% of government actions are driven by 1 of 2 things. Either greed or stupidity. Hatred comes after #3 which is "well intentioned, but with unforseen circumstances."

Posted by: Duffy at May 2, 2006 03:37 PM

All Dana does is imply. It allows him to fit his views on the situation into a nice little box.

Posted by: Delathought at May 2, 2006 08:48 PM

yes...whereas the anti-liberal rantings provided to us by you and other conservatives are brilliant and are changing the minds of differently-minded people one at a time! ;)

i think we're on the cusp of a global realization that -- liberal or conservative -- all but 0.0001% of political blogs are pointless 99.99% of the time.

the blog as therapy is dead-on. the blog as a world-changing medium is not, as history will show.

Posted by: dan at May 3, 2006 12:49 AM

...and never forget jakey. You are good enough, smart enough and gosh darn it - Hube likes you.

Ahhh. I feel better.

Posted by: jason at May 3, 2006 10:16 AM

By the way. I've noticed that you guys have failed to keep up with current events. Here is a little tid bit for you:

The Taliban stepping up their attacks and "flooding the rural areas of southern Afghanistan with weapons and men." The Taliban have launched spring offensives every year since their downfall, but this year they've built quite a base. The Times says 20 minutes from the south's capital, Taliban are "walking in the villages openly with their weapons, and sitting under the trees eating mulberries."

Well. Mission Accomplished.... I guess?

Posted by: jason at May 3, 2006 10:21 AM

Don't forget Dana's rule #1 -- He judges who can and cant imply things.

Posted by: Delathought at May 3, 2006 11:36 AM

I'll admit I haven't really been following this since Dana never responds to any of my rebuttals to his slanders, and I'm still banned from his site for revealing his soft bigotry against the Islamic world. So here's the thing; he's implying that you implied something when you were implying the opposite of what he implied that you implied. If you say what you think or believe, on the other hand, it's either hateful or you're trolling, or you're a shill. Implying paid or unpaid, whatever. George Bush is to blame for everything, but if you don't blame him for any one particular thing, you don't blame him for anything at all.

There you go, I've summarized Dana Garrett, so nobody ever has to visit his pathetic blog again, unless it's for his therapeutic benefit.

Posted by: G Rex at May 3, 2006 03:32 PM

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