Only The Sangfroid

Mark is of fair average intelligence, who is neither perverse, nor morbid or suspicious of mind, nor avid for scandal. He does live in an ivory tower.

These are his draft thoughts…

War, war, war, war. I want to declare a war… which is probably not a good intro to this topic.

We now have The Colbert Report on ABC2, Australia.  This brings me great joy.  There also isn’t much lag between the two either.  Tonight’s episode is listed as the 4th of January episode.  Due to time differences, we’re seeing these episodes not even twelve hours after they’re broadcast in the U.S.  Woot.

The interview guest was Erick Erickson, editor for — a fairly large right wing blog.  He was asked whether he stood by comments he’d made that Linda Douglas was akin to Joeseph Goebbels.

Yeah…  He did…

Somewhere along the track, conservatism became somewhat synonymous with stupid.  I can say this because I — lo and behold — am conservative.  When the majority of self-professed conservatives (who these days, inexplicably, are mostly libertarian nutcases crowing that they shouldn’t have to pay taxes… which isn’t at all conservative), being conservative is the sort of thing one tends to keep to oneself.  It’s a terrible secret that we must hide from our friends — much worse than being gay, owning a ute (you’ll have to help your friends move), or being a furry.

Okay.  Maybe it’s not as shameful as being a furry.  That stuff’s pretty nasty.  But it isn’t something you can generally bring up in polite conversation.  It’s far easier to just let the ‘liberals’ whitewash you with their left wing paint than have to explain why you disagree with just about every person who identifies as conservative in the media, but you also disagree with the fundamental assumptions of the ‘liberals’.

And it’s getting harder.  Erick Erickson’s comments aside, it’s almost impossible to find a conservative in the media who isn’t a rabid moron.  Try to find one.  Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single (funny) conservative comedian.  I can’t think of any television shows which present conservatism in a positive light.  I can’t think of any intelligent books written by a conservative.

And the very worst part is that we brought it on ourselves.  Over the past forty years, we let obnoxious loud mouths be the public face of conservatism.  We used fear — rather than reason — as our standard discourse.  And, worse, we got far too cosy with entirely the wrong sorts of sentiments.

And it’s not unique to conservatism.  Atheists in the public sphere are cringeworthy.  When I hear or read about the comments of ‘prominent’ atheists, I wish upon wish that I could summon the self delusion to believe in a deity (bee tee dub: I’d totally convert to Islam.  That is one funky cool religion.  All you white Buddhists out there, convert to Islam.  Failing Islam, Catholicism).  The religious have got it easy.  You can easily distinguish your group of religious folk from the utter, utter nutbags.  You’re a Catholic.  Pat Robertson is a Protestant.  Osama is a terrorist.  You’re just a Muslim.  Too easy.

But when you’re an atheist, you don’t have schisms or sects.  You just have to suck it up and be associated with people who want to put adverts of buses, people who think religion is akin to child abuse (Dawkins), and the unfunny comedians.

So what do you do when the public voices associated with your views don’t in any way represent your views?

Blog, I guess.

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