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Cruel to be kind means that I love you, baa-aby! Ya gotta be cruel to be kind... 😉

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Good tune.

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If you dish out the shock jock, asshole terminally online podcast don't expect rainbows, unicorns and butterflies when something happens to you.

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author

Congratulations, you've expressed precisely the attitude that I'm critiquing. As I said at the top, I don't care if you or anyone is nice to Christman. The point is that the cruelty is something you inflict on yourself, not on him. You can choose to live in that bitterness or choose not to. But I promise, in the long run the person who's poisoned by it is you.

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founding

I agree with this post but let’s not pretend Chapo isn’t part of the problem you describe within it.

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No one is making or has made that point.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

I don't think I agree. The real cruelty is the cruelty you inflict on others. There are many people who've lived long and apparently fulfilling lives after being actually murderously cruel - take for instance the people in the film the "Act of Killing".

I think this poisoning yourself take is overly romantic.

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This is a weird take. When Freddie writes “Christman is frequently sardonic and habitually downbeat; he is not irony poisoned,” he nails it. I often listen to the podcast version of Christman’s video stream whatever-you-call it and while sometimes his take is way too academic and far too ideologically pure to represent the actual world, you can really hear him strain to make meaning of it all and he’s quick to include himself in various critiques of bourgeois behavior and attitudes. I’m too old and female and upper-middle-class to be any part of the Dirtbag Left, so my continued attachment to Christman’s stream and my enjoyment of his series on the Thirty Years War is some sign that he can’t be reduced to your characterization. He’s pretty engaged in the life of the mind and he’s contributing to the world of ideas. There’s very little “shock-jock/terminally asshole” in his stuff if you consider the whole of his output.

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I think a lot of Christman’s critics are attacking takes and one-liners from six years ago, and that a joke that might have had context then is absolutely void of it now. That’s the problem with Twitter and a lot of online discourse is people are having outraged reactions to things from a hundred years ago, terminally onljne time. Christman might not even stand by a lot of these things he’s said on Twitter, but the internet will judge you on who you were five years ago, ten years ago, instead of understanding that people change and grow. I understand people attacking Christman, because of course they would. But it won’t make them feel any better about themselves, which I think was the point of the piece.

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People who search through old tweets to find some sort of bad take that they can post have gotta be some of the biggest losers on the planet

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They should hope they are never put in the position for the same to happen to them. But unfortunately, we will all be put in this position someday. Hopefully we will be at the hands of someone gentler, kinder and more empathetic.

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Yes, I think all of this is about right. I’ll add, separately, that what Freddie asks in the piece: essentially: is everyone gonna just keep tweeting dumb hot-takes and mean shit until they are 60? I asked myself the same thing about 2 years ago and deleted Twitter that day. Haven’t looked back. Substack is somewhat better for this kind of humane exchange.

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I have been unable to pull myself away from Twitter, but I don’t comment at all, really. I just enjoy the circus.

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Academic? The guy wears Marxism 101 as a carapace over a flabby underbelly of weepy, manipulative garbage. There's virtually nothing historical or materialistic in his "analysis". It's cult language, it's all that the failings are on the inside and if we just empathy harder we'll change the world. I'd call him a fraud except I think he's 100% sincere.

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I meant academic in his affect.

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He sounds like a coked-up retard. Having not been in academia for a long time now, I'll take your word that this is what it's like.

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founding

`I’m too old and female and upper-middle-class to be any part of the Dirtbag Left'

If I'm honest, same here. Maybe we're part of the Bedraggled Left?

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Yes. I like it (as much as one can like aging/cynicism/bedraggled-ness…)

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As Freddie has pointed out in his (great) new book- making material positive change in the world is hard, often boring work and sometimes means navigating painful trade offs. Sending sarcastic zingers on Twitter/X/whatever new social hotness is just way easier and more fun.

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Another great piece, Freddie. We need to move on if we are going to improve.

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Sep 26, 2023Liked by Freddie deBoer

I know some of these people and the biggest issue is that their online life leaks into their real life and destroys it. They start snarking and dunking on their spouses, bosses, co-workers and friends and it’s very detrimental.

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"They start snarking and dunking on their spouses, bosses, co-workers and friends and it’s very detrimental"

Divorced, broke and friendless is no way to go through old age.

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I've seen this happen with a few subcultures. Some mesh more comfortably with normal, day-to-day American life than others, but it's jarring to hear a clear online-ism in person. As I get older I encounter it less but each time I involuntarily find it off-putting.

Perhaps it's to peoples' credit that they have an authentic self and don't have a barrier between their online and offline personae, but I still wish they'd knock it off.

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What’s I’ve seen is social media encourages some folks to broadcast their snarky opinion on everything to the world.

I’m trying to think of a good example…

Normal person in casual conversation: We just booked at trip Italy for our anniversary.

Normal Response: (regardless of how they actually feel) That’s great Italy is beautiful, you’ll have a great time. What parts are you going to visit?

Too online: EWW gross Italy is just a crowded disneyfied tourist trap*.

* This person has never been to Italy and has no first hand experience, they are just repeating the snark they read online.

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You can even go one step back from that:

Normal person A: We just booked a trip to Disney for next summer!

Normal person B: (would rather have unmedicated dental surgery then go to Disney): Ooh, that sounds fun! Your kids are going to love it.

Too online: Ugh, Disney. Too expensive, full of crowds, why do you even want to go there?

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

And it all seems to come from some master online snark talking point database. None of these (strongly held!) opinions are based on first hand experience.

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Don't underestimate the dopamine rush that comes with continually doling out mindless, sarcastic, hateful, cruel and directionless snark on Twitter-X! It's a habit some people find hard to break.

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Nah, Too online: Walt was a Nazi.

Or, Too online: They’re all pedos inside those character costumes.

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We filter our meatspace interpersonal exchanges for a reason - to avoid the negative externalities that can result. We feel like our online anonymity protects us and so unleash the id - our unfiltered mind.

I have been shamed and bullied a great deal in my life and so I was already familiar with this egoistic "beast." But, it has been interesting to watch it explode on social media over the past decade or so. I wonder if it will ever catalyze any maturation of thought or behavior? Or, are we stuck in a perennial twilight of juvenalia, as FdB suggests?

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Recently met a cute guy, we teased each other a lot but he was also affectionate and made genuine compliments. Fast forward the following day, it's just snark, snark, snark to everything I say. I got tired quickly, and disappointed.

In general, constant snark/sarcasm is heavy. I knew a guy who would also have a smartass answer to everything, even if you were trying to genuinely express your feelings. It felt like he was trying to keep people at a distance. His own heart at a distance. He would never express himself in a genuine, heartfelt way, you never really knew what was going on in his head or what he really thought. As a result his relationships were quite shallow. A friend of his who no longer sees him told me he didn't used to be like that. I wonder what happened.

Sarcasm can be fun but it can't be all you are.

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Have two friends that can't hang out together because one of them was reddit-poisoned and escalated a nothingburger altercation into fighting words. It's so fucked trying to just hang out with people in 2023

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This was my exact initial reaction:

“Some commenters will surely complain that I’m fixating on too small of a slice of humanity, that this is all irrelevant because hardly anybody acts this way.”

Nonetheless, your words are still a relevant and valuable public service for that crowd.

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"Elon Musk’s social network for geriatrics...." Really?

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author

Compared to TikTok or YouTube or FlippityFlop? Sure. It's an exaggeration but, you know... that's writing.

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I do know, as a writer myself. Y'all are following the wrong Boomers!

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And PS-- using the word "geriatrics" to describe us drains your marketing pool. A bit short-sighted and immature.

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"Panera Bread was good today" - by a 50 year old white dude in Arkansas.

This is the average tweet.

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I refuse to believe anyone still likes Panera Bread

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It is astonishing how far it's gone downhill. It used to be genuinely good. Now everything tasted warmed-over and artificial.

It's only natural that prices have gone up significantly there, but the quality has gone in an inverse relationship to the cost.

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I have no idea about Panera in specific but eating out now is a major bummer. Inflation is really doing a number on restaurant prices and as far as I can tell the responses fall into three general categories:

1) Raising prices

2) Cutting portions

3) Substituting sawdust for real food

I assume Panera is doing the latter. In a slightly less objectionable vein I got beef with broccoli at a Chinese place the other day and there were maybe three pieces of beef in a container filled with broccoli.

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Panera took the daring choice of all three.

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And Trump coasts to victory.

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Do only "white dudes" like Panera bread? (I'm a lowly 61 year old "white dude" and I avoid that place.

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Well, my X feeds are full of bland posts by all age groups. Don't fall into the stereotype trap. I mean, I don't really care what you do, but stereotypes have not served me well in life. You do know people who are older have this thing called experience. And you have this thing called youth, which I appreciate for keeping up with fads and having my heart warmed by your idealism.

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Priscilla Eats Wahts your favorite Panera Bread?

- Gary

Sent from Android

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I don't like Panera Bread. But what is your favorite bread there? I really liked the bread in Norway during my recent hiking trip to the Lofoten archipelago.

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If I had to guess the average age of social media users would be, descending:

Facebook

Twitter

Youtube

Instagram

TikTok

Twitter 100% skews older.

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Yep. But for Freddie to call us "geriatrics," with an implied sneer, is to alienate some of the most interesting people on the planet.

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Can't say as I've ever heard a podcast of Christman's. But to be honest I can empathize somewhat with the bitterness lefties express as we drift IMHO more and more fascist right of center. I'd be very willing to give social capitalism a shot as current system is so inhumane.

What shade of grey would that make this old timer.

Cheers

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This is a very nice write-up.

Chapo is the only Podcast I pay for, and this is one of two newsletters I pay for, precisely because they and you all somehow emerged from the morass of the 2016 election and didn't follow the insanely destructive incentives of left-media - they didn't wire their neurons directly into the internet and calibrate their takes in order to get the most engagement and subsequently convince themselves that it's the same thing as having an opinion. I'm not going to name names here, but I think anyone who reads this comment will immediately be able to think of a few people who went down that path and will never return to humanity.

I've been really impressed with the evolution of Chapo - they've really pulled themselves out of the morass of Twitter - especially Matt, whose voice has been deeply influential in helping me understand Marxism and process the variety of ways in which Capitalism has wired my brain in such a deeply flawed way. They've really pulled back from the Outrage-Industrial-Complex and it strikes me that most of the targets of their ire (and there aren't that many) are well-deserving. They've been really thoughtful about both the power and the limitations of their platform and have used that to their advantage.

Anyways what happened to Matt has been awful and I've been thinking about him and his family all week. I will continue to remind myself that getting mad on the internet will not do anyone any good - because it never does. I just hope he's OK.

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Fun fact: Freddie was actually the person who got me into CTH. I saw a tweet of his praising the latest episode (this was back when they were in single digits) and went to check it out.

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Oh God, the world is such a cesspool because this is what so many intelligent people spend their time, their life force, doing. I wish more people would just spend that time reading books, trying to understand other ways of thinking, and earnestly working to make things better. It’s much more satisfying. And fun.

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Agree. Also, what is the appeal of these podcasts anyway? How tedious.

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For the creators I assume their financial renumeration is pretty significant.

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I don't listen to Chapo, but I do really like podcasts - they often offer ideas and perspectives that I might not otherwise encounter. But at this point, opinions without action are bordering on pointless. We can know everything, but if we continue to operate in the same ways that have gotten us into this quagmire, then all of the discussion in the world is pretty much wasted. In my opinion. :)

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I have tried listening to a couple of podcasts but I get turned off by the looseness of the format. Too much conversational meandering to me that would benefit from the tightness and clarity that comes from writing and editing.

However, Conan O’Brien’s podcast is the exception to my podcast snobbery. It brings me joy.

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Omg I will have to listen! That’s quite the ringing endorsement!

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The one with Charles Barkley is a favorite.

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Will definitely check it out! Thank you!!!

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

To me, Conan is just impossible not to like and laugh with(at).

I do think there is definitely a time and place for things like podcasts. They can be great for listening to while doing light or repetitive work, I rarely actually watch them. And I do like the looseness and relaxing quality to them when in that situation. If they were all so dense you can't miss a word of it, I would be constantly rewinding the whole day!

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There are obviously a lot of people who enjoy them. I don’t hate them and self righteously judge their fans like I do Big Brother or The Batchelor viewers. Podcasts just remind me too much of me and friends of mine when we were in college and found our own opinions and insights to be so original and fascinating.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

Ah. Yeah, there are definitely different kinds of podcasts. The kind you describe above I never watch...for all the same reasons.

I tend to go for the more relaxing, mannerly, and intellectually-stimulating variety. Lex Friedman is one that immediately jumps to mind, but there are plenty of others that are akin to a nice patio conversation between two adults with a beer or wine.

They can be a tad boring at times, but when I'm doing other things I don't mind boring every now and then. :]

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The meandering turns me off as well. Ain't nobody got time for that! 😉

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I think everyone should take regular analog vacations, leaving your phone at home. Fly a kite, play music in the park, go fishing, w/e. Anything that gets you out of the digital realm...if only for a little while.

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I couldn't agree more. I would have thought this would have become much more obvious to so many more people by now.

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💯 I wish this with all of my heart as well. Fighting for human rights for all used to be the goal. It was a good goal. Now, if you invoke universal humanism or pro-humanism as a value, you are called a bigot. It's no longer enough to want the best for everyone. You also have to smite your enemies or you aren't a "good" person. So ridiculous and juvenile. I want to live in a world where there are actual adults in the room.

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:( so much pain in the world. I do not see much good coming from smiting enemies. To be a bit esoteric about it, that horrible energy has to go somewhere, and so it continues to circulate. I have been really trying to think differently even about the word "fighting" in terms of this work. Because i think so many people and organizations derive a deep sense of purpose from "fighting bad things," which is really great (see my original comment: of course, doing ANYTHING productive is better than what this piece describes), but in a way, fighting things as your purpose means that once the fight is won (if that's even possible), your purpose evaporates. And people need purpose. So building rather than fighting feels so much more generative, and also doesn't engender the boomerang effect of being fought against. Obviously totally abstract and the work (not devil) is in the details, but as a concept I think we are just way off course even in the way we view the possibility of resolution. A bit of a rant. :) Thank you so much for your comment!

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Sep 27, 2023·edited Sep 27, 2023

No. I like it. What you resist persists. You create what you focus on. [your pithy aphorism here].

Building is definitely more generative — and it's the way we need to go. If we want a new reality, we have to create it.

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Indeed. Here’s to building…in whatever ways we can. I do appreciate this exchange-thank you!

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Trump is up by 10 points in the latest ABC/WaPp poll. You'd think this would be the time for the left to unite against the impending return of the amtichrist but I am guessing that is Funny, Actually?

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Moderates don't think he sucks though, which raises the question as to whether all that anger and fury on the left was self defeating.

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Regardless of their personal feelings moderates are willing to vote for Trump apparently. I suggest that is a strong indication that they don't hate him outright.

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I have no idea how the election will turn out. The left will try to imprison Trump before November 2024, and possibly (probably) succeed, although he may get quickly bailed out by appellate courts. And maybe they will use another COVID EMERGENCY! to allow for unlimited mail in ballots. And there will be an even greater media black out of any negative Biden news, etc.

But Biden is a terrible candidate. Even if you don't believe he was in on the action with his kid, the guy has obvious dementia-cognitive decline, and was a "which way is the wind blowing" mediocracy his entire life. If Trump had delivered that Vietnam John Wayne dog-faced pony solder speech, all we'd be hearing about is the 25th amendment. Neither of these guys has any business being President, again. How about Team Evil install a better candidate? Even if I still won't like the person's politics, if he or she can at least speak coherently and not have dementia, that would be a big plus. Team Stupid is too stupid to replace Trump, and even if they did, he'll run as independent in any state that will allow him on the ballot, which is probably most states in which he is likely to win, and no states that he will lose anyway. So, as usual, whether the close swing states let him on the ballot may decide this thing. Probably why Team Evil choose Atlanta Georgia for the most political based of the charges.

I'm in Europe for a few more weeks, and is already 5 pm. Time to hit the bars and forget about this shit for another evening.

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I think Thomas Jefferson wrote that people pretty much get the leader/government that they deserve and I have to agree. The mantra for 2024 should be "We're not going to vote our way out of this". No matter who wins (and for the record I think it's a coin flip right now, although I reserve the right to revise that opinion if there's a recession next year) half the country will be enraged and the fundamental forces that are spinning the country apart will take at least another ten to twenty years to work through the system. Take the last few years and project them out for another decade (at least).

Frankly guys this like Christman fellow have been part of the problem. The country would have been much better off if politics remained the domain of frankly boring people like William Krystol while guys like Christman limited their debates to their favorite comic book.

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“ ) half the country will be enraged”

You’re wildly overestimating the percentage of people who give a shit.

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Half the political country in that case. And that is still a big enough chunk of the population to poison the well for everyone else.

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Amen, brother. Y Salud

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Incidents like this (and even more notably the Vietnam trip) are why Democrats are eager to find somebody else to run in 2024.

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Some Democrats may be, but the party leadership is not. I think the problem is Harris. They can't risk dropping her and pissing off the Identitarians. But promoting her is even worse than President Depends. I still don't get why they picked her to be his Veep back in 2020. Note how Trump was willing to pass off the Pro Lifers.

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It was, I think, pure tokenism. They needed to check the black box and they needed to check the female box and Harris was the most prominent politician at the time who satisfied both criteria.

Hilariously enough she is the walking embodiment of the argument that is often deployed against Affirmative Action that lowering standards in favor of race just leads to incompetence. "Would you like to see a black doctor/lawyer/etc.?"

The problem with Trump's VP is that if elected he or she would be the obvious heir apparent for a presidential run in 2028. Using the conventional political calculus you probably wouldn't put two populists on the same ticket and miss the opportunity to appeal to moderate voters with a more moderate VP candidate, just as Pence was chosen to smooth off some of Trump's rough edges. How then do you keep Trump's special blue collar/populist magic going into the next election?

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founding

`You'd think this would be the time for the left to unite'

You're very seriously misunderstanding both the purpose and popularity of Chapo. They are not a politically significant force.

They also think that Trump is entertaining and have pointed out many times that he was a significantly better president than the last `traditional' Republican we had: George W. Bush.

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I’m not on social media, but it’s been obviously psychologically detrimental to my friends who are. Several have become more sneering, judgmental people who care more about people’s politics than character. They cut themselves slack for nasty behavior (lying, cheating, gossiping) because they’re Good.

I hope Musk burns the whole thing to the ground. We’re all gonna be dead one day, let’s live in the actual world while we can.

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A large fraction of what the Chapo hosts did -- on Twitter and on their podcast -- was gratuitously & luridly mock the deaths & misfortunes of those political commentators with whom they politically disagreed, often in hypocritical or baseless or otherwise "irony-poisoned" ways. The ways in which they'd mock these people's deaths defies exaggeration: for instance, the week that Rush Limbaugh died, they spent an hour fantasizing about grinding him up in a pig slaughterhouse in the most offensive & pointless & unfunny terms possible. They had nothing of interest to say about him, and their "critiques" of him were in fact so flimsy & disingenuous that the very same "jokes" that they made about him could equally apply to themselves (they're also crude shock jocks who are tenuously tied to allegations of pedophilia). I think they have done everything in their power to bring this response on themselves, and they're the very first people who should reflect on their life choices & leave the irony cult in the wake of this misfortune.

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author

Again, this just comprehensively misses the point, to the degree that I suspect you only read the first paragraph.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

Well, I read it, & so whatever point you think you were making clearly didn't come through to me (that I must be an irony-poisoned ankle-biter for finding the distasteful responses to Christman's misfortune to be a predictable outgrowth of how he lived his life? that if I think the Chapo types were the "patient zeroes" of this vile irony-poisoned hate-fest online then I must just be festering in the inscrutable internecine irony-politics which are the very subject of discussion here?). You can claim that it's my fault, if you'd like -- but I don't buy it. Edit: adding in the word "again" for some reason (to emphasize my exasperation I guess?).

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author

I'm saying that whether the reaction is justified or not, if you marinate in that long enough, you will be poisoned by it. This is the mistake the people stuck in those communities make: they think that if the target is deserving, living in that bitterness is just. But it's not a question of justice; it's a question of the kind of conditions you want to live your life in. This is your life, your own life. And you have to decide what emotional environment you want to spend it in.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

They made a career off whipping people up into grotesque lurid fantasies of the sort I described above; you wrote a post describing the grotesque lurid fantasies that have been turned against them; I wrote a comment pointing out that they did the very thing you're bemoaning to a much greater degree. You can say that all three of us are thus "marinating" in this poison, or that only the people who wish grotesque lurid fantasies of death upon their superficial "enemies" are marinating it, but I find it ludicrous to suggest that I'm the one marinating in it here based on my response to your piece about them.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Oct 1, 2023

If any person on earth is capable of both expecting those ugly remarks on Twitter, and letting it go, it’s Matt Christman. He and the other Chapo guys are perfectly aware of the stakes when they say things like, “bullying bad people works and is good.” They don’t expect to be spared.

So we’re left with this: Freddie’s point is the only one that matters because it’s not about who deserves what. You must ask yourself if you’re the kind of person who wants to wish harm on someone simply because they have done so to someone else.

But since you brought it up, there’s a HUGE difference between a podcaster with 150K subscribers and Rush Limbaugh, whose famously contemptuous words dominated talk radio for decades, with tens of millions of listeners, who influenced real policy, and was one of the people cheering on the polarization of this country. The man who called Chelsea Clinton “the White House dog,” when she was just a child? Personally, I’m not going to publicly dance on his grave because it’s bad for my soul. If we get caught up in who deserves what, we’ll end up so far back on the timeline that we’ll be criticizing yurts and gourd art. But if he’s the guy you’re defending, you might consider that he also expected to be hated by many. That was the water in which he swam.

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My bad. Chapo only has 42,998 subscribers on Patreon, making them even less comparable to Limbaugh’s empire.

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founding
Sep 28, 2023·edited Sep 28, 2023

`They made a career off whipping people up into grotesque lurid fantasies'

I don't ever recall this being the case. They did try to whip people up to support Bernie in the 2020 primary by singing old labor songs on tour.

I finally subscribed after listening to their critiques and ruthless mockery of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats following the 2016 election. Much of their initial analysis is now taken for granted by Democrats.

(Lest I be accused of misogyny, which Democrats and Hillary allies accused Chapo of, I will say that I have stuck with the podcast because of their critiques and mockery of many Democrats; e.g., reminding liberals that Obama killed a lot more people than Trump and in fact enabled all the killing Trump did. Their impression of Obama and them pointing out constantly that the Pod-Save Guys are essentially overachieving little kids seeking the approval of their father [Obama] is also humorous.)

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Freddie, it's also because the target a) himself engages in cruelty all the time, and b) isn't really seen as human, just an ideological pawn or barrier to certain social goals.

On the other hand, commentary that uses DRY humor on its target is not cheapening; it can be elevated, not degraded. Nuance! it took us eons to perfect it, don't throw it away.

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I think there's two elements here. First, these guys do real harm to civic norms and standards of discourse by spewing garbage like this about Limbaugh.

On the question of individual harm, in a hypothetical where this Christman guy is reading through mean tweets about his medical issues and sobbing into his beard, yeah, he deserves no sympathy. Hopefully, like LImbaugh, he is focused on his health and getting better and ignoring the cesspool--even if a lot of it is from his own personal contributions.

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“First, these guys do real harm to civic norms and standards of discourse by spewing garbage like this about Limbaugh.”

This is one of the funniest comments I’ve ever read here. Limbaugh practically invented vicious contempt as a core business model for a media empire. He relished the hatred that fueled his career.

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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

The politically active do not make up a majority of the country. Even so when they start flinging shit at each other it's messy enough to ensnare the rest of the country, with detrimental results.

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And what would you call Limbaugh’s entire career, if not the gleeful flinging of shit, except with a massive audience? That dog won’t hunt.

Limbaugh was a man with a media empire and tens of millions of listeners across decades of broadcasting. He literally influenced policy. He shit on people relentlessly, mocked people with AIDS, said that Jesse Jackson looked like “all composite pictures of wanted criminals.” He called Chelsea Clinton “the White House dog” when she was a child, and said watching NFL games was like watching the “Bloods and the Crips without weapons.” The man was shit flinging personified, so you’re not going to convince anyone with half a brain or the slightest integrity that anyone who expressed contempt for him is somehow violating civic norms. Limbaugh would’ve called you a stupid pussy for even saying those words.

The difference between you and me is that I will not defend Matt Christman’s right to be exempted from public contempt. He knows what he signed up for, and so did Rush Limbaugh, the bloviating turd that walked like a man.

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Impeaching Donald Trump was a terrible idea because it lowered the bar, leading to an impending impeachment of Joe Biden. That is the problem with the race to the bottom.

You can't criticize somebody for hurling insults and vitriol unless you yourself remain calm and polite. That should be obvious.

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It’s right in front of your face and you can’t see it. You guys really will rationalize the most obvious bullshit to defend the people who share your worldview. If you excuse Limbaugh’s decades of rank viciousness, but hold those criticizing him to lofty standards of behavior, your ethics are incoherent.

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founding

I'm with Celeste.

Limbaugh took a huge shit in the pool of `norms and standards of discourse'. At worst Chapo is peeing in the pool.

Limbaugh was also embraced, followed, and listened to by the right. You might get one or two Democrats in congress to admit that they listen to Chapo.

Limbaugh's hate was the hate of the Republican party, where he's still revered and indeed received a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Chapo's hate is the hate of a minuscule portion of the left, loathed by liberals, MSM, and all of the other Democratic institutions Republicans deride.

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I posted this above:

"You can't criticize somebody for hurling insults and vitriol unless you yourself remain calm and polite. That should be obvious."

My focus on Limbaugh versus Chapo isn't who is more influential, it's about the coarsening of public discourse when all sides decide that hurling insults is what passes for debate.

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founding
Sep 28, 2023·edited Sep 28, 2023

`the week that Rush Limbaugh died, they spent an hour fantasizing about grinding him up in a pig slaughterhouse in the most offensive & pointless & unfunny terms possible'

I haven't downloaded and re-listened to the whole episode but I believe they spent just 20 minutes or so discussing Limbaugh, and Will (one of the hosts) made a comment about sending him to pig slaughterhouse at the very end of the segment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dWplSP-KDw

`their "critiques" of him were in fact so flimsy & disingenuous'

Limbaugh does not need to be critiqued every time he is mentioned. If one does not believe that he gained money and fame spewing falsehoods, lies, hatred, etc., was an enormous hypocrite, and likely insincere in his beliefs at this point then nothing will convince them.

In the very episode you reference the Chapo hosts say they expect and welcome like vitriol should they die.

Overall, recommend the episode.

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Congrats on the Leonhardt piece. It’s very good. It seems I disagree with both of you about MeToo, BLM and Occupy. I think all three movements were extremely successful. These movements weren’t successful because they led to hundreds of new laws making modern immorality illegal. They were successful because they led to changed minds. I say this because each changed my mind to varying degrees, and they changed my behavior in small but profoundly important ways. We agree that elites disabled each movement’s effectiveness to some degree, but only because their histrionic stupidity closed hearts to important issues that are largely personal. Then again, histrionics get clicks and earnest supplication is historically ignored. How much better we are now is immeasurable. Not much, if your unit of measurement is new legislation (God forbid); but I think that’s wrong, with nothing more as evidence than my own personal experience.

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"it really feels like a lot of people don’t want to let the mid-2010s go, and so they have built a tidy little Twitter renaissance faire, trying to keep that period alive."

Good line!

Freddie is right: throw your phone in the river.

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Alternately, you could exercise some discipline over your own behavior. It's much cheaper that way.

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