Rhetorical question of the day

"Do you think Oliver Kamm or I make this stuff up?" – Gene at Little Green Soccerballs.

Answer of the day: "yes, probably. By the way, how have you managed to induce quite so many demented right-wing paranoiacs to infest your comments section?"

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21 thoughts on “Rhetorical question of the day

  1. "Do you think Oliver Kamm or I make this stuff up?" I still have my suspicions that Oliver Kamm might be a very clever discordian. It’s the explanation that makes most sense.

  2. No, Jim, "I still have my suspicions that Oliver Kamm might be a very clever discordian", you are wrong. Oliver Kamm is just "very clever", which you are not, despite your ability to neologise. (Tut, tut, Orwell would not have approved of ‘discordion’!) I should not have to say this, but experience tells me I had better; being "very clever" does not necessarily make him right, but in Oliver’s case you had better know your stuff before you take him on. You, like me, must grow used to the fact that we are, what that old queen, A.L.Rowse, used to call, second-raters. We can but console ourselves that at least we are not so unbelievably stupid as ‘lenin’.

  3. "Orwell would not have approved of ‘discordion’!"

    Oh I dunno. It’s a good description of a dodgy squeeze-box played by Mr Not-very-talented outside the tube station.

    However Jim wrote "discordian", which isn’t a neologism, although it’s probably not official.

  4. Oh but you’re priceless! You use your ignorance of the references I use as evidence of my "second-rate"ness. I salute your silliness, David, if not your coherence.

    As for Kamm; I took a personal dislike to the man when he described me, in writing, as a "Nazi apologist" on several occasions with absolutely no justification. I’m funny like that.

    And his hysterical reaction when I described Milton Friedman’s environmental views as "kooky" was breath-taking to behold… despite the fact that I made the "kooky" statement in the comments section of another blog; Kamm banned me from commenting on his site (back when he allowed such things) and refused to discuss any subject with me because of how insulting I’d been towards The Great Man! He’s got all the debating skills (as well as exactly the same technique) as a 4-year old child.

    He’s not a clever man, David… plus I don’t think he’s a very "well" one either. And he’s a rude and obnoxious piece of human garbage if he thinks it’s acceptable to repeatedly describe a person as a "Nazi-apologist" yet throw a hissy-fit when someone uses the word "kooky" about extreme views.

  5. Congratulations David D from Dorset! An ‘I Heart O.K.’ window sticker is winging it’s way to you now!

    Just as a point of interest, do you really think Mr Kamm is that great? Would you, for example, trust him to spend your hard earned more sensibly than you could, your being a second rate thinker and all?

  6. Actually David I was meaning to ask yoiu when the great Lord Kamm would be making his ceremonial entry into your "Street of Shame", what with him being incapable of standing his ground against any sort of opposition in his comments section, and everything.

  7. Well, gentlemen, in reverse order, I’ll start with Larry and confess he has me *partly* on the hip. I say ‘partly’ because I am not here to defend Oliver Kamm, he can look after himself, but I do admire his forensic approach, his obvious academic knowledge and, not least, the fact that he writes excellent English. However, those of you bored enough to look at my site will see that I disagree with him on some fundamentals.

    To N.I.B. I can only say that I don’t trust *anyone* to spend my money better than me.

    As for Jim, I thought for a moment he was going to "salute" my indefatigability!

    Finally, to Dave Heasman; being a second-rater I can only rely on the ‘New’ OED, which always lies within easy reach of my keyboard, and the word ‘discordion’ does not appear even as a derivative. But I’m happy to be corrected if some-one can find it elsewhere. And, I should add, I’m not against neologisms, Shakespeare was always at it.

  8. David, when you type "Discordian" into google you receive 118,000 results. I can’t guarantee that any of them will enlighten you on the meaning of the word however.

  9. To N.I.B. I can only say that I don’t trust *anyone* to spend my money better than me.

    How can you consider yourself to be a second rater then, if you believe you know best? Stop it with the false modesty already!

  10. English being the beautiful, complex, infinitely flexible language that it is, I’d say there’s nothing wrong with "discordian". The evolution of the language is a wondrous thing to behold. I’d hate to see us go down the road of having a body, even as illustrious as the experts from the OED, giving pronoucements on what we can or can’t use, à la Academie Française or Real Academia.

  11. I agree absolutely with Jez on the subject of the English language which is why I am not really criticisng Jim for his neologism. It so happened that, for reasons to tedious to go into here, I was re-reading Orwell’s strictures on "Politics and the English Language"(*) and noticed his rule #5: "Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent." I was teasing Jim (a regrettable habit of mine) by hitting him with one of his heroes – or at least, I assume Orwell is a hero to him.

    (*) Anyone wishing read the essay should go to the always excellent http://www.aldaily.com/ and scroll down to the very last section of references on their left-hand column.

    N.I.B. proves what a second-rater I am by using logic to out-manouvre me!

  12. David, Orwell is indeed something of a hero of mine. I never really got on with "Animal Farm" strangely enough, but "1984" is one of my favourite novels, and his "Collected Essays" one of my favourite books.

    Sadly though David, there is no "everyday English equivalent" to Discordian. Discordianism is the name of a certain school of thought / group of philosophies / religion / way of seeing the world popularised by Robert Anton Wilson and others in the late 60s / early 70s.

    As it was before my time, I’ve never really considered it a neologism… and there’s certainly no other word I could have used in it’s place to make the (joke) point about Oliver Kamm being a subscriber to that particular way of thinking.

    I could perhaps have fnord used a more obscure way of implying the same thing which would have gone over your head, and thereby saved you from the confusion that seems to have resulted. It’s something I’ll bear in mind in future. Hail Eris!

  13. N.I.B. proves what a second-rater I am by using logic to out-manouvre me!

    Woo Hoo! I think I’m going to treat myself to an afternoon in the Crow and Crag for that!

  14. Jim claims "discordant" comes from a philosophical movement ".. popularised [...] in the late 60s / early 70s." Couldn’t have been that popular, or perhaps, some-one forgot to tell the OED!

    And I trust that N.I.B. puts one (or three) behind the bar for me.

  15. Jim claims "discordant" comes from a philosophical movement

    Now I get it… David’s playing Chinese Whispers!

    (PS: You never responded to the comment I made on your blog, David… I guess I’ll have to start a "Street of Shame" of my own)

  16. Sorry, Jim, only just spotted it, will reply but possibly tomorrow. Sorry to our host for using his space for ‘personal’ correspondence.

  17. Hang on. Let me get this straight. Someone is defending Oliver Kamm by attacking his critic’s use of unfamiliar words. Have you ever read what Kamm writes? He does his best to grandstand and showboat in his use of language, unfortunately producing clunkingly overwritten peices rather than the erudite poetry he must be hoping for.

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