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Extra special lazy blogging

. . . because I’m supposed to be taking the week off, like I said I would.

You may have seen Bruce Kluger’s little smackdown of Left Blogistan in USA Today.  You know, the one that begins,

If ever America needed a wake-up call about the mythology of blogging, we got it this month.

On Aug. 8, Connecticut businessman Ned Lamont defeated U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary, a triumph widely credited to the rah-rah racket produced by pro-Lamont armies stationed along the Internet.

Indeed, the bloggers had scored big. They had helped vault a local politician to national prominence and cemented the Iraq war as Issue No. 1 in the congressional elections. Not a bad day.

But their victory was short-lived. Even before the primary, Lieberman announced that, should he lose, he’d still run in November as an independent. This electoral chutzpah effectively rope-a-doped the bloggers and recharged the senator’s fabled Joe-mentum. Lieberman’s still the man to beat in the general election.

Until now, linguists had considered the sentence “This electoral chutzpah effectively rope-a-doped the bloggers and recharged the senator’s fabled Joe-mentum” to be a purely theoretical construct, unformable except by random monkeys typing in a perfect vacuum at Absolute Zero.  Even the phrase “the senator’s fabled Joe-mentum” had never been attempted except by trained satirists wearing specially designed Mylex suits.  After all, liberal and progressive bloggers knew that Lieberman would run as an independent, because they read about it on the Internets.  So the “rope-a-dope” bit isn’t quite clear, unless Kluger is suggesting that Lieberman very cleverly planned to lose the primary, fooling those lumbering, Foremanesque heavy-punching bloggers into opposing him just the way he wanted to be opposed.

But that’s not why I’m lazy-blogging today.  I’m lazy-blogging because I read about Kluger’s essay via Kieran Healy at Crooked Timber, where I found out that according to Kluger, the Lamont phenomenon is like . . . Snakes on a Plane!

If this wasn’t enough to drain the effervescence from the blogger bubbly, America’s noisy Web wags were dealt an even more sobering blow 10 days later when Snakes on a Plane opened nationwide to a decidedly flat $15.3 million box office.

Before its premiere, Snakes had been the latest blogger darling, as swarms of online film geeks prematurely crowned it the summer’s big sleeper. This hyperventilating fan base even convinced Snakes’ distributor, New Line Cinema, to up the movie’s rating to R, to ensure a gorier, more venomous snake fest.

But all that clapping and yapping couldn’t put enough fannies in the seats. Ticket sales for Snakes’ debut barely topped those of Talladega Nights, which was already in its third week.

Although Connecticut and Hollywood are a continent apart, the two events speak volumes about the capriciousness of the blog culture.

So take that, you Lamont-loving, clapping-yapping, Snakes-handling Web wags!  Put away the blogger bubbly and settle in for another six years of Lieberman Nights.  Because, as I pointed out over at Crooked Timber, Joe Lieberman is the only Democrat who takes seriously the threat of motherlovin’ snakes on planes. Elect Ned Lamont and you might as well hand America over to our Herpetofascist enemies.

Posted by on 08/31 at 07:57 AM
  1. If this wasn’t enough to drain the effervescence from the blogger bubbly, America’s noisy Web wags were dealt an even more sobering blow 10 days later when Snakes on a Plane opened nationwide to a decidedly flat $15.3 million box office.

    Yeah, this is true. I had slowed down on my drinking—due to inexplicably flat champagne—at the same time I found out Joe was running as an independent. I guess the timing wasn’t a mere coincidence. However I put the flat stuff down for good when I found out that Snakes on a Plane opened flat as well. With things flattening all around, the time just seemed right to sober up.

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  10:13 AM
  2. I’m tired of these muthafuckin’ pundits on their muthafuckin’ gravy-train!

    Sorry.

    In other news, the recent Jon-Benet Ramsey oopsie? Who’s to blame? I say the left bloggers, in particular Atrios, who was all JBR all the time.
    I could try to tie in this remark to a rant about tatoos, but I might get a cramp, seeing as I’m not an elite pundit.

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  10:18 AM
  3. goodness gracious
    great balls of fire

    good golly miss rummy
    sure like to war
    when you’re shocking and you’re awing
    and we’re shopping in the mall

    the herptofascists slither
    new products for the fall
    Caracas or Tehran
    Why don’t we do them all?

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  10:46 AM
  4. We fight the snakes on the plane so we don’t have to fight them on our green and sceptred isle.

    Posted by St. James  on  08/31  at  11:07 AM
  5. Sure you were meaning to say your green and sceptered infirmary, Jams?

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  11:33 AM
  6. Is it just me or is anyone nostalgically lamenting the fact that there are no book plugs on today’s blog?
    It is an overisght that needs correcting.
    I can’t be bothered HTMLing so…
    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/
    booksearch/
    isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780393060379&itm=20

    Also, as an ignoramus about American columnists and what not (here in Englandland the only USA Today person I know is Bill Nicholson who does a radio slot each night about what’s in tomorrow’s paper, and even then you have to be awake and listening at 2am) I looked up Bruce Kruger and found that he is ‘...a columnist for Parenting magazine. Formerly an editor of Playboy magazine...’

    Does anyone else think that this is either: impressive, or just plain weird?

    Posted by saltydog  on  08/31  at  11:45 AM
  7. Reclusive Leftist

    http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/

    has the headline for you, mathpants:

    “Boulder D.A. Wants Johnny Depp to Play JonBenet in the Movie”

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  11:51 AM
  8. unformable except by random monkeys typing in a perfect vacuum at Absolute Zero

    And who says it wasn’t.

    Much more piquant to read the article on his blog at Huffington Post. To be fair, he (or the monkeys) tries to at least acknowledge the irony, but even there he (or the monkeys) comes off as a clueless dick;

    As an occasional blogger myself, I’m still wary of the phenomenon. On one hand, it can be liberating to log on and spout off, unencumbered by editorial oversight. [JPS - and thank God for editorial oversight, I understand that the original sentence had “Joe-mentum” incorrectly rendered in the deprecated unhyphenated form.]

    On the other hand, as August 2006 clearly demonstrates, bloggers can just as easily get it wrong. That’s worth remembering.

    Notes to self:
    Insurance forms - today!!
    Pick up deli on way home
    Bloggers can get it wrong

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  12:11 PM
  9. Is it just me or is anyone nostalgically lamenting the fact that there are no book plugs on today’s blog?

    Those were the days, weren’t they, saltydog?

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  01:01 PM
  10. What so many seem to not understand; is that Snakes on a Plane is an incredably stupid idea for a movie. It’s a B movie idea. Taking in $15.3 million at the box office is like, Death Race 2000 taking in $15.3 million at the box office. That’s not a success? It’s called Snakes on a Plane… and it’s not a comedy. And people actually went to go see it. At a theatre.

    More importantly, the blogosphere is not designed to create or rally consensus, but to fracture existing consensus. That’s what happens when you move from an authoritarian broadcast model to an independant agent model. It’s a marvel that there are exceptions at all. I have spoken!

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  08/31  at  01:45 PM
  11. I woke this morning to the news that Tropical Depression Ernesto had been upgraded to Tropical Storm Ernesto.  I blame the left blogosphere. 

    Capcha “nation” as in “The Nation of Leftblogistan.”

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  02:55 PM
  12. Who needs Joe-mentum when there’s Joe’s omentum? If only I were feeling inspired to compose a few lines of doggerel (or a rap!) to take advantage of the perfect rhyme…

    I, for one, plan to tirelessly whore any books I ever write, so I won’t chide Michael for his own flagrant book-pimpin’.

    Posted by Orange  on  08/31  at  03:54 PM
  13. Lieberman, at least, passed legislation to force the snakes to give up their bottles of shampoo, Yusuf Islam CDs and ooze oil during boarding, which is why our skies can be flown friendly to this very day.

    The only person who supports Lamont is some lady blogger with poodles that look suspiciously French. Everyone in Connecticut understands that only Joe has the keen reptilian logic to know how snakes think and he;ll kill all the garter snakes to keep Connecticutans from being poisoned.

    Posted by Kevin Hayden  on  08/31  at  04:48 PM
  14. "What so many seem to not understand; is that Snakes on a Plane is an incredably stupid idea for a movie. It’s a B movie idea.”

    Well, it is a B movie. It’s a pretty damn good idea for a B movie, if you ask me.

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  05:06 PM
  15. Gaby Johnson is right!

    Or, more precisely: I agree with Ginger Yellow. It’s a damn good premise. An effective one, even. And effectively executed, dammit. I paid money for it and enjoyed it. I would pay more to see giant Japanese spider crabs on an ocean liner!

    I accuse most of the movie’s critics of being New Republic contrarians. That’s a bit harsh, but I’m still trying to be an elite pundit here.

    Speaking of which: can someone convene an emergency panel to find out Lee Siegel’s take on the movie?

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  06:01 PM
  16. "Speaking of which: can someone convene an emergency panel to find out Lee Siegel’s take on the movie?”

    That’s easy: “Samuel L Jackson is an angry leftist fascist who probably wants to have sex with snakes.”

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  06:53 PM
  17. And thus Ginger Yellow lures us away from the Lieberman issue and back to the Valerie Plame affair, via bestiality. Who can forget Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s novel in which he concocts bear-on-girl action?

    Posted by Orange  on  08/31  at  07:12 PM
  18. It well may be that Snakes on a Plane will simply end up as a relatively bigger Internet phenomenon than revenue-grossing movie. Disappointing to those counting on the buzz to push up attendance (i.e. the studio, theaters, etc.) - but not necessarily disappointing to the potential attendees who had a lot of fun with it nonetheless.

    For instance, in the younger part of my household, the concept was greeted with great enthusiasm, watching of Samuel Jackson interviews and Internet viewing of things like All Your Snakes Are Belong To Us as well as the real trailers to see how the concept was actually realized on film. But much less enthusiasm to spend the bucks and time to actually sit through it. The final blow came when my daughter and a friend went to see it as their last gasp of summer fun and came back having gone instead to ..... Talladega Nights

    Posted by  on  08/31  at  09:47 PM
  19. Well thank goodness we don’t have any snakes in Hawaii.
    Or Joe Lieberman either.
    That’s why we are always happy & smiling around here, even though we live in the U.S.A. (sort of).

    Posted by Hattie  on  09/01  at  03:29 AM
  20. "Web definitions for Kluge
    A kludge (or kluge) is a ‘solution’ for accomplishing a task, originally a mechanical one and usually an engineering one, which consists of various otherwise unrelated parts and mechanisms, cobbled together in an untidy or downright messy manner. A kludge is never elegant except ironically, nor, serviceability to the task at hand excepted, is it ever admirable. “

    Posted by  on  09/01  at  09:51 AM
  21. Another failure of the Reverse Turing Test: a person who writes in such a way that they convince me that they’re actually a program designed to automatically generate op-ed columns.

    Posted by Timothy Burke  on  09/01  at  10:11 AM
  22. That is only time that the phrase “fabled Joe-mentum” was employed without irony.

    Posted by  on  09/02  at  10:37 AM
  23. Michael, please amend your penultimate sentence at top to read “… motherlovin’ snakes on motherlovin’ planes.” Without the second “motherlovin’” the scansion is off.

    Secondly, I’m offended by the term “Herpetofascist.” Most snakes are Libertarians, though admittedly many of the venomous sorts have become Republicans.

    Posted by  on  09/03  at  12:06 PM
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