Thursday, April 21, 2005

James' list

Wolcott, donning his blue cape, starts enumerating the Republican missteps of the past few weeks and smells blood in the water.

...It's shaping up as a very interesting spring and summer. More and more I become convinced that we will look back on Bush's flight from Texas to meddle in the Shiavo case as the moment he overplayed his hand and pissed his "political capital" out the window.

But as another new season reminds us, you’ve got to play 162 games and a few hits in the second inning of an April game does not a season make.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Johnnie Johnson

Really sad news for old school fans.

Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer Johnnie Johnson, 80, has died in his home in St. Louis. You may not know the name, but, for sure, you've heard him play. He was Chuck Berry's piano player and collaborator for gangs of hits like "School Days" and "Back in the U.S.A."

Chuck even wrote a song about him: the Rock n' Roll National Anthem - Johnny B. Goode.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Fear and Loathing in the Gonzo Fist

Ever the iconoclast, Thompson's irreverent send-off seems the perfect counterweight to the Pope's stunning funeral.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Turkey Treat

Jim Geraghty from NRO's TKS (nee: The Kerry Spot) is in Turkey where he ran across a mouthwatering snack - honey-roasted peanuts covered in sesame seeds. He wonders how that hasn't caught on in the rest of the world and I join him.

Snack time! Posted by Hello

Monday, April 04, 2005

Phase II

Josh Marshall is fleshing out more details about his new "group" blog planned as an "adjunct or companion site to Talking Points Memo."

This follows Arianna Huffington's announced new celebrity-laden "group blog" The Huffington Report which is also promised shortly.

See the trend? The group blog notion, as pictured by these two, seems to me indistinguishable from political magazines.

There may be "a mix of writers and politicos, at least a couple of whom you will have seen as guest bloggers at TPM." (Josh)

According to Variety, the Huffington Reort will include "a cast of bigwigs, including Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.), David Geffen, Barry Diller, Larry David, Tom Freston, Ari Emanuel, Jim Wiatt, Tina Brown and Harold Evans will each have their own blog from which to spout Big Thoughts about politics."

It's pretty clear if you're looking for diversity of thought, you're going to have to do a lot of clicking. As with the political magazines, there ain't a lot of one stop shopping here.

Is a magazine or a blog? Is this what Jeff Jarvis calls "citizen journalism," or is this just a bunch of MSM types having fun without an editor?

When Time discovered years ago the popularity of one of its weekly features - People - they launched it as its own, highly successful title. Blog success has always struck me as the next generation of another magazine feature - Letters to the Editor - a populist look at our world - a view from the Long Tail, only this time on a massive scale.

So, here we go - Phase II. It's the Indies vs. the Group MSM. Same as it ever was.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

On Terry Schiavo...

...first, do no harm.


"This is a tragedy, and it's become a circus. Name-calling just makes you one of the clowns."
- great line from Glenn Reynolds

Friday, February 25, 2005

Don't scare the horses

Insty points to an instructive commentary by Michael Gorman, who is the Dean of Library Services, Madden College, CalState, Fresno. Mr. Gorman doesn't like a.) Google or b.) "Blog People" -- not necessarily in that order.

On PlanetGorman, Google is a "notoriously inefficient search engine" that "is a wonderfully modern manifestation of the triumph of hope and boosterism over reality." Google's problem is it "gives you thousands of "hits" (which may or may not be relevant) in no very useful order." Of course this says more about Mr. Gorman's Googling skills than the technology, but nevermind, let's move on.

Digitizing books is a bad thing, too. It's "fast food" for the mind, etc.

And those "Blog people?" Puleeeze. They actually disagree, but of course, that's because they can only read in paragraphs -- not full books, like us smarty library folk.

Oh, and check this out. Here's Gorman's conclusion:

My sin against bloggery is that I do not believe this particular project will give us anything that comes anywhere near access to the world's knowledge.
Hmmm, I wonder if libraries are knowledge, or merely access to knowledge. Too deep for this paragraph-thinker.

Bottom line? Give us libraries types the money you were going to spend on this foolhardy digitizing scheme.

The whole tone of the article sounds like a trapped animal, desperate for an escape route, and could have been written a hundred years ago by the President of the Harriers and Blacksmith Association.