Thursday, March 18, 2004


Hey, everybody. Sorry I sort of took an unannounced hiatus. But by the time Spring break rolled around last week, I was up to my pineal gland in work...then spent spent Spring break with the GF in Chapel Hill...who does not, incidentally, have web access in her home...but does, on the other hand, have cable television, which is interesting to watch every now and then, but bizarre as Hell...I mean, WTF is up with American popular culture, anyway...and this week again too busy for blogging. Maybe I should have posted a warning about the hiatus, but I didn't plan on it, it's just sort of happened... Oh, and the GF has informed me that her name is now Johnny Quest, incidentally. That's a little weird because I really, really liked Johnny Quest when I was a kid. But not, you know, in that way...

And, to be honest, I've also just been disinclined to blog. When I came back from break, the first thing I encountered on the web was the left-right tussling over the Madrid bombing, with the lefties screeching that it was a reaction to the dishonesty of the Aznar gov't and the righties insisting that it was capitulation to terrorism by the quasi-French Spaniards... I don't know who's right, and I don't know what facts were revealed in the first few days after the bombing, but people seemed, in general and as per usual, to be interpreting the facts to fit their preferred theory, antecedently held. But I shouldn't even comment on this, since it may, in fact, have been clear what happened...I don't know.

Anyway, I guess I've also been thinking a lot about how much time we all waste in the blogosphere... I mean, do we really need to discuss the latest wingnut quackery about gay marriage causing the destruction of Western civilization (and quantum vacuum decay...and the heartbreak of psoriasis)? We're facing a crisis...the worst, most dishonest, most incompetent, and perhaps most dangerous American administration of my lifetime... I'm starting to think I should be spending my time actively working to get this bunch of nuts and criminals thrown out of the White House instead of screwing around analyzing their obviously crazy and disingenuous arguments... In fact, I've developed a (semi-tongue-in-cheek) hypothesis about the right's strategy. It explains a lot. Here it is:

Wingnuts like Coulter and Limbaugh and Jonah Goldberg sit around and whip off stream-of-consciousness rants as fast as they can, then paste 'em up at NRO, The Weekly Standard, and similarly disreputable places, knowing that people like Ezra Klein and David Neiwert and Bilmon will then spend hours of their time on detailed analyses of mindless rants that couldn't have taken more than five minutes to write. Thus lots of smart people waste their time--time that could have been spent actively working to, for example, get the current band of lunatics and criminals out of the White House--refuting nonsense. As one of my colleagues pointed out to me, in academia we often spend more time refuting the nonsense cranked out by famous morons than the famous morons spent writing the nonsense in the first place. The wingnuts, I hypothesize, have come to realize that if they throw a really stupid argument our way, instead of ignoring it we'll drop what we're doing and waste our time formulating arguments against it. Thus their five minutes of work sucks hours of work out of some smart liberal who might otherwise have spent his time effectively.

Whaddaya think? Paranoid enough for ya?

Oh, incidentally, I'm like a semi-terminal insomiac, in case you're wondering what explains my occasional..or more-than-occasional...incoherent babbling...


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