Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Woody's Corollary" To "Poe's Law"

There exists in the blogo-sphere a catalogue of maxims the employment of which is said to poison subsequent discourse. Godwin's Law, for example, stipulates (via Wiki): "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."
Godwin's Law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the reductio ad Hitlerum form.

The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that one arising is increasingly probable. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued[4] that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact. Although in one of its early forms Godwin's Law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions,[5] the law is now applied to any threaded online discussion: electronic mailing lists, message boards, chat rooms, and more recently blog comment threads and wiki talk pages.

Then there is Poe's Law: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."
Poe's Law relates to fundamentalism, and the difficulty of identifying actual parodies of it. It suggests that, in general, it is hard to tell fake fundamentalism from the real thing, since they both sound equally ridiculous. The law also works in reverse: real fundamentalism can also be indistinguishable from parody fundamentalism. For example, some conservatives consider noted homophobe Fred Phelps to be so over-the-top that they think he's a "deep cover liberal" trying to discredit more mainstream homophobes.
There is, I think a crying need for "Poe's Corollary," to wit: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Neo-Con Rightardedness that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

Dare I presume to call it "Woody's Corollary"?

As evidence, I offer Exhibit 1. "Pretty In Mink," :
Following in the tradition of past calendars from the Luce Policy Institute, Pretty in Mink celebrates smart, conservative women role models ... with flair.

We took some of your favorite leaders of today’s conservative movement on a journey back in time, and made them up into glamorous movie stars of classic Hollywood. Back when the big screen was a little more glamorous, women were a little more feminine, the men a little more charming—and the world a little less politically correct.

We’ve saved Clare Boothe Luce herself for the last month of the year; we think you’ll agree that the legacy of this conservative icon makes her an appropriate ending for our calendar. And every single one of the other beautiful women featured in Pretty in Mink is one hundred percent a “Luce Lady.” Whether they’re speaking for us regularly—on college campuses, at our Conservative Women’s Network luncheons in D.C, and at regional Luce events—or they’re working directly with staff to reach out to students, these women contribute so much to the Institute, and more importantly, to the next generation of women leaders.It is with pride that we showcase these talented Luce Ladies in our 2009 Pretty in Mink calendar. We hope you enjoy the show!

The Players

Miss January — Kellyanne Conway
Miss February — Star Parker
Miss March – Susan Phalen
Miss April – Nonie Darwish
Miss May – Mary Katharine Ham
Miss June – Michelle Malkin
Miss July – Amanda Carpenter
Miss August – Sandy Liddy Bourne
Miss September – Ann Coulter
Miss October – Kate Obenshain
Miss November – Miriam Grossman, M.D.
Miss December – Clare Boothe Luce
I admit, when first I saw this page, I would have sworn it was a parody.

Sadly, though, it's not.


Nancy Willing said...

Hey Woody! Long time no see. I struck a link to your blog from BlogNetNews site under the heading Eschatonians....who knew?

This list not include Kathleen Harris??? I must double check.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

I guess i linger over there like something of an un-quiet shade, a sort of 'zombie-atriot.' Un-dead.

It really helps my hit count if once in a while somebody drops a link on ol' Lite Blue, if they find in my random rants and raves something useful, or entertaining, or even(sometimes, really!) insightful...hint hint...

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