Friday, October 22, 2010

Speak of the devil...

...Kathleen Parker says what? Maureen Dowd has a what?

Now, we hear, female candidates aren't witches after all. Too rhymey with the B-word in these enlightened times. They're "Mean Girls," says professional provocateuress Maureen Dowd in The New York Times — "grown-up versions of those teenage tormentors who would steal your boyfriend, spray-paint your locker and, just for good measure, spread rumors that you were pregnant.
"These women - Jan, Meg, Carly, Sharron, Linda, Michele, Queen Bee Sarah and sweet wannabe Christine - have co-opted and ratcheted up the disgust. ... Whether they're mistreating the help or belittling the president's manhood, making snide comments about a rival's hair or ripping an opponent for spending money on a men's fashion show, the Mean Girls have replaced Hope with Spite and Cool with Cold. They are the ideal nihilistic cheerleaders for an angry electorate."
Well. She does have a point, though she misses the bull's-eye.
It strikes me that Maureen Dowd's "Mean Girls" are actually MORE akin to those who had the nasty rumors spread about them than those who are spreading the rumors. If there are any "mean girls" here, it'd be Kathleen Parker, Maureen Dowd and THEIR ilk. Of course it doesn't surprise me that Kathleen Parker would close ranks with Dowd -- that's just what media types do, especially when their political outlooks are that close.

I would like to note a couple of things, though.

First up, this: "They are the ideal nihilistic cheerleaders for an angry electorate." It appears that neither Dowd nor Parker know the actual meaning of the word "nihilism." From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

a : a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless b : a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths
a : a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility
Do Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, et al. want to destroy the social organization in the United States? They never struck me as wanting to do that; in fact, all they seem to want to do is preserve the social organization by returning to and adhering to objective and moral truths -- which, of course, makes them pretty much the opposite of nihilists.

Second, "the Mean Girls have replaced Hope with Spite and Cool with Cold"? Somehow I am not surprised that Maureen Dowd's idea of "Cool" is the President of the fucking United States pissing and moaning about being treated like a dog and using stupid metaphors involving Slurpees and cars stuck in ditches. She never was the brightest crayon in the box, you know.