Why I Like DKL

David King Landrith is much-abused on LDS blogs, including this one. (Especially this one? – No, that would be too much. I think that others have been a lot meaner than we, in spite of the ancient ban.) It isn’t difficult to see why David gets abused. He rarely agrees with what others say. If they take the standard Mormon position on a subject, he probably has a non-standard take on it. If they take a “liberal” position, he almost certainly has another take. He uses words, like “chick,” that aren’t politically correct, though he seems to do so less frequently or less insistently than he used to. (Thank you, David.) We could reasonably say that he can be argumentative. If you are looking to get the last word in an argument with DKL, look again. And he doesn’t always play nice. Witness his reply to YL: “If it makes you feel better to think that I’m just some out-of-touch loser without friends, family, or prospects, then far be it from me disabuse you. I mean really, it’s no skin off my back; anything I can do to add a little light to your humdrum life is good by me.” If David thinks your reply is dumb, he doesn’t hesitate to tell you so, and he usually does so in personal terms.

However, though David manages regularly to violate many of my criteria for what good blogging requires, I like him. I like reading what he has to say, and I think I would like him as a friend. Why? Because he’s smart, not smart as in “high IQ,” though I have few doubts that his is high. Rather, David has what used to be called wit. He knows a lot of stuff and can get around well in a lot of contexts, and, however argumentative he may be, he argues very well. His responses are often very clever, even the mean ones. I enjoy that cleverness, if I look at it abstractly. I enjoy seeing David’s mind work. I enjoy the kind of intellectual honesty I think I detect in him. More than those things, however, I like David because he is quick to apologize when he sees that he is wrong, and he is not impressed with himself. I like very much that a guy as smart as he, with such different views on many things, someone who can be extremely frustrating to argue with (because he is witty and can be mean) is, nevertheless, a committed Mormon, one who, it seems, is in practice probably “run of the mill” (a good thing in my book).

When DKL is calling me arrogant* or arguing with me about Derrida,* it is sometimes difficult to remember that I like him. (It is a lot easier when he’s after someone else, especially someone I don’t know. It’s even easier when he is arguing on a thread I don’t know about.) But if I take a deep breath and count to ten, I can usually see why he is saying what he’s saying. I still think he’s wrong, at least about Derrida and, I suspect, about a lot of other 20th-century French philosophers. But I can see his point. I think I’m glad my daughter didn’t marry DKL—though I also think I could be wrong about that. There are things I wish he would change. I wish, for example, that he would try harder to be nice to the people with whom he argues, but I’m glad David is in the Church and part of the bloggernacle.

*I’m too lazy to find the places where these happened and link to them.

71 comments for “Why I Like DKL

  1. DKL is one of the commenters whose name I always click when it shows up at the MoArch sidebar.

    On a sidenote, I would be dreadfully embarassed if I were DKL right now.

    On another sidenote, when do I get a “Why I Like Tom” post? I’ve made at least two or three good comments around here, counting this gem. Where’s the love?

  2. On my mission I always hated those exercises where you passed papers around and had to write good things about other people. I generally agree with Jim F. here, and imagine DKL would rather be spared further embarrassment.

  3. I still can’t remember if I ever met DKL at BYU. He says we did. I suppose I should take his word for it; certainly his name has always sounded familiar to me, right from the start. But I’d like to think that I would actually remember having met someone like him. Then again, Nate Oman also tells me that I met him at BYU too, and I draw a blank there too, and to not remember having met Nate Oman–I mean, Nate Oman!–is pretty pathetic. All I can say is that I clearly didn’t have my priorites straight back then.

  4. Geez, Jim. Are you trying to ruin my reputation or something? Tom and Mark are right. I’m a little embarrassed.

    Normally I’d argue with you: Jim, you don’t like me nearly as much as you think you do! I’m not nearly as smart as I let on. There’s something wrong with you if you think that humor like mine is funny.

    But in a couple more hours, I’m flying out to Idaho to drive my wife (she’s one hot babe) and four daughters (angelic beauties all) back here to Boston. Shannon’s mother is sick, so Shannon went out to spend the summer with her. At the start of the summer, I drove them out to Idaho and flew back alone to Boston. After the drive out there, I felt like I gained an insight into what it’s like to spend eternity with your family (hint: it ain’t pretty…) But then came a summer alone. Like the General Authorities, I don’t keep a journal, but if I’d kept one this summer, it would go like this.

    For the first few days back at home without Shannon or the girls, I ate nothing at all but the extra-large boxes of Cheez-its from Costco. When those ran out, I ate all the PowerBars. When those ran out, I found some water crackers. Finally, I just broke down and went to the store to buy more Cheez-its. The White Cheddar Cheez-its are exquisite–like a gourmet cracker of some kind.

    I bought $300 of Diet Coke on sale today at the grocery store for 89 cents per 2 litre. I’m hoping that lasts through Shannon’s return. It’s a good thing I thought to remove the child seats in the back of my sedan before I left for the store. Otherwise, it would have taken me two trips to get it home.

    Anyway, I think you get the idea. And I’m positively giddy about seeing them again. So, thanks to my good mood, I won’t take issue with your insistence that I argue very well, that I’m smart, that I have wit, that I know a lot of stuff, that I’m intellectually honest, that I’m very clever, etc I’ll just note two things. First, that I like to look smart for purely selfish reasons. Second, that looking smart is better than the alternative (viz., being smart–which is much harder in practice…)

    But seriously, thanks for the kind words, Jim. You’re not so bad yourself.

  5. I certainly wasn’t hoping for everyone to come on with their reasons for why they, too, like David (not even David). In fact, my concern was that the opposite might happen. Nor was I hoping to discover that David likes me too. After the misunderstandings of the point of my posts on the colors of Umbria and the ugliness of death, I think perhaps I should stick to my Sunday School lessons.

    I didn’t mean to embarass you DKL, but you’re a big boy. You can handle it. –And I’m glad your family is coming back soon. I turn into an absolute baby when I am without my wife for more than the afternoon. The grandkids? Well, I can go most of the week before I begin to feel compulsive about seeing them again.

  6. Normally I’d have to write a counter post, Jim, titled “Why I can’t stand the bast—.”

    However, I’m going to be motorcycling out tonight to pick up my wife and our fifteen lovely children from a year-long vacation in Papua New Guinea, and at the moment I’m so overcome with joie de vivre that I can’t bring myself to say a mean word, not even to DKL. I’m like a general authority that way.

  7. Jim F: And I’m glad your family is coming back soon.

    Yeah. I’m just glad they’re coming back. My father-in-law probably feels the same way you do….

  8. “Kaimi, you should write such a counter-post.”

    DKL, something tells me you could write an even better one.

  9. When I first came up with the idea of creating the character of DKL over two and a half years ago, I had a lot of doubts at first. Do I have the time, the energy, the basic knowledge of prep school expulsion procedure to convincingly pull it off? But my biggest question was do I have what it takes to earn the love of a well-respected BYU professor?

    I had no idea, but something told me I was on the verge of doing something really, truly special. Armed only with a book of Bertrand Russell quotes and a copy of “No Man Knows My History” I was ready to wade in and start writing and writing and writing. Now, some years, and many fictional personas later…I’m sorry, I can barely continue…getting choked up here…

    It is finished. My work here is done.

  10. I’m so in love with DKL and his infamous skanky man-sluttiness that I’m starting to reevaluate my position on the immutability of my own sexual orientation.

    Aaron B

  11. Jim, I really appreciate this post. It would take a lengthy sermon to explain what you have demonstrated in only a few paragraphs. If we all were to take the attitude that you do towards those whom we are initially inclined to dislike, the world would be an extraordinarily different place.

    Brian, LOL.

  12. This is one of the most interesting posts I’ve read in the ‘Nacle in a long time.

    I’ve come to appreciate DKL for the same reasons that Jim F. listed. One characteristic that may not have been appreciated (besides DKL’s keen intelligence and whit) is his coding ability. He’s one of the best computer coders in the ‘Nacle. DKL’s last comments about himself and hypothetical journal entries only proves what a great computer coder he is … I mean, left to himself he lives completely on Cheez-Its and Diet Coke. That is the distinguishing mark of a true computer geek.

    Regarding Jim F.’s other observation … in the past I couldn’t help but notice on a few occasions that at about the time I become weary and exhausted with an argument and regret that I ever even began to participate — that is the exact same time that DKL is just getting revved up for more. When I’m ready to slink off and forget about that onerous thread where I got annoyed with someone, DKL is wading into the fray with a huge rhetorical sword in each hand, ready to shed more blood. I’m only grateful because as far as I can tell, it’s never been mine.

  13. When I first came up with the idea of creating the character of DKL over two and a half years ago, I had a lot of doubts at first. Do I have the time, the energy, the basic knowledge of prep school expulsion procedure to convincingly pull it off?

    Ahh, that explains a lot.

    So, you ready for another guest post?

    Gee, I just spent a week with my wife gone and I’m about ready to go crazy. I’m amazed you lasted the whole summer. She and Heather took a “senior trip” to New York. I’ve had the six year old with her first week of school. Other than one event where she kind of trashed out the play room at Judo (they had a large bag of blocks and cards she emptied out on the floor — though she had help), she has been delightful.

    I should have thought to feed her Cheez-its. Too late now I guess. She got up at six o’clock this morning so she could watch cartoons. Things have just worked out so she hasn’t had any television since Sunday. Motivations are wonderous things.

    DKL has some good things to say, and this was a fun post.

  14. I just read a DKL comment at M* where he states plainly that he has “four little girls” who have forced him to watch dance programming on a weekly basis.

    Here there is a clear and obvious sociological explanation for him using words like “chicks” and being argumentative. Day to day he is fighting just to keep his head above water in a veritable sea of female influences. Try to imagine maintaining your identity as a heroic masculine role model in the inevitable mountain of Barbie dolls, makeup kits, hello kitty stickers and my pretty ponies at his house.

    I now have nothing but respect for this great man.

  15. “It’s okay, Russell….we met in highschool, and by all accounts, you still can’t remember who I am.”

    Not true! I absolutely remember you! You’re, uh….you….um….you have blonde hair. (Right?)

  16. “When I first came up with the idea of creating the character of DKL over two and a half years ago….”

    Wait–so it was you I’m supposed to have met at BYU? No wonder I’m confused.

  17. Somewhere, Nate Oman is pacing the halls, muttering and yelling at the wall, “Where’s *MY* puff piece?! Where?!”

  18. I think one thing I’ve said to most all the handful of bloggernacle participants I’ve met in person is, “I like DKL.” This has often been replied to with a blank stare, and I in turn have often been at a loss for further words. Thanks, Jim F., for articulating much of what I could not come up with in response to the blank stares.

    Indeed, along with the character of Brian G.—who I haven’t had as much time to develop and represent in the bloggernacle as much as I’d like—I’d have to say that DKL is one of my favorite characters I’ve ever created.

  19. DKL’s fine, really, but this too much. He manages to make almost any post on which he comments — no matter the topic — into a thread about himself (his political incorrectness, his rebelliousness, his contrariness, his knowledge of spirits, blah blah blah), and now we have to have a thread with his friggin’ name in the title?!?! But seriously, LOVE the guy.

  20. Russell, we met in high school also. Don’t you remember? Good heavens, how could you ever forget the way you kissed me that October night under the football bleachers?

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  21. I do understand that people are getting a bit squirmy about the DKL love-fest, but I love love-fests. Birthdays and love-fests, everyone should get self-celebration once in a while. Whether they want it or not.

    I agree DKL is superduper, and I hear his wife is H.O.T.

  22. DKL epitomizes all that is good, and true, and beautiful in this world. He is a city on a hill. He makes me want to become a better person. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, I assume it was authored by DKL.

    Aaron B

  23. I like DKL because he’s not like Hitler. He’s more like Idi Amin, or perhaps a Burmese military junta.

  24. I’ve always liked DKL–pretty much without any qualms.

    Maybe it’s because I have five daughters–

  25. Us son-less people have to stick together. As a mom of three I must say DKL always entertains. He has the sort of wit I yearn for and will forever be his cheerleader. Anyone that can rile Kaimi enough to admit he has 15 children can’t be all that bad.

  26. is it DKL that posted the “edifying thoughts of a tobacco smoker” on a bcc thread? i think so, though i can’t remeber now. if it was him, then God bless, because I love that poem, and that was the first time i saw it.

  27. I like DKL because we were once home teaching companions, and he’s an awesome guy with an awesome family. And his sweet daughter was one of the bright spots in an otherwise terrifying Primary class.

    Hi Dave!

  28. That was me who linked the edifying thoughts of a tobacco smoker. I’m glad you liked it!

    But for the record, DKL is a sweetie. And he’s pretty hot himself (apologies skl). :-)

  29. I’ve never understood the problem with the word “chick.” I use it all the time. It’s either that, or “lady,” and people laugh at me for using “lady.”

    DKL is one of my favorite LDS bloggers who don’t have a blog.

  30. Actually, I can do more than echo Jim F. DKL may be a ruthless gladiator in this coliseum of ideas, but my experience has been that in more personal contexts he is both selflessly helpful and unfailingly loyal (the latter in the public arena as well).

  31. So, I guess if falls to me to do all the work – no surprise there, I’m a woman, after all.

    Excuse me, but I am going to rain on the parade of people, mostly men, lining up to heap adulation upon the head of that virulent chauvinist DKL. The endless show of hyprocisy and sycophancy on display here is enough to make me sick, although not as bad as morning sickness. Not that I would expect any of you men to understand that. This is just another example of the white male power structure in action, or, to use the more technical term I learned in my Feminist Theory class, The Old Boy Network.

    The whole thread just makes my estrogen boil.

  32. DKL got more of what he wanted as ANON commented in 23:

    23. DKL’s fine, really, but this too much. He manages to make almost any post on which he comments — no matter the topic — into a thread about himself (his political incorrectness, his rebelliousness, his contrariness, his knowledge of spirits, blah blah blah), and now we have to have a thread with his friggin’ name in the title?!?! But seriously, LOVE the guy.
    Comment by anon — 8/18/2006 @ 2:08 pm

    DKL told the truth when he spoke as MIRANDA and thought it was so witty:

    In other words, DKL is the most likeable jerk in the bloggernacle. You shouldn’t support someone as maliciously offensive as David is, it only encourages his juvenile antics. Comment by Miranda Park-Jones — 8/18/2006 @ 6:09 pm

    And this is “intellectual honesty”? Wit and clever argumentative skills, when used as spotlights on himself shouting LOOK AT ME, are like spoons used to make lovely mud pies. But when you sink your teeth into the mud pies, they taste like dirt.

  33. I said earlier that I’ve always liked DKL. But in light of recent comments wherein it is clearly demonstrated that some have been offended at DKL’s virulent chauvinism, let me restate my feelings by saying that I love, Love, LOVE DKL!

  34. Jim: I’m interested in why you focus on the beloved and beknighted DKL? There are any of a dozen or so who contribute to discussions here and elsewhere without rancor and who I, at least, always find challenging and thought provoking (among them yourself). Why single out DKL as opposed to others? I am simply baffled beyond belief.

  35. Miranda PJ, your feminism is like, SO 1993. (These days, hon, we put our estrogen on simmer and liberate ourselves by dressing like whores to melt men’s minds.) If I didn’t know better, I’d think some chick-talking online gender-bender made you up.

  36. Miranda,

    Your comment is unfortunate in its endorsement of that ageist stereotype, the “Old Boy’s Network.”

    That phrase is hurtful and oppressive to the younger generation of patriarchal oppressors, who often find their perfectly-valid contributions to patriarchy undermined and devalued because of the mere accident of their age and their resultant inability to be perceived as part of an “old boys” network.

    Frankly, if I’m making the effort to be a patriarchal oppressor, I’d like my behavior to be judged on its merits alone — number of women oppressed, etc. — rather than in comparison to some mythical and ageist standard of “old boys.” Phrases like “old boys network” are irredeemably ageist and have no place in the modern patriarchal oppressor’s vocabulary. They should be replaced by age-neutral terms such as the more politically correct phrase “boys network,” the scientific and descriptive phrase “network of male persons,” or the short-but-sweet equivalent, “bishopric.”

  37. Baffled in New York (#41):

    Maybe thinking about the lesson I will teach tomorrow (“If the Good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise”) on Ecclesiastes was the cause, but I can’t really answer your question. I didn’t pick out DKL from a group of possible people to blog about. I wasn’t wondering whom I should choose only to decide on David King Landrith. My post came about much more accidentally; like most of my posts on anything besides Sunday School lessons, this one just struck me. I had been reading a number of threads on other blogs, something that, frankly, I don’t usually have the time to do. David was on each of them in one way or another, sometimes only by reference (always negative), and as I was reading those threads and, particularly, people’s responses to him, I thought, “That’s odd. I see what riles people. I’ve been riled by the same things. But I like DKL anyway.” So, I wrote about it. But, in the end, it isn’t really a post only about DKL anyway. Think of it as a parable if it bothers you to think of it as a post about David.

  38. Miranda PJ (#38): Obviously you don’t like DKL, and I don’t have any trouble seeing why. I didn’t write the post to get people to like David better or to be nicer to him. Of all the people, he needs that probably less than most, perhaps less than anyone. If you don’t like David King Landrith, you find yourself in company with a number of nice people. As the saying goes, “Some of my best friends are people who don’t like DKL.”

    However, I don’t see why this thread is a display of either hyprocisy and sycophancy, especially not the latter. Perhaps it is hypocritical to argue for civility in the bloggernacle and, at the same time, to like and express like for the person who has come to be the icon of incivility there, though I don’t think it is. But have I flattered David in a servile way? I don’t see that at all. Nor do I see any of the others who have responded doing so.

  39. #42

    Eve, my status as a gender-bender is no concern of yours. Some of the most famous and influential feminists had what might delicately be called gender confusion. I feel honored that you would compare me to them.

    My feminism might well be from 1993, but I learned in my Feminist Theory class that there are many feminisms, and they all deserve respect because they are all equally valid. I don’t know what wave of feminism you are on, but I am riding the big gnarly pipeline that will crash upon the male power structure that was built upon sand. Great will be the fall thereof.

    Finally, I am shocked, SHOCKED, that you would say we should all dress like whores in order to melt men’s minds. Men have no minds to melt, in the first place. And how could you have possibly missed the discussion here at T&S last week where we told the patriarchy in no uncertain terms that we are sick and tired of being thought of as whores and harlots? I fail to see how you can call yourself a true feminist.


    Kaimi W., how dare you mock me!! I am the aggrieved party here, and don’t you forget it. I learned in my Feminist Theory class that well educated white males are the most privileged people on earth. For you to turn that around on me just goes to show how twisted you really are. Do you call your wife “helpmeet”? I wouldn’t be surprised.

    And speaking of Mardell, I just about have her convinced that she needs to throw away your X-box.

  40. I think DKL is a fine chap. He is erudite, witty, and a true friend.

    I think Miranda is off her rocker.

  41. Don’t Worry Miranda, Eve hates men, patriarchy, male power structure, and most particularly DKL just as much as you and I do. She was only pretending that men had meltable minds in order to confuse and placate the enemy (while we plot their utter destruction with our many feminisms).

    Please, please don’t make a fuss about this one little slip. Eve is so close to attaining the much coveted androabasement merit badge, and you know we would all miss out on the bra burning ceremony. It’s been so long since you got to wear your mullet and toolbelt to a bra burning. Come on, give a womyn a break!

  42. Just in case anyone is new around here or has forgotten: Miranda PJ and Arturo Toscanini are DKL’s creations. Whether DKL or an admirer is posing as them this time around is a question for someone with more technical expertise than I have to determine.

  43. Just to be clear: I am not the commenter posting under Miranda or Arturo. Arturo’s entry is too short to tell, but I’m shocked that anyone would think the Miranda impostor of this this thread would be me. I’d invite anyone to compare the Miranda I wrote with the entries here. I have my inkling as to who is commenting as Miranda, and it’s no surprise that the resulting comments are ham-fisted and lacking in art. Eric Russell gave me an A- for my portrayal of Miranda. I give you an F.

    Julie is right, though I’d like to clarify that Arturo Toscanini was a pen name, rather than a creation. I signed the comments that I wrote as “Arturo Toscanini” for about 5 months, after I stopped signing with my full name and before I settled on DKL. Miranda was a character I played at the fictional Mormon blog Banner of Heaven.

    Baffled in New York I’m interested in why you focus on the beloved and beknighted DKL?

    Rusty, that’s you, right?

    YL, lighten up. You’ve been more malicious to me than I’ve been to anyone in recent memory. What’s the point you’re trying prove here?

    Since I’m on the road, and it’s nearly checkout time, I can’t respond to everyone. Reading this thread has been great fun. Just so that people don’t worry about me getting a big head (as if it’s not already too late), I should point out that a careful reading of Jim’s post shows it to be as much a gentle chastisement as a compliment. That and the fact that so many of my friends never showed up to comment inveigh against a more liberal reading.

    (I’m writing this from a hotel in Minnisota, so it will probably end up in the mod-queue for a while.)

  44. I invite Frank to reveal that true identities of the Miranda and Arturo on this thread!

  45. DKL: 56: YL, lighten up. You’ve been more malicious to me than I’ve been to anyone in recent memory. What’s the point you’re trying prove here?

    You put cleverness & wit above other far more important things – even to the point of being “malicious” – about which you have a short “memory.”

  46. Just a quick, peremptory, and perhaps unneeded note: If this thread descends into a series of accusations, I’ll cut it off. I doubt that there is much left to add to it anyway.

  47. DKL was nice to me when I was being rather obnoxius. And his comments made me laugh. And he recommended some great books to me to read once in areas of interest of mine such as language and logic. He has always been nice to me on the boards. I know much of the time he is seeking to entertain while others are taking him more seriously than he takes himself.

  48. Our ward elders quorum president knew DKL when he served his mission in Boston a few years back and he says you’re the bomb, David.

    I love what you have to say, Jim. Actually, before the hoopla awhile back, I’d always thought you were the one who banned David. Now I’m curious. I can’t even remember what happened.

    I’m glad for this thread. There’s not a person who has been more maligned on the blog and who has endured–not to the end, yet–but a lesser person would have taken their toys and gone home.
    It’s no fun when people are mad at you.

    Blogging is not for the faint of heart. However, although I’ve only met a few bloggers, I’m attached, with rare exception, to each person and personality, their voice and their heart. We are a huge dysfunctional family and I’m glad you’ve chosen to express your appreciation for one of our own, Jim.

  49. Jim F: I doubt that there is much left to add to [this thread] anyway.

    Ouch! That one really cuts to the quick!

    And Icon of Incivility? Really. It bears noting that I’m seldom less polite to others than they are to me. Even the citation of incivility from your post is downright gracious compared to what YL has had to say (granted, she’s obviously got other issues…). I wonder if perhaps you’re confusing incivility with directness.

    In my hurry to get my last comment off before my wife (one hot babe) carried the bags out of the hotel room by herself, I forgot to say how funny Brian G’s and Christian’s comments were.

    Akash! Great to hear from you! Thanks for the kind words.

    annegb, I remember that missionary! He was really great. Our ward always gets the best missionaries. I was the ward mission leader for about 12 weeks last year in my ward, because the bishop must have thought it would be a real hoot to have me in PEC for a little while (I got 4 different callings over the course of 8 months last year–I just can’t seem to get anything right). Anyway, being Ward Mission Leader took a lot of time, but definitely the best parts was getting to work closely with the missionaries.

  50. DKL’s status as an icon of incivility explains our earlier entanglements:

    We’re very iconoclastic around here. In the original sense. We see icons, and we destroy them. (Look up the word, that’s the etymology). Like the iconoclasts of old, we like to hit icons. With hammers. (Except for Adam, who hits people with hammers if they hit icons with hammers; but we figure this is close enough.)

    Anyway, now that DKL has made it clear that he’s not really an icon of incivility, I suppose we can stop hitting him with a hammer. It was awfully fun while it lasted, though.

  51. Kaimi, I didn’t mean to indicate that I’m not an icon at all. Surely, I’m an icon of something. I’m just expressing doubt over whether that something of which I’m an icon is incivility.

  52. That missionary is a fine man. He has two kids, just darling, and a wonderful wife, a nice girl who’s not phony. She can herd cows with the best of them. He’s moving this week, so will be released, but just down the street. He also teaches seminary. Cool, huh?

    We’re sending you another kid, David. The kid down the street is coming to Boston in October. He’s special to me in so many ways. I tried to e-mail you, but it came back. Anyway, watch out for Elder Farnsworth. I think he’s your kind of guy. He could get real uncivil if you mess with him. He’s also a ladies man. The girls went crazy for him in high school. Swahvay! Sarah just remembers him as the little kid who annoyed her.

    I appreciated your definition of iconoclasm, Kaimi. When I first heard this word about ten years ago, I felt such relief that there was a name for what I am.

  53. I know that this is very late to the thread, but for some reason I was thinking about it while trying to fall asleep last night.

    What makes DKL so important to the Bloggernacle is the contrast between him and the UberOrthodox view of the President of the Church: When the Prophet speaks, the debate is over. On the other hand, when DKL posts, the debate begins.

  54. DKL: an icon doesn’t have to be one for good reason. It is enough that others recognize him as such. Surely this thread at least demonstrates that, right or wrong, a good many in the bloggernacle use you as that icon.

  55. DKL 62: And Icon of Incivility? Really. It bears noting that I’m seldom less polite to others than they are to me. Even the citation of incivility from your post is downright gracious compared to what YL has had to say (granted, she’s obviously got other issues…). I wonder if perhaps you’re confusing incivility with directness.

    Besides the mistake of not knowing who was applying for the job, what have I said about you that wasn’t true? Often your meanness is done in the name of what you call “directness.” You often sacrifice others to your “icon.”

  56. Now that I’m back in town and things are back to normal, I can actually leave the kind of comment I’d been thinking of leaving all along:

    Jim F., thanks for this post. It’s very nice of you, certainly nicer than I deserve. I’ve gotten over my embarrassment. You’re right: I am a big boy, though the question of how mature I am is an altogether different one. There are three things that you say that I’d like to address directly.

    You say that I need people to like me less than most people, perhaps less than anyone. And I suppose that I do get along well enough on my own much of the time. I have an easier go of things in real life than on the bloggernacle, because in real life (a) it’s much easier to make people smile or laugh (and you can always get away with so much more if you can make someone smile or laugh), and (b) people aren’t free to imagine me as a poorly groomed and charmless monster of abominably ugly appearance. If I may say so without sounding sexist, I think that Rosalynde gets away with a heck of a lot of flame throwing just because she’s a good looking woman, and everybody knows it. (That, plus the fact that she’s a terrific writer and does much better with humor and nuance in writing than I do. But her sex and her appearance definitely play some role as well.) But I like your post because it assumes that there’s a place for me (even me) in the bloggernacle, and that’s nice to hear, because I sometimes don’t feel quite at home among many mormons.

    You say quite a few things about me being smart, me not being self-impressed, me being intellectually honest. I must admit (so far as I can without sounding self-impressed) that I do like to hear these kind of things said about me. I like to be thought of as smart (for purely selfish reasons, of course). I appreciate your saying these things, because it’s nice to know that somebody thinks that.

    You also say that you wish that I’d try harder to be nice to those with whom I argue. I am something of a behaviorist, and so I tend to conceive of my comments as stimuli that should elicit some response. But I will try harder to be nice to those with whom I argue.

    Re-reading the comments, I realized that I forgot to thank Meems for always being great about everything–even going back to Banner of Heaven.

    YL, in answer to your question: Everything.

  57. DKL: 69: IN RESPONSE TO YL’s 68 (Besides the mistake of not knowing who was applying for the job, what have I said about you that wasn’t true? Often your meanness is done in the name of what you call “directness.” You often sacrifice others to your “icon.”) DKL’s COMMENT 69 ANSWERED:

    YL, in answer to your question: Everything.

    What a cop out! This kind of general answer suggests what you cannot defend specifics because there are enough people on this blog who know you well enough to recognize your lies if you defend specifics. That means you didn’t go on a mission because of your argumentative attitude. What specific things are you not willing to discuss: “Everything.”

  58. YL: ROTFLMAO. Wrong again. I can’t make a much stronger assertion than the one I made; viz., one which asserts that everything you’ve said about me is incorrect. In light of how easy it would be for you to show this to be incorrect (e.g., by identifying a single thing you’ve said about me that is correct), your response that I’m copping out is itself a copout.

    Since you make me laugh, I’ll give you a helpful hint: You might make more progress if you didn’t seem so utterly desperate to land a punch.

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