Thursday, December 21, 2006

George Will: The last serious man

Like a Christmas goose stuffed to overflowing with breadcrumbs and celery, George Will is completely full of shit. Unfortunately, we can’t put him in the oven for three hours to cook. I guess that would be considered murder.

In today’s column, Will bemoans Time magazine’s selection of person of the year, which happens to be everybody who uses the Web. Like a bewigged seventeenth century French aristocrat, Will arches an eyebrow and sneers at bloggers and others who dare to think that their lives or opinions are anything but an absolute snore.

“The most capacious modern entitlement is not to Social Security but to self-esteem. So Time's cover features a mirror-like panel. The reader -- but why bother to read the magazine when merely gazing at its cover gives intense gratification? -- can gaze at the reflection of his or her favorite person. Narcissism is news? Evidently.”

Will believes that 99.9% of what’s on the Web lacks seriousness. That is, of course, a ridiculous statement, but here is one that is not: 99.9% of all conservative commentators and pundits lack intellectual seriousness. Will tries to camouflage his vacuous ideas in professorial prose. Others, like O’Reilly and Limbaugh prefer intimidation and shouting. Nonetheless, on the intellectual seriousness meter, all fall below the “laughable” line.

Being the hopeless elitist he is, Will feels threatened by the Web. I’m sure George is convinced that only he and a handful of other syndicated columnists have anything useful or profound to say. The threat, however, comes not from any intellectually superior scribes, but from the sheer mass of writers who steal attention from the traditional, serious thought leaders.

“Most bloggers have the private purpose of expressing themselves, for their own satisfaction. There is nothing wrong with that, but nothing demanding or especially admirable, either.”

So there is nothing admirable in my desire to express myself. He’s right of course. Why would I want to express myself when I can read George Will expressing himself? He’s serious, you know.

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