VFR’s editor accused of wanting to be America’s philosopher-king

For some reason I rarely receive angry or nasty e-mails, but here’s one I got this past Sunday:


After having spent the last few months reading material at your web site, I have to come to the sad conclusion that you respect no one but yourself.

You spend as much time tearing down other journalists and bloggers as you do on actual content. No other blogger is good enough, no other journalist is right enough. Farrah is this, Buckley is that, Frum and Steyn are those, Morrissey is what…

You’re the only one to see the right way, you’re the only one to bring up substantive issues, you’re the only one to perceive what’s hidden (as in “Lord of the Rings”). No one else has the solutions you have. It appears the ultimate solution to all problems would be for us to know our own place and set you up as the philosopher-king of America to benignly rule over us and think through the issues for us.

Problem is no one is listening to you as you’ve isolated yourself in your own self-righteousness. Too bad that you’ll grow into a bitter, old man… Perhaps you should take your own characterization of nutcases and come to know your own place… A deep thinker you are not (as your inability to define terms such as transcendental shows) even if you are a legend in your own mind.

Oh BTW don’t flatter yourself about getting a certain amount of hits on the Internet. Each “hit” is not an actual person reading a web page. A “hit” can also be someone clicking on a web page, scrolling through the web site, doing almost anything. So 2,000 hits ususally translates into about 100 people at best doing something at the site. A paltry number when popular web sites average millions of hits an hour.

My reply:

If you feel that establishment conservatives such as Buckley, Frum, and Steyn have a good grasp of our problems, then obviously you’re not going to like me. My position is that we’re in very bad trouble, and that means that ALL of the leading elements of our society are gone astray. That’s what it means to be in a civilizational crisis. Naturally the mainstream conservatives are part of the same problem.

However, notice that I often quote those same people approvingly, like Frum. Paleocons, who are also very critical of Frum, would never do that

The “bitter old man” remark is a cheap shot. I’ve never taken a cheap shot like that at the people I criticize. We’re all going to end up old, including you, and if you keep giving way to your impulse to say gratuitously nasty things to people, you might end up bitter as well.

There was something else I neglected to point out to my correspondent. When I flattered myself, as he put it,—or, as I would put it, when I expressed surprise and pleasure—about VFR’s increased traffic, I was not speaking of hits but of visits. As I understand it, a single visit to a website encompasses all the clicks on that website once the site has been loaded in the browser, so it’s a more significant number than a single hit. Average daily visits for October have been just over 4,000, up from 3,500 in September, 2,800 in August, 2,700 in July, 2,500 for March through June, and 2,000 or less per month for the couple of years preceding that.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 31, 2005 01:42 AM | Send

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