Thursday, February 23, 2006
Citius, altius, fortius
Even though I love the Koufax Awards dearly, and the good people who host them, I thought I should wait until all the Koufax categories were compiled and announced before saying anything about the nominations this humble and yet relentlessly self-promoting blog has received. So far, I’ve been entered in the lists for Best Writing, Most Humorous Blog (oh, get out), Most Humorous Post (double get out!), Best Series (for my posts about Jamie, which I really ought to collect into a real series one of these days), Best Blog (hah! in my dreams—no, actually, not even in my dreams), and (my heart flutters) Best Post, in which I have five nominations. Actually, four nominations, because one of those nominations is for John McGowan’s soul-harrowing post, “The Rhetorics of Violence.” So here’s a raising of the traditional liberal-elite glass of pinot grigio to John! Kudos, my friend.
When I started blogging two years ago, it didn’t take me long to realize that the Koufaxes are critical to the self-representation of the left hemisphere of the blogosphere. They bring attention to all kinds of emergent blogs, particularly in the “Best New Blog” and “Blog Most Deserving of Wider Recognition” categories. And it’s a sad-but-good commentary on the growth of Left Blogistan that the Koufaxes have lately become too unwieldy for Wampum to handle. Let me put it this way: in 2002, there were 15,000 blogs. Now there are almost 30 million. Four years ago, the medium was dominated by manic libertarians (finally! a medium of Total Freedom in which I can vent at will! Truly this is the Paradise of which Robert Heinlein and George Gilder spake!) and manic warbloggers (finally! a medium in which I can rebel against the Forces that Be and pledge my undying devotion to Dear Leader without once acknowledging the contradiction, because blogs move at the speed of incoherent thought!). Today . . . well, let’s just say that today things are vastly different. Thousands upon thousands of good liberal-left writers compete for our attention, and the good people at Wampum have their hands full as they sort through all the smart, snappy, craftily-composed blogs whose paws face to the south. So please, if you can, help them defray the cost of the Koufaxes today.
But I’m writing tonight about another competition entirely—a competition at once more trivial and more momentous. Shortly after 9 pm Wednesday evening, in the comments to my previous post, the incorrigible Scott Eric Kaufman informed me that FrontPage.com, the website run by the Person Who Shall Not Be Designated By His First Initial and a Drastic Truncation of His Surname, is conducting an online poll to determine the very worst professor in America. You may recall that I was outraged, outraged that He Who Shall Not Be Designated had not ranked his “101 or 100 or 102 Most Dangerous Professors” in the order of the danger they pose to the Republic; but now, friends, you and I have a unique opportunity to redress a grave wrong. Please vote for me as America’s Worst Professor, if you have the time and inclination. Right now I’m leading Eve Sedgwick by the slimmest of margins, and as you know, I have no Diebold apparatus to fall back upon. But don’t worry about ballot-stuffing! This is FrontPage.com, people—a website whose unofficial (and yet universally acknowledged) motto is “Sloppiness R Us.” There are no limits, no limits at all, on the number of votes you can cast from one IP address. So stop by FrontPage today, and vote for me as America’s Worst Professor. I thank you, and all that is good and holy thanks you.
And then go back to Wampum, if you would be so kind, and toss them another ten bucks for good measure. You’ll be glad you did—and America’s Possibly Worst Professor will be glad you did.