I think Marcus Ranum just diagnosed my problem.
I am so full of anger and hatred that it’s 3:00am and I can’t sleep.
Hey, that’s my problem! I just checked my dipstick, and yep, I’m overflowing with bile. No wonder I’m waking up in the middle of the night.
What’s making the bitter gall flow? It’s similar to what annoys me: Joe Rogan and the whole elaborate pile of bullshit that is the current ladder to success. Rogan is just one symptom, but hoo boy, his recent not-pology pushed all my buttons, too.
Then, Rogan made his elaborate not-pology, basically saying that he’s just a dumb jock, and he’s a curious guy who likes to interview trolls. Basically, he’s pulling the Oprah excuse, “I didn’t create ‘Doctor’ Phil, I just uh… promoted him and handed him my microphone. He’s the grifter, not me!” Everyone is playing the same song, and it’s edging perilously close to the “free speech” defense. You know, that one? It’s usually followed around by its nasty little cousin “Both sides”. And that’s where I have to stop and call ‘bullshit’ on the whole thing.
It’s grifters all the way up.
We have to be a lot less forgiving of the bullshit, “I am just trying to learn…” dodge. Let me speak as someone who used to teach (fairly well-reviewed and popular!) classes around the world: I would not give a 1 hour lecture on any topic whatsoever without developing the expertise, first. It usually took me most of a day to write any given 1 hour presentation and I already knew my topic. If someone offered me $1 mil to do a talk on virology, sure, I would do it but it’d be basically a wad of “this paper says this and this professor says that and isn’t it all cool?” That’s being a cheerleader, not an expert, but I’d take the $1 mil. Anyone who is trying to have a public conversation about any given topic, whatever, owes their audience the simple attention to detail to absorb the supporting knowledge necessary to have the conversation. That’s why I have to hoist another great big “fuck Joe Rogan” flag – he had Jordan Peterson on his show and simply batted the bullshit-ball back and forth; that tells me that he (and his handlers) didn’t do the simplest, most basic research, to figure out that Jordan Peterson is a sociopathic compulsive liar who doesn’t even bother to get his facts straight in the field he professes; never mind the other fields: the guy is omni-wrong. Interviewing Jordan Peterson is not the time to play dumb jock, it’s the time to pull out the verbal knife. That is the only way to get these people off the mainstream media: make them walk off the stage with the rhetorical equivalent a fat lip and a bootprint on the seat of their pants. Any “interviewer” who can’t hold their own against a bullshit artist is, ipso facto, a bullshit artist themself. Or they’re not qualified to hold a mic.
Right. I’m giving a one-hour lecture today, on a subject I’m familiar with and have been teaching for a couple of decades, and I still have to sweat over it for a few hours, reviewing material, trying to figure out better ways to present the topic, thinking ahead to how it will fit in the rest of the curriculum, putting in late nights and early mornings on the class. I can’t get up to the lectern and bloviate with a fellow bullshitter for an hour. Where’s my million dollars?
And seriously, is Rogan even worth the hundred million dollars Spotify paid him? He doesn’t bring any expertise to the table. Just go down to the local bar and offer the motormouth (there’s always one) $50 and a case of beer to sit in front of a microphone. Oh, right: he’s paid to bring his custom-built audience of artisanal stupid people along. That’s his value-added.
Oops. Whoopi Goldberg just got suspended for two weeks over her Holocaust remarks. Black woman gets stronger corporate response than dumb jock, news at 11.