Sunday, August 05, 2007

Abdominate your Abs with the Abreactor!

Read, if you will, this excellent New York Times Book Review essay on conservative conversion narratives. In it Stephen Metcalf dissects a collection of essays that describe how their authors became conservatives. Metcalf precisely likens their conservativism to obsessional neurosis - it is rooted in a primal trauma (caused, in these accounts, by liberal academics or feminists or both) which the conservative constantly re-experiences. This always fresh trauma lends to their political arguments the raw personal heat that speaks so persuasively to ordinary American people (despite the fact that their authors are invariably extremely privileged elites). Basically, Metcalf claims that conservatives are a bunch effete nerds who never got laid in college, an argument which I myself have championed on this very blog.

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