More noise than signal

Godless — Ann Coulter

The good thing, and I suppose there had to be one good thing about it, to come from the latest collection of words from Republican pitbull Ann Coulter is that the first chapter pretty much gives you the completeness of what follows it. After an hour or so all liberals have been accused of Nazi experimentation on foetuses, actively supporting terrorists, the murder of millions of children, hating religion, hating science, racism and wishing to destroy democracy. Man, these liberals must be assholes!

Well, they would be if any of this was presented with any credibility whatsoever, but that’s never been Coulter’s style, instead favouring her distinctive blend of misrepresented statements, selective reporting and sheer baffling lunacy of arguing a point from a statement that seems to bear little to no relation to said statement. If you were looking to deconstruct her arguments you’d have to brave some very large jumps of logic and cognitive sidesteps.

Except there’s little point undertaking such a feat. Coulter sells on the simple rationale that she’s ‘controversial’, relying on being just credible enough to get folks on the other side of the fence upset enough to rant and rave in response, creating some sort of cascading feedback loop of noise, bluster and publicity. Which sells more books, etc, etc.

I’ve no clear idea who’s supposed to be buying this book. The lunatic fringe of the far right may well lap it up, as after all the only opinions worth buying are those you share. It’s too intellectually bankrupt to convince anyone in the middle ground to her side, with it’s bizarre alternate worldview where the bible gives mankind a direct instruction to stripmine Alaska, global warming is a plot by environmentalist democratic science-hating scientists to bring down the oil companies that are the true pillars of American patriotism and where “card carrying member of the ACLU” is in some way an insult. After all, what true American would want to defend civil liberties when you could instead hand over all personal responsibility to The Decider, G.W.B.?

I’m very disappointed in this book, as I often like to become enraged enough to shout at great length at inanimate objects. Thing of it is, Godless tries so very, very hard to be so very, very outrageous that after perhaps half an hour the cumulative nuttiness of what she’s saying becomes a numbing boredom of ad hominem personal attacks and supposed explanations of liberal systems that are, for want of a better phrase, completely hatstand.

There’s a lot of things wrong with this here country in which what I live. Britain, that is. However, things like this makes exceedingly glad I live on the sane side of the pond. Whatever the failings of political discourse in this nation, I’m convinced if a Brit released this it would find itself filed under ‘Comedy’, or ‘The Daily Mail’. Same thing, really. That this is something that is taken seriously by many American folks lies somewhere between mildly terrifying and extremely terrifying. To all of my sensible American comrades, of which I think there’s about four left in the nation, you have my sympathies. Don’t let the crazy psycho loons grind you down, nil hatstand carborundum and all that.