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01 March 2007


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Chris Lepore

We in the sinistrosphere have had quite a bit of fun with this little sociological experiment over the past couple of days. Oddly enough, it ties into the central point of a recent dust-up featuring three blogs not on NewsBuckit's list (Sadly, No!; Alas, a Blog; and Feministe). Without boring you with the specifics of the fight, the central point was the fundamental difference between incivility and indecency, and the tendency of some to be vigilant to the former while being complacent toward the latter.

Carlin himself said it; the "seven dirty words" won't curve your spine, turn your hair white or lose the war for us; they're just words. Some people (like my saintly Republican mother) really don't like them, some people are indifferent to them, and some people (again, like Carlin) wield them like an Old Master's brush. But at the end of the day, they're just words.

What sets the left blogosphere's teeth on edge are ideas, however civilly stated, that are morally hideous. Glenn Reynolds is an abomoniable human being in no small part because of his more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger justifications of genocide and political assassinations, regardless of how few F-bombs he may drop in the process. Michelle Malkin literally wrote the book on race-based internment, yet she is feted in the national media as a voice worth listening to while those of us who object in terms not usually found in E.M. Forster novels are ignored and derided.

In short, I think the difference boils down to this: The right points to the left's words to indicate 'hatefulness'; the left points to the right's ideas.


I'm so glad you showed up, Chris. Now I feel less like an echo chamber :-)

I think Instapunk, Newbuckit, and anyone who takes the "seven dirty words" experiment seriously as a measure of hatred are falling for the fallacy that what's easy to measure is what's going to give you the answer you want...

Chris Lepore

Too true, and you said as much at the bottom of your original post.

The whole thing wouldn't rankle so much if there weren't the pervasive sense that the wider Internet culture (including the MSM) seems to use a similar rubric when talking about the two wings of the blogosphere.

Thanks for the insights from the other side. Perhaps I'll stop by more often.


Why didn't you write f*#%! instead of the real word? Or refer to it as the F word?

You seem to be running a family friendly type of blog and I thought an F bomb was out of character.



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