Saturday, August 25, 2007

As Sylvester used to say, "That's Dissssthpicabble": On Ann Coulter and Crititainment.

Here's something I posted back around the beginning of August on the blog for my classroom. I'm moving it here 'cause I don't really think kids give a hoot about Ann Coulter...as it should be.

Now I hope you’ve had your breakfast a long time ago, ‘cause this piece by Ann Coulter is enough to make you chuck your Cheerios.

So let me first say that as a teacher of English and as a coach of debate, Ann Coulter has a distinct voice. That’s something I look for in good writing and something a debater has to have in order to sway judges sentiment. But let me also say that Ann’s writing is technically unsound, filled with unwarranted assertions and given to easy barbs and just outright mean-spirited attempts at humor. Some of her ilk might call that “satire”, but if that’s satire, then I know plenty of high school students who can easily sling the muck with more verve and panache than this tired and worn harpy. She stereotypes, generalizes, and otherwise uses a broad brush to paint her skewed picture of the world. You want satire, then go to Johnathan Swift. At least his barbs are secured to the polychromatic real world rather than the monochrome visage of an ideologue. I could go on, but it just gets ridiculous and I’ve not the energy nor the time to waste. Suffice it to say that I’m damned scared that there are people out there who say that Ann “speaks the truth."

1 comment:

Ned said...

The ones who think It (Coulter) speaks the truth are few and far between. One of the reasons It is taken so seriously, (or taken at all) is that It is usually the only one speaking, as intelligent minds have far better things to do. Then when the individual It is insulting complains, It pulls the good old "Who, me? I'm just a poor misunderstood pundit who's just trying to stir things up...with satire." routine. It is the kind of person at a party who, as soon as you leave the room says something pointless and derogatory like, didn't he gain weight, I heard she's having an affair - with the help. (See I can use satire too.) Not in the effort to actually inform the other guests but to gather all around and point at another human being and say boo, hiss, we don't like you. Kind of reminds me of certain weak, poor-sport, cowardly, sore-loser trivia teams, but I digress. It does this to feel better about Itself that if others hate what It hates then they must like It by comparison. I have one thing to say to It. It puts the lotion on It's skin or else it gets the hose again.