Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Are You a Screechy Monkey?

Do you ever engage in discussions of controversial topics that don't seize the interest of Matt Nisbet and Chad Orzel -- for example, the suitability of faith-based claims in science classrooms -- in ways that may tend to estrange religious believers rather than mollify them with assurances that their beliefs are valid, endearing, great for kids of all ages, and who knows, maybe even truthy? Do you do so in online forums, e-mail exchanges, blogs, or other outposts of the internets in which controversial topics are sometimes discussed?

If so, you might well be a Screechy Monkey.

I take it that's a bad thing to be.


mikesdak said...

Dale, Screechy Monkeys are the main body of the internet. It's mostly about tone, and being unable to consider the possibility that someone may disagree with them. Of course,those opposed to your views are more likely to consider you one.
For me, the most obvious display of this predates the internet; the McGlaughlin Group. Reading a show trancript on your computer would look just like a chatroom full of Screeching Monkeys.

Dale said...

I think 'screechy monkeys' are very much in the eye of the beholder. If someone is very avidly making a point about which you just don't care one way or another, you're probably inclined to label him/her a "screechy monkey" or something like it. It's an easy criticism to make, and not a helpful one. It's a way of saying "I don't find your topic interesting; I wish you'd pick a different topic." Well, preferences of subject matters are like assholes, right? There's a reason I don't bother with blogs that discuss American Idol or the weather in Bulgaria.

I would expect a supposed PhD in communications like Matt Nisbet to see how easy and cheap such a label as "screechy monkey" is.

When it comes to the existence of god and related questions, I realize I am a screechy monkey to some. And I don't care! I think people who argue about Camaros versus Mustangs or Apple versus Microsoft are screechy monkeys -- I think it but I find the overall topics so uninteresting that I don't even bother to bring it up. And if I do, they have no reason to care that I apply that label.