ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Blogging & Profanity

Dean Barnett at SoxBlog has an interesting post on the reaction of one angry Leftist blogger to a column he wrote in The Weekly Standard. He makes the point that I have here with BitchPhD tha0t it isn't wise to rely on profanity and coarseness in political discussions.

In reviewing the piece, Brigham began with characteristic eloquence, referring to it as “shitty ass.” Later in his screed, he suggested that James Carville “kiss my ass.” Brigham also had similar counsel for me: “Kiss my ass you lazy fucking reporter, next time pick up the fucking phone before you make a complete ass out of yourself.” As a matter of fact, he chastises me in a similarly delicate manner no fewer than three times for having the audacity to have written the story without seeking out his insights first.
[...]
What I’m not impressed with is how Brigham can’t tell the difference between a mistake and a “fucking lie.” I know his response was just a manifestation of the angry young blogger shtick, but it’s tired. All the obscenities, all the rage – what do Brigham and his ilk think they accomplish? Do they not see how pathetic such antics make them look?

LEFT WING BLOGGERS LIKE BRIGHAM are often guilty of confusing and conflating “straight talk” with vulgar talk. Look, I’m no prude, especially when it comes to coarse language. Those who personally know me, and especially those who have played golf with me, view me as a uniquely unlikely champion for obscenity-free communication.

But politics is different from one’s rec-room or the golf course. There are a bunch of people who find obscenities offensive. In politics (and bloggers like Brigham are in politics), there is no need to gratuitously offend a segment of the voting society with coarse language. And yet Brigham and many of his cohorts insist on writing like they’re politically obsessed Quentin Tarantino characters.

Similar to Dean, I don't think I'd be considered a prude when it comes to much - He and I apparently have similar skills at golf. However, my point to BitchPhD and to all bloggers that might have stumbled upon this post is this: Thoughts & Ideas expressed on a blog are much different than conversations you have with people. Use of profanity not only distracts from your argument (seriously, F-CK, Sh!t, @ss, etc don't add much to your line of reasoning) and show that you have an extremely poor vocabulary, but they also show contempt for your reader. In addition to that, what a person posts on a blog is permanent (or as permanent as things in the internet age can be). Thus, your profanity laden screed from Noveber 2004 (post-election loss) likely won't be read with the same understanding by your audience in August 2005.

As I said, I'm no prude when it comes to many things... but I will say that I'm trying to control my use of profanity (I can thank my 3 year old and my nieces that arrived before him), not only in my writings, but also in my speech. Profanity only shows two things: that you're rabidly pissed off or that you're an intellectual midget.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler