The Reclusive Leftist took a swing at me on her blog. Fair’s fair. I find this situation fascinating, for some reason. If I were to paraphrase our little argument, it would go like this:
A. I have an insight: blah.
B. That insight is tainted by your personal bias and is largely rubbish.
A. Sarcasm, implication that B is stupid.
B. Sarcasm, implication that A actually agrees with B, making A even more wrong.
A. Further implications that B is stupid, real stupid. General tone of annoyance.
B. Angrily states that calling people stupid does not win debates and further implications that A’s original point was tainted rubbish.
A. Explicit statements as to how stupid and now angry B is.
B. Yeah, fuck you, too.
That’s a nutshell. You’ll notice a fact backed up by the record — at no time did A attack B’s arguments. Nor, until the very, very end did A try to restate her argument for clarity. The only point A had was that B was stupid. Even so, she can’t admit how freaking dumb of a tactic that is in the course of a debate.
Now if you read the post linked above, A further goes on to claim how reasonable, impartial and mature they were even as B got “enraged”. This is a gross mischaracterization, especially since A got emotional, sarcastic and started all this “you’re stupid” stuff long before B got angry. B got frustrated with A for not debating and instead baiting with personal attacks.
If A was as correct as she would like to believe, all she had to say was: “Michael, you are wrong. What I meant was X and I stand behind that.” Had she said that B would have likely said, “I think you are not very aware of the influence of your own personal biases but we can agree to disagree.”
I think what happened was that The Reclusive Leftist got miffed that she was condescended to and everything said after that point was an emotional reaction, devoid of logic or reason. I don’t doubt that it can be frustrating to have your every word scrutinized by males who are a bit taken-aback by the endless stream of
sexist bullshit personal bias that comes out of your mouth. She needn’t take up every dumb thing someone says in the comments. But to feign surprise when someone gets angry as you repeatedly demean and insult them personally instead of attacking their ideas is disingenuous to say the least. Yes, Virginia, if you call someone stupid long enough they will eventually get angry.
To briefly address the point of the post linked above, I do not think I am smarter than The Reclusive Leftist, per se. Condescension requires a general notion of superiority and I do not think I am superior to Dr. Socks. Yet if one truly despises condescension, it is a gross double-standard to repeatedly say “I’m smarter than you” in response. We can all decide for ourselves who is smart and who is dumb and the more I read The Reclusive Leftist the more she goes into the latter column. The really smart people I know are the last people on earth to call you stupid. They are also quick to point out their own failures. If you read the post I linked above, what is clear is that The Reclusive Leftist is infallible and of superior intellect than you or I. The word I have for people that publicly place themselves in that category is stupid. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find a single word from Dr. Socks that I would call humble. She’s right, you’re wrong, period.
Let’s not get carried away — this is all in fun for me. Debate is fun, arguments are fun, conflict is fun. I would buy the Reclusive Leftist a beer and laugh about it without the slightest effort. That it can get emotional from time to time is part of the fun. Hell, just listen to the podcast of the Hippy Killers ripping me a new asshole and you’ll understand that I have a sense of humor about all of this.
But, as a friend of mine once said, fuck with the duck and you get the bill. I stand behind every word I said in this little episode. I’m actually used to fucking up and making retractions but I feel no need in this case. So bring it on, Dr., I can take it. I’m right, you’re wrong, period. 😉