Ann Althouse, some of whose vaporous aestheticizing has been denounced here before, talks about a big silly artist who said a silly thing:She's already told us she doesn't like fiction films, and now she's starting to come out against fiction itself. I expect her to denounce graven images next month.
I want to like novelists. Really, I do. For example, T.C. Boyle. I read him sometimes. That is to say: I subordinate my mind to his and let his thoughts become my thoughts. But then I read quotes like this, and it sets me to wondering all over again about this practice of reading novels. They're written by novelists, you know.
And that ends the section of the post where Roy discusses Althouse. Keep that in mind, and check it yourself if you don't believe me.
Now, at this point, Roy continues:
Even better are her commenters:Imagine T.C. Boyle biting his tongue, terrified to denounce gay marriage lest David Remnick destroy his career! The general consensus is that artists are stupid and bad and nobody should pay attention to them. All pretty hilarious, but I do feel sorry for the more extreme cases:
But keep in mind (gee, this is going to sound like the "good muslims" argument) that any writer who pipes up with anything but leftist cant will make serious enemies for life.
This is exactly why I almost never read interviews. So many artists have been entirely ruined for me due to the asinine things they've said in interviews.
Think what a horrible, parched life that must be: unable to enjoy art unless you approve of its creators' politics.
Note that none of this second excerpt is about Althouse at all. It is about her commenters. How do I know this? Just a guess based upon my understanding of these English words: "Even better are her commenters." I know that because of both my analysis of the context as well as my estimation of the author's intent. Ahem.
So. Given this evidence, what would you say about Althouse's update to the post linked above, the one that so intrigued Roy:
Roy thinks I'm objecting to Boyle's politics. He specializes in calling me an idiot, in numerous posts, but he never seems to begin to understand my writing. Here, he comes to the defense of writers. But do writers even want to be defended by a man who is such a poor reader?
Can anyone spot Althouse's mistake? Sure you can! Althouse says "Roy thinks I'm objecting to Boyle's politics." But that's clearly wrong. Roy is objecting to Althouse's glib and pompous opinions about art. How do I know this? I was clued in by his reference to her "vaporous aestheticizing." Call me crazy.
So that in and of itself makes Althouse's attack on Roy's reading skills pretty great. A perfect jewel, actually, lustrous and glittering. Roy did not mention Althouse's ideas about politics at all, only her comments about art. It was her commenters who caused him to mention politics.
Not a good line of attack there, the bad-reading-comprehension line; it creates a bloody, self-inflicted snark wound, as it were.
And, characteristically, she can't stop. Here she writes:
Some blogger criticized that post for making everything political, even though all that bothered me was the repulsive pessimism, and it occurred to me later that the blogger who criticized me -- he's linked in the linked post -- was not only ridiculously hypocritical -- he was the one seeing politics everywhere -- but he had also made an embarrassing concession about the political vision of the left: It feels like depression.
No doubt. No doubt.
That is why we are so thankful to Althouse for providing us the gift of laughter to shine a glimmer into our darkness.
(Roy's commenter Horus spots the same thing.)