Archive for the ‘blogospheric tail chasing’ category

I Wish Andrew Were Correct, But…

September 4, 2012

…when he writes stuff like this:

…by adding Ryan to the ticket, Romney has ensured that the far right will not be able to blame defeat on a RINO candidate. They will have to accept that a teenage Randian vision of domestic society and a revolutionary militarist foreign policy are not acceptable options in a free and sane polity.

he hasn’t begun to plumb the depths of the crazy.

See, e.g., this:

“If Obama wins re-election, the Republican Party will react by moving right, not left,” observes Ramesh Ponnuru, a well-connected conservative writer, in a Bloomberg op-ed Monday. “It will become less likely to compromise with Obama, not more.”

Radical right fanaticism can never fail.  It can only be failed.  Andrew Sullivan may believe that there is a rational core remaining somewhere in the bowels of the Republican Party.  There isn’t.  And the very piece of evidence he advances to claim otherwise — that the selection of Ryan is an 11 dimensional-chess-worthy move that will handcuff the asylum’s inmates when the loss sinks in — is so swiftly and easily swatted away it is almost pathetic that he would pin any hopes for a return to sanity on so tattered a reed.  Hell — the retort isn’t even wrong:  if and when Mitt Romney goes down to defeat, and even if and when the Dems hold the Senate and (FSM willing) pick up the house (I dream big when I dream), the radical right’s true believers will be able to say, accurately, that Romney lost the election.

Remember:  Palin didn’t lose in 2008, McCain did — and even if you conceded that Palin didn’t help, the fact that remains that it’s the guy on top that takes the fall.  Plus, you have now something even more deeply felt than it was four years ago:  the radical right is tolerating Romney; he’s on permanent double secret probation with them.

If and when the R-Money/Granny Starver ticket loses, the obvious place for the radical right to go is (a) to demand a true believe in position one in 2016 after two failures with the squishy folks at the top of the ticket discredit (in their eyes) the notion that even the simulacrum of moderation is electorally valuable.  Then there’s (b):  when you’ve gone all in on the worldview that says Obama and Democrats in general are illegitimate, no matter how many elections they win, then the radical right have no reason at all to resume taking their oh-so-necessary meds.  The Kenyan Mooslim Commie Usurper must be opposed by any means necessary, and no amount of actual, you know, votes, can change that conviction.

There is no future in the Republican party.  It’s sane remnant, if it wishes to retain that modifier, is going to have to do what Abe Lincoln’s Republican party did to the Whigs back in 1854: separate and disembowel.  Nothing less will do, I think.  The mad dog sunk its teeth in too long ago; the time for treatment has passed; one should merely mourn the walking corpse and move on.

Factio grandaeva delenda est!

Image:  Thomas Rowlandson, A Mad Dog in a Coffee-House, c. 1800.

Belatedly…A Bloggy Announcement

October 28, 2010

It’s been quiet around here the last few days (and more or less for a while).

The highly episodic nature of this blog for the last few months has been due to the usual stuff — summer, then the sheer joy of the start of the fall semester, combined with the shock of a new gig at the ‘tute.  But over the last couple of days something else has been going on…

and that is, thanks to the very kind (and/or certifiable) hospitality of John Cole, I’m guest blogging over at Balloon Juice.  I’ve put up a couple of posts there so far, with more to come.

So, while I’ll try to be more conscientious than I’ve been to flag posts over there over here, that’s where you should check in for my stuff — and all the rest as well.  It’s a great place to hang on the nets, and I’m honored and very happy to be sending stuff that way. (I’ve been talking thuggery and Godwin, but if you want to check out a relaxation, politics-free post on good science writing, the Krebs cycle, and how many hydrogen atoms died for this post, check this one out.

Image:  Abraham Solomon, “(Travelling) First Class” 1862



August 31, 2010

What John Cole said.

Google bombing run to commence in 3…2…1…


Seriously — I’ve got an acct. w. Paypal, and while they have not done to me what they have done to John (memo to self — no debit cards from companies whose offices I can’t walk into), I smell the grasping hand for that last little bit of float in every transaction I make with them.

Image:  Guy Pène du Bois, “The Confidence Man,” c. 1919.


August 4, 2010

ScienceBlogs bloggers live on in very spiffy new digs.

Many of my favorites from the old place have reorganized themselves here, at

Most wonderful, from my perspective, the interaction/conversation between blogs and bloggers that was one of the best (and occasionally worst) of the Seed Megalith’s science blogging aggregation is reproduced here, with much good fellowship and very sharp intelligence.

An evolution to be watched…

Image:  Anicet-Charles-Gabriel Lemonnier, The Salon of Madame Geoffrin” 1812.

Not Dead Yet….Just Resting/Beautiful Plumage Edition

May 23, 2010

Blogging is conspicuous by its absence.  I plead end-of-term disasters, combined with the long dark tea-time of the soul.

Been feeling grim lately, and lacking the oomph to blog, I channel my inner Ishmael:

… I find myself growing grim about the mouth;
whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I
find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses,
and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet;
and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me,
that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from
deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking
people’s hats off–then, I account it high time to get to sea
as soon as I can.

But I do see some possibility of returning to civil conversation, probably after my next two talks, both in the LA area tonight (LA County Library downtown) and tomorrow (the OC — at the National Academy facility at UC Irvine), so please consider this a hiatus rather than a quietus.

And in the meantime, for your viewing pleasure, those clips that inspire this title.


Why I Love the English Language (and writing)

April 16, 2010

From Nick Mamtas

Carver became a legend on 72 short stories. I just sold my 60th.  But thanks to the handy chart at the back of Carol Sklenicka’s mammoth biography, I know that Carver never sold stories to anthologies with names such as The Walri Project, The Naked Singularity, or Fucking Daphne. Am I doing something wrong?

(h/t Andrew Sullivan.)

I don’t quite know why this tickles me so, except that as a writer, I love reading writer’s rants.  Or perhaps its the fact that I now have some almost-certain-to-be-unreached destinations to which my own work could aspire.


mage: Cover of the pulp magazine Weird Tales (January 1937, vol. 29, no. 1). Covert art by Margaret Brundage.

How to deal with trolls/Why I love Balloon Juice

April 13, 2010

Nothing like some Albigensian snark to deal with the old “everyone’s evil, hence no one’s evil” apologetic for the latest hateful nonsense to emerge from the Catholic clergy/child rape scandal.  See commenter Warren Terra at number 77 for the details.

Image:  The massacre of the Albigensians, from the Chronicle of St. Denis,  fourteenth century.