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Is the Obama Presidency a Bellwether of American Ingenuity on Its Deathbed?

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So much has already been made of President Obama’s lack of substance.  It has been suggested by conservative writers that he is everything from an empty suit to an emperor with no clothes.  Perhaps he is just a man who has been told his entire life that he was special without ever being made to prove it.  If the latter is true, the conspicuous lack of detail in his agenda stems from necessity; he carefully avoids scrutiny, like the Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain.  But the problems facing the United States are more substantial than simply finding a way back home to Kansas; solving them requires more than pyrotechnics and smooth baritone oratory. 

The common thread between President Obama and the causes of the American predicament is a shortage of new ideas; thus we are forced to resolve a dilemma.  Despite his liberal use of the word "change," the itinerary for Obama’s plan to change America was never unfolded for our inspection and approval and yet, voters pulled the lever.  How can we expect a majority of Americans to participate in the process of innovating when the bulk of us voted for change by proxy and without form?  How is the nation expected to redefine its place in the world when it has chosen a leader who does not have the will to define himself?

For his part, Obama may be remembered as the politician who is to American politics what Andy Warhol was to American culture — a borrower of iconic ideas and imagery, but in truth, a creator of nothing truly original; a manufacturer only of symbols.  He weaves elements of Kennedy, Reagan and both Roosevelts’ characters into the fabric of his persona, with the effect of buying unearned merit badges and stitching them onto his Boy Scout sash.  The success of his campaign, with its emphasis on an unspecific black box of genius plans, shows just how restless the electorate has become.  Were Obama to have run against a candidate with even a modest amount of inspiration, one who could communicate a clear vision for the future, we would have had to wait at least four more years to experience the catharsis of swearing in our first African-American president. 

The failure of the populace to demand more debate, more discussion, more specifics, may be the canary in the American coalmine; evidence that the marketplace of ideas is no longer functioning as needed.  If so, there are huge implications for our future, implications not confined to the intangible realm of philosophical and political debate.  Has the engine driving American prosperity for centuries, our uniquely voracious appetite for new ideas and inventions, slowed or stopped?  Patents (both applications and issuances) and copyright registrations have been flat for nearly a decade.  President Bush’s call for a national effort to land a manned mission on Mars met with the equivalent of dismissive laughter; the plans have foundered from lack of congressional support, stemming naturally from public apathy.

In our culture, popular entertainment is certainly a useful barometer of the public appetite for creativity, and we would have to conclude that the public does not have much of an appetite for new things.  Television schedules choke on a glut of “reality” programming, each show as unique as Tweedledum from Tweedledee.  For viewers who do not favor that sort of thing, hack through the strangling bramble of the CSI and Law & Order franchises, which soak up precious dollars that would otherwise be available to foster some diversity.  Even in movies and live theater, the norm is to stick with known properties and avoid taking any risks.

The free market has always operated best in an environment that teems with new ideas.  Contrary to the flawed notion that free markets abhor risk, just as in nature a forest grows taller and stronger when its hide is tested by wildfire, so competition is the policing agent that enforces businesses and individuals to be mindful of efficiency.  Corporations, as units, may try to avoid risk through regulatory lobbying and other legal means, but they do so at their own eventual and inevitable peril.  It is by embracing the delicate interplay that occurs in a free society that the ways out of our current mess will be identified most quickly.

What Obama can do to spur a creative renaissance in America is find new ways to remove the challenges that face innovative Americans.  Stripping away most of the steeplechase of red tape and providing reasonable protections against frivolous litigation would do ninety percent of the blasting work to dislodge the impediments to economic and cultural growth.  He should also resist all temptations and encouragement to demand more of the fruits of American ingenuity, perhaps even overhaul a federal tax system that now closely resembles the relationship between feudal lords and tenant farmers in ages past and places distant.

For our part, when our temptation might be to ask Obama to do more to encourage innovation, we must remind ourselves that the question would wrongly assume that we need a moderator.  Unless we are on the cusp of converting to a centrally planned economy, there is no conceivable reason for the president or the government to be involved in the creative side of public life as anything more than a referee or an observer.  More importantly, although Obama’s talk is strong about supporting a broad conversation in which no ideas will be considered off-limits, he has not demonstrated that he has anything to bring to the discussion.  Nor has he given much indication that he will, in practice, support such a discourse if he is not in control of the outcome. 

We the People do not need the permission of our president to conduct this discussion; we do not need a stamp of approval to begin to change things.  We simply need to start talking.

Politicians like President Obama will always be lining up to offer near-sighted solutions wrapped in shiny packages and decorated with false promises.  As a nation, in terms of human age, we are in the phase of adulthood, and as such we can begin to make choices based not on cravings, but on need.  Americans need to reclaim their heritage as creators and demand that our leaders – even The One – step aside and let the nation begin working again.

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About Bryan Myrick

  • Clavos

    Obama was helped enormously in his campaign by the frenzy of adulation propagated by the media.

    Now that he is residing at 1600 Pennsylvania, we can only hope that (with apologies to Gertrude Stein) there is some there, there.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Bryan –

    More importantly, although Obama’s talk is strong about supporting a broad conversation in which no ideas will be considered off-limits, he has not demonstrated that he has anything to bring to the discussion.

    In last month’s Popular Science was a comment by the editor. He noted that he was listening to a conversation where Obama brought up the reworking of our national power grid…which, according to the editor, is one of the most important things we can do for our country’s infrastructure – the one we presently have is very inefficient. He also noted that Obama’s the only political candidate of any party that has said such a thing, and summarized his editorial by effectively saying that it will be nice to have a president who has a clue about science and innovation.

    Which sorta obviates the error of the theme of your article.

    Apparently you would have preferred to have a president who didn’t use the internet and didn’t care to learn how to use it…and a vice president who didn’t know that Africa was a continent, and didn’t know what countries are in North America.

  • zingzing

    “For his part, Obama may be remembered as the politician who is to American politics what Andy Warhol was to American culture — a borrower of iconic ideas and imagery, but in truth, a creator of nothing truly original; a manufacturer only of symbols.”

    ahh, but warhol was more than that. he manipulated common images to comment on them and to expand their meanings. he also had his fingers in multiple cultural pies–film, music, visual art, the social scene, fashion, journalism–and manipulated them all, becoming the pop puppet master of his time. culture bent its ear to his mouth whenever he so desired, and he drove it to and from wherever he wanted to.

    he did create something original: himself, and in controlling everything else to the degree that he did, he created a certain section of american culture. it’s the symbols that were unoriginal. what he did with them was totally original.

    so you’ve got it all backwards. obama may be manipulating the images of older politicians, but he’s doing so in, as you must admit, a masterful way. maybe he does embody all those different philosophies and ideas. maybe he is all good things to all people. isn’t that what a politician is supposed to be/do?

    we’ve yet to see what he really will become. that’s why we have the traditional 100 day honeymoon. he’s already reversing a couple of different bush-era mistakes. we’ll see what else he has up his sleeve.

    as for technology and innovation, i hope he does push the idea of american ingenuity. i hope he gives money to science and other forms of exploration. i hope by this time next year, we’re funding massive amounts of stem cell research. i hope we figure out a way to truly compete with chinese manufacturing.

    he certainly doesn’t need to just step back and watch america work. he needs to push it forward. that’s what presidents do.

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Glenn,

    Shortly after taking office in 2001, President Bush commissioned the Vice President to study the state of the nation’s energy system. The report that was produced called for (among other things) a need to modernize the nation’s energy grid. This is a matter of public record.

    Even editors of highly circulated magazines can get their facts wrong when blinded by the President Obama’s “genius.”

    Your comment about my desire for a tech-dumb president is an odd swipe that doesn’t really have anything to do with my piece, but I would challenge you to subject Joe Biden to a pop quiz on modern technology. He might do well on a geoggraphy test. His years in the Senate he has been on enough taxpayer-funded junkets to fill his world map with little red pins.

  • Baronius

    Good article. Very interesting Warhol comparison. Like Clavos, I hope for the best. The fact that Obama phoned it in doesn’t mean that he has no substance, only that the election was easily winnable.

    Bryan, what do you think is the cause of this lack of creativity? I suspect the decline in American education, or the equating of education with ability.

  • zingzing

    bryan: “Shortly after taking office in 2001, President Bush commissioned the Vice President to study the state of the nation’s energy system.”

    and then they did nothing about it? ahh, the bush administration… such is life. twice.

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Baronius,

    I am going to leave the causes of the brain drain to another piece. I don’t think I could hold readers attention through a 2,500-word article. I think it has to be examined to what degree our education system is causal. In many ways, I think societies that value creativity quite simply make a choice to embrace it in all forms.

  • Cindy D

    What “free market”?

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    zing – The Bush administration certainly DID do something about it – Cheney held ONE meeting with energy conservationists…and then held something like FORTY meetings with Big Oil execs – and declared all the transcripts of those meetings ‘classified’.

    Bryan – Bush commissioned the report…but he did NOT determine its content. He had little to do with the compilation of the report, and I strongly doubt he really followed up on any constructive measures to conserve energy…unless there was a suggestion that said, “Drill, baby, drill!” Maybe he did follow up on some suggestions for energy conservation…I haven’t seen any proof of such, but of course I could be wrong.

    And I see the old conservative presumption – “If an editor said something nice about Obama, well, you know how even editors get things wrong sometimes.” WHO is more conversant with science both domestically and internationally – you? Or the editor? WHO has a greater stake in having a scientifically-conversant president – you? Or the editor?

    I do so wish that y’all would start checking facts before making your assumptions….

  • Cindy D

    Ayn Rand, she was almost as smart as L.Ron Hubbard, wasn’t she?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Aside from Warhol, you appear to miss the mark on television as well. Television offers plenty of creative shows like Lost, 24, The Office, and if you look at cable, the options are much more plentiful. If all you can find is reality and CSI, you aren’t really looking. You make some good points, but give the reader pause due to some inaccurate opinions.

  • Clavos

    From Merriam-Webster Online:

    Main Entry:
    ob·vi·ate
    Function:
    transitive verb
    Inflected Form(s):
    ob·vi·at·ed; ob·vi·at·ing
    Etymology:
    Late Latin obviatus, past participle of obviare to meet, withstand, from Latin obviam
    Date:
    1598

    : to anticipate and prevent (as a situation) or make unnecessary (as an action)

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Glenn,

    Maybe you missed it, but my piece wasn’t about energy policy and I never misrepresented any facts. Your comment stated that my premise was flawed because an editor stated, in your words, “He also noted that Obama’s the only political candidate of any party that has said such a thing” [alluding to the need for overhauling the power grid]. The editor’s statement is wrong. The reports findings were converted into policy directives that never went anywhere because the energy industry itself was resistant to making investments to upgrade their proprietary networks and when the Democrats took over control of Congress all attempts to clear regulatory hurdles were stiff-armed.

    I’m not questioning the editor’s science or challenging the notion that the grid needs to be improved. You’re way off base with your comments. The thrust of your point was to bring up one small item, and use it to demonstrate that a man saw some evidence of creative thinking in Obama because he talked about the need to fix the grid. The editor was wrong in saying that Obama was the only one to talk about the need for it.

    From a speech delivered by President Bush on June 15, 2005 to the 16th Annual Energy Effiency Forum:

    We must also harness the power of technology to help us deliver electricity more efficiently. For example, the Department of Energy is funding research and development of super-conducting power lines. It’s important research because it will enable us to more efficiently move electricity. Really what we need to do is bring our electricity grid into the 21st century. Congress should make reliability standards for electric utilities mandatory — not optional. We have modern interstate grids for our phone lines and highways. It’s time for this country to build a modern electricity grid so we can protect American families and businesses from damaging power outages.

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    El Bicho,

    You make some good points, but give the reader pause due to some inaccurate opinions.

    Opinions, by definition, are neither acccurate or inaccurate.

    My opinion is that television, while an efficient means of communicating messages, represents a vapid, valueless wasteland that provides an illusion of societal involvement to millions of people in the United States. That doesn’t mean that everything on television is unoriginal, and I didn’t argue that was the case. It just means that an apple tree growing in the desert does not an orchard make.

  • Cindy D

    That would be “neither/nor”.

  • Cindy D

    (hopes Clav isn’t in some sort of grammar union)

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    That would be “neither/nor”.

    You have to be kidding.

  • Cindy D

    I could be. What is the “free market”?

  • Cindy D

    I wasn’t kidding about that.

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Cindy D,

    I could be. What is the “free market”?

    You’re going to have to be more specific. Are asking the question in a sarcastic rhetorical tone? Or do you really not know what is meant when people refer to the free market?

  • Cindy D

    Bryan,

    I was asking what you mean when you say “free market” in your article.

  • Mark Eden

    I left my free market with my ruby slippers.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos – thank you. I really do appreciate the correction. (note to self – learn English!)

    Bryan – I think I can safely say that was written for Bush by his energy secretary…and I notice that the FIRST time the second-generation power grid came up was back in 2001. Has ANY progress been made on it? Perhaps there has been, but the comments of the Popular Science editor would make it seem that such is not the case.

    So if there’s been NO progress made since they knew about it back in ’01…then someone was talking the talk (at least to your satisfaction), but they were not walking the walk.

    Sorta like – “bin Laden, dead or alive”
    and – “I’ll fire anybody in my administration who leaked info about Valerie Plame”
    Oh, and “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended” (under the banner ‘Mission Accomplished’ (on MY ship, dammit!)).

    But I could be wrong about Bush – I might just be misunderestimating him….

    P.S. Next time y’all nominate a Republican for president, will you please, PLEASE make sure it’s someone who has a clue?

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    The free market is a term commonly used to describe an economic system in goods, services capital and labor are freely exchanged, meaning business and consumers make their own decisions about how to conduct commerce, not a central authority as would exist in a socialist or communist system. Prices are determined by forces of supply and demand.

    Does that help?

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Glenn,

    My brother was on the Lincoln on that cruise as well, caught the third wire with his Viking every day, even when the dust storms were blowing out into the Gulf and taking visibility down to almost nil. His sqaudron commander had the stick in the Viking that President Bush flew in on (yes, the reports of him actually taking the stick are true) and neither him nor my brother took away the same animosity about the war effort that you seem to have. So I guess these things aren’t universal; they’re just opinion.

    You’re losing significant ground in fencing with me on these small points, and you keep shifting to one side or another whenever I respond. I am just going to leave it this way…

    If President Obama’s term in office will be judged by his supporters only in terms of whether he does better than President Bush (by your estimation), and you feel that Bush was an abject failure, aren’t you setting the bar a little low?

  • Brunelleschi

    Bryan-

    The free market is dead.

    Obama didn’t do it. It self destructed, Now go back to school and learn something this time!

    I agree he will be more image than substance, but that should make most of his critics happy. Would you rather have a divisive a-hole that plays up differences?

    Why in the world would any real American whine about a president that people actually like for a CHANGE.

    The change already happened. It’s enough to make an atheist say “God bless Obama.”

  • Cindy D

    Bryan,

    So the U.S. operates under a free market?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    On reading his obituary, Mark Twain sent a telegram from London saying, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

    Although there have been many efforts to bury the free market, it is not yet dead, nor is it merely living on life support. Given half a chance, it might survive for a while.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Brunelleschi,

    Yet another simplified commentary on how the free market failed. The free market isn’t risk-free – it’s just free to make its own mistakes and learn from them. If the government wouldn’t keep stepping in and trying to “save” the market from itself we will be able to find the equilibrium – not allowing that to happen is what gets us into this mess every time.

    I don’t expect to change your mind. I just wouldn’t want the celebration of the death of free markets to go without a response.

  • Cindy D

    Bryan,

    Your definition seems to be missing a few key points. Something about being free from government subsidy, if I recall.

    Isn’t a free market supposed to be free from regulation that favors it too?

  • Cindy D

    Isn’t a free market supposed to avoid things like monopolies?

  • Brunelleschi

    Bryan-

    Yes or no question-

    Would you roll the clock back 2 months and take the $700B back, and let the banks and economy collapse, and be satisfied that your sophomoric thinking is more important than preventing a worse depression?

    ‘The economy is choking.’
    ‘Don’t touch the economy.”
    ‘America just died, its over.’
    ‘Well, at least we didn’t touch it! I’m happy!’

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    It’s very odd, Bryan. You start with the premise as to Obama’s lack of substance – argued not just by the Republicans, by the way, but even some Democrats, (including myself) during the heat of the primaries, and then the general elections, mind you – and already accept it as a given.

    And then, going into the second, or third (I may be wrong, of course) day of his presidency, you’re already writing Mr. Obama’s obituary.

    Then you bemoan the way he had sailed (no, not through Hillary but) the Republican candidate into a commanding win – and blame it on 1) uneducated electorate; and 2) no viable opposition candidate to challenge the pretender and show him for the empty suit that he is.

    Has it ever occur to you, Bryan, that one of the reasons why Mr. Obama had won the White House in 2008 (along with a great many other candidates on the Democratic ticket who would have done likewise, and regardless of their qualifications)was mainly because of the departed president which had occupied it for the past eight years? The country was tired of him, lets face it.

    I’m not even trying to get into your convoluted attempt trying to account for Mr. Obama’s qualities or lack thereof: comparisons to Andy Warhol, melanges of Kennedy, Roosevelt, and what else have you, because it’s all useless. What you’re saying may look good on paper and appear clever and wise, but it’s way to premature to make any such appraisal of any person, whether you like them or dislike them, before they even start. And for you even to presume to be able to define the man so accurately, way ahead of the historians or the passage of time, is so outrageous to my sensibility that I can do no other but to dismiss you outright. Forgive me.

    To tell the truth, Bryan, it’s been a long time since I’ve had the displeasure to be exposed to such flawed, blatantly prejudicial, and worthless article, which you’re trying to couch of course in the dress of sophistication, literacy, and wit.

    RN

    PS: I certainly hope that your next article on BC will be more readable.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger,

    I, on the other hand, found the article quite readable. Do you think that perhaps our differing perceptions of reality, life, the universe and everything color our views on such matters? Or, beyond readability, whether an article is flawed, blatantly prejudicial, and worthless . . . .?

    The answer, of course, is “42.”

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    Bryan,

    You’re a big boy, and as such don’t need advice from me, but don’t let the general tenor of this thread discourage you; as you hang around BC and get familiar with its denizens, you’ll quickly be able to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    It’s a very good, well thought out and well-written article.

    Welcome to the dog fights.

  • Cindy D

    A proud member of the chaff!

  • Cindy D

    I hope you hang around Bryan. Dave Nalle gets bored answering my questions.

    Now repeat three times:

    “There’s no place like the free market.”

    (I think Mark still has the slippers.)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy D,

    “There’s no place like the free market.” I can’t agree with that too much!

    Dan(Miller)

  • Cindy D

    And I agree Dan(Miller).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Dan,

    Let me address your “perception” argument first by borrowing a quote from Mr. Nally on the other thread:

    Spare me the “perception is everything” argument. If perception is wrong, then people should all work together to change it.”

    I realize it’s out of context, as it pertained to another discussion entirely, but I’m going to make it stick.

    My proposition is really simple. Just as a recourse to facts, factual matters, etcetera and etcetera, is not a way to fight or to defeat an argument which properly belongs in the moral sphere of discourse [I believe I tried to make this point earlier today on another thread], likewise, resorting to “perception” has limited usefulness and application. There are certain rules of deductive reasoning and logical thinking, for one thing, with respect to which “argument from perception” doesn’t apply at all. Having been a practicing attorney, I’m certain that you
    can appreciate my point.

    My critique of Bryan’s argument turns on one point (but it’s a point which he keeps on milking all the way through):

    UNSUBSTANTIATED PREMISE (from which the rest of the argument flowed)

    unsubstantiated, because none of us have sufficient personal knowledge to make definitive statements as to the content or substance of Mr. Obama’s character; anyone who’d attempt to do so at this early stage is either a fool or someone whose mind is already made up.

    Consequently, we’re not in the position (yet)to make the kind of characterizations which were made by Bryan of Mr. Obama – not just as a hypothetical (such as, that’s how I see him, or, I can’t help seeing him any other way but that)but rather as if Mr. Obama’s story had already been told. (That’s what I meant, by the way, when I spoke of “writing Mr. Obama’s obituary.”)

    I’d like to refer you to one of the passages in Plutarch, attributed to Solon, where Solon was reputed to answer to one of the Persian monarchs that no history of a man’s life could be written until that person was dead. So in the very least, Bryan was just a bit too eager, or imprudent, whichever, to write Mr. Obama’s obituary at this early point, don’t you think so?

    As to “readability,” I may grant you it may be a matter of taste, if you insist. So in that respect, you may say if you like that I’ve merely expressed my preference. I have no problem with that.

    RN

  • Hope and Change?

    The world now sees first hand what a low life of administration we have elected…Within 24 hours he…

    1. Tells the world we are no longer about protecting US citizen and plans to close Gitmo

    2. In a middle of a financial crisis want to spend more money on killing unborn children

    President Barack Obama on Friday lifted restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad

    3. Takes om a radio talking head -limbaugh…gee Barry is an idiot, hes the most powerful man in the world and he wastes his time on bashing this nonesense

    4, Takes the side of the Arab terrorists and screws Israel and all of the US Jews who voted for him….*Ruvy how do you say buyers remorse in yiddish?)

    More proof that affirmative action and left wing policies dont work….

  • Cindy D

    He did all that in 24 hours?

    So, when do we get socialized medicine? Next Tuesday, I would think.

  • Brunelleschi

    Dang, look at all that cool stuff already.

    Maybe he IS the messiah….

  • Cindy D

    Bryan has given up on the denizens of inequity.

  • Hope and Change?

    Breaking news…Obama takes on Oppie and Anthony!

    As one his first acts as president King Barry stated…off a teleprompter..

    “Duhhh…these guys got to… er… um…stop…er…doin what they be doin!?

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Cindy D,

    No giving up; just dinner and the rest of life that exists outside the culture wars.

  • Hope and Change?

    Do you read the newspapers,watch the news or study history? King Barry wants to force Israel to open their borders to Gaza…do you remember the last time the borders were opened?

    Ruvy if you are there please educate the antisemite Jew haters in here what King Barry is doing collaborating with Jew Killers…

    Brunelleschi…I think I am on to your game….you are realy a conservative posting as a liberal to make them look more stupid and pathetic than they really are….pretty funny stuff!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Bryan, you perpetuate the myth of Obama as all style and no substance:

    “Despite his liberal use of the word “change,” the itinerary for Obama’s plan to change America was never unfolded for our inspection and approval”

    Obama’s platform was available on his website for all to see from day one. In fact, it’s still there.

    If you don’t bother to look, then no wonder you’re in the dark.

  • Clavos

    Bryan, you perpetuate the myth of Obama as all style and no substance

    Why do you characterize it as a “myth,” Doc?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    “Fiction”, then, if you prefer, Clav.

  • Clavos

    Why do you characterize it as fiction, Doc?

  • Hope and Change?

    Obama..looks like butter…taste like butter…ITS NOT F-ING BUTTER!! WOW less than 48 hours and it is obvious this guy is way over his head!!!

    I shall now make a prediction…King Barry will turn out to be one of the biggest embarasments the Democrats have ever had….yes…BIGGER than Jimmy Carter!!

    Conservatives—-hope and change is on the way!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Clav,

    All through the campaign we heard Republicans (and Hillary supporters) charging that Obama had charisma and talked a good speech but ‘had no policies’, as the most nonsensical version had it.

    As the document I linked to proves, Obama did and does have a masterplan for change – shit, it’s even called ‘Blueprint for Change’.

    You may not like it – but it exists.

    What sort of substance are you looking for in a politician, if not policies?

  • bliffle

    It’s the very advocates of Free Markets who are killing Free Markets by their insistence that the federal government copper their bets.

    Oscar Wilde said: “Each man kills the thing he loves…”

    We haven’t had a free market in some time. What we have is a Potemkin market, a sham created for publicity purposes, but controlled from behind the stage.

    Bryan is not very perceptive: his vision is obscured by his ideology.

  • Clavos

    Doc,

    At this stage of the game, I’m withholding judgment. Having policies is all well and good, but talk is cheap.

    I’m not saying he doesn’t have substance, only that so far, there’s been no real evidence; he hasn’t done anything yet, except talk. (And get elected; but hey, Bush got elected — twice).

    I’m certainly not swooning over him, as so many otherwise intelligent people seem to be doing; I’ve seen nothing deserving of adulation yet, and in the final analysis, he is just a politician, a group who rank below preachers and child molesters (but above yacht brokers) on my personal social scale.

  • Hope and Change?

    The Great James Brown – The King of Soul once said….

    “He talks a lot but dont say much”….

    Yes that is where King Barry is…if you read his ‘Blueprint for Change’…you will find that it is filled with the same old Democratic swill and really has no substance….

    H&C..really now…

  • Clavos
  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “The Great James Brown – The King of Soul once said, ‘He talks a lot but dont say much.”\

    That’s cool. H&C. When did James Brown meet you? (that’s for Jet)

  • zingzing

    clavos–you’re point is that you’re a nitpicking little bitch? whoever that author was had absolutely no point to make and he stretched it out far too long.

    “I’m not saying he doesn’t have substance, only that so far, there’s been no real evidence; he hasn’t done anything yet, except talk.”

    he got inaugurated on tuesday! by friday he had ordered the shut down of gitmo, set a time line for troop removal in iraq, banned lobbyists from giving gifts to executives, and improved hiring practices in the executive branch (unlike bush and his cronyism).

    how’s that? in three days? i’m sure he’s done more. so he has done more in 3 days than just talk, and since you read the papers, you already knew that. now give him 1457 more days and see what he can do.

    seriously.

  • Brunelleschi

    He put a nail in the Reaganism coffin already, so I don’t care if he takes the next 4 years off.

  • zingzing

    and before you go off on your grammar nazi tirade, clavos, i fully realize that i screwed up the first “your” in the comment. so don’t start. sheesh.

  • Cindy D

    Dan(Miller),

    I think you tricked me in #38.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy D,

    Gosh darn! That is a horrible accusation. I really can’t agree with you too much. Nor, I think, could have Senator Estes Kefauver, he of coonskin cap fame, to whom the phrase is attributable.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Mark Eden

    Parenthetical Dan – you claim that the free market is not ‘dead’ by which I guess that you mean that despite ‘distortions’ (monopoly, state regulation, etc) the market still performs some if not all of its essential functions. What are the basic features of the free market and the what about it is still working, iyo?

    Mark

  • Arch Conservative

    I don’t know Bryan……Barry picking someone to head up the IRS that doesn’t even pay his own taxes was pretty ingenuis.

  • Clavos

    you’re point is that you’re a nitpicking little bitch?

    PERSONAL ATTACK ALERT:

    Fuck off, shithead…

  • zingzing

    heh. that comment was about the author of the piece you linked to. see the question mark?

    i can attack him all i want.

    now get your panties out of your ass.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Technically, “fuck off, shithead” isn’t a personal attack, it’s just rude.

    Clavos, clear something up for me, you disdain politicians, entertainers, and the, what was it you said earlier, something about almost everybody in the USA? Who exactly in the USA do you like?

    zingzing, I’ll have a Tequila slammer please.

  • Clavos

    Maybe Obama will work out after all:

    According to an op-ed column by Frida Ghitis published in this morning’s The Miami Herald, Iranians have already burned him in effigy and Hugo Chavez has said he “has the stench” of Bush.

    Obviously, he’s doing something right…

  • Clavos

    Who exactly in the USA do you like?

    Hmm.

    I’ll have to get back to you on that one; nobody readily comes to mind.

  • zingzing

    yeah, clavos, i think if you had said “zingzing, you are a fuck off, shithead,” it would have worked better.

    chris: ” I’ll have a Tequila slammer please.”

    hmm? it’s only 11:30 here. can’t start serving drinks til noon. or i won’t, at least.

    clavos: “I’ll have to get back to you on that one; nobody readily comes to mind.”

    you like me! meee!

  • Clavos

    Ah, but zing, you are:

    1) Decidedly not an archetypal Gringo, and:

    2) The exception that proves the rule.

    XOXO

    Clav

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    “you are a fuck off, shithead” – are you sure you’ve not been drinking already, zing?

    And it is getting on for 5pm in England, so just slip that slammer in the time machine.

    Now I’m off to watch the United v Spurs cup tie, so please behave yourself for the next couple of hours you poltators.

  • zingzing

    chris: nope, no drinks for me. although you have put the idea in my head now. damn you (and united) to hell. but i will put that slammer into the time machine and send it into the not-too-distant fu-ture-ture-ture-ture…

    clavos: what about me isn’t archetypal? i’m as white as white can be. almost clear. and what is this rule you speak of?

  • Cindy D

    Note to self:

    Fuck off– okay.

    Fuck you, Go fuck yourself– not okay.

  • Cindy D

    unfuckingbelievable how i didn’t see that b4.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Mark,

    I have this thing about the antitrust laws, particularly the Sherman and Clayton Acts, and think that were they to be enforced significantly the free market would work far better. While they deal with behavior to a limited extent, they mainly look to structure. Structure should be easier to affect advantageously than behavior. I can’t reasonably claim that antitrust enforcement would certainly work, because it hasn’t been tried for quite some time. However, I think it would, and that it would be better than attempting to micromanage industry.

    Economies of scale are important up to a point, after which there are diminishing returns. At some further point, I think they confer excessive power over suppliers and others. At that point, I think they are counterproductive and that any social benefit is more than counterbalanced by the effects of monopoly or oligopoly power.

    So, yes I think the free market is there but is sick and that surgery would help.

    We see the free market in action quite often. Restaurants come and go because those who run them either provide good food and good service at acceptable prices or they don’t. The consumer has the final say. The same appears to be true of many other businesses. Unfortunately, businesses which get “to big for their britches” don’t often fail, and when they seem likely to fail the Government finds it necessary to bail them out because failure could have draconian social consequences. If they hadn’t become too big and powerful, such intervention would not be seen as necessary.

    As between micromanaging holders of powerful oligopoly power and cutting them down to size, I prefer cutting them down to size. Governmental micromanagement tends to tends to diminish whatever free market forces could otherwise be expected to work; cutting them down to size helps to make those forces more effective.

    (Parenthetical)Dan

  • Clavos

    what about me isn’t archetypal? i’m as white as white can be.

    “White” is no longer the archetype, zing. By 2042, according to the US Census Bureau, there won’t BE an archetype; we’ll be a nation of no majority, racially. No group will be as much as 50% of the population (except for the slackers, of course, but they cross racial lines).

    For starters, you’re erudite and a thinker (if somewhat of an unorthodox one).

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    [T]here won’t BE an archetype But will there still be Archebunker types? Gosh Darn! I hope so.

    Dan(Miller)

  • zingzing

    and a shithead!

    as for 2042, that’s still a long way off. i am the white american archetype! i am nearly mythical… and someday i will be, apparently.

    now, i am going to drink some tea with milk in it. sad thing is, i can’t remember completely, but i think i put salt in the water i boiled. tea with milk and salt!

    then i’m going to go be erudite. and think about shit. and head. oh, i am thinking about head…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger,

    Spare me the “perception is everything” argument. If perception is wrong, then people should all work together to change it.” How can you say that? Perhaps the “real world” does not in fact exist, and that it does is merely an erroneous perception. Perhaps our perceptions are more congenial than reality and having “everybody” work together to change them would cause all of us to go insane. Maybe if we weren’t crazy we would all go insane. Maybe we already have. Oh well and apologies to Jimmy Buffett.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    now, i am going to drink some tea with milk in it.

    VERY un-archetypal! Americans, by and large, don’t drink tea, they dump it. I rest my case, yer Honor…

  • Les Slater

    Why is anybody arguing with this fool. Anyone who identifies himself as having a B.A. in political science can’t be taken too seriously.

    The whole empty suit argument is patently simplistic, reactionary and with some, full of racist undertones.

    He is but a pale reflection of a bunch of reactionary talking heads that offer no solution, just a bogeyman to pounce on.

  • Clavos

    The whole empty suit argument is patently simplistic, reactionary and with some, full of racist undertones.

    Merde.

    Simplistic, maybe. But there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that. Reactionary has no meaning anymore; it’s just an old, worn out Communist epithet. Racist Undertones. I was waiting for that one to appear; talk about bellwethers! As others have suggested before, this will be the standard answer to every criticism of Barack.

    I repeat: merde.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Americans, by and large, don’t drink tea, they dump it.”

    where do you think it’s going when i’m through with it?

    and anyway, i’m only drinking tea because i already drank so much coffee that i’m shaking and my stomach feels like acid. welcome, tea! you’re going to have fun on your way to the murky waters…

  • zingzing

    and the tea is tetley! take that, you british redcoats!

    i’m seriously going to redub my toilet the boston harbor

  • Cindy D

    Les/Mark,

    This is an important book. (Interview with the authors.) I very much hope you read it.

    Wobblies and Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism and Radical History

  • Les Slater

    Clavos,

    The term ‘reactionary’ predates Marx. It was used during the French Revolution to refer to counter-revolutionaries who wanted to preserve Feudal relations, to return to the conditions of the monarchical Ancien Régime. It is quite proper, and fitting, in the current discussion.

    In the case of the popular talking heads of today, it’s their fear of the logic of the present, and dramatically deterioration economic crisis. They FEAR what that logic portends, nationalization.

    Racism? I have talked to many during and after the campaign. There were and are very concrete signs of racism. The Hillary/Bill campaign did not do too good of a job hiding it.

    Les

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dan, perhaps you should just comment under the name ‘Danama’.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    “[Racist undertones] will be the standard answer to every criticism of Barack.”

    I hate to say it, but this is true. Problem is, Republicans ENABLED such criticism by their failure to adapt to the changing electorate…and by little things like “Barack the Magic Negro” (hereafter BtMN).

    Yes, I’m beating that dead horse to death…but it ain’t dead yet! Here’s another swing! BtMN! And another! BtMN! And some more! BtMN! BtMN! BtMN!

    And I’ll continue swinging that particular club until every conservative here begins to realize that whatshisname – Saltsman, I think – royally screwed the Republicans by repopularizing the song…and Limbaugh screwed your party even more by popularizing it on his radio show, because even if Limbaugh doesn’t really speak for conservatives, many moderates (who might otherwise vote Republican) think he does.

    “BtMN! BtMN! BtMN! Gonna support political poison again? Yeah? Ain’t learned yet? BtMN! BtMN! BtMN! I still see you breathing, horse! You ain’t dead yet! BtMN! BtMN! BtMN!”

  • Clavos

    @#89:

    Good one, Doc!

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    zing, Clavos – will the two of you just kiss and make up? We’ve got more important matters to discuss than the two of you pounding each other with electronic love taps.

  • Clavos

    Les,

    The term ‘reactionary’ predates Marx.

    Irrelevant. It still has lost all meaning because of overuse by you Communists.

    They FEAR what that logic portends, nationalization.

    And with good reason. “Nationalized” industries rarely, if ever, are efficient or productive enough to satisfy demand. Historically, many also have been very corrupt, particularly in Communist states.

    There were and are very concrete signs of racism.

    Perhaps. Racism is, after all, part and parcel of the human condition. Nonetheless, it is a specious and diversionary tactic.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Doc, # 89

    I like that. It has a certain ring to it. I may alternate among that, (Parenthetical)Dan and Dan(Miller). Thanx and a tip o’ th hat ta ya.

    Danamá

  • zingzing

    oh, glenn. we already did make up. he called me “erudite” after he called me “shithead.” so i’m an erudite shithead. and that i can live with.

    clavos and i are like an old married couple. we curse each other. but it doesn’t mean anything. and we’d be sad if the other died.

    now if the nitpicking little bitch would just stop selling yachts and get me some of that fine miami cocaine, i might just sit in his lap and tell him i love him.

    of course, on the proper amount of coke, i’d probably tell bush i love him. shit, i might just do that for the proper amount of cash. say $50.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    A MEMO:

    TO CLAVOS, DAN (MILLER) ET AL, ALL THE APOLOGISTS AND NAYSAYERS WHO (RATHER THAN FINDING BRYAN’S ARTICLE LACKING) JUST LOVE IT!

    Consider the opening paragraph, and for your edification I’m reproducing it in full:

    “So much has already been made of President Obama’s lack of substance. It has been suggested by conservative writers that he is everything from an empty suit to an emperor with no clothes. Perhaps he is just a man who has been told his entire life that he was special without ever being made to prove it. If the latter is true, the conspicuous lack of detail in his agenda stems from necessity; he carefully avoids scrutiny, like the Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain. But the problems facing the United States are more substantial than simply finding a way back home to Kansas; solving them requires more than pyrotechnics and smooth baritone oratory.”

    For those of you who are naive or simple play naive (and I don’t know whether I should include any editors or potential editors in this illustrious group), I’m going to parse these sentences for your edification. Lest you didn’t know, we’re living in a dangerous world. Everyone’s vying for your attention these days and your allegiance. How do we know whom to trust? Who is a demagogue and who is simply a fool? We must be able to tell one from the other, don’t we, to tell the wheat from the chaff? They all come similarly dressed, like a wolf in the sheep’s clothing, so we had better beware.

    So gather round, children. This is the first lesson.

    (1) “So much has been made of Mr. Obama’s lack of substance.”

    A very clever start. It leaves the reader hanging, knowing not what comes next. Everyone’s expectations can still be met: those who’d like to believe the old wife’s tale and those who are open to reservations. The author could go either way.

    (2) “It has been suggested by conservative writers that he is everything from an empty suit to an emperor with no clothes.”

    Continuation of the original thought; a variation on the theme. The idea still lingers that “conservative writers” may have got it wrong.

    (A word of advice, Bryan. You should try to keep the suspense going. It works great in fictional literature, even in polemics when done cleverly and artfully. Leading the reader by the nose is a foolproof device which only heightens the climax. Unfortunately, you dispel all illusions all too quickly, for in the very next sentence you tell everybody where you’re at. Definitely, not enough foreplay! If I were you, I’d stretch it to a full paragraph. But don’t you worry, you’re not doing too bad. With practice you’ll get better.)

    (3) “Perhaps he is just a man who has been told his entire life that he was special without ever being made to prove it. If the latter is true, the conspicuous lack of detail in his agenda stems from necessity; he carefully avoids scrutiny, like the Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain.”

    Very clever imagery! The author is still hiding somewhat behind this illusive “perhaps,” reinforced by another illusive “if” at the start of the next sentence. Two simple words, so powerful in the work they can do (especially if one is feeble-minded or less critically attuned).

    But wait! A germ of an idea is planted in the readers mind like a serpent’s wile, almost subliminally, subtly. The word “necessity” does the dirty work. A hint of a suggestion, how clever, that Obama IS an empty suit, which would go a long way to explain “the conspicuous lack of detail” and “lack of substance.” It’s a smooth transition, shifting of gears, what have you.

    I tip my hat to you, Bryan. As I analyze the text, I’m beginning to see you’re much cleverer than I thought. Sorry for underestimating you.

    (4) “But the problems facing the United States are more substantial than simply finding a way back home to Kansas; solving them requires more than pyrotechnics and smooth baritone oratory.”

    At last, the suggestion in (3)acquires a force all its own. It may be more than a suggestion but a stark reality we had better be prepared to face, for the consequences are dire: indeed, we all agree that we need more than oratory.

    You’re still in good form, Bryan. You’re only alerting us, aren’t you, to the critical times we’re all facing, to the need for drastic measures, creative solutions, and novel ideas? It’s still an appeal, isn’t it, to Mr. Obama and the new administration to get real, a call to arms? It’s time to put behind such childish ideas as rhetoric and empty words and get down to business because our country’s future is at stake. Thus far, it’s a positive message, right on the dot, ringing with urgency, noble sentiments and patriotic fervor; and I couldn’t disagree. We must hold Mr. Obama responsible for the direction he’s going take the country for the next four or eight years.

    I was going to conclude my analysis here, but I realize I cannot. Consider the opening sentence of the third paragraph:

    “For his part, Obama may be remembered as the politician who is to American politics what Andy Warhol was to American culture — a borrower of iconic ideas and imagery, but in truth, a creator of nothing truly original; a manufacturer only of symbols.”

    Ah, the illusive “may” again. The use of the word indicates the author is still hedging. He expresses fear that such may end up to be the case, hoping of course that it won’t. And so, he’s still within the bounds of what might count as a “positive message,” expressing concern, making an appeal, all of the above.

    Good show, Bryan. Again, you’re better than I thought. Indeed, I’m going have to postpone my critique until your last sentence, for just prior to that, you say: “We the People do not need the permission of our president to conduct this discussion; we do not need a stamp of approval to begin to change things. We simply need to start talking.” Again, I can only agree.

    But notice how you close:

    “Politicians like President Obama will always be lining up to offer near-sighted solutions wrapped in shiny packages and decorated with false promises.” (Forgive me for not citing the remainder of the paragraph, for I think it’s enough.)

    Finally, Bryant, the cat is out of the bag. (Never mind your call in your last sentence for Mr. Obama “to step aside and let the nation begin working again.” How reminiscent, by the way, of similar such calls from the Left to Mr. Bush to do likewise: one significant difference of course; Mr. Bush was already in office and had shown to a great many observers what he’s capable of.)

    But as I said, Bryan, never mind that! But I cannot any longer regard your message and appeal as a positive one, I’m sorry. Now you’re making a pronouncement on the next four to eight years of American history before it had even begun in a matter-of-course kind of way, asking us to regard it as a fait accompli or a foregone conclusion. What you’re asking us, in effect, is to discount anything and everything that may come out of this administration as detrimental and contrary to our best interests as citizens and a nation, to regard the upcoming period as though some kind of dark age that we had better forget and put it behind us, and the quicker the better, for a new and better era is coming – past Obama and the shallow rhetoric, past meaningless talk and appeals to mere symbols and icons. It’s just the neccesary evil we must go through, for better times are surely coming.

    Well, I’d have to say that you’re not only presumptuous but also grossly affair, to so write this administration off at the very inception.

    On another thread and a day or two ago, Baronius had made an interesting comment apropos an article by Mr. Jason Campbell. The objection was to Mr. Campbell’s use of the word “cynics” in a dismissive sense, and I tend to agree. In effect, Baronius accused Mr. Campbell of “poisoning the well.”

    I can’t think of a better way to characterize what you had done, Bryan. You ARE poisoning the well. And your sin is so much more egregious than in Mr. Campbell’s case, because of the timing and subject matter. Just when all of us should try to be hopeful and on an upbeat, which isn’t to say lacking in vigilance, you’re asking us to remain negative. I can’t think of a more prejudicial attitude or less constructive advice.

    RN

    PS: I apologize for my harsh critique the first time around. There are some words I had used which I now regret. (I wasn’t aware this was your first piece on BC.) Understand, however, that I had to speak strongly since everyone seemed to be giving you a free pass. Just try to be a little more fair and positive next time; I’m certain you can. We should be building bridges, not tearing them down. Lastly, may you separate the wheat from the chaff, as Clavos had suggested. I have faith in you and look forward to your next article.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    4, Takes the side of the Arab terrorists and screws Israel and all of the US Jews who voted for him….*Ruvy how do you say buyers remorse in yiddish?)

    Ruvy if you are there please educate the antisemite Jew haters in here what King Barry is doing collaborating with Jew Killers…

    Twice, I get called out to answer questions. I don’t write on the Sabbath – as much as I may want to.

    I don’t know how to say buyer’s remorse in Yiddish. The term exists, but it was not one I heard used. I don’t have to explain to Jew-haters what Barry is doing collaborating with Jew-killers. That is like trying to describe to them the cutest chick they ever saw as she stands there naked in front of them. They don’t need me to do that – their too busy wackin’ off with joy.

    Bryan,

    I read your article and it seemed as if you wrote much of what I was thinking – but I do not share your view of the “free market”. Frankly the free market, when it runs unchecked, leas to discrimination, exploitation, and misery for lots of folks – as the winners stamp on the losers and beat them further and further into misery daily.

    Obama does have an agenda. It just isn’t obvious yet.

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Roger,

    When I read a piece you write that has an opening sentence that has less than three seperate clauses jammed together, and in which the object and verb are recognizably linked, then I will consider your notes valid.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] My writing has been received very well by people much higher than you on the food chain. When you are published anywhere other than here, drop me a line and I’ll submit to reading your notes about my work.

    I’m sure you’ll be happy to submit them anyway to my next piece, which shouldn’t be that far along.

  • zingzing

    bryan: “When I read a piece you write that has an opening sentence that has less than three seperate clauses jammed together, and in which the object and verb are recognizably linked, then I will consider your notes valid.”

    grammar nazi!

    “My writing has been received very well by people much higher than you on the food chain. When you are published anywhere other than here, drop me a line and I’ll submit to reading your notes about my work.”

    arrogant, hypocritical, can’t take it while he dishes it… nazi!

    “I’m sure you’ll be happy to submit them anyway to my next piece, which shouldn’t be that far along.”

    truth… nazi!

    …nazi!

    i know, i know: it does look like nazil when you exclaim it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Thanks, zing, but I wasn’t gonna argue with him about style. There are things of substance that needed attention. I’m in the process of articulating my observations [edited].
    Roger

  • zingzing

    well, roger, i’m not going to say i read your criticisms, but i’d bet i feel mostly the same way. bryan’s a good writer… and i think he thought your criticism was grammatical or something. having not read them, i dunno if they were or not. but i bet they had more to do with the thoughts behind his writing than the writing itself.

    any good writer will take criticism both with a grain of salt and with serious consideration. bryan is doing himself a disservice by simply rejecting it.

    actually, he’s being a stuck up little ninny-poop. uh!

  • Cindy D

    When I read a piece you write that has an opening sentence that has less than three seperate clauses jammed together, and in which the object and verb are recognizably linked, then I will consider your notes valid.

    #17 — January 23, 2009 @ 19:17PM — Bryan Myrick [URL]

    That would be “neither/nor”.

    You have to be kidding.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    He’s just a kid, zing. Actually, in the response I had formed, I’m being fair with him. I kind of responded in haste because everyone was giving him a free pass. Plus, I wasn’t aware it was his first piece on BC; it would have toned down my biting critique if only not to discourage him.

    [edited]

    Roger

  • Arch Conservative

    So who is everyone picking tonight?

    Fedor or Arlovski?

  • Cindy D

    some people even take their tea with a grain of salt

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    To each his own, Cindy.

  • Cindy D

    Roger, you would have had to read zing’s delicious beverage post. It think he chose the salt by mistake.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Bryan –

    If you’ll notice, Roger gave a very even-handed criticism. He told you what was done well and what was done not-so-well. He gave you constructive criticism.

    I advise you that a thick skin is good to have, and to recognize constructive criticism and to be grateful for it.

    On an aside, I’ve read many times before how writers hate editors, and how the best writers – even though they STILL hate their editors – are still grateful for them…for it’s the constructive criticism from those editors that enables the writers to achieve greater heights.

    And to Dave and Clavos – I HATE YOU!!!! But thank you for the corrections on style and grammar…. :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    The way I’m feeling now, I’d like a shot of bourbon!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Dan (#81),

    You’re being disingenuous and you know it. So don’t offer in the future your finer nuances and touches on things they had taught you in the law school, because some might regard it as no more than a dust in the wind.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger, here is where we disagree. You say,

    Just when all of us should try to be hopeful and on an upbeat, which isn’t to say lacking in vigilance, you’re asking us to remain negative. I can’t think of a more prejudicial attitude or less constructive advice.

    I can see no good reason for “all of us” to try to write in a hopeful and upbeat way, and several good reasons for fewer than all of us to do so. First, that would be disingenuous for those of us are not. Second, there is already a superabundance of stuff which is outrageously hopeful and upbeat — like Pollyanna. Third, declining to be hopeful and upbeat does not ipso facto require, or even “ask” anyone to be negative. Many will not do so. I am hopeful that I may be wrong about President Obama, but not upbeat that that will be the case.

    PS Here is a useful tool for finding misplaced comments: Just type in the name under which you posted the comment, and a distinguishing word or two from the comment. If the comment appeared even a few minutes previously, Wasalive will find it quickly and provide a link which (after activating the link and waiting for a few seconds) will take you directly to the comment.

    Dan(Miller) aka Danamá

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger, re Comment #137 — you might want to review some definitions of disingenuous, including “giving a false appearance of frankness.” I don’t think I presented a false appearance of frankness; to the contrary, I think it was obvious that I was simply being dismissive, as was my intention. My response to your comment seems, to me, to have been appropriate. As to your suggestion that I decline hereafter to note

    finer nuances and touches on things they had taught you in the law school, because some might regard it as no more than a dust in the wind,

    thank you for the kind advice, even though I decline to take it.

    Ho hum.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Dan,

    Apart from the “perception” argument, which is neither here nor there – nor is there any need to appeal to it – the matter still remains that it was far from a positive message.

    As to your subsidiary point, I don’t think I created the impression that we should all go gaga and abandon our critical faculties. By no means! I was very much against Obama during the primaries and wrote far more biting critiques of him than our friend on the Right is either capable of either executing or imagining – probably both! But that’s in the past.

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, and I’m reciting the penultimate sentence:

    “Politicians LIKE President Obama will always be lining up to offer near-sighted solutions wrapped in shiny packages and decorated with false promises” (my capitalization).

    This comes as close as possible to writing this administration off, without actually saying so. As close to prejudging the matters as one possibly could!

    So my question is: To what end? What’s to be gained from this? What’s constructive about it?

    Again, I will refer to Baronius’ apt expression of “poisoning the well.” And if that was not Bryan’s deliberate intention – and I’m not going to say that it was! – then I must conclude that it was nothing other than sour grapes. But regardless of the intent, Dan, the damage is being done! That’s what I resent.

    Roger

    PS: When I spoke of “being disingenuous,” I only meant it in the context the “perception” argument. I really think it’s beside the point.

    PS: My reference to disinge

  • Cindy D

    (hands roger a shot of bourbon was it? or maybe 3 :-)

    Don’t use my shot glass though, it looks rather like Dr.D. laundrey detergent cap.

  • Mark Eden

    Danama, thanks for your response upthread. I’ll get back to you when I can think of something smarmy to say.

    Cindy, I’ve been spending lots of time reading over at zcom and have set up an account there for troll. (If any site needs a troll with a bridge that one does; they’re all so…seriously self-absorbed — as evidenced by the fact that ‘troll’ wasn’t already spoken for.) While I haven’t sprung for the book, I’ve found Lynd and Grubacic’ work insightful and encouraging. I even went out of my way a few days back to help a Marxist/Leninist to cross a street.

    Mark

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Right now I’d drink if from the trough.

  • Cindy D

    lol :-) troll

  • Cindy D

    Well Mark,

    I cant find you there cuz the site doesn’t work right.

  • Cindy D

    So make me your friend there if you get a chance.

  • Cindy D

    Well, you know, I mean, optionally.

  • Mark Eden

    …but of course! I haven’t set much up yet…just paid my sustainer $.

  • Cindy D

    For a community that is trying to change the world, they nee an awful lot of help. But, it’s the best and the only one I have found where so many people have collected.

  • Cindy D

    need

  • Cindy D

    I think my “wonderful conversation” with Les did more harm than good.

    Les,

    I should have put in a teaser for you:

    Can you tell ZNet, please, what Wobblies and Zapatistas is about? What is it trying to communicate?

    Staughton: The book is about the need for Marxists and anarchists to lay down their ideological weapons and create a single Left resistance to what capitalism is doing to the world. The hostility between the two traditions is a little like a feud between extended families handed down from generation to generation: Hatfields and McCoys in American history, or the families of Romeo and Juliet. In reality Marxism and anarchism should be like two hands, the one analyzing the structure of things, the other throwing up unending prefigurative initiatives. Neither tradition has been so successful that it can speak of the other with lofty dismissal or contempt. We need each other.

  • Les Slater

    I believe the ruling class sees Obama somewhat similarly to how it saw FDR in the mid 30’s. They see him as a brake on radicalism. Reading the New York Times 1936 endorsement of FDR sheds some light on this.

  • Cindy D

    Hi Les :-)

  • Les Slater

    And hi to you too.

  • Cindy D

    :-)

    (that is a comment akismet)

  • Clavos

    So gather round, children.

    This must be the famous “lost comment.” I stopped reading it right there.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy D,

    I think maybe Akismet has decided that you are a dangerous radical and has decided to be proactive about it.

    Good luck,

    Dan(Miller) aka Danama

  • Ma(rk Ede)n

    When I wake up in the morning first thing I do is thank Askimet for giving me another day.

  • Clavos

    Like your parentheses, (M)ar(k)…

  • Cindy D

    Dan(Miller),

    You aren’t a Communist are you?

    My heart went out to Communists. (Hi Les.) How could you dare associate yourself? Unlike me, a wimp who won’t use her name. You know, I want a government job, after all. Can’t expect them to represent everybody in our free society. Oh Panama! The place where the unfree go to take a break from unfreedom?

    Apparently Akismet is like a mini McCarthy. If it is–well, thanks for your wishes of good luck.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    TO ALL THE PROPHETS OF DOOM & GLOOM
    A WORD TO THE WISE:

    “Lesson From Jailed South Korean Blogger: Don’t Be Too Good With Your Predictions
    from the it’ll-come-back-to-bite-you dept
    There’s been a fascinating story coming out of Korea over the past few months, concerning the (formerly) anonymous online commentator who went by the name Minerva. He accurately forecasted some of the early days of the financial collapse last fall, and suddenly the press talked him up and everyone wanted to know who he was. Then he claimed that the Korean government had told companies to stop buying US dollars — forcing the government to put out a statement denying this was true. Then, following a few weeks of searching, he was arrested for spreading false information and (a week later) his identity was revealed (along with a background that shows he wasn’t particularly well connected or knowledgeable — he likely made some lucky guesses).

    But, it does raise questions about the fine line between making predictions and spreading false information. Because he had been so accurate with his earlier predictions, many started to assume that he was well-connected, and any future predictions he made would also be equally accurate. It seems that, once again, the old saw that “past results is no guarantee of future performance” was ignored. Now, there may be a difference in terms of how the information was presented — in terms of whether he specifically claimed to know for certain that the Korean government had done what he said, as opposed to just predicting that it was about to happen — but it seems like the line between a prediction and “spreading false information” gets pretty thin once everyone thinks you know what’s going on better than anyone else.”

    (Public Service Announcement)

    So you better weigh your words with care because the Big Brother is watching!

    Source: Minerva

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Clavos (#129),

    ” ‘So gather round, children.’

    I stopped reading it right there.”

    I admit to wrong choice of words. Certainly don’t want to sound like Mike Savage. But I was reacting to the uncritical reading of Bryan’s piece, ESPECIALLY by the editors.

    It’s my personal opinion – and you can shoot for it if you like – that David & company should try to be more objective both in regard to their comments and editorial duties – precisely because they wear this hat. I’m willing to bet the Politics section and the discussion on any of it’s threads would greatly improve with but a slight attitude adjustment.

    Any article presented for submission ought to pass the same test as regards style, substance, coherence, and any number of things – regardless of whether it represents a view from the left or from the Right. The fact that it may or may not represent (or lean toward) the editor’s own view or pet position should be of no consideration whatever. It must pass muster on its own merits.

    Roger

  • )Mark E(den

    Rog, when I raised a similar notion a while back, I was informed by BC powers that this is the blogassphere and got a consensus view from commentors that anything more than the lightest touch would result in tyranny.

    den

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Mark,

    I’m totally sympathetic with that point of view; but isn’t it the case that in the journalistic profession, the editors have to kind of “stay about the fray” to the extent possible. There is a reputation to maintain as to the paper’s presumed objectivity. It’s just good common sense.

    I’m not arguing against not being opinionated; but toning it down a bit from the editorial staff would go a long way toward improving the morale and endow BC with a far greater aura of professionalism and credibility.

    Roger

  • Mark Eden

    Condensation of a prior discussion: print journalism has a different code of ethics than that of the blog world – to the extent that the latter has a code at all. An ‘aura of professionalism and credibility’ is not necessarily the goal.

    That said, I think BC’s editors do a pretty decent job of separating their views from their (limited) editorial duties.

    Mark

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, I won’t pursue it any further. I hope, however, some of it might sink in on some of them or somehow register in the unconscious. Given BC’s policies, it’s a matter for the individual’s conscience, I suppose. Still, I don’t regret having brought this up.

  • Mark (Ede)n

    Nor do I, although I received a thorough (and deserved) ass whipping for doing so.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, I did’t know and I’ll stand on my ignorance. Anyway, I offered it in the spirit of a friendly suggestion. So I’m not sweating it.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Roger, as BC isn’t toeing any particular editorial line, the editors have a very different role here. They don’t commission articles, simply edit for the basics like language, grammar, structure, stuff like that.

    I don’t see why they shouldn’t be as opinionated as they like here in the comments space, especially when half the time their/our comments make them/us look daft. We aren’t setting ourselves up as remote authority figures, with a few ignoble exceptions, the vast majority of the BC Editors will slog it out in the comments trenches as time allows.

    I think that approach actually conveys a greater aura of professionalism and credibility than many other approaches, which is presumably why the more established media have moved towards adding personal blogs and comments to their offerings.

    Just as, we hope, US politics is going to move on to a more pragmatic and inclusive approach such as we have in Europe, so is a pure internet site such as this, completely created by we the writers, a more inclusive kind of experience.

    Much as I disagree with the likes of Dave Nalle (and his peculiarly subjective view of objectivity) over many, although not all, important issues of the day, I totally respect his commitment to both the site and the informal community that is Blogcritics, through his daily writing, editing and commenting.

  • bliffle

    I was astonished to read that someone thought Bryans article was well written. I thought it was quite ordinary, the stuff of common political rabble-rousers of either wing. In this case the right wing.

    Why?

    No new information. No informative citations. No new way of looking at old information. No facts.

    In other words, no content. So all we have left is style. And the style is poor. Dominated by rapid superposition of unmatched cliches.

    My eye came upon this sentence by chance:

    “The failure of the populace to demand more debate, more discussion, more specifics, may be the canary in the American coalmine; evidence that the marketplace of ideas is no longer functioning as needed.”

    Good grief. I won’t even bother.

    Bryan simply appears to be one of those empty-headed people who have learned that mere glibness can bestow an appearance of thoughtfulness. They’re everywhere. They even run most of our businesses, these days, which helps account for the miserable economic circumstances within which we find ourselves.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Chris,

    I suppose I was positing journalism as a model; perhaps I didn’t make sufficient enough distinctions. But it does make me question (sometimes) the integrity of the editorial process in light of SOME of the comments. Anyway, I think it’s good to air it out once in a while. And I thank you for paying attention to this.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bliffle,

    He’s just a kid. Judging by the picture, if that’s any indication, straight out of college. He’ll get his christening here, I should hope, and grow up. But we don’t want to break his spirit.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Roger, I don’t think journalism is the model for us, although it is obviously an important factor.

    To the best of my knowledge, the editorial process is as complete in its integrity as a disparate group of people scattered around both the USA and the wider world can be.

    The editors are a weird mixture of everything from the authoritarian to the liberal and occasionally go into behind-the-scenes odd little arguments about things that seem to matter at the time, like last week’s “Wikipedia Credibility War”. Like any family, we, mostly at least, seem to have learned how to get along. I for one love the Blogcritics experience in all its clunky glory, despite its many imperfections and hope it continues to grow and evolve.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    No disagreement, Chris. It’s almost habit forming. I’m gonna have to parcel my time better.

  • Clavos

    But it does make me question (sometimes) the integrity of the editorial process in light of SOME of the comments.

    Roger,

    You of all people, having had articles edited by me, should be aware of and recognize the total objectivity with which I edit and publish submissions.

    While I won’t deny that, as a commenter, I am partisan, I am opinionated, and I love to provoke the ire of those with whom I disagree, I have never once edited an article for publication in this or any other medium with anything less than total objectivity.

    Your own articles are an excellent case in point; I disagree with almost every POV you present in them, yet have never changed, even slightly, your meaning and intent as written.

    As a commenter, I’m free to express, within the parameters of the BC Comments Policy, anything I wish; I do so, and will continue to do so.

    As someone pointed out upthread, the print media are beginning to realize that this is an acceptable, even a desirable thing. In fact, one frequent BC commenter is a senior editor for a print publication. He has a blog on his newspaper’s website.

    “Question” all you want, but I defy you to find one example, in my or any other Politics editor’s editorial work, of even a smidgen of bias.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Clavos,

    I already conceded the point. It’s just that sometimes one can’t help a doubt creeping into their mind in light of what strikes them as “unreasonable positions.” In other words, perhaps we should aim at something higher than mere agreement or disagreement.

    Roger

  • Clavos

    …what strikes them as “unreasonable positions.”

    One man’s ceiling is his neighbor’s floor, Roger; we all should keep that aphorism in mind. To me, your positions are the “unreasonable” ones.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Clavos,

    To add to previous point: I never meant to suggest, Clavos, that you haven’t been anything but fair with respect to my sumbissions.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Clavos,

    It can’t be Humpty Dumpty. Just like I don’t believe in moral relativism, there is rhyme and reason to natural language, uses and misuses, sense and nonsense, rules of logic and deductive argument, and the art of reasoning in general. And if my last piece was “unreasonable” in any of the mentioned respects, you should have attacked it; actually, you should not have published it for being defective.

    I wasn’t using that term in a vacuum but in the context of what can usually be taken for granted as “common understanding” among those who share the same language and form of life.

  • Clavos

    you should not have published it for being defective.

    Not my, or any other editor’s, call (except, possibly, in openly partisan venues), and that’s as it should be, under the Bill of Rights.

    I wasn’t using that term in a vacuum but in the context of what can usually be taken for granted as “common understanding” among those who share the same language and form of life.

    The problem with your statement is the phrase “common understanding.” Except at the most basic level (murder is wrong, etc.), there is no “common understanding;” for, as I said upthread, my ceiling is your floor, and vice versa.

    Put another way, what I consider reasonable is often disputed, not only on these threads, but in life. Conversely, I often dispute what others consider to be reasonable as being no such thing.

    Vive la difference; it’s how problems get solved and it’s what makes life interesting.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “the editorial process is as complete in its integrity”

    except for the editors who choose to share private editorial discussions in a public forum.

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Roger,

    Let’s clear some things up. I am not a kid. I am 38 years old and a parent. I earned my degree in 2006 but it was the culmination of decades spent in the realm of academic thought and the pursuit of knowledge.

    It is not my first time being published at Blogcritics and my work has been published on another site that has the kind of editing policies some of you think should be a part of Blogcritics screening process.

    My responses to the criticism of my piece are not simply the defensive backlash of an “empty-headed” person (as I was so bluntly christened by one commenter. They are a reaction to what has been a two-day long waste of everyone’s time attacking a piece that wasn’t meant to be an investigative expose – it is an opinion piece. The piece was designed to provoke debate, not to inform as some have suggested should be the only criteria for grading a publication.

    When the writer becomes the focus of criticism it is an indication that the critics are not focused on the substance – and there is a hypothesis in the piece – but are choosing instead to attack the messenger.

    The piece doesn’t need me or the editors to defend it. Clavos was right before when he said that I’m a “big boy” and I know how to put criticism in its proper place. To those who liked, thank you. To those who didn’t, that’s the nature of writing. Even great writers experience simultaneous praise and derision.

    I was truly surprised, after spending most of my weekend doing real things with real people, to see the mud-fest this thread has turned into. If my writing can inspire this kind of passion it must have struck some kind of chord.

    Goodbye until next time.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I’m all for democracy, Clavos, but there are limits. Even one’s premises can be reasonable or not. And if you say that the same form of life cannot partake in “common understanding” to a point, then the entire enterprise is useless and each of us an island. I don’t happen to think that the situation is not this hopeless.

    Roger

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I would have thought that, El Bicho, but there is a sense in which the journalistic standard doesn’t quite apply to blogosphere.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bryan,

    I didn’t use the term “kid” derogatorily, only comparatively. And I can’t speak for others, of course, only for myself. No, there was nothing really upsetting about your article. I just failed to see why would you want to inject all this negativism this early in the game. I don’t see the purpose. No doubt you must feel that way, and as far as feelings go, you have a perfect right. But I think there is a certain responsibility that comes with whatever it is that you want to express in a public forum. What exactly did you try to accomplish? Perhaps if I were to understand that, I would be in a better position to evaluate your article in a proper light.

    Sincerely,

    Roger

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Roger,

    Using the word “kid” in the way you did, an an excuse for what you deem unacceptable writing and discourse, is always going to be taken in a derogatory way.

    As I understand it, you are now asking me why I wrote a piece that was negative “this early in the game.” Journalism functions in many ways in the same way as a network of buoys in a foggy harbor. The bells ring out to alert nearby vessels of approaching danger. I could have spent more time putting a silver lining on it, but I chose to get straight to my point. My primary reason is that I don’t hear many writers really getting to the question: Is the Emperor wearing any clothes? Instead of sticking with that cliched approach, I took a different route to incite thought on that question.

    I fully accept that with those people who are already inclined to place their faith in President Obama, my piece reads like a useless attack. I also accept that Obama may demonstrate an ability to be genuinely creative, introducing new ideas that will improve our condition and leave our values and national identity intact. I just don’t think, based on my observations, that will be the case.

    Give Thomas Paine’s Common Sense a quick read. Tell me where the positivity is in its monumentally transformative content? It is a thorough condemnation of an entire status quo, from beginning to end, and the only prescriptions it makes are for how to remove the evils it identifies from American society.

  • zingzing

    bryan: “My primary reason is that I don’t hear many writers really getting to the question: Is the Emperor wearing any clothes?”

    it’s been the subject of many, many (rather cliched by this point) conservative attacks on obama for over a year now. so… you live under a rock? or do you not pay attention to the conservative media?

    “It is a thorough condemnation of an entire status quo, from beginning to end, and the only prescriptions it makes are for how to remove the evils it identifies from American society.”

    yep. that’s why the right wing is reeling right now. we booted out the status quo and made way for something different.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bryan,

    I didn’t use that term to refer to the quality of your writing, only the quality of your mind. None of us have reached the plateau at which we could say that we are accomplished. And I’ll say that of myself as quickly as of any other person. Just facts of life; and in that sense, the use of the term was comparative. Your trying to tell me that it wasn’t so is of no effect because I know how I used it – although you have a perfect right to question it.

    And yes, the timing is everything. I was way more biting in my criticism of Obama during the primaries than you can ever imagine. If you care to, just look up a piece on my own weblog, “The Tale of Two Men,” and that ought to convince you. But the situation had changed. Like it or not, he got elected and deserves our support if in form only – just as it due any president-elect. We had done it to Bush at the beginning of his presidency, and we owe no less to Obama. A matter of simple courtesy and good citizenship.

    So if your intention was not to smear him from the get-go – and I’m not saying that it was, because I cannot tell what’s in your heart – then I must conclude (again, by virtue of timing) that it was just a case of sour grapes.

    As said it before, that you have a right to feel anyway you like, but there’s a responsibility when it comes to expressing your feelings in a public forum. And a case of sour grapes, in my judgment, doesn’t qualify as a good enough or justifiable reason. If suffer you must, do so in private, but don’t poison other minds simply because you feel you must express your feelings. Any writer worth his salt ought to be concerned with the public good. It is in this and only this respect that I found your article lacking.

    RN

  • Clavos

    Roger,

    And if you say that the same form of life cannot partake in “common understanding” to a point…

    I didn’t say that; re-read my comment.

    I would agree with you if you were to say, “Murder is wrong;” I wouldn’t take the concept of “common understanding” much above that level, without a great deal of discussion and parsing first. I’m also very leery of what seems to be your interpretation of “common understanding.” From reading both your articles and your comments on a variety of threads, I’m already convinced that you and I have very little “common understanding.”

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Roger,

    Oh, yes, insinuating that I have a substandard mind is much better. I feel a bit like Josh Lyman on the West Wing episode in which he confronts the Internet denizens who prattle about him on blogs and chatrooms.

    As said it before, that you have a right to feel anyway you like, but there’s a responsibility when it comes to expressing your feelings in a public forum.

    Would you like to put out a policy suggestion on what those requirements are?

    Like it or not, he got elected and deserves our support if in form only – just as it due any president-elect.

    For God’s sake, I’m not disputing that he wasn’t elected, but if you think that our President deserves blind support I think you missed the whole idea of what it is to be an American. I guess I should have included a paragraph in my piece proclaiming the death of the Jeffersonion ideal of democracy.

    We had done it to Bush at the beginning of his presidency, and we owe no less to Obama. A matter of simple courtesy and good citizenship.

    Bush did not have the honeymoon you describe. He was assailed from the get-go, what with being accused of stealing the election and having his intelligence challenged or apologized for by most pundits. [Zinzing: Are you going to call out Roger for living under a rock, too?]

    I believe you are correct in writing, “Any writer worth his salt ought to be concerned with the public good.”

    For the last time, the public good can be served by calling attention to negative forces, not just whistling past the graveyard. The entire history of modern journalism is a testament to that idea. I really don’t understand why this idea isn’t harmonizing with what you should already know.

    Clearly, I haven’t earned your respect, but that is not a prerequisite for me to continue writing.

    Why aren’t you writing instead of spending all of this time trying to prove to me that I wrote something you found unworthy?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Not substandard, Bryan. Mind is a faculty which, if you let it, it’s potential is limitless. We’re all growing, that is, if we’re fearless enough to admit that we don’t know everything and not allow anything to stand in the way.

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    Roger,

    You are the quintessential sniper that every blog relies on to instigate conflcit. If you’re going to critique writing, please be sure to leave less to the mind of the reader when you craft your attacks if you don’t want to be misinterpreted. Of course, I’m certain that many people skimming the comment thread can see your hit-and-run style, the pattern of throwing a jab and then ducking behind the cover of plausible deniability.

    You haven’t heard me duck anything I wrote in that piece because I meant every word; they are my opinions, I chose the words carefully and I won’t walk away from them.

    I will learn from this episode not to give bomb-throwers so much power.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Forget it, Bryan. This conversation had come to an end!

  • zingzing

    bryan: “Zinzing: Are you going to call out Roger for living under a rock, too?”

    if he says/writes an article about something like “I don’t hear many writers really getting to the question: Is the Emperor wearing any clothes?” when that’s all conservatives have been writing about (as they have nothing else to write about, as obama was only inaugurated less than a week ago), then yeah, sure.

    but he hasn’t said/done that. bush’s honeymoon was granted. the election (which the left did talk about) was a bit fucked up and it any criticism of the election was valid and on point. bush’s intelligence, of course, was also a valid concern. the guy’s a brick. but no one was calling bush’s presidency a failure before it had even begun. they just said it was stolen and that he was a dumb hick. of course, now, we can all look back and say that bush was an absolute, abject, obvious-from-the-get-go failure.

    all that said, a vast majority of the right-wing articles about obama thus far have been about your “emperor has no clothes” subject. yours, at least, was a bit more focused, but it still isn’t anywhere near unique.

    it’s not that i have a problem with the subject matter… it’s all you’ve got to go on, and i don’t expect the right to just sit back and shut up (although that might benefit them at this time). it’s just when you say “no one is asking these questions” that i have to wonder if your head is above ground.

    seems to me that obama has done plenty so far, and that he has lots of time to do plenty more. the right isn’t going to like what he does, but, of course, that’s cool with me. the thing is, the right is going to confuse “clothes” they don’t like as being “no clothes” at all.

    it’s not going to be a happy four years for the conservatives of this nation. unless obama totally fucks up. but then we’ll just say that you hate america as you revel in obama’s failure… just kidding. that’s the right’s tactic. because all of us lefty americans really do hate america. it’s a pit of scum. kidding again.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Zing,

    Look, I tried to talk to him, partly because my first critique was harsh and I had pangs of conscience. But he’s just stubborn. I was lucky, I guess, to have had a mentor, which put me in the attitude of listening first and unlearning what I thought I knew, before I could start thinking for myself. There is no substitute for master-disciple relationship, though people may pooh-pooh it. That’s why I have no respect for degrees, personal accomplishment, whatever. You’ve got to prove yourself every time in the heat of the battle. But so many people cringe just by virtue of being challenge, like their shit didn’t stink. And it doesn’t matter whether they’re PhDs or God knows what.

    I just told him I didn’t see any point to what he did, especially this early in the game: that he did it either to poison the well or just because of sour grapes. Neither reason is acceptable. I guess he couldn’t take it.

    Roger

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    FOR EVERYONE’S EDIFICATION:

    “funny how you rant for 2 pages with your silly, misguided and misinformed commentary only to end that we should watch for ourselves and decide. the video IS cheesy and doesn’t really work, and that format is tired and has been done to much greater success and effect, but trying to paint the president as a rising DICTATOR less than a week into his term is laughable and reckless. As for Islam, I urge you to educate yourself before trying to speak to an audience about something you clearly no nothing about”

    I pulled that comment from another thread for the purpose of illustration.

    So thus far, we have two possible responses from the Right:

    (1) Obama is an empty suit

    (2) Obama is a rising dictator.

    I suggest that neither response does the Right any credit. There are at least four years to go before the Republicans get their shot.

    Come on, guys, lets raise the level of the discussion. The American public deserves better.

  • Cindy D

    Bryan,

    I’m happy to oblige if no one else will.

    Roger you yourself might live under your own rock. You can act very condescending while at the same time be extraordinarily patronizing. As if these two things were some sort of balancing act.

    Now, I trust that you are able to take criticism yourself. (though, I haven’t so far found that to be the case–too much)

    There is no substitute for master-disciple relationship, though people may pooh-pooh it.

    And as far as that goes. I’ll probably agree when/if I ever find someone who bills her/his self as a master, but doesn’t in reality have their head, well…

  • Clavos

    The American public deserves better.

    No, it doesn’t; it’s not even paying attention.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    You know, Clavos.

    You’re right. I wrote a piece a while back about our responsibility as bloggers to get the public to think. I haven’t got even one single response from the blogger community at BC. So all we seem to be doing here is preaching to the choir. It makes me wonder about the purpose of it all.

  • Cindy D

    I think you put it in the science fiction section though, didn’t you?

  • Clavos

    Lol, Cindy!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Not science fiction, smarty pants! It got stuck in Sci/Tech – not by my choosing

  • Cindy D

    ooops! lol sorry!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Sorry, Cindy, that you haven’t had the experience. No, no true master will ever bill himself/herself that way. It’s up to the audience to recognize him/her as such. And the key to the relationship is in being able to put yourself in the position where you listen rather than talk.

    And since we’re on the subject, could you please explain to me why you jumped on me yesterday on another thread?

  • bliffle

    Not worth further comment on an article not worth reading.

  • Cindy D

    Oh, well then I guess I have had that experience.

    All my masters were children.

  • Cindy D

    Sorry Roger, I apologize. I felt like I was talking to myself. I think I was, but I usually am so it wasn’t anything that warranted any special irritation.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    That’s not a bad answer. But you still haven’t answered the other question.

  • Cindy D

    I’ll look for your Sci-Tech article.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    No, I don’t mean that. That’s water under the bridge. I’m referring to your insinuation(s) the other day,

  • Cindy D

    I don’t recall insinuating anything. Can you just give me a link?

    I just read your article in Sci-Tech. I’ll make a reply as soon as I think about it for a bit.

    It was sort of funny. Almost satire.

  • Lumpy

    rog. you might want to consider the obvious illiteracy of the person you quote as an authority before suggesting we take them seriously. you no (sic)?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I’m referring to a bunch of comments you had left with as to your understanding how I view/relate to women!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    FOR EVERYONE’S EDIFICATION:

    What Cindy D said in #170

    Dan(Miller) aka Danama

    Sneaks quietly under desk to avoid kindness and understanding attack.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    No attack forthcoming, Dan. You can get out from under. All is clear!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    all we seem to be doing here is preaching to the choir. It makes me wonder about the purpose of it all.

    True and very perceptive; there is no purpose in preaching. But then that’s one of the drawbacks of preaching.

    Dan(Miller) aka Danama

  • Cindy D

    RE # 186, see #180

    And perhaps you are trying to be kind. I mean, old guys sometimes act like that, don’t they? :-)

    Sometimes I feel patronized and other times, I feel…patronized.

    Again, could be just a kind old guy thing.

  • Cindy D

    I feel like I’m channeling Zedd, for some reason.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Lumpy,

    I wasn’t commenting on the validity of the cited comment. I said, for illustration purposes only.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, you did say that I treat women like second-class citizens. So my question to you is: on what basis did you come to that conclusion?

  • Cindy D

    1) patronizing generalities about how wonderful female thinkers are

    combined with,

    2) often shallow replies to my posts, demonstrating a desire to be polite without actually taking seriously what was said.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Yeah, Dan, I don’t believe in preaching. But I don’t necessarily believe either that anyone of us needs to prove anything to the other, do you?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    You’re speaking in generalities. Your comment arose out of specific context. Do I need to refresh your memory?

  • Lumpy

    You no (sic) roger, you might want to consider the obvious illiteracy of the sources you quote in determining their value in supporting your argument. quote a dummy and you sound like one too.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I was only drawing a contrast as to two possible responses: an empty suit and a dictator. The purpose was didactic.

  • Cindy D

    okay, as long as we’re not going to have another spat…let’s clear the air in as few posts as possible please.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    No spat! First, you related your experiences with your friend/ex-friends, whatever, about their property. Then I said the same thing about my sister. It’s right after that that you came some unfathomable conclusion as to how I treat/relate to women. Do you recall?

  • zingzing

    i was thinking about posting the lyric to prince’s “cindy c,” replacing all the c’s with d’s, just for cindy d’s amusement, but then i looked at the lyrics, and past just how offensive it would come off as–which i’m fine with, as i don’t care, although i wouldn’t want to offend cindy–it’s also really long (you should look at it), and would take far too much time to even possibly make sense in context, which changes so rapidly that you lose all sense of where some thought began in this ever-so rapidly changing blog world.

    what?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    That was quite a soliloquy, Zing.
    Are you trying to diffuse the situation perchance?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    The following is the exchange I’m talking about, in living color:

    “I don’t hate her, God forbid. Just feel sorry for her, money and wealth and no happiness. But how can you trust these people’s judgment on anything when they’re so screwed up? It’s like they’re on Mars and you’re on Venus.

    #153 — January 24, 2009 @ 20:32PM — Cindy D
    Well, just give her some time. Women will come around to sense eventually.

    #154 — January 24, 2009 @ 20:37PM — Cindy D
    They are very happy Roger.

    #155 — January 24, 2009 @ 20:37PM — Roger Nowosielski [URL]
    And you know, she’s really a generous person. But there being no other values around which she can coalesce – because of where they live, no intellectual stimulation, no one really to talk to etc – she’s trapped. Sad but true.
    But I think I’ve done enough damage for one day.
    I see you all tomorrow.

    #156 — January 24, 2009 @ 20:39PM — Cindy D
    Roger,

    Where did you learn to treat women as second class citizens?

    #157 — January 24, 2009 @ 20:40PM — Cindy D
    The New School failed IMHO.

    #158 — January 24, 2009 @ 20:44PM — Cindy D
    It’s always fun to realize you’re talking to yourself.

    Well, at least you know here you stand.

    #159 — January 24, 2009 @ 20:55PM — Cindy D
    And, I would say, fuck off…

    to no one in particular (in case it is really a personal attack)

    #160 — January 24, 2009 @ 21:00PM — Cindy D
    Nothing too harsh tho, i sorta like to curse…

  • zingzing

    yeah, but it didn’t work, now did it?

    you two stop being such boobs.

  • Cindy D

    well roger i was talking about people i care about not playing can you top this. it wasn’t gossip.

    like i said it seemed i was talking to myself. not that i normally mind that.

    zing i will look at that. it should be fun to see if i’m offended.

  • Mark Eden

    EST doesn’t hold a candle compared to the BlogCritics Sensitivity Training Course…now being offered at a very reasonable fee. Contact Dave Nalle.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Zing, I’m sorry, but there’s integrity at stake. If I didn’t care what Cindy thinks, I wouldn’t give a hood. I’d just as readily dismiss her and that would be it. As it stands, I’m not prepared to do that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Are you saying we’re lacking in political correctness, Mark? You know, when it comes to people I care for, I don’t think it should matter (very much). Do you not agree?

  • Cindy D

    zing,

    all i can say is no wonder i never listened to prince and thanks for rethinking your first impulse.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    You know. The problem is with disambiguation. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used Mars and Venus as contrasting terms since I was talking of my in-laws. But she took it to mean that I was contrasting women and men. People see what they want to see.

  • Cindy D

    zing,

    okay i’ll try to stop.

  • zingzing

    cindy: “all i can say is no wonder i never listened to prince and thanks for rethinking your first impulse.”

    ha. you’ve totally missed out. prince is god. and he actually pulled that entire album from release for 6 or 7 years because he thought it was evil. then again, the best funk is the evil funk.

  • Cindy D

    i did not Roger..i didn’t even read your post…

    and now it’s time to think about what I have already said…

    talking sometimes only makes things more confusing.

    okay let’s be done. if you want the last word though, you can feel free…don’t make it something that requires a reply please.

    I have to see Dave’s video in his new article.

  • Cindy D

    lol okay evil zing…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Desiring to get into the groove of things, as I always try to do and as my mentors taught me, I hereby sincerely and without condescension offer my profuse and profound apologies to all whom I may ever, in this or in a past life or lives, and on this or some other thread, have been thought to have offended and assure them that I did not intend to do so. We all (most of you, anyway), after all, are only human and make mysteaks, and I am deeply sorry for any which I may have been thought (possibly erroneously) to have made.

    Dan(Miller)

    Sneaks off to sin no more.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    How do you like yours? Well done or medium rare?

  • Clavos

    Who you callin’ “human,” Danamá?

    You wanna piece o’ me???

  • Bliffle

    Perhaps I can wring something out of Bryans original article, so as not to have wasted my time reading it.

    The article itself is nothing more than unsupported slights against a politician who Bryan, apparently, dislikes.

    But I am very suspicious, now, of this guy Obama. He extended the hand of bipartisanship to the republicans, which he has no need to do, and they seem to be reacting badly. Bryans article is an example.

    Could it be that Obama has laid a trap? That the reps will assert partisanship, spitting, in effect, on Obamas apparent offer of bipartisanship and offer of cooperation?

    Will the reps discredit themselves thereby? Will Obama, in the fullness of time, simply sigh (metaphorically) and say “well I tried to include the reps in this project, but they refused my offer with their contrariness”?

    Or do you believe Obama is too stupid? Too dumb to contrive such a plot? Too simple to resort to such deviousness?

    Obama doesn’t NEED the reps at all. He won in a landslide. Biggest majority in 40 years.

    Could it be that Obama is preparing to deliver the coup de grace to the wounded disoriented republicans and they are walking right into it?

  • Clavos

    He won in a landslide.

    A “landslide” of one in four (25%) of Americans…

  • Clavos

    Could it be that Obama is preparing to deliver the coup de grace to the wounded disoriented republicans and they are walking right into it?

    Could be. But the more likely possibility is that it’s wishful thinking on your part.

  • STM

    My tip (not very adventrous, I’ll admit): America will survive Obama nicely, just like its survived the other presidents and their incumbent politicians and bureaucrats over the past 200 years or so, will survive the global financial crisis, get better and cheaper healthcare, and emerge on top – again.

    Along with a kinder, softer, gentler “war on terror”, what more could you want?

  • Brunelleschi

    Obama’s approval rating for his first week-68%.

  • Clavos

    Obama’s approval rating for his first week-68%.

    So, a third of the population didn’t like the first week…

  • zingzing

    including you, clavos?

  • STM

    Lol. What makes you think that zing?

  • zingzing

    it’s just the stink.

  • zingzing

    desperation is a stinky cologne.

  • Clavos

    including you, clavos?

    Nope. I’m not in the 68% either. So far, he’s just #44.

  • zingzing

    yeah, sure, clavos.

  • Hope and Change?

    NEWSFLASH —-

    “Obama seeks space weapons ban”

    King Barry brings more hope and change to the world by launching another “do-nothing-feel-good initiative” that will only weaken the US military and furter erode the safety of all Americans…

    King Barry went on to announce that he will ask the UN to demand that all wars be fought with muskets and sabers!!! In addition he added a bailout for the buggy whip industry. The Amish lobby declared this a major victory in the effort to create new jobs!

    Hope and change – “turning the clock back to the Carter years!”

  • STM

    H&C?: “And furter erode the safety of all Americans”

    Can we call him Frank ‘N then, the rotten dastard?

  • Hope and Change?

    sorry I am amish and dats how we writenz zees werds!

  • Clavos

    yeah, sure, clavos.

    Fuck you, zing

  • zingzing

    you’re just a manic little thing these days, aren’t you? first i’m a shithead, then i’m an erudite thinker, then i’m told to fuck off… what next, a sponge bath and a glass of port?

    it’s obvious that you’re no fan of obama. but you’ve just got no ammo yet. so all you can do is curse and deny.

    don’t tell me you have no opinion on the gitmo closing or the timeline to get out of iraq. it’s just not possible.

  • Clavos

    I don’t like being called a liar, zing.

    At this point, the only opinion I have of obama is the one I formed during the campaign: he’s too far to the left for me, so my expectations for him are that he’ll take actions I won’t agree with for however long he’s in office. As he says, he won. That’s politics.

    Have you ever heard me say anything either way on on these threads about either Gitmo or Iraq? I really don’t care what he does with either. There’s no point in keeping Gitmo open or even taking prisoners in a war you’re leaving, and we should get out of the war; we can’t afford the cost. i would do it now, not in a year and a half.

  • paulwhoispablo

    Having a bad hair day Clavy baby? You have my sympathies fella.

  • paulwhoispablo

    I don’t like being called a liar either Clavos, practice what you preach, or do your prefer blatant hypocrisy?

  • paulwhoispablo

    Don’t bother replying Clavy, we all know the answer already.

  • Hope and Change?

    Ladies please take your hissy fits and cat fighting off this post and into the ladies room!!!!

  • zingzing

    clavos: “There’s no point in keeping Gitmo open or even taking prisoners in a war you’re leaving, and we should get out of the war; we can’t afford the cost. i would do it now, not in a year and a half.”

    i’m sure that if he could leave now, he’d do it. but that’s a political and strategic impossibility. sad to say, but true.

    as for the rest, you agree with him so far. so… does it looks like you’re in the 68%? somehow, i doubt it.

    maybe you are truly undecided, but you’ve had enough bad things to say about him that i’m pretty sure you couldn’t bring yourself to publicly approve of him no matter what he does at this point.

    you claim he’s done nothing, when he is clearly moving his agenda forward. therefore, your impression of him is negative, or at least blinded by politics.

    i wasn’t really calling you a liar. i just don’t think you are (knowingly or not) reporting your true feelings. ok, so maybe i was calling you a liar. but that’s politics, and lying in politics is a different beast.

    it’s like that bit on the simpsons where lionel hutz tells marge that “there’s the truth” (stern shaking of head), and then “there’s the truth!” (smile and nod).

  • Clavos

    i’m sure that if he could leave now, he’d do it. but that’s a political and strategic impossibility. sad to say, but true.

    So, he doesn’t have the courage of his convictions, then; he’s not the pure ideologue all those voters voted for, he’s just another pol, albeit a lefty pol.

    Just as I expected.

    He won.

    I wait.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “So, he doesn’t have the courage of his convictions, then; he’s not the pure ideologue all those voters voted for, he’s just another pol, albeit a lefty pol.”

    we all have ideals that we can’t possibly live up to. if i could, i’d do many things differently, but it’s just not in the cards.

    but no one voted for him thinking he’d just walk away from iraq. i think the right wing has some false presumptions regarding why people voted for obama. whether the right is being willfully stupid or not is a good question, but i think not. i think they’re just trying to manipulate.

    we don’t think he’s the messiah and we don’t think he’s going to immediately solve all of america’s problems. those are both myths created by the right, and they know it.

    he is just another politician. thing is, he’s better than the one he replaced. that doesn’t make him some sort of hero, but if all things are relative, he’s a giant step in the right direction.

  • Clavos

    we don’t think he’s the messiah and we don’t think he’s going to immediately solve all of america’s problems. those are both myths created by the right Louis Farrakhan and the left wing media…

    There. Fixed it for ya, zing.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Clavos,

    “There’s no point in keeping Gitmo open or even taking prisoners in a war you’re leaving, and we should get out of the war; we can’t afford the cost. i would do it now, not in a year and a half.”

    That’s news to me. I agree, by the way. No sense postponing the inevitable.

    What’s #44? (Stupid question, I know.)

  • Hope and Change?

    “better than the one he replaced”????

    King Barry has been in office for one week and he hasnt accomplished anyting of merit…besides breaking the record for photo ops and the number of incoherent speeches.

    ..ohhhhh I…um…er…you know forgot.

    King Barry’s administration did break a record for quickest federal investigation concerning a new administrtation….

    Sweeping federal subpoenas of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration include requests for records involving David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, senior advisers to President Barack Obama.

    Hope and Change – Just one indictment away!

  • zingzing

    oh, bah. show it to me in the left wing media. can’t find a link?

    and farrakhan? taking him seriously is like taking your pants off in court. it’s just stupid.

  • zingzing

    h&c, a dildo could do a better job than bush. and just by being elected, obama has raised the us’ standing around the world. and contrary to the opinion of the american right, what the rest of the world thinks matters… to the rest of the world, including america. and he’s shut down the biggest eyesore in recent memory. and he’s trying to get rid of cronyism and end the war in iraq. these things don’t happen overnight, like when you wet your bed.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    zinger, I know you’re just too smart to fall for such an obvious wind-up, right?

  • zingzing

    obviously not…

  • Clavos

    Roger,

    #44 is barack himself. He’s the 44th president of this once great union.

  • zingzing

    and when was it great? please don’t say “last monday.”

  • STM

    Clav: “#44 is barack himself. He’s the 44th president of this once great union”.

    I don’t think it’s not going to great any time soon, Clav.

    You might be suffering a bit right now (with or without Obama), but so is everyone else so it’s all relative.

  • bliffle

    For 15 years the usurpers who commandeered the republican party have pursued a strict policy of partisanship. They capitalized on that fraction of the electorate who simply hate liberals and democrats, but have no real conservative philosophy or principles.

    Taken together, they are the neo-republicans.

    They had a lot of success ‘marginalizing’ other voters by the extremity of the (false) dichotomies they presented, e.g., “if you’re not in favor of the Iraq Invasion then you’re in favor of the 9/11 terrorists!”.

    It’s astonishing to think that this sort of thing worked so well, but understandable if one takes into account that so many citizens are predisposed to try solving problems with warfare. Witness our “war on drugs”, “war on crime”, etc.

    The Neo-republicans have become nothing more than an enraged charging bull. And what happens to an enraged charging bull? They are dispatched by a skinny darkskinned guy, with a whirl of his cape and …(well, you know the rest).

  • Cindy D

    (hunts around for a Prince song…:-)

  • Cindy D

    what next, a sponge bath and a glass of port?

    are you old enough for that zing? what’s it all old folks here?

  • zingzing

    there’s a prince song for every occasion.

  • Cindy D

    Roger,

    You are going to have a very hard time based on your article in the Sci-Tech section. Those posts you have over there are probably the young people. These people are your audience.

  • STM

    BM: “Has the engine driving American prosperity for centuries … blah … blah”.

    Well, that’d be two centuries anyway, and the better part of – but geez, only just.

    We should all believe Bryan, though, because he brushes up nicely and as he mentions, has a BA in political science (No prizes for guessing how he votes, either).

    Bryan’s right, however, in one central thrust of his argument that becomes apparent if you read between the lines: some people can’t tell sh.t from clay.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bliffle,

    What’s surprising to me about the whole thing, the Republicans (to my knowledge at least) were never represented as given to whining. Or at least that’s the impression they tried to project.

    But it looks now that we just might have to put up with at least four years of Republican whining. So Rush Limbaugh and his ilk had better be inventive and on his toes to keep his audiences entertained. Who would like to listen to sour grapes for the next thousands shows?

  • Hope and Change?

    zing….er um…

    1. “he’s shut down the biggest eyesore in recent memory” – not true BC is still up and running no matter what you think of this place and the posters in it!

    2. “trying to get rid of cronyism”- er…um….what? His administration looks more like “Clinton II”…with a mix of his southside buddies. You are in denial his administration is deep in the muck and mire of cronyism

    3. “end the war in iraq”….Oh yes by increasing the bombings of innocent civilians in Afganistan!

    Its all clear..Hope and Change…one dead innocent civilian at a time!

  • zingzing

    no, cindy, i’m not old enough to NEED a sponge bath… but i am old enough to want one. lazing about while someone washes you and gives you wine is a beautiful thing. i highly suggest it.

    and that suggests a prince song! “if i was your girlfriend”

    Would u let me give u a bath?
    Would u let me tickle u so hard ud laugh and laugh
    And would u, would u let me kiss u there
    You know down there where it counts
    Ill do it so good I swear Ill drink every ounce
    And then Ill hold u tight and hold u long
    And together well stare into silence
    And well try 2 imagine what it looks like
    Yeah, well try 2 imagine what, what silence looks like
    Yeah, well try 2 imagine what silence looks like
    Yeah, well try…

    heh. prince.

  • Cindy D

    taking your pants off in court. it’s just stupid.

    I agree. Taking your pants off should be reserved for appropriate places.

    Those people know the meaning of fun.

  • zingzing

    ha, i did that last year. good fun.

  • http://unequal-time.blogspot.com Bryan Myrick

    STM,

    Your wrote:

    Well, that’d be two centuries anyway, and the better part of – but geez, only just.

    The drive I refer to is one that I feel has existed since the colonies were founded, not only the 200+ years since the United States was formed. That is why I wrote “centuries”. I thought that the historically-educated readers of Blogcritics would understand that.

  • Cindy D

    zing you did that? i am so jealous.

    did you see their food court musical?

    one of my favorites.

  • Clavos

    and when was it great? please don’t say “last monday.”

    Up until Vietnam. Not since, and sliding downhill at an accelerating pace.

    If you’re arguing it’s never been great, I’ll agree with you. I said “once great” to be charitable.

  • zingzing

    cindy, i hadn’t seen that one. one of my favorites is when about 50 people suddenly froze in grand central. then there’s the one where they filled up a subway car with identical twins. regular patrons are so confused. human mirror, i think they call it.

    clavos, i’m of the opinion that some things about this country are great, but some things are not. that’s how it has always been, that’s how it will probably remain.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    You ARE a realist. And so am I.

  • Cindy D

    yeah human mirror. you know the first no pants subway ride resulted in some people being handcuffed/arrested.

    a judge decided it wasn’t illegal to walk around in your underwear. since then the cops showed up, but said they were only there to make sure everyone had a good time.

  • zingzing

    yay! new york! get naked! it’s also legal for women to go topless in the street here. what a city.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Since when, Zing. The last time I remember when I was working on Wall Street and they’d bear their breast as part of anti-Vietnam protest.

  • zingzing

    oh, i dunno roger. there was some court case within the past few years that a woman won after getting arrested for public nudity. or whatever you call it. i’d look it up, but i haven’t got the inclination. who know, i could be wrong. can’t test it myself…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    That almost makes me want to settle back in the good ole’ New York. I fell in love with California, though. Woody Allen had it wrong.

  • zingzing

    so i got the inclination: it was actually 1992 when it became law, but it was tested out last year… a woman was arrested for indecent exposure and sued the city. she won, obviously…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Good for her! The New Amsterdam was what they called it first, I think.

  • zingzing

    i think it was just new amsterdam, as it was dutch. but it had nothing to do with how liberal amsterdam was/is. still, the name fit. better than new york… york? what the fuck is york? some little hobunk town in the north of england? bah.

  • Clavos

    hobunk? what is hobunk?

  • Cindy D

    Jorvik.

    How can someone not love it???

    I remember driving into there what a beautiful place. A walled city.

  • STM

    Bryan: “The drive I refer to is one that I feel has existed since the colonies were founded, not only the 200+ years since the United States was formed”.

    Ah, excellent … Bryan finally emerges from the woodwork to engage his readers.

    My view: It was part of British North America before that, often with near as many new migrants from Britain as there were native-born colonial Americans, so in essence, Americans were ptrobably more British in their thinking until after the revolution and the birth of the fledgling nation proper.

    Don’t forget that a small clique forged the revolution, and everyone else got caught up in it, some willingly, some unwillingly, at first.

    But yes, America does have a can-do spirit. We’ll see how much can-do remains in the next years.

    My bet is that Obama’s change won’t make America any less great or anything too different to how it’s always been, rather the rheoric heralds a movement down an ever-so-slightly slightly different track – which is probably long overdue.

  • STM

    York, yes some little Hobunk town in the north of England that gave its name to one of the royal houses of England, one of the famous counties, and has a history dating back 2000 years.

    The names comes from the Danish Jorvik …

    It’s been settled by celts, Romans, Danes (Vikings), Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Normans. More recently, it’s just home to a pack of Poms with strange accents, but Indian and West Indian immigrants have made recent contributions to the culture and their children now speak with broad Yorkshire accents.

    It is home to a magnificent cathedral (York Minister), a multitude of historic sites – including the shambles, a genuine medieval preserved street now a host to up-market shops – and sits right in the middle of some of the most spectacular scenery and countryside you’ll ever see.

    It was a royalist stronghold during the English Civil War and captured by the Parliamentarians in a bloody battle.

    Dick Turpin, the notorious English highwayman (armed robber) of the 18th century, was tried at York assizes, hanged, and is buried in a local churchyard.

    Yorkshire has produced some of the world’s best Test cricketers.

    During WWII, the surrounding area and nearby county Durham played host to airmen from the US, Canada and Australia, whose squadrons were based in the north of England, so York had a role in thumping the Nazis, who also bombed the sh.t out of it.

    Many of these airmen remember it fondly and return for reunions on occasion. My grandmother remembered the sound of the planes forming up and flying overhead both night and day in the latter half of the war.

    It is also home to Britain’s National Railway Museum, and when you’re talking steam, there’s a whole lot of history there … there’s a nice cold-war bunker preserved in York as a museum piece too.

    My Viking-descended family comes from a little village on the Yorkshire border, a place called Yarm that still has cobblestone streets built by the Romans. My grandparents’ village has an archery stone on the village green dating back to the 11th century.

    The place rocks.

    Top that for history, you heathen pack of Yankee philistines.

    New f.cking Amsterdam?? Please, mate …

    What are you on, zing – or should I really not ask?

  • STM

    For all that, and having lived over there for a while as a boy, I must say it’s much, much nicer down here in the South Pacific.

    I’m glad they moved :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    It must be the time zone, STM, that brings you up again at this hour while we’re gonna go bye-bye. Sorry can’t keep you company right now. Perhaps next time!

  • zingzing

    stm: “What are you on, zing – or should I really not ask?”

    just riling you up.

    i really have no problem with york or yorkshire. i’ve actually been there, and it’s a beautiful place.

    but it’s no new york.

    old york can suck it.

    see? riling you up again. if i had known you had ancestry there, you australian, i would have done my worst. only because you’re australian. nothing against you.

    at least new york is currently the best city in the damn world. doubt [old] york could handle it.

    and i’m not on any drugs. swear. another night.

  • STM

    Yes, Roger, the old international date line … we’re a day ahead – 18 hours’ west coast time, and almost a full day ahead of Hawaii, even though it’s the closest part of the US to us.

    If you leave Sydney and fly to Los Angeles, according to the clock, you will arrive in LA before you left Sydney.

    Coming the other way, a whole day disappears the other way around. It’s a day you never get back.

    It can be very disconcerting. Time travel.

  • STM

    I’d have to agree with you on that one, zing … I’d much rather be in New York than “old” York, even if it is a lovely place.

    Especially with the muchies after a big, beery night … two pepperoni slices is better than a bag of hot chips with vindaloo sauce – but only just.

    Better in the morning too.

  • Brunelleschi

    Off topic but true story about flying across date line (west to east, to gain a day)

    A few years ago I was photographing an outdoor sport on weekends. I had an event to do on a Sunday afternoon in Sacramento.

    I was worried I would miss an event, because I was working in Singapore the week previous and travel was getting risky. East Timor was coming apart, and the Singapore airport was jammed with travelers getting away. I was flying standby due to the job I had. The chances of getting a seat were close to zero.

    Long story shortened.. I get the last seat available on a flight to Japan on the day of the event (first class, had to wear business attire due to work rules). Then I got lucky again on a flight to San Fran. I rented a car and dashed to Sacramento. I got to the event and signed in, grabbed my camera, and didn’t even have time to change. This was over 24 hrs since I left…

    People saw me on a dirt track dressed like that and said “what took you so long, where have you been?”

  • STM

    Lol. Been there. It’s a bit spooky, travelling all that time and arriving before you left, or around the same time.

  • Cindy D

    RE #280

    Stan,

    I think you forgot Yorkshire Pudding!

    And let’s not leave out the Jorvik Viking Centre* with it ride through history including the real viking smells!

    *note the quaint spelling of the word “center”.

  • STM

    Thanks for the link Cindy. The viking centre was a bit after my time there I think. Those Viking smells … I’d hate to think :)

    We still occasionally eat Yorkshire pudding in Australia. It’s sometimes on the menu in the restaurant at work – once a year maybe.

    My grandmother used to serve it the traditional way – straight out of the oven and covered in gravy BEFORE the Sunday roast.

    My mother insisted on doing the same here, even if it was 45C outside and hot enough to kill a brown dog.

    Hope you enjoyed yourself when you were there Cindy.

    Everyone from an English-speaking nation should try if possible to visit the Old Dart once in their lives, I reckon, just to see how, why and where we got what we got.

    That way, your history goes way back in time and it’s all interconnected.

    I love the place, along with America – and they’re really not that different, despite the obvious differences.

    Then again, this place isn’t that different to America either … except you guys speak with strange accents that I find difficult to understand.

    I have spoken on the phone to Nalle and Clavos, and could barely comprehend a word they were saying :)

  • bliffle

    Roger said:

    “What’s surprising to me about the whole thing, the Republicans (to my knowledge at least) were never represented as given to whining. Or at least that’s the impression they tried to project.”

    The neos bullied their way into the republican party, bent on bullying their way to world domination as usual, and proceeded to bully Real Republicans out of the party or into a corner. Then they bullied the rest of the USA so that they could go on and bully the rest of the world with the new military and economic forces at their disposal.

    But their incompetence killed both the military and the economy that they bullied so hard to get control of, and they started to lose.

    So the neo-republicans did what frustrated bullies always do, they started whining. You can expect more of that whining from the little creeps.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I’ll leave it to Nally to answer to this. I’m already hated on this site more than I could ever imagine.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    But bliffle, you left out the real punchline. Now they’re all heading back to the Democrats and looking for jobs with Obama.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    dave, can you show proof of that, or does it just exist in your head?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    zing, I think what Dave’s getting at is that the neocons (obviously, out of the job now)would find a niche in the Obama administration – another form of the world-takeover, that is, but from the Left.

  • zingzing

    yeah, i get that much.

    but i just don’t see it happening. not now, not in the future. it’s ridiculous to think that a) obama would be so dumb and b) that anyone would mistake these guys for democrats.

    i know the neocons are just conspiring little shitheads… but if they ever were dems to begin with, they left so long ago (in either time or philosophy) that they’d never find their way back. their worldview is just too many miles away from it.

  • Clavos

    I have spoken on the phone to Nalle and Clavos, and could barely comprehend a word they were saying :)

    Right back atcha, Mate.*

    The interesting thing is, that your writing is (for the most part) in perfectly serviceable English; it’s only when you’re talking that the ‘Strine comes out.

    *and a tip o’ me titfer to ye as well, mate

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    zing, I think he’s just in his satirical mode here, nothing else. So I grant him that and move on.

  • STM

    Clavm: (for the most part)

    Not takling ’bout me liyeray muyayions are ya?

  • Clavos

    but if they ever were dems to begin with…

    I believe that’s the definition of a neocon, zing2

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    That’s food for thought. So you say they got disenchanted and become turncoats?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dysm: og up[ vsm’y imfrtdysmf Fsvr smf V;sb pm yjr [jpmr, ytu ys;lomh yp ,r!

  • zingzing

    clavos: “I believe that’s the definition of a neocon, zing2″

    what is? that they were dems? i think it was that they rejected being dems. so i dunno if they ever really were.

    but they’re certainly not dems now, and are probably going to find themselves in the trashbin of history soon enough.

    and good riddance.

  • STM

    KO Doc, you’ve got me stumped on that one. Is it fair dinkum or just a random jumble of letters made to look like it’s supposed to be something you’ve actaully thougth aboouy?

  • zingzing

    stm: “aboouy”

    gawd! mangler of english! fuggin australians!

    (i know, i know.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    But Clavos has a good point, Zing, even if he’s only halfway right. For the feeling of betrayal is a powerful motivation. There’s nothing potentially more dangerous and bond-forming than a hotbed of sweet conspiracy and the plotting of revenge. [Shakespeare]

  • Clavos

    Six,

    Rii wsat.

    U qsa s xtyorifesogwe ub rgw Sent.

  • STM

    Zing, I love the word mangler. It always makes me giggle. We used to have a photo machine at work back in the good old days that would develop news film in a hurry, thus negating the need to put it through the manual dark room process right on edition time.

    The photographers knew it as either “the muncher” or “the mangler”. Many a big white hole was nearly left in the paper because of that stupid machine.

  • zingzing

    stm, i like saying it “mangla,” as in “gangsta.” but it would probably sound funny coming out of your mouth. (which, if it’s anything like those of the rest of the empire, looks funny enough.) (lalala.) (wow, i just farted and burped at the same time.) (stop.) (no.)

  • Hope and Change?

    Was it my imagination or did King Barry look a alot like Osama Bin Laden in his AAAAAAArab interview? Gee was he giving out secret commands to his worshippers??

    I was also taken back when King Barry gave the reporter “the knuckle” a secret hand shake of international terrorists!

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    You may question the Obama neocons, but there are certainly plenty on the far left who are eager to point them out. Not always correctly, IMO. However, Dennis Ross who last I heard is likely to be a special envoy or ambassador to Iran is a Democrat who holds pretty much the same views as the neocons in foreign policy. Obama was also widely supported by neocons during the election, as detailed by pseudolibertarian Justin Raimondo.

    The term neocon gets thrown around very freely, but if you look solely at policy and allegiances rather than at history of association with the neocon movement, then Rahm Emanuel has to be considered a Neocon as does Richard Holbrooke who was appointed special envoy to Afghanistan.

    We shouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of people concluding that Obama’s bipartisanship basically comes down to welcoming selected neocons back to the Democratic party.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I agree with you about Richard Holbrooke, Dave. Same world view.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Stan,

    It’s what happens when you touch-type in the dark without realising someone’s moved your chair half an inch to the right.

    Clav’s chair, conversely, seems to be moving all over the place. I didn’t think they had earthquakes in Florida…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Addendum to #311:

    In fact, I’m prepared to add that if U.S. foreign policy will not undergo a substantial change, then the change of the guard in the White House will have been mostly one of style.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Hopeless & Unchangeable,

    I know you don’t want to miss drawing our attention to a single one of the new President’s blunders, so I think it only a kindness to point out that you omitted to mention that he missed a spot shaving this morning.

    It’s the end of civilization as we know it.

  • STM

    Lol. Mangla. That’s how we say it anyway, zing. As you know, we don’t pronounce all our “r”s down this neck of the woods.

    AKA non-rhotic, as opposed to the American rhotic accent.

    For us, when followed by a vowel, a post-alveolar continuant; otherwise silent.

    Ie, pronounced in red, but silent in mangla.

    In most of America, the R is a retroflex continuant when not preceded by a vowel – except in Boston and some places in the south.

    Listen to a Bostonion say words like car and beer – they pronounce it exactly the same as us.

    That’s the mix in near equal parts of Irish and English accents. In Boston, the Irish won out over the obvious English west-country origins of the American accent, but only just, and here the English accent of convict cockneys won out over the Irish accent, but only just.

    The same phenomenon can be witnessed in New Zealand and Canada, except that the celtic component most obvious in those two places is Scottish, rather than Irish.

    Hence both countries’ regular use of the word “Eh?” at the end of a sentence.

    And why a Canadian accent is slightly different to an American, and a New Zealand accent slightly different to an Australia.

    The South African English accent however is totally different – it owes much of its front-of-mouth sound to Dutch.

    It’s a great language we share though, eh?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’ve heard two distinct South African English accents. (Well, strictly speaking there are at least three, but I assume we’re talking primarily about white South Africans here.)

    The accent of those whose first language is Afrikaans or who are from an Afrikaner background is quite different from the accent of English-speaking South Africans.

    The latter sounds to me a lot more akin to Australian and New Zealand English.

  • STM

    Cool Doc, I’m just about to get ready for work (after dropping my daughter at the hairdresser’s in readiness for her return to school tomorrow for first term of Year 8 – nothing appears more important this morning than the hair), so when I get there, I’ll have hours of fun trying to decipher those. So Clav has moved either side of the right letters, right?

    Maybe it was the cat stepping on the keyboard.

  • Cindy D

    I she getting a perm?

    I wondat lurnley as a clood…

  • STM

    Totally different way of speaking Doc, although the accent is the same – but with much harder sounds when spoken by an Afrikaner whose first language is Afrikaans.

    Anglo South Africans have a softer accent, although it’s all starting to get mixed in now.

    Either way, it’s unmistakeable.

    I used to wonder whether in 500 years we’d all be incomprehensible to each other, but I think the accents are all actually moving closer together.

    Young people in this country have a homogeneous kind of mid-Pacific accent they share with young Americans and New Zealanders, and young Brits, Irish and Americans now have a mid-Atlantic accent. They still sound different, but the way they structure conversations is the same. Interesting stuff, how it’s evolved that way in the age of global mass communication.

    I found it strange in the Philippines listening to people speaking English as a second language almost with American accents. Bizarre, that.

  • Clavos

    Stan, Doc,

    There’s a pattern.

    Hint: I was a cryptographer in the Army.

  • zingzing

    “Dysm: og up[ vsm’y imfrtdysmf Fsvr smf V;sb pm yjr [jpmr, ytu ys;lomh yp ,r!”

    stan: if you can’t understand da[v]e and clav on the phone, try talking to me!

  • Cindy D

    Dr.D what is that accent you had, you know before you took on the James Bond one?

  • zingzing

    doc, tiy xiyks nJW Heswe vt bir xEUBF viyr xwerUB RGUBFA,

    askimet sucks. thinks this is spam. it’s code, i tell you! code!

  • STM

    Cindy: “Is she getting a perm?”

    Nah, the full wallet-emptying $300 trendy cut and colour. She always picks the most expensive place too.

    Well trained by her mother, I suspect.

    If I don’t agree to cough up, for haircuts or new clothes, it’s a drama of 90210 proportions.

    Or as her mum says, a “a girl’s got to have a decent hairdo”.

    Thankfully, my son didn’t care about any of that stuff and wore T-shirts and Levis and he’d spend an hour trying to make his hair look like he hadn’t done anything to it, although I must say the lawyer’s bills more than made up for it and started to get a bit on the nose when he was about 16 or 17.

    Lucky for him they go easy on kids a bit here, as he was a bit wild to say the least.

    He starts university next month. That’s a minor miracle, truly – although I keep asking to make sure he knows when orientation day is as he’s still not the nation’s most responsible young man, although much better.

  • Cindy D

    Well Stan in that case consider that wordsworth one I posted, all hers.

  • Cindy D

    …he’d spend an hour trying to make his hair look like he hadn’t done anything to it…

    lol

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    mpe yjsy od pmr [to,oybr=sdd dindyiyopm vpfr. xomh/

    Fsbr

  • Cindy D

    lol zing it’s prolly code fo xanax

  • STM

    Clav: “Six”

    OK, guys, I’ve worked it out. So has our mate Fsbr

    Yours faithfully, Dysm

    (gee, we love our little bits of fun here, don’t we :)

  • zingzing

    mi ew fimr.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m getting the spam thing too. I think Akismet’s getting paranoid. Let’s see how else we can mess with its head!

  • Bliffle

    American ingenuity isn’t dead! After all, we invented the spork.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Which James Bond accent, Cindy? The Scottish one, the Australian one, the two English ones, the Irish one or the other English one? There hasn’t been a Welsh James Bond yet, which is a travesty for such a British icon. When Daniel Craig’s had enough I reckon they should let Rhys Ifans have a go.

  • STM

    Come on Doc, Ioan Gruffudd (Horatio Hornblower in the Hornblower series and William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace) would be way better than Ifans.

    But if you want a Bond that looks like he enjoys a Friday night pint and punch-up, Ifans would be perfect.

  • STM

    Bliff, I’ve never seen the spork Down Under, but we do have some splades in the kitchen drawer (cross between fork, spoon and knife). Any relation?

  • STM

    Also, Wikipedia claims the spork is a British invention … first manufactured by the Folgate Silver Plate Company of England, which came up with one sometime between 1875 and 1900.

    Obviously, though, British and US patent laws didn’t extend in those days beyond each other’s jurisdictions.

    I’m also thinking maybe the Poms should let the US claim this one as an American invention.

    Australia invented the Hills hoist rotary clothes line, which for the first time allowed the user to raise and lower the line – our great gift to the civilised world.

    America has the Smithsoinian, we have the National Museum … which features a Hills Hoist. Lol.

  • bliffle

    Well, maybe it’s true. Maybe American ingenuity is on it’s death bed. Oh well.

  • Cindy D

    Dr.D,

    I guess I haven’t watched James Bond in a while. I’ll go with the one from my childhood, Roger Moore.

    And Dr.D, please tell me what that accent is. I hate when I can’t remember something. Usually I stick a few words in google. (google has become half my memory). But, I can’t find it.

    Ah! Jordy?

  • STM

    Geordie …

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Cindy, I’m not sure if you’re talking about my accent (am I on YouTube somewhere? If so, I can’t think where, when or how!) or Roger Moore’s.

    Moore’s is drama school-trained standard English. Sean Connery – the definitive Bond for most die-hard 007 afficionados – is supposedly from Edinburgh, but his ‘Scottish’ accent is unlike any I’ve ever heard a Scot use.

    Mine is a bit of a chameleon: it tends to change a bit depending on who I’m talking to. For the most part these days it’s English with a mild California twang. When I go back home the American element disappears fairly quickly. And I’ve caught myself sounding slightly Australian more than once during my visits Down Under.

    I’m half Geordie (My Dad grew up on Tyneside) but you wouldn’t know it except that I’m a fan of the Toon and enjoy Newcastle Brown Ale. Why aye man!

  • Cindy D

    Dr.D,

    yeah I know about your geordie accent, as we’ve had this conversation in the past. but you said you don’t use it. as far as james bond, it was a guess. some british friends told me that’s not a real accent he has, no one talks like that. so i figured if you changed yours…well…maybe you all learn to talk like james bond lol

  • STM

    Doc: “And I’ve caught myself sounding slightly Australian more than once during my visits Down Under”.

    Must be genetic. You don’t have any convicts in your family, do you Doc??

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    No, Stan, all squeaky clean as far as I know.

    Maybe we were the guards…!