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Weblog Awards update

IvyGate?  Who’s “IvyGate”?  Never heard of them.  The Best Educationizing Blog contest remains a two-blog race, but the two blogs are:

This Humble Blog You Are Reading Now—3063

[Update, 12:45 pm December 14:  This Humble Blog 3551, TheOtherBlog 3502.  The drama is almost too much to take!]

But here’s the important story:  they’re gaining and gaining fast.  I started the day with a 400-vote lead.  Spunky cut that in half by 6 pm today.  I tried to tell her partisans that they could never catch up, because they’d have to cut the remaining lead in half, then cut that lead in half, and so forth.  I was hoping they’d skipped the bit about Xeno’s Paradox in the homeschool curriculum, you know.  Well, guess what?  They don’t need no Xenocation over on the Christian blogs!  They’re spreading the word, and spreading the word happens to be something they’re very, very good at. 

The fact that Spunky will almost certainly catch and pass me by morning, even though she retired from blogging over a week ago, is deeply, deeply unsettling. 

Still, I don’t want to characterize this race as a struggle between Christians and secularists.  That would be needlessly antagonistic, and besides, we’d be ceding to them all the advantages of being able to call on an omniscient supernatural being of some kind, while we’re stuck with our hopelessly sublunary appeals to Japanese horror monsters and triceratops graffiti.  (No disrespect to Gojira and 3Tops, but come on, they couldn’t create a universe in six days.) So I prefer to think of this as a struggle beween the forces of piety and the forces of irony.  Sure, people said that irony was dead.  They also said that God was dead.  But we like to think that when people said irony was dead, they were just kidding.  So if you’re willing to fight for irony, even (or especially) ironically, please cast your vote for me today—and tomorrow, and Friday, from as many computers as you can commandeer.

Otherwise I will resort to drastic measures.  And you don’t want that.

You may now resume the Chris Clarke Show Trial.  Remember, tomorrow is sentencing day!  Think of lots of good sentences.  There are many to choose from in The Phantom Tollbooth, but you may choose another text if you so desire.

Posted by on 12/13 at 11:11 PM
  1. I just wanted to say...thanks for keeping it civil and not turning this awards contest into a partisan mudslinging event *glance at most politicians*.  It’s refreshing.  smile

    May the best blog win!  :D

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  01:25 AM
  2. Wow, this is a great post.  I don’t know why, but the idea of you trying earnestly to dissuade the Spunky voters using Zeno’s paradox had me shaking with laughter.  And then the deaths of irony and God may have been even better.

    captcha: picture, as in, “I can just picture it.”

    Posted by Heraclitus  on  12/14  at  01:35 AM
  3. Maybe we should start working on a concession statement.  (While remaining defiantly optimistic in public.) How does irony yield to piety?  Ironically, of course, but are there any good tropes out there?

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  01:46 AM
  4. Who’s Zeno?  We have a Zeno’s Pub here in State College, but I never seem to be able to get in the door.

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  01:57 AM
  5. The real reason for the fierce competition, as you might have suspected, is that Chris Clark summoned his minions to vote for SpunkyHomeSchool in order to distract you from the CCST. (Please add that to the list of charges.)

    My Christian fundamentalist brother and his wife are home-schooling their child (deep sigh). Now that SpunkyHomeSchool’s shutting down, maybe my sister-in-law should start up a blog in order to give you some decent competition next year.

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  05:09 AM
  6. <irony>Tag Team</God>

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  06:30 AM
  7. crush home schoolers

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  06:42 AM
  8. <blockquote>Piety and irony die live together in perfect harmony
    Side by side on my computer keyboard, oh lord Marx demiurge <shit>, why dont we?
    We all know that people are the same where ever we go
    There is faith and snark in evryone,
    We learn to live, we learn to give
    Each other what we need to survive together alive ... (for a short while)


    Without winners, there wouldn’t even be any goddamn civilization.
    - Woody Hayes

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  07:38 AM
  9. No disrespect to Gojira and 3Tops, but come on, they couldn’t create a universe in six days.

    A - You don’t know that.
    B - The Spunky’s don’t have Lord Astaroth (#2) on their side.

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  12/14  at  07:44 AM
  10. Ebony and Ivory:

    Ebony and Ivory

    “Ebony” and “Ivory” are at center, left (rather small). Stevie Wonder is center, right, just peakin’ out from the letters.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  08:47 AM
  11. Irony is NOT dead! Combine any two topics and become a movement!

    from :  http://www.spunkyhomeschool.blogspot.com
    travel to :  http://www.civilwardads.com

    Civil War Dads

    “Inspired by Scripture
    and the Civil War;
    A timeless message for today’s family.”

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  09:25 AM
  12. Oh, man, The Phantom Tollbooth!  One of my favorites from when I was a kid!  Clearly the Show Trial is all about jumping to conclusions, and you can’t have a Show Trial unless Rhyme and Reason are absent from the kingdom.  But drat, my copy of that classic was lost some time ago.  Time to order a new copy for my son.

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  10:47 AM
  13. Zeno’s pub.  There is always a long line.  Believe me, you DON’T want to get stuck between Achilles and the tortoise.

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  11:24 AM
  14. Pilgrimage to 3Topia

    Episode 3: First Contact

    First, let’s get the record straight. That other guy, the one who wrote about “Yellow Alert” and “Hot Pink Alert” and “Dunkleosteus,” he’s my brother, but he’s a party hack. He’s just doing what the WAAGNGNP hierarchy tells him to do so he can collect his paycheck and his bonus. If Bérubé wins this Weblog thing, he promised to sent Li’l B to Diamond Head for a month. Yeah, right, and if you believe that . . . .

    Anyhow, Li’l B’s just doing the standard political thing, generating a false threat to stampede the vote. They all do it, Cheney, Bush, Norquist, Rove, Cheney, Bush, Norquist, Rove, Cheney, Bush, Norquist, Rove, all of ‘em. Wag the dog, pump up the alert. Same stuff. Why should WAAGNFNP be any different, sacred cause and all, but what else is new?

    Stix was never in danger, and least not physically, egowise, that’s a different story. Like he told Cosell, he got stuck playing a gig in Wackyland. Pretty good gig too, with King Toot and the Mighty Royal Roof Raisers. Well, the finished the set and, as they were walking to the bar, the Big Friendly Jazz Orchestra took the stage.

    P10302051.jpg ALIGN=BOTTOM

    Man, you never heard so much laughter in your life. Toot and the boys had just raised the roof and now a bunch of Japanese chicks in sailor suits were gonna’ play. How crazy is that? Japanese? Girls? Playing jazz at the hottest venue in Wackyland, the Jelly Roll Room at the Imperial Xanadu Golforama.



    Well. I. Tell. You. When they opened on Just Friends it was like Gojira’s breath in there! Hot! Hot! Hot! Set Stix back a bit, set us ALL back a bit.

    But then they started on Caravaan, traditionally a vehicle for the display of polyrhythmic percussion virtuosity. You could see Stix studying the drummer, close. And when she started her drum solo - look out! - his eyes bugged out, and his ears started wiggling and then . . . and then she dropped her sticks and went at it, skin on skin! - whoa mama turn me loose! - old Stix couldn’t believe his eyes, his jaw dropped, his hips popped, and he was dancin’ to beat the devil, all over this Japanese mistress of the drum. Damn! Tore it up! Yes sir yes sir! Three bags full!

    London Bridge Done Fell to the Ground. Atomic Disaster! Nagasaki chop sui Sony geisha Matsushita banzai!! Toyota Mama Rama Jama. Gojira’s Daughters have come to town, get down, get down, Gojira’s Daughters have come to town.

    So, anyhow, after things settled down a bit and we got used to seeing all these chicks in sailor suits just tearing it up, we had ourselves a grand old time. And, tell the truth, Stix just lost interest in this quest thing.

    Then a herd of crazed ponies came rampaging through the place and we knew we had to do something. Stix decided he had to get back on this quest thing. He set sail on the Sunless Sea.



    And when he landed he was greeted by this wizard-looking dude:


    Said his name was Rheingold, Howard Rheingold. Gore may have invented the tubenets, but Rheingold wrote the book on them, or at at least some of the books, such as Virtual Reality and The Virtual Community. Stix tells Rheingold what’s up. Rheingold thinks a bit, closes his eyes, clicks his heels, spins clockwise five times, and says, in a distant voice:

    By iron cross’d
    A blue beast track
    Writing high
    Above 3Tops’ back

    What the fork!

    Beats me, these words just come. Don’t ask me what they mean. That’s not my gig. Besides, gotta run. Gotta’ earn a living. These freebies are good for the reputation, especially if they pan out, but they don’t butter the bread. You’re on your own.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  11:30 AM
  15. Stix started walking and walking and walking day and night walking and walking night and day walking and walking and then:



    First Contact

    Well 3Tops take a shine to him? Will she impart the mystical knowledge? Will she set him mystical tasks to perform?

    Stay tuned for the next episode: The Tiger Test


    Bill Benzon
    Minister of Visual Propaganda

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  11:32 AM
  16. Whoops! Forgot to link to the tunes. Here’s Just Friends (listen for the bass line and the crack brass ensemble passages) and here’s Caravan. There’s lots more where than came from. The band is from Takasago High School, which is near Kobe.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  11:39 AM
  17. Such a great photo of 3Tops and Michael.

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  12/14  at  01:14 PM
  18. What’s up with IvyGate? Some are now urging others to vote Bérubé:

    gotta hand it to berube says:

    I never heard of this guy before. After many votes for IvyGate I decided to check out this vile ‘enemny’ of ours. And you know what, I like his blog. And I bet his son will be thrilled to get a Playstation. IvyGate rocks, but this Berube guy has more of what I consider to be a real “educational” blog, whereas Ivygate is more like a superbly written tabloid.

    December 13, 2006 03:52 PM

    * * * *

    IvyGate = Nader says:

    Now that IvyGate’s become a third-party alsoran, I suggest we all switch our ballotstuffing efforts to Berube, otherwise the homeschoolers (now only down by 100 votes) may emerge victorious.

    December 13, 2006 11:57 PM

    * * * *

    Alchemist says:

    Throw your support to Michael! Quick! Ironists need to stick together, and he’s a Columbia alum and all.

    December 14, 2006 12:28 AM

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  01:21 PM
  19. Hey, if you want to see a neck-and-neck race, it’s in the science category: me and some silly, dry, boring astronomy blog.

    If he wins, can we have a show trial for Phil Plait?

    Posted by PZ Myers  on  12/14  at  01:22 PM
  20. Yeah, I’ve gotten to like those witty IvyGate fellers myself.  When all this is over I’m going to invite them to dinner at the Columbia Club and show them where we keep the good single-malt.

    And PZ, talk about a race!  An hour ago you were down by 11.  Fifteen minutes ago you were up by one.  Now down by eight.  It’s completely captivating in its meaningless thrillingness.  But I can’t frigging believe I’m in the second best race among the area blogs.  Must I be a runner-up in every dang thing?

    Posted by Michael  on  12/14  at  01:40 PM
  21. Spunky’s in the lead, 3570 to 3563.

    captcha: do you believe in “magic”?

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  01:48 PM
  22. Wait, you mean I’m beating Bérubé in meaningless drama, too? I’m a winner after all! Yay! Ice cream for everyone!

    Posted by PZ Myers  on  12/14  at  02:49 PM
  23. Last I checked, Michael, you had 3666 votes.

    Not good.

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  12/14  at  02:51 PM
  24. B: 3669
    S: 3664

    But who knows what it’ll be by the time I this message posts.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  02:53 PM
  25. Last I checked, Michael, you had 3666 votes.

    Not to worry. That was just a message from Lord Astaroth telling us he’s got a Berube victory in the bag as long as we don’t give up the fight.

    captcha: results. See? Told ya. Victory’s certain.

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  12/14  at  03:02 PM
  26. B: 3696
    S: 3682

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  03:06 PM
  27. Well, the mechanism by which the poll recognizes computers that have already voted within the last 24 hours is not IP, MAC or Cookies. We need some expert advice. If Michael looses, there may be, as PZ anticipates, more show trials. Of course, neither I nor the MoOaD of the WAAGNFNP advocates, condones or even tolerates any kind of cheating! It was really hundreds of thousands of dangerous academics producing the close race between liberal Berube and radical J. B. Foster in that legendary Frontpage poll.

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  03:26 PM
  28. Eye of the Tiger, parts 1 and 2:



    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  03:33 PM
  29. Well back up by 50, so maybe the experts have made a breakthrough the masses have finally awoken, which’ll also put them in a good frame of mind to receive the WAAGy message, as clarified by this refreshing trial.

    But I tell you, these home-schoolers have stamina.

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  03:47 PM
  30. And spunk!  Let’s not forget about the spunk.

    I hate spunk.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/14  at  04:27 PM
  31. Praise Astaroth! We’re down by just one vote. Comes very closely after I’ve sent out a group email soliciting votes...in the name of Justice, of course. Coincidence?

    Sent out a second group email just now that included asking Tiffany to sprad the word to her ample list o’ folks. Maybe that will help get us over the top.

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  12/14  at  05:40 PM
  32. I hate spunk.

    But, in the end, I think a three-hour cruise! you’re gonna make it after all!

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  05:53 PM
  33. "Must I be a runner-up in every dang thing?”

    Michael, You may be a runner-up in a few dang things, but didn’t you win the “most dangerous professor” contest hands down?

    Posted by  on  12/14  at  07:45 PM
  34. I don’t want to brag or anything, but my vote just put you 1 vote ahead 4380 to 4379.

    Posted by Aaron Barlow  on  12/14  at  09:13 PM
  35. Spunky: 4571
    Bérubé: 4554

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/14  at  11:37 PM
  36. Michael, You may be a runner-up in a few dang things, but didn’t you win the “most dangerous professor” contest hands down?

    Funny you should ask, Cathy.  I wound up as the runner-up to Todd Gitlin.  Thanks for reminding me!

    Posted by Michael  on  12/15  at  12:30 AM
  37. Yeah, but where’s Todd Gitlin in the “dangeral” category?

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/15  at  05:37 AM
  38. I could have sworn that you were the winner. (I read this blog for the first time during that contest, and it hooked me.)

    Posted by  on  12/15  at  04:16 PM
  39. of course, as I remember, cheating was allowed and celebrated during that contest.

    Posted by  on  12/15  at  04:17 PM
  40. Just so you know all homeschoolers are not Christians. I am a secular homeschooler. I will vote for Spunky’s blog because while I didn’t always agree with her views I did find her blog well written, informative and entertaining.

    Posted by Alasandra  on  12/15  at  07:32 PM
  41. of course, as I remember, cheating was allowed and celebrated during that contest.

    Yeah, so FrontPage reset the totals three times.  When the smoke finally cleared, there was Todd Gitlin on top.

    I wuz robbed.

    Posted by  on  12/15  at  11:05 PM





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