Battle of the Blowhards!
The New York Observer today features a lengthy and hilarious investigation into the public, online meltdown of New Republic culture critic Lee Siegel, who, after penning a blog for TNR in which he attacked all other bloggers and those associated with them (in the process coining the term "blogofascism"), later dove into the comment threads of his own posts to defend himself. Using a goofy alias, of course, and lots of blogofascistic language. Naturally, at some point in his storied career of pissing people off, he pissed off Christopher Hitchens -- so they took it to the streets! Or, uh, to their respective inboxes.
As in some sort of fictional match-up between, say, Jar-Jar Binks and the "I'm a Mac" guy, it is utterly impossible to pick a side in this fight without supporting a jackass. But the bitchy emails! Oh, the bitchy emails!
"Well, I was pointing out to people that you obviously needed a long rest in some soothing and undemanding place, and now I am happy to see that you will have more free time, at least. For once you have got something that is well-earned," Christopher Hitchens wrote to him in an e-mail, following up with a lengthy entry about Mr. Siegel and his comeuppance on Mr. Hitchens' Web site.
And Hitch, on his site, reports a hilarious portion of the reponse:
I wrote to Siegel suggesting that he find some place of relaxation and enjoy the new free time at his disposal, and received a reply saying that he could "finish with you anytime. 'People' expect me to."
America's Public Intellectuals or 14-year-old online RPG players? YOU make the call.
Note About Mr. Siegel and his Attack on Hitchens [Hitchensweb]
Earlier: TNR Editor Busted for Blog Hijinx