Sunday, August 28, 2005

The World According to Graham...

They’re here again: anti-American feelings… Or aren’t they? The symptoms of anti-American feelings usually include utterings that are critical of American world policy or any aspect of the American way of life, for that matter. Anti-American feelings are reserved for non-Americans only. The French for instance are anti-American, they didn’t support Gulf War II and blocked the UN resolution that would have been needed to give the invasion an air of international respectability.

If such expressions of opinion on the other hand come from American mouths, that’s an entirely different thing. These individuals are un-American and unpatriotic.

In a country that has been in the grip of a wave of almost pathological flag waving for some time now and where a “Good v. Evil” outlook on life and the world predominates, you are “either with them [the US] or against them [the US]”. Anything in between is a little too taxing on the brain of Joe Average.

This is more or less also the view held by another flag waver,
Graham, who considers himself to be one of the Cognoscenti, when really he squarely belong in the majority camp of Ignoranti.

Graham was recently shocked when one of his friends in Britain tried to rile some American students, by openly expressing anti-American feelings, in a pub (of all places! A British pub! Well, Irish actually.) Cheeeekyyy! I quote from the distasteful blog post:
One particular friend began an aggressive, drunken diatribe about the United States, knowing full well that the table of US students were close by. In essence he blamed the stupidity, and ignorance of Americans for the terrorist bombings on the 7th of July. Americans were isolated, hamburger eating, religious zealots, and their ignorance, and election of George Bush, alongside Tony Blair’s unconditional support for the war in Iraq, was ultimately responsible.

Bad Briton, bad bad Briton, for expressing an opinion in a free country, about another free country. And in close proximity of Americans too! This cannot be tolerated! Quickly, let’s write another Bill (the anti riling of American students in Irish pubs in Britain Bill.)

The Americans, though, behaved uncharacteristically:
The US students finished their drinks and left offended and shocked by what I think they perceived as a personal attack.

Damn, if only I could get rid of rambling Americans so easily!

As regards Graham, it would be unrealistic to expect anything more nuanced
from a Blair hagiographer (Graham: that’s arse-licker in plain English).

Graham, apparently, is going back to the States and is going to help the Democratic campaign. Sounding like a Bush impersonator, Graham is the last thing the Democrats need. Losing elections is something they manage very well without his help, but thanks for the offer!

When will the average American learn that being critical of an American aspect of their society does not make one a “Yankee-hater” (or a terrorist for that matter)? And do they need support from a British poodle like our fellow, Graham?

No, then I much prefer the views of
Mike Leon, which represent the voices of many decent, albeit “un-American” people, whose voices have been drowned out and whose opinions have been paved over by mainstream “news” broadcasting, in which critical thinking or dissent is not encouraged.

At the complete other end of the spectrum and therefore not representative of mainstream American thought, are
the Jewish Task Force. It would be hours of fun reading, if it wasn’t so disturbing… These too, are patriots...

Keywords:
, .

19 Comments:

At 9:15 PM, Blogger Graham said...

Jesus Gert...

You're like a one man wrecking crew out to take me on at every opportunity. Are you an ex-girlfriend in disguise? lol.

I'm worried because by the looks of things you've only read two or three of my posts... god help you when you find out there are lots more.

I will try and get to this and your previous post tonight. I want to do them justice. All I can say at this stage is that I think your reply at the end of my Anti-Anti-American Sentiment was revealing.

You say that you should not be called a "Yankee Hater" for merely disagreeing with US foreign policy. I agree with that. But then in the subsequent paragraph you finish your comment by ridiculing US culture for the Lewinski scandal in a completely tangential and irrelevant point. It was a petty cheap shot at the nation as a whole.

And in regards to the issue I had with my friend at the pub, it wasn't because he had ill feeling towards the US, it was because he aggressively verbally assaulted the US in an attempt to initimidate American Students sitting near us. I was ashamed by that act. And I make this explicitly clear in my post.

Feel free to criticize my views, and offer your own responses, but please make an effort to not misrepresent me.

Will be back to expound soon.

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Graham,

You wrote:

You're like a one man wrecking crew out to take me on at every opportunity. Are you an ex-girlfriend in disguise? lol.

My reply:

Don’t be ridiculous!

You wrote:

I'm worried because by the looks of things you've only read two or three of my posts... god help you when you find out there are lots more.

My reply:

You’re worried. Oh dear. What’s the worst that could happen? Blood on the keyboard? A paper cut? And here was me thinking you liked debate…

You wrote:

But then in the subsequent paragraph you finish your comment by ridiculing US culture for the Lewinski scandal in a completely tangential and irrelevant point. It was a petty cheap shot at the nation as a whole.

My reply:

It wasn’t a shot at the nation. In Europe, the affair in question was indeed subject of much hilarity; I believe it was too in the States.

You wrote:

And in regards to the issue I had with my friend at the pub, it wasn't because he had ill feeling towards the US, it was because he aggressively verbally assaulted the US in an attempt to initimidate American Students sitting near us. I was ashamed by that act. And I make this explicitly clear in my post.

My reply:

No, you didn’t, which is what got me going. You wrongly associated one man’s “misbehaviour” with that “greatest of all evils”, anti-American feelings. And where’s your sense of humour and perspective? So someone riles a couple of American kids, so what?

You said:

Feel free to criticize my views, and offer your own responses, but please make an effort to not misrepresent me.

My reply:

It’s your effortless success at misrepresenting yourself that keeps me going.


Expect more sniper fire…

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger Graham said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Graham said...

I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish. You cannot antagonize me, although you do certainly hurt my feelings by repeatedly calling me names.

(insert patronizing comment here, Gert)

I'm happy for the debate, but, ultimately there does have to be a basic recognition that we need to agree to disagree, as I think you stated in your original post.

Bring all the sniper fire on you like. I will always get around to addressing all the points you make. But, I have to be honest and say, that the Iraq war aside, which is a very complex issue, not much you say is particularly challenging.

You wrote:
Don’t be ridiculous!

My reply:
I've looked through most of your blog and I can see no other instance in which you've singled out an individual blogger for a such a relentless assault. It's fine, and I do enjoy the debate, but I don't understand why you find my ideas so threatening when I am just a small blogger, with between 50-100 hits a day, mostly generated from blogexplosion. It just seems odd that I rankle with you so.

You wrote:

You’re worried. Oh dear. What’s the worst that could happen? Blood on the keyboard? A paper cut? And here was me thinking you liked debate…

My reply:

Gert, I'm not worried like that so don't get too excited :). I was worried because I had the feeling you would be on the verge of a cardiac arrest by the time you get through a couple more of my posts, seeing as they get you so hot and bothered. It was purely out of concern for your emotional and physical health ;).

You wrote:

It wasn’t a shot at the nation. In Europe, the affair in question was indeed subject of much hilarity; I believe it was too in the States.

Mr reply:

You insult yourself with the way in which you argue sometimes. Either you don't grasp my point, or conveniently don't care to address it. You claimed you were not anti-american simply because you disagreed with US foreign policy, which I agree with, but then made a completely unrelated point only to denigrate US culture, which had no pertinence to the point of your argument. It was a revealing moment. I don't think you understand the nature of prejudice, stereotypes, generalizations... it undermines your ability to coherently identify why Anti-Americanism does not exist, when you exhibit such a general disdain for the US so brazenly.

The views of my friend in the pub weren't what I found wrong... what I found wrong was that they were a smokescreen for his aggressive, generalizations about the US, and its people, which I detailed in my post. It was as if these students, who themselves held similar views on the Iraq war, were somehow culpable and deserving of a vicious tirade. Of course, it doesn't surprise me that you find nothing wrong with this behaviour.

The only other thought that I'd like to leave you with at this time is that maybe I don't always misrepresent my POV. It's not that complicated, and people on my blog, and in my professional life seem to grasp my ideas and the way I express myself quite well. Maybe sometimes you misinterpret my POV in haste. You apply very little honest reflection to what you read, but instead assert your own dogmatic belief system. IMO this limits your otherwise impressive intelligence.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Gert said...

There’s really only one point in your rebuttal that merits counter-argument.

You wrote:

You claimed you were not anti-American simply because you disagreed with US foreign policy, which I agree with, but then made a completely unrelated point only to denigrate US culture, which had no pertinence to the point of your argument. It was a revealing moment.

My reply:

My little aside was perhaps unnecessary, even irrelevant but nonetheless true. You’re again accusing someone of being anti-American because my chuckle “denigrates US culture”. It does. Ergo it’s an "anti-American” feeling. Bad Gert. Bad bad Gert.

I also intensely dislike the tripe and “template” kind of drivel that parades for “movies”, i.e. Hollywood. Now that’s practically un-American, even from a non-US citizen!

Do you want me to go on?

And someone cracks a joke you don’t like and ooops… you have a revelation. Now you’re starting to sound like the Religious Right…

I’m going to have to warn the Democrats that a British mole is about to infiltrate them…

Regards,

Gert

 
At 6:01 PM, Blogger NYgirl said...

The fact that Graham is coming to America is a loss for England & a gain for us Americans.

I disagree with Graham on many points, but I do respect his intelligence, reasonable tone & his refusal to sink to name calling. People like him are a welcome asset to any country & any political party.

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger Gert said...

NYgirl:

You said:

The fact that Graham is coming to America is a loss for England & a gain for us Americans.

My reply:

Hey, we actually agree on something: I’d rather see him leave too! He’ll fit right in, in the current "political" climate of the US.

Not entirely sure what the Democrats will make of this polite imbecile but that will be your problem, not ours.

Tony Bliar needs more opposition, not more "patriots" [sic] like you and the poodle, so in that respect, it’s a win-win!

But I find it incredible that you appreciate Graham’s feeble and confused support, when really you should try and bring order to your own house first. I mean, what’s he gonna do, stifle “anti-American feelings” amongst British expats in the US?

Do try not to invade another country this week, we’re all getting a little pissed off over here.

More “anti anti-American feelings”.

How the West was Wrong”.

 
At 11:37 PM, Blogger Graham said...

You wrote:

They’re here again: anti-American feelings… Or aren’t they? The symptoms of anti-American feelings usually include utterings that are critical of American world policy or any aspect of the American way of life, for that matter. Anti-American feelings are reserved for non-Americans only. The French for instance are anti-American, they didn’t support Gulf War II and blocked the UN resolution that would have been needed to give the invasion an air of international respectability.

My reply:

I wouldn't agree with your assessment of what comprises anti-Americanism as I have encountered it. I certainly never stated that the French are anti-American because they blocked the second UN resolution in the Iraq War. All I would say is that amongst french friends of mine, and many other people I have met in Europe, in the UK and abroad, I think there isn't a real appreciation of the complexity of US culture informing our world view.

As I tried to explain in my post, one of the things that really surprises you when you're in the US is the sheer diversity and breadth of the nation as a whole. You can drive for a day and see disparate landscapes... you can drive for a day and encounter as many divergent cultures as you would see traveling around a collection of different nations in Europe. People's generalized notions of the US, its religiosity, fundamentalism, materialistic inclinations, etc, don't actually relate to the nation as it really exists. The society is much more complicated than this.

You wrote:

If such expressions of opinion on the other hand come from American mouths, that’s an entirely different thing. These individuals are un-American and unpatriotic.

My reply:

Like I said, we're discussing two different things. Opposition to the war in Iraq or general disagreements with US foreign policy, in and of themselves, were not what I was referring to as anti-Americanism. The more general antagonistic sentiments towards the United States exist amongst those who supported the war, and have completely different opinions to your own. They even exist amongst those who couldn't care less about international affairs. You are way too quick to ascribe your political observations as the primary motivating factor for those who dislike the US.

IMHO, there are deeper cultural insecurities at play...

...the way in which markets across Europe are liberalizing, the way in which the notions of a communal, and national identity is fragmenting in the wake of an increasingly individualized world... all of these pressures that are redefining our self perceptions in Europe and in other parts of the world are perceived as an American influence.

There are all of these complex elements that in my opinion inform the way in which it is socially acceptable to demean Americans as fat, stupid, religious zealots, etc. as you have on occasion.

You wrote:

In a country that has been in the grip of a wave of almost pathological flag waving for some time now and where a “Good v. Evil” outlook on life and the world predominates, you are “either with them [the US] or against them [the US]”. Anything in between is a little too taxing on the brain of Joe Average.

My reply:

This is a case in point. I do not know if you have been to the United States, but this is not my personal experience of the country. On what basis do you make these conclusions about the nation as a whole... watching Fox News? Please elaborate upon the basis for your statements. The way you denigrate the intelligence of "Joe Average" in the US is pitiful and plain wrong. Are we more intelligent in this country, in the UK, on a range of issues like Asylum Seekers and immigration for e.g... Are we really in a position to deride US citizens as being comparitivley stupid? Having experienced both I do not personally believe so.

You wrote:

This is more or less also the view held by another flag waver, Graham, who considers himself to be one of the Cognoscenti, when really he squarely belong in the majority camp of Ignoranti.

My reply:

What purpose does it serve to repeat yourself. You think I'm stupid. That is quite clear. Why are you incapable of arguing the merits of a case without descending into personal attacks. Somehow you need to discredit me in a way that your points fail to accomplish. Otherwise, why wouldn't you simply let your points be judged on your own merits? Name calling is a sign of weakness.

You wrote:

Graham was recently shocked when one of his friends in Britain tried to rile some American students, by openly expressing anti-American feelings, in a pub (of all places! A British pub! Well, Irish actually.) Cheeeekyyy! I quote from the distasteful blog post:
One particular friend began an aggressive, drunken diatribe about the United States, knowing full well that the table of US students were close by. In essence he blamed the stupidity, and ignorance of Americans for the terrorist bombings on the 7th of July. Americans were isolated, hamburger eating, religious zealots, and their ignorance, and election of George Bush, alongside Tony Blair’s unconditional support for the war in Iraq, was ultimately responsible.

Bad Briton, bad bad Briton, for expressing an opinion in a free country, about another free country. And in close proximity of Americans too! This cannot be tolerated! Quickly, let’s write another Bill (the anti riling of American students in Irish pubs in Britain Bill.)

My reply:

I never said he was a bad Britain for expressing an opinion. The manner in which he said what he said, his anger, and directed vitriol... aimed at someone purely because of the nation they came from was wrong, and verging on Verbal Assault.

You wrote:

As regards Graham, it would be unrealistic to expect anything more nuanced from a Blair hagiographer (Graham: that’s arse-licker in plain English).

My reply:

Does anyone who continues to support Tony Blair qualify as a Blair Hagiographer? You are content to wax lyrical about the way in which Tony Blair has disrespected our Democracy by his actions, pointing to two specific examples which I've debunked and you've never redressed... and yet your own views aren't exactly Democratic and respectful of disagreement. Is it even remotely possible that you might ever be wrong Gert... on a whole range of issues? Is it possible that the world according to Gert might only be one side of the story?

You wrote:

Graham, apparently, is going back to the States and is going to help the Democratic campaign. Sounding like a Bush impersonator, Graham is the last thing the Democrats need. Losing elections is something they manage very well without his help, but thanks for the offer!

My reply:

You are completely unfamiliar with the political discourse in the United States. You have no comprehension of what sounds like Bush, as opposed to John Kerry, Bill Clinton, or Evan Bayh (the candidate thus far I am supportive of in the Democratic Primary race). In terms of my assistance with the Democratic campaign, I am not that accomplished. I will not be a party strategist, lol, so I don't imagine my contribution will be as pivotal as you suggest. For anyone who is interested I do have extensive views about the future direction of the Democratic Party on my blog... that unsurprisingly I consider will earn more electoral success than a vision of the Democratic Party Gert might support, led, perhaps, by Howard Dean.

You wrote:

When will the average American learn that being critical of an American aspect of their society does not make one a “Yankee-hater” (or a terrorist for that matter)? And do they need support from a British poodle like our fellow, Graham?

My reply:

Gert, you are not familiar with the average American. President Bush's approval rating is currently as low as 40% in some respected polls and to suggest the US electorate are incapable of scrutiny or respecting dissent is just another foolhardy misinterpretation that stems from a generalized stereotype rather than factual evidence.

The truth is that I unapologetically adore the United States, Gert. And NY Girl you are way too sweet, my darling.

Continue to snipe away, Gert :)

 
At 12:29 PM, Blogger Gert said...

You don’t really get it, do you?

Although you’re trying to reply paragraph by paragraph, you missed the central point. My post is all about perception. How Americans are seen by many people. Don’t say: “not by all” because that’s just a useless truism. How many Americans (again, don’t say: “not by all”) are very touchy about criticism of their country and hide behind more pointless and often risible “patriotism”, because their own perception of the outside world is extremely narrow (“not all”, ad nauseam). You may not agree with those perceptions or the reasons why they exist, but that doesn’t make them go away.

So, I’m not going to reply to all your work because most of it is irrelevant in light of the above. I’ll just respond to a few points.

You wrote:

I do not know if you have been to the United States, but this is not my personal experience of the country.

My reply:

You obviously don’t read my comments.

You wrote:

Why are you incapable of arguing the merits of a case without descending into personal attacks.

My reply:

Stop being so fucking sensitive.

Your wrote:

You are content to wax lyrical about the way in which Tony Blair has disrespected our Democracy by his actions, pointing to two specific examples which I've debunked and you've never redressed... and yet your own views aren't exactly Democratic and respectful of disagreement.

My reply:

To you, debate has to be “nice and cosy”, someone who fights a little harder isn’t democratic. In the hands of prats like you, democracy is something we might as well dispense with immediately. You’re lame and intellectually lazy but guess what… you’re polite: well done, bird brain.

You wrote:

Name calling is a sign of weakness.

My reply:

Oh, but it’s not. It spices things up a bit but doesn’t take anything away from any arguments at all.

You wrote:

I am not that accomplished. I will not be a party strategist, lol, so I don't imagine my contribution will be as pivotal as you suggest.

My reply:

Me, thinking “your contribution” will be “pivotal”? Who are you kidding here?

You wrote:

Gert, you are not familiar with the average American. President Bush's approval rating is currently as low as 40% in some respected polls and to suggest the US electorate are incapable of scrutiny or respecting dissent is just another foolhardy misinterpretation that stems from a generalized stereotype rather than factual evidence.

My reply:

Oh, but I am my friend, I am. Much, much more than you imagine. And don’t tell me things everybody already knows.

You wrote:

The truth is that I unapologetically adore the United States

My reply:

You don’t say…

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Gert said...

And Graham,

As regards:

And NY Girl you are way too sweet, my darling.

Don’t forget this “Sweet old darling is also
a would be assassin
. And most commentators agree: “Kill Chavez!”

Hey, if it makes the world a better place… [sic]

Mind who you ally yourself with in the New World.

 
At 4:53 PM, Blogger Graham said...

Gert you are not interested in a dialogue, or an exchange of ideas. You are simply spewing forth anger and bitterness, and broad sweeping, bold assertions that are substantiated by nothing that is plausible.

You are the only person I've ever encountered who can write an entire column about how a particular viewpoint (anti US foreign policy) isn't an attack on the nation as a whole.... and then spend the entire post, vitriolically, attacking everything about the United States that occurs to your scatological consciousness... raising irrelevant, tangential points to ridicule US culture, and denigrate their general level of intelligence. You're like a member of the BNP who argues he isn't a racist by expending all of his energy attacking Africans and Muslims, or Asylum Seekers and immigrant, instinctively, via whatever negative observations he can desperately grasp.

The fact that your views are inherently offensive doesn't endow upon your reasoning a responsibility to elucidate your arguments, or retain an open mind. And, now, hysterically, it is impossible to identify where you are wrong in specific situations because you've decided that my counter points addressing the case for your more general arguments aren't worth responding to. Okay, so walk me through this Gert, I have to address your conclusion, and only your conclusion, regardless of whether the long list of arguments that you make to support that conclusion are wrong.

You what, mate?

For instance, you still have refused to address my debunking of the basis upon which you asserted that Tony Blair had behaved undemocratically during the action taken in Iraq. But, hmmmm, that reasoning was the basis upon which you stridently condemned Tony Blair, and called me ten different names for not agreeing with your conclusion. You are not obliged to be polite, or respectful, but if you're going to repeatedly resort to attacking me personally you are obligated to recognize your errors. How is it possible for me to highlight where your conclusions are wrong if I can't address the mistakes in your argument?

But, y'see, maybe there's the rub. Maybe you don't think you make mistakes. Maybe you're so sure that you're always right that you're above scrutiny. Maybe this isn't a dialogue. Maybe this isn't a back and forth. Maybe this is just you expressing your view point to me, and others, unwilling to seriously consider what anyone else has to say if their viewpoint doesn't align with your own. Quite a Democratic outlook on life you got going there, my friend.

I'm not asking for nice and cosy, lol, Gert, but, you're verging on the precipice of "Troll" -like behavior yourself. Read through my blog. I've had innumerable confrontations with people from both sides of the political spectrum. But, this is rapidly descending into an exercise in cerebral masturbation on your part. You don't argue coherently. You arrogantly ascribe your political perspective on the US to vast sways of people in an attempt to explain their general distaste for the United States... which is unbelievably grandiose on your part by itself...

...but, what's worse is that you end up painting a picture of anti-Americanism that is far more abhorrent, prejudicial, irrational, and offensive than anything the general public are responsible for.

.....But, no, my mean spirited friend, that does not mean I deny your democratic rights to express yourself as you see fit... nor do I consider you a "bad Britain" for disagreeing with me. My opinion means, so you can grasp it quite clearly, that I think you're wrong. I think Gert is wrong. I think you've made an error in judgment. I don't trust your thinking, nor your conclusions, and so choose (if it's ok with you of course), to disagree with you ...and trust my judgment and not yours.

Is that ok??? Or does that make me a "bad Britain," or a Blair hagiographer, or a US ass licker, or someone you'd like to see gone from this country... (insert more names here pal)

In regards to NY Girl, I don't hate people for their ideas or political perspectives. Unlike you Gert I don't need to pigeonhole vast sways of people into categories of normal - people who agree with me, and abnormal - people who disagree with me... and I don't need to condemn, vociferously, those who reach alternative conclusions to my own.

Don't you get it? Don't you understand why I'm expressing my opinion online? I want to change minds. I want to resonate and make a difference. And, yes I want my own mind to be changed too, because, after all, I acknowledge that my reasoning is inherently flawed. We all make mistakes. So I try not to judge an argument or situation precipitously. Hence, why I've gladly entered into a discourse with someone as offensive and vulgar as yourself for such a period of time.

On my blog I want to create an environment in which people can seriously communicate with each other, and not play the juvenile games you seem more pre-occupied with. Progress according to you, it seems, is achieved by calling your opponent a "twit." Maybe we should take your approach to N.Ireland, or Western Africa, or the other parts of the world where people need to reconcile their differences.

It's attitudes like yours that consolidate the divides between us, and force people into ideological extremes. It's attitudes like yours that coarsen the public discourse and allow no genuine debate, or exchange of ideas.

Lastly, Gert, I am happy to continue on with this dialogue in the hope that when your clouded, boisterous haze fades from your judgment, even if it only occurs for a second, we might have a genuine, valuable exchange that might enlighten each of us together. That's how great thinking evolves IMO, via a discourse, via being challenged, via opening one's mind to alternative possibilities. I am not stupid, no matter how many times you say I am. And no my friend, neither are you.

And, the truth is Gert, whether or not I am sensitive in response to your relentless name calling, bullying, and visciousness is besides the point. The more pertinent point is that in all of your long diatribes, polemics, and ramblings I have yet to encounter an idea, or observation that genuinely makes me re-examine my perspective on anything. This is quite a feet.

Yes, you are a wonderful speller my friend, but, at least over the course of our correspondence, you have been a rather unimpressive thinker and an even worse communicator.

I know you're better than that, and look forward to seeing it along the way of what I imagine will be a constant back and forth for some time.

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Graham,

You’re only further proving my point: you’re an unashamed and uncritical lover of all things US and can’t stand it when someone has dig at you for that. You’ve now spent God knows how much time and energy on a post that really wasn’t much more than a mere distraction to me. “anti-Americanism Lite” if you like. It was started merely because your “pub incident” had me rolling with laughter. Boy, do you take yourself seriously, you sound like you’ve personally invented Political Correctness yourself! And even at the heart of New Labour, there are people that are at least a liiiiiittle more critical of the Leader Supremo than you.

You’re a woolly and very mediocre mind, unoriginal and full of yourself and your idealistic twaddle.

You struggle seriously with concepts like Democracy, believing (naively) that it’s all about a coterie of polite people debating quietly, like model children in a model classroom.

Meanwhile, serious crimes have been committed in Afghanistan and Iraq, by your polite “leaders” and many of many different countries have “politely” lost their lives, so that you can live in the “polite” illusion that the world is now a safer place and that the theocrats have been stopped in their deadly tracks. Real politicians have you right where they want you: politely eating out of their hand, whilst stroking you gently on the head from time to time, for being such a well-adjusted, empty-headed model Citizen.

As regards your leftism? You write a blatant, uncritical and frankly very, very boring piece about the chimp’s ally and what do you attract? Right-wingers, which congratulate you on your views and which then, also unthinkingly, get thanked back by you. What a self-promoter you are.

One point I do want to address in your last bout of irate verbal diarrhoea.

You wrote:

In regards to NY Girl, I don't hate people for their ideas or political perspectives. Unlike you Gert I don't need to pigeonhole vast sways of people into categories of normal - people who agree with me, and abnormal - people who disagree with me... and I don't need to condemn, vociferously, those who reach alternative conclusions to my own.

My reply:

I don’t hate Miss Tick either (nor you, I’ve almost become emotionally attached to you really), but her views are extremely dangerous, no amount of polite but puerile “I want to debate, not call names” blabbering is going to change that.
Do read the original post again, including the comments
, it’s frankly incredible that some hold opinions like that, then prefer your “views” because “at least he [you] doesn’t sink to name calling”. A polite would-be political assassin… Oh, well it takes all sorts to make a world, I suppose. You’ll also tell me that her opinions aren’t shared by “most” Americans but what’s that got to do with anything?

Stop spending so much energy and time on this post. It’s typical of you that the post I originally created in response
to your “theocratic fascism” theory
contains no reference to you personally whatsoever, doesn’t use any name-calling but gets… completely ignored.

 
At 3:29 AM, Blogger Graham said...

Gert, I'm sorry, I do appreciate the debate but I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall.

Your post "Why the West was Wrong" which I had every intention of responding to in depth, was swiftly proceded by offensive, personal attacks... statements that you are in no position to make to me on the basis of contradictory and mistaken arguments you offer to support such vitriol. I insult myself if I allow you to think I tolerate your behavior.

+ You have no concept of what I'm addressing. I'm not talking about a "polite dialogue," I'm talking about having a dialogue full stop, an exchange, one that doesn't, without fail, resort to abusive tirades on your part.

I'm feel like I'm demeaning myself every time we converse because you don't accept there's anything wrong with the way you are expressing yourself, and on any individual point I make, you are unwilling to logically or rationally appraise the situation.

I have gladly examined my own perspective at length for your benefit, in spite of the fact I've found you offensive. And, yet, you resort to completely blocking out reason and judgment in justifying your own, and refuse to objectively reflect upon anything.

This:
Meanwhile, serious crimes have been committed in Afghanistan and Iraq, by your polite “leaders” and many of many different countries have “politely” lost their lives, so that you can live in the “polite” illusion that the world is now a safer place and that the theocrats have been stopped in their deadly tracks. Real politicians have you right where they want you: politely eating out of their hand, whilst stroking you gently on the head from time to time, for being such a well-adjusted, empty-headed model Citizen.

...Has nothing to do with anything I said. I'm not complicit with US military intervention in Iraq because I politely disagreed. Nor do I expect you not to march, protest, and express yourself aggressively via Democratic means. Personally, I'm complicit in the Iraq war because I wholeheartedly supported the action. Remember?

Just because everything I write doesn't resort to your brand of cynicism, and critical analysis does not make it mediocre. An objective appraisal recognizes both sides of the argument... and also recognizes the inherent imperfections in any given solution to world or domestic affairs. I am a realist, and I am happy to positively reflect the elements of society that I believe, ultimately, serve all us well.

The calibre of your critical analysis isn't at all mediocre though...oh no... what was it again.. ahhh... Bliar... that's an astoundingly impressive critique. I would never even think about making such a point, but I feel forced to demonstrate that you have no ground on which to cast your arrogant assessments and judgments. You shouldn't hold such an unjustified grandiose sense of your own faculties.

You have every right to resort to whatever tactics you consider reasonable. But, you don't have a right to continue to expect me to invest my time and energy taking you seriously, regardless.

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Graham,

Although I’ve read your comment, I decline to respond for the reasons I’ve mentioned before: you’re spending too much time on this one, our “debate” here is debilitating tit-for-tat and about as useful as fitting wheels to a tomato.

“How the West was Wrong” on the other hand, contains no “personal attacks” on you, mentions no reference to you as a person or as a blogger and doesn’t call anyone else names either.

It also has a much wider scope than my couple of “anti-American” digs, which were just that: digs.

And if you prefer to ignore that post, well, that’s of course your indisputable right.

I’m also planning a follow-up, working title “How the West won”, about what I feel is how the West can afford to, generally speaking, to treat Arabs and Africans with much contempt, because throughout most of modern history, we’ve made them look down the barrel of a very loaded gun. It’s not about racism; it’s about what white people have been able to inflict on Africa and the Middle East, simply because we could... And our vastly superior firepower, still today, continues to allow us invade far away places without the risk of actually losing the battle. From a position of economical, technological and military dominance, the West can really do what it sees fit, wherever on this planet (soon also in space?) And that includes making serous mistakes...

Best regards,

Gert

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Also, Graham, I expect you might want to post about Katrina first and that's entirely undestandable.

I would do so myself, but I fear I wouldn't be able to contribute much right now.

What a terrible tragedy that is. But I'm not really making things any better by saying that....

It's quite shocking to see how many from all different sides are willing to blame just anything they can think of (God, Bush, Osama, the Islamists, Gaya, name it and you've got it, we'll never learn), just hours after the scale of the catastrophe became imminent.

Take care.

 
At 11:19 PM, Blogger Graham said...

Blaming God was particularly amusing to me. Check it out:

Yankee wackazoids ;)

Yes, lol, I was writing about Katrina. Or at least that the office of the Presidency should be given an opportunity to fill the vacuum that has been left by no real presence of leadership over the past few days. Bush is capable of stepping up to the plate and I think peolple need him to. There will be time to criticize the causes and reasons why, and hold those responsible accountable. But, now people just need to helped. The effectiveness of the relief effort is not above scrutiny but it's early days I guess.

Why the West was wrong is at the top of my to do list tomorrow :).

+ check out the suicide bomber video from Al Jazeera... I think they have a video clip on the BBC. I imagine we'll have different interpretations and a sense of emphasis of the causes that inspired his articulate explanation for doing what he did. It's very powerful viewing, regardless. Some very interesting comments by Arab leaders on BBC radio in response to. Nothing in life is predictable, for sure.

Stay well Gert.

 
At 11:22 PM, Blogger Graham said...

Am very tired... I apologize for my many errors above.

:)

 
At 2:16 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Yeah, I found RepentAmerica.com's conclusion too: "gays and fornicators", these guys from RA really have got the finger on the button...

This one's "good" too: God's revenge for "selling out Gaza" to the Muslims". There's an incredible amount of "Holy Land" related twaddle by the underbelly of the Fundies on the net (the "colander" as I call it sometimes, on account of it leaking so much)...

The great Imaginary Manager in the Skies still works in mysterious ways. Or is it just a Psychopathic Deity on the loose?

I'm afraid the Muslim bampots' theories will be even more grave and sinister, though.

As regards, the video: breath stopping, but Al Jazeera is just another "Ministry of Disinformation", they're not to be trusted. They make their money passing "messages" from Osama et al to the West.

I noticed your avatar hasn't been working for some time.

Take care.

 
At 3:15 AM, Blogger Gert said...

The Big Moolla's Flatulence is also to be blamed, oh bless the Lawd...

 

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