"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Where Are They Now? Dept.

It's not earth-shaking news, but...Do any of you remember James Elliott, who once graced The Reform Club with his frequent commentary? Well, he has a site of his own now. You might want to drop by and wish him well.

9 comments:

Tom Van Dyke said...

Nice asterisk. Apparently he learned some manners here, as much as was possible.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Did you scroll down to the post below the top one, Tom? Be sure to check the comments to it, too.

I'm a naughty boy, I am...

Tom Van Dyke said...

My apologies, Fran. Mr. Elliott's prose tends to make my eyes glaze over, and I missed both he and the fragrant James Wolcott take aim at you.

As there is nothing as exhilarating as getting shot at and missed, my congratulations on this badge of honor.

Hunter Baker said...

James had his own site in the past, which was the rather rough and tumble lospunditos.blogspot.com, which I think was a sideline to his efforts to get promoted to the front page of Kos.

James is a man of two personalities, one very good and interesting. Without checking in, I'm going to hope the better half is winning.

Anonymous said...

After Francis's polite comment over at my site, I resolved to head over here and apologize for my bout of Schadenfreude over his well-deserved chastising at the hands of James Wolcott. Clearly, since he went to all that trouble of following Vanity Fair's trackbacks to find my little piling on, he must have been hurt, and I was perhaps unfair, in light of how kindly worded his comment and this post were. Time to eat some crow, I decided.

But then, I saw this: "I'm a naughty boy, I am..." Never mind the oddly British turn of phrase that confirms the man's overwhelming pomposity and pettiness (and really, following trackbacks and then getting upset is as petty as it gets), he'd clearly overplayed his hand in the shame game.

The thing about being polite, Francis, is that it only works when you're sincere. That's why Hunter Baker and S.T. Karnick were able to use it so effectively with me: They were (and if Mr. Baker's comment is any indication, remain) fundamentally decent men. You, however, remain a pompous windbag.

As for Tom Van Dyke, who I'm glad to see retains our mutual cordial distaste for one another, the title of that post was a quote, if an obscure one. I'm not going to apologize for occasionally using coarse language. I should apologize for the appallingly bad writing in that post, though. Not my finest work. But I think if you were to scroll through the archives (the site's been up since 2004, Francis), you'd see that the language has smoothed out over the years. However, I still see no reason to be polite when being so would be insincere. There's no value to that.

I don't know about the new name of this site, but the new layout is nice -- simple but eye-catching. My best to Hunter Baker and S.T. Karnick.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Hey, I like you, JFE. In fact, very much, and I miss you. But a trip over to your blog is like going to the bearded Spock universe, and it's a bit disorienting, is all.

BTW, I think Hunter established long ago that civility is of course "fake." That's the point, mastery of oneself. "Honesty" is overrated---a dog growls or wags his tail, but there is no merit in that.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I think Hunter established long ago that civility is of course "fake." That's the point, mastery of oneself. "Honesty" is overrated---a dog growls or wags his tail, but there is no merit in that.

I'll have to agree to disagree. Civility is one thing; insincerity quite another.

Hey, I like you, JFE. In fact, very much, and I miss you. But a trip over to your blog is like going to the bearded Spock universe, and it's a bit disorienting, is all.

Well, Tom, I've always said that I think one of the reasons I find you so exasperating is that you're basically me but with a hankering for Catholicism and neoconservatism. And if I had to deal with me all the time, I'd get annoyed too. I do appreciate the well wishes. I'm just afraid that TRC (or is that Newswalk, now?) holds little to engage me any more. Best of luck to you on your endeavors.

Feel free to visit, if you can tolerate it. I'm willing to admit that I can be as personally reactionary as the best of them, and am as often wrong as I am right in my estimations of people.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Well, it would seem that James hasn't yet outgrown his tendency to project his own failings and weaknesses onto others. But then, what else could one reasonably expect from someone who so greatly admires James Wolcott?

James, I shall tell you something that might unsettle you a bit: I dislike you. It would be hard for me not to dislike you, given your penchant for defamation and derision, which you exercised so many times at my expense. But I do sincerely wish you well, at your blog and generally, because that's my obligation as a Christian and a decent (I hope) man. Resolutely returning good for evil, and benevolence for malevolence, when possible, is a better path through life than any other I know.

My tiny giggle above was out of the knowledge that most persons with a taste for insult are irked by being treated with courtesy by one of their targets. It upsets too many of their notions. From my experience, the only thing they dislike more is being told "I'll pray for you." So a shadow from my darker side crept in for a cameo. These things do happen now and then.

Perhaps this episode will teach you something, or perhaps not. At any rate, I'll pray for you.

Yours,
Francis W. Porretto

Anonymous said...

James, I shall tell you something that might unsettle you a bit: I dislike you.

Which is what makes your politesse insincere. But I really could care less what you think or feel about me.

My tiny giggle above was out of the knowledge that most persons with a taste for insult are irked by being treated with courtesy by one of their targets.

Such "courtesy" as you espouse is simply smug self-righteousness cloaked in sackcloth piety. It's not turning the other cheek; it's cowardice to nor own up to your thoughts and feelings. Your own projection here is telling: It is not the courtesy of the gesture that irks; it is that the courtesy is a sham.

In fact, your little diatribe indicates why I think you are both petty and pompous: "But then, what else could one reasonably expect from someone who so greatly admires James Wolcott?" By what logical calculus does a single link to a cogent demonstration of your specious reasoning and vacuous exhortations demonstrate "great admiration?" It doesn't. In fact, that link marked my one and only reading of anything Mr. Wolcott wrote, ever. But no, I linked to someone who hurt your feelings, and so I must admire him greatly. That's projection.

Well, it would seem that James hasn't yet outgrown his tendency to project his own failings and weaknesses onto others.

Right. I'm engaging in projection. You fancy yourself a curmudgeon, Mr. Porretto. A curmudgeon relies upon three traits aside from cynicism: honesty, pith, and wit. You lack all three. No matter how much cynicism you pour into your perceived notions of your "detractors," you'll never make up for their lack.

At any rate, I'll pray for you.

You illustrate my points grandly, sir. Not that I expect you to see it, blinded as you are by hubris. I recall something about motes and planks. It seemed wise at the time.