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February 28, 2005

A token of my affection for my fellow moonbats

Tom Tomorrow put it best:

I understand the etymology of "wingnut" - it's obviously a diminutive of "right wing nut," but works as an effective piece of slang because it also repurposes a common noun. But what, in god's name, is a "moonbat"?... I suppose [it] must somehow vaguely have something to do with people being "batty"... Do rightwingers just sit around combining words at random to create new derogatory terms? "You, sir, are a real testicle-antennae! And you, over there - you're a digestive-tract-picture-frame!"

Of course, I'm not sure why he expects those right-wing dogshirts to actually make sense.

In any event, we're being called "moonbats" and we might as well revel in it. We like the moon, and bats are cool, and it's cool to watch bats when the moon is out, and so I kind of take being called "moonbat" the same way I'd take being called "aurora borealis" or "Quadrantid meteor shower" or "chupacabra" or anything else cool that you might see outside after the sun goes down.

In that spirit, I offer my attempt at a proud "creatures of the night" Moonbat Icon. Take it and do with it what you will: gravatars, buttons on your blog, making big silk screens and painting it on Michelle Malkin's door... whatever. The one visible here is 200 pixels wide. Here's a 150-pixel version and a 100-pixel version. Larger versions available on request. If you use it, a link back would be nice. But not mandatory. Thank you, and goodnight.

Added later: Looks like the image-processing routines at Gravatar soften the image a bit too much for my liking when they resize the 100 pixel image to 80 by 80. So here's an 80-pixel Gravatar image.

Posted by Chris Clarke at February 28, 2005 06:51 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.faultline.org/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/948

4 blog(s) linking to this post:

Moonbat!
Excerpt: Chris Clarke has put together a beautiful moonbat logo: Several different sizes are available. I noticed this one is exactly the size of my random Pharyngula logos, and it fits right in with the biological theme, so I've put it into the rotation...
Weblog: Pharyngula
Tracked: March 1, 2005 06:26 AM
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Moonbats
Excerpt: OK, something frivolous: go to the site linked from the title above to get you very own moonbat image, suitable for web sites and gravatars.
Weblog: Expert Opinion
Tracked: March 1, 2005 03:02 PM
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I am a moonbat
Excerpt: I'm not sure why it is supposed to be taken as an insult. I rather like the phrase: moonbat. It conjures up a nice image, no?
Weblog: dadahead
Tracked: March 7, 2005 09:16 PM
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irresistibly iconic
Excerpt: Found this 'un clicking links semi-randomly while I was supposed to be doing something else....
Weblog: unlocking the air
Tracked: May 9, 2005 09:27 AM
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Comments

Not bad.

Posted by: Roxanne at February 28, 2005 07:09 PM
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"Dingbat" was and remains a legitimate insult. I just read a piece where Hunter Thompson refers to one of Nixon's hangers-on using that fine, respectable slur. But, well, the only real insult that sounds like "moonbat" is "moonie," and moonies are republicans. And bats, as we all know, are totally awesome. So, speaking as a neo-Bolshevist moonbat, I must say that I don't see the OED calling up Horowitz's cronies for the etymology any time soon.

Posted by: Alex at February 28, 2005 07:39 PM
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YOu know in one dialect of Chinese, "bat" and "happiness" are homophones, so you can if you go to Chinatown in Boston, find cute little onyx bat necklaces and charm bracelets, just as you can find sweet little bats in shades of lucky lifegiving red on ancient dynastic embroideries and stenciled on porceleine, too.

Therefore, if one is not limited by merely Occidental prejudice, a bat is quite an honorable and inspiring beast. And the moon is of course meaningful in many ways, all over the world, measurer of time in the Lunar New Year, and sacred to Diana, the divine huntress.

There are worse things to be called, iow, than a "moonbat."

--Like "wingnut," which doesn't have any glamourous overtones, and is always in danger of coming unscrewed and getting into places where it doesn't belong.

Posted by: bellatrys at February 28, 2005 08:02 PM
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Looks like a Pallid (Moon) Bat Chris. A very fine little critter indeed!

Posted by: OGeorge at February 28, 2005 09:10 PM
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Thank you for taking a stand for La Lune and our frienc in common, the bat, the harbinger of dreams. I'm pleased to be a moonbat, moonbird, or even a luna-tic.

Posted by: jaybird at March 1, 2005 04:52 AM
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Figures you'd like it, jaybird.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at March 1, 2005 07:19 AM
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How strong are the entrance requirements, I wonder? Do we have to wait until we are called a moonbat by someone speaking in all sincerity, or can we just be self-proclaimed?

Posted by: Sean at March 1, 2005 08:06 AM
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If you think you are one, you are one.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at March 1, 2005 08:17 AM
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Could I have it in a screensaver/wallpaper size?
Dior aka "Moonbatty"

Posted by: Lance Gritton at March 1, 2005 08:28 AM
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Sorry, Lance: biggest I have is 600 pixels. Maybe you could tile it, or add a thick black border all the way around .

Posted by: Chris Clarke at March 1, 2005 09:00 AM
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Thanks for the badge of honor. And thanks for clearing up my CCCP/Wachowski confusion.

Posted by: corndog at March 1, 2005 10:00 AM
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Yay bats! Yay tha moon!

Posted by: Rana at March 1, 2005 10:31 AM
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You sure that's a regular *American* bat? It looks like one o' them Mexican fruit-eating bats.

Posted by: Dave at March 1, 2005 01:06 PM
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Mexicans *are* Americans, chulito. Never mind.

Is it an echo of the Governor Moonbeam epithet? (no idea if the gov, now mayor, thought of it as an epithet)

Posted by: leslee at March 1, 2005 04:20 PM
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Speaking of "moonbats" have you come across the blog called Barking Moonbat Early Warning System? It is posted by 2 men, one in Alabama and one in Florida.......Their objective is to rid the world of moonbats. They have a lot to say; they like Republicans, hate Democrats (or as they would say "Dummycrats". They post a lot of good news items & some not so good. Check them out & let me know what you think................

Posted by: Dottie at March 1, 2005 07:07 PM
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Leslee, I've wondered that too.

Posted by: Rana at March 1, 2005 08:04 PM
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Maybe they're afraid of being pissed on from a great height.

Posted by: rdb at March 1, 2005 10:05 PM
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So where can I get a t-shirt with this on it?

Posted by: Craig at March 2, 2005 01:15 AM
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Chris, I took your icon (and credited you!) but your 100 X 100 icon is actually 100 X 101 pixels. I shaved it so that LiveJournal would take it. You want I should send it to you?

Posted by: Vicki at March 2, 2005 06:07 AM
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Sure, V. Send it along. Thanks!

Posted by: Chris Clarke at March 2, 2005 06:20 AM
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Personally, I accept my moonbat label with pride.

Now - just because this sort of trivial non-history amuses me - let's clear up the derivation. The term moonbat was originally coined by British "libertarian" loon Perry de Havilland, founder of the samizdata website, as an abusive nickname for Grauniad columnist George Monbiot. The term was then applied more generally to extremists and then to leftwing extremists. Which means people like me are allowed call ouselves that and sensible Democrat-voting centrists aren't!

Perry's internet brethren are also responsible for the blogging terms tranzi (someone who believes in international law in principle rather than as a rhetorical device), idiotarian (someone who believes moral standards should be applied universally rather than at one's political convenience) and fisking (peppering sarcastic remarks through the news columns of experienced war-correspondents actually reporting from the relevant location rather than their mother's basement, in the weird belief this somehow constitutes a rebuttal.)

I hope this has been as helpful as it has been uninteresting!

Posted by: RobW at March 2, 2005 09:24 PM
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I think it is a beautiful picture. Moonbats are us:)

Posted by: oldwhitelady at March 27, 2005 01:37 PM
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Great image! There is an organization dedicated to the preservation of vulnerable, much maligned bats. It is Bat Conservation International. They do good work. http://www.batcon.org/

Posted by: deenk at April 8, 2005 02:07 PM
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Hello Chris,

I commend you on two points:

1) You are doing wonderful things for the PR of the poor little misunderstood bat - whom so many frown upon for no good reason.

2) You posted a link to my favourite cartoon/song in web history! I would love to be a Moonbat, however I am a sworn Spongmonkey, and cannot pledge allegiance to any other pseudo-animal.

I adore your blog. It has changed my life in many ways. I shan't bore you with the mundane details. But do keep at it! I thoroughly enjoy a good brain prod.

Posted by: Suedy, from Australia at April 25, 2005 12:06 PM
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