*But Were Afraid To Ask (with apologies to Dr. David Reuben)
What does Ann Althouse want?
In 1925 in a conversation with Marie Bonaparte Sigmund Freud famously asked "What do women want?" If he were alive today, he might indeed have asked, "What does Ann Althouse want?" and had just as much difficulty figuring out the answer.
What did she say about Hillary Clinton's latest campaign video that so riled the liberal blogosphere?
Most people thought the video was an amusing and innocuous send-up of the last Sopranos episode. But to Althouse, the video was actually a train rushing headlong into a dark tunnel of Freudian sexual imagery: "Bill says 'No onion rings?' and Hillary responds 'I'm looking out for ya,'" Althouse writes. "Now, the script says onion rings, because that's what the Sopranos were eating in that final scene, but I doubt if any blogger will disagree with my assertion that, coming from Bill Clinton, the 'O' of an onion ring is a vagina symbol." She goes on to say that the carrots Hillary serves instead are actually chopped up phallic symbols.
That's very, uh, interesting. So let's subject Ann Althouse's blog to Freudian analysis, since it seems only fair. Is there anything about her blog that corresponds to an onion ring?
Actually, Althouse herself tells us what the onion ring is. In response to the controversy her post stirred up in the liberal blogosphere, she wrote, "Let's talk about the onion-ring shaped vortex I started yesterday. All I did was a little casual Freudian interpretation of a Hillary Clinton campaign video." Of course, it's no coincidence that "vortex" begins with a "V."
And what is the carrot?
In yet another post about the controversy (for Althouse, writing one post about a controversy she has stirred up would be like eating just one onion ring), she refers to the Freudian implications of her rising traffic and links to a tumescent Sitemeter graph to illustrate her point, though she refuses to elaborate. She attributes this rise in traffic to a link from Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, but in truth the links from the liberal bloggers attacking her had just as much effect. What would Freud say about links? Well, continuing with the food=sex imagery, "links" are sausages and sausages are phallic symbols.
What if someone writes about her and doesn't link to her?
She becomes enraged, a reaction that one might describe as "link envy." But while she assails those who don't link to her, she often prides herself on withholding links from people who link to her.
So how does she attract links to her vortex?
By writing posts that stir up controversy. "I'm saying outright: Come on, everybody, into the vortex," she writes. "And in they hop. It's an anti-Althousiana fest. I love it!"
So she doesn't care whose links enter her vortex?
You might think that before inviting someone into her vortex she might like to get to know them a little better, perhaps go out on a few dates first. But Althouse is on a never-ending search for a link that fulfills her and so far the only link that truly satisfies her is a link from Instapundit--or his wife.
Oh, I see. So what happens to the other links?
They suffer a terrible fate. You see her vortex is not as inviting as she claims. In fact, it is a vortex dentata. Any blogger who strays too far into this vortex ends up emasculated by one of Althouse's withering put-downs. They either get accused of being too stupid to realize she was just joking or she mocks the size of the blogger's link, for example, by calling one blogger a "grouchy little prick" or saying of another that his name means "little penis."
That sounds terrifying. What about female bloggers who enter her vortex?
According to Freud breasts were phallus substitutes. If any female blogger crosses Althouse, she immediately goes for the breasts, as Jessica Valenti discovered when she made the mistake of bringing her breasts to a lunch with Bill Clinton.
What was the Jessica Valenti Breast Controversy all about?
THAT'S CHARACTER ASSASSINATION!
I'm sorry, I didn't realize…
I'm on the verge of ending this right now!
OK, OK. Well, then, why is she is so obsessed with Bill Clinton?
It's difficult to say. She claims that she voted for Clinton twice but now apparently feels betrayed by him. Freud might say that Clinton represents a man in her own life who betrayed her, perhaps her father or some other man. She seems to project on him her own rage against men in general or this man in particular.
How does she feel about Hillary?
She seems to resent Hillary for not rejecting her husband and at the same time mocks her for supposedly emasculating him.
Isn't she a law professor? Doesn't she have anything intelligent to say about the issues?
She's a tenured law professor.
Don't many liberals also hate Hillary?
They hate Althouse more.
Why does the liberal blogosphere hate Ann Althouse so much?
The liberal blogosphere was actually created just to stalk Ann Althouse. Even worse, sometimes liberal bloggers don't mention her at all as if they believe that they can punish her by pretending to ignore her. But even when they don't mention Ann Althouse by name their attacks continue on a daily basis. Even the posts that don't mention her attack her by implication using coded messages, the way Jose Padilla sends coded messages to terrorists by blinking in Morse code.
If she is so hated by the liberal blogosphere, she must be loved by the conservative blogosphere.
Surprisingly, conservatives don't like her that much either. When Althouse just happened to mention to a group of conservatives attending a dinner for the Liberty Fund that they might all be racists, they responded shockingly by attacking her and making her cry. In an exchange about the dinner with Jonah Goldberg on Bloggingheads.tv she seemed nonplussed by his reaction. "Why don't you see me as an ally?" she asked Goldberg. "I am trying to help you. Why must we fight, Jonah? Why didn't you reach out to me? Why didn't you talk to me in a way that would have connected with me?"
So then the centrists love her, right?
Unfortunately, when she was up for a Weblog Award for Best Centrist Blog, she launched a vicious, unprovoked attack against the beloved blogger who runs The Moderate Voice, Joe Gandelman, who is probably the nicest and most thoughtful guy in the blogosphere. At the time I said she may have been under the mistaken impression that she was nominated for Best Self-Centrist Blog.
At least her regular commenters like her, don't they?
Since most of her links come from blogs attacking her, many of her commenters insult her, too, despite her attempts to ban them as "trolls." As a teacher, though, she tries to be patient with them. "Learn to read fool," is a typical response to someone who is unable to appreciate what she calls her "short, sharp style." As she once told me, "I choose not to spoon-feed, Jon. If that catches you out, that's not my problem. It's my choice. And I will whirl around and mock you when you get it wrong, you pissy old fool." I certainly plan to stay on Althouse's good side lest there come the day when she whirls around like Stevie Nicks to mock me. Unfortunately, some people willfully persist in misreading what she has written, which is always the fault of the reader not the writer. That's why it's called misreading and not miswriting.
You know, she actually sounds pretty lonely.
Perhaps like everyone Althouse just wants to be loved but she doesn't know how to go about it. Freud believed that all love was unrequited, even self-love. No one loves Ann Althouse more than Ann Althouse does, but sadly, she doesn't always return that love.
So does Althouse post anything on her blog besides attacks on Clinton and other bloggers?
She is renowned for her trenchant, in-depth analyses of reality TV shows like American Idol and Project Runway. Novels and movies longer than ten minutes, though, tend to bore her. She also often posts pictures of flowers, some of which are open blossoms like this and some of which are long stalks like this.
More onion rings and carrots.
Well, what is the Internet anyway but a collection of ones and zeroes, which are…
Yes, I get the point. You know, Freud seems a little obsessed with sex and frankly pretty misogynist.
Althouse is a staunch feminist so if she's going to use Freud to analyze Hillary Clinton why would it be misogynist to use Freud to analyze Althouse? What's good for the goose is good for the goose. By the way, zeroes are often called "goose eggs."
Enough already. What do you think Freud really would have said about Hillary's video and Ann Althouse's blog?
Sometimes a video is just a video and a blog is just a blog.
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Thursday, June 21, 2007
*But Were Afraid To Ask (with apologies to Dr. David Reuben)