Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Strange noise on the Left

A blogger named Suzi Gablik gets frosted by anti-war criticism of President Obama and writes a post called "Why I'm Not a Liberal Anymore":
All I know is that I can hardly stand reading the Huffington Post these days. The stuff coming out of "progressive" mouths is all too often on a par with Glenn Beck's abusive rants . . .
I think the straw that broke this camel's back was an horrendously ugly and smearing essay Christian Parenti wrote last week, which was published on the Huffington Post after Obama's Afghanistan speech. . . .
The essay in question was standard issue anti-war leftist discourse, no different from anything any peacenik has said about U.S. foreign policy since Vietnam. Because its target is a Democratic president, however, Gablik decides to excommunicate herself from liberalism.

While not so naive as to believe in Peace Through Pacifism, I nevertheless admire the peacenik consistency of those on the Left who, like Parenti, don't allow themselves to be bamboozled by appeals to partisan unity or stunned into silence by the haloed awesomeness of Obama.

Is there anything in Gablik to be admired? Not really. She slams Beck for "abusive rants," yet what did she write last October?
Palin's cultivated malice almost makes the KKK look untutored.
So much for consistency. And who exactly is Gablik? An art critic with a penchant for grandiose abstraction:

A new paradigm of an engaged, participatory and socially relevant art is emerging . . .
Within the modernist paradigm under which I grew up, art has been typically understood as a collection of prestigious objects, existing in museums and galleries, disconnected from ordinary life and action. . . .
Many of the beliefs about art that our culture subscribes to, that the problems of art are purely aesthetic and that art will never change the world, are beliefs that have diminished the capacity of artists for constructive thought and action. . . .
As many artists shift their work arena from the studio to the more public contexts of political, social, and environmental life, we are all being called, in our understanding of what art is, to move beyond the mode of disinterested contemplation to something that is more participatory and engaged. . . .
Verbose nothingness, the familiar incantation of buzzwords -- "paradigm," "socially relevant," "participatory" -- that function primarily as signifiers of membership in the intellectual ranks. And now, because some liberal critics have turned their guns on Obama, she decides that HuffPo is coterminous with liberalism, and therefore she is not liberal.

Remember this next time somebody tells you conservatives are anti-intellectual morons.


  1. Didn't see a picture of Gablik on her blog, but for some reason I'm reminded of Limbaugh's quote about unattractive women and access to the mainstream of society.

  2. Conservatives ARE anti-intellectual morons. Just listen to the troglodytes standing on line to get their books signed by Palin. These idiots, the ones who consider themselves true Cons and pretty much embody the joke that is the Tea Party movement make Gablik look like a friggin genius.
    Sure you can find a blogger from the left here and there who show themselves to lack any intellectual pedigree. Contrast that to the Righty blogosphere where said pedigree is conspicuously absent and replaced with paranoia, conspiracy theories and unadulterated haterism.
    Way to go guys!

  3. Verbose nothingness - DEAD ON!!

    I started reading her diatribe and my brain went all fuzzy. It's the typical Liberal...

    Verbose nothingness!

    Great article! Today you made me glad that I come to the blog as much as I do.

  4. The left just thinks they are intellectuals. Just visit Huffington and you will read articles byh such intellectuals as Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin and Al Franken. On a good day you may be treated to a Joy Behar rant.

  5. Well, I am an anti-intellectual, certainly. I have little use for those that arrogantly presume an education (or an assumed higher level of thinking) confers wisdom. Too often they seem utterly foolish in their inability to properly perceive the world around them. They are easily identified by their characteristic dismissal of those they simply do not agree with. By and large, it is a mark of their inabiltiy to articulate their own side that leads them to be so banal and dismissive. They are a tiresome lot to be sure.

    Anyways, what was that you were saying, Young 4-eyes?

  6. If that twaddle constitutes "intellectualism" then I hereby renounce my Phi Beta Kappa key and deny both my BA (Magna Cum Laude) and BS (Summa Cum Laude) degrees. Conservatives are called anti-intellectual for the crime of observing "the Emperor's buck-nekkid - and has knobby knees."

    As for those in line for Palin's autograph, they are wisdom personified when compared to the typical array of Liberals at any anti-war, anti-capitalism, anti-America rally. It is a well-worn adage that "he who shares my opinion is brilliant" but that still applies to the leftist narcissism readable on most bumper-stickers.

  7. "Palin's cultivated malice almost makes the KKK look untutored."

    As opposed to all those suave, urbane Klansmen we've all met...

  8. Get off it, RES. Double degrees, Phi Beta Kappa and graduating with honors in both disciplines means little. Palin supporter? Or at least defender of her book signer enthusiasts - that's prima facie evidence of a deranged mental state. 'WE need look no further' is the comforting refrain echoing down the vacant halls in the mind of the intellectual.

    As for me, I prefer hillbilly.

  9. @Y4E,
    Contrast that to the Righty blogosphere where said pedigree is conspicuously absent and replaced with paranoia, conspiracy theories and unadulterated haterism.

    It's OK, Y4E. We love you, in spite of our college degrees. Stay beautiful, kid.

  10. Y4E.. Where you actually in line for the book?

    There might be hope for you yet.

  11. Notice the Lefty troll above filled the usual checkboxes:

    'I'm smarter than you!' CHECK
    'You don't have the correct pedigree!' CHECK
    'Conservatives hate everyone!' CHECK
    'Tea Party people are dumb!' CHECK
    and the obligatory

  12. "An art critic with a penchant for grandiose abstraction"

    Her "work" reminds us of One-N Connor's 'crucible of public discourse'. Then again, one man's crucible is another's smokin' crater... which is where one will find the oh so refined Left these days.

    By the wayyy... "unadulterated haterism"?! Please... Smitty, that's your sockie pretending to be an idiot, yes? THAT took a college degree? Which freakin' college - Occidental?

  13. "Palin's cultivated malice almost makes the KKK look untutored."

    As opposed to those suave, urbane, cultured Klansmen we all meet every day...

  14. well really some bright spark just needs to update the Postmodernism Generator to reflect the current touchy-feeliness of it all. As for Gablik's actual art, there seems to still be an example of it on the web. Though not sure that it's the same person, the correlation between the art and the prose is stronger than any correlation one found by CRU, so it's probably a match good enough for grant purposes. As for the author herself, think "aging hippie earth mother academic", e.g here.

  15. Sockie?!?
    Please. Smitty and me are bitter enemies, which makes me wonder why he keeps hitting on me.
    Nevertheless, I will stay beautiful...

    But my point is proven when commentators accuse me of educated elitism. Leave it to Cons to get so touchy about intellect, or lack thereof.All I have to do is drop words like "pedigree" and the dogs on the Right begin chasing their tails.

    As to questions of paranoia and conspiracy theories, I recall that poll that says 70% of Republicans believeObama stole the election with the help of Acorn--wait! there's that other dog-whistle!
    Clearly it boggles the mind how youze can attack a Lefty blogger when your house is not only in disrepair but also completely nuts.
    And this is the crowd that Palin caters to!!
    Of course, she believes people have the right to BELIEVE what they want about the POTUS, as if we didn't already know that.
    I believe Obama was sent here on a mission from space to suck the life-force out of Conservatives.
    BTW, true story: buddy of mine goes to Arizona to visit his future inlaws. Over dinner, his future family tells him that they believe the H1N1 vaccine is a plot by Obama to control people with drugs...I know. I feel bad for my friend too.
    We don't need no education....

  16. There are crazies in every crew, like the preacher that told his congregation, that AIDS and Crack were a government plot, that 9/11 was 'the chicken coming home to roost' If one was a member of that congregation.

  17. If you replace Suzi Gablik with Douglas Rushkoff you would have another posting with minimal of work.


    (and swap out some key quotes too)

  18. Education? Art? Pedigree? Humbug. A man only needs a few things in life: a front porch, a rocking chair, a shotgun, a banjo, lots of beer, and a whole lotta attitude.

  19. The people seizing the banner of intellectual elitism are mediocre minds at best, desperate to make themselves stand out from the common herd and succeeding only in marking themselves as parochial rubes.

  20. Y4E, you are of course a jejune member of the neo-bourgeoise who, like your ancestoral fore-bearers, despise the common working man who's efforts you abuse and exploit. To call those who are striving to better themselves, who will not accept the swill sold to them by their leftists "betters," ignorant is at best pathetic. Come back to us when you have lived a bit child and we will talk rationally to you.

  21. Craig Crawford, Imus’s guest this morning on Imus In The Morning. Just In Time For Christmas “Listen Up Mr President” Craig Crawford FBN Video I tell my Democrat Friends not to underestimate Sarah Palin. Craig Crawford weighs in on Third Party Run For Sarah Palin.


  22. Y4F - is it your position that people DON'T "have the right to BELIEVE what they want"?

    As you sussed, the CV citing was merely demonstration I went to the academic buffet, ate their lunch but didn't swallow everything they tried to feed me. As G.K. Chesterton advised:

    "Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously."

    I often considered G. W. Bush's "C" average testimony to his wisdom and judgment about the true value of an education. It bespeaks a man with a proper sense of proportion and appreciation of bovine excrement.

  23. Haha!
    Neo-bourgeoise! Yes, I despise common men, like my mechanic dad and secretary mom.That's what it is.
    Oh right, it's people like me exploiting and abusing folks like you...It's too much!
    In any case, every response on this post just proves my point. Take our Palin worshipper Narciso:

    "There are crazies in every crew, like the preacher that told his congregation, that AIDS and Crack were a government plot, that 9/11 was 'the chicken coming home to roost' If one was a member of that congregation. "

    Hey bud, you forgot to mention the pastor who prays for the protection of his church member against " every form of witchcraft", the same pastor who complained about "Israelites" holding too many prominent positions in business. That would be the same congregation with ties to Jews for Jesus, the organization that seeks to convert Jews to Christianity.
    Well now, I wonder who is a member of this Wasilla Assembly of God I speak of? Any guesses?

    Did you hear the joke bout the Republican lawmaker who is just flabbergasted at the idea if this years White House Christmas party, because they are shappd like acorns!!!
    "I didn't expect to see such stark symbolism," King said in an e-mail.
    Hahaha!!! Gotta admit, it's much better that serving cookies shaped like the middle finger...
    Send in the clowns!!!

  24. Oh RES, and you were doing so well! Until you dropped this doozy:

    "I often considered G. W. Bush's "C" average testimony to his wisdom and judgment about the true value of an education. It bespeaks a man with a proper sense of proportion and appreciation of bovine excrement."

    Out of curiosity, I wonder how many commentators will ditto that remark?

    Do people have the right to believe what they want? Of course.Do nutbags have the right to have their wacko beliefs
    validated or respected? Of course not!
    Palin, out of self-preservation and for personal benefit, decided to give us an obvious remark to a specific question. She's a politician. But she's a politician who's banking on the ignorance of her constituentsfor personal gain.
    Contrast her answer to this hypothetical: If Obama were asked if he thought that Trig was really her son, and he said that people have " the right to believe what they want to believe", fools like Narciso would blow a gasket.
    I suspect most people commenting on this post would soil their diapers as well.

  25. Y4E said:
    "Oh RES, and you were doing so well!"

    Funny, I don't recall having arrogance enough to presume such judgment of another. I wonder that any think it important for GWB to have exerted himself to get more than passing grades? With no intent of higher academic pursuit, nor lack of desirable prospects, all he needed was the Yale degree; his GPA would be irrelevant. Focus on irrelevancies is evidence of poor priorities. At least he wasn't some thin-lipped swot. Come to think of it, his GPA was better than Mr. Gore's.

    As I understand the gist of your argument, while you grant that people have the right to believe what they wish you assert an obligation upon Palin to instruct them? Palin clearly considers Birthers Obama's problem to address, not unreasonably as she has sufficient fish to fry for her own family.