Friday, March 26, 2004
Zwichenzug Culture Watch, blogosphere edition
Real Live Preacher: Matthias, the struggle is good. Being unsure of what God is calling you to is good. Wrestling with angels and demons in the wilderness is good. Not knowing is good. Being afraid is good. Being real and human and wanting truth so badly that you can taste it is good.
Brad Delong's Semi-Daily Journal: So I called Bumiller, and asked her why she had made it into a "she said, he said" article rather than into a Cheney-said-something-so-bizarre-that-nobody-else-will-endorse-it article. Her replies seemed, to put it politely, incoherent. The reasons that she didn't stack five contradictory quotes from five different sources against Cheney--and so make him look like the liar or idiot that he is (as Dana Milbank would probably have done)--appear to be that she "doesn't write opinion," that "the news was Rice contradicting what Cheney had said to Rush Limbaugh," and that she "only had 300 words." My assertion that whether Clarke was out-of-the-loop or was the loop itself is a matter of fact, and that a reporter has a duty to ascertain and to report to her readers such matters of fact, did not meet with a response.
First Draft: The bathroom is not the place to make new friends. I don't know who you are, scary lady with big eyelashes and bigger teeth, so don't come right up next to me (hello, claustrophobia, how I've missed you) and start telling me about your cousin's bypass surgery. It's not a social club. Please move. I need to wash my hands. Oh, and crazy woman who sings to herself? Badly? Loudly? The bathroom isn't the Eagles Ballroom, either, not that you could get a gig there. I find my downstairs neighbor's cat's yowling more appealing than listening to you singing "Sugar, Sugar" while you pee.
A Small Victory: I can define myself in many ways; atheist, Republican, Yankee fan. Whenever anyone in those groups does something I find offensive, I distance myself from them. I make sure to stand up and say “Hey, I’m an atheist, but don’t lump me in with those other atheists. I do not condone what they are doing.” So where are the followers of Islam who do not condone the branch of their religion that is being practiced by those who see suicide belts as a fashion statement? Do they even exist?
Philosoraptor: Contempt for reason manifests itself differently on the Right and on the Left. The extreme Left of the spectrum, influenced by postmodernism, tends to denigrate truth, reason, and objectivity on (preposterously shaky) theoretical grounds and reject them even as ideals. Consequently, skepticism, relativism, and nihilism are common on the Left. On the right, it is common to pay lip service to the ideals of truth, reason, and objectivity, while in fact blatantly flaunting those ideals. One of the most baffling things about radically irrational right-wing authors like Ann Coulter is that they take great pains to represent themselves as paragons and defenders of reason. The fuzzy-headed relativism of radical Leftists exerts at least some influence on less radical sectors of the Left, and the radical dogmatism of radical Rightists exerts at least some influence on less radical sectors of the Right.
Talking Points Memo: It's amazing how many partisan Democrats and disgruntled former employees working under cover as career civil servants, spies and military officers have betrayed this president. It just seems to happen again and again and again. I mean, just think of the list: Rand Beers, well-known partisan Democrat and hack, Richard Clarke, self-promoter, disgruntled former employee, and "self-regarding buffoon", Karen Kwiatkowski, conspiracy theorist and all-around freak, Valerie Plame, hack and nepotist, Joe Wilson, partisan hack, self-promoter and shameless green tea lover. When will the abuse end?
Yellowtext: Once again, I'm poised to kick butt in my office Iditarod pool: my man Martin Buser is first out of the Nikolai checkpoint. Of course, the race has barely even begun (Nikolai is about 300 miles into the 1100-mile trail) but given that he's driving a proven and confident team, and that once again I'm the only person taking part in the big office Iditarod pool, I'm fairly confident that I'll be taking home the HoneyBaked® Ham this year.
Do I want you to tell me about other great blogs? You bet your sweet banana!