The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Meta: How To Fight at Dagblog

    So, my plan has been to only blog about Infinite Jest until I'm done with my second read of the book.  That also gives me a nice chance to play in the comments on the other posts and not be one of the loudest voices in the room re: The Primary.

    That said, we've seen rising tensions re: The Primary.

    Now, I've played my fair share of War Games online...

    ...but I feel the sudden need to tell you all that the reason I (whooo!) consider pro wrestling my favorite sport is because, when it's done well, it looks awesome and nobody gets hurt.

    Nobody gets hurt.

    Not their bodies, not their fee fees.

    My favorite wrestler of all time, "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair, made his fame and fortune by making other guys look great.  Slick Ric knew that his job was to make his opponent looks like a million bucks because when he won, it meant he beat some one great and when he lost, it meant he lost to some one amazing. Of course, we can apply Ric's methods here by assuming our ideological opponents mean well, are honest, and decently informed. By giving your opponent credit, you will look fantastic, win or lose. Like this!

    One of the reasons I've been so happy about the Hillary/Bernie battle is that, in pro wrestling terms, we fans have two people to cheer for.  Of course, in the stands, partisanship develops and those who favor one over the other can get damned passionate about it but, in the end, if both performers are good, we get a good match. We should be happy for that. In political terms, by the way, Hillary will probably win but the legitimate challenge by Sanders will mean that she won't have been "crowned" which is great for her in the general and Sanders has probably expanded his reputation and that will help his causes as well. This is pretty win-win if Hillary wins.  If Bernie somehow wins, I promise that Hillary voters will have an easy time dealing.

    But, I'll admit something to you... I hate John Cena.

    One time I was at a show and Ric Flair (yeah, Ric!) was wrestling in a steel cage tag team match alongside Evolution (HHH, Randy Orton, Batista and Flair) against some other team involving Cena (Cena, who sucks, and some other jabronies on the wrong side of history) and I screamed "Put him in the figure four, Ric! Break his leg!" A Cena fan in front of me, a really young kid, turned to look at the monster who had called for the leg breakage of his hero and, you know what?  I shut the hell up.

    It's okay to back down in life and to tone down your rhetoric every now and then, even at Madison Square Garden, even when Flair is wrestling.

    You won't convince everybody and you won't win every argument and sometimes you'll even be shut down and people will think you're wrong on the internet, but when internet life really gets me down, I just post wrestling pics.

    What do you think of that?



    I didn't know anyone could look hot in those pants, but damn Ric Flair, that is some 70s hot going on there!  Also what is your beef with Cena, he seems like an okay guy, what the hell? Cena is nice.. Let's fight.

    Uh, Michael, you wouldn't break a woman's leg...would you?

    Well, I wouldn't mess with TMac.  She has a wicked tornado DDT.

    Whew, as long as not for sexist reasons, only survival.

    Those techniques might work in the primary season but the trousers are coming off in the General Election:



    Ah, the sumo classic!

    Tensions have gotten high recently and I admit I'm partially to blame. Sanders supporters have come up with some arguments that are so powerful that I've been unable to come up with rational arguments to refute them. Also I'm just not capable of making similar arguments against Sanders. Consequently I've gotten pissed.

    In the spirit of peace I'd like to commend Sanders supporters for the rationality of their arguments. This is the type of high minded intellectual discourse that dagblog is know for and is a credit to the reputation of Dagblog. This, apparently, is, "How To Fight At Dagblog"

    She is  loathsome

    Failing indictment, a good old fashioned lightning bolt would show that there really is a just God in heaven.

    She is a stench in the nostrils of the Lord.

    And an abomination before the multitudes...




    5 out of 5, dude - let them have their little fun. 5 out of 5. I think it was you said it was the only way to drive it home. Hillarie Antoinette - let them eat shit. On to Lucy, Charlie Brown and the Halloween Trumpkin.

    And these comments are mild compared to what Glenn Greenwald and others ave been serving up. Meanwhile Salon's one Hillary fan noted the helpful male advice coming in for Hillary to smile, stop shouting, and via Chris Matthews, pick John Kasich as running mate.

    I'm beginning to think Hillary might physically make their heads explode. It's kinda like "Carrie Runs for President", the book/movie Stephen King wishes he'd written. Wonder what Travolta's doing - maybe he can revise/mind-meld his 2 roles.

    PS - or Tom Sullivan over at Digby who found Kasich more folksy and moving. Oy vey. Maybe if Hillary closed 50 abortion clinics liberals would warm to her. Or something. "Can't please everyone so you got to [be] yourself"

    She makes it look so easy - shouldn't she be picking on someone her own size? Hope she doesnt break his leg. Kinda.

    The fabulous Beth Phoenix. She's a little strong.

    By the time he gets to Phoenix, he'll be writhing...she'll take his lame punk ass and slam it on the floor. But he'll just lie there crushed past feeling, cause he's went thru blood so many times before... [cue refrain]

    William Katt you mean, not Travolta!

    Oh William Katt, he was so hot back then in 1976. OMG... but then I saw him in person last year.. some people age better than others. But I did break into the theme song from "The Greatest American Hero", just in case he forgot he was also him. 





    I loved that show! And, when I was a kid I wrote a fan letter to Katt and got an autographed picture back along with an explanation that he bullets that used to bounce off of him were made of rubber.  But, it's lost to the dustbin of history.

    This is a great story. 

    Katt Skratch Fever Meeow, seems like I've opened an old wound.


    BTW, TMac and PeraclesPlease -- thank you both. I know the two of you don't always get along, and I know that you both don't always agree with me, but I appreciate that you each iconoclastically support my more surreal tendencies.

    We should all drop acid together sometime.

    Dude, Im already in for a whole sheet of blotter - how do you think Im holding it together? As 4 TMac, we're best buds for the duration of the election cycle - we'll find something to fight about by XMas, no worries. As for men in tights, Im just holding preconceptions to myself, or maybe suppressing my New Orleans days... NE wei, party on. The 70s are back!!! Meet Sir Real and his consort, Stache.


    We should all drop acid together sometime.

    And so we shall. surprise

    I love this girl!


    BTW, can a anyone score decent acid these days?  


    You are so right, Ocean Kat.  This comment by an unnamed poster (who might whine if mentioned) expresses the objectivity that you and I lack:

    I look at each candidate's record objectively.  Yes Bernie is worse on guns.  But Clinton is worse on everything else.  Thus Clinton's backers have two choices when her record is waved in their face.  They can accept the facts and admit they got it wrong or they can deny the facts.

    The above comment indicates that HRC supporters are deluded (yes, it is a passive-aggressive delivery, as opposed to just coming out and saying it, but is that preferable?)  Sorry, I thought that wasn't allowed.  Maybe it's OK because it was directed at several of us rather than answering a comment from a specific one,  the other characteristic is that it is delivered without passion. I think that is the key.  Anyway, duly noted.  

    Then there is the other objectively presented concept that Hillary supporters are either guilty of having a financial incentive (ie being in the bag for HRC, as he also accuses her of being with Wall Street because she was paid for speaking engagements) OR -- Hillary supporters must have a psychological illness.

    edited because I couldn't get this in before:

    I claim the arguments of Clinton's supporters are so weak and unconvincing that those who make them - absent a financial interest in a Clinton victory - must be captive to a syndrome (not a crippling psychological condition) like cognitive dissonance.

    But the quotes you noted do make me wonder...what vulgar insults to whom are copacetic?

    Come on, guys - tonight we're going to party like it's 1999. Backwards, in heels. 

    Nicely done. I thought about adding something like this but I didn't think I could do a good convincing succinct summary. You did. thanks.

    The level of fatalism in some threads bothers me as much as the snipping. This isn't the end of the progressive movement. I have a wrestling story I'll save for a later date!

    The level of fatalism in some threads bothers me as much as the snipping.

    Me too.

    What I try to remember, and something I give Bernie huge credit for, is that when you take the supporters out of it and just look at how Hillary and Bernie have conducted themselves and treated each other, well...

    Pretty good.  Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

    For all the gloom and doom talk and all the worry that Trump is our next Mussolini and that the system has unraveled, I look at how Bernie and Hillary have acted towards each other, in a harder fought primary than maybe either expected, and I say, "I'm finally proud to say I'm in a political party."  That's huge for me.

    Michael M,
    The point you make about not needing to demonize the "opposition" to be persuasive is well made. That got me thinking of dagblog as a mat in a cage and wondering what any wrestler there/here could hope to gain from agreeing to struggle. Nobody here is going to suddenly fall off the mule and cry: Oh crap, everything I thought before is wrong! A person dressed in a gown or striped shirt is not going to stand over our paralyzed bodies and count to ten in a laborious fashion. The unlikelihood of anything that simple prompts me to promulgate the following:

    Persuasion is less like a sports competition and more like a theft as the result of an inside job. Getting inside is very difficult.

    Absolutely, moat. But wrestling isn't a competition, except when it is.  It's scripted! It's a show!  Yet the performers are always trying to do their best to look their best and get the top spot, so it's also a competition.

    In pro wrestling, there are magical moments when the villain becomes a hero, but these are usually held near retirement or at least when a performer leaves the company, unlikely to return (Andre the Giant... Randy Savage... the last WWE years of Flair...)

    Arguing on the internet, you will likely never see an opponent say "Damn, you're right, I'll rethink my life."  This doesn't really happy in face to face political debates either.  Which is kind of my point... If you're arguing online and you can't even hope to get to the result where your opponent admits to bad thinking and transforms to accept your point of view, then what are you doing?

    To me, all you can hope to do is to make your own arguments and to hope that people find them persuasive.  People will do likely be persuaded by you if your arguments are legitimately strong, if you seem to be arguing with a legitimate opponent, and if you are likable (even when being a jerk).

    There is no ref and no three count, but look at how Hillary and Bernie have both come out better individually for taking the high road with each other during a debate with existential career implications for both. We don't need a fixed ending to fight right.

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