Re: Norming

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I don't read any of 'em anymore. Is that an adequately horrible thing to say? I used to, but then I realized they didn't matter, except to each other.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:44 AM
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but to say horrible things about these bloggers, who are oppressing us all

I just wish they would all stop sucking my cock.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:45 AM
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Okay, obviously they matter to Tim.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:45 AM
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Me too. 1999—2005 I spent hours every day reading them. Now hardly ever.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:48 AM
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Male bloggers would nominate posts by women if there were any women bloggers. It's not their fault that women don't really like to blog and aren't into politics.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:49 AM
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many of the "best" blog posts are written as moments in a conversation

This is actually an exellent point about books, too, or at least nonfiction books: really good nonfiction books belong to a particular moment in "the long conversation" of civliization* but don't stand alone as authoritative treatments, and so miss out on many "best-of" reckonings.

*I think that's Jacques Barzun, but I'm too grumpy to check.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:50 AM
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I used to read Atrios a lot, although it wasn't one of the first blogs I read. I go there now when I want something simple and clear, and I sometimes read Yglesias. I like Yglesias, becuase he rights clearly and in a style that's easy to follow. He's not bland.

When I opened this comment box, it was because wanted to thank you, ogged, for linking to Dooce's post. I've only read a little bit of Dooce and never seen that particular post. It is, indeed, extraordinary.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:53 AM
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Can't beat this:

I'm going "down the shore" today, so I'm asking you to answer a couple of questions in the comments while I'm lounging on Risden's Beach in Point Pleasant: What will it take to militarize the United States? What will it take to militarize Western Europe?


Posted by: Andy Vance | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:59 AM
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he rights clearly and in a style that's easy to follow

This was an ironic tribute to Ygles and his tendency to misspell homophones, right?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:06 AM
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Well, admitedly Belle's pony post is amazingly awesome. As is Dooce.

The rest of those guys suck, though. Who the fuck is Daniel Davies, and why are all the Big Boys sucking his cock?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:10 AM
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Talking about the best blog post ever, in 2007, is like talking about strikeout records in the World Series, in 1906. Theoretically possible, sure, but it's a lame rhetorical device.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:18 AM
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[T]he power of repetition and mockery....

I thought Atrios just lacked imagination and was a whiny little bitch. Now you tell me that there is a purpose to the tedium, as in the works of Terry Gilliam? I guess Oscar Wilde really dropped the ball when he said all those different witty things on different occasions.

7: Isn't Yglesias' blandness his greatest virtue, to the bores of the 'sphere? Nothing to offend, nothing to surprise.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:20 AM
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12: I don't think that Yglesias is bland. In general, I find (or found) many of the articles written for the Atlantic kind of bland. The New Yorker, on the other hand, has a distinctive, recognizable style. There aren't that many surprises there, but I don't find it (in the post-Tina-Brown era) boring. In high school I did think that the New Yorker's articles were too long.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:29 AM
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This comment to the post linked to in 8 is the single most delightful piece of crazy I've ever read.


Posted by: johnston | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:30 AM
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You Kill Obama and WE WILL BURN SHIT DOWN!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:30 AM
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your description of my clearly shows why he is among the best *bloggers* working right now. but that may be different from best posts.

i think you're right about the conversation thing. but that just confirms that it's a weird medium. read boswell, and you find him recording what witty thing johnson said last night, or what witty thing goldsmith said in reply to johnson, and so on. it has very much the same appeal, and limitations.

i laughed hysterically, to tears, at the editors post that ended in 'enormous mendacious disembodied anus'. but much of the humor came from context--it was part of a long-running feud with john cole about cindy sheehan. remember her? almost as ancient as a footnote in boswell's johnson. what made the editor's post so incredibly funny was a confluence of factors involving sheehan and cole and the beach boys and many other things. it may not be repeatable, or enjoyable at long distance.

"the thing was essentially occasional, sir," said dr. johnson, "you had to be there."

well, he didn't really.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:34 AM
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The Atlantic Monthly is extremely bland. I was roped into a subscription through some charity fund-raising thing, and it was the most boring decision I've ever made. Give me the old-fashioned Harper's paranoia any day.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:39 AM
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I've always admired Eurotrash (who almost never posts anymore), both when she's ">funny (search on page for "Colombia") and when she's not (search on page for "ashes").


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:43 AM
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I've always admired Eurotrash (who almost never posts anymore), both when she's ">funny (search on page for "Colombia") and when she's not (search on page for "ashes").


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:44 AM
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Wow. Managed to double post and screw it up.

Ahem. Funny Eurotrash post here (post dated 05/31/05.

Sad Eurotrash post here (post dated 02/01/05).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:48 AM
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I don't agree at all that it doesn't make any difference. The Democrats are pretty bad. but they'd be far worse if it weren't for the blogosphere, and now that people are starting to fund primary challengers to the worst Democrats, there should be even more improvement. I fear that the improvement won't keep pace with events, but the liberal blogosphere is the most positive thing going on in politics right now, AFAIC.

I don't understand the animosity to Atrios. He's usually right, and he says what he says in nice straightforward language, and he insults people who richly deserve to be insulted.

Same with Olberman or Air America. The media discourse has been incredibly distorted in this country, to the point that the average non-political-junky dependent on mass media will never hear an intelligent, genuinely liberal point of view, EVER. Atrios, Olberman, and AA slightly redress that balance, though there's still nothing close to parity. For me it's just refreshing to hear people say ordinary truths in a straightforward way, but for reasons I don't understand these people get a lot of flak from people who basically agree with them on questions of substance. For me, the suffocating conformity, shallowness, and right-to-right-center slant of the media is an enormous story, and if someone helps change that, I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

The echo chamber, believe it or not, is a very good thing. The opinion contractors in the media are always telling people what the average American thinks. Often they're just plain lying -- e.g., when they kept calling Bush a popular president for a whole year when his approval ratings were below 50%. When the centrist echo chamber controls the public discourse on that questions, the majority of American feel that they are in the minority in their opinion. It's a form of intimidation and deception, and the liberal echo chamber destroys the demoralizing effect.

I live in fear of an entirely militarized America, with police state aspects, within which more and more Americans are driven out of the middle class. That's Bush's goal, and anyone who contributes to fighting against it is a good guy, whether or not I find them entertaining or artistically satisfying.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:57 AM
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Best blog post ever.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:04 PM
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So take this opportunity not to nominate your own favorites, but to say horrible things about these bloggers

Ben realizes that the best way to say horrible things about his own writing is to link to it.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:20 PM
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I will graciously accept Scott Lemiuex's compliment that has nothing to do with me except only incredibly loosely by proxy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:21 PM
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The best blog posts ever: Fafblog interviews the Democratic Party. Dsquared in Praise of Budweiser. Jezebel: Working at American Apparel Is All It's Coked Up To Be. Sifu Tweety's Sunday Night Wanktacular, and Sifu Tweety's Walk of Shame. Creek Running North: Belief in Evolutionary Psychology May Be Hardwired.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:27 PM
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(A very partial list. I'm sure I'll remember others.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:28 PM
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Oh, fuck: Kung Fu Monkey: I Miss Republicans and LOST: You Uncurious Motherfuckers.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:30 PM
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Okay, since we're talking about "best ever" type blogs, I'm going to go ahead and shill. Tweety and ObWi are up in other categories, btw.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:34 PM
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Bots!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:37 PM
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I coulda been a ... nah.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:49 PM
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I don't understand the animosity to Atrios. He's usually right, and he says what he says in nice straightforward language, and he insults people who richly deserve to be insulted.

I don't know that there's that much animosity, but he doesn't say much anymore. He just points.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:50 PM
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He never did say much. It's like a clearing house or bulletin board, and that's great. I think that he made a deliberate choice near the beginning to avoid the long think pieces, which he contracts to Digby, The Editors, and various others.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:57 PM
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29: You can only vote once a day. Can someone write a once-a-day bot?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:57 PM
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This is probably still my favorite Fafblog post.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:58 PM
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Are we working for the mysterious Belle Waring?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 12:58 PM
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34--
yeah, that is one for the ages.

i agree with the defense of atrios. he serves a very useful function in the ecology of left blogistan. it's not a role i would especially relish--relentless attack dog--but it's one that is sadly oversupplied on the right, and undersupplied on the left.

and sometimes the brutal concision of his attacks really does serve the same purpose as the more urbane and measured analysis of a krugman or yglesias: it cuts through the crap, dispels a whole smoke-screen of wing-nut bloviation, and shows you how contemptible some particular right-wing evasion really is.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:14 PM
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I especially like the attack dogs. I'll never understand kumbaya liberals.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:21 PM
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To the extent that I gripe about Atrios, it's that he doesn't write all that much anymore -- I hate posts that are just cryptic links. But when he's writing, I generally agree with him. I still read a fairly broad spectrum of the 'liberal blogosphere', depressed and cynical as I am about the news, because I'd simply miss giant news stories otherwise. Hell, I wouldn't have known what waterboarding meant otherwise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:24 PM
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"I'll never understand kumbaya liberals."

eh, i understand them, and i'd like to go back to being one some day. it's just not viable right now.

liberalism got to where it is today through a kind of complacent sense of noblesse oblige. we owned the world, and our power was so vast that we could afford to be generous to everyone, even our opponents. enlightenment was on our side; they were stupid and doomed to extinction, and it would be tasteless to treat them with anything but condescending kindness.

it's the sentiment that motivated the whole country's foreign policy after wwii, and motivated liberalism's domestic policy as well. selfishness is tawdry; of course we pay our taxes without complaining, and try to protect the poorest in society. of course we pay our u.n. dues even when the pipsqueak countries are misbehaving. noblesse oblige.

so it even made us generous towards the opposition. and after all, the republican party of bush's grandfather and bush's father was not that different, either; preston knew from noblesse oblige.

but those republicans were succeeded by a group of petty, resentful, selfish, small-minded thugs, losers who turned their victim-status into a rationale for bloody-minded self-aggrandizement. they struck a chord with the losers of america's own civil war, and the southern strategy was born.

smash-mouth demands smash-mouth in reply; that's one of the best things i learned from josh marshall. (if only anyone who actually works for the democratic party had learned it). it's going to have to be attack-dogs for awhile, until we can get past the national infatuation with stupid and pig-ignorant.

but i'm kumbaya enough myself to hope for a return to better days. maybe my grandkids will see them.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:33 PM
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I don't understand the animosity to Atrios.

The worst possible combination: pearl-clutching maiden aunt and talk radio caller. Hysterical, vainglorious, posturing, pettifogging and repetitive.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:39 PM
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I nominate whomever wrote the "Gene Wolfe stole my fudgesicle" post.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:42 PM
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Whoever. Fucking Fowler.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:43 PM
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The sheer toxicity of Atrios' commentariat makes me not want to go anywhere near his posts. Kind of the opposite of Unfogged, really, where the comments are the only thing worth reading.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:48 PM
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I nominate whomever wrote the "Gene Wolfe stole my fudgesicle" post

Whoever. Fucking Fowler

Will somebody come right out and say that they thinking using "whom" is hoity-toity and makes you a prig or an asshole? I've long wondered if LB, who never uses it, doesn't think so.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:51 PM
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40: See, that seems downright stupid to me. No help at all.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:51 PM
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I quit reading Atrios' comments a year or two ago.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:52 PM
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I'm still baffled. For a long time we lived in a world where Republicans could get away with saying 2+2=5, but people who said 2+2=4 were ridiculed. Finally people are saying 2+2=4 in public, for example Atrios, and for some reason it's not a good thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:55 PM
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46: Just knowing the comments are there is a problem for me.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:56 PM
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45: I forgot to add "kitsch" to the list. Does that help?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:56 PM
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oh, of course i ignore the comments at atrios. as at drum's site.

but i'm with emerson, whom i agree with frequently.

(had to get that 'whom' in there to show my colors on *that* debate as well).


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 1:58 PM
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Will somebody come right out and say that they thinking using "whom" is hoity-toity and makes you a prig or an asshole?

Why don't you come to DC and say that?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:02 PM
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47: Atrios appears to be a victim of "what have you done for me lately?" syndrome. I wish that syndrome would claim some more deserving victims.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:03 PM
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51--
oh, don't worry--there will be lots of coming out at the dcon.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:06 PM
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53 doesn't really work, bitzer.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:08 PM
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Jesus, Hamilton. That's loony.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:09 PM
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54--
what did you imagine would count as "working" in this context, ben?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:10 PM
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Being moderately clever or amusing.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:11 PM
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57--
well, that's one standard you could use, but you're going to get bored appending your 54 to all of my comments.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:12 PM
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55. *shrug* I like blogs for the conversational aspects. I like to see what other people's reactions to a post are. I like to offer corrections, amplifications, and trivia. For me, the comments are an integral part of the form, which is why I'm not reading many political blogs any more: too many assholes on both sides, with too much time on their hands.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:14 PM
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I'd actually like an answer from somebody besides the proud "whomsers."

Some such thing as I suggest is pretty clearly operating, and seems to be tied up with class and formality issues.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:16 PM
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Dooce is a great writer, but it strikes me again the extent to which, when people talk about "blogs", they generally are talking about partisan political blogs, blogs that grew out of warblogging. For this sort of thing, nobody wants to hear that something from Dave's Long Box (comics) or Lemonodor (LISP) or Pinstriped Blog (Yankees) or the Kircher Society (etc.) was an all-time great post, let alone something like my friend Skot's tales of acting class or bomb threats. (The Pinstriped Blog guy is a fantastic writer, in fact, even though I hate the Yankees, and his occasional asides about losing an eye deserve a wider -- and more morally acceptable -- audience than Yankees fans.)

But yes, the answer is Belle's pony post.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:19 PM
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If we're botting I think we should do the pony post.

For me Atrios is an excellent quick-stop way of filling myself in on what's happening in American politics. It would probably be the last political blog I'd quit going to. There are a lot of other things Atrios isn't, but to me that's not a criticism.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:22 PM
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Is there any good reason for people who know how to use 'whom' not to use 'whom'?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:24 PM
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Dave's Long Box's finest hour.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:26 PM
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I tend to remember concepts and phrases rather than actual blog posts. Belle's "and a pony," of course. Also, Kieran Healy's definition of Mensa.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:26 PM
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44: Me? I don't use it (much? I think maybe I do sometimes, but I don't notice one way or the other) because I didn't grow up with it in my naturally acquired dialect, and I'm afraid of over-correcting if I try to add it in -- saying whom when who is correct. But I don't notice it as a negative.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:26 PM
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For me Atrios is an excellent quick-stop way of filling myself in on what's happening in American politics. It would probably be the last political blog I'd quit going to. There are a lot of other things Atrios isn't, but to me that's not a criticism.

I have literally not visited the Atrios site in six months, ever since I got an RSS reader. Since he never writes anything and only links to other things, it became useless.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:27 PM
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Political blogs tend to stand out because they're often referencing widely-memorable events that concern a lot of people. In the long term I tend to remember either stuff like that, or stuff that's endearingly crazy. By contrast, while I enjoy the consistent high quality of Chris's Invincible Super-Blog, I'd be hard-pressed to pick a post out.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:27 PM
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I use whom whenever it's necessary, unless I'm talking quickly. I was told what the proper use of it was, and from then on used it in that place.

I save my pointless worries about snobbery and anti-snobbery for the issue of whether to pronounce foreign words properly.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:29 PM
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68: Ahem.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:30 PM
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Ditto 67. I was reading Think Progress to fill the 'what's going on" niche for a while, until the misleading headlines and gleeful gotcha-ing got too much, and am now reading Political Wire.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:31 PM
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I am going to whom you into fucking oblivion, Idp. It is fucking on.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:32 PM
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This is possibly the most important blog post of the current instant, or the most important story, or anyway, it's really big news.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:32 PM
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I'm not saying that anyone has to read Atrios or like him, but I don't understand the disdain. A linking blog is useful, and I like his links. And especially, he will pick up a theme and keep it going for awhile, and the old stuff he digs up is often very good.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:34 PM
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I do use Atrios to flag what the issue of the day is, and to have a generally sensible angle on it. (That is, if I'm not up to speed yet, assuming that his take is the right one until I catch up is useful.) And that really is worthwhile. I'd still like him to write more, rather than linking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:36 PM
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70: His reviews of "Taboo" are just as funny. But Sims' funniest piece is off-blog.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:38 PM
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73: Fuck, that's really not a good thing at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:39 PM
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76: "Tarot"? He's got a new one up this week.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:39 PM
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Tarot, right.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:40 PM
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I read political blogs in order to see where the political argument are and how well the anti-Republicans are doing. Not for a deep understanding of issues. If you're interested in observing the actual political debate, you can't be purist in your selection.

As I've said elsewhere (Jim Henley) Olbermann is utterly awful about a quarter of the time -- Britney, etc. But it just makes me happy to see people saying 2+2=4 on the major media.

Obvious truths are repressed by different people for different reasons. Among elite liberals obvious truths seem tacky, unsophisticated, gotcha, unanalytic, and so on. That contributes to the suppressive decorum.

I remain utterly baffled.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:40 PM
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73: Apparently the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has been told his "services are no longer required."


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:42 PM
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I remain utterly baffled.

No you don't. People are saying we don't read Atrios because his posts are a maximum of one sentence in length and he constantly uses the same catchphrases over and over in an effort to make them part of the discourse, which is a very valuable thing to do but has no value as reading material. The lack of interest in reading Atrios has nothing to do with hether he says uncomfortable truths or not. Lots of other bloggers do that who also write things.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:43 PM
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77-
yeah, that's a bad thing.

the really bad thing is that cheney is taking notes.
"so that's how you do it, eh?"
not that cheney will have to clamp down on *our* supreme court--roberts will be happy to swear him in.

that's right, folks; if you want to see what it looks like when an independent judiciary tries to rein in an out-of-control executive, you have to go to pakistan to find it. no independent judiciaries around these parts.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:43 PM
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72: ?
Which side do you think I'm on? I'm a confirmed user of whom, but the attitude I've alluded to certainly exists, and I've heard it stated more-or-less succinctly about like I did in 44. I'm sure there are regular commenters here who feel that to some degree.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:46 PM
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No, people take a certain pride in saying that they don't read Atrios, as though that were a sign of personal merit and a negative judgment of Atrios, rather than just the confession of a personal taste.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:46 PM
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82 is a bit unfair. There's a couple good posts on Atrios's front page. But I just don't like the format of posting a long excerpt from an article with no commentary at all. I would rather see some commentary, followed by a link to the actual article. The excerpt has no value to me.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:47 PM
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78: The Tarot Halloween special was pretty fantastic. I shared some of the images with people, who were inevitably horrified.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:48 PM
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To me the excerpts, if well chosen, are valuable, and he usually posts a link. He finds a lot of good stuff. The open threads are easy to click past.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:52 PM
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Between the coup in Pakistan and the imminent Turkish invasion of Kurdistan, I think we are looking right in the face of the worst case scenario for the Middle East.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 2:59 PM
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87: Same here. It's like Balent regularly rereads Dave's "Boob War" series and takes entirely the wrong message each and every time.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:00 PM
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Of the big political blogs, the only one I read regularly any more is Talking Points Memo. My only problem with Atrios is that his writing has dwindled to so little that it mostly seems like a collection of verbal tics that automatically attach to certain types of links. Daily Kos now just looks like all diary rescue, all the time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:34 PM
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Also, for my money, blogging plateaued and has been all downhill since this post.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:37 PM
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Yeah, Daily Kos I used to scan for the same reasons as Atrios, and it's been awhile since there's been anything there that I paused to actually read.

TPM is different -- that's actual fresh content, often. (Although I wish that more of it were on the same page. I don't want to wander around between the front page and Muckraker and whatever else. But that's just laziness -- I like flat sites.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:38 PM
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Atrios is an excellent writer, one of the best of the A-list.

Claiming that he doesn't write much of substance is just a straight up lie. He writes more than most people, and and he's nearly always smart and insightsful.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 3:59 PM
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Say what? You get more substance, more insight from a week of Atrios posts than two months of TPM.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:05 PM
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I have to say, I used to find Atrios a bit tiresome, but I've really come around over the last year or two-- he's both insightful and correct about his main issues. Master prose stylist he isn't, but whatevs.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:10 PM
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94, 94: Don't drink and post, son. It never ends happily.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:11 PM
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He is too a master prose stylist.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:12 PM
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Did you know that when Duncan Black was born, he walked seven steps forward and at each step a lotus flower appeared on the ground?


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:15 PM
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Claiming that he doesn't write much of substance is just a straight up lie.

Weman, I've got nothing against him, but scan the front page right now. The average number of original words per post can't be more than 20.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:16 PM
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i like the guy. i wish he'd write more. his prose is so-so.
but one thing you've got to give him: he has actually launched and popularized a couple of killer memes and catch-phrases.
not easy to do. and worth a whole lakoff of theories about how to.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:18 PM
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don't know if he coined them, but "very serious people" and "friedman unit" have both been useful.

so maybe he only amplifies. a working noise machine needs amplifiers, and the left needs a working noise machine.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:23 PM
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I guess I wandered into the wrong room. I was looking for the "political blggers" room, but I seem to have found the litcrit room. I prefer Sir Thomas Browne.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:23 PM
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the urn burial guy?
wanker of the day, man.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:29 PM
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Atrios's anti-wanker crusade rankles my ass. Alcoholic wanker-Americans are the last minority it's OK to abuse.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:40 PM
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1 is pretty broad. Who are "'em"? I'd put some of the tpm stuff on social security and the attorney scandal in the category of stuff that (probably) mattered to more than other bloggers.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 4:46 PM
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I'll never understand kumbaya liberals.

Mr. B. today, after getting back from Obama canvassing (or whatever the fuck he was doing): "God, I HATE Democrats. Especially California Democrats. They're so fucking afraid to just tell people what to do. Stop trying to make everyone happy! We're trying to get someone elected here! Tell people where to go and when to be there already!"

You can see why he married me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 5:04 PM
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yeah, it's one of my leading worries about obama.
he's too ready to return to the kumbaya days, before justice has been done.
letting by-gones be by-gones would be really premature.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 5:37 PM
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wanker of the day, man.

Thomas Browne is the shit, asshole.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:04 PM
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Oh, it's not Obama. It's the local organizing people.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:07 PM
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92: Thank you! For some reason, I'd been thinking about that post recently, and now I can bookmark it.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:16 PM
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94: He writes more than most people,

He used to. His output has declined steadily since '04, which may mean that he has a life; good for him. Anyway he's more than earned a reservoir of goodwill. How Labs is just coming around to him in the last year or two I have no idea.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:17 PM
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110: Obama is a problem, too, for the reason kid b says. Edwards, while better than Obama, also isn't confrontational enough for my taste.

The people who are running this country don't merely need to be turned out of office. They need to be put in jail. And somebody in the presidential race should be saying so.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 6:22 PM
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The liberal blogosphere had sorted itself out, functionally and hierarchally. Certain blogs specialize in certain things. Atrios is great at what he does; he's found a specific niche. Same for Kos, Firedoglake, Josh M. M., Digby, Aravoisis, and so on.

I was a player, more or less (or almost), in 2002 and 2003 during the amateurish phase, but I didn't find a niche and couldn't produce consistent product. It was fun being part of the explosion and watching things develop.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:01 PM
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The people who are running this country don't merely need to be turned out of office. They need to be put in jail. And somebody in the presidential race should be saying so.

Is there any scientific or even pseudo-scientific evidence that this would win a plurality, much less a majority, of votes?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:25 PM
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Is there any scientific or even pseudo-scientific evidence that this would win a plurality, much less a majority, of votes?

No. I don't see how that's relevant to my point, though.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:40 PM
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115. Same old shit. For democrats the next election is always everything.

Flippanter may not even be a Democrat, IIRC, but the point is the same. Every policy issue is reduced to an elections strategy. That's what they get for hiring Ivy Pol Sci majors, I gues..


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:42 PM
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Every policy issue is reduced to an elections strategy.

Isn't that the sort of strategy that has given us seven years of Caligula 2000 and none of Tennessee Valley Authority-brand Dutch elm disease?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:46 PM
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So long as B's shilling: Vote for me! I never win pointless awards!


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 7:54 PM
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Also, vote for Majikthise if only to vote against Insty.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 8:00 PM
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Unsurprisingly, I agree with Labs' 96. For a while I was really annoyed by Atrios and thought he skirted the edge of dishonesty with some of his posts, but I think in the last year, maybe year and half, he's combined his typically very good judgment and prescience with a method of propagating memes, and I happily check his site a few times a day. I don't care if he writes anything; that's not his function.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 10:45 PM
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The Non-author Function.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11- 3-07 11:17 PM
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120: Hell, I'll bot that just to vote against that chingacabra Rey/nolds.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:41 AM
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popularized a couple of killer memes and catch-phrases. not easy to do. and worth a whole lakoff of theories about how to.

Hey, Chip Heath's Made to Stick is a good place to start for this.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 4:48 AM
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109--
ben, dear, reading this after your 54 makes me think you are trying to irritate me by dipping my pig-tails into the inkwell.
this was very charming when tom was trying to get becky's attention, but i'd rather that you express your affection in some other way.
asshole.
now--if you're just having a bad day, then we can drop this and go back to ignoring each other.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:34 AM
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61: Snarkout's friend Skot is very funny and good.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:42 AM
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There's a non-trivial constituency for 'uniter not a divider' and I haven't seen anything to indicate that Obama's steps in this direction are other than a manifestation of his personality. And it's one of the more powerful themes for any of the men who would be annointed the Anti-Hillary.

It's conventional wisdom that elections are about the future not the past -- but of course they are related. Still, I can see why neither Obama nor Edwards would choose to have their campaigns become a quest to put Cheney behind bars, rather than a crusade on behalf of their particular respective agendas. It's not just the electoral risk, or cowardice, but a genuine issue of the candidate's motivation for running for office.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:45 AM
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It's just an inefficiency of the way the system actually works. Effectively, no left-of-center that can't get 51% approval can even be spoken in the public sphere. For example, according to this poll 50%+ of the population thinks impeachment proceedings to begin against Cheney, but you don't hear about it all on TV. (That seems high even to me, and I know nothing about the polling organization. Most of the big-name pollers won't touch the question, in sharp contrast to their behavior under Clinton)

During the Clinton era there was a constant storm of impeachment demands for infinitely lesser offenses, and impeachment proceeded even when Clinton had 60%+ support.

And you'll also hear "The Clinton impeachment was wrong, and we shouldn't make that mistake again", which is just nauseating since it's often said by people who supported the Clinton impeachment.

Knowing he shape of the playing field, you can't completely blame the Democrats. But too often people slip into assuming that the problem is that it's too extreme for the voters, when it's the media and the political structure preventing it (e.g. the gerrymandered Senate).

This is why I get so surly when someone criticizes Michael Moore or Keith Olberman or Air America or Atrios or Kos or anyone else who's getting the word out there. The center-right media monopoly has to be broken.

And the Democrats utterly fail to raise issues and keep them in the public mind. Message development and propagation should be regarded as a necessity, but it's neglected. And I think that this is in large part because a big chunk of Democrats are committed centrists and hawks who see it as their job to keep the Democrats under control (I'm thinking of Sen. Feinstein) and another big chunk are just careerists with no principles and no goals except re-election. (And this goes in spades for the big Democratic donors).



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:03 AM
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73 ...but, but Iran!! Iran, Iran, Iran!!! This Pakistan stuff is one of those test cases for the media and the Liebercrats - it will certainly temporarily shift the focus - but I am guessing that they will all be talking about Iran by Thanksgiving. 'Cuz you know Pakistan has had nukes for years and they haven't shot one at us yet ... but for Iran you just don't know.

Look for Michael Gordon articles and WaPo editorials saying "Yes, Pakistan, yada, yada, yada - but sources say Iran remains the real threat."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:30 AM
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Musharraf was forced to declare martial law because agents from Iran were destabilizing the country by poisoning the minds of the supreme court.

Ta-da!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:33 AM
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People should check out Openleft, I think it does a better job of mixing policy with political activism now than any other netroots-type site. The posts occasionally feature somewhat goofy philosophical musings, but they keep their eye on the ball.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:23 PM
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128 -- Not much to disagree with there; I still think it's more productive, though, to speak of individual Democrats' narratives, rather than of the failings of 'the Democrats.' Why isn't Sen. Clinton pushing for impeachment? Because it totally diverts her 'I'm not too shrill to be elected' line, and would look even more dynastic than her candidacy already is. Why isn't Obama? Because he's the kumbaya candidate. Why isn't Edwards? Because he doesn't want to seem like he's pandering to the Left, what with his leftish talk about the poor and downtrodden. These people have selected themselves for candidacy. It's not 'the Democrats' fault that the people who've stepped up all have serious barriers to raising these issues. It's also not obviously cowardice.

I don't know DiFi well enough to know what motivates her. I'm not sure, though, that she's very far from the mainstream of a polity that replaced Gray Davis with Arnold. And elected Pete Wilson.

Funders also act individually. Saban for example, has a pretty different set of priorities than I do. And different from Soros.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:40 PM
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That said, I'm going to go find some rum to drink. And I'll pick you up a bottle of Cruzan from the duty free shop, Emerson, unless you have an objection to rum.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 1:43 PM
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Nobody's nominated the fafblog trolley post (it shocked me to learn how much of that stuff is taken from actual seriously-intended thought experiments), and I've reccomended this hitherby dragons reflection on torture elsewhere, though i think this is still my favorite hitherby.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 8:10 AM
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