conservative ignorance and performative stupidity

Way back when in the ancient 07s, I made this comment about the profound ignorance of various commentators on the Mickler & Lucy Online Opinion pieces:

Is this how a participatory online intellectual space functions? With a thought provoking work published online only so people can comment on how *they don’t understand the piece*!! Do people assume when they read something they don’t understand to then imagine that it is perfectly sensible to announce their own ignorance? And then somehow use it as a weapon against whatever the text they are not understanding?!?!?! The “If I don’t understand it, then it must be nonsense” attack.

Isn’t this another plank in the floor of the ‘postmodern left’ that Lucy and Mickler are denouncing? Not the left that thinks using some postmodernist tools, but the arm of the Left that is actually postmodern. Instead of trying to enlighten people by going go to war against stupidity, a *reified stupidity* is itself used as an (anti)intellectual weapon and seemingly a badge of honour.

The performative stupidity of conservative ignorance has made a few folks in the US scratch their respective heads when engaging with the Palin/McCain supporters:

The things that has always alarmed me most about the right wing Republican/conservative/FOX News-watching types is how they wear their own IGNORANCE as a badge of honor! I can’t get my head around the notion of how unashamed they are of their own ignorance. It used to be that abject stupidity was something to be embarrassed about. Is it somehow now HIP these days to be a total dumbass? Did I miss the memo?

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