Home > World Events > What part of "NOT" doesn't Tim Blair understand?

What part of "NOT" doesn't Tim Blair understand?

March 16th, 2004

My posts on the Spanish election outcome have generated plenty of discussion and trackbacks, both here and in the crossposting at Crooked Timber, but nothing as bizarrely obtuse as this piece from Tim Blair. He quotes (without the emphasis I’ve added[1]) the final para

“The key element of the case against Blair, Aznar and Howard is not that they’ve stepped to the forefront of the war against terrorism when prudence would have dictated leaving the Americans to fight it by themselves,” writes Australian economist John Quiggin. “Rather it’s that they’ve aided and abetted the Bush administration in its decision to use the war against terrorism as a pretext for settling old and unrelated scores.”

then, after a long digression on the Spanish Caliphate, comes back to my post, reading as if the word not had been omitted, saying “leaving America to fight this war by itself would be “prudent” to the point of shame.”

With sufficient ill-will, it would be possible, as one of Tim’s commenters suggests, to read this as not only. But no-one who read the entire post could possibly sustain this.

Update In a long and tedious comments thread to his post, Tim Blair stands on his right to misrepresent anyone whose words he finds ambiguous, and is backed up by his inane cheer squad. I used to wonder how Blair could believe in the WMD story, not only before the war, but as recently as October last year. Now that I’ve seen the reality filter in action, I don’t wonder any more.

fn1. The emphasis was included in an email I sent Tim, protesting about a previous similarly bizarre episode in which he put up my Monday Message Board notice (posted, as it happens, before I’d heard the outcome of the Spanish election) as my “reaction” to the election outcome. He changed this (before reading my email – reader “warbo” had already protested) but then proceeded to compound the offence in this way.

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  1. March 16th, 2004 at 08:54 | #1

    Ah, you’ve been Blaired. Seems to go like this: 1) grossly misrepresent something by someone with different politics; 2) when that someone offers a clarification and seeks a correction, privilege your gross misrepresentation; 3) when that someone therefore raises the matter on your site, sit back and laugh while dozens of extremely rude people abuse him in every possible manner. The hard part is trying to work out the extent to which the misrepresentation and subsequent failure to do the right thing is a function of mendacity or stupidity.

  2. March 16th, 2004 at 09:31 | #2

    I don’t think it will be much use over there, but you could try extracting some quotes which show the clear disjunct between (on the one hand) what you said and (on the other) what he said you said. I think focusing on the word “not” might not be the best approach. You can be sure that when you’re dealing with writers who take ill-will for granted, no sentence which can possibly be read in an unkind light will ever be read in a kind one.

    Tim accused you of ‘urging a “prudent” means of avoiding [terrorism] (ie, doing nothing)’.

    Your post clearly contradicts that assertion, in sentences like this:

    “Worse still [than the direct harm which was done by the Iraq war], the desire for war with Iraq has led the Bush Administration to make political decisions not to go after terrorists and their backers and arms suppliers where the result might be inconvenient for the coalition of the willing.”

    My advice, though, is to let it go. In the eyes of some in the blogosphere, you’re either with Tim Blair or you’re with the terrorists.

  3. March 16th, 2004 at 09:45 | #3

    You can see an example of Tim Blair’s way of “engaging” in public debate this post about John Pilger on Lateline over at public opinion.

    If you read the comments re Blair’s evasion then you can see how Blair becomes an attack dog when his claims are pinned down through a close read.

    As Chris observes his case is based on “grossly misrepresent something by someone with different politics.”

    Mendacity or stupidity? He is an attack dog journalist who does not have the skills to argue case in terms of the ethos of public reason.

  4. Mork
    March 16th, 2004 at 10:06 | #4

    John – if it makes you feel better, I think it’s a fairly safe conclusion that the increased stridency of the nut-bloggers is a direct consequence of seeing the writing on the wall.

    They will become yet more hostile and more hysterical as we get closer to elections … but they’ll still end up on the losing side.

  5. Homer Paxton
    March 16th, 2004 at 13:38 | #5

    let us be perfectly clear, Timbo is no conservative merely a Bush/Howard apologist hence his apoplexy at the Spanish election result.

    Imagine his reaction when Iron Mark wins here!

  6. March 16th, 2004 at 13:56 | #6

    BAIT AND SWITCH

    It is a sign of intellectual bad-faith to identify the War on (fundamentalist-propagating) Terrorism with the War on (militarist-proliferating) Tyrant States.

    There may be a connection between the two, as when rogue state harbour terrorists. This was the case in Afghanistan, which made the US regime change legitimate from the pov of both strategic security and moral integrity.

    But the analogy breaks down in the case of the Gulf War. The Gulf War was not the War on Terrorism by other means. In fact prosecuting the war against Iraq may has made the War on Terrorism more difficult, due to drain on US military resources, encouraging recruiting in marginal Southern Asian states and opening Iraq up to fundamentalist agents.

    THe Gulf War should be justified, if at all, in its own right, as a way of:
    Security: removing a WMD-proliferating military threat (falsified) or
    Morality: promoting democracy in a chronicly despotic political region (not-falsified)

    Supporters of the War on Rogue States should stop the bait and switch of holding out the lure of the Good War against Terrorism and then switching to the not-so Good War against Rogue States.

  7. March 16th, 2004 at 14:40 | #7

    OTOH, I would agree with CalPundit that the effect of the Madrid bombings on the Spanish election has bad political implications: it demonstrates that terrorism works to intimidate the electorate.

    The Spanish government is being punished for being pro-US, not anti-terrorist. And now the Spanish government is less pro-US because of threat of terror. This is a tactical victory for the terrorists.

    I do not accept Pr Q’s statement that the Spanish electorate was not acting under intimidation from Al Quaeda. The symbolism of Spain’s alliance with the US in both ventures is what brought this attack on. Spain’s presence in Afghanistan and absence in Iraq are militarily trivial in both conflicts. Hence the symbolism of Spain’s withdrawal from the Coalition of the Willing sets a bad precedent: terror works, even if works to “correct” a bad decision.

    The Gulf War was a bad strategy and was conducted in bad faith. The US admin should not have prosecuted it the way it did. But it is much worse for a democratic state (Spain) to admit and retract their error of supporting the Gulf War under terrorist threat by a malignant agency.

  8. Mark McGrath
    March 16th, 2004 at 14:54 | #8

    So come one Tim where are you son?

    Have you got the decency to fess up and say I got it wrong or are you going to keep the head in the sand and keep misrepresenting people with your propaganda?

  9. Mark McGrath
    March 16th, 2004 at 14:54 | #9

    So come on Tim where are you son?

    Have you got the decency to fess up and say, “I got it wrong”, or are you going to keep the head in the sand and keep misrepresenting people with your propaganda?

  10. Jim Birch
    March 16th, 2004 at 14:57 | #10

    Jack, does this mean a state should continue with a whacky, deceitful, murderous policy on the basis of being somehow “locked-in” by terrorists? That type of argument can be run both ways, can’t it?

  11. March 16th, 2004 at 15:06 | #11

    ‘If’ you ever get proof of (falsified),Jack. The initial response will be the same given to chicken little and you are responsible for that reaction.

  12. March 16th, 2004 at 16:26 | #12

    Wow, Tim Blair’s comments on that thread are amazing. When someone like Blair does not follow the usual norms of discussion (like, if you misread someone, correct your misreading rather than accusing them of being “sublegible”), it makes discussion pointless. I think that treating Blair like a troll and ignoring him as much as possible is the best approach.

  13. Factory
    March 16th, 2004 at 16:58 | #13

    JS:
    “The symbolism of Spain’s alliance with the US in both ventures is what brought this attack on.”

    One should consider that Spain had colonies in Morocco until at least the Spanish civil war, so discounting that angle is pretty sloppy. Almost as bad as saying that the Bali bombings has nothing to do with Austrlian intervention in East Timor.

  14. Mork
    March 16th, 2004 at 17:16 | #14

    Jack – you should check Calpundit’s latest post on the Spanish election.

  15. Screamapiller
    March 16th, 2004 at 17:38 | #15

    John -

    I’m sure you’re just wonderful at whatever it is you do, but Tim parsed that sentence absolutely correctly. I’m sorry that you are a little bit subliterate – I’m sure you know what you meant, but I don’t. There is no other way to read that sentence to mean anything other than “prudence would have dictated leaving the Americans to fight it by themselves”. The way you wrote it, that assertion remains “an element”. That is clear.

  16. John Quiggin
    March 16th, 2004 at 18:30 | #16

    I continue to be stunned by Tim and his fans, and I’ll back my command of the English language against someone who uses the non-word “subliterate” any day of the week.

    But this is of a piece with their conduct on every issue imaginable, from ‘imminent threat’ to the smearing of Max Cleland’s war record. As long as they can find an interpretation on which their statements are literally true, they don’t care if everything they actually say is a lie.

  17. PK
    March 16th, 2004 at 18:35 | #17

    I knew it was only a matter of time before you and Tim got into a spat.

  18. PK
    March 16th, 2004 at 18:59 | #18

    By the way John, this is the second time more than one reader has apparently misunderstood your posts on the recent terrorism. You were taking me up on it yesterday.

    Perhaps you need to make your arguments on this point more clear. Generally I find your writing lucid, but obviously not in this case.

    Generally, it’s a bit of a cop-out to blame the reader.

  19. John Quiggin
    March 16th, 2004 at 19:12 | #19

    “Generally, it’s a bit of a cop-out to blame the reader”

    In general, this may be true. But the patent dishonesty with which Tim Blair has behaved in the subsequent comments thread leads me not to put too much weight on this hypothesis.

  20. March 16th, 2004 at 19:42 | #20

    The main case against Tim Blair and his cheersquad is *not* that they don’t mean well but rather that they are so lacking in mental flexibility and so full of certitude in their own positions that they have become incapable of serious engagement.

  21. March 16th, 2004 at 19:51 | #21

    Jason is partially correct. Blair and his lot haven’t ‘become’ incapable of engagement. They never were capable.

  22. March 16th, 2004 at 20:25 | #22

    I admit I sometimes mistake Shakespeare’s meaning, but generally I don’t blame ol’ Bill, even though he’s negligent in lacking a comment box for me to easily check with him.

    And while I’m here, a suggestion for a future post:

    The difference between the verbs “to albrecht” (meaning to lift and twist), and “to blair” (provisional definition: to lift and twist and be so dumb you can’t understand what you’ve done wrong).

  23. March 16th, 2004 at 21:28 | #23

    I think that initially Pr Q’s initial meaning was not entirely clear:

    when prudence would have dictated leaving the Americans to fight it by themselves

    Taken out of context, this remark appears to condone a craven, “free riding” or bludging attitude to the war on terror – an attitude that Pr Q has explicitly disavowed.
    But Tim Blair’s interpretation of Pr Q’s remarks was mischievous, since he did not disclose the fact that Pr Q inserted the clause in the subjunctive mood, to distance himself from the pacifist Left.
    In mitigation of Tim, he is probably a little overwrought. Every time the fundies murder another couple of hundred people he tends to lose it and lash out at convenient targets.

  24. gordon
    March 16th, 2004 at 22:32 | #24

    C’mon John,get off the fence and stop playing
    around with your semantics.

    You can run around in circles
    but what is it?

    In your opinion:

    “The key element of the case against Blair, Aznar and Howard is not that they’ve stepped to the forefront of the war against terrorism when prudence would have dictated leaving the Americans to fight it by themselves,” writes Australian economist John Quiggin.

    Now, is it.

    A: Not the KEY element,but an element in your
    esteemed opinion.

    B: Not an element?

    PS: Prudence???? More like p***weak.

    PPS: Is it Quiggin? or Quisling?

    Comment edited for coarse language. Remaining stupidity is the responsibility of the commenter – John

  25. DaveP.
    March 16th, 2004 at 22:33 | #25

    John- Any interpretation of your quote STILL makes you look and sound like a cowardly f**k who is more than willing to let America take the lumps, as long as you are allowed to feel safe at home. Congratulations. Get over yourself.

    Note: Commented edited for obscenity. Remaining stupidity is the responsibility of the commenter – John

  26. March 16th, 2004 at 23:43 | #26

    “Gordon” and “DaveP” are yet more evidence of how the education system is failing our children.

  27. March 17th, 2004 at 00:48 | #27

    I blame the private schools.

  28. March 17th, 2004 at 00:55 | #28

    Gordon and DaveP
    wtf are you talking about? how the hell is Quiggin’s post supposed to be ambiguous when almost the entire length of it is about why the war on Iraq squanders resources that would have been better directed at the war on terrorism? The whole post *presumes* that the war on terrorism is a desirable objective and only differs on the role played by the Iraq affair in that overall objective. Timbo clearly took that quote out of context. Jack, nothing can mitigate what is either obvious intellectual dishonesty or obvious illiteracy.

  29. John C
    March 17th, 2004 at 03:28 | #29

    Tim may have kicked you in the shins but he just wants some attention. But you hate him John and the ABC hates him and nobody on the left takes him seriously and so he’s just gunna keep on kicking shins. So you’d better watch out.

  30. March 17th, 2004 at 16:44 | #30

    John, Chris, and Gary,

    Listen to you whiny academics. Chris is still in clinical depression over this:

    “Christopher Sheil described Clark as the ‘candidate from heaven.’”

    His words, and his view. Yet rarely a day goes by that Chris doesn’t seethe at this savage journalistic injustice. John declined my invitation to rewrite his poorly-expressed point, after which I would’ve altered my own post … maybe because he can’t bring himself to admit that, as well as being one of the most boring writers in Australia, he also struggles for clarity. And Gary, who calls me an “attack dog journalist who does not have the skills to argue case in terms of the ethos of public reason”, makes John look crystalline. How does one argue with someone capable of lines like: “Rejection of this ethos of public reason means that that you are insisting on, and defending, an authoritarian mode of discourse: a liberalism that would exclude others from the bounds of reasonable political argument”?

    Does Gary speak like that all the time? How does he manage to, say, order a pizza? Maybe a translator is required.

    I get the feeling that the three of you are unused to criticism; or, at least, to facing criticism instead of dishing it out. Learn to cope. Or, as Gary might say: develop coping modalities through an information-processing ethos. Or something.

  31. John Quiggin
    March 17th, 2004 at 17:24 | #31

    “I get the feeling that the three of you are unused to criticism; or, at least, to facing criticism instead of dishing it out.”

    Tim, this is lame. I get criticism on this blog all the time, and I wouldn’t write for the Fin Review if I wanted an uncritical audience. I just don’t like being attacked for something that is the opposite of what I actually said.

    Among the dozens of people who commented on this post (here and on Crooked Timber) you are the only one who made this bizarre misinterpretation.

    Looking back at the history, it’s clear enough that you hadn’t even read my post in full when you wrote yours.

    Why don’t you admit that you made up your mind what the post said on the basis of a malicious misreading of the extract I sent you in email, and that you have been too stubborn since then to admit your error, especially now that you’ve committed yourself in front of your moronic fans?

  32. March 17th, 2004 at 18:10 | #32

    As Tim Blair knows, my objection was not only to the fact that he misquoted me, and nor was it simply that he misrepresented the meaning of the misquote.

    The most objectionable aspect of Blair’s behaviour was that the misrepresentation of the misquote was based on a post in the blogosphere, which he dressed up as an academic opinion and criticised in a derogatory way in another context (The Bulletin).

    This was thus a comprehensive distortion compounded by defamation, for which he has not offered a correction, let alone an apology.

    I am not depressed, clinically or otherwise, as Blair stupidly (why am I not surprised?) believes about his failure to conform to ethical standards of conduct; rather, I take his failure as positive evidence that he has no standards and therefore cannot be trusted. That’s all.

  33. warbo
    March 17th, 2004 at 18:25 | #33

    I think I’ve got it!

    Tim has read the sentence in question as if there’s a comma after ‘terrorism’. He doesn’t (or didn’t) understand that everything that follows ‘not’ is part of the same hypothetical case. (I’d be interested to know if others agree.)

    The question, I suppose, is whether we put this initial mistake down to stupidity, a semi-conscious tendency to see some people’s arguments in the worst possible light or deliberate fraud. Because I’m an appeaser, of course, I lean towards the second possibility.

    His refusal to admit his mistake reveals, however, his true character.

  34. March 17th, 2004 at 19:12 | #34

    Shorter Tim Blair:
    Nasty tricksy Quigginses hurts our head with his big words. We hates him, we hates him.

  35. Jethro
    March 17th, 2004 at 19:45 | #35


    Almost as bad as saying that the Bali bombings has nothing to do with Austrlian intervention in East Timor.

    Interestingly, Alexander Downer seems to think otherwise:

    TONY JONES: … First of all would you agree with the proposition that Australians were targeted in Bali because of their intervention in East Timor?

    ALEXANDER DOWNER: No, I don’t think Australians were so much targeted as Westerners were targeted in Bali.

    We don’t have evidence that Australians themselves were targeted.

    We know that 88 Australians were killed.

    There were a large number of Australians in that nightclub and in Paddy’s Bar on that night.

    But I think this was an attack against Westerners generally because this was a bar that Westerners congregated in.

    I don’t think you can link it directly to the Timor issue.

    It’s a sad day when you can’t trust Alexander Downer’s opinion anymore :-)

  36. March 17th, 2004 at 23:36 | #36

    Chris writes:

    “The most objectionable aspect of Blair’s behaviour was that the misrepresentation of the misquote was based on a post in the blogosphere, which he dressed up as an academic opinion and criticised in a derogatory way in another context (The Bulletin).”

    Dressed up an an academic opinion? I merely explained who you were, using information from your own website. Are you actually saying here that opinions expressed on websites should only be quoted by other websites? Does it work the other way — are we allowed to quote magazines? By including those details at your site, are you also guilty of dressing up your posts as academic opinion?

    I don’t get this at all. You write in a medium able to be accessed by potentially anybody on earth, yet you’re upset at being quoted in a magazine only sold in Australia. Do you imagine blogdom to be a closed forum, from which no word may ever leak?

    Are you upset at Tim Dunlop for mentioning you at Webdiary (outside of blogdom, so therefore “another context”)? Last week he described you as “historian Christopher Sheil”. Is this another wicked example of your site being “dressed up as an academic opinion”?

  37. March 17th, 2004 at 23:48 | #37

    By the way, Chris, when you complain about “extremely rude people” in comments, have you forgotten this and this?

  38. March 17th, 2004 at 23:57 | #38

    I wouldn’t be upset at being mentioned in the Bulletin by tim. It’s just something you’d read on the loo.

  39. March 18th, 2004 at 00:08 | #39

    I don’t get this at all.

    I guess that’s the only bit in your comment that I’m not surprised about tim. Where to start?

    Dressed up an an academic opinion? I merely explained who you were, using information from your own website.

    Yes, but you failed to mention that it was actually from my website, which would have supplied the context from which you’d torn the misquote.

    Are you actually saying here that opinions expressed on websites should only be quoted by other websites?

    No

    Does it work the other way — are we allowed to quote magazines?

    Obviously yes, with appropriate attribution to preserve the context and enable checking, in line with normal fair practice.

    By including those details at your site, are you also guilty of dressing up your posts as academic opinion?

    No, because if you read the explanatory credits on the site again again you will see that they explcitly state that Back Pages … is extra-mural of the institutions with which the author is otherwise associated (‘extra-mural’ means ‘outside the walls of’).

    You write in a medium able to be accessed by potentially anybody on earth, yet you’re upset at being quoted in a magazine only sold in Australia. Do you imagine blogdom to be a closed forum, from which no word may ever leak?

    I’m upset because you misquoted and then misrepresented. Accurate quoting placed within relevant context is fair dealing. You not only failed to quote accurately, you not only failed to supply the context, you supplied an inaccurate and misleading context.

    Are you upset at Tim Dunlop for mentioning you at Webdiary (outside of blogdom, so therefore “another context”)? Last week he described you as “historian Christopher Sheil”. Is this another wicked example of your site being “dressed up as an academic opinion”?

    If you have followed my comments so far, you should be able to guess the answers. But on past experience, I better spell out (1) Tim’s reference is accurate (2) it is all in the relevant context; (3) opinion had nothing to do with the reference (even though, if the first two standards are met, it would be no use complaining if Tim had quoted an opinion), and (4) the reference was neither derogatory nor defamatory.

    In closing, I must say I find it very difficult to believe that you don’t understand all of this, which is why I believe you are not to be trusted. If, on the other hand, this is all news to you, all I can say is how are you off for sox and undies?

  40. cs
    March 18th, 2004 at 00:21 | #40

    Tim, I don’t think we should be taking up extensive space on John’s blog with our disputes, but I see you have made a further comment with links to an occasion I was abusive in the blogosphere.

    If you check again, you will find an apology for that behaviour shortly under the abuse. There is nothing more that I can do other than that to make up for being inescusably rude, although you have it within your power to offer both a correction and an apology for your mistakes and appalling conduct. That you apparently refuse to accept my apology for being abusive again speaks eloquently of your personal standards.

    If you wish to debate this further, can I suggest out of courtesy to John and his readers that you email me so that we can arrange an alternative site.

  41. Brian Bahnisch
    March 18th, 2004 at 00:56 | #41

    Look I’ve just skimmed the above. I don’t read Tim Blair out of principle. Life is too short, even for reading on the loo!

    I do, however, recognise a schoolyard bully. It is a truism that bullies sustain their own self concept by regularly beating up on others.

    Bullies need help. There are only two ways they’re likely to get it. One is if they see the need themselves (almost never happens). The other is through a superordinate who gives them an offer they can’t refuse.

    Recently I read Neville Symington’s “A Pattern of Madness”. I’m not an analyst so I won’t attempt an assessment. I will say this, however. The behaviour displayed doesn’t seem to fit with the first section which is entitled ‘A pattern of sanity’.

  42. zoot
    March 18th, 2004 at 01:28 | #42

    I don’t read Tim Blair out of principle. Life is too short, even for reading on the loo!
    Too bloody right Brian. People keep making the mistake of attempting to engage Blair in a discussion/argument and it’s a total waste of time. The only thing that interests him is scoring points, which becomes really boring really fast. Truth be told, he’s a rather pathetic little man.

  43. Mork
    March 18th, 2004 at 08:58 | #43

    The only thing that interests him is scoring points.

    …. which is very strange behaviour for someone who is so insistent that there is a war on.

    What did you do during the war, Timmy?

  44. March 18th, 2004 at 09:27 | #44

    You’re all disapointed that Tim is not brilliant. You misunderstand what he is. He is not a thinker, he is a comical writer.

    As far as I know, he doesn’t pretend to be anything else, and he’s relatively good at what he does. Like a right-wing version of Michael Moore – the best way to take him is to laugh at what is funny and put no faith in any points of substance.

  45. March 18th, 2004 at 09:37 | #45

    Tim: “John declined my invitation to rewrite his poorly-expressed point, after which I would’ve altered my own post … maybe because he can’t bring himself to admit that, as well as being one of the most boring writers in Australia, he also struggles for clarity.”

    John Q is a lot of things but being a ‘boring writer who lacks clarity’ isn’t one of them. Look at his publications list sometime. He currently has a regular column in the Fin. Perhaps even giving you a run for the money in the journalism stakes.

  46. March 18th, 2004 at 09:39 | #46

    “You’re all disapointed that Tim is not brilliant. You misunderstand what he is. He is not a thinker, he is a comical writer”

    I’m starting to wonder given recent events whether he is a comical writer or just a joke.

  47. Mork
    March 18th, 2004 at 09:42 | #47

    Well, that’s fine, John, but Tim constantly condemns Moore and those like him, not (only) for their politics but for their tactics.

    I happen to agree with him when he simulates disdain for people whose only purpose is to create division, and whose standard operating procedure is dishonesty. I think they are a corrosive influence on debate … their only effect is to make people stupier and angrier.

    But, of course, Blair condemning Michael Moore for his tactics is the height of hypocrisy.

    Defending Blair on the basis that he’s no worse than Moore is the height of absurdity.

  48. John Quiggin
    March 18th, 2004 at 10:07 | #48

    Thanks for the supportive comments, Jason (and everyone!).

    As regards boringness, it’s in the eye of the beholder I guess. As I said a while back

    There can be few contemporary writers with more epigones* than (PJ) O’Rourke. Just about every newspaper has one these days (for a while, the AFR had two), and the blogosphere is full of variants on the same riff … he can always raise a laugh, which is more than can be said for most of his imitators

    * less distinguished imitators

  49. Mork
    March 18th, 2004 at 10:34 | #49

    I always thought Tim was trying to ape Mark Steyn.

    But the same observation applies.

  50. March 18th, 2004 at 12:48 | #50

    You mean Steyn’s “The Spanish Dishonour their Dead” piece was intended to be funny? I missed the joke there.

  51. March 18th, 2004 at 17:49 | #51

    WOW such a collection of intellectuals. With Niall backing up Jason on “engagement” ,Jason backing JQ on “mental flexibility”, cs backing himself(as usual) on verb creation,Jack Strocchi explaining “overwrought”(he is the recognised expert) but don’t leave little old Mork out he is trying(begging) to be part of the group.

    How can one compete? I mean you all say how immense your intellect is all the time and we should just except that just by looking at the size of your heads.

  52. Warbo
    March 18th, 2004 at 18:00 | #52

    You’re obviously the acception to the rule.

  53. March 18th, 2004 at 18:19 | #53

    Absolutely Wardo and proud of it.

  54. Warbo
    March 18th, 2004 at 18:24 | #54

    Are you drunk? You don’t so much shoot yourself in the foot as amputate it with a laser-guided bunker-buster.

  55. March 18th, 2004 at 18:47 | #55

    Thanks Warbo!

  56. March 18th, 2004 at 20:31 | #56

    What was Gary’s point? Is it just ‘not cool’ to use big words or something??

    And re: Michael Moore and Tim Blair – I am at least consistent in that Michael Moore doesn’t annoy me either.

    Like I said… you’ve just got to know who to take seriously. Life would be too frustrating if you hold everybody to high standards of debate, so I only apply those standards to people I respect intellectually. To the others, I accept that they live outside the world of useful debate and just try to find the positive side of things… like their sense of humour. And if that fails, then I ignore them. :)

  57. Mork
    March 18th, 2004 at 21:03 | #57

    I think Gary was trying to make a point about the existence of an intellectual gulf.

  58. March 18th, 2004 at 23:37 | #58

    You know JH what they say about people obsessed with the size of their phallic symbols.

  59. zoot
    March 19th, 2004 at 01:23 | #59

    He is not a thinker, he is a comical writer
    About as comical as crab lice.

  60. Ordinary person
    March 19th, 2004 at 01:47 | #60

    What’s that mean gary? Please explain.

  61. Jess
    July 26th, 2004 at 14:42 | #61

    I’d just like to take this opportunity to say how disgusted I am by Tim Blair. He is one of the most bigoted, ignorant right wing apologists I have ever come across, and I’m embarrassed that he’s an Australian. I’m also appalled that there are actually people who support his fascist commentary. I don’t know how anyone who is even remotely well-informed could take him seriously.

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