Why I like Ann Coulter

Because she’s funny.  If you like any comedian who bitches about conservative beliefs, say Bill Maher or that Daily Show guy, you have an inkling already of what I see in Coulter.  Here’s an article in Intellectual Conservative that expresses my sentiment in 5,000 words.  When she makes me laugh so hard that I wonder if her story can possibly be true, she’s thoughtfully provided a citation at which I can laugh in outrage all over again.

Except today.

To my conservative friends:  I’ve said for a long, long time that if we hear the same memes often enough we’ll being to believe them in spite of our better judgement.  Supposedly that’s a known phenomenon called cultural para-stimuli discovered by Victor Ransome Starling, a Nobel Laureate by virtue of discovering the syndrom in cats.  Read all about it in the forward to Tom Wolfe’s novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Wait, what?  This seems wrong doesn’t it?  I checked the Nobel Prize Nomination Database for the names Starling, Victor Starling, Ransome Starling, Ransome.  The guy doesn’t exist, or at least he was never nominated for a Nobel Prize.  You can verify that he wasn’t awarded a Nobel Prize even more easily at Wikipedia.org.  In fact, the only authoritative-ish place I found informaiton about him was in a book review in the Washington Post.  Why have I even heard of this guy?  Because Rush Limbaugh made a big deal about him a couple of days ago and now the meme has spread around the blogosphere.  The idea rings true to people because we do observe the effects of a similar process.  The spread of theVictor Starling meme is a limited example.  The spread of the Bush Air National Guard meme is a similarly trivial example perpetrated with considerably more pomp and bluster.

I discovered the meme via a link on AnnCoulter.com.  The link is to an article on the BigHollywood blog.  While I agree with the grist of the article, the reliance upon this fictional scientific result discomforts me.  The spread of memes is a better model on which to base the author’s conclusions.  To be sure, I can’t cite scientific studies of the meme phenomenon, but I’ll assert that no citation is better than citing bogus science.  My dear, conservative brethren: please stop spreading the cultural para-stimuli meme.

Shelly smells like griddle-browned sausage and flapjacks smothered in maple syrup.  Ciaran smells like deep woods soil just before the first frost.

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