But let's see what the problem was yesterday with the second-worst Glenn:
I don't pay much attention, generally, but I'm stuck in a car with nothing but Technorati for company...Judging from the camera angle in the photo, Reynolds was in the passenger seat. I thought he was blogging and driving. You could blog and drive in stop-and-go, bumper-to-bumper traffic couldn't you? (I like to vlog and drive, myself.)
Back to Glenn R:
....and noticed that in one of his typically verbose efforts....Can someone explain why leaning left causes verbosity?
Glenn Greenwald gets around, eventually, to making two points, One is that I'm a geek, whose interest in Western culture's retreat from traditional ideas of masculinity is thus silly:So Glenn G is irked that Glenn R is calling people wimps and basically says, but you're a wimp. This is great. Reminds me of that old game show "Quien Es Mas Macho."Glenn Reynolds -- who, by his own daily admission, devotes his life to attending convention center conferences on space and playing around with new, cool gadgets in the fun room in his house, like a sheltered adolescent in his secret treehouse club -- to fret: "Are we turning into a nation of wimps?"But, see, that's the point. I'm a geek. If I notice it, it's probably real. It would be like Greenwald complaining that the country was going overboard in hatred of Bush.
This incites me to go over and actually read a Glenn Greenwald post, which is something I almost never do, because Glenn G brings out the ADD in me.
Greenwald begins with the subject of how sexy and manly Fred Thompson is and quotes Chris Matthews enthusing:
Can you smell the English leather on this guy, the Aqua Velva, the sort of mature man's shaving cream, or whatever, you know, after he shaved? Do you smell that sort of -- a little bit of cigar smoke?Now that is hilarious. (Video!) But that's Chris Matthews, and in fact, he's raising the terribly important issue of our sexual response to political candidates. As Al Gore likes to write books about: We are not rational decisionmakers in this democracy. Matthews is pointing that out in a punchy, comedic way. And he's interacting with Ana Marie Cox, who takes a comedic approach to politics.
So let's see how Glenn G dithers over it:
What can even be said about that? And nobody really seems to find this odd or disturbing or objectionable at all -- that night after night, one of the featured "journalists" of a major news network goes on television and, with some of our most prestigious journalists assembled with him, speaks admiringly about the smells and arousing masculinity and the "daddy" qualities of various political officials, and that this metric is, more or less, the full extent of his political analysis.What can even be said about that? And nobody really seems to find it odd or disturbing or objectionable at all -- that day after day, Salon features a blogger who goes on and on in the most tedious way. In this case, he's criticizing Matthews but he's tone deaf to his comic style.... or would you think I was smart if I said the metric that is his analysis?
During the last week, when I was traveling, I spent substantial time driving in a rental car...Glenn G can't say "last week." It's got to be "during the last week." He can't say "a long time," he has to say "substantial time."
...and thus had the opportunity to listen for large chunks of time to The Rush Limbaugh Show...You know, Glenn G can't just "listen" to the radio, he has to have "the opportunity to listen" to the radio. So you listened to the radio? Who cares if it was last week and the car was a rental car and you were not only driving you were also traveling? It's like his little heart leaps every time he sees the opportunity to lard in a few more words, like a schoolboy assigned to write a 500-word essay.
But finally he gets to his point, which is that right-wingers are always lording it over the lefties that they are mas macho.
Virtually the entire show is now devoted to an overt celebration of masculinity -- by Rush Limbaugh -- and to claims that Democrats and liberals lack masculinity....Let's translate that last paragraph from Glennwaldese to plain English: No, you guys are wimps.
And just as Glenn Reynolds has done, Rush has developed a virtual obsession with the book The Dangerous Book for Boys, geared towards teaching "boys how to be boys." Rush spent the week hailing it as the antidote to what he calls the "Emasculation of America."
Identically, Reynolds on his blog has promoted the book a disturbing 17 times in the last six weeks alone. When doing so, he routinely proclaims things such as "maybe there's hope," and -- most revealingly -- has fretted: "Are we turning into a nation of wimps?" ...
There are few things more disorienting than listening to Rush Limbaugh declare himself the icon of machismo and masculinity and mock others as "wimps." And if you look at those who have this obsession -- the Chris Matthews and Glenn Reynolds and Jonah Goldbergs and Victor Davis Hansons -- what one finds in almost every case is that those who want to convert our political process and especially our national policies into a means of proving one's "traditional masculine virtues" -- the physically courageous warriors unbound by effete conventions -- themselves could not be further removed from those attributes, and have lives which are entirely devoid of such "virtues."
This is notable not merely because this pervasive and insecure craving for artificial masculinity supplants rational and substantive political considerations, though it does do that. Nor is it notable merely because it is so unpleasant, even cringe-inducing to behold, though it is that, too. Instead, this topic is unavoidable, really at the center of our political discourse, because it leads directly to some of our most significant and controversial political decisions.Glennwaldese to English: Thinking about masculinity is emotional and we shouldn't be emotional about politics.
Why write in Glennwaldese? It's a way of making the obvious look less obvious and giving off the air of intelligence... which doesn't smell like English Leather. (It's English Leather -- a men's cologne -- not "English leather" as Glenn has it up there.) It smells like an old college dorm room.
... Rush Limbaugh ... parade[s] around as the icon of masculinity, and it ... drives him not only to dismiss -- but to overtly celebrate -- the abuses of Abu Grahib and other torture policies as just good, clean fun had by real men (like Rush, as proven by his support for it). As John McCain pointed out in the GOP debate in South Carolina, men who have actually served in the military find torture to be dishonorable, dangerous and repulsive. Only those with a throbbing need to demonstrate their masculine virtues would glibly embrace things of that sort.Do women not exist in Glenn G's world?
This dynamic is depressingly pervasive, yet incomparably significant.A classic Glenn Greenwald sentence if there ever was one. It's such a perfect embodiment of Glenn Greenwaldese that if he were a sitcom character his catchphrase could be "This dynamic is depressingly pervasive, yet incomparably significant." He'd be like Aunt Sassy in "Room and Bored." The other characters would be doing whatever they do and -- Aunt Sassy would say "I don't want see that" -- he'd go: "This dynamic is depressingly pervasive, yet incomparably significant."
And yes, I know, I know, war and torture are serious, so why am I writing about language and rhetoric? Because I don't have anything interesting to say about the horror of war and torture. I hate war and torture. Please note.
Back to Mr. G:
It's what causes someone like Glenn Reynolds...What's the "it"? Scroll back. Oh, I see: it's the "dynamic." And what was the dynamic? I seem to remember that it was depressingly pervasive, yet incomparably significant. Scroll back more. Oh, it was "this pervasive and insecure craving for artificial masculinity [that] supplants rational and substantive political considerations." So then, the pervasive craving is depressingly pervasive. Egad! I hate when things that are already pervasive become, you know, pervasive. People, listen, can't you see? It's so horrible! It's the dynamic! The pervasiveness of it is getting pervasive. I'm so depressed.
Why not use a vivid expression that retains the meaning so we don't have to scroll back? Maybe "machismo" or "phony masculinity"? Glenn G probably thinks the word "dynamic" expresses the way the desire for masculinity -- he laughably says guys crave "artificial masculinity" -- interferes with rational thought... and also that it makes his observation seem more important than it is. Why this is no mere process, it's a whole dynamic!
It's what causes someone like Glenn Reynolds -- who, by his own daily admission, devotes his life to attending convention center conferences on space and playing around with new, cool gadgets in the fun room in his house, like a sheltered adolescent in his secret treehouse club -- to fret: "Are we turning into a nation of wimps?," and directly in response to that concern, to urge "more rubble, less trouble" -- meaning that he wants to watch on his television set as the U.S. military flattens neighborhoods and slaughters more people in the name of "strength," "resolve," and "power."When you point your cursor at "more rubble, less trouble," it highlights as if there's supposed to be a link there, but clicking goes nowhere. So is that a quote from Glenn R or not?
Glenn Reynolds offers the actual context here, and it shows Glenn G's characterization to be an embarrassing distortion. Did he originally have the link and then remove it to hide his distortion? Kind of wimpy, no?
You know, I think it's really important to analyze the sexual feelings that underlie politics and warfare. I wish Glenn Greenwald would do a better job of it.
But I have two other problems:
1. Greenwald started out by mocking Chris Matthews for the analysis of sexual feeling in politics, and then he ended up analyzing sexual feelings in politics. I think he realized this was incoherent, and then, instead of rewriting his post -- why subtract when you can add? -- he just asserted: "None of this is about psychoanalyzing anyone." Get it? The thing Matthews did? Bad! The thing I just did? Must be good, cuz I did it, so different, and hence, not bad.
2. Greenwald himself is not free from the "dynamic" -- which, you might remember, is "this pervasive and insecure craving for artificial masculinity [that] supplants rational and substantive political considerations." His long tirade tells us something about his feelings of masculinity, and he never examines what they are. If we are competent readers, though, we must look into that. He mocks Glenn Reynolds for talking about what a geek he is, but self-examination and self-deprecation are good -- and are not evidence of someone with a "pervasive and insecure craving for artificial masculinity [that] supplants rational and substantive political considerations." Where is Greenwald's self-examination and self-deprecation? All I ever see is self-importance and preening and condemning others as inferior, which kind of seems like a "pervasive and insecure craving for artificial masculinity [that] supplants rational and substantive political considerations."
Hey, this dynamic is depressingly pervasive, yet incomparably significant.
IN THE MAIL: Knoxwhirled sends lolglenn: