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“In What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts, Bérubé comes off as spunky, likable. . . .”

Posted by on 12/15 at 09:45 PM
  1. Yes, the New York Times. Desperately trying to be hip. We could have an ABF Friday completing that sentence:

    In What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts, Berube comes off as spunky, likable…

    ... and a likely candidate for the leadership of a cultish, nihilistic party bent on global nuclear destruction.

    Posted by  on  12/15  at  11:03 PM
  2. In What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts, Berube comes off as spunky, likable…

    ...advocate for education. In so many pleasant yet unexpected ways, he reminds us of his arch-nemesis, Karen Braun, otherwise known as Spunky. Both Berube and Braun are bloggers; both tackle the challenges of schooling one’s children in and outside of the conventional classroom; both are charismatic figures in their respective communities. Both have been accused of fundamentalism, albeit in different ways.

    What, then, *******s for their readers’ radically different interpretations of “the classically liberal insistence that no single faction should attain dominance over all of a society’s civil institutions?”

    http://www.therebelution.com/blog/2006/12/homeschoolers-unite-vote-for-spunky/

    Strange bedfellows, these spunky and amicable Sox fans. (Rumor has it they are not afraid of sock puppets, either).

    Posted by  on  12/15  at  11:54 PM
  3. Sorry about that: I was not trying to be mischievous or suggestive with my asteriks. My computer somehow refuses to write the word “*ccount.” The missing letter is “A.” I have long been baffled by this idiosyncracy.

    Posted by  on  12/15  at  11:56 PM
  4. Actually, they heard the podcast, realized that was Ian MacKaye and meant to write ”punky and likable, with a hint of giant nuclear fireball...”

    captcha: but But BUT he seemed like such a nice boy!

    Posted by Scott Eric Kaufman  on  12/16  at  12:29 AM
  5. In What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts, Berube comes off as spunky, likable…

    ... and capable of turning a class on with his smile; taking a nothing day, and suddenly making it all seem worthwhile.

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  12:41 AM
  6. ihatespunk.jpg

    Posted by Mrs. Pynchon's gopher  on  12/16  at  12:48 AM
  7. Feisty, too.

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  02:12 AM
  8. In What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts, Bérubé comes off as spunky, likable, meth-addicted, gelatinous, proactive, chordate, lightly sautéd in garlic butter and encrusted with peppercorns, radially symmetrical, highly diversified, 2GHZ, ordained but not explicitly commissioned by Jesus Christ, and brunette.

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  02:26 AM
  9. In What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts, Bérubé comes off as spunky, likable. . . . but a bit of a disappointment in the evening gown competition. 

    So, you ran for “Best Educational Blog” and won “Miss Congeniality”?  That right there is talent. 

    A toast \_/ To Michael! (Even if chiffon does absolutely NOTHING for him)

    Posted by Heocwaeth  on  12/16  at  03:28 AM
  10. Spunk on the web:

    1. Spunk Library: “The Spunk Library collects and distributes literature in electronic format, with an emphasis on anarchism and related issues. For a more complete description of what Spunk is about you can view the Spunk Manifesto.”

    2. If you want to see some interesting graphics, go to Spunk United Magazine v2.

    3. From the Wikipedia, one of the meanings: “slang for ejaculated semen recorded from c.1888,” and another meaning: “Spunk is the title of a bootleg album by Sex Pistols,” and yet another: “Spunk beer a fictional beverage from the Tank Girl comics (set in Australia).”

    4. From a site entitled Rude Food:

    I make no bones about it. Spunk is currently this site’s crowning glory. Of course, I was worried about the effects of getting spunk on my computer, but the need to spread the good word prevailed. Spunk ‘comes’ in ‘salty’ flavour (the popular Scandinavian salty liquorice, black packet), and what seems to be wine gums (green packet). I never got to taste the latter, but I do love the taste of salty Spunk. I could waffle on about spunk all day, but I’d rather leave you in the hands of Galle & Jessen, who’s website ejaculates the facts better than I ever could:

    “Spunk is the “naughty” and tasty pastil for children. Two different kinds of Spunk is available; the popular salt pastil, and the funny, brilliantly coloured jelly gums. Spunk was introduced in 1971, and in fact the name was invented by “Pippi Langstrømpe” (the Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren’s wellknown girl character), who tells the story of a fantasy animal called Spunk.”

    Eternal gratitude to Adele, who came across this and kindly thought of us, to Sue, for promptly passing it on, and to Jane, for providing the saltlakrids version.

    The irony overfloweth.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/16  at  03:48 AM
  11. Enough irony already!  The votes are in and right now, Wizbang says they will stand.  Though we’ll wait ‘til Monday and the official announcement.

    And next year, there’s going to be a live awards ceremony! A live awards ceremony for bloggers—you know, that just seems wrong somehow.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/16  at  08:03 AM
  12. Sorry this is off topic, but from your pal Marc Cooper’s blog:

    Now, Nell and I have been having a debate about whether the antiwar movement is doing enough, and she has challenged me to make suggestions–which I did do in a previous thread. The White House is getting close to announcing that it will send more troops to Iraq early next year. Let’s not wait until they do, let’s have an emergency protest. And as far as militancy goes, this should mainly mean not getting permission to protest from local authorities, but simply showing up at a designated time–what is the internet for if not for organizing such things, and cell phone text messaging as well.

    So I am calling an action for next Saturday, December 23, in front of the White House to protest this escalation of the war in Iraq. Please make picket signs protesting and just show up on Pennsylvania Avenue. West Coasters, show up at the main Federal Buildings in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Other local actions as desired. If the police try to stop you, show us how much you care about the war and do what is necessary.

    Pass it on.

    Posted by Michael Balter  on  12/16  at  09:17 AM
  13. A live awards ceremony for bloggers—you know, that just seems wrong somehow.

    Yeah, they should have a Show Trial instead. The WAAGNFNP Office of Special Events could bid on the contract.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/16  at  09:29 AM
  14. Amhet Ertegun has died. From the NY Times obit:

    The sheer improbability of Ahmet Ertegun’s career makes it an all-American success story: the tale of an outsider, from Turkey no less, who loved African-American music so much that he became a major force in pop history. Points of friction in American culture — class, ethnicity, race, religion — mostly provided him with sparks.

    Mr. Ertegun, who died on Thursday at 83, was an old-school music mogul, a self-invented character with the urge to start a record company. He was, by all accounts, a charmer: a man of wealth and taste who had stories to tell, a shrewd business sense and a keen appreciation of all sorts of pleasure. He wasn’t a musician, but he had an ear for a hit, one that served him for half a century.

    When Mr. Ertegun and a partner floated Atlantic Records in 1947 with a $10,000 loan from a dentist, it was one among many small independent labels trying to serve the taste of postwar America. But as the others had their handfuls of hit singles and disappeared, Atlantic kept growing. With Mr. Ertegun as chairman, the job he held until his death, it was a major label by the 1960s, the home of multimillion-sellers like Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones in the 1970s and the core of the Warner Music conglomerate that continues to survive in the currently embattled recording business.

    David Geffen, the entertainment mogul, said yesterday that he had once asked Mr. Ertegun how to make money in the music business. Mr. Ertegun said he would demonstrate, got up from his chair, hunched over and shuffled slowly across the room. Mr. Geffen didn’t understand, so Mr. Ertegun did it twice more. Finally he explained: “ ‘If you’re lucky, you bump into a genius, and a genius will make you rich in the music business,’ ” Mr. Geffen recalled. “Ahmet bumped into an awful lot of geniuses.”

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/16  at  09:50 AM
  15. In What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts, Berube comes off as spunky, likable…

    but cross him and he’ll crush you like a homeschooler.

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  09:59 AM
  16. Homeschoolers crush? What are they teaching them in these homes today?

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  10:13 AM
  17. You posted something about militancy on Cooper’s blog? I’m sure he’s already off to tell his friends in the security establishment about it…

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  10:39 AM
  18. A live awards ceremony for bloggers—you know, that just seems wrong somehow.

    Not one bit! I’m looking forward to hearing you lead the crowd in a chant of “Ironic distance good!! Overidentification bad!!”

    (And I know it goes against you’re self-deprecating anrcissism, but the wins would come a lot easier around here if you would get more personally involved in the campaigns; blog about them, put the banner on your web site, etc. Who knows it might even help you sell more books!)

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  11:14 AM
  19. Congratulations, Mister Professor Sir!

    Captcha: around

    What goes around, comes around.

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  11:27 AM
  20. You posted something about militancy on Cooper’s blog? I’m sure he’s already off to tell his friends in the security establishment about it…

    Actually, I haven’t the faintest idea what Michael Balter is on about.  I did say, at one point, “besides, the important thing is that we crush Ed Herman,” but I don’t recall anything about militancy.

    I know it goes against you’re self-deprecating anrcissism, but the wins would come a lot easier around here if you would get more personally involved in the campaigns; blog about them, put the banner on your web site, etc. Who knows it might even help you sell more books!

    I so wish this had occurred to me earlier.

    Captcha:  couldnt, as in “but I couldn’t overcome my natural shyness.”

    Posted by Michael  on  12/16  at  12:00 PM
  21. Congratulations Mr. Berube.  I enjoyed the banter between you and those that chose to engage themselves on my behalf.  It is truly ironic that a homeschool mom of 6 with a defunct blog could engage the forces of irony.  All in good fun for sure. 

    And despite the comments from a few here who love to “hate spunk” I cannot muster up any hate in return.  For me, “hate” is not a useful word in a contest of this sort. Sarcasm and irony have their limits.

    Congratulations, I wish you and your family all the best.

    Spunky

    Posted by Spunky  on  12/16  at  12:38 PM
  22. Thanks for this gracious comment, Spunky, and my apologies on behalf of anyone on my side who got carried away with this (including those would-be hackers!).  I was thoroughly impressed with your showing—and your following—and was all prepared to write a concession speech for Monday morning in which I suggested that I might’ve done better if only I’d stopped blogging in the first week of December.  Your ironic engagement with the forces of irony nearly out-ironized us.

    The “I hate spunk” graphic in comment 6, btw, is just a reference to the exchange between Lou Grant and Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show—on the pilot episode, I believe.  In the course of Mary’s job interview, Lou notes, with a smile, “you’ve got spunk.” Mary certainly does, of course, and she smiles and nods bashfully, as if to deflect a compliment, just as Lou follows this with “I hate spunk.” It’s been a little in-joke around here ever since sociologist Alan Wolfe called me “spunky” in his review of my latest book.

    Best wishes to all of your family from all of mine.

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  12:50 PM
  23. . . . could engage the forces of irony.

    I believe those forces are pretty much open and available to all, though I once had a professor (a medievalist) who argued that one of the main virtues of a liberal education is that it instills a sense of irony.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/16  at  01:02 PM
  24. In What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts, Berube comes off as spunky, likable…
    and a most dangerous floating head.  One must be eternally vigilant and careful, for if the floating head were to explode, it would precipitate massive clouds of irony and satire, inspiring much parody and verse; all of which are toxic threats to the well being of happy readers of David Barton history books.

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  03:11 PM
  25. I owe everyone an internet apology for posting some cheating directions.  I had no idea you all took it so seriously, and I think rightly so, in retrospect.

    To partially clear my good pseudonym/IP combination, the 480 votes didn’t (captcha) come from me.  I think I got in about 20 before retiring from the business.

    So:  I’m sorry for cheating and for enabling others to cheat.  I’m glad it came out in the wash.  And, I don’t personally think homeschoolers had anything to do with Spunky’s invalid votes - I think it was an anti-Berube thing.

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  04:10 PM
  26. Thanks for the internet apology, SW.  For a moment I thought the whole thing was yet another elaborate joke—after all, earlier this year we had great fun messing with David Horowitz’s “Worst Professor” contest because it allowed us to demonstrate that FrontPage’s online poll was as shoddily conceived as anything else they’ve done.  But everyone really wanted (and rightly so) to play this one fair, and it was a very close race, and unfortunately things between the Spunky partisans and the Le Blogue partisans had gotta a bit tense at that point.  I blame Bush.

    It took me almost an hour to catch your comment, btw, and if I’d had my wits about me (instead, I was working on the Chris Clarke Confesses text Oaktown Girl had sent me) I would have deleted it immediately.  It took me too long to decide to change that url, and too long to delete the comment altogether—but then, I almost never delete comments.  I should’ve made an exception this time, and spared us all.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/16  at  06:11 PM
  27. He may not be a liberal, in the dahovian sense, but as a classical liberal, his point is quite important.  The he, to whom i refer, is Mark Emmert, President of the University of Washington.
    “It is utterly impossible to have world-class universities like the United States has if we do not have the free flow of ideas, a clear and open exchange of diverse opinions and views, and forums in which those can be objectively discussed, debated and considered in a full and thoughtful fashion.”

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  07:30 PM
  28. For those who really, really hate “spunk,” consider sending an entry in to the Second Annual Say Something Nice About Bill O’Reilly Contest. The winning entries from last year just don’t reach the level of snarkiness that this “web” “log“‘s contributors reach on an almost daily basis.

    Captcha: black, as in black tie and tails.

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  07:58 PM
  29. Speaking as a just-passing-through-for-the-show-trial (which is not to say “slumming") pharyngulista, I just have to say that the sincerity and just plain raw emotion in this comment thread has brought a tear to my eye. It’s like when Field of Dreams comes on TV, kinda.

    Posted by  on  12/16  at  11:01 PM
  30. What the hell is wrong with spunky? Allowing the diminutization of spunkiness is playing directly into their hands. You should have pride in your spunk!

    Oh… that sounded wrong.

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  12/16  at  11:06 PM
  31. It’s like when Field of Dreams comes on TV, kinda.

    You’ll pay for that, you not-to-say-slumming invertebrate bloggerista.  I swear you will.  I call Kevin Costner Himself, yea, even unto his roles in The Postman and Waterworld, as my witness.  You will pay.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/16  at  11:56 PM
  32. Hey… there’s another CCP. Before long, we will all be CCP.

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  12/17  at  01:16 AM
  33. skewer-irony.jpg

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/17  at  06:18 AM

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