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Among the Kosniks (part II)

By Michael J. Smith on Friday February 17, 2006 12:08 AM

(Second in a series. Part One here.)

II. Kosniks believe in magic

A great many Kosnik posts begin with phrases like "We need to make them..." or "We need to demand..." or "Write your Congressman and tell him you want...."

There's something rather childlike and endearing about this; as if one had but to ask, or demand. Perhaps this is the outlook of the much-cherished children of the Spock generation. What will happen when the demand is ignored? Will they hold their breath? Will they fling themselves on the floor and kick and scream? Will they break a beloved toy? Throw food?

Alas, probably not. Kosnikss are too grown up for any such authentic display of feeling, but not grown up enough to disbelieve in magic, or in the omnipotence of their own desires, or to dispense with the projection of a virtual parent-figure onto some institution -- in their case, the Democratic Party. Caught in this contradiction, the symptom we see is neurotic perseveration -- a pathological, mechanical repetition of behavior that achieves nothing.

To be continued...

Comments (9)

j s paine:

"the symptom we see is neurotic perseveration -- a pathological, mechanical repetition of behavior that achieves nothing "

we mustseek
some how to save zeeem
brake zeeez
patterns zay haff
eh?? herr smiff


Does anyone know how Kos' mystic tome is selling ? I'm afraid to hie over to Amazon and have a look. If my husband brings one home, I swear I'm making him stow it in the garage or in his car. Having that Clinton doorstop lying around my house is ugly enough, Thankyouverymuch...

Uncle $cam:

God, I wish you weren't right,however, I am convinced you are. I often stop by to see your latest posts and am in agreement with you guys on most issues, however, I personally, would like to see more on solutions and strategy to break the the straight jacket of true/false left/right aristotelian logic.


Poor ole Aristotle -- guy gets blamed for a lot.

I don't really think it's a problem of logic, I think it's a problem of institutions. People find it hard to think outside the framework of existing institutions -- until they come to loathe the existing institutions so much that they just have no choice.

My mission, should I choose to accept it -- and I do, I do -- is to promote loathing.

Tantrums are all the Kosniks have left after they're inevitably ignored by their representatives. After all, the party leadership knows for a rock solid fact that the Kosniks will pony up the votes no matter what. So, really, why bother with 'em? Let 'em kick and scream and get it out of their system in time for the next election.


you know there is a fork here....

do we scorn
these kos o'nostra
or engage em..

as usual a division of labor is in order

surely some engagement pays

we at the stop watcch here may lack the time and materrials to offer more
then herr smiff's cogent analysis
but others might well
find forgiving the know nots
and returning like good missionary typesto the scene of the .....



"".... neurotic perseveration -- a pathological, mechanical repetition of behavior that achieves nothing "

but then again
over long scoff sessions are themselves
"neurotic perseverations ...."
that strive to maintain
what in the end
is a self and cause
sense of superiority


JSP makes a good point. "Engagement" is easier said than done, tho. I've given it a whirl, in my own prickly, snide fashion, and had one login after another suspended.

It's frustrating, because the Kosniks are -- or at least include -- a lot of the very same people I'd like to see bolt the Democratic Party: the very people whose political energies need to be liberated.

If I wanted to argue against engagement, though, I'd do it on the basis of analogy: if you want to keep Genesis out of your kid's biology class, you don't start by handing out flyers in front of the local Baptist church.


I, too, would welcome more engagement, but don't have much faith in my own powers of persuasion. What we need is some kind of convention or blog-carnival for non-voters. That would be a starting point as far from MJS' "church" as you could get. But then you'd have to find a way to let people know it's there, and keep your pitch short so they'd be able to absorb the main point. Plus, we'd all have to agree on what that point was.

Tall order.

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