Thursday, October 30, 2008

On Culture11

Shawn Macomber:
Admission is cheap enough: Mostly a willingness to hate on the squares you frequently agree with to curry favor with those cool cats who would fit you with fangs & horns if your ideas ever approached anything resembling politically feasibility. At first the approach is kind of a turn-off, but, then…Oh, the way you cut your condescending pretentiousness with knowing pop culture references! And who wouldn’t want to become smarter than everyone else just by saying it is so?

Conor Friedersdorf's response misses the point:
I’ve got to say I find that post very strange, given that the "holier-than-though blogging buddies" that he complains about are the very editors who gladly publish pieces by thoughtful, intellectually honest conservatives like J.P., and indeed by Shawn Macomber himself (at least twice)! Is there a contingent of DC cool cats and hipsters who award popularity points for publishing writers like them? Stranger still is the idea that the writers at The Confabulum possess anything close to unanimity of belief on anything beyond the need for reasoned discourse and an inclination toward the center right. How a site that publishes the range of opinions we do can be called a circle jerk — even as the critic lauds another of our writers with whom he agrees — is difficult to understand.

The issue is not diversity of opinion. It's the young, hipster we-are-remaking-the-world-by-writing-a-blog pretension that is so annoying.

As I wrote back when I was trying to determine if Poulos is a genius or insane:
His basic argument is:
Yes, we are smart and cool, but let's not look down on the idiotic MySpace users who don't know Habermas from Harley Davidson. We are the chosen ones, but it shouldn't go to our head.

There are two possible ways to interpret this argument. First, Poulos actually believes he is superior, but it offends his democratic sensibilities. Second, he does not believe that he is superior, but feels his audience does.

Either way, it is condescending. If Poulos believes he is superior to all the Facebook users becoming Zombies, then say so. Be honest about it. There is nothing worse than trying to hide your contempt.

Or if he fears his readership is a bunch of elitist snobs, then tell them. Don't stroke their egos. Just say: Mixing Rawls and Simpsons references is not that hip or cool by any definition other than the intellectual class of a few major cities and college towns. Get the fuck over yourselves.

NB: I determined Poulos is a genius, in case you were wondering.

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