Alternate Intro to the “Three Charts” Post

This was my original intro to the “Three Charts” post that I’ve just put up. Normally my rational brain gets the better of me and I delete this kind of crap before I post it. It is neither charitable nor professional. You’ve been warned.

Once again, the truth rolls its eyes and starts tying it’s laces while the lie is half-way around the world. There is a piece called “The Three Charts to E-Mail Your Right Wing Brother-In-Law” that is making the rounds and impressing many people who didn’t score high on the “critical thinking” portion of the test.

Whoever made this chart is an asshole. Straight up asshole. “Your Right Wing Brother-In-Law”? Really? I mean… I get it because no one who is related to this person by blood could ever be so stupid. Nice little undercurrent enforcing the concept of hereditary intelligence. Yeah… I heard a lot of that kind of shit when I visited the deep South and ran into the local racist assholes. Just enough plausible deniability to claim innocence, but deep down you know that, due to your pedigree, you’re just better than other people.

And someone who disagrees with you could never be your friend. I mean… you? Voluntarily associate with someone who doesn’t agree with you? Actually have friends who might challenge you on something? Heaven forbid. Disagreeing with you is something only the lowly and inferior do and you would never be around them of your own volition, so it has to be someone who is “in the family, but not part of the family”.

No, the right wing brother in law just mouths off without knowing the facts, so it is up to the great brainiac hope of the family to inject reality into the conversation. Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just fantasizing about winning an argument in real life without stuttering and turning red in the face?

And as salty icing on the moldy self-righteous cake why do YOU need to explain this to the “brother-in-law” specifically? It it because your wife or sister is too stupid or too meek to explain it to him herself? The weak-minded damsel will be saved by you, the powerful, witty, urbane, strong, righteous intellectual knight. And everyone will love you for being the big savior of the family conversation.

I find that creepy, dismissive and sexist. Everyone who giggles at it and re-shares it should be ashamed of themselves but won’t be because they aren’t introspective enough to stop stroking their own intellectual egos for the time it takes to feel shame.

See? This is why I usually delete that kind of stuff.

16 comments

  1. […] and the self-righteous ones are the worst. But it detracted from this post, so if you want to, you can read it here. Not work that I'm proud of, but it's fun to write every once in a […]

  2. Ramblin' Wreck Fan says:

    This is one of the best things I’ve read in a month. Amen, Amen to your rant. I love that you even rant 10x more inelegantly than anybody else. Please stay true to the numbers and continue to shine the light of reason and logic on all of us. Thank you!

  3. Ike says:

    Amen.

    And let me say, on behalf of the rather large enlightened majority in the Deep South, that we in no way will hold against you your unfair extrapolation of a single data point in reinforcing the widely-held belief that we are somehow more racist than Bensonhurst, DC, Cincinnati, or any number of other cities that need “Dukes of Hazzard” reruns to assuage their own lack of progress on defeating prejudice.

    Rock on, Matt.

  4. Nathan Davis says:

    Well said, Matt. Sometimes, calling a spade a spade is just what’s called for, especially when it’s on the level of intellectual dishonesty of whoever created these charts.

    As another of your fans from the South, I’d like to reiterate Ike’s point: I know exactly the type you discuss in the post, and can say they certainly don’t speak for most of us down here. Unfortunately, they do yell the loudest and draw the most media attention, so I can understand why the view persists. I am sorry your personal experience was one that reinforced the stereotype, rather than breaking it.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. politicalmath says:

    Nathan, Ike,

    I spent most of my youth (teens & early 20s) on the edge of the rural South. My implication was not to say that everyone there is like that… I can recall only a handful of people (4 or 5 maybe) in my dozen or so years in the area who were like that.

    My point was that the insidious implication of hereditary intelligence in the title is almost exactly the kind of thing you’d hear from these guys. The author would no doubt call it racism if he heard it from someone with a southern accent, but he seems perfectly content to use it himself when he doesn’t like someone else.

  6. Ramblin' Wreck Fan says:

    I just noticed that my spell check got the better of me this morning and “inelegantly is supposed to be intelligently” That’s that I get for attempting to interact with society so early in the morning (early TX time anyway). It drives me crazy that I can’t correct it. grrrr! Next time coffee first, then interaction.

  7. Richard Cox says:

    Nobody has an obnoxious right-wing relative filling their inbox with ridiculous lies? (“Death Panel,” etc.)

    That’s news to me, because I have such relatives. I have experienced this the last several years.

    Why does noticing this get conflated with the notion of “hereditary intelligence”? With sexism? For all your breast-beating about accuracy and honesty, that is hardly an honest interpretation. You have come up with every bugaboo you could think of.

    I am utterly unconcerned with defending the “Three Charts” post, which at worst is a mirror image of the dishonest shit I get in my inbox and am apparently required not just by my family but by Mr. Angry Blogger never to respond to in any way, on pains of being a racist sexist creepy dishonest one of “these people” who obviously thinks he’s superior.

    Yes, that is the obvious meaning if someone doesn’t agree with right wing propaganda – how perceptive you are.

  8. politicalmath says:

    Richard,

    By all means respond to “dishonest shit” from family and friends. (I too, get right-wing nonsense in my inbox. I treat it like the spam that it is.) A casual reading of my rant should indicate that it isn’t the response I’m going after, it is the arrogance.

    Responding to people can be done without arrogant self-righteousness. I get more “crazy” from my right-wing friends, but I get WAY more sniffy, self-righteous, uninformed pseudo-intellectualism from my left-wing friends.

    Of course, if you’re eager to see me blast on the other side, here you go. It’s not as colorful, but, as I said, I usually delete this kind of stuff before I hit “publish”.

    http://www.politicalmathblog.com/?p=108

  9. I love this post. 🙂

  10. Mark Richer says:

    Well done, sir. Actually, well modulated given the stimulus. You are to be commended for your cogent analysis and encouraged to vent a little more freely, a little more often.

  11. Scott Gray says:

    Wow. And I thought my early unsent drafts were bad. This is beautiful in a goodness-never-ever-actually-say-it-in-a-real-argument kind of way. The beauty of what you write here is that you say . . . ahem . . . bluntly, what better analyses are all about: That equal respect is about hearing out one another’s detailed arguments and judging accordingly, rather than spewing slogans or truncated bar graphs designed to “win” debates.

  12. James Slaven says:

    Since you have no idea what kind of person I am, I know this doesn’t help a lot, but I’ve written very similar posts to get the feelings off my chest before posting the more appropriate response. Nice job!

  13. AwakenedGiant says:

    I love it, right on the mark. If I didn’t know better, I would think that I wrote this and then hit SEND… There is little if no critical thinking these days

  14. Gabriel Benzur says:

    What a wonderful website. Glad I stumbled on it. By the way, I don’t believe that matzoh is made from the blood of goy children, despite what you may say. And some of my best friends are janitors.

  15. Den Winningstad says:

    And in response to AwakenedGiant, speaking of “no critical thinking,” does any one else find it funny that Richard Cox posted on this thread of the blog as opposed to the actual 3 charts thread? Wonderfully written, I thought, and mostly agreeable.

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