February 21, 2007

"Ann Althouse Defends Scott Turow's Honor."

Writes David Lat, who wishes I'd been more catty in that NYT column -- and attracts a first comment from a pseudonymous former student of mine who meows that I made him unhappy.

36 comments:

Truly said...

That's a nice photo. Lat's just as cute as a button--don't you want to pinch his cheeks?

Pogo said...

The commenter mmmbeer needs to drink more.

Even so, Althouse, why doesn't every single student you ever taught automatically love you? And why didn't you make mmmbeer happy?

Ann Althouse said...

Pogo, haven't you noticed some people really hate me?

The Emperor said...

mmmbeer claims to be a former student. could be just a disgruntled commenter.

Pogo said...

Of course, Althouse, of that I am unfortunately aware.

But my double plus good feelings for you means their negativity is algebraically subtracted out, for a net positive of feeling goodliness, with marshmallows, even (give or take a little gilding).

But really I do wonder about idjits like mmmbeer, who must have a google feed set on "Althouse Awareness", a hyperalert state apparently reserved for former law students, where he is compelled to blogophorically relieve himself on every internet lawn that mentions your name.

My own cat won't sit in my lap, and it doesn't despise me enough to cough up a hairball in my name. I envy your supply of haters. Sort of. Seriously? I think they want to be you, and think you are messing you up. They could be you so much better than you do it. To misquote you (recently) and Elvis (a long time ago):

The assholes wanna wear your red shoes.

Simon said...

Pogo - it's been my observation that, peculiarly for a moderate, Ann doesn't seem to inspire moderate reactions in people. People tend to either love her or loathe her (hence my suggestion of marmite as her culinary analog). As long as it doesn't bother her (which I believe it doesn't), I suppose there's actually an argument that it's a good thing that people react at least to her blog persona that way; to the extent that the blog is an art project, surely the worst thing that art can inspire is indifference. Good art is usually evocative and often provocative.

How boring would it be for everyone to like what you do! That just means that you're anodyne! I'd far rather Ann was marmite than cheerios.

AJD said...

Simon: If Annie is moderate, God save us from the conservatives!

Annie: you just don't "get" the commenters who don't like you.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Palladas said...

grande blogress diva

...oh love it! The femme fatale for the 21st century.

I'm purring with desire :-)

Simon said...

AJD - I'm a moderate Republican, and as far as I can tell, Ann's significantly to my left on every issue within the ambit of politics, so that makes her anywhere from a liberal to a moderate. Take your pick.

And I believe that you've been warned about using that derogatory nickname.

Simon said...

Ruth Anne - from David Lat?! God, yes.

Pogo said...

Well then, it's settled.
I simply must try some Marmite.
Suggestions?

XWL said...

I think you're wrong Prof. Althouse, your psuedonymous 'ex-student' wasn't 'meowing' he was 'mewling'.

To meow can be good or bad, whereas to mewl is never anything but a pathetic whimpering, simpering cry for attention.

Much more fitting.

You, a Law Professor, should know better about the importance of word choice.

John Kindley said...

I never read the Paper Chase, but remember being very disappointed by the movie after watching it with some fellow students at the University of Wisconsin.

And as Ann says, none of the law professors I had, including her, came across like Kingsfield in the Paper Chase. I wouldn't have minded if they had. I was always better prepared for the classes where I knew, from a rotation system, that I would be called upon, and presumably would have prepared better for classes where I could have been called upon at any time. And more importantly, a budding lawyer should be prepared to argue on his feet, or at least not crumple when asked to do so.

I liked the Socratic dialogue with professors when it happened, typically on a voluntary basis. In fact, I fondly remember a class (with one of the older and more intimidating professors at UW), where I and another 1L challenged his assertion that conservative judges are as much activists as the liberal judges whose "legislation" the conservatives are trying to roll back. The professor seemed ill-prepared (perhaps surprised) by the challenge, and offered no rejoinder to our arguments.

Fen said...

AJD: If Annie is moderate, God save us from the conservatives!

Damn straight. I'm on the right-wing, and from where I sit Ann is in the center. You're just not practicing diversity in your life [the left doesn't really believe in the things they lecture us about]. You're like that reporter who couldn't believe Nixon won, because she didn't know anyone who supported him.

David said...

Professor Althouse, some people don't hate you, they hate themselves. In so doing they attempt to bring you down to their level instead of rising to the challenge.

I weary of AJD, by the way>

stoqboy said...

Ms. Althouse has high expectations of people who disagree with her. She expects them to at least make sound arguments that are on point, which, I believe, engenders hatred.

SteveR said...

I actually think its an intelligence test. Our good friend Elizabeth (no moderate her) is able to engage and argue without hatefulness.

These people don't get it. The "former student" act is a way to establish some credibility.

Ann Althouse said...

Pogo: "I envy your supply of haters."

Here I am talking about the value of the haters... "That's considered an accomplishment. I mark it all to my credit here... If they hate me, they should just understand that they're in my power." Etc.

Internet Ronin said...

Simon, I think you're a great guy and many things (almost all positive) would come to mind if someone asked me to describe you, but moderate Republican is definitely not one of them ;-).

Simon said...

Pogo - I "suggest[]" you don't try it. LOL. Useful as a metaphor, but not very tasty. ;)

Ronin, I'm blushing here. ;)

Well, I really do think of myself as a moderate; I'm happy to accept the label conservative, and I'll use it myself, but in fact, the topics that I tend to comment about, y'know, the stuff that really starts arguments, tends to be that which I have the strongest opinion on, which tends to be stuff where I'm less moderate. The people who think Scalia's a right wing extremist are probably going to see me the same way, but OTOH, if you put me in a room with the guys from Powerline, or RedState, somewhere like that, I'd feel like the token liberal in the room by comparison, albeit not quite to the extent of Ann in Chicago.

The only subjects on which I would very much identify as immoderate are the Constitution and abortion, but I don't accept those are partisan issues (as explained in comments passim ad nauseum), and even there, I don't feel I'm so extreme as to be unreasonable. I'm not a strict constructionist.

At very least, I'm not a social conservative, I'm not a hardcore libertarian, and I'm not a pure Burkeian/Oakeshottian traditionalist, I'm sympathetic to feminism, I'm sympathetic to environmentalism, all of which, by the standards of today's GOP puts me on the moderate wing, IMO. :p

somefeller said...

Pogo said..."But really I do wonder about idjits like mmmbeer, who must have a google feed set on "Althouse Awareness", a hyperalert state apparently reserved for former law students, where he is compelled to blogophorically relieve himself on every internet lawn that mentions your name."

Or, mmmbeer could just be one of the thousands of lawyers that read Above the Law, and since Ann was one of his former professors, he (I'll assume mmmbeer is a he for this discussion) thought it worth making a comment.

The response to mmmbeer's little comment is interesting. All he did was state that he didn't enjoy having Ann as a professor, and that her teaching method didn't work for him and didn't match her stated goals for teaching, at least in his case. No profanity, no gratuitous insults, just some criticism about Ann's teaching methods, based on his experience. Ann then feels a need to make a response, Pogo witlessly describes this person as an "idjit", and Pogo and others line up to see who can suck up to Ann more.

Lessons for the day: Ann is thin-skinned, many of her commenters are sycophants, and Pogo is in the habit of assuming that everyone is as obsessed with Ann as he is. Fascinating.

Revenant said...

Simon: If Annie is moderate, God save us from the conservatives!

Because she has so many conservative beliefs. Like.... um... wait, and there's... no... um...

What were they, again?

The Exalted said...

Revenant said...
Simon: If Annie is moderate, God save us from the conservatives!

Because she has so many conservative beliefs. Like.... um... wait, and there's... no... um...

What were they, again?

7:31 PM


"Democrats are bad" gets you partway there.

NDC said...

I think we've talked about this before, but why do the people who dislike Ann Althouse show up here on the blog?

When I don't like people or things, I avoid them as much as I can.

I mean, a little back and forth argument is always fun and educational, and I love to mixed it up with peoples whose opinions are different than my own, but I don't know why the people with personal venom show up.

And not just here, but in comment threads in general.

Anyone have a guess?

NDC said...

and yep, I know conservatives and Ann Althouse is moderate. If she seems conservative to you, it's because you're way over on the left.

vbspurs said...

Of course, Althouse, of that I am unfortunately aware.

Hmm. I don't like this custom of referring to Ann Althouse by her surname, masculine-style, although I know she does it for herself.

The traditionalist in me bristles.

Also, I'm reminded of my Girl Guide den mother, who was rather butch and called all her charges by their family names.

The things I went through to get my cookery badge.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

NCD wrote:

I mean, a little back and forth argument is always fun and educational, and I love to mixed it up with peoples whose opinions are different than my own, but I don't know why the people with personal venom show up.

That's why we all love Althouse, because you won't always get the party conga line here.

The range of opinions here is truly wonderful.

But as for your more existential question about what kind of a malcontent person would consistently post to a blog with acid drop remarks in EVERY post...

...well, I gave deciphering why a shot here.


I've always wondered what kind of person would do this on a blog, day in, and day out.

Think about it.

Their sole purpose is to make everyone else's life miserable, or at least try to, by constantly and without an iota of lampooning irony, making fun, deriding, and degrading not only a given subject, but the author of the blog, and its readership.

Oh, one understands the potshot drive-bys of commenters who go to blogs to vent. We've all done that.

In fact, that's what blogs are for -- a frank, unfettered exchange of opinions by people who might probably never meet, but for the ethernet.

But we're talking of people who lodge themselves in a blog, by dancing bitter attendance daily on it.

Just think of the energy they have.

Just think of the vitriol they swish inside their souls.

Just think of the amounts of animus they wish to stir up, as their sole contribution.

They come here not as honourable and loyal opposition, but just to crap-stir.

What kind of a person slings this corrosive persona unto him or herself for any length of time, and why?

I think the answer begins with "poor excuse for a human being" and ends with "no life losers", but I could be wrong.

Maybe they're just lonely.


Three weeks later, and nothing has changed to make me alter my suggestion.

Cheers,
Victoria

Revenant said...

"Democrats are bad" gets you partway there.

Now if only there was some sort of term for people "partway" from being a liberal to being a conservative...

I know oodles of people who think Republicans are bad who *certainly* aren't liberals. I'm usually one of them, actually. Obviously kneejerk Democratic partisans will equate "Democrats are bad" with "OMFG she is teh conservative" but most people are bright enough to know that's not the case. The largest political party in America is "none of the above", after all.

Mortimer Brezny said...

"None of the above"

You mean atheists? (Wait for it, it's funny.)

mcg said...

AJD: how's your scrotum these days?

Peter Palladas said...

Hmm. I don't like this custom of referring to Ann Althouse by her surname, masculine-style, although I know she does it for herself.

I completely agree. The only time I've failed to crack an Agatha Christie was 'Why Didn't They Ask Evans?' because I forgot that female servants of that day were referred to by their surnames. Evans was the maid. She had the vital clue.

Pogo said...

Re: "this custom of referring to Ann Althouse by her surname"

Actually, I agree, even though I did it. The problem is, there's no way for a guy to win on this one.

I don't know Ann, so I feel uncomfortable calling her that or any deliberately diminutive form thereof. I blame my parents for never presuming such familiarity.

Moreover, I am of the feminist cultural upbringing that constantly carped about things like men being called by their surnames or Mr. Surname but women being addressed by their first names, like a child.

In the US, servants were commononly addressed by first name, and their bosses by surname (slaves, too, were first-name-only, or perhaps Miss Ann, so I've got that error to avoid, too).

Can I say Ms.? No. I'm a white male, and the risk is that someone will connote the wrong meaning, something political. Dare I attempt Mrs. or Miss? Ha! Wrong again.

Finally, she had written herself that she preferred "Ann" or "Althouse" over other forms.

Sheesh. Too much work. Trying desperately not to offend, I offend. But really, there is no way for me to be correct here, so the best option is to forego referrring to She Who Must Not Be Named, until she comes up with a Prince-like symbol I can use!

**insert pointless and unrewarding existential scream here**

vbspurs said...

I don't know Ann, so I feel uncomfortable calling her that or any deliberately diminutive form thereof. I blame my parents for never presuming such familiarity.

Understood, Pogo.

I can't speak for Ann, because my ventriloquist dummy is at the cleaners, but all I can say is that your reasons are completely understandable.

I've often mused how female celebrities and politicians are often referred to by their first names, whereas that is not the case with males, at times.

When I say:

Hillary. Monica. Jackie. Maggie.

People pretty much know who I mean.

Cheers,
Victoria

Simon said...

Victoria:
"I've often mused how female celebrities and politicians are often referred to by their first names, whereas that is not the case with males, at times. When I say: Hillary. Monica. Jackie. Maggie. People pretty much know who I mean."

Because there are fewer people in the public eye with those names. Males with distinctive names have those names used - Rudy, Newt, etc. (especially if their last name's non-standard). But one one not hear people speaking of "John" or "Stephen" to denote a male in authority (outside of "V", that is).

Revenant said...

The main reason Hillary and Jackie aren't called "Clinton" and "Kennedy" is that there are already much more famous and important people referred to by those names -- specifically, their husbands.

California's got two female senators, and neither is typically referred to by her first name -- because there isn't a higher-profile "Boxer" or "Feinstein" in state politics.