Obooki is gobsh*te (and other epithets)

…or maybe just paranoid, it’s so hard to tell. Here is Mitchelmore

on RSB, commenting on Dan Green’s curious assault on

Dostoevsky, and some of the subsequent comments:

I’m glad someone – i.e. Mark – feels the same way as I do about the tone of the

comments. The Guardian’s Book blog has been the preserve of what I thought was a peculiarly English trait so it’s shame to see it

migrating.

It is also a shame Dan gives encouragement in his latest blog to one prominent GBB gobsh*te whose comments there remind me of a

cross between Russell Brand and Oliver Kamm; concerned only with smart-arse superciliousness rather than debate.

It’s true, I now

have a technorati rating of 4, and it’s beginning to go to my head. I should be starved of the oxygen of publicity. (I wonder though if

Mitchelmore’s concern isn’t more that there could be an individual in existence who would quote him one day and me the next – and see nothing

fundamentally wrong in this).

I’ve been wondering for a time if there isn’t a very subtle humour in Mitchelmore’s work which a casual

reading doesn’t do justice to: – here, for instance, he takes a moral line about the “tone of the comments” – presumably, their offensiveness; and

then proceeds to launch into a random piece of offensiveness of his own. It would be too simple a reading to suggest he was merely being

inconsistent.

As to debate: well, I’m not entirely sure, from my experience over the years, that blogs are the best place for

debate.

As to superciliousness: well, it usually occurs thus: – i am thinking to myself, shall I deride this particular poster and point out to

them that what they have said is ignorant gibberish: – no, maybe I should take a different tack here. (It is the same with religious fundamentalists:

– debating with them is not always the more productive approach). – Besides, in general, others have already indulged themselves in such ridicule as I

deem is necessary. – Actually, the only person on GU I’m conscious of being supercilious towards is Rourke, and even then it’s only a playful mock-

superciliousness which he seems to take in good part. I like Rourke, even if he is a bit crazy. – And of course, in truth, I don’t really take

literary criticism all that seriously; I have no pretensions in that area (just as well, you say; for you are no good at it); and so often it seems to

me the only possible use for studying literature is this very one-upmanship – that I know more about text x than the next man. – Anyway, if it is mere

superciliousness, no doubt it could all be swept aside by some good reasoned argument.

By the way, mentioning Rourke, here’s another view on Critchley I came across. Really quite savage but –

reasoned.


You can, of course – thanks to new Guardian technology – decide for yourself whether you think my comments are

supercilious and lacking in a willingness to argue by looking up Obooki’s comments. –

Only certain articles, I’d say: – the ones that deserve superciliousness.

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