Saturday, March 04, 2017

Well This Makes Perfect Sense...

Mr. Andrew Sullivan -- who is definitely not blogging -- has nonetheless conned someone at New York Magazine to pay him genuine money to put together rambly sentences about Murrica and such and publish them in e-lect-tronic form on The Internets.

So for legal and contractual purposes, not blogging, but, y'know, blogging-adjacent.

Anyway, many and many years ago I began to notice that for a man who has some very definite certainties and divination about the politics, media and culture of the United States, Mr. Sullivan seemed to know fuck-all about our actual country and our actual history from, say, 1710 until last Wednesday.   Very much a Mycroft Holmes-type, but without the intellect or observational and deductive skills: a man who sits comfortably in his own version of the Diogenese Club and judges American by what passes by under his window

Sherlock Holmes from "The Greek Interpreter":
“If the art of the detective began and ended in reasoning from an arm-chair, my brother would be the greatest criminal agent that ever lived. But he has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solution, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove himself right.”
Which is why, from time to time, I would uncharitably mention that I think "Mr. Sullivan is an aging fop living in an ivory tower who does not understand the first damn thing about his adopted country" and would suggest that his muse would be better served if he got off his ass and actually toured the nation about which he has been opinion ferociously his whole adult life.  Come for a visit.  Go for a stroll through any of the tens of thousands of unique, American places which are not Sullivan-friendly college campuses and not White House state dinners.  See what we see and hear what we hear out here in Flyover country.

And so this bit of underdone potato in the middle of Mr. Sullivan's weekly perambulation through the America of his imagination did not surprise me at all:
I’ve always been unusually attached to places. It’s one reason I still call myself a conservative. Travel doesn’t attract me. I’ve now lived in the same loft in D.C. since I bought it, in 1991 (apart from an ill-fated year and a half in New York City); I’ve spent 20 consecutive summers in the same little town at the end of Cape Cod, and have no desire to go anyplace else. Even when I go home to England, I tend to spend around half my time near where I grew up. 
The reason the Andrew Sullivan's of the world are given enormous megaphones has never to make it easier for them to tell the straight truth about this country to a wider audience, because they haven't the first damn clue about this country.

No, they provide a very different service.

They spin the comforting fairy tales about an Imaginary America that their fellow bubble-dwellers want to hear.  And for which they are willing to pay handsomely.


Scott Ostrander said...

Point of order, DG, point of order!

It's CLEARLY "a blot of mustard".

Please make a note of it.

Your pal,

keith gargus said...

Sullivan is and always will be a mainstay in 'dinner party America'. That is he is clueless, but greatly admired by the clueless. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Neo Tuxedo said...

Oh, there's something we can do about it. There's just nothing humane we can do about it.

June Butler said...

I gave up Sully for Lent 10 or 12 years ago, and I've never looked back. You're a brave man, DG.

Belvoir said...

Charlie Pierce had a funny about Sullivan's new gig at NYMag. Paraphrasing from memory: "So it's not a blog, and not a column. I suppose it's just something supposed to be unique and ineffable in its Andrew-ness." That's not exactly right, but the gist.

Always thought and have said that about Sullivan too- he really doesn't get this country or its history. He is profoundly incurious about this nation, I believe him when he says he hates to travel to unfamiliar places. He really knows nothing about the US. And even his brief time living in NYC was inadvertently hilarious and clueless with his maoning and bitching. "They delivered the wrong couch to my apartment. New York City is a doomed hellhole, I hate it I hate it I hate it!". Gawker had fun with that.

Provider_UNE said...

Hello old Friend,

was just browsing the 'trons and thought I'd catch up on what some old friends might be up to when I came across this piece...It occurred to me that Sully had not yet crossed my transom after recent adventures took me a way for a while, and so I decided to see what the old tory from provincetown was up to when I saw this piece shortly after thinking "I wonder what drifty is up too?"

I had not thought about Sullivan since I got out of the Hospital, and likely for some time prior to entry, which puts that sweet, now broken period of unbroken calm (from at least that nit) for nearly a year and possibly longer...My last memory extant being of him squirming about on a panel on possibly Mahers show (himself another prick that I had managed to forget about during a similar period of time)possibly with Coulter, for an edgy circle-jerk of the ages...

This possibly conflated memory; one, will need to be researched to confirm, and has broken my morning peace requiring a bit more sleep in the hope that a fresh start gets the juices flowing...

Take care and keep killing it friend...


trgahan said...

I think we'd see the same pattern from the majority of media pundits if they were as honest as Sully.

What has aggravated me is that even those who do journey into America's hinterland appear to be under strict orders ONLY do stories about Trump voters and their feelings. I actually heard one call them "swing voters" and their media consumption habits are NEVER, EVER mentioned.

Has anyone come across a story about Democratic voters thoughts and feeling since the election that doesn't degrade into "You need to stop calling Trump voters ignorant bigots!"

Michael Sweeney said...

I always thought Andrew Sullivan was just blogging-curious.