Mister Answer Man: Special Koufax Finals Edition!
Dear Mister Answer Man: I noted with interest your recent discussion of blog consciousness, in which you point out that blogs feel pain, have a sense of futurity, can recognize themselves in mirrors, and (in some cases) are capable of complex emotional states. I have done some work in this area myself, most notably in my 1974 essay, “What is it Like to Be a Blog?”– which, I should add, predates your first blog entry by eleven years. But I believe you are skirting the issue. The question is not whether blogs have the kind of consciousness we associate with bare sentience. The question is whether blogs have, for want of a better word, a ‘moral’ sense. What do you think? – T. Nagel
Mister Answer Man replies: Well, T., it sorta kinda depends on what blogs you’re talking about. Some blogs have a highly developed moral sense and express it with a great deal of what the Greeks called θυμος; others seem to have no moral sense whatsoever, or perhaps a primitive form of outrage influenced by what the Greeks called μεθαμφεταμινε.
Personally, however, I’m more interested in whether other blogs have a sense of self-promotion. ‘Cause this one certainly does! Looking over the Koufax Finals, I find that this once-humble but now Koufax-obsessed blog is a contender in no less than three different categories! I can hardly believe it, but . . . but . . . well, I can hardly believe it. I’m not in danger of winning any one of ‘em, unlike Amanda over at Mouse Words, who’s simply running away with “Best New Blog” (how dramatically is she running away? James Wolcott is a distant second with just over half as many votes), but still, I’m putting up a pretty decent showing, and as a result, I now know that blogs can feel “elation.”
As of 5 pm Eastern, here’s how things stand in the voting (my count is unofficial, of course):
In Best Writing: Digby starting to pull away from Meteor Blades, 80-72; then it’s Wolcott 53, Josh Marshall 45, me 43. Cool.
In Best New Blog: Mouse Words 45, Wolcott 25, AmericaBlog 14, Bradblog 13, me 10. Still a lot of time left on the clock, though, for those of you interested in the race for third.
In Most Humorous Post: woo hoo, my late-night Schwarzenegger riff from the second day of the RNC, capped off by the Bréton-and-Bataille meet Beavis-and-Butthead take on Jenna and not-Jenna, actually stands a chance here! But the competition is very tough: Rude Pundit’s “What Kerry Should Say” 17, The Poor Man’s “Poker with Dick Cheney” 14 (these two are amazing posts), I’m Just Sayin’‘s “This or That” 13, me 10. Too early to tell, but still, at the moment, I apparently have 2004’s fourth most humorous post among left-pitching bloggers, and you know, that makes even watching the damn Republican National Convention worthwhile. Thanks to everyone who voted for me and for those of you thinking of voting sometime soon! You too, Mr. Nagel!
no one even looks at my blog (sniff)Posted by mistah charley on 02/13 at 07:31 PM
I voted you Most Humorous Post (heck, you got my vote in all three categories) as I appreciated your slams of all things lieberal following day two of the Republican Convention.
But now I have to wonder if you were being ironic. Gee, I hope not, because getting my votes for all the wrong reasons would be most ironical. I would hate to become another lieberal anecdote that we Republicans just don’t get it!
Please tell me you were serious!Posted by on 02/13 at 08:03 PM
Impressive that you can insult people in ancient Greek. The best I can do is Yiddish.Posted by Max on 02/14 at 12:06 PM
Good news Michael. At my own private awards ceremony you won the Hemp Beret for best writing. Ray Charles swept in all other categories.Posted by on 02/14 at 12:55 PM
It’s surprising to me that the ancient Greeks had a word for “methamphetamine.” Maybe “ambrosia” and “nectar” were code words. Like “democracy” or “agape.”Posted by corndog on 02/14 at 12:59 PM
It was the RNC post that got me addicted to this place. “What is all this talk about bushes and lost hamsters?” I laughed out loud, and forwarded it to all my friends. Congratulations!Posted by on 02/14 at 01:05 PM
Mr. Answer Man,
I’m a bit worried about your recent forays into Ancient Greek and Latin. The world well knows that quoting, reading or in anyway touching (except with your left elbow) dead languages is the first sign of dementia.
Just looking out for ya’.Posted by Ryan on 02/14 at 02:59 PM
I’m surprised at you, Corndog. μεθαμφεταμινε played a pivotal role - modern folk would call it a “plot point” or a “Chekhovian loaded gun” or a “McGuffin” or a “je ne sais quois” - in one of those myths we all studied in high school, right in between Amharic and sitar classes.
To refresh your memory: in the myth of the unfortunate lovers Trichomonas and Chlamydia, it is meth that spurred the brown-hired, red-eyed Chlamydia into the “tow’ring rage” in which she beat Trichomonas with a tire iron, shattering him and his glassy-eyed stare into a myriad shards. Chlamydia, awaking from her rage into a killer hangover, begged for release from her guilt and grief and Zeus, taking pity, turned her into a little brown rat;
“There each gift great Zeus’ hand bestows
In cluttered streets the skittering rodent grows,
The odor pallid and the hue more dusk
Than e’er was fostered in a vale of musk.
The glass shards fine
in glittering pieces shine.
And stained with lover’s blood and old spilled grape,
The rodents o’erload the fire escape.”
Little-known fact: that’s not the only classic Hellenic myth that features a substance considered a “modern drug.” Nota Bene Pyramus and Thisbe, who first hooked up over a little crack between their parents’ houses.Posted by Chris Clarke on 02/14 at 04:15 PM
You’re right, “What Kerry Should Say” and “Poker with Dick Cheney” are both complete hoots (in a depressing, what-the-hell-are-voters-thinking sort of way). Thanks for pointing them out. But I’ll still vote for your RNC riff. If we can’t laugh at them, all we’d do is cry.Posted by on 02/14 at 07:27 PM
You’ve given enough hints, already… I voted for you in all categories, even ones you were not nominated, in the hope you’ll cease your non-begging begging for votes.
Keep pounding away with your pith-axe of wit, and perhaps someday you’ll sweep.Posted by on 02/14 at 11:08 PM
Enough hints already? Looks more like abject begging to me. But thanks for the votes, everyone-- the “humorous post” race is really something: right now, practically a three-way tie among me, the Rude Pundit, and the Poor Man. But honestly? Much as I’d love to win this one, “Poker with Dick Cheney” is really brilliant-- and deserves the gold.
And now you all know just how far this weary blog will go to work in a weak-ass joke spelling “methamphetamine” in Greek (I also wanted to find out how Greek letters would look on the blog). I don’t really know any Greek, though. I didn’t even know that Pyramus and Thisbe did crack! Thanks, Chris! Which reminds me-- does anybody know if that passage in book four of the Odyssey--
Then Helen, Zeus’ daughter, thought of something else.
She quickly dropped into the wine they were enjoying
a drug which eased men’s pains and irritations,
making them forget their troubles. A drink of this,
once mixed in with wine, would guarantee no man
would let a tear fall on his cheek for one whole day,
not even if his mother and his father died,
or if, in his own presence, men armed with swords
hacked down his brother or his son, as he looked on.
--refers to PCP? I mean, this sounds like some serious chilling-out shit here.
And Keanu, you know I was serious, right? Besides, I thought you were great in My Own Private Idaho. No, really.Posted by Michael on 02/15 at 08:28 AM