the curious physics of bad readingI have a bunch of longish posts in my head, but they'll have to wait to come out, 'cause I'm a busy puppy. But a brief comment in passing on the bizarre disconnect in blogging and journalism between what people write and how some people read it.
In this post, Max Blumenthal calls Christopher Hitchens an intellectual whore. Which is like calling a whale a mammal -- it's mere description, rather than an argument. Christopher Hitchens is Faye Dunaway in Barfly; the evidence is in. The man is Mr. Say Anything himself.
In this specific instance, Blumenthal notes that Hitchens has happily oozed his way into the embrace of religious-right groups, then turned around and, to market his contrarianist brand, blasted religion as a cancer, saying (warm from the Christianist embrace) that Christ never existed. Among other willfully transgressive little gimmicky anti-religious statements (that are, to be clear about this, gimmicky because of the mouth they come out of and the context of his past, not inherently gimmicky). The point is about hypocrisy and cynicism, and is uncomplicated. But then scroll down to the bottom of Blumenthal's post and look at the comments...
"Jesus Christ never lived? I happen to agree. I went looking for the evidence of his existence and found only an ancient myth wrapped in a series of known and suspected forgeries."
I am WTFing like crazy, here, ladies and gentlemen. A full thirty percent of all known blog commentors appear to have the cognitive skills of houseplants or Doug Feith.