John Derbyshire: Don’t Sealion Me, Bro
Radio Derb (this blog item is from the latest podcast, but with added visuals) likes to keep up with the latest jargon, especially jargon relating to the business we’re in, which is of course internet commentary on public affairs. So I was very interested the other day to learn a new verb: the verb “to sealion.”
What does it mean, to sealion? It means to practice a style of aggressively, persistently, relentlessly, but politely demanding that the other party in an argument justify everything he says: endlessly asking for proof, then nitpicking whatever is offered and turning it round to more demands for proof. If you’ve been in any online disputations, especially about politically incorrect topics, you know what’s meant.
Why “sealioning”? What do passive-aggressive demands for endless justification have to do with sealions? Well, it goes back to a cartoon found online at wondermark.com/1k62/.
Some websites have now banned sealioning. An example is Eidolon, the Classics website — Classics in the sense of ancient Greece and Rome — run by Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, Donna Zuckerberg.
Donna is even more intensely Goodwhite than Mark. The whole theme of her website is to show that the classical world was not white. Put it another way, Donna wants to do to ancient Europe what Mark wants to do to present-day America: replace its deplorably Badwhite population with one that is more colorful, deferential, and cheaper.
I know, it sounds crazy. That’s because these people are crazy. Just make sure that if you go to Eidolon, Donna’s website, you don’t sealion.
Footnote here: I’m obliged for that to the blogger “posttenuretourettes.” I’m also obliged to him for an excellent dinner in Manhattan the other day — thanks, pal.