Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Total Drek Mail Call: Volume Whatever

Recently, a helpful commenter named "Anonymous" noticed my post on the Jenny McCarthy Deathcount. If you don't remember this post, don't worry- it's over a year old and was never particularly important in the first place. If you're curious, it discusses the potential responsibility that individuals who use shitty science and arguments to oppose vaccines may have for deaths from vaccine-preventable disease. And, more particularly, I mention another website that has actually attempted to tabulate how many casualties Jenny McCarthy has inflicted via her poorly reasoned opposition to sound medical treatment. In any case, in response to this post, Anonymous offered these helpful thoughts:

You are an assclown of the highest calibur ...Giving Jenny McCarthy a deathcount .....your an idiot is it even remotely close to her fault if a parent decides to not get vaccines for their kids ....any death from that should be blamed on the parent ..NOT Jenny McCarthy ...Ill say it again ....YOU ARE A COMPLETE ASSCLOWN ....

Now, there are a lot of things you could say in response to something like this. For example, you could apologize to the ellipses and ask them to point out on the doll where the bad man touched them. Instead, however, I think I showed a certain degree of restraint when I offered this helpful reply:

Hey Anonymous:

I suppose if I'm an assclown, I'm pleased to at least achieve such a sterling level of performance at it. A few points:

-It's spelled "caliber".

-You wrote "Your", which is the possessive form of you, as in, "Your advice to vaccinate my child was helpful". What you wanted was "You're" which is a contraction of "You are", as in, "When you don't use grammar properly, you're undermining your own argument."

-I didn't create the Jenny McCarthy Deathcount page, although I suppose the argument could be made that Jenny gave herself a deathcount.

-If you want to know how it is "even remotely her fault" you should probably read my post again, this time stopping when necessary to look up the big words in a dictionary.

-"Ill" is what you'll be if you follow Jenny's advice. What you meant was, "I'll" which is a contraction of "I will", as in, "I'll stop mocking your comments now."


And aside from the fact that I was apparently lying with that last bit, since here I am continuing to mock them, I stand by my response.

Why am I sharing all this with you? Really, for one reason only: it pisses me off. I don't mean that my anonymous commenter made me angry because s/he said I was an assclown. I am an assclown, and one should be free to call a spade a spade. No, I'm irritated because my anonymous commenter had such poor rhetoric. You see, I enjoy people who disagree with me, but only because I like trying to understand their arguments and, really, I get off on clashing their views with mine and seeing who triumphs. It goes without saying that I'm confident that my own notions will, more often than not, come out on top, but that's true of pretty much everyone. The thing is, as a consequence I get very irritated when someone decides to tell me I'm wrong in an insulting manner, but declines to actually advance an argument as to why. It's equivalent to just yelling, "Nuh-UH!" at someone and it's a habit that most of us should have grown out of by the end of grade school. And yet, some people just haven't.

So, the rule goes something like this: if you want a considered response, make a reasoned argument. If, on the other hand, you want me to make fun of your grammar and spelling, well, just do what Anonymous did.

As a side note: This reminds me very much of the standard I use for student papers. Specifically, I usually indicate that I don't grade on grammar or spelling BUT both are tools for making oneself understood, and errors that impact my comprehension of the argument will be treated fairly harshly. Honestly, I think when put that way students are more receptive to the importance of grammar and spelling than if they are just told that there's a right way and a wrong way.

As an additional side note: Please don't take this post as suggesting that I believe I never make spelling or grammatical mistakes. I do make them, and some I make fairly regularly, but I think it's fair to say that my errors are small and infrequent enough that they don't entirely compromise my meaning.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bwah! I love spell-checking my comments/haters.

On a side note: Why does fucking NO ONE know how to use possessives any more?! Did they pull this out of the curriculum entirely? I haven't seen a well-placed apostrophe in so long, I think I'd throw rocks at it.

Thursday, November 04, 2010 6:02:00 AM  

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