Monday, 01 February 2010

And the Ann Althouse Award for Contentless Blogging goes to ... ... Ann Althouse!It seems to me that the President is the victim of his own ideas about how to do things differently. If he had graciously accepted the inheritance left by George Bush, he wouldn't have had either of these problems. He squandered an inheritance that he failed to value! Bush—despite his reputation for simplicity—did understand the complexity of the problem, and he had a solution. There was stability. After posturing about "change" in his political campaign, Barack Obama seemed to think that he could apply the immense power he had won to changing things in the real world.Shorter? The President suffers from the delusion that he wants to do things differently. If he had just wanted to continue doing what Bush had done, he wouldn't have wanted to do things differently. Bush understood that stuff is hard, and he solved different hard stuff the same way every time. Obama said he wanted to solve different hard stuff differently during the election, and once he won it, he suckered himself into believing that he could wield the power he won to solve hard stuff his own way.Second-order shorter: It seems to me that Ann Althouse often writes about ideas she does not have. If she had ideas, she would write about them instead of the having of them, but because she only writes about the having of them, no one ever knows what they are. Her posts are like pictures of laptops idling on tables at which no one works: ideas could potentially be communicated through them, but for now they deliver no actual content, only the low hum of pointlessly cycling hard drives. Warning: Because her name has appeared three times in this post, she will, of course, show up in the comments and claim that her vacuousness is actually a vortex into which someone has been sucked. (Someone should alert her to the definition of "vacuum" that doesn't involve suction.)
BREAKING NEWS: Two people who serve the same masters had a nice lunch. Glenn Reynolds tosses a 70 m.p.h. heater down the heart of the plate: EVERYONE COMES TO KNOXVILLE SOONER OR LATER: Had a nice lunch with Jonah Goldberg, who’s speaking here at the University tonight. If you’re in Knoxville, you should check him out. Interestingly, it was the first time we’ve actually met. What, exactly, is interesting about the fact that this lunch happened? Is it that it's the first time these two water-carriers for conservative excess ever carried water in the same room at the same time? What's interesting about two people who live thousands of miles apart never having dined together? As a rule, nothing that can be true of any one person and any of the millions of people who live nowhere near him or her qualifies as interesting. You want interesting? I once punched Spencer Ackerman in the gut as hard as I could. Such acts of gratuitous blogger-on-blogger violence are inherently interesting. But lunch? Does Reynolds assume that his readers think all like-minded internet ideologues regularly assemble around some second-rate Algonquin Round Table, so that each might praise the other for having reached the same tendentious conclusion? (The pair do possess two of Dorothy Parker's three requirements in a man: "He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid.") Don't let the uniformity of their independently conceived opinions fool you: they receive the same talking points and are intellectually lazy in the same way. They don't need to collaborate to draw identically idiotic conclusions. Perhaps the fact that they dined together is supposed to be interesting, what with the Singularity being so near and all that most people assume Reynolds no longer needs to feed his meat in order to "Huh," "Indeed" and "UPDATE." (If they had any sense, his readers would assume he's long since transferred responsibility for posting on Instapundit to a tourettic algorithm that trawls the internet for perfunctory contrarianism, second-rate science fiction novels and pictures of cars. Do you know how easy it is to post like Glenn Reynolds? I do. I made a whole day of it. It was not a good day.) Maybe the niceness of the lunch is what made it interesting? Lunch with Reynolds or Goldberg would not be "nice" if I had to attend it—my Southern sense of politeness would render me mute—but those two likely yukked it up about who'd be first against the wall when they're made king. I'm at a loss. I have no idea what could possibly have been interesting about the fact that these sad little men shared a table and a meal.

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