Saturday, July 13, 2013

Creeley23 asks the question we're all wondering about. [BONUS added.]

In the comments, Creeley23 asks, "So what are the theories on Althouse's meltdown?"

He has his speculations. Here's mine:
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. 
What's needed now is for everyone to "Hug it out, bitches!", but that ain't happening.

BONUS: Who wrote:
I don't think diagnosing them as crazy or non-crazy is helpful. Those who are behaving like assholes need to be called on it. Plain and simple.  
Answer after the break.

Meade, on 12/29/06, 2:54 PM.


creeley23 said...

icepick: Well, OK.

My less clinical theory is that there was a mutual falling-out of respect between Althouse and commenters. She knew we weren't going away. She knew she couldn't change us. She knew she had no compelling arguments against us. So, since we weren't going to leave, she just blew us away.

Where it becomes less "sometimes people just behave badly" is that when she stepped into the ring for round 2 last Saturday, she had to know what she was doing or at least chancing. It was premeditated and she did it anyway, Mary or no.

Icepick said...

Where it becomes less "sometimes people just behave badly" is that when she stepped into the ring for round 2 last Saturday....

That would be the "doubling down on stupid" part!

And here's a blast from the past. Who wrote:

"I don't think diagnosing them as crazy or non-crazy is helpful. Those who are behaving like assholes need to be called on it. Plain and simple."

I'll put the answer in the body of the post, after a page break.

deborah said...

Icepick, I agree with your summary.

Aridog said...

Icepick, your summary is as good, no better, than most I've read so far...enough so I can say I think I agree. Problem for me is I am apparently dense, and miss stuff, or if I notice it and don't like, I just past it by more often than not...but there are egregious exceptions. Those I regret. Long story short, posts by Althouse calling men per se beta males or punks or weaklings or whatever don't phase me.

I know my ranking in the Alpha to Omega scale...and I know that the scale applies to males and females in nature. I also know that rankings change over time, both upwards and downwards. In short, "beta male" is a meaningless metaphorical social human contrivance for a slur. It IS meaningless. My first name is "Richard" so you gotta know I've heard "Dickhead" a lot over the years. Big whoop.

As for the redundant posts on gayness and gay marriage, so be it...I repeatedly said I didn't give a damn. And why...very simply, it doesn't threaten me..e.g., I don't feel threatened by much that really isn't my business in some immediate fashion. I have gay friends and sense they pretty much feel the same way, or at least understand how I think. There are enough real risks and threats out there, don't need to add spurious ones.

In my time on Althouse there were some posts, and some commenters who were dismissive in snide ways. So be it, I ignore them after I get the drift [some of which surprise me]...including Althouse's posts that I can't fathom. I certainly don't feel less a man or an intellect because there were and are posts that elicit WTF? from me.

I meant what I said about thinking you can hack a stimulating conversation forum, if you have the time and you feel like it. There will be comments and commenters I don't like, and I can again pass them by or read quickly just in case they really do say something I need to hear.

Foremost, the community of commenters is there. My opinion [and only my opinion], now is the time to stop referencing Althouse per se as a recurring meme. It's done, over, gone. Those who insist on dwelling on Althouse, as some kind of victory thing, for reasons of their own, will do so, but it isn't necessary.

Thanks for listening.

Aridog said...

PS: I am already part of a very small group blog with 14 contributors, some more than others...I am the least in fact. It is manageable if you have contributors with posting access who are essentially on the same page. You have jointly define what that "page" is to be. We grew out of a larger blog [drew away from quietly], that itself grew out [drew away from acrimoniously] of LGF, and formed up when our opinions were derided or worse as time passed. Since we all have things to do ourselves, there aren't a lot of posts, but some that do get up have decent conversations. In short, it isn't impossible, but 2 to 4 contributors will carry most of the water.

Aridog said...


I said...

Icepick, your summary is as good, no better, than most I've read so far ...

That should have read ....

"Icepick, your summary is as good, no, actually better than most I've read so far..."

I am one of those fat fingered fuzz brained fools that really can benefit from an "edit" feature.

Icepick said...

I was just happy that the commentary wasn't worse than what has been written elsewhere!

And I have done the group blog thing before, twice in fact, and seen the dynamics you point out. Really, my hope is just that the old community, or a good chunk of it, will survive somewhere. I've gotten two good friends out of the Althouse community, so at least at some point it has had value.

Aridog said...

I've gotten a couple good friends from within the community as well, plus a high school acquaintance that "found" me by putting together things Id said over time to determine that we went to the same very small high school in the boon docks. Not surprisingly he is the commenter who had the most direct experience and background to comment on the Snowden affair, but said nothing.

Our little group blog community is mostly like a community note pad between old acquaintances. There is no pressure to publish, so to speak. Something like what I think Trooper York described, IIRC. Usually we are not trying to electrify anyone, although a few of our frequent posters and commenters are worth a a FS guy [also a lawyer] posted in south Asia [AFAIK now, he moves around a fair bit], another a very well read engineer [no that is not an oxymoron] in Portland, a very active blogging Israeli [has her own site], and anther DOD type posted in Africa. Most of us read news elsewhere and comment to each other in a cordial manner. A very diverse group as I've said before, from foreign service officers to electrical engineers, and ordinary rednecks [where I fall I think, with veneer of DOD] and conservative Cannucks. :-)

I wish you luck and good fortune however you decide to proceed. The think is this: YOU and a few others ... Chip Ahoy, Lem, Scott, plus others I may have missed, and of course, EBL welcomed everyone on her long standing blog] DID something ... and the rest of us are riders on your coattails.

Leland said...

I think the assessment is reasonable.

However, there is one additional piece that sticks out to me. The argument with Glenn Reynolds. Just prior to the shutdown, Freeman suggested we all shouldn't take things personal, and we should look to Althouse and Glenn for reasoned debate. Generally, I like Freeman's level headed and sober comments; and I think her note about not being personal in comments is a good one. But I think she was wrong that Althouse wasn't taking things personal. She certainly seemed to take issue with Glenn's "she doesn't get it".

Because of that blogwar outside of the comments section; I just think there was a little more than a unruly commentariat. I think, Icepick, you recognize that in your 4th paragraph, but something triggered her now. If it was the DOMA ruling or whatever else; I'm not sure what of those things made the discussion personal. As she and many others noted, DOMA went her way. So why get angry over it? If it was DOMA, Glenn's for gay marriage. I think there is something else, and it just hasn't been identified yet.

Alas, I'm not to worried. She'll work it out. She might be changed by it, but she'll survive. The commentariat can be found all over now. So I'm happy.

Trooper York said...

I have come to the conclusion that this is all a smoke screen. The blow up in the comments were no worse then many others that have gone before. What is different is two things:

She got involved directly in the comments

She was losing.

When opposition and push back came from unexpected places like Ritmo and BagO it was bad. But when most people signed on with Glenn and Dr Helen she lost her shit. So she had to put the fire out. Shut off the comments. Don't get into a blog war with Instapundit. Lay low. Send out Meade to fight in Lem's blog and other venues to keep it riled up so people will want to come back when the comments reopen. It's all part of a plan.