Monday, June 28, 2010

Fetal Opinion Columnists

If for whatever idiotic reason you've been following these things, you'll know that the right has this weird propensity for elevating extremely young opinion columnists to the national stage: the loathsome Ben Shapiro (seventeen when discovered), Kyle Williams (twelve--and sixteen or thereabouts when he voluntarily withdrew after realizing that he was being used and that his opinions might not be fully-formed. Very admirable, actually), and Jonathan Krohn (thirteen). Why? I suspect it's part of a desperate effort by right-wingers to subsume that persistent, gnawing feeling that demography is against them. Maybe it's also an unconscious effort to mimic those Geico commercials ("Wingnuttery: So easy, a fifth grader could do it").

The latest right-wing version of Samuel Johnson's dog-walking-on-its-hind-legs is eleven-year-old Sam Besserman. Two problems: one, all of the anecdotes about the poor lad's alleged preschool indoctrination are obviously fabrications; and two, this was not written by an eleven-year-old. You could more or less believe that Williams' columns were written by a precocious tween, but here--not so much. The least-dishonest-case scenario is that the kid wrote something that was then edited to within an inch of its life by an older wingnut.

How does a precocious eleven-year-old write? Well, not to tout my own horn (as my old business teacher liked to say), but I think I was in the upper percentile of writers at the time. And I wrote like this:

Once upon a time there was an evil king named Klunkez. He ruled the Empire of Eggs. He also loved to go bowling but thought that the tickets were to expensive, so being an evil king, one night he tried to steal them. Unfortunately, they escaped from the box in which he had trapped them, and now they were running loose all over the kingdom.

The king had a henchman named Sir Lagalong. He was very clumsy and not to bright either.

Now, in the corner of the realm, there lived an old mermaid named Martha. She was the only mermaid in the kingdom, because the king didn’t like merpeople and would kill them on sight. Martha had survived for two reasons: firstly, she was an accomplished spellcaster, and secondly she had a cute little pet dragon named Chipper. He was about the size of a housecat, and his scales were sparkling black in color. He was very loyal to Martha and had saved her life on several occasions. King Klunkez detested him. His very favorite food was bowling alley tickets, and he was very, very, very good at catching them.

One day, the king was fretting about how hard it was to catch bowling alley tickets, when suddenly he thought of a plan.

He called for Sir Lagalong. When the knight got there, Klunkez ordered him to capter Chipper to get him bowling alley tickets.

Sir Lagalong put on his armor, which was two sizes too big for him, and set out.

After a while, he came to a field, where he found Chipper in the process of hunting a bowling alley ticket. Sir Lagalong snuck up behind Chipper and lassoed him around the neck.

The walk back to the castle was a knightmare for Sir Lagalong (Get it?). Chipper was struggling at the leash and singeing him with small spurts of flame. Eventually, the dragon quieted down and the knight began to relax. Suddenly, Chipper hit him with a huge burst of fire, and Sir Lagalong let go of the leash, ran and ran until he came to a duck pond, and hurled himself in.

Meanwhile, Chipper began to search for dinner as he had not finished his previous repast. Suddenly, two huge, mutated bowling alley tickets leapt out of the underbrush and started chasing him. Chipper spred his wings and took flight, with the tickets close behind him. He flew over the castle, and the tickets trampled over it, raizing it, as Chipper watched in glee. He then turned and spit a bit of fame at the tickets, incinerating them.

The tickets were the best he’d ever tasted.

Whereas THIS young hero, we are to believe, writes like THIS:

When I switched schools in 2nd grade, I suddenly found myself surrounded by bleeding-heart liberals. We were taught that minorities were victims and therefore good, and members of the majority were, by inference, bad. Similarly, we learned that America was the big, bad exploiter, and the countries my parents grew up believing were evil were not so bad after all. I asked my father about these issues practically every night, and he taught me the meaning of moral relativism. I thought he was being too kind, and I characterized it, instead, as moral inversion.

Believable! And if an eleven-year-old WAS somehow writing in this fashion, he really ought to be prostrating himself before the mind-bogglingly great teachers he must have had, rather than whining about them in so unbecoming a manner.



Blogger Kaitlyn pontificated to the effect that...

I was going to say a right-wing columnist would write worse than an 11 year old.

Maybe I went to the wrong school, but when we learned about oppressed people (even in college!) we were never told that they were universally good (minorities are people too!), just that what happened to them was incredibly BAD.

A recent example from my memory is from a class on the modern middle east, about the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman empire. There were some Armenians stirring up trouble, but they were a tiny portion of the population. BUT their activities in no way justify what followed.

And in the anthropology class I also took that semester, we spent a lot of time talking about race, yet she never said that all white people were good and the few black people in the class were saints. And this class was incredibly liberal/progressive.

There is "white guilt" but no teacher would say "all white people are bad" even in the bluest of blue states. That's just nonsense.

Also, your story rocked.

1:23 AM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. pontificated to the effect that...

Why, thank you.

I thought the actual content of the column, such as it is, was beneath comment, but yeah, it's pretty nutty-ass. The phrase "moral inversion" seems to imply that we're to believe the opposite of what the evil imaginary teachers told him; ie, that white people are automatically good and everyone else is automatically bad.

1:32 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home