Wednesday, June 8

The Livin' Is Easy

This is the first full week of my Poor Wife's summer break, a week which traditionally is spent moving stuff around at school, since art teachers tend to have enormous caches of supplies. This year, though, as they've thoroughly screwed up the room assignments she finds herself stuck waiting for someone else to clear out her new room, so it all came home and currently fills the shed and the guest room, and the dining room is now the command center for the summer class she'll be starting in a week. So I'm trying to dedicate my free time to her, and my little charges in the landscape which are being assaulted by a late-spring series of 90ยบ days. All of which has somewhat curtailed my reading time, and has meant composing posts in my head and trying to write them down later without spending hours at it. If I disappear for a day or so, rest assured I'm not enjoying myself.

So, short takes: President Clinton is in town, he spoke tonight and will be signing 500 copies of his book tomorrow. I'd have gone to the speech, but I didn't find out about it until it was long past sold-out. The book and the autograph I can do without. But I did get to hear some local hairdo on the Constant Tape Loop of Local News we're blessed with on cable call him, "the controversial former president" (do we have one that isn't?), note that he would "only be signing copies of his book," (and not, evidently, Your Left Breast), that "some people" had "paid up to $500" for a ticket to tonite's speech (I suppose they'll be sending their Investigative Team to find out if it was their own money), and concluding with a note that the Controversial Former President is the highest-paid speaker in the land. God, I hate these motherfuckers. That was essentially the content of my email to her.

The ever-charming Kathy takes on the Kos Kontretemps and other bloggers she no longer reads. I do read Roxanne, and I'm sorry to have dropped Kevin Drum, who does a lot of good work. But I wanted to point out here that the high-traffic bloggers who are genuinely funny, (e.g. TBogg, s.z., norb) as opposed to the wonks, never seem to do any ego tripping. I've met a celeb or two in my day. Johnny and June Carter Cash were as nice as nice could be. Liberace was a genuine, sweet guy. I got to shake the hand of Jorge Luis Borges. I played violin for Josef Gingold. The only person I ever met who was on a star trip was z-lister Lorna Luft. Curious, ain't it?


My Poor Wife tells me that CNN went wall-to-wall for about three hours this afternoon with a California police chase, then simply dropped the story. Nothing on their site about it now. Apparently there weren't any blonde girls in the car.

20 comments:

harry near indy said...

most of the celebrities you mentioned were male -- except for june carter cash, of course. and most male celebrities aren't on the ego trip.

it's the women who are insecure, who want the blind worship, especially if they come from strained circumstances -- o hell, let me just say poor.

it's sad, really.

i just bet jennifer lopez is about a bastard and a half.

it's an old cliche but the bigger they are the nicer they are. i bet back in the day, jimmy stewart, gary cooper and clark gable were swell fellas. but joan crawford? puh-leeze!

Hokie said...

The problem with the wonks is that they "know" they know things (on both sides, that is), and so they tend to be really, really smug.

I'm a bit of a wonk myself (in that I'm a geek about any number of different issues...ok, so I'm just a geek...come on, I'm a mathematician), but not really. I like facts, facts are good, facts should be shared, but, well, they're just facts. I can find them anywhere. I don't need Kos or Atrios to tell me them. I especially don't need Kos to give me electoral advice, because he sucks at that, for all his hype.

I think what I look for in a blog is a different perspective; the same thing I look for in a columnist. I want someone who gives me something different. The humor blogs are funny, and their styles of humor don't exactly overlap. Billmon has his own take on things and a pretty unique style, despite being generally wonky.

But the a-list wonks are forming their own little echo chamber and thinking they're the best thing since grated cheese. Kind of funny how things mirror, isn't it?

Hokie said...

Not that I think my blog necessarily has an interesting perspective to it. A good part of it's catharsis.

Hokie said...

While I'm just adding more comments because I forgot things, I should note that there are some wonks I continue to read and love doing so, such as Juan Cole and Brad DeLong. But those guys are experts in their fields, so I can actually get facts and insight from them I can't get from Kos or Atrios (who, while being an economist, doesn't really write on economics).

So what we have is a bunch of people who (most of the time) think seriously about issues, but who seem to think they have a lot more to say than they really do and that they should be treated accordingly.

It's so very sad, because it's such a waste. These folks are clearly good at using the internet to communicate.

Yosef said...

I think one of the things that gets me about the big bloggers is that their commenters are nothing more than yes-men. They'll do anything that the blogger suggests and believe anything that the blogger tells them to. It's almost cult-like. I know my comments on various blogs aren't always constructive, creative, or good, but still. I can't read any of the comments on Atrios anymore.

As far as the bloggers themselves, I'm with ya', Hokie. There are some who bring a new perspective or mention stuff that they are actually experts in. Dave Neiwert is a great one. I also like TPM, although I'm kind of wishy-washy on the new TPM Cafe thing.

Hokie said...

Yosef: Oh, I agree. Drum's commentors are especially bad.

I stopped reading Atrios' after I wandered into an open thread and half the posts were "I posted first! Score!" or "Darn you for posting before me!"

Grooooan.

Neiwert is excellent, yes. Josh Marshall is good because he Knows People and he writes very well. So he's an exception for the a-list wonks, definitely.

And Yosef, for the record, as the hottest young conservative writer on the internets, I almost always enjoy your comments.

KathyR said...

Ok, um, people from Indiana? God love you, but you do not know from celebrities.

The bloggers who have become A-listers remind me of nothing more than those guys in law school: the super-geeks who could never in their lives hang with the cool kids. Once they get their ticket, they invariably are consumed with what they perceive to be their power and prestige. They also invariably end up as solo practitioners because no one can stand to be partners with these still-geeky egomaniac loose cannons.

And I liked Roxanne and should probably pick her up again. I just get impatient when political bloggers spend too much time picking the same little scab.

Yosef said...

Thanks, Hokie. I enjoys yours too. [awww] BTW, do you go by another name in other places?

Hokie said...

Just Vivek over at Jesus' General and WoC. I decided I didn't want to blog under that name. =)

And yes, that was a rather Full Houseish moment, wasn't it?

Yosef said...

I thought that was you but I never was sure.

Hokie said...

That's the kind of mystery that brings the ladies a-knockin'.

Ok, not really, not so much.

harry near indy said...

if anyone wants another angle on the politcal blogs vs. other blogs discussion, please check out lance mannion's blog.

don't know the url; just go ahead and type his name in the search engine and it ought to lead you there.

basically, he agrees with a lotta you who've posted.

read it and add your five cents's worth

Hokie said...

That was a good post. I've added Lance to the reading list.

Oh, and Doghouse, I can't say how disappointed I am that you're making light of the plight of the unfortunate wealthy, attractive white girl. I mean, the minorities and the poor ones just ask for it, with their culture of drugs and death, and the ugly ones are ugly, so who cares anyway?

But what did the wealthy attractive white girl ever do to anyone?

For shame, sir!

D. Sidhe said...

I suppose I plead guilty to being something of a yes-chick as a commenter. It seems to be a combination of "Don't go into someone's home and wreck up the place", "If you don't have anything nice to say," and the fact that I'm just not reading blogs where I *don't* agree with what the blogger says or how it's said.
I drop 'em pretty quickly if they don't appeal in some way.
But, yes, I'm a toady, I admit it. I'm like this in real life, too. When people are brilliant, or hilarious, or insightful, I tend to propose.
(This is actually pretty common in my peer group.)
Where's the harm in letting people know they've done good? And why should I tell them when they screw up? I can guarantee someone else will be along within minutes to do it instead of me.

That said, I dig wonks, in general. Smart is sexy.

Hokie said...

Sidhe: I think the issue with commentors as yes-men isn't that they're agreeing with the blogger, but that the comments consist of "Right on" or something to that extent and not really much more...no extra commentary, no alternative takes, etc.

Yosef said...

That's pretty much it, as you can tell from how almost all i ever say here is how great of a writer DH is. What gets me is in every single comments section, almost every single commenter says "Right on!" It is great to hear that, don't get me wrong, but when there are 200 comments on the thread saying that, the point has been made.

And actually, I guess what I'm saying is even beyond just complaining about the "right on!" What gets me is it seems like if one day A-list Blogger X says "Corn tastes nasty," thenall the commenters say "I hate it! Never touch the stuff!" about 200 times. But the next day, if the blogger says, "Oh, I didn't mean corn, I meant beets," then everyone responds, "Corn good! Beets bad!"

What I like about most of the sites that I visit regularly and comment on, is that while most of the commenters agree with things being said, they still seem to show that they have the ability to think for themselves.

And D., your comments are also always good. They're much more than just being toady.

Hokie said...

Oh yes. Especially if there's a mention of John Stossel somewhere. =D

D. Sidhe said...

Thanks. That means a lot, especially coming from THYCWOTI and someone who feels that civility is overrated.
(You two aren't trying to get me to stalk you, are you? 'Cause I'm pretty busy for the next few months.)

As far as that kind of yes-manning goes, I would never do that. Corn and beets are both great, I don't care who says otherwise. It's *sniff* all those tiny, tiny *sob* frozen peas... *sniff* that are so terrible... *wail*
(Yeah, I could have resisted. But why?)

Pepper said...

Actually, I hate corn. I despise the stuff, unless its ground up and in cornbread. The whole kernels are dangerous if they get up your nose.

But, wow, I so agree with you about everyone so agreeing with each other because I so agree with Bats Left, Throws Right on this one that I pointed to his blog when I talked about the Pie Fight Incident of 2005 ...

Actually *sniff* when I say something different on most sites, I just get ignored. *sniff* Maybe it's because I'm a blonde white girl and they can tell from my comments ... but I'm not rich so I don't count ... I'm going to cry ...

Hokie said...

Pepper: Oh, you count, but if you went missing, the media wouldn't care. Y'know, cause not being rich, you're just asking for it.

And corn is good. Beets are good.

Really, the only vegetable I have a distaste for is eggplant. It'd be hard to function as a vegetarian otherwise.

And Sidhe, if you were to try to stalk me, it'd be a nice change from the stalkers I tend to get, which are psycho Christian females. I think they're after my rapture points.