two abysses in a staring contest

The title of this post is how I described my experience of one of this week’s Internet Discourses to a friend of the show.

I was not referring to the the Gaza discourse, as Sam Kriss is doing in the piece I’m about to excerpt from. But I might as well have been.

You people simply do not know how to read. I’m not sure you know how to think. You just loll around in a wet world of half-chewed clichés. Whenever you encounter a piece of extended, argumentative prose, you enter a sudden nervous panic. What is this? Is it on my side? Is it the enemy’s? You don’t read it, exactly, but you do scan through its opening paragraphs for the right kind of cliché. If yours are in there, then all is well and good. But if you encounter something that resembles one of the enemy’s clichés, you quickly spit out a loose bolus of drivel over the offending text. It’s an instinctive reaction. When a turkey vulture is threatened, it pukes up its gizzardful of half-rotten, half-digested meat. Vulture vomit smells disgusting, and it can cause a nasty infection if it gets in the eyes. That’s you. That’s the state of every discussion about everything, now that we’re all online.

That’s it. That’s the whole post. Go read Kriss’s thing instead, all the way to the end. Enjoy your weekend.




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