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"Only be sure always to call it please 'research'."

I've often treated Oliver Willis as a bit of a punching bag. Whenever I feel the need to get annoyed about something, I can often count on him to have something stupid, something silly, or something just plain wrong to work with. I most often use him as a quick way of double-checking my own opinions; if I disagree with his take on something, I feel a little more confident that I'm correct.

But that's not fair to Oliver. In the past few weeks, he's had several very good ideas on his site.

Unfortunately, none of them were his own.

First, he decided to trot out his new catch-phrase, "CDS," or "Conservative Derangement Syndrome," in a shot at Glenn Reynolds. Any resemblance to "Bush Derangement Syndrome, coined by Charles Krauthammer in December of 2003, was, I'm sure, purely coincedental.

Last Friday, though, Oliver scored a double. First up, Oliver posted this gem of wisdom. I'm sure that when he wrote "If it's not close, they can't steal it," he momentarily forgot the title of Hugh Hewitt's book of last year, "If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat."

Then, barely two hours later, Oliver let loose the rhetorical cannons with this salvo. Perhaps Oliver is too young to recall the election of 1992, when former Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas coined that term to describe Bill Clinton. (For those historically challenged, Tsongas beat Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, but Clinton touted his second-place showing as proving he was "the comeback kid." I'm proud to say that I voted for Tsongas, who struck me as a fairly sensible and moderate Democrat, in that election.)

Now, Oliver's defense could be that he's trying to re-define those phrases, trying to strip them of their power against liberals by using them in an ironic fashion, much like the "101st Fighting Keyboarders" are looking to embrace their critics' attacks. If that's the case, though, he's doing it remarkably ineptly (big surprise there). It's usually considered good form to at least acknowledge one's source material, and not try to convey the impression that it's one's original idea.

Alternately, Oliver could be jumping on the Al Gore environmentalist bandwagon by promoting the "renew, reuse, recycle" philosophy to political rhetoric. This would also fit into Oliver's history for being wrong-headed; if there is anything that is in overabundance right now, it's political catch-phrases and jargoneering. It's as if Greenpeace suddenly declared that whalers were an endangered species and demanding the maintenance of our current levels of greenhouse gases.

Anyway, Oliver, thanks for being such a consistent ass, and giving me an excuse to trot out one of my favorite Tom Lehrer quotations. (What, you thought I wouldn't cite my source for the title, after mocking you for not doing it? For shame, Oliver!)

Comments (19)

I thought you were refering... (Below threshold)

I thought you were refering to me as your Lobachevsky... ;)

I guess I haven't stolen gags or material from you recently. I'll rectify that.

Conservative Derangement Sy... (Below threshold)

Conservative Derangement Syndrome?
Seeing how Glenn Reynolds is a Libertarian, shouldn't that be LDS?

WHALE DUNG:... (Below threshold)


W.hining H.elplessly A.bout L.osing E.lections

D.emocrats U.nderstated N.ever-ending G.ripes

Oh, c'mon, JayTea...be nice... (Below threshold)

Oh, c'mon, JayTea...be nice to little Ollie. He's got to write enough material to keep the PuppetMaster pleased...

Oliver will never see this ... (Below threshold)
the wolf:

Oliver will never see this post. He'll be stuck drooling over the giant burger in the Weekend Caption Contest photo.

Jay Tea: Another Tom Lehre... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea: Another Tom Lehrer fan! Why am I not surprised!

Jay;FYI; The Greek... (Below threshold)


FYI; The Greeks recorded the only verifiable
original ideas by addressing every mathematical,
philosophical and economic question within the
scheme of human thought. What original thoughts
can you claim patent to?

BDS was coined using the best weapon in the conservative arsenal; Projection Politics.
(I know you are, but what am I? Nyah, nyah, ne
nah nah!)

Bush derangement falls within the adherents who
see, hear, nor speak any evil of their beloved
Leader. It is not an original thought, but one which bears repeating. Just for the record, Jay,
I don't beleive you suffer from BDS.

"So I think of great Lobach... (Below threshold)

"So I think of great Lobachevsky and I get idea, cha-ha!"

A Lehrer reference is always appropriate.

Willis is just continuing t... (Below threshold)

Willis is just continuing the traditional leftist behavior of stealing - no different than when Paul Ehrlich tried to take over the phrase "junk science" and apply it to those who disagreed with him. And let's not forget that the left also managed to appropriate and ruin such words as 'liberal'.
But Willis is just being a leftist, after all - a Democrat gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, it's just a tragic and very rare exception to the rule; when the same happens to a Republican it's all part of his "conservative is corrupt" nonsense. Do we remember the demands for Sen Bob Packwood's head on a platter after he was subject to far milder accusations than those brought against Bill Clinton?
Because lefties make innocent mistakes and we righties are evil to the bone... And you shouldn't be surprised if Willis 'responds' to all this by calling you 'a serial liar' or some other pet phrase of his.

Wow, slow day at Wizbang HQ... (Below threshold)

Wow, slow day at Wizbang HQ, huh?

UH, Leo,The greeks d... (Below threshold)

UH, Leo,
The greeks did not lay claim to everything. Einstein alone is proof of that.

Jay considering nearly ever... (Below threshold)

Jay considering nearly every one of the titles of your posts is either a famous quote or a paraphrase thereof, this criticism is extraordinarily bizarre.

Well, I "Be Prepared" and a... (Below threshold)

Well, I "Be Prepared" and am off to enjoy "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" instead on continuing with this "Masochism Tango."

I propose a contest to create the lyrics to "National Bloggerhood Week" that would undoubtedly been sung on TW3 if it were still on the air. Of course there will be two categories: the Left Wing and the Libertarian Wing versions. No CDS need infect the classic Lehrer [remember that's German for teacher].

I shall now post and exit DISINGENUOUS-LY.

P2, look up "allusion." Not... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

P2, look up "allusion." Note the difference between that and "plagiarism."

And like I said, Oliver, whenever I need fresh stupid material to deride, you almost never let me down.


Saw a thing on Gizmodo that... (Below threshold)

Saw a thing on Gizmodo that might work for Oliver: http://www.uranium-jeans.com/

LED screen on the back of a pair of jeans.

Oliver could sell Ass Ad Space. "Oliver's Ass Ads"

Yeah- the comic stylings of... (Below threshold)

Yeah- the comic stylings of Oliver Willis. Nothing new, but always funny.

By the way- I wonder when he is ever going to change that "65,000 readers a month" thing on his blog ads solicitation.

Isn't that lying?

Yeah, he's not original at ... (Below threshold)

Yeah, he's not original at all. Neither are you. Headlines from Jay-T.

Blanco lied, people died?
I hate Massachusetts Nazis
Follow the money
The only dead Muslim is a good Muslim

jp2, I'd check more careful... (Below threshold)

jp2, I'd check more carefully before you pull the trigger. I think you either shot yourself in the foot or the gluteus minor.

I think you either shot ... (Below threshold)

I think you either shot yourself in the foot or the gluteus minor.

I hope it was the foot. I'd hate for jp2 to suffer brain damage.






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