Thursday, August 31, 2006
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.