Commenter Sporcupine offers a response to my post on diversity and WAMU:

We need a better typology of white nonsense (says the white lady approaching 50).

Krikorian's snideness does not look to me like "the black guy took my job" anger from people who are down on their luck. Pulling from another of today's posts, it isn't from someone who's white and poor, or white and afraid of being poor.

Instead, it's from the libertarian smart-aleck corner. The key point is "The people in charge are irrational and I'm going to show you how they're stupid." The same people, with the same tone, will show up to oppose tax increases, price controls, government subsidies, minimum wage,tobacco limitations, and every effort to make public education work.

The people involved think that they're the smartest folks around, and they're mad that folks don't elect them to run everything. If you remember a kid in middle school who felt that way, imagine that guy grown up. Also, remember that the kid didn't have many friends or convince many people with his obsessively detailed but always odd little explanations--and the grown-up versions are not very successful even among conservatives.

Nevertheless, they appear often enough on affirmative action to be annoying. Often, they are beside themselves with glee because they've thought of the witty idea of using the phrase "the content of their character" in a sentence.

I'm not saying it isn't garbage. I am, though, saying it's a particular subset of garbage, and it's worth knowing which kind. This isn't working class rage. It's a geeky nerdy guy trying to get attention by showing how smart he is--and never understanding why hardly anyone is ever impressed.

I want a name for this particular variety, but the best I've come up with is "snuppity," to capture the combination of snark and self-promotion. Doesn't quite work,but I don't have a better name yet.


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