Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Wisdom Of The Marketplace

She still doesn't understand.

Megan McArdle thinks that people won't let go of her 2x4 comments because they are still angry and want her to--well, let's let her tell it herself, while she is mis-responding to a thoughtful commenter:

McMegan 2 minutes ago in reply to Dan__S

First, the anger long predates the mortgage crisis, and second, this may be unkind, so correct me if I'm wrong--but your response to my pointing out that I'd apologized and retracted it was to unload a pretty long comment about your own anger. Fair enough, and I do very much understand why the antiwar side is angry. But I'm afraid I feel like this has translated into unreasonable demands for contrition. It's not enough to say that we're wrong, and that we're sorry we're wrong, and to look at some of the reasons we were wrong. As far as I can tell, for a lot of people the only thing that will really do is for me to roll around on the floor crying "I was wrong about everything! You were right about everything! I am so sorry! I am not worthy to comment on the same internet as you!" and to regularly flagellate. On the one hand, I understand that it's not satisfying for other people to demand you put your grudges away when you've still got some mad left. On the other hand, if you demand too much in the way of a grovelling apology--from anyone--what usually happens is that they tell you to fuck off and walk out.

That's not what I am saying to you--but I am saying that if that's close to what you want, you're not going to get it from me. Attempts to elicit it are just going to irritate both of us.

Nobody, not even us, wants McArdle to make grovelling apologies. We just want someone with so much access and power to stop trying to screw us over. Since she will not, people are fighting back with public criticism. It's the free marketplace of ideas--when lack of regulation (editing) and profit motive (paycheck) induce a producer (McArdle) to provide a shoddy and harmful product (Asymmetrical Information), the consumer responds with complaints (Fire Megan McArdle etc.) and vows to stop purchasing the shoddy merchandise. That's what is supposed to happen in America's Capitalist Wonderland. The market goes out of balance, then does what it must to restore equilibrium.

But for Megan McArdle it's all about her and her feelings. So sad, but the universe is not here to please her and sometimes the invisible hand of the market whacks you upside the head with a 2x4.


Downpuppy said...

Remember the Simpsons where Homer stuffed so much garbage into the landfill that it exploded & took out Springfield?

Megan's archives.

Clever Pseudonym said...

From Megan's post about the Dixie Chicks dust-up a few years ago:

"Words have consequences, and I'm afraid I've no sympathy with those who complain about it. When you want to blather away into the ether, collecting the accolades and shunning the negative response, you're not advocating for speech to be free -- you're advocating for talk to be cheap."

Or are we not to hold her to account for anything she's written that's more than five years old? I mean, is it okay to call her a bloody contradictory hypocrite?

Anonymous said...

"As far as I can tell, for a lot of people the only thing that will really do is for me to roll around on the floor crying "I was wrong about everything! You were right about everything! I am so sorry! I am not worthy to comment on the same internet as you!" and to regularly flagellate."

Well, since we can't have that, can we just have her fired from The Atlantic? That would be enough for me.


atat said...

Completely off topic, but I love it when McArdle writes a one-line post and still gets it all wrong. In her entry about the forged Andrew Wyeth painting, she credits "modern technology" with the discovery. A simple click through to the short article reveals that "giant, antiquated Kodak slides" and a loupe unmasked the forgery. I'm assuming she just didn't bother to read the article.

Her other one-liner just below that is just impenetrably bizarre. She posts an image that shows the first photograph (daguerrotype) of a human being, and this somehow provokes a "disconcerting" feeling in her as she contemplates all the "missing people." Huh?

Anonymous said...

"A simple click through to the short article reveals that "giant, antiquated Kodak slides" and a loupe unmasked the forgery."

Fuckin' magnification - how does it work?


Clever Pseudonym said...

I don't know why I get stunned by her stupid anymore. Those posts are idiotic, especially since it is rather simply explained that there were no "missing" people. They just didn't show up because they were moving and because of the slow process used at the time, they didn't show up. It was glaringly noted that the street was actually rather busy at the time. Disconcerting how, Megs?

Clever Pseudonym said...

"They just didn't show up because they were moving and because of the slow process used at the time, they didn't show up."

Duh. Sorry, I completely McArdled that sentence up.

bulbul said...

Duh. Sorry, I completely McArdled that sentence up.
to mcardle (up) = (of a sentence) to jumble; to produce an incoherent and confusing statement

Oh the potential!

to do a full mcardle = to strongly condemn an act or a position one had previously encouraged and endorsed without realizing the contradiction

cynic said...

Her latest screed is one arguing for the elimination of all corporate taxes. She makes about 8 different arguments - and gets all of them wrong

Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to be McArdle - not an ounce of shame and absolutely no self awareness of when you are horribly and publicly wrong.

Syz said...

>> what usually happens is that they tell you to fuck off and walk out.

As much as McMegan's dishonesty and hypocrisy are noteworthy, we must remember that she is also a coward. She wants to tell Commenter Dan_S to fuck off, but she does not have the courage. So she hints at it and while also congratulating herself for not being the type of person who says it directly.

Yet she can't understand why Dan_S is not thanking her for her civility!

Megan does not seem to understand what an apology is. It is not about simply going through the motions to get people off your back when you are caught doing wrong. It is about understanding what you did wrong and changing your behavior.

McMegan has never tempered her irrational hatred of protesters and liberals in general. She has never stopped criticizing the people who disagreed with her about going to war in Iraq. And she unceasingly defended her positions, even when she was supposedly "apologizing."

Megan's lips are moving but her actions continue to say "fuck off". She deserves every scintilla of criticism she is receiving. The anger directed at her is her own fault, since she continues to spew her venom at anyone and everyone who refuses to bow to her wisdom.

Clever Pseudonym said...

Does this mean I'm now qualified to work for the Atlantic?

Mr. Wonderful said...

sometimes the invisible hand of the market whacks you upside the head with a 2x4.

Yes, but not pre-emptively. Alas. Would it help if we gave the invisible hand a list of likely candidates?

Spy Hill said...

I completely McArdled that sentence up.


SNAMU - Situation Normal, All McArdled Up

MUBAR - McArdled Up Beyond All Repair

Freshly Squeezed Cynic said...

McArdle, dear, we're not angry because you never apologised, or wailed, or gnashed your teeth, or rubbed your wounds with salt, or whatever. It's true, all that stuff was in the past. Even the 2 by 4 stuff, which was fucking creepy and based on a post written by an idiot who thinks "Marxist" is a term of abuse.

We're angry because, despite the fact that you were wrong, despite the fact that you are obviously unsuited for the job you're in, you're still in it - fuck, you've risen in value and prestige, whilst us Dirty Fucking Hippies who have been right about the war AND the financial crisis are extremist loons only fit to be patronised by a lollygagging libertarian.

You keep being so fucking wrong. This shit should have consequences. It didn't.

That's why we're mad. It angers our natural sense of justice.

Anonymous said...

Bloody hell, the computer ate my brilliant post complementing Clever Pseud on the Dixie Chicks comment. Also I had some riveting things to say about Mccardle but somehow it didn't post and now there are so many great posts and neologisms that I have nothing to add. All McCardled up is just a great word. Really necessary.

"I got a D on my test and the professor told me that I'd totally McCardled the basic concepts and he had to take pain meds after reading my work. I don't understand what just happened. What did he mean by that?"



Anonymous said...

Pretty sure argle blargle is the noun version of that.

fish said...

"Often, it's a case of not asking yourself the right question that might disconfirm your findings"

and with that, irony took a long vacation because how can you top such a virtuoso performance?

Clever Pseudonym said...

Damn whatever computer ate your post, aimai! Your comments are always brilliant. I would love it if "McArdled" took off. I don't even care who takes the credit for it. There's a very special irony to it - saying you "McArdled" your writing, admitting that you made a mistake or garbled words, something that Megan will never, ever do, despite the fact that she does this on a daily basis while actually being paid for her output.

The thing about Megan's 2 x 4 apology that bugs me the most is that it wasn't actually an apology. It was a lame excuse. She invoked the dead of 9/11 and blamed her over-emotions on working at Ground Zero (thanks, Daddy!). Then she lied, claiming people took her comment out of context, saying she never insinuated that violence should be applied to protesters unless they instigated it themselves. She did no such thing. She even made the effort to emphasize the word pre-emptive. It was her, yet again, thinking we're all too stupid to compute and process the very words she wrote at the time. If she had more talent or humor, or was capable of the slightest bit of self-deprecatation, she could have written that she was wrong, full stop, no excuses, without giving excuses before doing so. She could have turned it into something pretty funny, poked fun at herself for a younger time where she made some bad judgements, let her anger rule her logic so as to write something stupid. We've all done that at some point in our lives. It's forgivable, especially in the context of an otherwise harmless blog post. It didn't have to be something she'd regret. It could have been something she learned from. Instead, she's letting the fact that people are using her own words against her become a bother to herself because she can barely face her imperfections. Just saying "I know I have faults" is not the same thing as owning up to them and doing your best to improve as a human being. And the worst part is, she doesn't realize that with every post she carries on about the subject, every time she defends herself in earnest, it just makes people want to bring it up all the more. She's going to be branded Our Lady of the 2 X 4 for eternity because of that. Words have consequences indeed, Megan. Face them, learn, and move on. Make fun of yourself for the bad judgement you've grown from. If she ever actually does that in a mature, responsible fashion - something she still has yet to do, I promise you all, I'll be among the first to give you grief for not letting the 2 x 4 comment just pass. Until then, it's fair 'effing game as far as I'm concerned.

Bob said...

McArdled IS brilliant but, by definition, is not something you can say about your own work.

Kathy said...

She can't apologize or excuse the 2x4 comment because she still thinks & feels the same way about anti-war protestors and liberals.

She still thinks we are the epitome of evil, malice and unpatriotic-ness, and we should be physically punished: the Rand Paul goons head-stomping a liberal "wasn't so bad", and ArgleBargle's suggestions re using a 2x4 pre-preemptively against demonstrators is also "not so bad" a comment.

Also, she's paid to make comments like that: to apologize might incur the wrath of her Masters.

Clever Pseudonym said...

Anybody who thinks McArdle is anything remotely close to brilliant is dumber than she is.

bulbul said...

of course. Then again, judging by their current standards, a senile monkey would probably be qualified to work as an editor at the Atlantic...

so the meaning is settled, we just need to agree on the spelling (McCardle or McArdle) and do we want to include the particle (up) as well?

Kathy said...

McCardle or McArdle? How about "I've been ArgleBargled!" or "that sentence was a perfect 10 on the ArgleBargle scale!"