Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Don't flatter yourself, dude.


Apparently, right-wing wannabe pundit Xavier feels under attack:

Well lo and behold, I’m under fire from the left!

Um, no, Xavier, my boy. There's a serious difference between marshalling our arguments and proceeding to intellectually eviscerate your claims, and pointing at you in wide-eyed amazement and snorting in disbelief while Diet Coke streams out of our noses and we gasp for breath in between howls of hysterical laughter.

Trust me, dude -- we're not laughing with you, we're laughing at you.

17 comments:

Olaf said...

Do you not think Xavier kinda has a point? Shouldn't you try to intellectually eviscerate his claims, instead of just arrogantly snorting in disbelief? If you disagree, say why. Give us all the great benefit of your genius. Bring more of us under the warm embrace of your brilliance. Society as a whole would owe you a debt of gratitude. Do us a favour, make an argument for once.

CC said...

All right, let's play this game. Xavier presents, and subsequently agrees whole-heartedly with, a raft of asinine, right-wing claims about how breathtakingly wonderful is the United States.

As a single example of how deluded he is, I refute utterly his grandiose claim of how terrific and humanitarian the U.S. is in terms of its (thoroughly bogus) $15-billion AIDS/Africa program. Can we agree that I've done that?

If we can't, then there's no point in going any further since you would have established that, no matter how completely I destroy one of his arguments, you won't accept it.

On the other hand, let's say you do accept my refutation. Now what? Do you now say, "Oh, sure, so that one point is bogus, but what about all the rest?"

So I go on to refute a second point, at which point you demand a third. And a fourth. And so on.

Where does it end? How much of his idiocy do I have to trash before you'll admit that his credibility is totally shot?

Ti-Guy said...

Shouldn't you try to intellectually eviscerate his claims, instead of just arrogantly snorting in disbelief?

I believe the onus is on the person making the claims to first make claims that are related to history, real-world evidence, informed/expert opinion and so forth.

If it's just some wingnut spouting nonsense, why not save time and just laugh at it?

The other option would be to ignore it, and believe you me, sensible do that all the time.

Olaf said...

CC:

Now at least you're trying: However, merely saying 'I refute this or that' is not a refutation. Say why you refute it, why is it thoroughly bogus (luckily, I am familiar with the program and know exactly your mostly legitimate criticisms would be), etc. Otherwise, it's not a debate, you don't educate anyone, you just come off arrogant and effectively useless.

Ti-guy: "I believe the onus is on the person making the claims to first make claims that are related to history, real-world evidence, informed/expert opinion and so forth."

The author of the article is Peter Brookes, a senior fellow at a US think tank, a New York Times columnist and author. While you might disagree with his opinion, that does not mean that it is necessarily not an informed/expert opinion.

If you think that his claims are not related to real world evidence, say why, otherwise, an unbiased reader would be hard pressed to assume your pedigree (which, if I'm not mistaken, includes merely blogging about insulting people) is more credible than his own.

CC said...

olaf writes:

"Now at least you're trying: However, merely saying 'I refute this or that' is not a refutation. Say why you refute it, why is it thoroughly bogus ... "

What the f...? What part of this web page I referenced is giving you difficulty? Are you incapable of following a link and reading what's at the other end of it?

Jesus Christ, would you like me to chew your food for you as well?

M@ said...

Since you're familiar with the issue, Olaf, you probably know that:

- the USA promotes abstinence as a key policy for fighting AIDS, despite the numerous problems with that policy

- the USA's AIDS work in Africa is done mainly by Christian fundamentalists, who have largely hijacked the programs to promote their ideological agenda

- there can be no doubt that the USA has failed to meet its funding commitments

But their policies aren't limited to Africa. Remember a couple of years ago, when they offered Brazil an AIDS "assistance" for Brazil that was contingent on toeing their unrealistic and moralizing line? The Brazilians rightly pointed out that the condemnation of the sex trade was beside the point. So the USA pulled the funding.

Culture of life.

CC said...

m@:

I might also refer readers to this page which, as does that previous page I link to, demonstrates that the alleged "new" AIDS funding from the Bush administration was nothing of the sort.

But I suspect we're all wasting our time and keystrokes here. Olaf is simply going to wave away this refutation, and move on to the next point. And we'll be playing catch-up forever.

Olaf said...

Hey bro,

Check your original message, there is no link there. Also, try chilling out maybe.

Olaf said...

The weird thing is, I already said that I am familiar and largely agree with criticisms of US AIDS policy. And yet, I am "simply going to wave away this refutation, and move on to the next point."

All I was looking for was something informative on this blog beyond crude denounciations and name-calling, and finally someone reading the comments section will get it.

Ti-Guy said...

All I was looking for was something informative on this blog beyond crude denounciations and name-calling, and finally someone reading the comments section will get it.

Oh, don't be so silly. This blog's raison d'ĂȘtre is to snark and snigger about the fatheaded things wingnuts say (...which is never-ending). Most of us who read it get actual information from credible sources; decent newspapers, informed pundits,...books... You know, that kind of thing.

I've always maintained that if you're going to criticise a blog for its...well, banality or superficiality or meaness, you'd do better to bring up evidence or informed opinion that counters the content of a particular blog post, rather than just whine about it.

Alison said...

"Check your original message, there is no link there."

Olaf/Xavier: There is a link there in the original message - the same one that is provided above again just for you.

CC said...

In Olaf's defense, the link to the AIDS page wasn't there in the original post.

In my defense, it was added very shortly thereafter, and it's been there for over a day. So now that that's settled, let's move on to slapping Xavier around the room again.

Or not. I have to admit that this has lost whatever entertainment value it had in the beginning.

I'm easily bored that way.

Olaf said...

Ti-Guy:
"I've always maintained that if you're going to criticise a blog for its...well, banality or superficiality or meaness, you'd do better to bring up evidence or informed opinion that counters the content of a particular blog post, rather than just whine about it. "

That of course assumes that there actually exists "content" within said blog post, which was the very criticism I was making; that this blog post was completely lacking of content.

CC said...

olaf writes:

"That of course assumes that there actually exists "content" within said blog post, which was the very criticism I was making; that this blog post was completely lacking of content."

Really? "Lacking of content?" I prefer to think that there are some things that are just so howlingly inane that their stupidity is self-evident and that simply making fun of them is sufficient all by itself.

Let's not forget, Olaf, that it was you back here who, in the comments section, wrote such vacuously empty statements as "I feel as though there is a clear difference" and "that goes pretty much without saying."

For someone who "goes pretty much without saying," you sure have a rigorous standard of evidence for everyone else, don't you?

Ti-Guy said...

That of course assumes that there actually exists "content" within said blog post, which was the very criticism I was making; that this blog post was completely lacking of content.

Then why waste your time? Or is scolding what you do for a living?

Olaf said...

Touche,

However, as I pointed out in a following comment, saying 'I feel' can be taken to mean 'It is my opinion that', not 'My heart tells me', which does not in itself make my opinion vacuous.

However, in so far as I did not go into my rationale for why I believe Hezbollah and Israel are not morally equivalent entities, your criticism is well founded. I don't believe that this point necessarily needs qualification, as it is so obvious to me. Having said that, I am sure you feel the same about the many opinions you ridicule without providing reasons for your opposition to them.

All I can say is that for the benefit of those without your particular biases and opinions (such as myself), you may want to provide a bit more information as to why so many opinions you oppose are so asinine. I'd like to think I would do the same on my own site. Otherwise, what is the point?

Ti-guy:
I just don't see the point of just laughing at the opinions of people without attempting to argue and convince them (and others) of why they're so wrong, other than to stoke one's own self esteem and delusions of superiority.

Ti-Guy said...

I just don't see the point of just laughing at the opinions of people without attempting to argue and convince them (and others) of why they're so wrong...

Really? You don't see the point? Man, you should try it sometime. It's delicious.

...other than to stoke one's own self esteem and delusions of superiority.

This is just some crappy class prejudice you seem to be suffering from. Are you a...what's the term again...redneck? Or is it "hick?"

Oh, well...Who cares anyway? As if dumb people matter.