Thursday, November 16, 2006

A hit, a very palpable hit.

Rod Dreher's most recent blog entry is directed primarily at the Contra Crunchies, and he admits that it's all a clever ruse.

"Oh, I'm just trying to bait them, for fun, just to see if they can stand not to comment. You watch: they won't be able to resist -- and it'll be even less funny than my little tossed-off thing."

Well, he's right that we can't resist a response, and he's right that any response we make would pale to his joke. I'm writing to admit defeat in our long-standing battle of wits.

His writing is, in a word, brilliant.

His approach is an ironic, post-modern reversal of expectations, and I'm frankly surprised I have the gray matter to comprehend it, but I do just barely see it.

He demonstrates his civility by pretending to call us names, he demonstrates his wit and originality by using old pejoratives and even other people's insults, and he shows that he really couldn't be bothered about us by feigning that he thinks of us even when contemplating the finer things of life.

But all that's nothing compared to the piece de resistance, the coup de grace, and the eau de toilette: Beaujolais nouveau.

No true crunchy conservative would be caught dead drinking that stuff. Those faithful friends of all things local wouldn't drink any French wine on principle, but certainly not this particular variation. They're skeptics of big government, so they wouldn't wait like kids on Christmas Eve for French officials to tell them it's okay to purchase their drink of choice. They abhor the fast-paced life of modernity, so they wouldn't want to encourage the practice of having this wine shipped across the globe as quickly as possible.

And they absolutely hate commercialism, but apparently, "[t]he phrase, 'Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!' is proclaimed and celebrated on banners, advertisements, etc. in order to lure in the fan." The damn thing has a slogan, so no true traditionalist, agrarian crunchy conservative would find himself caught up in the rank marketing.

But by pretending he's such an obvious hypocrite, pretending to proclaim the simple life of the common farmer on one hand while indulging the consumerism of an elite cosmopolitan on the other, he proves that he's the genuine article -- and he gives us his critics no possible avenue for a retort.

Reading that post would initially give a person the idea that Rod's true patron saint of crunchy conservatism isn't Wendell Berry or Rusell Kirk: it's Frasier Crane.

But because we know better, because we know that Rod would never really be such an epicure, we his critics must stand in awe of his rhetorical wit and his intimidating intellect.

We yield, Rod. ¡No más! ¡No más!


Blogger kathleen said...

well, there's that, and the fact that today Shea had the idiocy to link to a song which parodied Shea's inability to stop himself from reading the contra crunch blog.

diagnosis: masochism.

4:08 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

of course, now that i've pointed out Shea's idiocy, he will no doubt remove from his blog his link to my little song. such revisionism is a habit of his. he's been doing a lot of it today.

for the record, he called my song "juvenalia". ouch. or as my 2 yr old would say, "ouchie".

4:26 PM  
Blogger pikkumatti said...

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé??? Thanks, Rod!!

I'm off to Wal-Mart to pick me up some right now, so I can have some as I watch The Crocodile Hunter and then Life is Beautiful.

Catch y'all later.

4:43 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

i'll bet benedict is wearing his beret today, as he heads to "le Marche' de Wal" -- i mean the neighborhood wiiiiine merrrrchant -- to inquire about this year's best producer of Beaujolais nouveau (which is like inquiring who is the best producer of this year's Robitussin, but whatever)

4:58 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Carpenter said...

Rod is a wannabe "Francophile."

6:27 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Best comment was from Tom Tomberg. "Or at least, when you respond to them, be funnier."

I'm kind of miffed that I wasn't mentioned in the post. But it's an easy mistake to make; I used to think that Fry was a French name because kids teased me by calling me "French Fry". I don't believe this caused any permanent damage other than the twitch, the slurred speech, the limp and the love of cheese and really sad accordion music.

Oh, yeah -- I guess I'm supposed to say this. "Good job Bubba. You're real smart, just like me and Kathleen. Oh yeah, and Diane and Pikkumatti and all my friends at the contrary-crunchy blog. We sure showed them this time. Huh, huh, huh. I'm Pauli and I approve this message."

7:45 PM  
Blogger Cubeland Mystic said...

You have to admit that Rod did a pretty good job on his post. That was a stylistically clever piece of writing. Typically your reply was more substantive reminding him of his book’s thesis. Anyway the exchange was great I actually laughed out loud. Your theme inspired me to write my own post on my site about this contrived “tradition”.

On a serious note, this would be a good point to expand your horizons a bit. There is a lot of hyphenated conservatism out there, neo-cons, paleo-cons, crunchy-cons, mainstream-cons, fiscal-cons, etc. etc. Perhaps if you were all to direct your considerable talents to exposing the folly of disunity it would help conservatism take back the congress and retain the presidency in 2008?

Here’s why I make the challenge. No doubt this was one of the best substantive and stylistically excellent exchanges you have made with Dreher since the beginning. Why not change course on a rhetorical high note? You’ve attracted attention here, and probably the eyes of some folks in the conservative media. Why not leverage that and turn it into something bigger perhaps even a career change?

I suspect if you stay on the solo-Dreher path people might consider it a little strange. They really could.

Since the topic of Rod’s book tracks my lifestyle and I have no problem with your criticisms when my assertions challenge the status quo, I don't find this strange. Others might also want to discuss critically all the other hyphenated conservatisms. Someone might be considering taking you all even more $eriously if you know what I mean. But they might not if you stay only on this topic. If JG is reading I would certainly come to the NRO to read any of the posters here.

It’s just a thought.

6:52 AM  
Blogger kathleen said...

cube, we'll just start charging *you* to read us, and then you can tell your friends how great we are. pauli can we set up some sort of firewall which excludes cube only unless and until he pays up ? : )

7:30 AM  

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