Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I posted previously on Amanda Marcotte and the Pandagon blog. My intention was to make a point about the discontinuity between mainstream politics and bloggery - a discontinuity that resulted in Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon having to resign from the John Edwards campaign because of her anti-Catholic remarks on her blog. Two comments on that post - from Frank Wilson and Dark Heart - inspired me to look closer at Pandagon and Marcotte. It's not a pretty sight. Sample this post and the comments. The first point is that, though Marcotte seems to have a degree in English, she is a truly awful writer. I noted this in that previous post, but I have only just realised the scale of the problem. Writing this bad is an intellectual as well as an aesthetic affront. Secondly, Marcotte is a paleo-feminist of the sort that has largely vanished from the world that I inhabit. She seems to take her intellectual lead from Shere Hite, my views on whose thinking can be found here. Thirdly, the post and comments I highlight provide a terrible vision of one of the worst aspects of American culture - its crude stratification of debate into a series of postures. This is, essentially, legalistic in that it assumes absolutely contrasting positions and then uses any weapons at hand to destroy opposition. Nothing in what Marcotte and most of her commenters say displays any wisdom whatsoever about the real world. In this it provides evidence of another American shortcoming - parochialism. Much as I love that country, this stuff really scares me.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:41 pm