Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Two brilliant but nasty right-wing comments

Andrew Sullivan pulls up comments about him from an Ann Althouse thread. I'm reprinting a couple of them here. First:

Here is a human whose sexual desires fight against the flow of life itself. Cursed by a disease that may wither him to a shrub of what he once was, he screams for more attention. It's all about taking down the societal purity the Palin represents.


Please. One ought always to refer to Sully by his true and complete regnal name: Her Divine Majesty Queen Mary Jane Milky Loads, Sultana of Sodom, Governess of Gomorrah, and Empress of All Urania.

You can read the whole thread if you're curious; I haven't. I'm just struck by the viciousness of the selected comments, which Sullivan certainly notices, and by what Sullivan doesn't bother to mention: namely that, at least in these two cases, a remarkable level of writing is on display. I think liberals, as a whole, are usually right but not too good word with words, and that conservatives, as a whole, are deluded and often nasty but gifted with an above average run of verbal ability. The comments above are further evidence. 

That "Milky Loads" passage is a wonderfully crafted verbal sequence; it puts to shame all the prefab orotund rant one runs across nowadays (for example, the vogue a few years ago for gerund strings: "latte-sipping, omelet-driving," etc., etc.). And the "shrub" remark, centerpiece to the first comment, is a killer. It is a beautifully compact and poetic phrase that condenses the whole course of a disease and combines it with a suggestion that the victim is no longer human, that the man or woman is now just a remnant. What a cold, nasty sentiment and how powerfully it's put across. Probably someone with a poetic enough turn of mind might have sat at a bedside and watched AIDS do its work, and then would have thought of the phrase and thereby summed up his or her hatred for the disease and what it caused. But instead a commenter with a poetic turn of mind came up with the phrase simply to express contempt for people who have AIDS.

There's a whole "life/antilife" philosophy at work, as you can see from the rest of the first commenter's remark. Ideas that big cause people to lose what bearings they have, especially when the idea is as much an emotional state as it is anything (and especially when that emotional state is panic). So not only do you get the inhuman nastiness, you also get the heavy-think delirium:

Sarah is a fertility goddess, and that magic power intimidates the death-loving, poo-pounding Sully. He rejects life, life-giving, and life-bearers.

I would guess that statement was half a joke, which means it is half lunacy. The most generous interpretation: some nut thinks modern life is a pageant of symbols being enacted to determine if our society goes pro-life or pro-death, with Sarah as symbol-in-chief for the good side. Either that or the person thinks Sarah Palin is a fertility goddess.

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