I followed a couple of links that lead me back into the deep, dark recesses of the blog past, back when words like “fisk,” “idiotarian,” “objectively pro-[whatever],” and “fact-check your ass” were employed widely and indiscriminately, much as words like “shrill” and “unpatriotic” and “assmaster” are used today. Ow, ow, ow. It was a mistake; I had managed to repress all that nonsense in the intervening 2.5+ years. It was an embarrassing time for on-line punditry (not that there have been many non-embarrassing moments for on-line punditry, mind), a time when we all took ourselves a little too seriously and thought we were going to change the world.. again. Meh. You were there, you know how it went.
On a totally unrelated note, the etymology of fisking relates to, of course, Robert Fisk — who is widely revilled within the jingosphere for failing to clap hard enough, and for pointing out unfortunate and inconvenient truths. I confess to never having read a Rober Fisk column, nor ever having been familiar first-hand with his work, but, judging by the reaction from the more prominent members of Outrageoholics Anonymous, he’s a pretty crazy piece of work. So it was a surprise when he showed up on The Current last week, talking to Anna Maria Tremonti about his new book (audio allegedly here in the Devil’s Own Streaming Media format), and sounding like.. well, me and just about everyone who isn’t totally blinded to the realities of Mess O’ Potamia. And, believe it or not, it’s not just about the current iteration of the Gulf War, either..
It’s interesting — I had sort of assumed that Fisk was this weird, deranged bozo with a serious hate on for all things western, and it turns out he’s a very smart, very articulate guy, with some really important historical insights that are at least as valuable to figuring our way out of this nightmare as any random blogger. My own fault, I guess; you really do have to, as they say, read the whole thing.