Making Instapundit look like Indymedia

by Chris Bertram on March 8, 2004

Thanks to Michael Brooke , I’ve been reading Adam Yoshida ’s surreal rantings on and off for the past few weeks. They really are marvellous, although today’s speculation about whether John Kerry was a KGB sleeper may in fact be a coded message that Yoshida himself is a deep-cover satirist for the left. Sample quote:

If one picture emerged of George W. Bush, in 1970, of raising his arm in what vaguely appeared to be a Nazi salute, the media would cover it for weeks. Why, then, has no one in the mainstream media probed John Kerry’s ties to an evil which, at the very least, is the equal of Nazism?

Why indeed? And why doesn’t TechCentralStation hire this guy?

{ 33 comments }

1

Doug Muir 03.08.04 at 3:30 pm

Chris, Adam Yoshida is eighteen years old.

He lives in Canada, and he’s been a Usenet troll since junior high school. His parents bought him broadband last year, and he started himself a blog.

Josh Marshall and others have been giving him air time for some insane reason, but to see him cited here is really dismaying. If you’re taking him seriously, you shouldn’t be. If you aren’t, then you’re dumpster-diving.

First Russell Arben Fox and the Invisible Adjunct arguing with Rich Puchalsky. Now this.

Doesn’t anybody check groups.google.com any more?

Doug M.

2

dsquared 03.08.04 at 3:35 pm

If you’re taking him seriously, you shouldn’t be.

Doug, if Chris was taking him seriously, he would not have used the phrases “surreal rantings”, “really are marvellous” and “deep-cover satirist for the left” (which I must confess is also my opinion of Yoshida).

On a personal note, Doug, are you working hard at the moment? It’s getting near crunch-time for a number of professions (my own included) and I’ve found myself getting cranky and less able to get things in perspective. I’m seeing the same sort of behaviour in you. Maybe we both need a bit more sleep.

3

Chris Bertram 03.08.04 at 3:35 pm

Jesus! Does it sound as if I’m taking him seriously Doug?

4

Nasi Lemak 03.08.04 at 3:42 pm

I’ve always thought there was quite good evidence that the real John Major was replaced at some point in his late teens by a Soviet sleeper agent. At least, better evidence than that for Kerry (if nothing else, the sleeper agents are all going to pretend to be on the Right in order not to arouse suspicion, and they’d probably end up working for the Carlyle Group too).

Consider:

i) That voice. Everyone used to have a funny voice for boring bureaucratic man, and then John Major turned out to do that as his natural speaking voice. The reason: if he spoke more normally, the vowel sounds would have given him away. In those strangulated tones, the faint Russian accent is hidden.

ii) His mathematical ability suddenly improved from failing the test for being a bus conductor to being an investment banker and later a competent Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Clearly these are two separate people.

iii) He was said to have forgotten his O-level results – because someone else took them!

iv) er

v) That’s it.

5

Rich Puchalsky 03.08.04 at 3:49 pm

I note that Doug Muir name-dropped me here in an apparent attempt to export an argument from another blog. That’s really tacky, is as the implied equivalence of my views and Yoshida’s.

6

Jason Holdcroft 03.08.04 at 3:53 pm

There appears to be more than one Adam Yoshida according to this, so I’m not sure our favourite rightwinger is in fact only 18.

7

A New York City Math Teacher 03.08.04 at 4:17 pm

Adam Yoshida is a Canadian gung-ho USan patriot teenager from British Columbia. He started trolling sci.space.*, soc.history.what-if, and the sci.military hierarchy back in 1996 – roundabouts the age of eleven or so. Imbibed a great deal of right-wing loonery, spewed off-the-wall political rants – the kid is a class A-1 old-style usenet kook.

Doug Muir and I know the lad quite well.

8

Matt McG 03.08.04 at 4:25 pm

I must admit, from a British perspective much of the US right wing blogosphere seems, quite literally and with no satirical/hyperbolic intent, insane.

I can’t read most of them. TechCentral Station, Yoshida, Coulter, etc. etc.

I find myself aghast. Seriously, these people are insane, raving, foaming at the mouth, strangers to all rationality, unresponsive to basic facts, etc., etc. I emphasize – I’m not being funny/sarcastic – these people ARE insane.

The fact that they are taken seriously, and influential is unbelievable.

It’s like watching the worst rantings of the Daily Mail multiplied by multiple factors of 10. The rants about “liberals” are like the worst anti-Semitic rantings about Protocols of the Elders of Zion and their structure and rhetoric are near identical.

All my deep down quasi-medieval primitve fears about contagion – perhaps you can catch madness! – come to the fore.

Seriously… who reads this stuff? who takes it seriously? [and I don’t just mean Yoshida]

9

harry 03.08.04 at 4:39 pm

Matt Mcq — you are suffering from a condition known here as ‘Social Democratic Myopic Disorder’. European cultures have this deep deformation such that people who talk in public are expected to be able to give evidence and reasons if they want to be taken seriously by anyone. This is, of course, deeply undemocratic and dangerous, and probably related somehow to the existence of the BBC. Forunately, here in the land of the free we have a more democratic outlook and anyone can be taken seriously as long as they either shout loud enough or have enough money. Reason and evidence not required.
I blame the 60’s. (as usual).

10

Ikram 03.08.04 at 4:39 pm

Like Doug, I’ve been reading Yoshida’s crap for years on USENET. He was a garden-variety troll, not particularly interesting.

I don’t understand why bloggers give him so much publicity. He’s been linked (approvingly) by Andrew Sullivan, Instapundit, and mockingly by Crooked Timber and others.

He really doesn’t deserve the publicity.

11

Sebastian Holsclaw 03.08.04 at 4:52 pm

Hmm, never heard of him before, and I read way too many blogs.

12

Carlos 03.08.04 at 5:10 pm

Hey Doug, NYC math teacher, Ikram! Good to see you all here.

I once dug up, through the various pseudonyms and e-mail addresses Yoshida has used over the years, his very first posts onto Usenet. This seems to be his second:

A New Revolution and War

and this his third:

Re: We don’t need FAGGUTS in TREK….EVER!

So, really, nothing has changed in eight years.

C.

13

bob mcmanus 03.08.04 at 5:11 pm

“Hmm, never heard of him before, and I read way too many blogs.”

Maybe you read the wrong blogs. I have heard of him, and I read mostly left blogs, and of course, brilliant academic consortium blogs.

14

Steve Carr 03.08.04 at 5:57 pm

Harry’s right about how much more demanding the standards are in Europe for what it takes to become a public figure. After all, in a recent election 20% of the American electorate voted for a guy who called the gas chambers “a detail of history” and blames immigrants for everything.

Oh no, wait, that was France.

15

Chirag Kasbekar 03.08.04 at 7:07 pm

Goodness! I really can’t understand why people think this guy shouldn’t be read. He is so hilariously funny!

BTW, I never quite had the patience for usenet, but I used to be active on quite a few email discussion lists before the blogosphere emerged. And still am — in some of them, at least.

It’s interesting how you meet the same people strewn across this brave new world. It’s also an interesting exercise to try to figure out what sort of disc lists a person is likely to have been a part of. Or is part of.

16

jw mason 03.08.04 at 7:11 pm

Carlos: his very first posts onto Usenet

I don’t know from Yoshida but the responses to these posts restore my faith in the Internet.

17

Adam Yoshida 03.08.04 at 7:16 pm

For the record: I’m twenty (DOB 8/8/1983) and have had a broadband connection since at least 1999 (and possibly 1998: the obsessive among you who’ve read everything that I’ve ever written can tell because it would have been a few months before I started using an @Home address).

I began my blog in September, 2002- when I ran for School Board (and received about 3500 votes in a losing campaign). I then abandoned it for the better part of a year, before restarting it and almost immidiately receiving all sorts of links.

I typically don’t like to discuss my personal history, but try to correct incorrect biographical information.

As for the “Emperor Yoshida” Usenet posts: yes, that was I. Of course, if you have nothing better to do than track down nearly-decade old posts I made when not even yet a teenager (I’d have been twelve at the time), then you must truly be among the most boring people alive.

Of course I said stupid things when I was 12 (and 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20), the whole point of the internet is that it enables you to say stupid things and transmit them widely.

Though, I might add, given what I know of both Doug and Carlos, I’d speculate that they themselves probably have reason to be thankful that no permanant record exists of everything they said when they were twelve.

18

Karl Marx 03.08.04 at 7:21 pm

“…the whole point of the internet is that it enables you to say stupid things and transmit them widely.”

You said it dude!

19

Carlos 03.08.04 at 7:53 pm

Like, “That Martha Quinn is really pretty. I wish she’d answer my trivia questions”?

You know, Adi, not all of us were bellicose homophobic nutters wishing for the deaths of random strangers, when we were twelve.

And of those of us that were, most of us outgrew it.

I suppose I have to be obvious here. You haven’t.

And it seems likely that you never will. What a waste.

C.

20

Charlie Stross 03.08.04 at 8:19 pm

I live in hope, trepidation, terror — or a mixture of all three — at the prospect of discovering that J*rd*n B*ss**r has a blog.

(Hi Doug, Carlos, the rest of you …)

21

Mrs Tilton's Criminal Armenian Grandmother 03.08.04 at 8:37 pm

I’d love to S*rdar Arg*c’s blog, if he has one.

22

MD 03.08.04 at 8:39 pm

Of course, if you have nothing better to do than track down nearly-decade old posts…

Adam “As You Can See, I Have Spent A Good Deal Of Time Researching What John Kerry Did In The Early 1970s, And Trust Me, America, It’s Still Important Today” Yoshida has spoken. Eat it, liberals.

23

Mrs Tilton's criminally negligent copy-editor 03.08.04 at 8:39 pm

Bugger. Love to see.

24

cheem 03.08.04 at 9:00 pm

I’m pretty sure B*ss**r has his own blog already. ISTR him mentioning it and more or less departing from rasw. Just be glad he isn’t flooding comment threads at PNH’s site or something.

As for Adam Yoshida, well, I would criticize his execrable behaviour and mindset, but I’m Chinese and therefore, according to him, I don’t count.

25

andrew 03.08.04 at 9:11 pm

I was a libertarian when I was twenty. The Horror

Anyone notice that some reasonable people get kinda cranky and bigoted when they get old too, say closing in on eighty?

26

Ted Barlow 03.08.04 at 9:21 pm

My favorite Adam Yoshida moment was when Roger Ailes realized that Adam had created a blog, “Schizophrenics for Dean”, then linked to it just 16 minutes after its creation to prove something or other. I, for one, am sick of the influence of the imaginary mentally ill on Democratic politics today.

Link

27

Ted Barlow 03.08.04 at 9:25 pm

My other favorite moment:

“The next time you see a person walking down a street with an anti-war button, even if they are minding their own business, call them a name. Start a screaming match with them. If a relative if yours opposes the war, refuse to speak to them, except in support for the war. If a bookstore displays anti-war books in a prominent position, refuse to shop there and explain to the owners exactly why….

Make those who oppose the war pay a price for their treasonous beliefs. If they own a little market, picket it. They might have a free speech right to oppose the war, but you have a free speech right to oppose them. I want them to lose their businesses, lose their jobs, go bankrupt, and lose their homes. Given their great efforts against America, that is the least deserved by everyone who opposes the war. Stop thinking of people who oppose the war as your friends, family, and neighbours: start thinking of them as enemies of America who must be defeated if the Republic is to endure.”

28

Carlos 03.08.04 at 9:42 pm

Oh, yeah. The even worse sockpuppets.

Almost forgot about those.

C.

29

rea 03.08.04 at 10:11 pm

“the whole point of the internet is that it enables you to say stupid things and transmit them widely”

Well, if that’s what Mr. Yoshida is trying to acheive, he’s surely acheived it . . .

30

Raymond 03.08.04 at 10:45 pm

Adam’s loyal readership seems almost entirely left-wing for some reason. To me its irrelevant whether you agree with his politics, he’s ambitious and quite good for his age.

Lets all take a deep breath and consider the stupidity of the next item on this blog, the one mentioning Bush getting impeached, before criticizing yoshida.

31

Matt 03.09.04 at 9:31 am

“Social Democratic Myopic Disorder” ? I love that, Harry!

32

cleek 03.09.04 at 6:57 pm

Adam’s loyal readership seems almost entirely left-wing for some reason.

he’s a near-perfect realization of all the negative conservative stereotypes all us lefties love to hate. he’s pure, crystallized wingnuttery.

33

John Bragg 03.10.04 at 4:16 am

Since it seems to be a SHWI reunion, figured I’d stop lurking and say Hi.

–Bragg

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