Sunday, December 28, 2014

What Jeff's talking about

This is such old stuff I'm bound to have forgotten much of it. But here goes…

The first Big Problem was Rush's "I hope he fails" comment and the conservative commentariat's scramble to distance themselves from it, based mostly on an egregious misinterpretation of Rush's intent, which was actually crystal clear.

Jeff responded with the Hot Air article, which demonstrated in great detail that many on "our side" were more concerned with being tarred by the left's always-broad brush than with declaiming the truth. Because Jeff had shined an unflattering light on people (including [said blogger]), he caught a lot of flak for it. That's about when Malkin stopped returning his calls.

The next Big Problem was with [said blogger]'s insistence on calling Obama a "good man" after his first election, despite the mountains of evidence that he was anything but. Jeff deftly exposed [said blogger] as a shallow sycophant who was angling for the croc to eat him last rather than declaiming the Known Truth about Obama.

The worst Big Problem was when [said blogger] decided it was time to put Stacey McCain in the dunking stool to distance himself from the Left's inevitable accusations of RAAAAACIST after something Stace posted.

Using nothing but theories of language, Jeff calmly identified [said blogger]'s ass-covering witch hunt as resting on corrupt, left-wing assumptions about how language works.

What ensued was a days-long dialog — mostly between Jeff and [said blogger] but a lot of us regulars chimed in — about Jeff's bailiwick: intentionalism, which is a description of how language works, that also identifies many of the Left's dishonest and incoherent attempts to hijack meaning and mold it to fit the mob's hysterical demands.

Jeff's demeanor for the first few days would make Job look like a hysteric. He used naught but logic, naught but explanatory language, eschewing utterly personal invective or insinuating that his interlocutor was a moron.

I still cannot tell if [said blogger] got what Jeff was saying but refused to accept it (he'd keep repeating back Jeff's ideas in a distorted way) or if he really could not grok what Jeff was saying. (Lawyers often do, because their concern is what you can prove, not what is.)

This dialog took place at proteinwisdom, at Little Miss Attilla's blog, at [said blog], and on a late-night IM chat involving me, Jeff, [said blogger], and a few of [said blogger]'s peeps.

After days of going back and forth, Jeff commented on [said blogger]'s blog (in response to some trash talk from [said blogger]'s peeps) that if they were going to hang him, he'd be glad to bring the tree.

[said blogger] went ballistic with glee. Finally (in his mind) he'd caught Jeff employing a violent threat, right there online, where Jeff couldn't delete it. He began to express his happiness at repeating the phrase that "JEFF GOLDSTEIN IS A LYING LIAR WHO LIES" (something to that effect). He described the satisfaction he got in typing those words and reveled in the chance to destroy Jeff both as an internet presence and as someone who could make a living as a writer.

[said blogger] got even weirder after that. He "Google-bombed" a lot of dead threads over at Protein Wisdom with links to allegedly awful things about Jeff. He circulated toxic emails to other bloggers on the right about Jeff's perfidy (Pablo can hook you up with those).

[said blogger] claimed that his efforts to destroy Jeff were a means to "protect himself." The only other time I'd seen similar behavior was from a bipolar lawyer (with Paranoid Personality Disorder) who went off her meds during a manic phase and did all kinds of crazy stuff to destroy an internet forum that had wronged her. She also claimed she was "protecting herself."

[said blogger]'s behavior was WAY out of proportion to the "offense" Jeff had delivered. Later digging shows that [said blogger] often pulls this kind of crazy shit behind the scenes when he feels that his honor has been sullied. His ties to Barrett Brown and Anonymous don't speak well of him.

So yeah, he's perfectly reasonable in most contexts, but when certain of his buttons are pushed, he goes apeshit.

And because of his reputation with the rest of the 'sphere, his smearing of Jeff's reputation stuck.

And that's as short as it gets.

Friday, December 19, 2014

This is why our "discussion" is so frustrating

Listen, Skeezix.

After going several rounds with you on Twitter/Facebook/wherever-we-were, it's clear that I am punching far below my weight.

This is what our convo feels like from my perspective:


[dicentra]: I wouldn't do that if I were you.

[you]: It's not "I were." It's "I was."

[dicentra]: Actually, "I were" is correct in that context.

[you]: Do you also say "I were at the party?" What about "I were sad today" or "I were going to the store yesterday?"

[dicentra]: I'm using the subjunctive because the second phrase contains the conditional tense.

[you]: Oh sure! All that fancy palaver is just there to obscure your ignorance.

[dicentra]: Seriously, this is an example of the subjunctive in English.

[you]: It's "I was, you were, he/she/it was, we were, they were."

[dicentra]: Unless it's describing a hypothetical situation, followed by the conditional tense. Then it's "I were." I can also say, "If he were here, he wouldn't do that."

[you]: Do you even speak English? I bet you also say, "They come over last night but I wish they hadn't came."

[dicentra]: That's a common inversion in rural dialects…

[you]: So is "I were."

[dicentra]: No, just in northern England for the imperfect past. Look, I'm a professional writer. I speak Spanish and I've studied Romance philology. I know how the subjunctive works.

[you]: News flash, moron. English isn't a Romance language.

[dicentra]: And yet the subjunctive exists in English. We just don't identify it as such very often because there's no distinct subjunctive verb form like in the Romance languages.

[you]: Damn, you're obtuse. Repeat after me, "I was, you were, he/she/it was, we are, they are."

[dicentra]: You're arguing from a smaller, less-sophisticated knowledge base than I am. This is going nowhere.

[you]: You can't just make stuff up to justify your poor grammar skills and call it sophistication. You've gotta be the worst writer on the planet.

[dicentra]: (headdesk)


See that? Because you've never heard of the subjunctive, my using it sounds like bad grammar to you, and then my explanation sounds like I'm making stuff up to justify my bad grammar.

You keep repeating those present-tense conjugations as if I didn't understand them, but I understand them perfectly well — better than you do, in fact, but because you aren't familiar with the subjunctive, it's easy (too easy) for you to conclude that I'm the moron.

Try this for yourself: write -7 + 9 = 2 on a piece of paper and show it to a 2nd grader. Now see if you can explain how you can add a seven and a nine and get two.

Chances are the kid will eventually get it, but then the kid isn't invested in the fact that you're an evil ignoramus, the way you are with me, so the kid is open to new information.

You don't seem to be, which is sad, because there's lots of stuff out there (including new perspectives) that are far more interesting than our little spat, and yet you'll go away from our convo convinced that me and mine are exactly as awful as you originally thought.

Nice work if you can get it, I guess. Saves the actual work of learning about the people you hate.

Now that the pub is gone…

…I'll have to do my long-form stuff here again. P-dub crashed mightily once and restoring the pub has always abended, so …