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January 03, 2007

"The New Anger" And Blogs

Stanley Kurtz reviews a new book about "The New (Political, Unihinged) Anger" called A Bee In The Mouth.

Although the book notes that the right picked up some of this unhinged anger during the Clinton years, it's the left that wallows in the hate. An interesting read.

Look, it's true. I couldn't publically wish death upon people I dislike even were I moved to do so -- readers would criticize me harshly for it.

And yet, such is the stock in trade of leftwing blogs, and their readers delight in it. Three leftwing bloggers, ranging from highly prominent (Daily Kos) to somewhat promient (Wonkette) to, well, Tbogg (Tbogg), have wink-wink nudge-nudge expressed their hopes that Michelle Malkin doesn't come home from Iraq, and no one much seems to mind.

I was thinking about responding in kind, but it's simply beneath me. This is just pathetic impotence expressing itself through venom born of lifelong failure.

The decline of our old ideals of self-mastery and reserve both caused and flowed from the unraveling of the family. What remained was a vast new realm of restlessness. According to Wood, the effect was strongest, not in the baby boomers who first broke with the old emotional restraints, but in their children. The boomers, after all, for all their rebellion, were raised in the shadow of traditional emotional norms. Yet the children of the boomers have grown up with still less restraint, and this, says Wood, has produced a personality type that both lacks and craves self-definition.

Restlessly seeking some restraint against which to define or prove ourselves, Americans must now imagine and oppose oppressive authorities or hateful enemies, even where none exist. The newly unbounded American self, says Wood, is a ghostlike figure, perpetually in search of “something solid against which it can prove its own existence.” New Anger, Wood concludes, “is the desperately intense effort of these ghosts to feel real.”

I hate, therefore I am.

They can have it. That's their thing, and they're welcome to it.

Oh, and... Of course Tbogg will respond he meant nothing of the sort. (Kos and Wonkette won't respond; they have better things to do.)

But of course all three meant to express a death wish. No writer is unaware of glaringly obvious implications of his words. When one writes something that implies something one doesn't mean, one usually immediately follows it with a parenthetical denying the unwanted implication. None of these three cats did that. They're quite happy with the obvious, implied death wish.

And they couldn't explain away their statements with a parenthetical like "(Of course I don't mean I wish her to die in Iraq...") because, one, that is what they meant, and two, their pathetic curses make no sense any other way. What, they want her to stay in Iraq and continue reporting, writing, and blogging with the added authority of being an embed? How does that help their cause?

They avoided saying something that would make more sense, like "I hope her time in Iraq opens her eyes to the horrors she's been defending," because that, alas, lacks the death-wish element they intend.

So, you know. We've got a bunch of pansies impotently spewing death-wishes like 90-year-old Gypsy women who are angry about the sprinkler system their landscaper installed. "I curse thee, I give thee the Evil Eye, I give thee the Devil's Horns!" The Old World primitivism of it is, let us say, somewhat incongruous coming from proud self-declared members of the Reality-Based Community.


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posted by Ace at 04:21 PM

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