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7 September 1999

...He wakes up to "Homeless are stupid, welfare is stupid.
Private investment efficiency, cool fiscal plannin'."
Sounds like more Pat Buchanan.
-- Moxy Früvous, "Stuck in the 90's", Bargainville

First, welcome to any surfers stopping by to check this place out after the spiffy article in the Chicago Tribune, which I thought had some interesting insights and well-used words:

  • She Has Seen the Future and It Is -- Weblogs by Julia Keller [Chicago Tribune]
    There's precious little hype in the Weblog world (even though, of course, some might argue that the very act of creating a Weblog is hype enough for a lifetime, since it involves the constant valorization of one's most trivial impressions, fleeting opinions and halfbaked ideas).

I thought the article came out pretty well, by which I mean I don't feel particularly mis-quoted (which is, I understand, frequently a danger when dealing with the media). I do wish I hadn't overused "like", though... that was, like, lame of me.

I do disagree with the author's opening statements (but she knew this) -- I emphatically don't believe that other forms of writing are in any danger of extinction because of weblogging (or web writing in general); they're in danger of being interactively annotated, maybe, but not obviated...

It's nice to see Windowseat get some press, too. It's been around longer (and has more 'voice') than a lot of the newer, post-daily-for-five-days-and-disappear logs. (Posting every day is hard, and I'm not surprised that folks try it and run out of gas; I've settled on a [usually] Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule, myself, and even that gets difficult to keep up.)

Anyhow. Enough commentary on commentary on commentary.

Seen on Medley (a fine weblog):

  • Who's afraid of Pat Buchanan? by Jake Tapper (multipage) [Salon]
    ...what would the media fallout be if Elizabeth Dole sarcastically sneered at "the poor homosexuals -- they have declared war on nature and now nature is exacting its retribution"?

    How would the press corps react if someone discovered that Steve Forbes ... labeled the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa, in which 67 blacks were killed, "whites mistreating a couple of blacks"?

    Michael Kinsley, editor of Slate: "The bad way to look at it is that he's getting a free pass 'cause he's a pal. The slightly more complicated way to look at it is that if you know someone, you know their complications, and you're slower to reach conclusions about them. Especially negative conclusions."

    "David Duke is busy stealing from me. I have a mind to go down there and sue that dude for intellectual property theft." [Buchanan, 1991]

It's scary enough to read what Buchanan has to say (read the whole article, these aren't isolated examples). I wasn't aware of his more outrageous statements until this article.

It's scarier still that none of his fellow Republican candidates have anything to say about his pronouncements.

But what scares me the most is that his media buddies give him such a wide berth and let him stay under the national news radar when he says such things, and you know they wouldn't (and shouldn't) do it for anyone else. Fraternal loyalty can go too far.

A somewhat-related recent Clarence Page column on racism:

  • Evaluating Racism: Should bigotry be classified as a mental-health standard? [Chicago Tribune]
    Some view racism as any kind of racial prejudice. Others define racism as a belief that one race is inherently superior to another. Then there are those who view racism as a systemic and institutional power that can only be wielded by an empowered race--which in America means white folks--to oppress the disempowered.

    ...if we are going to say that everyone who espouses bigoted beliefs has a mental illness, we risk stretching the term "mental illness" beyond usefulness.

    ...American Psychiatric Association officials resisted requests to classify racism as a mental illness, [arguing] that racism in this country is "normative," a "cultural problem rather than an indication of personal pathology."

    That sounds about right to my lay ears.

This has probably been done by somebody somewhere else already, but in my experience at least, Robert Occhialini of Bump is the first to use "eBay" as a verb:

I'm amazed at how much junk I acquire somehow. I'm going to eBay a lot of stuff over the next month. (7 Sep 1999 entry)

Today's entry wasn't as long as it would have been since I'm still occupied dealing with the aftermath of Saturday's fun; namely, my car was broken into. They took my out-of-town friend's camera, and there pretty much wasn't anything else valuable to take. I have a smashed right rear window and dented door to get fixed, and of course body shops weren't open Sunday or Monday.


More tomorrow.

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