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October 09, 2009

Comments

Could any other choice have made more people sit up and pay attention, and maybe even remember that the concept of "peace" exists, and debate what it means and how to get there, &c. &c.?

In addition to byrningman's excellent points, I wonder if part of the award was also directed at the American people whom, by voting for Obama given his campaign promises, chose (at least in theory, if not yet in practice) chose to reject many of the tenets guiding our foreign policy since the end of the Cold War and attempt to move in a newer, more cooperative and peaceful direction.

In short, I wonder if it's partially international affirmation for the American people. I'm not saying IT IS, I'm just thinking aloud.

I am sure that if Obama had turned down the Prize or if the Nobel Committee never awarded it to him in the first place, then the Republicans would not be so angry at Obama. If we just look hard enough, I am sure we can find some course of action and statements that Obama can make that will cause the Republicans to like him. Once the Democrats realize that there is a specific set of actions and compromises they can make with Republicans that will placate the right, I am sure that they will stop getting so riled up.

Right?

I think Obama's inclusion on the list reflected the fact that he was the first non-white person in the past half-millennium or more who could credibly claim to be the most powerful person in the world

So they gave it to him because he's half-black? And you agree with this? There's a guy in an alley near me sucking on a 40, maybe he should get a Nobel prize.

If we just look hard enough, I am sure we can find some course of action and statements that Obama can make that will cause the Republicans to like him.

Let's see...he could nuke Teheran, abolish taxes (let's see what that Laffer Curve can really do!), then resign from office and declare Dick Cheney Generalissimo-for-Life.

Short of that? Nope, nada.

Irrumator, I'm not sure I agree with the sentiment you quote from byrningman, but surely you must realize that the racial stereotype you are propagating is disgusting and completely unnecessary - not to mention that it's a terrible, nonsensical response to byrningman's proposition.

I must say it is amusing to see right wing speakers decrying how Obama hasn't earned this award while working to lobby against precisely those outcomes which he would need to achieve in order to more fully deserve it.

Warren Terra,

It wasn't a stereotype in that I wasn't suggesting the guy in the alley with the 40 typified all black people. But there really is a guy in an alley near me sucking on a 40 and he happens to be black. Byrningman's comment suggested that this man's skin color should serve as at least a partial justification for receiving the Nobel Prize. Obviously the creep in the alley urinating himself and mumbling gutteral nonsense does not deserve a Nobel prize. Therefore, this man's lowly existence itself is sufficient to rebut byrningman's point, which was facile plea for affirmative action in Nobel prizes.

DNFTT. Please.

DNFTT. Please.
My apologies.


"The Nobel does have one very real purpose, and that is that, by giving it to the right person once in a while--a Dalai Lama, a Lech Wałęsa, a Desmond Tutu, an Al Gore--you can really piss off some people who richly deserve to be pissed off."

The Dalai Lama -- didn't Obama just snub him? Guess being part of the Nobel Brotherhood doesn't transcend expediency.

So, how many extra troops is the Peace Prize Prez going to send to Afghanistan?


toady's troll sounds suspiciously like every other day's troll.

There you go again with this phony "troll" business. Some guy writes a post saying that Obama deserved the Nobel prize for being black. Is he a troll? All I did was point out that's not a good selection criterion. And the leftist start crying heresy, heresy.

The Dalai Lama -- didn't Obama just snub him?

This dishonest Chinese government talking point has been brought to you by the Republican Party. Because we know who our friends are.

I agree that McCain's statement was dignified, and stands in stark contrast to all those self-absorbed provincial loons who think that everything that happens in the world -- German elections, selection of Olympic host cities, Nobel prizes -- is somehow a function of their own particularly narrow and partisan understanding of domestic US politics.

"Erick Erickson: Obama is becoming Jimmy Carter faster than Jimmy Carter became Jimmy Carter."

Best summation I've heard so far.

My first reaction was that turning down a Nobel Peace Prize would be the height of ungraciousness.

But seeing how we are engaged in two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, with no real roadmap as how to procede in Afghanistan, it might look foolish for President Obama to accept a Nobel Peace Prize.

Helluva way to celebrate the just-passed
eight-year anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.

And in an interview to air on CNN on Sunday, McCain said, "I think part of their decision-making was expectations. And I'm sure the president understands that he now has even more to live up to.

The more I think about it, the cleverer the Nobel decision looks. It establishes a very compelling binary narrative for Obama's presidency: will he be the president who earns his Nobel Peace Prize, or the president who makes a mockery of it? It has the potential to be the succinct anecdote by which the world remembers his presidency; it's tempting to think that the Nobel Prize will always be in the back of his mind as he weighs up decisions about, for example, escalating the war in Afghanistan.

The world loves Obama, we knew that for sure.
His olive branch offers are fine overtures.
But doing the nasty,
They shouldn't go fastly.
The Peace Prize awarded him comes premature.

I must say it is amusing to see right wing speakers decrying how Obama hasn't earned this award while working to lobby against precisely those outcomes which he would need to achieve in order to more fully deserve it.

You mean like this jewel from Michael Steele:
"It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights."

Because you know how much praise the Repubtards give to these advocates. Yeesh. I'd be surprised his head didn't explode from the hypocrasy if I wasn't so (unfortunately) used to it by now.

Irrumator: "Obviously the creep in the alley urinating himself and mumbling gutteral nonsense does not deserve a Nobel prize."

I agree. Instead of a Nobel prize, it sounds like he'd be a natural for a slot on FOX, an intro to the Glen Beck show...a urinating guy mumbling nonsense would be a good lead-in to the Castrato-shrieking angst and crocodile tears the pudgy-meister spews day to day.

"Some guy writes a post saying that Obama deserved the Nobel prize for being black. Is he a troll? All I did was point out that's not a good selection criterion."

I agree with that too, race is not a good selection criterion; but I do think intention alone is sufficient for receiving the award. That's why I believe Bush-2 was short-changed by the Nobel Committee: his intention was clear when he ducked out of combat duty by joining the National Guard during Viet Nam: so he didn't have to drop bombs or strafe innocents in that country; and for the humanitarian restraint he showed at Guantanamo, only approving water-boarding, but not electric shocks to genitals or stretching prisoners from racks -- his humanitarian intention obvious: to prevent unnecessary stress to prisoner vocal chords, easily damaged by loud painful screams: water filled throats not as sensitive to rough-throat syndrome. Maybe they'll award him a Nobel retroactively -- and if so, we will all take pride in that as Americans, no matter our party affiliations.

"the Irrumator School of foreign policy, which is based on a very simple idea: everything in world affairs can be reduced to whether you are the Irrumator or the Fellator"

'Irrumator': I basically agree with that. It would be honor.

Yes, I know you do. It wasn't satire.

Well, here's another Johnny Canuck. This one just about totally 'lost it' in disbelief at low humour.
Giving the head of the greatest arms dealer and warmaker on the face of the planet a prize for 'peace' beggars belief. Others have added their voice to mine...so here it is
http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2009/10/anniversary-afghanistan-peace-prize.html

"then the Republicans would not be so angry at Obama."

Angry? Who's angry? This is too, too stupid for anger. It's nothing but a huge joke, and you'll never get it.

Do you have any candidates for people who have killed more people than Obama in the last 9 months?

As long as oral rapist is posting here, I'm out. JJ had me right at the line, but I'm gone now.

Shame. It was a good place.

I'm right at the line of following chmood out of here.

What makes me hesitate is that I can't tell if the Authors (to use the blog's own term) don't have time to keep after it, or they've decided to let the standards change. Some of this has been going on for weeks now, so I have to suspect it's the latter. Too bad.

Some advice on moderating: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/006036.html

"There can be no ongoing discourse without some degree of moderation, if only to kill off the hardcore trolls. It takes rather more moderation than that to create a complex, nuanced, civil discourse. If you want that to happen, you have to give of yourself. Providing the space but not tending the conversation is like expecting that your front yard will automatically turn itself into a garden."

Yup, the scum in the comment threads here is vile, and I can't come back here until vermin like oral-rapist get cleaned out of the system.

"This is just Europe's way of saying if you suck our dicks will give you a prize."

I've been struggling over how to parse this, but after ingesting several substances intended for topical use only, it's clear to me that there's supposed to be a comma after "suck". Although that does suggest a very strange award ceremony, as the organs in questions have neither hands nor arms nor grasping appendages of any kind. I can only assume they sort of . . . bounce it down the line. Which strikes me as not only sexist but also unhygienic.

(we can haz moderation, pls?)

I think Yglesias basically gets in right in saying that the Right has done those of us on the left something of a service by freaking out in a predictable and unpleasant way so that we don't really have to confront the dubious merits of the award.

Dan S. at 10:29PM
BINGO!

The United States spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined. The United States sells more weapons of war to 2nd and 3rd world countries than the rest of the world combined. The nuclear arsenal of this country is larger than that of the rest of the world combined. The United States is currently engaged in two armed conflicts, and influential members of opposition party in the US would like to at least double that number.

Some have criticized the Nobel Committee's award for trying to influence American policy, for trying to "Europeanize" this cowboy culture. I'd say it's about time.

Before he accepts the Nobel Peace Surprise, I'd like to see President Obama put an end to rendition, which, to my mind, means this country continues to sanction torture.

What makes me hesitate is that I can't tell if the Authors (to use the blog's own term) don't have time to keep after it, or they've decided to let the standards change. Some of this has been going on for weeks now, so I have to suspect it's the latter. Too bad.

It's been going a lot longer than "a few weeks." That CWC a**hole has been here for months. I can only conclude that the Authors tolerate it because they find it amusing on some level. Nevertheless, this is still a good blog with a lot of high quality comments.

Jacob Davies,

That's an excellent link. I think this needs quoting in full:

10. Another important rule: You can let one jeering, unpleasant jerk hang around for a while, but the minute you get two or more of them egging each other on, they both have to go, and all their recent messages with them. There are others like them prowling the net, looking for just that kind of situation. More of them will turn up, and they’ll encourage each other to behave more and more outrageously. Kill them quickly and have no regrets.

That pretty much describes the dynamic between Jay Jerome and Jesurgislac. This place is becoming troll bait and more are on their way.

I don't see what I did to get chmood's panties in a bunch. Chmood, what have I done to you? All I did was present a center-right point of view.

I don't go to left wing hate sites like DailyKos. If the owners of this blog want to make Obsidian Wings a hate site that's their prerogative. But they advertise it as "the voice of moderation," and, rhetorically at least, advertise it as a place where different viewpoints are welcome. But as soon as I deviate from the party line, the insults come flying.

Jay Jerome is right. W deserves the Nobel more than Obama. They're both involved in the same number of wars. At least W. tried to promote democracy and human rights. In a sane world, overthrowing Saddam would win you the Nobel Peace Prize. But instead Obama gets it. For what? Byrningman thinks he deserved it for being black. Others think he deserved it for "good intentions." But no one has explained why he deserved in terms of actual accomplishments.

That pretty much describes the dynamic between Jay Jerome and Jesurgislac.

Given that my response to Jay Jerome has consistently been to refuse to respond to his comments and to publicly identify him as a troll in the hope that others will also refuse to respond, I don't see how you can describe that as a "dynamic between" us: a dynamic requires give and take.

The Nobel Prize Committee set a new standard for groups like the Motion Picture Academy, in that an Oscar no longer requires the winner to give a great performance, but intend to give one. The Nobel Prize was once given to people who do something great; while today just saying one wants to do something great is enough to win. The Nobel Prize Committee is trying to shape future reality by recognizing intent to do something they admire, such as equalizing America with the third world. The Oscars could be awarded to actors who never perform, but tell others they would like to. Obama, then, should also be given an Oscar too. Check THE CHANGING FACE OF DEMOCRATS on Amazon as well as www.claysamerica.com for more.

I used to go to Balloon Juice for the very funny, pun-laden, knock down drag out fights - and here for the serious conversation, only occasionally interrupted by trolls. In both spots, unfortunately, there were troll regulars who could and did threadjack.

Now, BJ has gotten more assertive in banning trolls, and its commentariat better at ignoring them. ObWi, paradoxically, has gotten worse at both: threads here are either routinely threadjacked by outright trolls, or devolve into feces-flinging fights by troll manque regulars.

It's a pity. I still come to ObWi for the quality of the host-posters, which remains very high, but the commentary's getting so bad I routinely skim past most of it.

FWIW, i agree with previous comments about the troll situation.

luckily for me, there are ways of dealing with those people.

Trolls are the cancer that's killing ObiWi.

this is,of course, good news for [email protected]

The Nobel Prize Committee set a new standard for groups like the Motion Picture Academy, in that an Oscar no longer requires the winner to give a great performance, but intend to give one. The Nobel Prize was once given to people who do something great; while today just saying one wants to do something great is enough to win. The Nobel Prize Committee is trying to shape future reality by recognizing intent to do something they admire, such as equalizing America with the third world. The Oscars could be awarded to actors who never perform, but tell others they would like to. Obama, then, should also be given an Oscar too. Check THE CHANGING FACE OF DEMOCRATS on Amazon as well as www.claysamerica.com for more.

Exactly, Clay. I'm thinking about remaking Citizen Kane so just give me the Oscar now.

"I used to go to Balloon Juice for the very funny, pun-laden, knock down drag out fights - and here for the serious conversation, only occasionally interrupted by trolls. In both spots, unfortunately, there were troll regulars who could and did threadjack."

Ditto that. I used to think of the difference in tone between BJ and ObWings as being like the food fight in the school cafeteria vs. the debate club in the library. But since hilzoy departed this place has turned into the food fight in the library.

"this is,of course, good news for McCain"

Actually it is good [non-snarky] news for McCain, for a change. IMHO his statement was by far the classiest of any commentary on the award by any major public figure in the US other than Obama himself. Both of them reacted by framing the award as an affirmation of work still to be done, a ratcheting upwards of expectations regarding that work, and at the same time a point of pride for the US as a whole. You really couldn't ask anything more from a leading figure of the domestic political opposition to the President than that, and McCain's comments were leaps and bounds better than anything I can remember coming from leading figures in the GOP when Gore was awarded his prize.

FOOD FIGHT!!!

McCain is a sellout. He gives "classy" speeches to suck up to the MSM. His only qualification is getting shut down and having bamboo stuck under his finger nails. Here's to J.D. Hayworth kicking the crap out of him in the primary.

McCain is a sellout. He gives "classy" speeches to suck up to the MSM. His only qualification is getting shut down and having bamboo stuck under his finger nails. Here's to J.D. Hayworth kicking the crap out of him in the primary.

Jacob posts: "There can be no ongoing discourse without some degree of moderation, if only to kill off the hardcore trolls. It takes rather more moderation than that to create a complex, nuanced, civil discourse. If you want that to happen, you have to give of yourself. Providing the space but not tending the conversation is like expecting that your front yard will automatically turn itself into a garden."


The question is when does 'moderation' turn into censorship? Not only of ideas, but of attitude and expression?

Internet political discussion is not a garden to be tended, nuanced or otherwise. That wasn't the intention of those of us who developed it - back before blogs existed, in the Usenet days, and on various newsgroup bulletin boards. Although technical forums (like computer programming, or archeology, etc) limited discussion to keep members on point, the political and atheist and other open forums were pugnaciously contentious, ideologically and conversationally, and moderators seldom censored any of the discussions, or banned members because of the tone of their language or the abrasiveness of the comments.

The view that it takes moderation "to create a complex, nuanced, civil discourse" in as diverse a cultural matrix as we live in now, both here in the US and elsewhere, is cultural bias as rationalization for censorship. It's the same kind of euphemistic rationalizations made at restrictive 'gentile' country clubs in the near past, to keep out 'those people who do not think like us, talk like us, pray like us, dress like us, and vote like us.'

If you limit the tone and language of political or religious or other controversial topics you generally end up with a lot of the same kind of people regurgitating the same mind-set of opinions. And anyone who doesn't fit the blog profile is labeled a 'troll' -- a term that's been perverted from its original web meaning, to a catch-all to silence dissenting opinion.

-I think Obama's a talker, not a doer. I'm a troll.
-I think he's a hypocrite for denouncing passage of the Military Commissions Act when he was a Senator, and signing an almost identical extension of the same Act as President. I'm a troll.
-I think the Baucus hearings showed the health care bill if passed will be financed by the slow-bleeding of services to seniors, causing more of them to die earlier than those from lack of coverage die now. I'm a troll.
-I think fat ass Alan Grayson is as much a scum-bag for saying Republicans want the uninsured to die quickly as fat ass Sarah Palin is for blasting Obama death squads. Therefore I'm a troll, both here, and on the conservative blog I posted virtually the same accusation. And vile scum for using the words 'fat ass.'

And this post should be expunged. And I should be banned for my views, forever and ever. So you can stick with your own kind, and walk alike, and talk alike. Like this Troll Link musically describes.

"Jay Jerome is right. W deserves the Nobel more than Obama."

You know I was being facetious about Bush-2 deserving a Nobel,right?

But he probably does deserve the Bankrupting America award. And the President Who Started The Stupidest War award.

I could go on, but he wouldn't have enough room on his mantle to stack them all.

And anyone who doesn't fit the blog profile is labeled a 'troll' -- a term that's been perverted from its original web meaning, to a catch-all to silence dissenting opinion.

Yes. Exactly. Jay Jerome is right. Without singling anyone out, this explains why the inflammatory left-wing commenters aren't labelled "trolls."

Don't click the XWC link. Sigh.

Oh, who ever would?

Except newcomers, I mean. I assume matttbastard did, from his level of digust.

Nope. I didn't. Am not a noob, Slart (if that is your real name... ;) )

Trolls can be a benefit,…I think it’s opposite: a thread that becomes a circle jerk…. isn’t all that pretty, either.

Longtime lurker here...

Why is the choice all of a sudden one between dicks in mouths with Cinaedus Irrumator and someotherdude's specter of dicks in hands?

Whatever happened to zipping your trousers up and letting the brain have the blood supply? There's a middle ground between letting every slavering troll have free rein in the conversation to prove your tolerance and squelching every dissenting opinion.

Sure, applying that kind of community standard requires judgment and intelligence, but this is a group that values those traits. I've certainly seen them plenty of times among the long-time regulars.

"But he probably does deserve the Bankrupting America award."

I'd have said he did, if it had been awarded last year, but now? You'd be cheating Obama of an award he actually IS making an effort to earn.

So am I right in saying the reason the comments are no longer readable is because the only current poster who ever pays any attention to them is on his honeymoon?

Can someone please give Slart access again?

"Why is the choice all of a sudden one between dicks in mouths with Cinaedus Irrumator and someotherdude's specter of dicks in hands?"

Now that's funny.

"Why is the choice..."

It's the difference between 2nd base and 3rd base. But some people don't have enough sense to see the difference...

Agreed. The standards here have slipped badly if this thread is typical. Sad.

Does this thread constitute oral sex?

Some of these trolls really need a day job, although they are probably unemployable. Unfortunately, the site's authors DO have day jobs.

A couple of brief comments.

A troll is someone whose intent in posting is to be disruptive. You can actually have valid things to say and still be a troll. All you need to do is be consistently and intentionally disruptive.

There are thousands of blogs around. ObWi has been somewhat unique in that it's actually a pretty functional community. That's actually pretty rare, in any context.

Irrumator, I'd appreciate it if you'd go somewhere else, because all you're doing here is f**king it up for everyone else. I rather suspect that's what you enjoy about being here, but I just thought I'd make the request anyway. If you can't be a mensch and get lost like a good irrumator, hopefully somebody will kick your sorry @ss out pronto.

Jay, you actually have intelligent points to make, but you seem incapable of presenting them without being an insufferable smartass, and you can't accept criticism of any kind without copping an attitude of put-upon victimhood.

People don't accuse you of being a troll because of your opinions. There are people here with opinions far, far further from the mainstream than yours. People accuse you of being a troll because you quite often appear to have no goal other than to stir up the sh*t.

You know, kinda like a troll.

In any case, if someone with the means to do so doesn't step up and knock some heads pretty damned soon, this place is going down the tubes.

It's taken years of effort in good faith on the part of a lot of people to make this place what it is. It would be a god damned freaking shame to piss it away, but it wouldn't be the first time thing like that has happened. It happens every day.

You don't miss the water until the well runs dry, y'all.

You can almost always remove the word actually from a sentence with affecting the meaning.

I say this as a frequent offender.

As for the trolls, there's no one paying attention here so the site is going to hell. If we want a site like this used to be, we'll have to create it.

I'm game and I know who my votes for front page posters would be.

Sorry Lindsay, I disagree with you.

This time, in the right space, I repeat that Barry Obama got the so called Nobel peace prize for nothing better tham mere words and "effects." And nominated only ELEVEN days after taking office? The absurdiy is OBVIOUS. At least President Theodore Roosevelt had brokered a peace treaty betweem a warring Russia and Japan.

I have nothing but contempt for the Nobel peace prize. Not when scoundrels and charlatans like Le Duc Tho, Arafat, and Al Gore can get it. If that narcissistic fraud, Obama, had had any sense, he would have turned it down.

Sincerely,

You can almost always remove the word actually from a sentence with affecting the meaning.

Thanks for the tip.

Re: the difference between someone participating in a discussion and someone merely being offensive for offensiveness's sake--well, look at Sean's comment.

1. His basic point is defensible and his initial expression of disagreement with Lindasy is polite.

2.But then he goes downhill into a knee-jerk rightwing meme (narcissistic), calls Obama an fraud and calls Al Gore a charlatan.

Is that being a troll? It certainly is over the top language combined with an autopilot rightwingism of the day: not the sort of message that is likely to provoke a thoughtful, indepth civil response. And all that rudeness was unnecessary since his point was made in his first paragraph.

I don't know if that sort of comment should provoke a ban but I do think some disemvowelling is in order, not just for Sean's specific commnet, for any number of comments and commenters until the rhetoric gets a better tone.

A couple of mine probably should get disemvowelled, too.

Wonkie,

If you think I'm angry and disgusted with Obama, you are correct. But I deny I was "over the top." I said NOTHING obscene or vulgar. I'll take correction from the blog owners, but not from you.

Btw, plenty of others, left and right, think it was narcissistic of Obama to accept the Nobel prize. I stand by my comment.

Sincerely,

"Narcissistic fraud" = "uppity N***er."

Well I think that your language was over the top as well as unnecessary and an impediment to communicating your point. You are quite right that correction--in the form of disemvowelment or banning -- is a matter for the Overlords of the site, but criticism of each other's comments is what people do on comment threads. So if you aren't prepared for that...well consider refraining from saying the sorts of things which are calculated to provoke criticism! After all if you had stayed away from words like fraud, narcissitic, charlatan etc, there would have been no criticism of your comment from me and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

And no, the narcissism meme came from rightwing blogs prior to the prize announcement and jumped to the MSM via Ambinder. I can't remember who started it but I do remember when it started. It might have been Sullivan who started it. It was only a week or so ago and immediately there was discussion on the leftie blogs I read about how long it would take before it got to the Villagers. As for the word being used on the left to describe Obama's acceptence of the prize, well, please list some examples.

Actually I did a quick google on the narcisism meme. It appears to have originated in May with a guy who claims to have a Phd. but dones't say from where and has written several books on narcissism (ironically self published). He wrote what he presents as a scholarly analysis of Obama's personality resulting the diagnosis of narcissitic personality disorder. The bulk of the google search results are rightwing blog references to the article. Apparaently there has also been one of those email campaigns pushing the article as well. I was mistaken about Sullivan. he only criticized something George Will wrote which was, as Will tends to be, prickish and congested, full of hints veiled behind sophistries. Anyhoo the meme was being flogged from the right before the prize was given.

russell: "People accuse you of being a troll because you quite often appear to have no goal other than to stir up the sh*t."

My goal is to challenge ideas and assumptions that don't ring true. And if I 'stir up the sh*t' as you put it, it's because 'vanila' postings are ignored. Example: I've commented three or four times the past week that the health care bills coming out of congress will be detrimental to seniors, and strip them of care, and I provided samples of the language in the Baucus bill as proof, and nobody responded, pro or con to that assertion. The health care of the entire elderly population is in jeopardy, and not one twitch of outrage or denial. But if I refer to Obama with the same snideness that Hilzoy regularly applied to Bush-2, anyone a micrometer to the left of center begins finger wagging and shouting troll warnings with the same fervor as McCarthyites redbaiting commies in the halls of congress.

But, the hell with it. The World Series is a-coming. Pro Basketball season starts soon. And there's a new season of Dexter to view -- So I'll leave you to your hand-wringing, and concentrate on more pleasant pursuits for a while.

The US secure middle class and up practices a politics of serene aesthetics. Their/our Whitmanesque individualism and self-destiny is entirely at odds with state-imposed, state-liscenced, externality-absorbing and -generating, patented-protected, financially-coordintated wall-of-entry beaurocracies for every sort of purchase and sale. So there is this stark conflict b/t image and reality.

This may not be the experience of the reader, but if the reader is curious and therefore learned, it would know that this is the experience of the adverage American. Of all sexes, we are (those $unded with enough Dou$h) making choices in a market place that is unified by system of government, law, culture, history. , we are quite aware of the paradoxical sense in which choices are over-determined, focused and narrowed, self-reinforcing, culturally proscibed, etc...

So a politics of aesthetic rugged indivualism is a large though temporally- shallow communal purchase. The purchase is a thought-mold. What is spent is everything from militarism to junk mail. What is gained is a belief that "you" (a quickly processed datum in the marketplace of buyers and sellers) are currently "choosing your own doctor".

We are already culturally-determined borgs. We are also miraculous. Nothing keeps our insect-lke devotion to our sensory habits from also obviating the possibility of creative language and ideation. Just as weather is dynamic yet climate predictable, we have dual social natures. And these are unresolved, and contested. Randomly b/t family, organized b/t politics,...


Whoa...chardonay and red tail, night yall.

A secure upper/middle class US citizen can purchase these fantasies of self and believe them to be objective realities, when they are merely semi-personal experiences.

You know, I deleted a section of that comment I posted. I reproduce it here:

What I would love to see would be the account of how the kitty appeared to russell in a dream and proclaimed,

Rejoice, O favored one! The Voice of Moderation is with you. Reasonable are you among commenters!

In short, I think that there are people already on this board who could solve this, if the kitty were minded to make it possible. You'd need some kind of community consensus of what constituted fair play, but there are certainly fair players here.

JJ: My goal is to challenge ideas and assumptions that don't ring true. And if I 'stir up the sh*t' as you put it, it's because 'vanila' postings are ignored.

From an outsider's perspective, I see that the ObWi comment threads are an arms race for attention. Your comment is symptomatic of that.

I just wanted to add to the chorus in saying that I'm deeply saddened by what is happening to Obsidian Wings. This place used to be truly special, and it's being overrun by trolls, and the lack of goodwill from the trolls is seeping through and infiltrating the whole debate, so that people who I think have sincere dissenting points to make and an interest in engaging with and potentially convincing people not ideologically aligned with them instead wind up alleging ill faith and tossing off insults, insinuations, and ad hominems - because that is what this place is becoming.

I don't comment here as much as I once did (back, basically, before Hilzoy left), but there was a time when I was one of a number of people who basically defined their blogging identities by their being regular commenters at ObWi. Being a part of this community was a point of pride. I think that day is disappearing into memory, and if the trend is not altered the loss will be a sad one.

P.S. This is mostly a criticism of the toleration (or lack of a rapid removal) of the variously named versions of the entity calling itself "Christian Weston Chandler", whom I cannot describe in polite company, and of the vulgarisms of "Irrumator" - but just to balance things out a bit and criticize a commenter on the left, I've long felt, and occasionally compained in the comments, that Jesurgislac - many of whose viewpoints I share, if little of her vehemence - is also guilty of habitually failing to credit her interlocutors with possessing sincerity or goodwill, an attitude that prevents any further constructive conversation.

Wonkie, I disagree that Sean M. Brooks comment is a troll or that Sean himself is a troll.

This is all highly subjective, I admit, but on the scales of trolldom, Russell's outlined well why Jay Jerome is a troll, though Irrumator is a worse troll and the plague of anonymice who post taking other people's names are worse still. We need a couple of active moderators to block trolls.

Several people have said that what constitutes acceptable rhetoric here has been going downhill, and Sean M. Brooks comments (and indeed some of mine) may cross that line - and for that the kitten needs claws: there used to be a practice of 24-hour blocking when a commenter said something one of the mods found unacceptable, and that was a good rule (even if it was used against me, ah, once or twice). I self-blocked myself a couple of times when I was aware I was getting too immoderate.

I posted a longish comment that seems to have been eaten, but to reiterate I am also deeply saddened by what has been happening to the tone of the comments here. ObWi used to be a terrific commenting community, one whose tone its regular commenters took pride in. Its loss would be a true shame.

Or, in other words, What Russell Said.

P.S. As someone who has sometimes criticized and frequently been upset by the tone of Jes's comments, I appreciate the tone of her 6:18AM - though I don't think that Jay Jerome is consistently a troll, any more than Jes is consistently a troll.

I don't think Sean is a troll either, which is why I asked the question. It was a genuine question, not an answer in questioo form.

I think that this site needs a period of more frequent and serious and substantive posts. The initial posts to some extent set the tone of the comments. More frequent posts would help keepthe coment threads from degenertinng into argument for argument's sake. And, yes, it would help if one of the managers was involved in the conversation.

but that requires an awful lot of time input from busy people who have otgher things going on so I undertand why it isn't happening.

THe closest simile I can construct for awarding "thePrez" the Peace Prize, for the reasons stated, is that is is like awarding the Best Picture Oscar on the basis of a 'treatment' and a 'pitch.'

Hi, Jesurgislac:

Thanks for saying I'm not a "troll." Apparetnly, the use of "narcissism" has touched off a firestorm of sorts. Which frankly surprises me. After all, my belief is that the dictionary definition of that word does fit Obama's pattern of behavior. Which is why I believe it to be neither "over the top" or obscene/vulgar.

I seldom comment here. Esp. now that Hilzoy has left. After all, I once had a very slight personal acquaintance with her. Which was partly why I sometimes drop by here.

Sincerely,

You know, if I was on the Nobel committee, I'd argue for giving the prize to someone like Nhat Hanh, or Gregg Mortenson. Maybe Miriam Simos. Maybe some deserving Quaker or Catholic Peace Movement worker.

There's a woman in my town whose husband was killed on 9/11. He was on his way to a conference, and he was killed. Incinerated, torn to shreds, crushed in the impact of the crash, who knows. Who knows if they ever found a scrap of his remains, or if his ashes just settled down on a roof somewhere in Manhattan, or washed down the Hudson and out to sea.

Gone. Gone forever, torn from his own life and from hers. She responded by donating his medical library to a hospital in Kabul.

I'd give it to her in a heartbeat.

War's easy. Disgustingly so. Not so, peace. Peace is f**ing hard.

But I'm not on the Nobel committee.

It occurs to me that perhaps, by giving the award to Obama, the Nobel Committee sought to set him a high bar. Perhaps they sought to place a moral burden on him to live up to his own rhetoric.

Those Norwegians are sly bastards.

In any case, some truly wonderful and deserving people have won the award, and some astoundingly undeserving SOBs have won it. Time will tell which camp Obama belongs in, and the outcome is not completely up to him.

The man's wading in deep water. We should all wish him luck.

russell ... Miriam Simos? Aren't you afraid of making some people's heads explode? ;)

It would be a great choice. Sad to say, it's hard to imagine living in a world where that was even a remote possibility.

Aren't you afraid of making some people's heads explode? ;)

That would be the fun part.

IMVHO, and FWIW, Simos is the real deal. I have huge respect for her and for her work.

To get back to the original topic of the conversation I'd like to say something in support of Obama getting the peace prize. The morning of the award I was listening to NPR as I drove to work and they were asking people around the world their reaction. A Suni politian in Iraq came up with words that well summarized my thoughts. Forgive me for not having the exact quote, but I'm doing this from memory. He said, Of course Obama deserves it, he got the most powerful country in the world out of the business of exporting evil.

Sean, the reason that narcissism may have kicked up a fuss is not only that everyone is on edge from dealing with faux posters imitating people's nicks, but that the term has the ring of a diagnosis, which can imply that Obama is suffering from some condition.

Any number of people have suggested that you'd have to be crazy to want to be president, and every election cycle, this seems to be borne out. But when one gives a diagnosis like this, you are actually crossing a subtle line. Did Obama lobby to get the Nobel? Did he make a mention of thinking that he had a shot? I don't know how the nomination list is created, and I don't know who knows it, but I find it hard to believe that Obama knew this was coming. So you are calling Obama narcissistic because of something that happened that is completely external to him.

This is a small thing, but given the way race continues to play out in the US, there is (and I am not accusing you of this, just pointing it out) a pretty straight line from narcissistic to 'uppity', and when it is based on things entirely outside of the person's control, it might be easy to see why some people react to it without actually identifying why they get so upset. It may not be coincidental that the NRCC said that Pelosi should be 'put in her place' by McChrystal. While it seems that some are reacting to the term you used, the reason that the reaction is so strong is that the term has some hidden roots and it is those roots that people are reacting to.

I think the Nobel Prize is an honor for the President, he was very gracious about accepting it.

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