First and foremost I do this to have Kafka's ax taken to the frozen sea within myself. Nobody is right 100% of the time, I might as well expose myself to as many conflicting arguments as possible, see opposing viewpoints and try to understand them. I like to think of myself not as an idea leech, repeating verbatim anything I have read/heard, but as a thoughtful person who listens, considers, and then tears those ideas apart, ultimately incorporating bits into my cracked world view. People are an enigma. I rather enjoy this fact because if people only agreed with me, I would be rather bored most of the time. I like living in a state of being intellectually uncomfortable; living in the opposite fashion, it seems to me, is to shut down. Unfortunately, I do not find large numbers of thoughtful arguments on the internet.
Then, I have to resort to my secondary reason: To have a few laughs. Painful laughs sometimes, but I have a strong sense of gallows humor. "I'm the kinda guy laughs at a funeral / can't understand what I mean, well you soon will" -- BNL, "One Week"
Get on with it, Dan.
Case in point, Debbie Schlussel's movie review site. nihilistic_kid linked to it a few days ago, and I just had to check it out. Not only does the review of Watchmen (a movie I haven't seen, and don't feel any particular interest in watching) begin thus:
If you take your kids to see "Watchmen," you're a moron.
If you see it yourself, you're also probably a moron and a vapid, indecent human being.
but the rating is 4+ Marxes. Yes. A little red picture of Karl frickin' Marx, repeated four times (followed, of course, by a plus sign). Meaning this movie is not only Bad, it's a Quadruple Communist (where "Communism" is apparently defined as not too far from "badder than the baddest bad times infinity").
So, after reading this review . . . I had to see what the heck the actual rating system was. Are all movies judged on some sort of McCarthy scale? Kinda of a, well, cute idea actually (though this cuteness is much reduced due to the lack of irony). The idea made me chuckle even as I wondered, "What the deuce???"
Well, movies on Schlussel's site are not simply rated as "Marxes" (a word I never actually considered in need of a plural derivation). Only the bad, anti-American movies are rated this way. The "good" movies have a different icon of merit.
Ronald Reagan. Yes. Ronald Reagan.
For example. Coraline is a Four Reagans movie.
Again, this is without irony. Boggles my mind and makes me wince. And chuckle, too.