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March 14, 2005

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Let us here explore the semantic differences between the terms 'ass' and 'jackass'. My sense is that 'ass' refers to anyone who is boorish, rude, and generally inappropriately behaved. 'jackass' would refer to a subset of asses who are unaware of their assish behavior, and therefore have the additional stigma of being ignorant, or at least socially insensitive, asses. Also, jackass is more satisfying to say. I submit that under these guidelines, Mr. Ponnuru does qualify as an ass, but not a jackass, as he seems well aware of his behavior, thinking it justified. Thoughts?

I have always been fond of the word 'asshat' (watching people sling it at each other , mind you, not using it myself). Of course, this word is more linked to general cluelessness, so I'm not sure if self-awareness is implicit in the definition.

While I'm not sure what label to use, I agree with von on the substantive aspect of his point, but I feel (and I hope this observation doesn't insult anyone here) the NRO corner is blogdom's proof that birds of a feather...

"the NRO corner is blogdom's proof that birds of a feather...

I agree with LJ's sentiment.

I also agree with von's opinion of Ponnuru, but there is one thing in the post that puzzles me. What is the deal with Goldberg? Von mentions him favorably here, Charles named him as one of his favorite commentators, and Sebastian, I dimly recall, has also spoken well of him.

To be blunt, Goldberg has always struck me as an idiot. I find his writing ill-informed and poorly reasoned. He seems to be intent on making a career as a right-wing pundit, and to be willing to write anything at all that might curry favor with those who could advance that ambition. Hilzoy skewered him on an extremely stupid article he wrote on torture a couple of months ago, and that particular item was, to me, typical of the "depth" of his thinking.

I honestly don't think my attitude is wholly based on ideological differences. Am I missing something? Can anyone point me to some especially thoughtful or insightful piece Goldberg has written?

I'm with Bernard (of course, I would be), both in not liking Goldberg and in being mystified at his appeal.

I have less respect for Jonah Goldberg's mother than I have for Lucianne Goldberg's (well-known; does she have any others?) son.

There's a phrase for this sort of remark. It's called "d****** **** ***** *****e."

Goldberg attacks Juan Cole, Ponnuru attacks Tribe. I sense a pattern here, of weakening the infrastructure. Course I see patterns everywhere.

I like Goldberg marginally better than the others because of a sense of humour, some self-deprecation, and because I guess that in his heart of hearts he doesn't really hate liberals. He is just doing his job. A lot of the right-wing hacks like Malkin & Brooks seem desperate and scared, always having to re-establish their hack creds with the base. Goldberg seems to be having fun.

Course Ann Coulter also seems to be having fun.

I have always been fond of the word 'asshat' (watching people sling it at each other , mind you, not using it myself).

But why would you want to talk about Bobby Flay?

But why would you want to talk about Bobby Flay?

Dude. Marry me.

OT, but Bobby Flay has to rank as one of the world's premiere asshats. I can't stand watching that smug sonovatitch prance around on ICA like king $hit of turd mountain, and love watching him get pwned.

Dates back to his appearances on the original Iron Chef, I think. No class whatsoever.

Dude. Marry me.

I'm not entirely sure we're compatible, but I'll put you on the list ;)

OT, but Bobby Flay has to rank as one of the world's premiere asshats.

That sentiment is never OT. It's the pure and primal topic that underlies all reality. Indeed, I can wax on for hours about the Asshattery of Teh Asshat Bobby Flay, and the horrific unfairness that he gets Stephanie March and I don't. The world, indeed, is harsh and cruel.

Not that I dislike him or anything.

Now shifting even further off-topic: Television Without Pity now has an entire forum devoted to Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee, the only FoodTV personality who can give Bobby Flay a run for his asshatted money. See, Flay has the one vaguely almost kinda sorta redeeming quality in that he can actually cook; SLoP, aka Ol' Puddin' Cups, is not similarly endowed. [Though, as you might have guessed from her moniker, she is otherwise endowed.] If you're into cooking and you like snarking at trainwrecks, SHCSL is truly the show for you.

And now I retire, secure in the knowledge of another high-speed threadjack has been accomplished without hitch. Have a peeptini on me, and I'll catch y'all on the flip side.

Touche' -- Jackass is the more appropriate term. Back to my Fortress of Grammitude.

As for Goldberg, well, he's got a sense of humor, he writes engagingly, and he usually reasons well. Incidentally, if we start listing all of the idiotic statements made by columnists (or bloggers, for that matter), we'd end up listening to no one. Which, among other things, ain't all that healthy for a free society.

BY
What is the deal with Goldberg? Von mentions him favorably here,

and hilzoy
I'm with Bernard ... in being mystified at his appeal.

The, ahem, articles that von likes many times have the word "timewaster" in the title. Or perhaps he likes it because Jonah links to important subjects like
this.

Oh, perhaps I should have included a warning.

The definition of "asshat" in LJ's first link is, IMO, inconsistent with usage. Asshats are, as everyone knows, people who wear their own buttocks as earmuffs. IOW, those afflicted with chronic cranialrectosis. The implication here is the person in question is unable to understand the conversation because of aural obstruction, and of sufficiently dubious mental capacity (partly due to an inclination to wear one's sphincter as a choker necklace) to be considered part of the conversation.

The second link was more accurate, but too self-referential to be useful.

von,

My point about the torture column was not so much that it was stupid, though it was, but that it struck me as typical of Goldberg's work.

I confess I don't read him a lot, but what I've seen on the Corner and elsewhere is, I think, consistently pretty bad.

The definition of "asshat" in LJ's first link is, IMO, inconsistent with usage.

I don't want to be accused of spreading urban myths, so I should have urged everyone to read all the way to the bottom of that link, where it has this disclaimer.

Disclaimer: I made all of this up. I did absolutely no research whatsoever to come up with this. If you have a problem with the way I wrote this, you are in fact an asshat.

In terms of kharma, this probably makes me an asshat for getting Slarti accused of being an asshat.

Agreed, although I freely admit to being an asshat on a regular basis. I think it must be genetic or something.

But technically speaking, I don't have a problem with the way he wrote that, just what he wrote. So I can probably wriggle out of the auto-asshatting process.

Which, I suspect, makes me an asshat.

auto-asshatting process

aka Blogging Software

Heh. No, Mac, blogging doesn't make one an asshat, it simply outs one as an asshat.

Are we getting any Google hits for "asshat", now, I wonders?

Joe Biden is a huge asshat. Or perhaps a jackass. Either way: Although his policy views are very similar to mine, more similar than a Dean's or a Feingold's, I will never, ever, ever vote for this man in a presidential primary. Ever.

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