Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More Backscratching

I am not sure if it would be helpful to unpack the messy and slightly soiled suitcase of a post by one Mr. Jason Linkins. The situation isn't complex or deep. Mr. Linkins speaks quite clearly. Mr. Linkins takes exception to a part of an article by Roy Edroso. The exceptionable section follows:

#3: A Megan McArdle Christmas. The Atlantic's Megan McArdle saw one upside to the financial crisis: "It
may break the rat race of constantly ratcheting consumption, which has
surrounded most Americans with nice things that don't really make them happy."
Later she provided readers with a "Holiday Video Game Guide ("[Mario Kart for Wii] comes with
one Wii wheel, but I recommend getting at least one more for multiplayer; we
have four") and a "Holiday Gift Guide: Electronics Edition" ("You don't want
[the Sony Blu-Ray] player if your television is smaller than 40 inches"). Well,
she didn't say these things made her happy.

Now Mr. Linkins:

My point of view on this is perhaps skewed, seeing as I'm acquainted with
McArdle, but I'm not terribly comfortable in lumping her in as a member of the
monolithic right-wing blogosphere.
Of course, I got this funny feeling that I was repeating myself! And sure enough, it turns out that I've defended McArdle from these sorts of associations before! Well, maybe McMegan has somehow ensnared me with her Siren-like libertarian charms.

So you know McArdle, you like McArdle, you leap to McArdle's defense repeatedly. Gotcha. It's crystal. So McArdle can't be lumped in with the rest of the right wingers. She's special, one of the elite.

He also thinks Edroso's reasoning was faulty.

In the first place, it seems to me that inveighing against "constantly
ratcheting consumption" and the race to procure "nice things that don't really
make [us] happy," is apostasy to dyed-in-the-wool free-marketeers.

As if there are roving bands of free marketers criticizing McArdle, instead of some people pointing out her hypocrisy and laughing.

But more to the point, I fail to see how making this suggestion in November and
then, three weeks later, providing a "holiday Gift Guide" (at a time when we
strive to relearn how giving gifts to others can bring happiness) constitutes a
significant gaffe. If that's a "Top Ten"-worthy mistake, I'd have to conclude
that, on balance, the righty blogosphere had a pretty good year!

Then let me point out the obvious, since he is too acquainted with McArdle to see it. McArdle scolds Americans for buying all the latest consumer goods, then creates a Christmas list of all the latest consumer goods. She does one thing and says another. She is a hypocrite. This is also not the first time she has been a hypocrite. She's a hypocrite about sex and marriage. She's a hypocrite about money. She's an untrustworthy person. Her words can't be trusted.

But she did go to the right schools and get the right jobs. She's one of the tribe and they must support each other; they want to support each other. To cover up their partisan leanings they tell each other that they are brilliant and clever and witty, as if frequent public praise will convince people that stupidity or ideology is really impartial brilliance. Which it probably will.

Linkins can't stop here, however. When people are ashamed of their feelings or thoughts, they strike out against others, so Linkins strikes out at Edroso, in the very last line. Childish behavior for people with childish needs.


Anonymous said...

Linkins does make a good point. Megan is, after all, better than the rest of us. Her conspicuous consumption is fine, whereas ours is vulgar and needless. At least he admitted up front to being a friend of hers, while Megan never openly revealed that she stood to make money from her praise of those products, should anyone have acted on her endorsements and purchased them through her links.

Susan of Texas said...

I keep forgetting that.

These people are so predictable now. The Corner is running around chasing their tails and the Atlantic is observing the economy collapse as if it were dropped down from the sky, not based on their pet theories.

The Deceiver said...

I was wondering if you could please be so kind to go back through your post and spell my last name consistently. It's LINKINS, not LINKIN.

Thanks, ever so!

Susan of Texas said...

Thanks for the correction. I don't mind being a little sloppy, but I do like to get names right.

Anonymous said...

I guess Linkins subscribes to the theory that all press is good press, as long as they spell your name correctly.

Susan of Texas said...

I guess the only thing worse than being criticized is being unknown.