Since this issue keeps cropping up, let me say that I don’t think Matthew Green owes me an apology.
I have a rather polemical style of writing much of the time, and a polemical style is bound to provoke a hostile reaction.
I’m aware of that. I expect it. And I accept it.
I know what I’m doing, and I know why I do it—with predicable results. I reap what I sow.
By and large, the people I target are not the people I’d ever expect to win over. That’s not in the cards. And that’s not my objective.
They simply serve as a willing foil for me to make a larger point for the benefit of others.
I have nothing to apologize for, and I’m in no position to demand an apology from anyone else.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that my tone or tenor is above criticism. But I say what I say the way I say it because I think it’s appropriate. If I thought it was wrong, I wouldn’t do it.
Needless to say, I could be wrong, and suffer from a blind spot. But I respond to reasoned criticism, not sheer criticism.
I never spend much time defending myself because, among other reasons, I think readers find that boring. I know I find it boring when other bloggers spend a lot of time defending themselves.
Moreover, it’s a singularly unconvincing exercise. In general, people will defend themselves when they’re innocent, and they will also defend themselves when they’re guilty.
So it’s like asking someone you don’t trust why you should trust him. Well, if you distrust him, then he’s the wrong person to ask.
By contrast, Jason has normally irenic style. Indeed, the contrast between my polemical style and his irenic style is stark.
And that’s why I thought that Matthew’s comments were misdirected. I can see why he would resent my style of discourse, but Jason is a class act.