Thursday, October 21, 2010

Making Ignorance Chic

So sometimes, someone links a Maureen Dowd column and I read it. Someone did that today on facebook, referring to this in glowing terms. So I clicked. And it demands a response. Which I generally refrain from doing on facebook, but did today anyway. Please, do NOT try this at home. Reading a Dowd column almost inevitably kills brain cells, and frankly, it hurts, so don't do it. I did it so that you don't have to.

Making Ignorance Chic
...unlike Paris Hilton and her ilk, the Dumb Blonde of ’50s cinema [Marilyn Monroe] had a firm grasp on one thing: It was cool to be smart. She aspired to read good books and be friends with intellectuals, even going so far as to marry one. But now another famous beauty with glowing skin and a powerful current, Sarah Palin, has made ignorance fashionable.
What a load of hogwash. Take a whole lot of individual people with whom you disagree, find one misspoken phrase from a couple, misrepresent things that a couple of others have said or done (does Marueen even understand that the phrase "separation of church and state" is not in the first amendment? Christine O'Donnell does.), take a sardonic spoonerism that you've just missed, and accuse them of making ignorance chic.

What if someone had said that he'd campaigned 57 states and only had one more to go? Said "How's it going, Sunshine?" while campaigning in Sunrise, FL? Said that he sees many of America's "fallen heroes" in the audience? Claimed that 12 dead were 10,000? Is that person making ignorance chic? No, you ignore it, because Barack Obama's a Democrat.

You may not agree with Sarah Palin, but that doesn't make her ignorant, and it doesn't make those who agree with her ignorant. It is one of the least attractive memes of those on the left that those on the right are stupid. It's not true, it's unpleasant and it's unattractive. (Like pretty much everything Maureen Dowd writes.) It goes a long way to provoking the kind of bitter partisanship that you claim to dislike, because it creates an attitude and expectation that you never have to listen to anything that anyone on the right has to say. You just brush it off, because they're lesser beings, stupid, racist, homophobic, "bitter, cling(y), scared" and so you don't have to deal with anything they say. (Yes, I've noted this before.) You can ignore their arguments, because what could they be worth, anyway? You don't need to debate or discuss - you can just belittle. (Like pretty much everything Maureen Dowd writes.)

It's just like all of the leftists and Democrats and "journalists" (I know, that's redundant) laughing at Sarah Palin on Tuesday for her comment at a Tea Party rally on Monday that it was too early to "party like it's 1773." "She's so smart" said one. "Ummm..." said another. "WTF happened in 1773?" asked a third?

Umm...The Boston Tea Party.


(Skip the first link - it goes to the Dowd column at the Times and, as I said, it's not worth the time. The other two links are fine, and you should click them...)

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