Monday, May 13, 2013

Life is short, my RSS feed is long

In light of the upcoming shutdown of Google Reader (c'mon, Google, really?), I think it's a good time to make a few trims to my RSS feed. (This is especially on my mind now since just a few days of camping lead to a ballooning of unread items: I think I get somewhere between 150 and 200+ items a day.) Most of these cuts aren't very momentous--I'm not as plugged into gaming culture right now so Penny Arcade is often wasted on me--but there's one I want to comment on:

I'm cutting myself off from Andrew Sullivan. While his system of aggregation often highlights interesting items, that in no way makes up for having to slog through his biased opinions on material which he doesn't entirely understand. Others have so ably bullet-pointed his failings, so I don't really need to go through the list of the times he was wrong or his blinkers.

What really gets me about him is his inability to break the pattern: a topic comes up, Sullivan spouts off on it; many bloggers and dissenters point out where he is wrong, but Sullivan doubles down, often with the self-righteous patting-himself-on-the-back that goes along with his "I'm just telling it like it is" and his "your liberal orthodoxy can't hold me back, man"; eventually, a few weeks later, after someone like Ta-Nehisi Coates intervenes, Sullivan makes some sort of correction or apology, which often seems sincere if not self-congratulatory about being able to change his mind--wash, rinse, repeat. Whatever the topic is--race and IQ; terrorism; structural prejudice against women; the war in Iraq--Sullivan can be counted on to be wrong, but somehow find a way to cast himself as being on the right side throughout. 

In short: he's a prick. If he had a bar stool rather than a blog, no one would listen to his mixture of pious self-regard and toadying for certain powers that be.

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