Saturday, July 13, 2013

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/13

Okay, trying to keep up with a tenured professor with grown children, money and time to burn, with a retired spouse is pretty damned hard. It shouldn't come as a surprise that law professors have a good niche in the blogosphere: They're well positioned to have the time and resources to blog a lot.

So, since I won't be able to comment on everything in as timely a manner as I would like, here is a thread for people to comment on until something better gets posted by me. Enjoy!


Mitchell the Bat said...

You should have a party when you get to Catch-all Thread 22.

Icepick said...

We'll celebrate by bombing ourselves while getting someone else to bomb themselves. Then we'll rebuild Italy, thereby losing a won war.

creeley23 said...

So what are the theories on Althouse's meltdown?

I don't have a big emotional investment. I got used to reading and commenting at Althouse for a while. I can get used to doing something else and might be better for it.

I'm curious though because on most counts Althouse's behavior didn't make sense even in terms of her own self-interest. She had worked for ten years to build up a high-profile blog with a thriving commenter community. That's not easy to do.

Then she ignited two huge flamewars with vile attacks on commenters and most men in general that led to such vituperation she closed comments off for an indeterminate period.

It's hard to see how this is a win for her. It was easily avoidable and, as a law professor, she had the self-control and the smarts to do so. Yet she didn't. Nor has she explained why to anyone's satisfaction.

It was also an odd lapse of decorum for a prominent law professor, and as someone at the time pointed out, would have likely gotten a male law professor canned if he had attacked women and Althouse attacked men.

One can only assume that the meltdown was psychologically driven. I've speculated that she's a sociopath. I can hardly know for certain. That's my glib way of saying that I think there's something wrong beyond the ordinary going on.

Icepick said...

Someone (I forget who) has speculated that Althouse has a health problem.

Personally, I think it is just one of those things that happens on the internet. I don't think that just Althouse had a meltdown, I think the whole commentariat had a bit of a meltdown. Althouse did throw fire on a couple of on-going flame wars, but the wars were already long standing affairs. She just dropped some fuel bombs before going nuclear.

There really were a lot of people getting extremely pissy about the gay marriage stuff (including me), and the whole "War on Men" thing has been a growing meme and an increasingly sore spot for a while now. Althouse picked the wrong commentariat to get contrary with on that issue.

Frankly, a lot of people were behaving badly. That's not to exclude Althouse, because she was also behaving badly. Mocking the losing side is NOT a classy move, and is guaranteed to increase the heat. The fact that she won't even acknowledge that's what she's doing just makes it worse.

Also, a lot of people think (rightly in my opinion) that the Professor is much more insulated from what's happening in the rest of the country than most everyone else. Sometimes she really does seem stuck in the young Boomer mythos, but times have changed. Hell, us Gen-Xers are starting to get up there in years now. This isn't the country of 1993 anymore, much less the country of 1973.

And then, to add to everything else, Mary showed up again. And that was the final straw. No one who has been subjected to that shit would want to put up with it again, and it has been an periodic problem Althouse has faced. (Other friends of mine have been subjected to that as well - Mary is a destroyer, plain and simple.)

So that was it, bad attitudes all the way around, napalm and fuel bombs (redundancy alert!), neutron bombs and a closed comment section.

And now there's a lot of butt-hurt all the way around, people are nursing grievances, and what was once one of the most entertaining large blog commentary groups (if not the most entertaining) is now kaput.

Mostly I think it was all simple human foibles (stubbornness, willfully refusing to acknowledge the other person's point of view, doubling down of stupid) all the way around, and that people looking for big explanations are just ignoring the obvious: Sometimes people just behave badly, even if they're not fundamentally bad people.

So now us refugees wander the lonely sands of the internet, looking for fellow exiles.

Icepick said...

Creely, I've promoted this discussion to its own post.