Jay Rosen blogs about Nick Coleman's "classic" anti-blog piece Blogged down in Web fantasy. Both are worth reading, Coleman's piece just for yuks.
This is exactly what Dvorak does, except he usually does a 180 at the end. Strike a nerve to get attention and dive right in. For instance, he slams blogging, then starts merrily blogging himself.Jay RosenFor me the funniest part of Coleman's column was the way he wrote it knowing he was to get ripped by the bloggers he was ridiculing. It's the Struck a Nerve Fantasy in opinion writing. I'm sure some of you recognize it.
X publishes something graceless and unconvincing, but extremely polemical. Everyone hates it because it's bad writing. Friends of the argument are not friends of the piece. So X has almost no defenders. The reactions come in. X's piece gets ripped because it's aggressive, mean and wrong.
But X walks away satisfied: looks like I struck a nerve, says X to self. And the greater the hostility back, the bigger the nerve struck!
I think crumudgening is used in politics to create diversions. Some authors like Dvorak use it to get attention. Sometimes it's not crumudgening, but sincere stupidity. The problem is that it is sometimes hard to tell which unless you know the person. On the other hand...
Robert J. HanlonNever attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
UPDATE: Weird... the Coleman piece just went behind a registration wall. I was able to read it just a few minutes ago without registration.