Monday, March 06, 2006

Speaking Succinctly

Not long after Jeff Goldstein spent ten jillion words in restating the Dolchstosslegende, Instayokel, as is his wont, went the Tonto-Frankenstein-Tarzan route in arguing the same thing.


The press had better hope we win this war, because if we don't, a lot of people will blame the media.

[Emphasis, and Nazi-insanity, in the original.]


Others write that if we lose the war it won't be the press's fault, but the fault of Chimpy McHitlerburton. Well, maybe. But even so, that won't change the fact that a press that looks in many ways as if it's rooting for defeat won't make an appealing scapegoat for a lot of people. Given the press's concern for how it's perceived in various communities, you'd think it would care enough to avoid being perceived as unpatriotic by the patriotic-American community.

It is said that lawyers are the enemies of clear prose, and it's a valid point, but here is an apparent exception. Reynolds, whose professional duty is weasel-wording, comes across as proudly and directly fascist where Goldstein, allegedly a trained writer, forgoes any attempt at plain speaking, yet still comes across as a dedicated brownshirt once one zeroes-in on his essential point.

I wonder, though, if the stylistic irony here isn't indicative of something deeper. Goldstein dances around the point so much it's as if he's conscious that he's basically translating from the Beer Hall Putsch, and somewhere, somehow, a part of him is shamed by the fact; whereas Reynolds has long ago completed his transformation from "libertarian" to overt bumpkin-fascist, and therefore is quite shameless. To use the lepidoptral metaphor, Reynolds long ago emerged as a homely moth, kamakaze-buzzing into the dull, humming vaporlight of Bushism; Goldstein, on the other hand, while feeling the heavy influence of wingnut tropism, still has his chrysalis clinging to his feet. His wings are still sticky-snotty, but he's learning to fly -- and as such, he's bound to circle aimlessly at times before taking his terminal flight.

Give him a few months and he'll be just as direct as Instayokel. All his natural verbosity will go, instead, into his "humorous" posts wherein he talks to his pants, to Jeff Gannon's cock, to his bowl of oatmeal.

Relatedly, if you read any link I post, make it this one.