Friday, January 19, 2007

Burned All My Notebooks. What Good Are Notebooks?

So, um, not a good week. In addition to dealing with the amendment and its discontents, I’ve been having an escalating series of computer problems and a three-day school week for Kid Z. So, still not in the posting groove.

And just like I avoided sports for a week-plus after OSU bellyflopped in the BCS, I’m shying away from current events just now. So, as good a time as any to empty my notebook of half-formed ideas for posts; acorns that will never grow to be mighty oaks, but still should have their day.

A Post That Hasn’t Happened Yet.

I was utterly captivated by White House Senior Terror Expert Francis Fragos Townsend’s spin that the failure to capture Bin Laden is not a failure of the Bush Administration but "a success that hasn't happened yet." Then I was disappointed to see the statement disappear into the ether leaving nary a trace. If we truly had a liberal media like the conservatives have conservative media, this would have traveled around the world faster than you could say “no controlling legal authority.” If a Democrat had said something as mind-bogglingly inane, as implicitly insulting to the intelligence of the listener, this would now be permanently embedded in the political lexicon and people would be riffing on it instead of still making “for it before he was against it” jokes.

I’ll take one last stab at immortalizing this most brazen of spin jobs with a personal take. Herewith are Pho’s successes that haven’t happened yet:

-Landing a book deal
-Winning the Pulitzer Prize
-Sleeping with Uma Thurman
-Remaining married despite sleeping with Uma Thurman
-Cleaning my desk
-Getting a real job

Campaign ’06 Leftovers

A couple of lines that never made it into posts and whose shelf life is rapidly expiring.

“Betty Sutton is running the Head-On campaign:
Corruption! Apply directly to opponent!
Corruption! Apply directly to opponent!
Corruption! Apply directly to opponent!”

“Bill O’Neil’s strategy of not taking campaign donations to highlight the corrosive effect of money raising on the judiciary is brilliant. Now all he needs is some money so he can tell people about it.”

Blogospheric Disturbances

I was going to write a long post about all the changes on other blogs, but what I really want to do is ask: What the hell happened to Chris “Law Dork” Geidner? Some time during my extended convalescence, one of Ohio’s most nationally famous bloggers not only stopped blogging, but took down both iterations of The Dork, old and new. Spooky.

What Gay Marriage Advocates Could Learn from Pro-Lifers.

One thing that kills promising posts is that I have a fairly simple idea, then spend so much time with a bunch of unnecessary research that I don’t have time to finish the post. As I was verifying Chris’s continued absence I ran across this article he wrote about gay marriage and was reminded of one such simple idea that I made foolishly complicated.

The argument goes like this. Proponents of gay marriage and opponents of abortion both started in the same spot. Both believed their position to be fundamentally morally correct and both found heavy majorities opposing them. After some fits and starts, the anti-abortion movement settled on a strategy of incrementalism – passing statutes that whittled the right to abortion at the margins and that the public generally found agreeable. Parental notification was the classic for a long time; bans on so-called partial birth abortions are the latest example. The strategy got the movement bits of what they wanted and moved the overall debate in their direction.

Gay marriage proponents, on the other hand, do the opposite. Despite majorities favoring civil unions in most states, they continue to press for all-or-nothing court-imposed same-sex marriage. Funny thing about an all-or-nothing strategy; if you don’t get it all, you get nothing. I agree that gays should be allowed to marry and call it marriage. I don’t agree that tactically it makes sense to dig our heels in.

Did I really need a pile of links to make that case? I don’t think so either.

The Second Best Conservative Rock Songs.

Some time over the summer I heard about a National Review article about the 50 best conservative rock songs. There’s some good points in it, but it is replete with misreadings (the Blue Oyster Cult’s homage to the Japanese anti-nuclear monster movie Godzilla? Really?) and bizarre takes on what makes an idea conservative (“I Can’t Drive 55,” which embraces public disorder and law breaking. Or did the author think Sammy Hagar stops at 62?)

So I tried to come up with a satirical list of ten. I had a handful when the thing was too far past for it to make sense. Here are a few of my favorites – feel free to add more in comments.

“This Land is Your Land,” Woody Guthrie. Obviously it’s about property rights, though it would have been nice if he had been clearer: “This land is my land, that land is your land.” Bonus points for the anti-immigration chorus “This land belongs to you and me.” Not, you know, them.

“Smokin’ in the Boys Room,” Brownsville Station. Another rant against the supposed nanny state. And apparently there is now nothing so conservative as cigarettes.

“One Week,” Barenaked Ladies. Perfectly summarizes conservatism in one line: “Vanilla, it’s the finest of the flavors.”

Speaking of Songs

I started down the long road of writing a reflection on the Tom Sawyer experience. You know, going from blogger to blog outreach guy and back. I didn't get very far, but did come up with a nifty, facetious song parody as a framing device (apologies and hat tip to Joni Mitchell):

Still in jammies, feelin' proud
To say "It's bullshit!" right out loud.
Another voice within the crowd.
I've looked at blogs that way.

But now it's just another tool.
The Blogger's great or he's a fool
But either way, there's just one rule:
Send blogfood every day.

I've looked at blogs from both sides now
From "Inbox" and "Send," and still somehow,
It's blogs' illusions I recall
I really don't know blogs. At all.


czawadzki said...

I believe LawDork is working for the SOS. Not 100% sure it's SOS but he did take a job within the new OH Govt.

Ya know, there is that "celebrity list" idea where you and your wife agree to give passes on celebrity flings - you could add Uma Thurman to yours. I think she is on my husbands who is about as likely to sleep with her as you are :-) Of course, there is always that outside chance she reads Ohio political blogs. You never know.

Your take on the 50 best conservative songs truly deserves it's own post. It's brilliant.

redhorse said...

When TNR's appropriates "If I Had a Hammer" as a ode to the industriousness of the Protestant Ethic, I will jump from roof.

just sayin'.

Jill said...

I love these kind of posts, Scott - and my oldest had that three day week too. I hear ya.

Chris was with the AG's transition team - don't know any more than that.

Village Green said...

Good stuff! I was horrified to see The Kinks on that list of top conservative songs. To think that 20th Century Man is a tribute to conservative thinking is laughable. And this from the band that gave us "Young Conservatives."

Anyway, I'm thoroughly enjoying the three day work week!

Mencken said...

Apparently rock verses are like verses in the Bible...
you can always twist one to to suit your needs.

I can't believe this dork MIller left off the best conservative rock songs of all time: "Bush Was Right"
by The Right Brothers and "Sacrifice" — a tribute to Nazi Rudolf Hess by Prussian Blue. In fact he ignored the entire skinhead genre altogether.