Count us KARnies as some of the few who were disappointed at the news. Because while most folks don't like to be lectured by pseudointellectual left-wing jerkoffs, and still more don't really have a desire to read warmed over retreads of drivel from the opinion sections of prominent East Coast periodicals (with the elegant writing style removed and base name-calling thrown in), we here at KAR reveled in it. We needed it. It fed our collective ThunderJournalistic soul. Those crappy institutional voice editorials and all the ignoramus letter-writers they inspired were, if not KAR's raison d'etre, then at least a part-time muse.
KAR was invented by The Notorious B.I.L. and I in the wake of the 2004 presidential election. The rhetoric from the left that followed the result of that election could not be adequately described as "stupid." It was something worse; something like what stupid would be for a 3-year-old. If you recall, there was a raft of op-eds, letters to the editor and other word processed pap that all forwarded "arguments" of no greater import than "Bush voter = poopy head". No place was this mindlessly insulting garbage better exemplified than in this now notorious bucketfull of elitist barf pooped out by Jane Smiley at Slate. KAR was merely Bill's and my small way of publicly saying "Fuck me? No, no, no - fuck you."
Although Bill would use much gentler language.
So KAR wasn't really as concerned with politics or policy as it was with rhetoric. We generally didn't care so much about the particular argument or position, only in how it was presented. After all, reasonable people can differ on issues, and it's one of the occupational hazards of being formally trained to see and understand all sides of an argument (although, I will note that we have come across a few similarly trained folks who nonetheless remain utterly clueless in that respect). But, under the old Strib regime, the acid tone, disingenuous reasoning, and casual relationship with fact often drowned out the message. In KAR's editorial stylebook, the term for that was "good material."
But when you look at how it's been a long long time since we've torn apart a Strib editorial, you can see how the ripple effect of those buyouts have reached our doorstep. Hell, when 4 out of your last five posts have something to do about a minor news story about a guy who liked to drink his wine through the counter-intuitive orifice, you're facing some serious content issues.
Even the decisions on what to place on the "other voices" page have gotten worse. For instance, today there was yet another hyperventilating alarmist global warming call to panic appearing there. Unfortunately, it was so easy to fisk, that I didn't even bother to do a post on it. To wit:
Thomas Homer-dixon: Arctic melt is just part of a vicious climate circle
A big reason such change happens is feedback -- not the feedback that you'd like to give your boss, but the feedback that creates a vicious circle. This type of feedback in our global climate could determine humankind's future prosperity and even survival.
Thomas Homer-Dixon, a professor of peace and conflict studies at the University of Toronto, is the author of "The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization." He wrote this article for the New York Times.
I mean, c'mon! When you don't even have to write your own copy to fisk something, ThunderJournaling becomes too easy. And too easy = boring. And boring = not worth it anymore.
A long time ago, I predicted that when the moonbats shut up, then it would be time for us KARnies to
Well, at least we still have NonMonkey. And poop jokes. I guess that's something.