Gene's argument - and the very raison d'etre of this blog - is, "I think you're reading them wrong. It's wrong to read them expecting, say, an elucidation or elaboration or logical refutation of the original article. You must read them as entertainment, and as a way to take the pulse of the lowest comment denominator." (Nice pun there, Gene. Not for nothing did they throw a Pulitzer your way.)
And what, you ask, is that denominator? Well, these are people who don't like smart people, foreigners, people with jobs or unemployed people and they blame smart people and foreigners for taking away their jobs or for not having jobs, and who have no problem expressing those opinions. (Well, maybe some problems, especially if they have to comment in English and without spitting.)
In response to Howard Kurtz's March 24 Media Notes column, jolt1 wrote:
... and you wonder why there is intellectual elitism… good greif!
In a 2007 article about Republican presidential hopefuls' plans address illegal immigration, pechacekmelvin asserts:
I as an american want to live as an american when I go to the local McDonalds want to be seen by an individual who speeks the language not just spanish.
And a story about stagnant reading scores among American schoolchildren inspired LarryG62 to write:
Leaving the liberals in control of the educational system will encsure that this is not a one time phenomenen.
A piece about potential changes at the Postal Service led ComradeRahcuk to argue:
If they really want to save money they should close the Post Office all together.
Then can use that money to pay for all the Health Care that the illegals immigrants have been getting gratis and for the new benefits they will be getting when they are granted amnesty.
Commenter isang011 was less optimistic about prospects for reform at the USPS:
Until crook employees with cocain problems and workinmg for a privatr parcel service become loyal to USPS, all proposal to reforms of the system will be a wast of time.
It's a shame that so few readers take to heart Gene's advice that we should read these for their entertainment value. It's also a shame that so few commenters take advantage of the opportunity to write posts with that in mind. We need more people like pathfinder12, who responded in Swiftian style to an article about Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's lawsuit to overturn the healthcare reform bill:
I support this man and the voters who supported him. Damn women if they think they belong in any place other than the kitchen and bedroom. Damn gays if they think they are equal to anyone, with their perverted views of sexuality. Who does the EPA think they are? They can't tell us what to do. Scientists are no smarter than priests, and we should treat the two equally. If we can't have religion in the schools, we can't have science in the schools. The federal government shouldn't run anything except the military. Keep your government hands off my highway systems, social security, regulations, worker protections, FAA, medicare, and medicaid.
That's the kind of right-minded thinking that keeps people like jolt1, pechacekmelvin, LarryG62, ComradeRahcuk and isang011 writing.