Wednesday, March 28, 2007
It's just art -- see for yourself.
CALLING ALL COMPUTER JOCKS. At the end of February, I proposed a challenge to the more skilled searchers of the Internet to measure the difference between the use of cursewords in blogs by lefties and righties. I offered criteria -- Carlin's seven dirty words -- I believed amenable to search engines. Those who remember or review my original challenge will be aware that the catalyst was not cursewords per se, but the flood of lefty blog posts and comments wishing a swift and painful death on Vice President Cheney after his last health crisis. (There was a precedent case for this: the lefty response to Laura Ingraham's cancer.) I didn't think at the time that this sort of human indecency could be measured on the Internet, so I proposed a substitute in the belief that extreme rhetoric in a tangible, measurable area might also inform us about the incidence of extreme rhetoric in intangible areas such as the response to a political opponent's ill health. The response to that challenge was quick and overwhelming:. the left is quantitatively more foul-mouthed than the right.
Since then, I've observed that some perseverant lefties continue seeking ways of chipping away at the findings of those who answered my challenge. I haven't kept the links (sorry!) but enough additional searches have been performed by now for the purpose of defending the Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, et al, that I must conclude they were bothered by the initial findings. Still, all they've managed to date is to build dubious arguments for reducing the ratio by which lefty cussing exceeds righty cussing, not for reversing the balance.
In recent days, a lot of new evidence has become available on the original prompt for my curiosity. The Elizabeth Edwards announcement. The Tony Snow announcement. And less known but even more sadly, the fact of conservative blogger Cathy Seipp's death from cancer. Not as dire but just as disturbing has been the experience of an apparently nonpolitical blogger named Kathy Sierra, who is now living in fear because of death threats over the Internet. (I remember but won't reference the equally scary instance of Protein Wisdom's Jeff Goldstein with an Internet stalker who threatened his children because of Goldstein's conservative views.)
My challenge to the technically superior in these matters is to find some means of assessing the left vs. right responses to the past month's news about Elizabeth Edwards, Tony Snow, Cathy Seipp, and Kathy Sierra.
Here are some links and info to jump-start your research:
Elizabeth Edwards: My own post critical of John Edwards, supplemented with a round-up post linked by a commenter at this site who apparently thought I hadn't done my research.
Tony Snow. The first word I heard after the announcement itself was that the Huffington Post had a priori disabled comments on its announcement of the recurrence of his disease. (Why? Huh.) Then came this from Little Green Footballs.
Cathy Seipp. To his credit, Glenn Reynolds has used his talent for terseness to maximum effect in this entry.
Kathy Sierra. If anyone understands Internet threats and abuse (sexual & physical), it's Michelle Malkin the Brave. She proves it again here, but with some qualifications.
The lefties who criticized the first challenge tried first to disprove the quantitative findings. Then they fell back on the argument that there's nothing wrong with using foul language in the pursuit of passionate political convictions. What would they fall back on if the obvious fact can be proved -- that they, in all their enlightened tolerance, wish death and suffering upon their opponents far more than heartless conservatives ever do?
Are you curious? Then find a way to prove it, dammit.
UPDATE. Yet again, thanks to the incomparable Wuzzadem for the link. Even if you have nothing to contribute to this challenge, you have to go see what Mr. and Mrs. Wuzzadem are up to right now, including their entries on the pet food problem and Chuck Hagel, plus the solid-gold discovery of a conservative voice so brilliant that it recalls the history-making speech Ronald Reagan made on behalf of the Goldwater presidential campaign. In fact, Evan Sayet is so astonishingly on-target that we'll devote a post strictly to him when we've assembled the necessary, relevant links to our own past meditations on the state of the contemporary liberal mind. It's possible we'll be nominating Mr. Sayet to run for President. He's that good.
Here's our honest assessment. If you had to choose between InstaPunk and the blog of Mr. and Mrs. Wuzzadem, in all good conscience we'd have to tell you to pick Wuzzadem. They rule.