Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Today in Both Sides Do It

To no one's surprise, The Greatest  Blogger in the World Who Has No Fucking Idea How His Adopted Country Actually Works is deeply troubled by both sides in Ferguson.
I agree with those who argue that the police’s interaction with young black men is, in too many cases, riddled with bias and far too quick to use lethal force. But I agree with others that the Michael Brown case is not the case with which to make that argument. And the liberal reflex to turn it into a synecdoche is a troubling one for reasons John Judis lays out:
Liberals took the decision by the grand jury to symbolize, or stand in for, the greater injustice of the Ferguson and of the American criminal justice department. But in fact the reverse occurred. They projected the larger injustice of the system onto the grand jury’s ruling.
I’m reminded of the case of Matthew Shepard, where the need to project the injustice of violence against gay men onto one complicated case blinded people to a more interesting and complex reality. Michael Brown did not deserve to die, any more than Matthew Shepard did. But that doesn’t mean both are perfect victims, unalloyed by all the flaws that flesh is heir to; or that their deaths illustrated pure random homophobia or pure racism. And this need for perfect victims is of a piece with a church of liberalism in which there is only one way to be good – a member of a minority – and only one sin – prejudice. All churches need saints and martyrs. But liberalism – no more than conservatism – should never be a church. It’s as dangerous to civil politics as Christianism.
I have not the first idea what this river of meandering twaddle even means other than A)  Mr. Sullivan continues to know fuck-all about how his adopted country actually works, and B) like all Both Siderist Conservatives -- especially those who live far, far removed from the realities of daily life in the parts of this country which do not make up the 10 block area around their home in D.C. -- if Mr. Sullivan cannot distill some imaginary Liberal thoughcrime to bitch about from every wingut inflected atrocity his head will explode.


Fearguth said...

Andrew's problem is he thinks in Aramaic, speaks in Greek, and writes in Latin to an audience that reads only Late Mississippian.

bowtiejack said...

"I have not the first idea what this river of meandering twaddle even means . . . "

I'm with you Drifty.

And incidentally, as to your own work, it's well to remember that Van Gogh was unable to monetize the value of his stuff yet a lot of people think it was pretty good.

D. said...

(And since I commented on Mr. Sullivan in the wrong post, I'll just have to say that I love that graphic, and I miss Group News Blog, although Evan Robinson is presently posting photos irregularly.)

Anonymous said...

So, um, Michael Brown and Matthew Shepard didn't deserve to die.

But they did.

But they aren't perfect victims, unalloyed by flaws.

There is no such thing as a perfect victim.

And only stupid liberals want there to be perfect victims.

And we shouldn't protest undeserved deaths until there is a perfect victim.

Which there never will be.


Yeah, I can't even begin to make sense out of this either.

Except of course for "libruls are stoopid." Except spelled correctly.

Anonymous said...

Sullivan's such a crunt. He's all in with smearing the victims here, Matthew Shepherd and Michael Brown. It's indefensible, and Sullivan is indeed pig-ignorant of the country he presumes to opine upon. Keep up the great work, Driftglass, I appreciate it.

Kathleen said...

Anon@11:33 You have to say this for Sully. He's as pig ignorant as many Americans are. So he has assimilated some of our worst traits. We should give him that.

fred said...

WTF? is a perfect victim? And here I thought the question was about justice.
Guess I'm just another stoopid librul.

Anonymous said...

Here's a perfect illustration of the problem with this pedant ("one who makes an ostentatious and arrogant show of learning").

He says regarding the Brown situation, "... the liberal reflex to turn it into a synecdoche is a troubling one."

He is trying to say that liberals have tried to turn the Michael Brown case into a symbol of the larger problems of racism. But Sullivan uses a word that he knows many readers will not understand: synecdoche. It is the wrong word, however.

Synechdoche referrs to "a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, as in Cleveland won by six runs (meaning “Cleveland's baseball team”). He is not referring to or using a figure of speech, he is referring to a person as a symbol of a social issue. There is no vice versa in this case since the word racism cannot represent Brown in a sentence.

His pedantic mind found a word that is obscure and it feels like he used it to show off, but inaccurately.

This, in my mind, is the mark of someone with a lot of words but nothing to say.

Unsalted Sinner said...

"As Michael Brown wasn't perfect, it's obviously wrong to protest his death," said Sully, with appropriate sadness. "Show me a victim of police violence who is as white as the newly fallen snow (if you know what I mean), and then we can talk."

And then he sat down in front of the fireplace to read his worn old copy of "The Bell Curve" one more time. "I wonder if Charles has any plans for New Year's Eve?" he thought, and made a mental note to call Murray and check.

Anonymous said...

Only perfect victims deserve justice. We have come to that.

jim said...