Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Beware the Ides of March Blogaround

This should be read after my post which was originally slated to be part of the blogaround until it got too unwieldy. Then I saw this post by eriposte on Clinton Rules versus Obama Rules, which arrived on my Bloglines subs after I posted my last rant. It reminds me a lot of the "It's Okay If You're A Republican" rules. Ahem: We're supposed to be the good guys here, the ones who don't stoop to tactics like this. Two bloggers who have been all over this have been Avedon Carol and Vastleft at Corrente, and Jon Swift just put in his inside-baseball two cents. I also liked Roy's take on this. Please see Avedon's posts here, here and here. The first one especially interested me as it was about how Ferraro's ill-considered remarks could just as easily be construed as non-racist. I don't agree with what she said, but I don't think what she said was meant as racist, and neither do folks like Earl Ofari Hutchinson (see here and here), Bryan, and Elaine Frankonis. On the other hand, folks like LowerManhattanite make an eloquent case that Ferraro's wording was atrocious at the very least. Meanwhile, the candidate herself is still experiencing continued backlash -- well, "lash" actually since many of her detractors are retaliating against her being her rather than against specific policies and so forth. Susie has some interesting comments un-spinning the old and new media frame about Clinton's work in Northern Ireland and her instant denial as to whether she believed Obama to be a Muslim. Melissa, for her part, blames Al Gore. And eRobin has a good point when she observes somewhat sarcastically, "if Hillary Clinton is even half the brilliant, scheming, all-power, narrative-directing mastermind that certain leading opinion makers seem to believe she is, and if she's no less corporate-centrist as Obama, who seems to be unable to wrestle that power away from her, then I'm thinking she's the person the country needs to lead it." Lastly, it's really nice to see others coming to the same conclusions I've reached about Keith Olbermann, including Jude Camwell and Taylor Marsh. It's kinda nice to have that 8 PM hour freed up again, particularly with baseball season about to get underway.

• I think we're all agreed that August had the best sum-up of the Spitzer scandal. David "This Is Not My Beautiful Governor" Byrne wonders if we haven't been provided with the names of clients one through eight because "it sure smells like a Republican setup." Well, as Ken Houghton points out, Number Six is no longer a number, but a human being, sort of -- he's Prince William's godfather, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the 6th Duke of Westminster. If anyone uses the expression "Tally ho!" for this aspect of the scandal, they owe me credit. (What's with those gentried Brits, anyway? Joe at AmericaBlog reports that Lord Rothschild is fundraising for John McCain in England, which appears to be breaking US law.) Other good points have been made by Elaine, Hubris Sonic, Xeni, and LowerManhattanite, who gives a nice overview of NY's new governor. I didn't know he was the grandson of Basil Paterson! Man, are there a lot of political dynasties in this country or what?

• Onto less heavy matters. Mark at BoingBoing reports that Joseph Weizenbaum, the creator of Eliza, has passed away. As Firesign fans know, Eliza was one of the inspirations for Doctor Memory in I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus. Speaking of Firesign, Cat does his best to get the 4or5 on Air America during their recent cruise, which he's been documenting on his blog; here's the latest post. Being Cat, he of course has food reviews as well.

• And speaking of food, looks like Tony Bourdain's reaping the blowback from his amusing-sounding Golden Clog awards. Adam at Serious Eats talks about Tyler Florence's reaction (good lord, of course Tony's bombast is a schtick, he admits it himself, the point of the schtick is how funny it is and how well it works!) and some food critic's sudden impulse to slam Les Halles, Bourdain's old haunt. Wow guys, jealous much?

• Onto comics and suchlike: Barista is amused by overanalysis of Superman, particularly by Michael Chabon, while Graeme is not amused that Smallville appeared to base an entire plot around a product placement deal with a chewing gum maker. And Ampersand announces that his first "Hereville" story has been completed; way to go, Barry!

• Other cool stuff: Petulant at Shakesville passes along an interview J.K. Rowling did with a Scottish newspaper wherein she goes into more detail about Dumbledore and The Gay Thang. Also at Shakesville, Wolfrum made me laugh out loud with his tale of someone quite upset that she's not a victim of paredolia. Kevin at io9 reviews a documentary about Harlan Ellison shown at SXSW, and Hanan treats us to some Godfather haikus.

And since Blogger is down for maintenance, nobody will see this until apres Ides, but there you are, at least it's done...