Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Glenn Reynolds to Strangle Mullahs, Scientists with Own Hands; Amanda Marcotte and Readers of Pandagon Said to be Furious Remember what you just read on that other blog? No? Today's your lucky day! I'm writing about it too. You see, there's just too much original content out there: too many people pushing this twee genre beyond the break; too many distinctive voices finding nooks and exposing crannies; too many sharp minds seeing past blogger bombast to something, I don't know, important. It is therefore imperative, I say, imperative that we all write about the same thing, and soon, lest we force our outrage to span the course of minutes. So let's talk about Pandagon. It's a blog, written by some bloggers, one of whom committed political suicide then joined the campaign of some Democratic contender. Maybe I'm alone in this (I'm not), but as a sometime observer of American politics, I can say with certainty that openly criticizing religion leads nowhere people with money want to follow. Simple as that. Unfortunate? Obviously. True? Don't you people watch television? Or read books? Elections work by smear and smarm, smear and smarm. (And the not infrequent toadying of minions.) Senators have a difficult time getting elected because they have to run on a record—why would a blogger be any different? Not in the electing, mind you, but in the having-of-a-record. Records are bad. They brim over with delicious ambiguities any toddler who's seen Headline News knows will sink a campaign. And yet. Everywhere I see nothing but outrage (OUTRAGE!) over the entirely predictable firing-cum-resignation of Marcotte. Now there's this statement by Glenn Reynolds, who is important. Why? Because. Everybody says so. So he is. Today he said he would like to see the government of these United States assassinate scientists and religious leaders in countries which begin with "I" and end with awesome verbs. ("I ran"? What are you, stupid? Everyone knows "I rock!") To which I can only point to the proverbial prevailing winds and, well, gesture vigorously, since winds are notoriously sketchy in the whole seeing-with-eyes department. I remember reading about winds in Herodotus, or maybe The English Patient, but who cares? I'm angry. At the wind. Because it's sketchy, and I'm a political blogger. I see sketchiness everywhere. The fact that it ain't all that sketchy—that it proclaims, with streamers, balloons, ticker-tape and trained baboons—this matters not to me. I want to know who hired that baboon ... if those streamers were manufactured by people making a living wage ... whether that ticker-tape is twice or thrice recycled. These details influence how I'll manifest my obligatory outrage. "Did that baboon earn a living wage?" will hound me all through the night. Visions of baboons whoring themselves on the streets of some Third World country will plague my dreams. I awake with a fleeting commitment to animal rights, or the plight of sex workers, or something, and then I drink some coffee, have a smoke and light off for work. My outrage is portable. Portable? I meant potable. As in ... FILE UNDER: Imitation of Life (Sadly), Faux-Histrionics, Monkeys...

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