U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Ben’s Light Shaming

I was going to put up a short post about this very funny thread on Crooked Timber about Scott McLemee’s very funny (and smart) review of Cornel West’s latest book (like the kids say, read the whole thing….the review, not the book), when, to my great surprise, I found that the Crooked Timber thread began to discuss this blog and McLemee’s slapdown of me over my use of the word “Trotskyite” in our comment section. I’ll let interested visitors of this blog surf over to Crooked Timber and examine the gory details for themselves.

7 Thoughts on this Post

  1. I think he was principally pissed off at Tonsor (who, frankly, deserved it), but he started swinging at me, in part because he misread me as somehow agreeing with Tonsor, whom I’d quoted simply to show the way other conservatives understood neoconservatism in the 1980s. And then I accidentally got all up in McLemee’s grill by writing “Trotskyite” for “Trotskyist,” at which point he went all Fourth International on me!

    (Sorry about the deleted comments….my preview button isn’t working and I’m essentially just copy editing the same comment by deleting it when it doesn’t come out right.)

  2. Well, you have my apology for bad behavior, then.

    This medium does not always bring out the best in everyone. Good humor is by no means the only virtue it damages.

  3. Apology more than accepted, Scott. I remain, and remained, an admirer of your work…and had, honestly, half forgotten about the incident in question until J brought it up. And, trust me, it’ll be “Trostkyist” from now on (unless I’m specifically discussing Stalinist pejoratives). Cap poppin’ has its rewards, I guess 😉

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