Post mortem post
All right, so the results are now official, and you are now officially reading the Best Educatious Blog on the Internets. I think Sherman Dorn, of the rival (and craftily-named) Education Policy Blog has precisely the right attitude about all this as he graciously offers you, my faithful readers, his heartfelt salute:
a tentative congrats to Michael Bérubé’s loyal readership for having beaten out the readership of a defunct homeschool blog, an Ivy League gossip site, and all the others.
As I pointed out in my comment chez EdPoliBlog, Sherman forgot to say that we barely beat out the readership of a defunct homeschool blog. And not without some controversy along the way, which Sherman generously refers to as “the silly competition to see who can get away with the most fraud in the 2006 Weblog Awards for best educationalisteseazamatazz blog.”
Well, merci beaucoup, Sherman! We appreciate the gesture, and we congratulate you and Education Policy Wonk Blog of Wonkers on a most impressive three-way tie for eighth place:
Michael Bérubé 38.62 % (6177)
SpunkyHomeSchool 34.41 % (5505)
IvyGate 14.59 % (2334)
A Shrewdness of Apes 3.01 % (482)
Joanne Jacobs 2.34 % (374)
Eduwonk 1.93 % (309)
Faith and Theology 1.71 % (273)
Education Policy Blog 1.22 % (195)
History is Elementary 1.17 % (187)
The Education Wonks 1.00 % (160)
Total votes: 15996
But I do have two serious things to say about this. The first is that I’m sorry for inadvertently antagonizing homeschoolers when I should have been mocking Education Policy Blog instead. As Bill Benzon kept pointing out in comments, people homeschool their kids for all kinds of reasons. Some of those reasons, I should add, sometimes have to do with children with learning disabilities. For obvious reasons, though, the Christian-secular split involved here threatened to overshadow everything else. Now, it did not escape my notice that the only Weblog Awards races that generated any ill will were the ones that involved people from significantly different political communities, as in the Kos v. LGF heavyweight bout and the Lesbian Dad v. Hang Right Politics undercard. Those races got real nasty real fast; ours didn’t. But when those illegal votes and cheating scripts started coming in, it became clear that some of our fans were, indeed, taking this thing too seriously. So my sincere thanks to Spunky and the Harris twins for helping put everything in perspective when things got weird—and for being such charitable competitors.
Besides (this is thing two), the important point isn’t that we won or they won. The important point is that I avenged last year’s inexplicable loss to Sadly, No! Last year, you’ll recall, the chortling snarkmeisters at S,N! just managed to squeak by us in the crucial Best of the Two Hundred and Fifty-First Through Five Hundredth Blogs as Ranked by Some Capricious Ranking Device competition, 2240 votes to 1318. This year, Sadly, No! stomped all over its right-wing competitors in a noticeably Poor Man-less field, winning 5604 votes, 36.94 percent of the 15,170 votes cast in their category. So the real totals, for those of you keeping track of the real competition, are:
Michael Bérubé 38.62 % (6177)
Sadly, No! 36.94% (5604)
And so we are the champions, my friends. Never mind the petty technicalities. Let’s not bicker and argue about who was in what category, now! The people have spoken. Some of them more than once!
I have to say, though, that I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to write my big concession speech. After all, those of you who’ve been following this blog since its early days in 2004, when it was still “cool” and was opening for The Arcade Fire in tiny Montréal clubs, know that writing concession speeches is one of our specialities here at Le Blogue Bérubé. In early 2005 we fought over Best New Blog with James Wolcott and BradBlog only to wind up pwned by Amanda Marcotte; we battled over Most Humorous Post with the Rude Pundit only to lose to The Poor Man; we struggled vainly for Best Writing with Wolcott and Meteor Blades only to fall to the mighty Digby. In late 2005 we lost inexplicably, inexplicably I say, to Sadly, No! In early 2006 we finished second in Best Series to some blog called FireDogLake. And then, in the unkindest cut of all, Todd Gitlin came out of nowhere in the third heat (as FrontPage reset their results again and again) to strip me of my rightful title as America’s Most Dangeral Professor.
So this time, as I squared off (I thought) against IvyGate only to be (I thought) beaten by SpunkyHomeSchool, I composed a concession speech in which I congratulated Spunky on a race well run (that still holds!) and noted that this competition marked the first time I’d been beaten by a defunct blog. Granted, Spunky’s blog was newly-defunct, having posted its farewell on December 5, but still. So I was going to take this opportunity for reflection and post a few draft chapters of my forthcoming Blogging and Time about Being-Toward-Defunctness (Ger. Sein-zum-Defunkt). For someday, this too will be a defunct blog. Possibly quite soon! You never know. For defunctness comes to us all in its own time, and at my back from time to time I hear the GNF’s winged chariot hurrying near.
Not just yet, though. I still have to give a couple of blog-related talks at the MLA later this month, and I have no intention of doing so as an ex-blogger. I haven’t yet replied adequately to this contribution and that contribution to Liberalpalooza®, or Mark Bauerlein’s essay in last week’s Chronicle of Higher Education. We still haven’t quite completed the saga of my journey to the Land that Time Forgot. And there are a couple more things on our mind as well, like the question of how we wound up speaking about ourselves in the first person plural again even though we just used “mind” in the singular.
In the meantime, here’s this week’s schedule. I’m flying down to Virginia Beach tomorrow and staying through Friday to help take care of my mother, who recently fractured her hip and broke her wrist. (All this talk of my sports-related injuries has been mere deflection, you see.) Send her some good wishes and Skele-Gro! I’ll post a few excerpts from my essay on 2001: A Space Odyssey in the meantime, because research suggests that almost two percent of all commenters on the previous thread might actually be interested in reading ‘em. And I’ll be back on Friday, don’t you worry, don’t you fret, with the most arbitrary Friday yet.
Thanks again to everyone who voted for me (legally) in this Weblog Awards thing, and to everyone who made our Cage Match and Show Trial such a world-historical success!
I will just note for posterity the incredible Time-like intertextuality of a reference on this blog to my entry congratulating a readership of which I am a member, not to mention the gracious way you inserted a link to boost our readership.
If only Dick Cheney realized the intertextual power of reciprocal linking, he wouldn’t be at 18% approval. He’d be at 19.5%, at the very least!
Captcha: “today.”Posted by Sherman Dorn on 12/18 at 05:41 PM
So the real totals, for those of you keeping track of the real competition, are:
Michael Bérubé 38.62 % (6177)
Sadly, No! 36.94% (5604)
Congratulations, Dr. Dangeral. You also outpolled Crooks & Liars:
Bérubé: 6177 votes
C & L: 3252 votes.Posted by J— on 12/18 at 05:46 PM
Hang on a minute there, guy.
Now, it did not escape my notice that the only Weblog Awards races that generated any ill will were the ones that involved people from significantly different political communities
How soon you forget the fierce science category, where two nearly indistinguishable nerds battled it out, ripping off our clothes and roaring at each other, charging into furious assaults that devolved into brutal clubbings, howls of outrage, bloody feints, and of course, the traditional penis fencing. The votes went back and forth unpredictably, prompting prodigious amounts of chest thumping.
Since some here are bragging about their real totals, I’ll also point out that I garnered 9417±9400 votes (mostly -, probably), and my competitor was only about 1% behind me at the end. If our brawl had spilled over into the education category ala the climax of Blazing Saddles, you’d have to write that concession speech to both of us.
Maybe next year they should have a Dangeral category so we could duke it out and see who is truly the most dangeral professor. (Although, can you imagine the shame of it all if we were bashing each other in the manly way of true gentleman scholars, and Althouse passed us by to win?)Posted by PZ Myers on 12/18 at 06:01 PM
Better to be defunct than devoid of funct, ‘cause if you’re defunct, at least you had the funct at some time.Posted by Dr. Functenstein on 12/18 at 06:05 PM
Yay! On the final night of the contest, I tested some of the various voting stations from which I’d cast ballots throughout the week. I was relieved to see they still worked, so the officiators of this competition couldn’t have banned those IP addresses.
In the end, I stand convinced of my conviction that the votes I cast were legal, at least according to the nebulous rules of the Wizbag Weblogs people.
It is somewhat ominous to realize that this blog may be defunct one day, but for now at least we can still enjoy it. I showed it to someone in Canada today, and they got a huge kick out of the Chris Clarke Show Trial! They laughed, they cried, they fell out of their chair, and they wanted to know what Chris Clarke ever did to deserve his sentence. I couldn’t really explain, but was glad that this blog made someone else happy.Posted by on 12/18 at 06:17 PM
PS: BLOGGING AND TIME--what a great idea for a book! It would be interesting to read an actual blogger’s ruminations on time, memory, identity, communities, functness, and defunctness as lived and embodied in the blogosphere.
Maybe as pre-publicity for the book, you could have a contest where people could vote on the subtitle. I personally prefer the German “Sein-zum-Defunkt” to “Being-Towards-Defunctness.” It sounds more succinct yet densely suggestive somehow.
I guess this is a matter of taste, though. Some say “Alsatian,” whereas others say “German Shepard Dog.”Posted by on 12/18 at 07:21 PM
Congratulations on your mighty victory! Now bring in ‘da noise! (But don’t bring in defunct.)Posted by on 12/18 at 08:09 PM
I will just note for posterity the incredible Time-like intertextuality of a reference on this blog to my entry congratulating a readership of which I am a member
Hey, wait a minute. Aren’t you Time‘s Man of the Year? Congratulations, Sherman!
How soon you forget the fierce science category
Oh yeah. That race rewrote the ugly laws, dude.
If our brawl had spilled over into the education category ala the climax of Blazing Saddles, you’d have to write that concession speech to both of us.
Actually it would have been interesting to have the final scenes of Blazing Saddles burst into this blog to the strains of the Gayane Ballet Suite (Adagio). Music editor!
PS: BLOGGING AND TIME--what a great idea for a book! . . . Maybe as pre-publicity for the book, you could have a contest where people could vote on the subtitle.
Arbitrary But Fun! I should’ve done this with the subtitle of What’s Liberal, too.Posted by Michael on 12/18 at 08:38 PM
"Todd Gitlin came out of nowhere”
Ahem. Out of a cabal of Columbia student Trotskyites & assorted other far-left moonbats. Perhaps pretty close to nowhere in the grand scheme of things, but if I can’t win an award myself, I can at least take credit for cheating my candidate into a victory!Posted by on 12/18 at 08:39 PM
Congratulations, Professor Bérubé. It was a fun and exciting race. Thank you for keeping it that way.Posted by Alex Harris on 12/18 at 08:44 PM
But don’t bring in defunct.
Did someone say Mothership?
Make my funct the P-funct, I wants to get functed up! Don’t make your funct the defunct, don’t wants your funct stepped on.
Congratulations Dr. Danger “Functaliceous” al.
Later boys and girls, time to get up for the downstroke.
Get up for the downstroke. Everybody get up.
Get up for the downstroke. Everybody get up.
Get up for the downstroke. Everybody get up.
........all night long.
Brought to you by the WAAGNFNP Committee on the Get Down.Posted by on 12/18 at 08:59 PM
Congratulations! Thanks for all the fun!Posted by on 12/18 at 09:09 PM
...but until then, congrats Michael, and may you also win the writing Koufax you deserve.Posted by on 12/18 at 09:22 PM
All right, so the results are now official, and you are now officially reading the Best Educatious Blog on the Internets.
After spending the last few months rooting for the Longhorns and the Giants, it feels good to finally back a winner. I don’t think I could have weathered another promising start followed by abject dissipation. Thanks for not dissipating!
I also hope your mom mends quickly.Posted by on 12/18 at 10:24 PM
… those of you who’ve been following this blog since its early days in 2004, when it was still “cool” ...
Perhaps you should retroactively send something like the following to your commenters from back in the day.
[From Richard Stevens, creator of Diesel Sweeties and offered to anyone writing to their local paper about his comic. - you might learn some self-promotion tips from his as well.]
... my essay on 2001: A Space Odyssey ...
... almost two percent of all commenters on the previous thread might actually be interested in reading ‘em.
Feel free to double that percentage, as I
feel compelledam glad to be counted as maybe actually interested, after I perpetuated the vents/ducts confusion, and muddied the waters on your limited and subtle point on Gayane by dilating on another level of movie music “consumption” altogether. (And you also provided me with ideas for two last minute gifts I was struggling with.)Posted by on 12/18 at 10:36 PM
Mr. Berube said, “For defunctness comes to us all in its own time, and at my back from time to time I hear the GNF’s winged chariot hurrying near.”
Please take my advice Mr. Berube for whatever it’s worth (obviously not much since I lost)… If you hear the winged chariot drawing near you, make sure they are sufficiently detoured until after the Web Awards!
Honestly, who would have thunk that a dead Spunk could poison the Ivy or martial the forces to nearly defeat a black belt in the liberal arts? Certainly not I!
Thanks for making my first week as a dead blogger so entertaining. Now, I may just have to get a copy of your book and look for a more legitimate reason to dislike you! Unfortunately, if a reviewer found you “spunky” I don’t hold out much hope for that happening either.
Contrary to Lou Grant’s sentiment, “I like Spunk.”
Karen Braun (aka Spunky)Posted by Spunky on 12/19 at 12:02 AM
Thanks for standing up for those of us who just aren’t too spunky and school other people’s kids. And congratulations!
I am a strident shrew for mediocrity everywhere with my fourth place finish, but my “self-esteem” is remarkably intact (given that I don’t believe in it).
And thanks for the kind attempt to throw some votes my way the other day. I am touched. And now I won’t use my “mad black belt skillz” on you if I see ya on the street.
Peace!Posted by Ms Cornelius on 12/19 at 12:12 AM
Are there other education blogs on the Internets?Posted by Roxanne on 12/19 at 04:34 AM
Funny you should ask, Roxanne. The category wasn’t “education blogs.” It was, for some suffixical reason that we’ve been playing with all week, “educational blogs.” And you know, every single blog teaches you something, even if, as is the case with the runnerup “Centrist” blog, it’s only a lesson in the pathologies of its author.
Thanks, Spunky and Ms. Cornelius! Remember, the second through fourth place blogs qualify for the playoffs. That’s right—this is, among other things, a hockey-loving blog, which means that after the initial round is over we then have two months of playoffs. (Of course things were even more fun in the 1980s when every blog made the playoffs.) And then we go Cup Crazy!Posted by Michael on 12/19 at 08:21 AM
Readers of this educational blog may find this interview with Elizabeth Kantor amusing.Posted by on 12/19 at 08:29 AM
Many thanks, m.ho! I totally forgot to announce that I’ll be debating Ms. Kantor on the Michael Medved radio show this Wednesday at 4 pm Eastern, 1 pm Pacific. I looked at her book the other day, too. Depressing beyond belief, not least for the reason that my local Barnes and Noble had six of it and none of mine.Posted by Michael on 12/19 at 09:03 AM
And there are a couple more things on our mind as well, like the question of how we wound up speaking about ourselves in the first person plural again even though we just used “mind” in the singular.
Where’s the mystery? You’re a doppelgänger, remember? As for the singular mind, two bodies, one mind, it’s in the doppelgänger handbook on page 38. It’s all about the one and the many and quantuum entanglement in those extra dimensions 5 through 11, plus, of course, fission and fusion.Posted by Bill Benzon on 12/19 at 09:13 AM
Depressing beyond belief . . .
Just read her interview. Does this woman have the foggiest idea of what’s actually taught in college English classes? Sounds to me like she’s just projecting her bad dreams onto a blank slate and pretending that’s college English.Posted by Bill Benzon on 12/19 at 09:21 AM
Not to take the thread off-topic or anything, but it looks like Michael beat out LGF in Best Conservative Blog, 6177 to 5780 .
Given this stunning victory by the partisans of WAAGNFNP against the LGFers, Michael can now truthfully claim the title of Best Nuclear Conservative Blog .
Captcha ‘open’, as in “ICBMs open doors (and minds).”
 Unfortunately the little fireballs did somewhat better on Best overall Blog, so I’m not sure Michael can be Best Nuclear Blog until next year. Perhaps a little negative functness will help.Posted by on 12/19 at 09:46 AM
After reading the Kantor’s interview, I decided to check the University of Texas—a liberal stronghold by anyone’s definition—spring course schedule to see just how bad things are. If they were bad enough, I might have even contemplated switching majors. Man was I disappointed.
Sure there were a couple of African American and Latino and Latina and Postmodern classes and whatnot, but there was no way to get through the department without taking masterworks of American and/or British literature, and there are four separate courses dedicated to Shakespeare. In fact nearly every author Kantor mentions has a course dedicated to him or her. Feh, I was really looking to be indoctrinated.Posted by on 12/19 at 11:31 AM
… Cage Match and Show Trial such a world-historical success!
Wow! So they were as good as the U.S. national political press (ca. 1993- present) has been bad. (And to my knowledge, no cocktail wienies were harmed in their production.)
I’ll be debating Ms. Kantor on the Michael Medved radio show this Wednesday at 4 pm Eastern, 1 pm Pacific.
And the good news is that the Weather Service says Mostly Sunny for tomorrow. (But you may want to verify with the more accurate Free Enterprise Enhanced forecasts you get up there.)
I’d love to listen in, but I’ve been too engrossed in reading Jack London ever since the “darkest, most disturbing”
CrappyHappy Feet led me to read The Sea Wolf.Posted by on 12/19 at 12:25 PM
Since this is now the best Educational Blog, I thought I would post an educational scandal in the making. I’m heartened to learn that some of the educators at Southern Methodist University are resisting indoctrination.Posted by on 12/19 at 12:25 PM
Feh, I was really looking to be indoctrinated.
Well, now that Chris Clarke has been tried, convicted, and accepted back into the fold of the WAAGNFNP, there’s a nice suite open at the Presidential Palace and International Detention Center. You’ve got first dibs on it if you want it.Posted by Bill Benzon on 12/19 at 12:26 PM
Speaking of edumacational books at Barnes and Noble, how is it that in my BN, Kantor’s book has its own display near the front door (as did Howowitz’s book for at least 6 months!), and I just got the last copy of What’s Liberal after a long search—it was on the third floor in the education section (which is housed in the children’s section) next to _What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know_. It seems to me that we, the champions, should use our ballot stuffing energy to call our local book stores and ask what’s up?
Michael, I hope that your mother will be feeling better soon.Posted by on 12/19 at 01:11 PM
Well, now that Chris Clarke has been tried, convicted, and accepted back into the fold of the WAAGNFNP, there’s a nice suite open at the Presidential Palace and International Detention Center. You’ve got first dibs on it if you want it.
As my son says when we ask him if he’d like seconds on his vegetables, no thanks, but thanks for offering.Posted by on 12/19 at 01:47 PM
the Weather Service says Mostly Sunny for tomorrow.
... I meant for Virginia Beach, of course.Posted by on 12/19 at 01:49 PM
Foucault, peter ramus, CCP, (and all CCST players): Message for you back at #18 here in case you missed it, (if you didn’t post a comment, you don’t get one of those “Someone just responded” notices).
To funkyb0ss and good times:
One of the most important functions of the WAAGNFNP’s Ministry of Justice is to ensure the right of all Party members to be Preoccupied and Dedicated to the motion of hips.Posted by Oaktown Girl on 12/19 at 02:03 PM
This blog can be cool again, if it agrees to open for Wolf Parade.Posted by on 12/19 at 02:24 PM
<iSend her some good wishes and Skele-Gro! </i>
Well i send her thoughts of good health, and rapid healing, and Nature’sWay HydraReplenish for bones, fiber, and cartilage, taken with lots of calcium too. That, with a great Bootsy funka-music bass line, and some deep roots reggae guitar, she should be up dancing, shaking on shakedown street, by NYE.Posted by on 12/19 at 03:07 PM
Hi Oaktown Girl,
Thanks--your tribute to us and to the trial is very moving. Though I am a seasoned prosecutor, the Chris Clarke Show Trial was perhaps the most challenging and rewarding case on which I ever worked.
It wasn’t simply because of the paradoxical nature of the Guilty One: the fact that he was so clearly guilty of such nefarious crimes, and yet so seemingly rabbit-loving and clean-living.
It wasn’t simply the blind pursuit of Justice or Irregular Capitals stirred my keen legal mind in this context.
Rather, it was the chance to work with such a tireless, creative, and relentlessly unconventional team. I say without hesitation that WAAGNFNP not only thinks outside of the margins, but often does not even seem to acknowledge that a margin is there.
Thanks to our party faithful, we have finally perfected a legal system in which *no* charge is too baseless or imaginary to dismiss. In this respect, we have succeeded where many persecutors before us have failed!
I was proud to serve in this case. May the truthiness of its verdict be a longstanding lesson to those who think they can dispute the infinite value of the imminent GNF (or go to the day spa without serious and evocative consequences).
Have a wonderful holiday, and thank you Oaktown Girl for your mastermindery, hip attitude, and commitment to seeing us through the many obstacles that might have otherwise prevented this socio-political-metatheatrical specacle from reaching its just completion.
Sincere best wishes,
FoucaultPosted by on 12/19 at 03:25 PM
I looked at her book the other day, too. Depressing beyond belief, not least for the reason that my local Barnes and Noble had six of it and none of mine.
The Spokane Valley B&N doesn’t have any copies of your book either. I bought the last two this morning.Posted by on 12/19 at 05:07 PM
The Spokane Valley B&N doesn’t have any copies of your book either.
Unfortunately, the Tom T. Hall lyric mashup was last week.Posted by Chris Clarke on 12/19 at 05:59 PM
Spokane Valley B&N
Oh dear me, there is actually another liberal (sadly moderated) living within a ten+ mile radius in this mostly frozen region. This is most disconcerting. Well Spokane Valley, could you donate one of those copies to the County public library system, so that it could have one. I haven’t seen it at Gonzaga, neither WSU nor EWU have local libraries (only on main campuses), and Whitworth certainly won’t be making a purchase (though i am sure someone will donate Kantor’s book).
And Chris, Public Enemy played last night to a near sellout crowd, though they didn’t have the numbers (nor income) of the multi-night, standing-room-only series: Singing Nuns present Irish Christmas. Of course the State Farm US Figure Skating people refused to pay local musicians union wages for the upcoming National Championships next month, so any live music will be provided free by high school and community college students. Tom T Hall would be proud.Posted by on 12/19 at 07:10 PM
I bought them in the Valley, but I live on the south hill. So you were the other person in the theater at “An Inconvenient Truth"…
The “moderate” is more a description of temperament than politics. I used to be politically moderate too, but the current administration has thoroughly radicalized me. I like to think that I keep the moderate monicker to remind me of my former self. Though, in truth, I’m really just too dang lazy to think up something else.
WSU does have a local library at its Riverpoint campus, but it’s small.
As for donating one of my copies… hey, get your own!Posted by on 12/19 at 10:19 PM
”...the question of how we wound up speaking about ourselves in the first person plural again even though we just used “mind” in the singular.”
Your seemingly random fluctuations between singularity and plurality are surely a natural function of your leadership of the WAAGNFNP, wherein all are always splitting and always already fused. We are all simultaneously singular and plural now - and so am I.
We/I will individually and collectively send osteoclast-encouraging thought waves to your mom.Posted by on 12/20 at 06:50 AM
You want to give his mom osteoporosis?
Captcha: hell. When did this become a damnation blog?Posted by PZ Myers on 12/20 at 10:33 AM
When did this become a damnation blog?
Late last week, if memory serves.Posted by on 12/20 at 10:33 AM
Who can forget what Lou Grant said about spunk?Posted by on 12/20 at 11:22 AM
OsteoBlast-encouragement, I’m sending. I didn’t send your mom any bad-bone thought waves, honest. PZ Myers stopped me in the nick of time. From now on, I’m having all my thought waves reviewed by experts before I fling them out upon the unsuspecting.
Captcha: simple. As in -minded.Posted by on 12/20 at 12:24 PM
Immediately after posting the previous comment (of course), it occurred to me that the simple-minded reference (to myself) was inappropriate. Having some memory and concentration deficits, that sort of thing has become reflexive with me. It’s self-serving, of course - it tends to keep anyone else from jumping in with similar comments. I apologize for any discomfort I may have caused.
MaudPosted by on 12/20 at 12:53 PM
Sending good thoughts your mom’s way, Michael. And please don’t go defunct any time soon. Please?Posted by Dr. Virago on 12/20 at 04:06 PM
No apologies necessary, Maud. No discomfort, no harm, no foul. And Dr. V., don’t worry—I can hold out another week or two.Posted by Michael on 12/22 at 11:29 PM