One of the benefits to be an aging crank is you get to point out the foibles and missteps of others with impunity. In the age of mass media, those foibles are replicated and exaggerated. Some guy on TV says something clever and you hear it repeated a million times over the next week. Some phrases, like “the Chicago way” become catch phrases for the more pedestrian pundits like Michelle Malkin. She’s well intentioned and on the right side of things, but my goodness. Sarah Palin saying “crony capitalism” is another one that makes me grit my teeth.
Anyway, I thought a listical of things I hate would be a fun post.
1) Reach out and touch base: At least once a day, some young fellow calls in to let me know he is touching base with me. How I became his base is never discussed. I guess I’m supposed to be flattered. I have no idea where this came from or how it became a standard greeting, but I hate it. What bugs me about it is the dishonesty. You’re not checking on my wellbeing. You want something from me. That’s why you’re calling me.
2) The on-line symposium: I’ve been to a lot of symposiums, as in the ancient Greek sort. We did not call them that. We called them drunken arguments, often held at the pub, but sometimes around the kitchen table at three in the morning. You can’t do this on-line. Sure, I often get drunk reading the internet and have even posted while drunk, but that’s not a symposium. That’s a drinking problem. What’s really irritating is these on-line things are always feminized. The participants care more about flattering one another than scoring points.
3) Pronouncing foreign words with a foreign accent: The idiot in the White House has this habit. He speaks one language, American English. He’s not exactly a word smith either. Yet, the guy will pronounce foreign words with what he thinks is a native speaker’s accent. I bet if ever had a reason to say “Slim Jim” he would try to sound like an Indian convenience store clerk. It is a ridiculous affectation that says the speaker is a punk and a nitwit.
4) Make statements into questions: This is one that millennial pansies love using. I used to love going off on them at Marginal Revolution. Smarmy, left-wing 20-something boys do this exclusively. They lack the guts to make declarative statements so they opt for the passive-aggressive approach. Lines like “you know [fill in tantrum]?” is the standard form. The precious little snowflakes want you to know they are vexed by your opinions and want you to explain yourself. It’s the result of over investment in children. The resulting sense of entitlement give them a veto over the world around them.
5) Demand a link: Many lunatics are so thoroughly marinated in the Cult of Modern Liberalism, things the rest of us take for granted are a mystery to them. Somehow, it becomes your responsibility to provide them with material on what most of us already know. I get the sense sometimes that these people have never heard of Google. Whenever I run into something unfamiliar or objectionable, I look it up. If I choose to rebut the claim, then I post the link.
6) Ignorance as argument: I wish I had a nickel for every time someone posted “I’ve never heard of ….” It would be nice if it were methodological solipsism, but it is really just navel gazing. When presented with information or opinions that don’t fit neatly into the person’s world view, they deny its existence by claiming to have never heard of it. The implication is that the argument must be false because they are unfamiliar with it or unfamiliar with your facts. By extension, their point of view or opinion must therefore be the correct one.
7) Being right by default: Every liberal I know does this. They stake out some position and demand you convince them they are wrong. Homosexual marriage is a classic. Instead of making the affirmative argument, they demand an explanation as to why they should not push forward with it. I guess I can’t blame them, given the direction of things. Still, it is an infuriating pose. If you want to change something, it is your job to make the case. It is not my job to stop you from believing stupid stuff.