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What Would People Think?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Enough With The Snark Already

[Warning: Rambling and Potentially Uninteresting Thoughts Ahead. Or maybe not.]

I love sarcasm and humor as much as any other former Slant writer. So it's hard to say exactly when and why I got sick and tired of snark.

Somewhere along the line....maybe during the 2007-2008 political campaigns, maybe watching movie news.....it just seemed to me that nobody had anything good to say about anybody else on the Internet. I'm not talking about valid criticism of a political policy or a movie role or anything. I'm talking about a vicious willingness to pounce on any mistake, any eccentricity.....anything HUMAN.....and make it the butt of a million jokes. Jokes that make the joker and listener feel superior to the subject of the joke. Jokes that rip a person to pieces and are just cruel.

I don't know. I like satire and usually laugh at a clever turn of phrase. Perhaps it's all a good thing in small doses. But it seems like it's all anyone on the Internet ever does.

Or perhaps it's about WHAT is being mocked? A politician slips up and says something stupid. So what? A politician betrays the public trust and tries to act self-righteous about it (see Rod Blagojevich). THAT's worth mocking.

Anyways, these rambling thoughts were brought on by this Roger Ebert column. Go ahead and read it.

Let's just.....I don't know....let's try and make mockery something we do when it's deserved....not a way of life. And every now and then, maybe I'll even try and encourage someone.

Sorry for the rambling.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Just To Be Contrarian......and Inexplicably Weird

Again, I'm a lawyer not an economist. But, since my friends have apparently become fiscal conservatives, I thought I would link to this op-ed. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Also, here's a link to a clown college. Your variations on "huh?" are appreciated.

That is all.

[Update:] Forgot to hat-tip. Got the link from Ian over at Overruled. The op-ed, that is. Not the clown college.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Useful Summary of the Stimulus Package

So I'm kind of shocked that not one of my friends who has registered an opinion on the blogosphere is in favor the stimulus package. Not that I really have a huge opinion on it....I feel this is outside my realm of expertise. But my mind is boggled when Kenny's conservative friend Dave (who is allegedly like me in most every way except politics....certainly we seem to share theological views) seems more in favor of some sort of government spending to save the economy than Jeff.

Anyways, whatever your views, the New York Times has a useful table which summarizes the various spending measures. You can organize by category like "Aid to States", "Tax Cuts for Individuals", and "Housing". So it's a useful source of information.

And now, having done none of the actual work it took to create the table, I will say "you're welcome."

Sunday, February 08, 2009

As Long As I'm Posting Links

I do have things to say. Actual thoughts that don't involve posting links to other people's stuff. I've been thinking a lot lately about my faith, why I believe what I believe.....about where I'm going with my life and whether I'm doing enough to help the oppressed (short answer: no)......about why I've come to reject a philosophy of life and politics based on the economic concept of utility, or the idea of "self-actualization." I'd love to blog endlessly about the theological mistakes of George W. Bush as they related to his Iraq policy (I've had that one kicking around in my head for years). I wanted to launch into a defense of Rick Warren before the Inauguration, or write a praise of his Invocation prayer after I saw the Inauguration, or go deeper and write an examination of the role of evangelicals like myself in the Democratic party.......and later on, I wanted to examine why I had such a chip on my shoulder about the whole criticism of Rick Warren. (Short answer: Although he's more conservative than me, I kind of saw Warren's relationship with Obama as a proxy for my relationship with the Democratic party. The furious criticism of Warren as a bigot and a huckster made me wonder if I have any place in the Democratic party. This coming from the former President of the Duke Law Democrats.) I've formulated in my head a discussion of why I follow what the Bible says about a subject even when I don't want to, and whether that makes me not-a-free-thinker or gives me a place to stand outside of the culture to critique it. And, of course, I wanted to write about life events - Christy's ongoing illness (it's been a year now and she's still having the damn palpitations!), a visit with Jeff & Danielle and their new-ish baby, Selah.....getting to know my awesome Bible study group......movies (Gran Torino = awesome).....music (wouldn't know a new song if it hit me over the head with a guitar being smashed by the ghost of Kurt Cobain)......anything! BUT I NEVER HAVE THE TIME ANYMORE!


Okay, I'm glad I got that out of my system. Where was I?

First, see the post below. Read Ian's blog. Make him the most popular liberal legal commentator ever.

Second, check out this young artist's youtube channel. She's got an amazing voice, as does her sister. I wish she wouldn't cover the Decemberist songs so quickly. But whatever. I hope she makes it big. She's certainly got great taste in covers and the vocal talent. Is she playing the guitar well? I wouldn't even know.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

For All You Legal-Political Junkies.....

.....or anybody looking for something else to read.

Remember my friend from law school, Ian Millhiser (who required neither food nor oxygen because he eats and breathes politics)?

Well, he's got a new blog: Overruled. If you want to keep up with what's going on in the world of constitutional law & you want to hear about it from a passionately liberal perspective, Ian's your man.

Check it out.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Because I Haven't Posted Since December

There are two schools of thought when it comes to blogging:

1) If you don't have anything useful to say, don't say anything. Better expressed as Jacob Grier's rules of good blogging.


2) Post something, dammit! I'm bored of seeing that picture of you with a shoe.

I'm going with number 2.

So, for lack of anything interesting to say.....I mean, I could update you on Christmas at sea, almost having a trial, being sick enough to go to the emergency room, visiting an old friend and his wife and baby (!), but I haven't the time. Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Get Fuzzy has been running the same joke for the past week, but it's a joke that pretty much describes me and - I suspect - a number of you. So click here and read this week's strips.

That is all. Sad, I know. I'll start again later.

Out of curiosity, DO those strips describe you, or am I the only one?