May 1, 2017

Hey, thanks, Piltdown Ghost.

In the comments section of a post over at Instapundit (that links to this post of mine), Piltdown Ghost says:
Ann Althouse is a brilliant writer. Look at how deftly she weaves current events and the statements swirling around them into a perfect narrative structure.

That first line, where she's all sarcastic, "Hah hah Trump, very funny," creates tension -- is she going after Trump's ego again? -- which then gets resolved in an unexpected way as turnabout.

She can only create that suspense consistently by remaining outwardly nonpartisan enough to keep herself unpredictable. "Cruel neutrality" gives her a real edge.

Among the complaints about message fiction the Sad Puppy Wars have brought to light is that it's too predictable. Professor Althouse is teaching a master class to aspiring writers.
(I had to look up "Sad Puppy Wars.")

18 comments:

Jake said...

Ann Althouse comments on Instapundit as "Piltdown Ghost" confirmed. /s

Sebastian said...

Which illustrates the one thing our hostess is predictably not cruelly neutral about.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Original Mike said...

I have a friend, a Hugo winner, who's in the Sad Puppies war.

I made the mistake once of bringing up Matt Taylor and his shirt. I beat a hasty retreat.

traditionalguy said...

What Piltdown Ghost said.

vanderleun said...

Blondes are always so eager to share.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Thankfully, from Althouse's POV, this Ghost missed the recent obsession with overly using caps.

That was a close one.

Earnest Prole said...

Truly expert trolling is an underrated skill.

Todd said...

(I had to look up "Sad Puppy Wars.")

This is one of the problems with the "internet". You read a line like that and think: What? How can Ann NOT know about the puppy wars? It has been all over the internet for years now!

One forgets how absolutely HUGE the internet actually is and isolated some sections/topics are from the "main stream". Yes, even on the internet there is a "main stream" and gate keepers (though the gates are VERY porous). How many times has Google or Yahoo or any of the other news sites shown anything on page one about the puppy wars? They won't do it because it is "wrong think". Happens on a large variety of topics. Falls squarely into the category if "unknown unknowns".

Todd said...

That should have been 'of "unknown unknowns".

Dang the lack of an edit...

David said...

It's good to know that your kids read Instapundit.

David said...

Also good to learn what Sad Puppy Wars are and that I don't need to think about it ever again.

mockturtle said...

He's right. You are an extremely skilled writer and put those NYT & WaPo writers to shame.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Oh, Ann. You're now retired, and you still can't look up Sad Puppy Wars? I mean, you can, obviously; you did. But why'd it take you so long? It's not as though you don't read Instapundit.

I've been following this, and the related Gamergate, for some time. Both involve outsiders (= conservatives) infiltrating progressive strongholds. This is unfair only if you see the Hugos as strongly held progressive territory, and Correia (say) as a fascist interloper. Which he isn't.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

cruel neutrality!

Bill said...

I wouldn't have known about the Sad Puppy Wars if I weren't a regular reader of Instapundit.

On that note, I learned about Instapundit from reading Althouse.

David Baker said...

What a terrific compliment.

Ray said...

I agree on the cruel neutrality, it makes Ann's posts more interesting to read than the normal either you are with me, or against me posts.

I disagree with the usual characterization of Gamergate and Puppygate (Sad Puppies). Gamergate was a bunch of David's against the establishment. And since it was leaderless, there was no leader to do the usual Alinsky tactics against. I see it was a revolt against blah, PC video games that the establishment was pushing. The PC establishment lost, which was a first.

Sad Puppies is a bit different. Basically Larry Correia thought the Hugos was basically fixed by a small clique. And he set out to prove the establishment, pc, right think, etc. types controlled whom got awarded. The question was it a contest with winners based on literary Sci Fi with a message, or stuff you had fun reading. Mr Correia sells a lot of books, and he proved it with the responses he got. After that he passed it on to other people and it was more about making a point, but the opposition nuked some categories (no awards), insulted the sad puppys (think deplorables), and finally changed the rules.

Ann's blog is another example of a David type blog, that is fighting against the Goliaths of news/analysis. I don't believe she is deliberately picking a fight as was done in the Pupply Conflict, but the result is the same. For every eyeball that spends time on her blog, that is less time spent on a mainstream media site. I find Ann's writing usually a lot more interesting with some great commenters.

Ann Althouse said...

If I read about something one day but don't absorb it as one of my interests, I'm quite likely to forget the specialized terminology.

As I've said before, I chose not to invest my time in understanding Gamergate. Sad Puppies is similar. It's an inside business that I never get up to speed on. There are issues flowing by every day. I'm selective.