Most blog posts ever on a TV show the blogger has never watched

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, November 24, 2010 16:46 EDT
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As someone who thinks pop culture actually matters, even I have to say that the winner on “Dancing With The Stars” has no larger importance, and like Atrios, I wouldn’t be “pissed” if Bristol Palin won. My main emotions would be that mix of amusement, contempt, and pity I feel for the people who decided to show Wingnut Pride by stuffing the ballot box for someone who was routinely described as being not up to the task. It’s a poor kind of pride that drives you to reward mediocrity. It’s interesting to see conservatives embracing values they believe liberals have and denounce them for, such as promoting mediocre people because of identity politics, whereas in my actual world, I tend to see a lot of liberals who have no patience for hacks or mediocrity in general. We will eat our own for it, rest assured.

Anyway, Palin didn’t win. Jennifer Grey did, and I’m counting down until this gets described as a “pro-abort” victory because Grey was the star of an overtly pro-choice movie (one of the few ever, basically).

What’s interesting to me about this is how much it really shows that there’s wankery in them there hills, and it’s basically coming from the conservative side. For instance, I’ve blogged about this ballot-stuffing scandal a couple times at XX Factor, and the theme has always been, “Damn, this must be a culture war if a cheesy dancing show matters to culture warriors that much. Do they not get how stupid they look?” But this is how a wingnut commentator chose to interpret that:

Why is this writer taking time to stop and write? I’d expect her to be bouncing up and down and cackling with glee that someone sent powder in an envelope to her icky and hated Bristol Palin.

I don’t actually hate Bristol Palin. There’s not enough there to hate. I certainly don’t want her to get hurt! She strikes me as a sweet but kind of dim kid, who has no real understanding of the world she’s been shoved in to.

But I think it’s fascinating that this is the only interpretation of my blogging that this person would allow. Either I blindly worship the Palin family and think everyone in it deserves awards and riches no matter how little they work or how little talent they have, or I hate everyone in it, including the children. This is the kind of tribal warfare thinking that fuels the Tea Party. I’m actually not surprised that so many wingnuts took this Bristol thing seriously. It was incredibly important to them to reaffirm this particular worldview, that they are more deserving that other people and that a mediocre member of the wingnut tribe deserves all the goodies, while even excellent Others deserve none. (This is worth considering when you think about how they rationalize claiming Obama is a less qualified person to be President than George W. Bush.) Meanwhile, I think most of the people in the Other category are fairly used to mediocrity winning out, and so are hardly going to lose sleep if someone who sucks wins a network talent contest. I’m actually mildly surprised the best woman won, and quite glad for her.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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