Tom Nichols has a long piece in the Atlantic about what a scumbag that fathead JD Vance has turned out to be. More accurately, chosen to be. At any rate, one bit of the article just made me laugh:
My friend Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, tried to describe Vance recently and came up with “pathetic loser poser fake jerk,” but that is a lot of words. To distill the essence of Vance as a public figure, the word that enters my mind is an anatomical reference beginning with the letter a.
I do not use that word lightly or comfortably. I am, in the formal sense, a man of letters. I have been an officer of instruction at several institutions of higher education (and I remind you here that I do not represent any of them and speak only for myself). I would not advise my students to use the term.
This just cracks me up for several reasons. First off, intellectuals don’t need to tell people they are intellectuals. Anyone who refers to themself as a “man of letters” is more a pretentious douchebag than a, well, “man of letters.” Second, actual intellectuals have no problem using profanity, and if you doubt me go read or listen to Gil Scott Heron or George Carlin or Gore Vidal and on and on.
This faux gentility of our sophist elites, who spend their time getting the vapors if someone says fuck have more to answer for in regards to the decline of America than lead paint, and they can go piss off into the corner and have a wank. Having said that, JD Vance is an asshole, and no one should second guess themself when stating as much.
worried about the lack of comments here…
@lurker: To be fair, how many comments do we need to agree Tom Nichols is a douche?
not really much to add to the post – not willing to give clicks to an article when they are clearly late to the game. Guess it is good they are noticing… For various values of “they” in this instance.
@Yutsano: we are up to at least four. Probably someone can add another amen out of boredom, or we can get someone to contribute when they drop off and achieve keyboard face.
James E Powell
An awful lot of time & effort being spent on a guy who, last time I saw a poll, was holding steady in single digits.
Hmmm… ‘a’, huh… I had to go look for a list of adjectives that begin with ‘a’.
I’ll keep looking…
Edit: asinine? amoral? awful? atrocious?
Name-dropping professor asshole unwilling to call author asshole an asshole because he must set a good example for the students at the Naval War College.
In Nichol’s defense: He spends an entire article calling Vance an asshole. A certain amount of theater is required to keep the repetitiveness from becoming dull.
Whatever ‘a’ thingee you want to call JD Vance, don’t forget to put ‘arrant’ in front of it. For precision’s sake, and words like that will give it a high tone.
That cracks me up too–it is supposed to be funny. I dont actually thjnk he has any trouble sayic “asshole”; all that verbiage is to emphasize that he really means it. “Methinks he doth protest too much.”
J.D. Vance is the answer to “what if Win Butler, but racist…”.
Kurt Vonnegut used all the words but [crudely drawn anus *] sticks with me.
And so it goes.
Steve in the ATL
Can I blame Vance for the grand mal seizure my dog had earlier today? Freaked me the fuck out. I think my wife suffered more than he did from it….
Colonel Kurtz: We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won’ t allow them to write ‘fuck’ on their airplanes because it’s obscene!
@Steve in the ATL: Scary! Hope he’s going to be OK.
I enjoy Tom Nichols, but he’s Republican to his bones. He gets his knickers in a twist when people take off their shoes on airplanes.
Like all never-Trumpers, I appreciate him fighting the good fight against TFG, but as soon as that war is over, he’ll be back on the enemies list, just like the USSR after WWII.
Here’s a thread about parachuting beavers:
Alright I bite. The comments before mine do not reflect at all the context of the long ideological journey Our Hero (I do not mean that ironically) has traveled. Our Hero is John Cole.
So Tom Nichols is a high integrity embedded in the establishment placeholder needing to advance his brand as a center right entertainment device. By “entertainment device” I also include his teaching responsibilities, and I am again unironically asserting that that’s pretty actually important, if you want people, younger usually, to listen to what you are saying.
Now if you have been here (BJ) from the beginning, as I have (no I did never comment), well Tom Nichols has possibly embarked on a well trodden path, the one chosen before by Our Hero a long time ago.
The reason I was here from the beginning is that Our Hero has integrity, and the first half decade or so that integrity matching up with the evidence that I viewed through my own eyes was so… incongruent. That caused dissonance in my own head and it was a wonder when it all sort of resolved!
Yet there was a long time before Our Hero was fully absorbed, yeah, dissolved, into our Borg.
And now, with this post, I find myself… less than perceptive on the journey of Tom Nichols than I should have been.
Maybe it takes one to know one.
Long Live Balloon-Juice! Long Live John Cole!
All the best.
@James E Powell:
Because fancy conservatives loved him and they’re crushed that he’s just an asshole. Turns out.
They’re working through their grief.
They’re poor judges of character. These are the people who believed Ken Starr was an upright an honorable person, and of course we all know (now) that was never true.
I have to say, I learned to fucking swear long before I was in the fucking navy and from conversations I had starting on day one, everyone else had as well. We were supposed to be gentlemen and ladies and not use those words though, or some bullshit like that. I believe it was called fucking polite society. Except that fucking polite society was racist, misogynistic, elitist, and a few other negative adjectives. Anyway, I’ve learned to keep my fucking swearing down quite a bit over time…
Hey John, OT, but any new developments in your world with crows?
Also, thanks for the lovely dismantling of Nichols’ nonsense.
I’m surrounded by assholes!
@Ruckus: So fucking glad you are still here!
The Moar You Know
@Mary G: subjecting strangers in a confined space to your boot feet reek ought to be a war crime. Kinda with him on that one.
I so hope that really happened.
@The Moar You Know: It was a guy in flip flops! His feet were already aired out. He does get pictures of horrible people who put their bare feet in other travelers’ space, which I agree is a felony.
Here is another weird animal thread:
I’d call Vance a wanker. I don’t think he’s harmful or annoying enough to be an asshole.
But he deserves whatever insults he gets so insult away.
@Steve in the ATL: Has he been flea dipped lately? My old dog did that after the groomer treated his fleas.
JD’s hometown newspaper on JD:
How would the beavers get the parachutes off? That sounds like a crueler way of killing them than poison or traps.
If the fall doesn’t kill ya, the cloth thing strapped to your back will.
Warning – link goes to FTFNYT:
Mitt still wants his cake and to eat it too.
@Ruckus: Fucking A. I learned how to swear from Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, and I’ve definitely moderated my rate of cussing.
Depends on one’s upbringing and/or linguistic preference, I suppose. The language is chockablock with words or terms which convey a similar (or even more strident or on point) message. I choose to reserve use of the saltiest, bluest terminology for very rare occasions and not have superfluity dilute its oomph via broadness of application. YMMV.
Anyone IRL who knows me also knows that if they hear those utterances from me it is shorthand that I’m describing quintuple red alert, waist deep with piranhas nibbling the toes territory.
@ian: They gnaw them off. No problem.
have to still be able to appreciate the ability for an insufferable prick (Nichols) to at least have the modicum of awareness to craft an article attempting to separate himself from the irredeemably opportunistic hypocrite that Vance has proven himself to be be. Unsure if that allows Nichols to move into a “temporary ally” status or not, but it still shows that there are occasionally some opportunities for consensus.
The clever ones look for the place to return them in order to get their deposits back.
This prissy-ass motherfucking wanker balking at using a fucking word, imagine that, a motherfucking man of letters scared to use a word.
Fucking contumelious fumbledick.
Steve in the ATL
@sab: no, and this wasn’t his first, just his worst, and the first one we actually witnessed. Scary stuff.
I learned from that Unabomber dramatization that the original phrase is very old and over time we have got it backward.
It should be eat your cake and have it too.
A little Debussy for Bastille Day:
(Btw, the CSO is back performing live, at their summer outdoor home of Ravinia.)
@Mary G: So there are pictures! I read about this in an article about more recent attempts to transfer or restore beaver populations out west.
@ian: They didn’t actually put the parachutes on the beavers: the beaver went into a crate, and the ‘chute was attached to the crate. I think the crates opened automatically once they (gently) hit the ground, and the beavers simply walked out.
I like to imagine what they told their descendants about the experience.
Ehh, if you have a super nice lady mom, you never really throw off avoiding most swear words. I am not nearly as old fashioned as my mother but I have found that being known to not swear much, means that if I publicly whisper dammit, my coworkers jump to find out what is wrong, and help.
over using swear words leaves you with no where to escalate.
on the other side, being too prissy for your time and place loses respect and keeps you too far apart from people you might make friends with.
I seem to be labeling a lot of people as assholes since…about 2001. I used to be pretty apolitical and could watch the news without screaming.
@ian: There was somebody there taking the pictures who must have opened the boxes so I’m not sure this was as far away from civilization as claimed.
Thanks. I was trying to google if beavers can stretch their necks to their backs.
I am disappointed to learn this. I so wanted to imagine them landing on a riverbank like little furry paratroopers.
Aliens probed me,…… I was there,….. I’m not crazy,…..
told a customer to f/o today.
it’s funny,( weird). I try to do great Customer Service, but when someone crosses a line, I just snap. When I snap, every other word is Belfast Irish.
Well, I’m a “man of letters,” too.
Well, more accurately, a nom/nym of letters. Close enough, I say.
How very nice of you!
I know! It would’ve been awesome!
Guerilla beavers, slashing off their parachutes with the same knives they would use to take back their land from the human invaders…
@Jay: I noticed you politely omitted the sanity of said extraterrestrial folk.
“On Point” (NPR) was talking today about vaccination resistance, and how to overcome it. They had a couple of doctors blathering on about how people should not be confrontational with the anti-VACC-ers. Yeah, whatever. The thing that pissed me right-the-fuck off was one of them saying that part of it is anti-partisanship, which he said/implied happened on both sides. In other words: RWMFs won’t get vaccinated because libs/progs think they should (i.e., Cleek’s Law, sort-of), and libs/progs will get vaccinated because RWMFs won’t. Fucking moron. I did, however, refrain from punching the car radio.
How abouts a little Horace Debussy Jones instead?
You obviously haven’t been in the military or worked in a machine shop. I am actually a piker when it comes to swearing, I knew people in the navy that could, and did speak using about 90% swear words. And you’d be amazed at how little swear word repetition there was per 100 words. There are swear words in every language in the world and at this point in our development, or lack thereof, I’ve found that many people in most countries in the world understand fuck, it’s meanings and usages. So the internet has been useful for more than just porn.
I agree with Pete Mack above: Nichols is not really afraid to say asshole, he’s just floundering around trying to do an extended comic bit. Same with “man of letters” and “officer of instruction.” Robert Benchley but not funny.
@rlc: Who will write the “enormous mendacious disembodied anus” trigger for Tom?
Someone I work with wrote the textbook.
Pretty nice guy, too.
@Steeplejack: Dennis Miller.
Oh, thee of little imagination. I grew up in NYC. I can swear in several languages. I have numerous newly minted swears attributed to my name. There’s a rich vein of untapped potential.
@Martin: Attributed to your name, or just including it?
@piratedan: Tom Nichols would say, and has said on many occasions over the past few years, that we should all be grateful that he and the manly, heroic, square-jawed Never Trumpers are graciously saving feckless liberals from the Gibbering Mouther and its various parasitical attendants. Naturally, this means that even mentioning the past of Herr Doktor Perfesser Nichols and his merry band of rascals is verboten, wrong and a sure sign of an inadequate, immature and selfish mind.
People need assholes. No one needs JD Vance. Better to call him a douchebag.
Hate to inform you but just like the asshole is useful for every animal, and it is always bad to exhibit it on one’s face and connected to your mouth, a douchebag is a useful item in the world. Like a lot of words, there are often more than one meaning for asshole and douchebag. as well as degrees of conversion of things that shouldn’t be either, into things that can be both.
Ten paragraphs from the end of the piece after a lawyer-like summing up of the evidence that Vance is an asshole, Tom Nichols writes: “Vance has struck back at his many critics across the political spectrum by referring to them all as “degenerate liberals,” which is exactly the kind of thing a smarmy and pretentious asshole would say.”
In short, he did say “asshole”. Maybe he is a man of letters who used a literary device visible to those who read to the end.
ignorant son of a spavined camel
@Amir Khalid: Yeah, I figure the parachute was on a cage that trips open after landing.
@Pete Mack: I agree. It’s meant to sound terribly, terribly high-toned in a dry, deliberate way — as if to accentuate that even the most tender-tongued academic (which he implies by over-emphasis that he is NOT) would be driven to use the “A word”. It’s funny precisely because the A word is itself a rather mild term these days.
I think he’s mocking the overly timid, too, as if to say that more people need to call things as they are.