Saturday, April 14, 2012

The national leveling

Ilana Mercer offers her take on the dismissal of John Derbyshire with her customary aplomb:

The volume of bad writers safely ensconced in high places, and their voluminous, vapid output strengthened this conviction:

More so than enforcing conformity – ousting John was about safeguarding the future of mediocrity.

There was more to it than that, but this angle has been insufficiently explored. Derb is a good writer in an age that conspicuously lacks his equal. We prefer our pundits, not to prod us into reexamining something in a different light, but to reinforce our own biases. So smug hipsters tune into to the Daily Show to be reminded that the Republicans are stupid. And conservatives watch hours of Fox News to be assured that the Democrats are still evil. Derb is a creature of the right, but he was more than a GOP booster, which is more than can be said for many of his former colleagues at NR.

As Mercer also observes:

I want to see a lot of well-written, wickedly witty, controversial writing in print – in pixels or paper and always at the pleasure of the print’s owner. Why must the consensus-craving mob conflate this last wish with absolute endorsement?

We'll pause for a bit to let the pundits in the audience parse this prose.

The reason Derb's ouster is so discouraging is that he's going to be so difficult to replace. Mindless cheerleaders are a dime a dozen; subtle thinkers and good writers are rare. We cannot simply find another, less racist version, of John Derbyshire. We're more likely to be forced to endure another Meghan McCain.

Punditry's slide from well-read British gentleman to barely attractive bimbos, is a fitting metaphor for the republic, in this, its waning days.

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