Monday, December 1, 2008

a note

So the consensus in my email and in the comments, including from the man himself, is that I'm being a real choch to Will Wilkinson, again. I've come in for a lot of criticism in general today, and as you know I love to mix it up, but calling Wilkinson out by name is pretty shitty of me. At this point, I have to admit that due to some mix of childishness, projection and genuine, deep policy disagreement has left me incapable of confronting Wilkinson's work with the respect I need to demonstrate to anyone, nor the spirit of openness and reconciliation I say I admire. I don't know why that is, but it is, so I have to make a rule for myself: no talking about Will Wilkinson's output, at least not till I can get a better handle on myself. It's a little bit immature to have to do that, but my immaturity is begetting that immaturity, and frankly, it's necessary. I, you and he deserve better than I'm capable of. If this all sounds a bit lame, it is.

Now, because I hate to put back to back tiny posts, let me tell you why I haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire yet. I have an annoying but common personality trait: the more I hear that something is great, the less inclined I am to like it, and if it goes too far, I end up being incapable of giving the movie (or album, or book) a genuine accounting. It's stupid, and I wish it wasn't the case, but it is. As much as I complain about contrarianism, I guess I have a streak of it myself. So I'm gonna hold off for the DVD to come out and check it out then. People are raving about it. I wish that fact didn't set me up to dislike it. But it does!


BP said...

So you detested The Wire?

bcg said...

You should run a contest for who can submit the best amateur psychoanalysis of Freddie, trying to figure out why Wilkinson in particular has this reaction in you!

Freddie said...

Loved it-- but loved it in spite of myself. After one episode, I thought it was totally overrated. After two, I thought it was pretty good but not worthy of the hype. After a season, I was hooked, although I'm not so sure it (or the Sopranos) is the best TV show ever.

Anonymous said...


I don't think any psychoanalysis is necessary. I know many people who have the same response, they just aren't bloggers.

Will is very clever rhetorically and people confuse this with actual brilliance. His best argument is to assert snidely that his position is obviously true and it gets very annoying to read fanboys calling that brilliant.


bcg said...


I guess what I'm really trying to ask is, if Wil is so devoid of argument and is so unrelentingly snide, then why go back? Why does Freddie engage him?

In retrospect, the psychoanalysis comment probably brought in some ideas I didn't mean to bring in, when I really was just curious about that "why." I literally cannot help myself from visiting this blog because of Freddie's cutting intelligence and sincerity, much like Sullivan and so many of the guys at TAS, because of Freddie's ability to smack off-balance some pleasant idea I'd had before and make me spend all day setting it right, usually in a new position. He has also made me laugh out loud unexpectedly, and I am a complete sucker for a combo of sincerity and humor.

I guess that's a long way of saying, No Offense Freddie! Because I really get a great deal, personally, out of this blog and have a great deal of respect for the blogger.

(If this gushing induces pursed lips and eye-rolling, you should have read the longer one that got lost with a browser crash.)

Scott H Payne said...

Wasn't Deadwood considered a contender for best tv show ever over The Sopranos?

bcg - fuck the qualifiers, if you love the blog then you love the blog. Nothing wrong with saying so. In fact, we say what we actually think too rarely because we're afraid it'll cause pursed lips and rolled eyes. Blogging with heart is a gem of a find in what can be some ugly, rough terrain. It ought to be valued with sincerity you expressed.

Good on ya.

Anonymous said...


I go when someone else has linked to something that is supposed to be teh awesome. If Freddie just visits Will because he can't help himself, than psychoanalysis might be necessary. Maybe we should stage an intervention? Friends don't let friends read Will!


The Abstracted Engineer said...

Don't back off, Freddie, you made a good point in the first post...

"This is a revolution dammit, we have to offend somebody!" -John Adams, 1776

Joseph F. said...

If it helps, read Armond White's review. He loathed it.

I've gotten the impression that he's similarly inclined to hate what everyone else loves, though.

Jimmy0d said...

I too suffer from an almost irrational hatred of Will Wilkinson and everything he touches. Yet I keep going back.

We should form a support group.