18 Jun 2009, Comments (6)

This is what I get for trying to maintain civility in my discourse

Author: Helen

First time I’ve ever been scolded for not being sweary enough in an internet discussion thread, I think. And here I was thinking that the standards at ALR would be so lofty.

I do bristle at the idea that asshat is a mere euphemism, though. Although mild, I love it for its evocation of the location of the subject’s head relative to his arse.

(More etymology of asshat here.)

Comments (6)

  • tigtog says:

    Serves you right for not spelling it arsehat 🙂

  • Bwca Brownie says:

    In defence of Mr.James, his piece of asshattery did contain this gentle disclaimer:
    ‘I have to pick my words carefully here, because this is the touchiest theme I have ever tackled in these broadcasts, but I do think it’s high time to say that if feminist ideologists find liberal democracy unfriendly, they might consider that the absence of liberal democracy is a lot less friendly still.
    Helping to give me courage, here, finally, is that quite a lot of women are already saying it. But they tend not to be western pundits. They tend to be women out there, in the thick of a real battle not just an argument. Why their bravery doesn’t shame more of our feminist pundits I hesitate to say. It certainly shames me.’

    It appears to me, fond of him from my first encounter, that he just loves women. St.Germaine? carries a torch. Lady Diana? oh my god that eulogy of his The New Yorker ran.

    re your linked thingy:
    Realto said ‘thanks’ for putting the opposing case, and called asshat a cringeing euphemism – maybe he would have preferred ‘bucket o shyte’.

    Chris Oliver responded to Realto by saying “coyness is odd”
    maybe he also would have preferred ‘bucket o shyte’.

    The whole thing just confirms my waryness of those LOFTY blogs.

    Tim T’s comment was a gem. a pearl before the usual flu victims.

  • Helen says:

    I’m sorry Brownie, but what in that isn’t offensive asshattery?
    Cough. Arsehattery. 😉
    The assumption that “feminist ideologists” (a HIVEMIND, an undifferentiated mass), all find liberal democracy unfriendly?
    Despite the enthusiastic support on almost all feminist blogs (almost all, feminism is not a HIVEMIND) for the Obama campaign against the increasingly authoritarian and repressive Bush / McCain / Palin?)
    Despite the fact that most feminist blogs (again, feminism is not a HIVEMIND) equally enthusiastically oppose Burmese repression, Indian, Afghan, Middle Eastern and – yes – homegrown Western oppression. Oops, better not say anything about the last one – in the West, you see, we’re PERFECT.
    And what about the jerking-off about men being at home in the army? Oh please Clive. Old men fighting imaginary wars from their armchairs. How original and effective.

    Germaine Greer pwned him pretty nicely when young. That’s maybe the source of his grudge against feminists.


  • I’ve always had a fondness for “gobshite”, myself…

  • Helen says:

    “Gobshite” is excellent.
    I like Tigtog’s “numpty”, too.

  • Ken says:

    Helen, if Clive James has a grudge against Germaine Greer, he’s hiding it pretty well.

    For example, in “The Meaning of Recognition”, he’s lavish in praise of her: noting that she wasn’t pressed on the subject of Shakespeare’s poems in one TV appearance, James writes that it was “a pity, because I would have liked to hear more. She has formidable scholarly credentials … but I would have thought her best credential was that she knows an awful lot about the theatre, and is therefore proof against any notion that Shakespeare’s poems are the acme of his poetry … [She] is well aware that a line which has to be understood the first time it is heard can achieve the status of the poetic only by a far bigger miracle than a line written to be figured out on the page.”

    He continues to sing her praises throughout “Cultural Amnesia”. For one, he describes Ricarda Hich, “the first lady of German humanism in modern times”, as “a bridging figure between Germaine de Stael and Germaine Greer”.

    Would that he had such a grudge against me!

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