Via Tbogg, I feel compelled to link this faux “tough-minded” post on the hard necessities of killing kids in war not primarily because it’s creepy, or as a case study in glib rationalization, or even for the entertainment value of watching some Socrates manqué fantasize about dominating an imaginary female interlocutor. No, those are all decent reasons, but it’s really worth reading because it’s the most exemplary case I’ve seen in a while of a literary style my old colleague Tim Cavanaugh found the perfect description for about a year back: A stupid person’s idea of how a smart person sounds. The most familiar form, of course, involves loading prose with large words used with the sort of slight imprecisions that imply the author has only just looked them up. This one is the “welcome to the 19th century” variant to which conservatives seem especially succeptible. I expect it’s partly a result of trying to pad out a two-sentence argument into a full blog post, but it has the side effect of making that argument sound several orders of magnitude more ridiculous.
On The Virtues of Killing Braincells
August 21st, 2006 · 10 Comments