Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Goodness, gracious me. I had no idea when I jotted down yesterday’s comments about the “McGinniss siege” yesterday morning that this was going to be the main story of the blogosphere. We got a “Memeorandum-launch” out of it again, from linking to Dave Weigel’s confession that he is an insane person.
The background is that a certain private citizen who lives in Alaska, who holds no elected or appointed office whatsoever but once was that state’s governor and whose name was on a major party ticket for the Presidency, is being stalked by an unscrupulous biographer. The writer has rented the house next door to hers, and his new front porch comes within fifteen feet or so of hers. So she snapped a photo of it and uploaded it to her Facebook page with some pithy comments. Yep…altogether now…she can see his house from her house.
None of this was sufficiently remarkable, to me, to merit a post. What really tipped the scale was that Weigel — are you sitting down? — sees Sarah Palin as the perpetrator and McGinnis as the victim. She invaded his privacy with that Facebook entry.
Palin informs her readers that McGinniss is “overlooking my children’s play area” and “overlooking Piper’s bedroom.” Alternately sounding angry and mocking, she refers to “the family’s swimming hole,” which at first reference sounds like she’s accusing McGinniss of checking out the Palins in their bathing suits, until you realize the family’s “swimming hole” is Lake Lucille. And she posts a photo of the space McGinniss is renting, captioning it, “Can I call you Joe?” Can somebody explain to me how this isn’t a despicable thing for Palin to do?
Heheh. Yeah Dave, I could, but why should I have to? Have you read many of the typical Facebook entries? “Feelin’ blue, listening to a Whiter Shade of Pale on my old turntable.” “Walked out to my car in the rain, didn’t know I had a hole in my shoe, my sock got wet.” Some creep is renting the house next door so he can spend half a year spying on you, that’s some delicious red meat right there. Facebook should pay her an advance.
Blogsister Daphne is on Weigel’s side on this thing. She thinks Palin’s whining about the natural consequences of being in the public eye, or something.
This is one of those rare happenstances in which my reasonable and well-thought-out opinion happens to be in line with that of the majority. Although I have to admit, it wasn’t the undeniable logic of my defense that swayed the majority; this is The Blog That Nobody Reads, of course. The viewpoint that seems to surface over and over again is that people took the time to read Palin’s Facebok entry (linked above), and to listen to her interview on Glenn Beck about this matter, and when they kept an ear our for some whining they just didn’t find it. From that, I think they figured out they were being directed to despise somebody just for her noticing something.
That’s a relic from the 1970′s; Archie Bunker probably started it. We can figure out you’re a baaaaad person, by noticing you noticing things. It seems kinda like noticing some guy’s skin is black, get it? So when you notice things, like some asshole reporter is going Peeping Tom all over you for an entire summer, we can notice you noticing things and that makes you bad. Well — that nonsense has been going on for forty years now, it’s aged badly and that dog won’t hunt. Palin got a new neighbor, she noticed it, uploaded an entry on Facebook, and all-in-all that strikes most clear-thinking people as pretty reasonable. Actually, it’s a much cooler reaction than they or I would have.
Dave Weigel is feeling defensive about this. He wrote a follow-up piece about his “Palin mailbag”; he was as surprised as I was that this thing would catch fire. He then treated his critics the way most newspaper employees, I’ve noticed, treat their critics. He pulled out four or five samples that would most effectively buttress his intended theme, which is one of “I’m a fair guy and trying to give these Palin defenders a shot at saying what’s on their minds, but gosh, these people are just whacked.”
This has always concerned me somewhat, and over the years I must confess it’s caused me to delay buying newspapers, and more recently, to skip the ritual altogether. It’s just lazy thinking. If one Palin defender fails to catch on to a joke, and another Palin defender uses potty-mouth language in a letter, that doesn’t mean they all do. And even if they all do, what of it? Ask an idiot whether it’s raining or not and the idiot says yes it’s raining, does that mean it isn’t raining? No, it doesn’t. Like I said: Lazy thinking. And I’m more inclined to believe idiots than lazy thinkers, because if you’re a lazy thinker you can be a freakin’ genius and you’re still going to be opining on pure nonsense, or stuff that is only correct now & then by random chance. Whereas the idiot might at least try to get it right.
Erick Erickson sees things my way with regard to the Weigel problem. He just can’t take the man seriously anymore, although his reasoning is slightly different.
A reporter moves in next door to Sarah Palin — a reporter with a negative history reporting on Palin — and Palin takes to Facebook to complain about the rather stalkerish vibe of this reporter taking up residence right next door to snoop on the family. This is the same reporter who once tried to get into a charity contest where he bid $60,000 to have dinner with Palin. Imagine if you had someone like that move in next door to your family and say they were going to write a book about being your neighbor. We all know that’s exactly what this guy is going to do.
But Weigel, along with a host of other reporters in DC, is going after Palin for being upset about it.
Politicians don’t have veto power over who gets to write about them, or how they research their stories, as long as they’re within the bounds of the law. It’s incredibly irresponsible for them to sic their fans on journalists they don’t like. And that’s what Palin is doing here — she has already inspired Glenn Beck to accuse McGinniss of “stalking” Palin and issuing a threat to boycott his publisher.
This follows on the heels of this defense of the White House that could have been ghostwritten by Greg Sargent, the Post’s lockstep defender of the left. According to the logic of the piece, it was impossible for anyone to know that Sestak was running for the Senate until the day he announced, and it would be totally impossible for Barack Obama to move someone out of the way for Sestak once that person was confirmed by the Senate. That one doesn’t pass the laugh test.
In fact, if you go through Dave’s archives you’ll find a slew of stories from the most recent one as I write to others that no one on the right really cares about, but people on the left who see the right collectively as fringe will eat up. And that’s the whole point of why he’s there.
On the other hand, our resident “gadmaggot,” TBogg, is within the vocal minority. He’s following the Weigel approach of, nevermind whether Palin is being stalked by a creepy neighbor even though that’s what the subject is supposed to be. Let’s talk instead about irony and how some people aren’t capable of comprehending it.
So when Sarah Palin goes Full Metal Mayella Ewell, accusing Joe McInnis of eye-raping her children, [Mark] Hemingway buys it and the horseshit it rode in on. Not willing to settle for being a garden variety half-wit, Hemingway doubles down when McGinnis’ son replies sarcastically to an email from Politico’s Ben Smith:
Bestselling author may be romantically stalking Sarah Palin
By: Mark Hemingway
Commentary Staff Writer
05/25/10 1:10 PM EDT
Well, it gets even crazier. Ben Smith of Politico got ahold of Joe McGinniss’ son and asked him about his father’s recent move to Alaska:
I haven’t been able to reach McGinniss, but did send an errant email to his son, the novelist Joe McGinniss Jr., who replied, “Sadly, she’s right. We tried our best to intervene, but alas, the heart wants what it wants. We can only pray for him now. He’s convinced that Todd will step aside and when the time is right, he’ll be there, right next door, to pick up the pieces.“
Wow. Just wow.
People like Hemingway like to complain that someone is always trying to shove something down their throats. This may be because they seem all too willing to swallow just about anything.
I note, with interest, that all TBogg has to say about this is that this Mark Hemingway guy failed to comprehend the joke. In his world, the story begins and ends there. That’s all he has to say.
And what a fragile little hook upon which this chandelier rests. “Wow just wow.” When you think about it…that doesn’t even prove anything. Not that I care. This whole irony-thing is just a bunny trail.
See, TBogg doesn’t live in a world of ideas. He is one among many lightweight thinkers who just want to be on the good side of things, to be assured that no one who agrees with them ever has a bad idea…and spin a fantasy that nobody who disagrees with them can ever have a good one. So if you read through his archives you’ll see his blog is just one meandering ad hominem attack. Oh, and it’s hip and edgy too. So he’s selling what lots of other folks are selling.
As an argument about the subject at hand, it is a curious one to say the least. Let me see if I can follow it: I am TBogg! You are scum! There are good people like me, and bad people like you and Sarah Palin. My people are better. Sure, they believe so much in what they’re doing and get so caught up in sliming your people that we sometimes do creepy, stalker-ish things, like move in next door so we can spy on your people all summer long and write books about it. But we understand irony. And our ability to understand irony (while we spy on you) makes us much, much better.
Okay TBogg. So noted.
Mediaite tries once more for the “Palin’s the real stalker here” defense. Good luck with that, guys.
But if you want something with real meat, I’d be remiss in leaving out Sheya’s piece at Conservatives4Palin, “David Weigel Doesn’t Get It.” Now, that is a rebuttal. “Conservative” Weigel indulges in a longstanding liberal tactic, which is to make a passing reference to something with a history behind it and hope to hell you don’t go doing any homework about it. Sheya did the homework on the Conde Nast Portfolio hit piece, and the results are devastating for whatever argument it was Weigel was trying to put together.
But after reading all this stuff that came up yesterday, I see it all this really comes down to one thing. I had made a passing reference to it twenty-four hours ago, having no idea how incredibly prescient the comment was and how relevant it was. In this comment, is the key to all things Sarah-Palin-related you’re hearing nowadays…at least, from the critics who are so desperate for her to “just go away already.”
Just dang, if Joe McGinniss burned her house down would you come down on her for using up his matches and gasoline?
See, this just cuts to the heart of it. And most of us can’t see it because Palin’s not out there trying to be a victim, not running herself breathless trying to fill the role of victim, there’s nothing “victim” about her at all. McGinniss has laid his little siege; so Todd’s building a fourteen-foot fence. Problem, solution.
But you see, these people aren’t thinking straight. They can think logically about it, but thinking logically is a procession in a sound direction from whatever point of origin, and if the point of origin is cockeyed then the logic doesn’t do a lot of good. Their point of origin is that Palin cannot be a victim — ever. In many cases, they have built an entire social life around this. Here’s a story about that Palin chick we all want to “go away” so badly, let’s talk about it and give her the attention we’re wishing people would stop giving her…and the first person to show her any of what looks like sympathy, is to be drummed outta the club.
There are events taking place in real life, now and then, in which people are victims whether they accept the role or not. And when you start out with the prejudiced determination not to ever acknowledge that, you end up saying childish boneheaded stupid things, just like Dave Weigel. And that’s the problem they’re having. In their world, if you run over Sarah Palin with your car, the story is about the damage her rear end did to your car.
Weigel made an ass out of himself and he knows it. I know he knows it, because he did what newspaper people do when they realize they’ve made asses out of themselves. “Uh, I recieved a lot of complaints, and they’re all from crazy people, get a load-a this.” Sure, Dave.
As for Daphne, she’s just made the mistake of accepting a false choice about Palin’s motives. See, Sarah Palin may be motivated by a sincere desire to turn the country around and put grown-ups back in charge again…or…maybe she really is just “Sarah Paycheck” and is motivated by the money. To me, the whole thing is a First Amendment issue because the First Amendment isn’t about edgy shocking talk radio or crucifixes soaked in urine, it’s about efforts to change the government be they ultimately successful or not. Now, if everyone with an influential presence & set of opinions is forced, in this new “McGinniss siege” cultural protocol, to build fourteen foot tall fences around their homes just because they’re having an impact on things, that isn’t the death of the First Amendment. But it’s certainly takin’ a beating, in spirit, there can be no doubt about that.
Daphne uses sound logic proceeding from an unsound point of origin: That Sarah Paycheck is a showgirl. Palin doesn’t give a rat’s behind where the country is going, she just wants her book advances and royalties. She goes to give speeches for the money. Wherever she goes, she chuckles at suckers like me.
If you’re going to presume that, then I can see this makes some measure of sense. Palin’s flying around from one hot spot to another not giving a shit about politics one way or another, fooling suckers and making big coin. So all kinds of reporters want to know more about her, and sooner or later someone rents the place next door. Why yes, that does seem just natural. Live by the spotlight, die by the spotlight.
I’ve borrowed a favorite phrase from Obama Speech Bingo and called that a “false choice” because that’s exactly what it is. You see, Palin can be about both the money and about changing the country for the better. All the other politicians are supposed to be about both of those two things, I don’t see any reason why she has to be the exception. Palin’s life has been inspected with magnifying glasses, microscopes, rectal-scopes, fine-tooth combs. There is not a whiff of evidence anywhere that her personal values are anything but exactly those: Personal values. She believes in ‘em. Not a syllable has been uttered by anyone suggesting anything to the contrary, save for the ugly whispering about Bristol’s pregnancy. Months of digging through the trash cans in Wasilla and Juneau, that’s the best they could do. So if Palin is indeed a charlatan, she isn’t a pure one; or if she is a pure charlatan who is apathetic about politics & the way a society should be run, she is awfully clever.
And you know what, Daphne? If both of those motives apply to what she’s doing, which is a virtual certainty — the values, and the moolah — my argument wins and yours falls flat. She is a potent force for jettisoning the liberal bullshit, starting right now, and the folks who happen to like the liberal bullshit recognize this and are engaging in the same bullying tactics we’ve been seeing for the last twenty-one months now. Whether Palin is officially appointed to a high office or not, the chessboard looks a lot different with her off of it, than with her on it. She’s the Queen. The liberals are doing what makes the most sense in a game of chess, and so is she. So she’s making money at it; so what?
Except in their case, it’s a little bit of Einstein’s classic definition of insanity. Renting a house next door for an entire summer while you’re writing a book about the person who lives therein…it’s just pure bullying, like everything else they’ve been doing, just pure “We’ll show you what’s in store for conservative media darlings, now how do you like THEM apples.” Well, some folks can be bullied and others cannot. So the people who want her to go away, and have their reasons for wanting her to go away, must understand this whole anti-campaign of theirs holds very little prospect for victory. There is no reason for them to keep deploying it, unless someone has figured out there are no other options available.
So in the last twenty-four hours, I’ve come to have a change of heart about this. Not about Sarah Palin being a whining crybaby who’s unable or unwilling to accept the natural consequences of being in the “public eye”; really, enough is enough Daphne. Your readers aren’t with you on this, the evidence isn’t with you. Give it up. No, what I’ve changed my mind about is the importance of the story. I did not see, at first glance, all the importance that was wrapped up in it. It is a newsworthy item — not that Palin put up a Facebook entry about McGinniss moving next door, but that McGinniss bothered to move next door. Very, very big event. If, that is, you see 2010 as a promising year for getting the kids-in-charge back to the kiddie-table where they belong. We need to know what’s going on with this procession of related events, and the “McGinniss siege” supplies a lot of clues as to what is going on.
But Legal Insurrection summarized the entire absurd situation as capably as anybody else, IMO:
There is something strange, unprofessional and paranoid going on here, but it’s not Sarah Palin.
Go Todd, go.
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