Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Sadly, no more
All right, here’s what happened. Over the weekend, the trio of merry pranksters at Sadly, No! took pity on me. You might recall that last week, I foolishly issued a challenge to SN. Or maybe I issued a challenge to my readers. Or maybe I just dreamed I issued a challenge, and then woke up to find that everything I dreamed was real. I’m not clear on what kind of speech act was involved. Whatever. The point is that by Saturday, Sadly, No! had pulled so far in front of me in the all-important Best of the Blogs That Inhabit the Two Hundred and Fifty-First through Five Hundredth Positions of the Large Mammal Section of the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem Awards Competition (or, as SN put it, “blogs that are less popular than Firedoglake, but more popular than The Iowa Voice") that I could no longer even see their dust, let alone eat it. Clearly, I had been treated to an extra heapin’ helpin’ of Poutine Power. (What is poutine, you ask? Don’t ask. It’s a French-Canadian thing—you wouldn’t understand.)
Actually, the competition was probably over a few minutes after it started—and it had nothing to do with poutine. Within two hours of answering my challenge, Sadly, No! posted its selection of holiday gifts for the Liberal War on Christmas, and once I saw their gay creche . . .
I knew I was completely out of my league. Unfortunately, for this all-important campaign I had hired Bob Shrum as a blog awards advisor, and he had insisted that I devote my week to a series of discussions of Steve Fuller and Intelligent Design. “The people love a long science-studies argument with 120 to 180 three-paragraph comments,” Shrum told me. “Leave the gay creches and the Fitzgeraldian Hip-Hop to them, and concentrate on the swing states.” Was Shrum right about this? Sadly, no.
So on Saturday, Gavin M. wrote with a proposal. Since SN’s lead was now insurmountable, they could afford to be gracious (and funny) about the whole thing, and maybe even lift me out of my virtual second-pace tie with Austin Bay. (Nothing personal about Austin Bay. He’s a smart and honorable fellow whose political beliefs simply happen to differ from mine.) Vote-switching would obviously be wrong, but blog-switching could be fun! Plus, it entailed all kinds of interesting hijinx that would demonstrate yet again the amazing frictionlessness and vertiginousness of the Internets!
I thought it over. Was it an incredibly arcane, more-postmodern-than-thou kind of joke? Check. Would it involve a lot of time and effort to no clear purpose? Check. Would it confuse the hell out of everyone? Check. Would I get to post pictures of people with limes on their heads? Check.
It sounded perfect.
So Sunday night, we got to work. Kurt did the site redesign (I’ve learned how to mess with the templates now and then, but this job involved some serious coordination between SN’s engine room and ours, not least because most of SN’s programming is written in French), and I set about the task of creating three new users and writing posts for each of them, along with some graphics helpfully provided by Gavin. (Thanks!) And voilà, yesterday I became Sadly, No! for a day. It was a thrilling experience, seasoned throughout the day by any number of strange people leaving strange comments under Nabokovian pseudonyms.
Didn’t you have anything better to do with your time? you ask. Well, yes, of course. But I didn’t feel like doing those things yesterday.