October 21, 2004

In Praise of the Ad

In Praise of the Ad Hominem Attack

As the presidential election looms, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have had time to reflect on the nature of intellectual and political debates in this country. In the course of our umpteen hours of somber contemplation, something collectively occurred to us: The ad hominem attack is, like Mumia, unfairly maligned.

In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will even go so far as to claim that the well delivered ad hominem attack is an art form. Those who carp about it simply fail to understand its awesome power. Those who carp about it simply fail to acknowledge its great utility. And those who carp about it are probably fat.

As far as we’re concerned, the ad hominem attack, like its colleague, the slanderous negative campaign advertisement, is a real treasure. Some may say that those who resort to it have lost their arguments; we think such people are a bunch of acne-faced morons.

Let us not, however, merely defend the ad hominem attack in a general sense. Rather, let us offer an example of the great force the ad hominem can offer.

Take, dear reader, the miserably inept “weblog” entitled Sullywatch. The eighth-rate hack who scribbles for this “website,” whom we have conveniently labeled “Mr. Sullywatch,” took issue with the crack young staff about a fortnight ago.

For those of you who do not read “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” religiously, let us inform you that Sullywatch—a “weblog” entirely devoted to offering mindless hissy-fits directed at Andrew Sullivan—was gravely irked that Mr. Sullivan had linked to “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.” For a few short days, Mr. Sullywatch partly dropped his obsession with pathetically carping on the alleged sins of Mr. Sullivan, and took aim at us.

More specifically, Mr. Sullywatch insinuated that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were chauvinistic, because we consider Black Studies Departments to be exercises in political grievance-mongering masquerading as legitimate academic enterprises. In particular, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” had the audacity to excoriate rap music, which Mr. Sullywatch must hold near and dear to his heart.

Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” could easily come up with manifold arguments that would ensure our readers that Mr. Sullywatch is an ignorant pinhead. For instance, we have the sneaking suspicion that Mr. Sullywatch has spent so much time quibbling with the work of Andrew Sullivan that he has failed to note that Black Studies Departments are hardly beacons of intellectual respectability. Has Mr. Sullywatch ever heard the name Leonard Jeffries? If he had, he would never sully himself with such ridiculous arguments.

But why go to all that bother, especially when dealing with someone as intellectually challenged as Mr. Sullywatch? Why not simply offer an ad hominem attack instead? We can think of plenty.

For example:

We at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” should be touched by the fact that Mr. Sullywatch deigned to harp on the fabricated sins of the crack young staff. After all, in order to write about our humble “weblog,” he had to take himself away from his hectic masturbation schedule.


We at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” should apologize for the nasty things we have said about Sullywatch. To be fair, it’s one of the best “weblogs” written by a moron who lives in the basement of his parents’ house.


The crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” finds Mr. Sullywatch’s pathetic jibes at our humble “weblog” disconcerting: We thought that fat losers were usually jolly.

You see, dear reader, the ad hominem attack is good for hours and hours of pure debate magic. Use it well and you can impress your friends. Except, of course, if you’re Mr. Sullywatch: You need to have friends in order to impress them.

Posted at October 21, 2004 01:01 AM | TrackBack