Trying to understand the species (of behavior)

LGF referenced an interesting essay observing the behavior of the Bush protestors on his latest visit to Canada. Whether or not you think Warren’s observations are accurate, he does define situations that deserve consideration.

There you have our post-modernity in a nutshell: an unthinking elision of the moral into the psychological, creating a “nuance” where no nuance exists.

[they] can’t explain why without using parrot-like slogans, and referring knowingly to non-existent “facts”. Who, moreover, would not even dream of formulating a coherent alternative …

their conclusions having long preceded their premises.

What we see on the streets of Ottawa, instead, is an almost pure fanaticism — that radical spirit of alienation that ultimately motivates the Jihadis, too. This nihilism is the splinter in the heart of our modernity; it rejects everything; it proposes, finally, nothing in its place. It is the devil himself speaking out of his void, leading finally to the silence of Iago.

[David Warren. The Demons. 1 December 2004]

and what happens when these people are in the media and begin to be held accountable in public?

Now add to Tim Rutten’s condescension towards his audience, Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman’s irrational, spittle-filled fury towards the Powerline bloggers who own him the way the Red Sox owned the Astros this year. Coleman’s become a whipping boy for the Northern Alliance of Bloggers, and it is clear that in his rage at being continually embarrassed he has lost control, and that editors don’t exist at the Strib. This is certain to be a repeating drama as old media untouchables discover the brave new world of new media accountability. Coleman’s just the first to lose control –and dignity– but watch for others as the pressure of instant accountability wears on folks unused to scrutiny and ridicule. As Jim Geraghty writes at KerrySpot this morning, the Coleman piece is the equivalent of the Mike Tyson ear biting. The analogy will last for a day or so, or until the next old media meltdown occurs. [Hugh Hewitt. 29 December 2004]

Times are changing and ideas and expression is being called to account. It may cause discomfort for some but it is an encouraging trend towards better public decision making.

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