A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Thursday, May 05, 2005


In pyschoanalystic terms (and let me state up front I am NOT a proponent of psychoanalysis), transference is "the process by which emotions associated with one person, such as a parent, unconsciously shift to another." I'm afraid my friend Troy has a bad case. In two recent posts he has the following quotes:

Near as I can tell, Troy is taking all of his anger and frustration at George Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Tom DeLay, etc. and lumpin' on to me. Transference. It's the only reason I can think of for him to consider me reactionary, to state that I don't back up anything I say with facts, to say that bias is the only thing that gets mentioned on this site, and to imply I am uptight. Honestly, in my whole life, I don't think anyone has ever called me uptight.

Let's take a step back and see if any of this stuff is accurate. I think Troy needs a good fisking.

Nice of you to once again bring up the wackos as your reasoning for being a reactionary.

Okay, that's twice you've called me reactionary ("You keep on saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."), by which I assume you are using this definition: An opponent of progress or liberalism; an extreme conservative. Which makes me wonder if you even read the entry that prompted the above comment. I'll grant you the title of the entry is biased, and I'll grant you the content of the entry is harsher on Democrats than Republicans (deservedly so, in my opinion), but did you even read the whole thing? Specifically, the part where I write, "To be fair, not all of these perposterous proposals come from Democrats, as the ridiculousness of the Republicans in the Schiavo case drove home quite clearly"? Or is anybody who doesn't lump equal condemnation on both parties every single time they say something political a reactionary? Call me conservative if you like, though I still prefer libertarian, but quite frankly calling me a reactionary is just plain inaccurate. Oh, and by the by, I too oppose the writing of discrimination into our Constitution, both because it is wrong, and because it cripples the federalism paradigm which has worked so well for this country for 200+ years. Pretty reactionary, I know, wanting to defend the Constitution, but hey, I'm a loose cannon, baby.

It's nice to have someone here who actually has some facts to back up their argument.

Hmm... I'll grant you this, Troy, you have a knack for getting under people's skin. 'Course I knew that already, but still. So, the implication is that I never use facts, we reactionaries so rarely do since we're too busy reacting I suppose, while you do, in between pointing out how reactionary anybody who disagrees with you is. Let me see, my article about nannyism sites as its source an article in Forbes. Your counterargument accusing me of being reactionary consisted of... ummm... saying I was reactionary and calling the President a wacko. My entry on MSM bias regarding Howard Dean's commentary consisted of me doing a search in a nationwide database to ascertain what said reaction was. Your response is to make snide commentary about me talking about bias too much. Movin' on...

Also, most of my comments go back to the point of bias (the only thing that is ever mentioned in this site).

Yeah, huh? Well, since I don't want to be accused of not using facts, I went back and counted. Of the last 25 posts I've made, eleven of them related to bias and I would say nine were explicitly about bias. Four were about sports, four also on education, three miscellaneous, two politics, and one each for records/archives, fiction and religion. Now, seriously, even using Journal math can you possibly make less than half of the posts into "the only thing that is ever mentioned in this site"?

Nick talks a lot about bias and the fact that he is irritated by it (or something, I start to lose consciousness after the 35 rant about media bias in a given week), yet he titles all of his blogs in a very biased way. Honestly, there are two types of people who care about what a NY Assemblyman are doing. The first should be the wackos who elected this moron, although I'm sure they're more worried about the state of the Yankees than any of their personal freedoms. The second, and the only people who really care, are the uptight Republicans who want to exploit this guy as a reason that the Democrats are all wackos. (Note: I am not implying that all Republicans are uptight. In fact, I would assume that most Republicans have never heard of this buttmunch. However, there are some people who are a little uptight about their views and that is who I am referring to.)
To which I can only say, "Wow, you have so completely missed the point." Yes, I title my blogs in a biased way. Go back and see if you can find ANY instance of me saying I'm NOT biased. There isn't one. My whole point is that everyone is biased, and that people in positions of influence (MSM journalists and educators in particular) should either A) Be up front about it so that people can adjust their own reactions based on their knowledge of the bias or B) Acknowledge their bias and then actively strive to be as neutral and objective as possible. The reason I harp on bias so much is because two of the cornerstones of our country's greatness, it's educational system and it's journalists (you know, fifth estate and all that?) have, generally (no, not all of them) completely lost track of both A and B.

As to the morons in NY, yes, it is their immediate problem, but the Forbes article I site also references nannyish laws in Wyoming, New Jersey and California. Alabama outlawed the sale of sex toys in 1998 (it's okay to use them, just not sell them). To paraphrase, "Nice of you to once again focus in on one small part of my argument to try and make it seem something it is not." I don't give a dingo's kidney if the politicians are Democrats or Republicans-- these laws are stupid and invasive. Currently, more of the studipidity seems to be coming from Democrats than Republicans, but hey, there's always time for the Republicans to catch up.

Why do I care? Troy's comments were, well, comments. I could just ignore them, most people would never know they were there (of course, most people don't read my blog in the first place, but that's another problem). But he really did miss the point. Whether intentionally, so he could be snarky, or unintentionally because his own biases got in the way. Either way, it is important to me to have people think about this point-- we are all products of our experiences, so how are those experiences, and our reactions to them, coloring our perceptions? Equally importantly, how are other peoples' biases coloring their perceptions, and do they ever consider how much difference those biases make in their actions and beliefs? This IS my main problem with bias and why I keep harping on it-- most people in academia and the MSM won't even admit that they MIGHT be biased much less take a cold hard look at the state of their profession and then, as objectively as possible, try and decide if they like where they are or if they need to address their lack of conservative thoughts and perspectives.

Jack and others have made the "observing behavior changes it in the act of observation" argument with which I agree. But would not observing behavior be better? Isn't stepping back from ourselves from time to time to see what ruts we've worn into our lives better than just blithely funneling down that rut without any thought to how we got there and where it's leading us? In the end, nobody is ever truly objective, but, just as Jack and others argue there is no absolute truth (not sure I agree with that) but the search for truth is worthy in and of itself, I would argue that to examine ones own biases and to try and ascertain what is objective, is worthwhile. Failing that, I would argue that both sides of the idealogical spectrum be represented somewhat evenly. I think the news used to do that, and I think academia used to celebrate that. I am hopeful that someday they will again.


So, your point in a long rambling rant titled "More Reasons that I am not a Democrat" was that we need to be aware of all the things that are coloring our beliefs? Interesting.
(Alright, that was just snarky. I admit it.)
I agree with the general point that the government is in too many places right now making too many stupid laws. However, the snarky title of your blog seems to rest the blame on just one side, whereas the real problem is both sides. I work with a guy who thinks that Democrats are evil and Republicans are good. I tell him that he's got it half right.
The basic problem is that in a 2 party system, when one of them wins a majority (which has to happen every time), they think that's their mandate to do whatever they want. I wouldn't suspect that the majority of people who voted for President Bush would want him to push issues from the religious right; but since he was elected, the religious right thinks that they now have a mandate to get what they want. (I am definately rambling at this point, so I will just make my concluding point.)
So there is only one real alternative, vote libertarian. If they do one-tenth of what they stand for, there will be a lot less government interference in everything.
One more thing, thanks for giving me such great billing.
Oh yeah, one final thing. I could care less about Rush Limbaugh or the President. They don't affect my happiness or well being in any way. But it is nice to have a place to bitch about them without pissing off all of my coworkers.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?