Friday, August 12, 2005

Don't say I didn't warn you

An amusing encounter is going on over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars. A couple of days ago, Ed Brayton posted a piece called The Absurdity of Vox Day, in which he administered a rather nice smackdown to a blogger who goes under the name of Vox Day and also happens to be a columnist at WorldNetDaily. Although Vox bills himself as a "Christian Libertarian commentator" and likes to point out that he is a member of Mensa, Austin Cline probably put it best when he labeled Vox's politics as "one part authoritarianism, one part religious fascism, and one part sheer nuttiness." The particular column that drew Ed's ire was yet more of Vox's usual blather, an article entitled Why Women's Rights are Wrong, in which Vox complains about women's rights, calling them a "disease that should be eradicated." (By the way, he also doesn't believe evolution is valid either.)

Helpful guy that I am, I felt duty-bound as a fellow blogger to warn Ed what he was getting into if he wanted to tangle with Vox. Not that Vox's arguments are usually all that difficult to refute, given his love of confusing correlation with causation an dubious historical analogies, but Vox seems to have attracted a posse of sycophants, toadies, and lackies (apologies to Curtis Sliwa) who descend upon other blogs that criticize Vox whenever he mentions articles critical of him. To that end, in the comments of Ed's post, I pointed out my encounter with Vox a few months ago, when I lambasted him for a post he made in which he said that "too many women are fascists at heart," using this as a justification for arguing that they should not have the right to vote. He then went on to blame the women's franchise for the "West's continental drift towards socialism." (But how can that be, Vox? I thought you said women were "fascists at heart.") Back then, my hit count was considerably lower than it is now, which is why I was somewhat surprised when Vox actually noticed my little comment and took a bit of umbrage at it. Soon after, Vox's posse descended upon my blog and loaded it with mostly inane defenses of Vox's misogyny.

Ed's now getting a taste of what I got, as Vox has noticed him too. The good news is, Ed is more than capable of holding his own, which is why I suggest you check out the coments in his original post and his followup, where there are many more comments. And Ed is right about one thing:

I'm sure this will bring even more of them over here to make juvenile comments about horse manure, but hey, it's kinda fun watching them make asses of themselves. It's even more amusing to watch them gather around him [Vox Day] and assure him that despite what that mean man said, he really is cool (and also "hot", according to one commenter).
Yes, it is rather fun for a while, but my experience four months ago showed me that it rapidly becomes tiresome to wade through their comments as the e-mails alert you to them. That's the main reason I never bothered to mention Vox again after our initial encounter. (On the other hand, having a posse like that to harass bloggers who criticize you would be a most effective means of discouraging them from criticizing you, as, I'm sure, Vox is well aware.) In any case, even the amusement of watching Vox's "fans" fall all over themselves to defend him and the added traffic a Vox Day mention brings are just not worth the aggravation.

But it is rather fun to watch it happening at Ed's blog, particularly since he's wading into the thick of things. And, yes, I realize that mentioning Vox again in an unfavorable way could bring the horde over here. It's worth the risk, though, to lend a little tactical air support to Ed.

10 example(s) of insolence returned:


At 8/12/2005 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As they say,"Truth hurts".

 

At 8/12/2005 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, Mensa's...I have yet to find one that failed to mention membership, and regularly. I also have yet to find a Mensa who wasn't completely socially inept.

 

At 8/12/2005 11:24 AM, Blogger Prometheus said...

Re: Mensa

The problem with blanket statements about Mensa members (e.g. "I...have yet to find a Mensa who wasn't completely socially inept.") is that we don't know the denominator. A more accurate statement might be that Mensa members who bring up their membership in conversation or as a badge of honor tend to be socially deficient.

I don't disagree with the concept that people who use Mensa membership as a sort of credential or as evidence of their own intelligence are probably socially inept. It rather speaks for itself. However, there may be more socially "ept" members of Mensa who keep their membership out of the public eye - there's no way of knowing.

That said, someone who puts Mensa membership in their biography or - worse yet - on a resume (I've seen that) should be assumed to be socially inept unless proven otherwise. Vox Day has shown by this and other signs that he is stuck at about the 7th grade level, socially.

Prometheus (not a Mensa member)

 

At 8/13/2005 12:50 AM, Blogger Tim said...

How come I never get any insane kookies visiting my blog and ranting about it, siccing their nutcase friends on me, and so on? I suppose the blandness has something to do with it.

 

At 8/13/2005 2:27 AM, Anonymous L said...

Good ol' VD. Most people it seems comment on the mohawk in the WND picture. Personally I find the stare a greater source of hilarity--the serious "don't f*ck with me, I'm The Shit" stare. If you ever meet this guy in person I think the odds are good he will "whip it out" and want to compare.

I'm not sure which is worse, his obvious insecurities or the fierce loyalty of his 10 followers. Talk about fascism.

 

At 8/13/2005 9:51 AM, Blogger Orac said...

Tim,

Start writing articles strongly arguing that there is no link between mercury/thimerosal and autism. Then start posting the URLs to those posts to the comments section of the Huffington Post blog, where RFK Jr. and David Kirby have posted. I got hundreds of comments after my piece about RFK Jr's Salon.com article. In retrospect. That wasn't my intent. As an itty-bitty blogger, I had no idea my stuff would end up being quoted and referenced so widely, but it was.

Or you could wait a while and do an attack piece on Vox Day.

 

At 8/13/2005 10:37 AM, Blogger Socialist Swine said...

anonymous II,

Have you ever taken the Mensa test? It's stupidly easy. That's why there's so many idiots that are members of that group. Indeed, how many bright people do you know that feel the need to demonstrate their brightness by joining a group?


Orac,

Actually I don't find VD's little sattelite trolls to be that bad. When I posted an entry about how much of an idiot VD was I only had one guy come visit. When I made fun of him he had a bit of a hissy-fit and left. Indeed, I would suggest to anyone that, if they are inclined, they should feel free to belittle Vox Day as much as they like. They could also decide to respond to his arguments, but that would be like being an able-bodied person competing at the special olympics.

-Socialist Swine

 

At 8/13/2005 11:13 AM, Blogger Orac said...

VD's groupies aren't all that bad, true (they tend to be too incoherent and easy to refute to be a real challenge), but they can be annoying. When he first mentioned me, my hitcount (then pretty anemic) tripled, and I got more comments than I had ever gotten before, most from VD supporters. I never even came close to that number of comments until my now famous (infamous?) article attacking RFK Jr.'s deceptive Salon.com article claiming a link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism, plus a conspiracy to "cover up" this link.

The sad thing is, Vox sometimes actually makes some sense when he restricts himself to writing about science fiction and fantasy. If he stuck to that, he wouldn't make such a fool of himself all the time.

 

At 8/24/2005 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When he first mentioned me, my hitcount (then pretty anemic) tripled"

Is this why you metioned him to get more traffic? Interesting? I must agree from your inability to refute his actual argument, it probably is difficult for to wade through all of 8 comments.

 

At 8/25/2005 7:56 PM, Blogger Orac said...

Actually, I see that your hero Vox has mentioned me again. He seems unable to resist, doesn't he? (Of course, now I get a lot more traffic than I used to.) I didn't even notice until someone e-mailed me about it. As for the number of comments, you apparently didn't see the 51 comments that appeared after my first mention of Vox.

In any case, as far as refuting Vox's arguments with regard to women voting goes, please go back to my original posts. I see no need to repeat myself, particularly not for you.

 

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