I’m not sure anyone has ever said anything quite so nice to a humble award-winning cruelty artist. Munson writes:
BRAVISSIMO! (Munson rises from his chair, enraptured, vigorously applauding)
Such nuanced invective! “You’re a maleducated twit, Sigrid.” Channeling James Kilpatrick no less! Keynesian/Mises Institute-man, that Dennis Miller-like slider caught me looking; couldn’t even take a swing at it. You have the precision of a coiled cobra, with much less empathy. In an age that honors meaty roundhouse rhetoric, you show the skill of an AWACS directed surgical strike, killing only those necessary, leaving the rest to their dreary lives of drinking curdling sour goat milk and fucking their grub-like mustachioed women. Your writing is a delight sir. I could not find the post that started the exchange; no matter, the artist rises above his inspiration. And you are no less than that VD.
The true artist creates only for himself, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t take deep satisfaction in encountering those Umberto Eco describes as his Ideal Readers. In case you’re interested, both the art and the inspiration can be found here.
Another commenter, one Odds, notes what makes puncturing academic gasbags so intrinsically worthwhile in addition to the sheer entertainment value provided:
It’s that “intellectual” style of speech that does it. So many kids, especially in worthless fields like women’s studies, think it makes them sound smart. There must be some course for liberal arts children where they tell them, “communication isn’t about conveying your position in the most precise and succinct way, but about illustrating your fantabulous credentials.” Then they end up saying far more than they meant to and it reads less like an original argument than a quote mined from an obscure, little-regarded essay. And deep down, in what’s left of their soul, they fervently hope that no one will notice they’ve presented their ideas through vocabulary rather than through arguments, and that they’ve made no argument at all.
It’s always amusing to see that the worst offenders in the great game of credentialist competition are the larval academics who don’t actually possess any credentials yet. There is nothing wrong with an extensive vocabulary or complicated sentence structure. But it is a grotesquely false to believe that the mere use of either is sufficient to make an argument convincing, and it is contemptible to knowingly use such things to try rhetorically intimidating those who possess dialectically stronger arguments into submissive acquiescence.
I further note that habitual reliance upon rhetorical bullying is a relatively reliable indicator that one is susceptible to such techniques.