Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ditto that

She Who Will Be Obeyed has just kicked Michelle Malkin off of her blogroll, and for pretty much exactly the same reason Michelle is gone from mine, so far as I can tell.

It's just not pretty when a formerly nice person goes all vicious. A sad thing to see. And the trouble is that Michelle doesn't have an Ann Coulter / Molly Ivins wit or cleverness of phrase...just graceless invective.

I hope she finds her way out of it someday.

Oh, and by the way, as for Michelle's readers: death threats are unspeakably contemptible even when they don't come from the Left. Nothing excuses that. Plus, I'd bet my next week's paycheck that some of the jerks who slammed Helen so viciously, also sit around and go on and on about how terrible it is that the Left engages in hate mail and death threats. (Just check Michelle's own archives, for example.)

In the meantime, I figure the least I can do is to read Helen's blog for a while. To think that it was this largely innocuous and largely reasonable post that set Michelle off...well, Michelle's pretty easy to set off these days. And the death-threatening crowd that Michelle apparently now attracts...well, Michelle has a bigger audience than Alexandra does, but I bet when Alexandra links to a liberal site the liberal she's linked to doesn't suddenly get flooded with hate mail.

Now, since I know an objection that some of my regular readers will raise: okay, yes, I realize that it's not strictly speaking reasonable for Helen to complain that the airports are not yet safe, and then complain about racial profiling -- as though you could possibly make airports safe and air travel comfortable, as Helen wants it to be, without the sort of "minimal observance" that recognizes that, um, foreign-accented men of Arab descent are rather more of a security risk than are English/American women. But look, Helen wasn't really writing a political-policy post; she was writing a self-revelatory post about how she was feeling -- you could have titled that post "Requiem for a Way of Life," so clear and poignant and almost Tolkienesque was the sense of melancholy inevitability, of a massive oaken door closing pitilessly between oneself and a carefree existence always before taken for granted but now possibly never to be recaptured. The writing is first-rate; what Helen means to do (unless I greatly misunderstand her), she does very well indeed, and it is well worth the doing.

So set aside the questionable logic. When I say the post was "reasonable," I mean that the tone was exemplary. It's just too bad that Michelle can no longer rise to Helen's level in that department.

UPDATE: I couldn't help but feel that anybody who had gotten the kind of hate mail Helen has had to put up with for the last couple of days, deserved to hear as well from the people who liked her piece. So I sent her this note, which does I think a better job of making my point than I managed in my first try (that is, in my first hack at this very post). And I encourage you guys to go read her piece, and, if you think it's a good piece, let her know -- because the people who were told that it was a bad piece (not that they actually read it themselves) have certainly let her know their opinion.

Dear Stranger ("everyday" is hardly le mot juste for your outstanding writing):

For whatever it's worth, I thought your post was first-rate (even though I would imagine I disagree with you on numberless items political). Michelle Malkin was escorted off of my blogroll premises some time ago precisely because of the behavior you suffered at her hands, even though on political philosophy (though not personal philosophy) she and I are probably very similar.

I actually do a lot of political posting, myself -- but I do most of my political posting in the comments of my friend Alexandra von Maltzan's blog, precisely because I don't want my own blog polluted with the lunatics that show up on the big political sites like Alexandra's. For a long time Alexandra -- who wants her blog to be as widely read as possible and couldn't understand that my own blog exists mostly for my own personal self-expression, not because I want to Change The World -- kept trying to get me to link back from her site to my blog so that my hit counts would go up. I finally explained carefully to her that I did not WANT my hit counts to go up -- because I wanted my children to be able to read the comments on my blog, and when the readership gets very big (at least when you allow yourself to express political or religious opinions), the lunatics inevitably show up. Alexandra works very hard on fostering civility in her comments, but nevertheless I've seen some really vile stuff in there when somebody has snuck something in overnight so that she wouldn't see it right away (for example, a ten-thousand-word, virulently obscene and nauseatingly scatological mocking of the Koran in which Mohammed and Ali are shown doing one unspeakably bestial thing after another, by someone who apparently mistook Alexandra's strong opposition to jihadism for a hatred of all Muslims). Therefore I much prefer the relative privacy of a blog that is, in practice, friends-and-family-only.

So I suppose I’m saying that even though I haven't read any of the nasty e-mails you got, I have a pretty good idea of what sort of stuff was in them. And I am so very sorry that you were their target.

It would be presumptuous of me to apologize on behalf of Michelle and the lunatics among her flock, apologizing being the privilege of those who have committed the offense in question; but I do very much regret that you were the target of their bad behavior du jour, and I hope they move on to other prey soon. In the meantime, for what little it's worth, I spoke pretty glowingly of your writing over on my extremely non-influential and very little-read blog and pointed people in your direction. I doubt you'll get more than a couple of people coming from my low-profile little site. But those who do come your way from the Redneck Peril, will be coming to enjoy your first-rate writing, not to gratify their right-wing malice.

I really did enjoy that piece very much. Thank you for writing it.

Yours respectfully,

Ken Pierce


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