Come on in, the water’s lukewarm
: Tim Oren moves his blog in part so he can be a bit more political. He categorizes himself as a member of the militant middle (where I’m proudly listed on his blogroll).
: MONDAY UPDATE: Fellow blogger-hyphen-VC Fred Wilson notes Tim’s blog switch and says:
It’s a real concern and something that I have often thought about as I have been playing out this exercise in transparency that is my blog.
My partner doesn’t share my political views. He’s in the middle along with Jeff, Tim, and most other rational people. The views expressed on this blog are not the views of my firm. They are my views.
Further, when I blog that I root for the Jets, it doesn’t mean that my firm is rooting for the Jets and rooting against the Patriots. It means that I do that.
The big tent
: Ira Glass’ This American Life on NPR has become my favorite radio program, for it’s not only the best exercise in story-telling anywhere, it is consistently and delightfully surprising (hear this amazing story about a Hasidic Jew who became an underground rocker and this story about how hard it is to work in Iraq).
This week’s surprise: An entire show devoted to the Republican Party as the inclusive party, the big tent. I told you it was surprising: It’s on NPR (well, PRI, but I tire of splitting that hair) and it’s fair and balanced about Republicans.
The show makes the point that the Republicans are the party that’s growing and they’re doing it, in great measure, by acting open. Whether, in the end, they really are open depends on where you stand and what matters to you and whether you’d feel OK in their tent. The Republicans had Guliani and McCain and Schwarzenegger on the dias and kept the fringes locked in a closet during the convention. But their platform was a document of the concrete-solid right. And from my perspective, Bush is from that solid right (though I know many of that far right would disagree); if he were more open to other views on some issues I’d be more open to him. Still, the show says, the Republicans make an effort at openness while the Democratis, it can be argued fairly, persist in PC dogma and are not open to, say, pro-lifers. On the other other other hand, though, it’s not news that there are gay Democrats but it is news that there are gay Republicans and that’s an indication of relative and historic openness. I could keep this on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand all day but I won’t.
I recommend the show highly (it’s being aired this week; it’s on Audible now; it’ll be on Real next week). You won’t hear mudslinging and hate. You will hear people who honestly disagree within and without the Republican party trying to at least discuss issues. It can happen.
: David Hajdu writes a review of Art Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers that pretty much goes nowhere, except for this shocking comparison:
In content and theme, ”Maus” and ”In the Shadow of No Towers” share some ground. Each of the books deals with a relatively ordinary man, a Spiegelman of one time and place, confronting mass murder (on vastly different scale and a wholly distinct nature, of course) and an arrogant, power-hungry regime (again, on a far different level).
So here we have The New York Times drawing parallels between Hitler’s regime and Bush’s.
That’s shocking. I hope it’s just shockingly sloppy. But I wonder.
(I review this unbook here.)
: More fun from the NY Times book review:
In a negative review of pompous Princetonian Cornel West’s Democracy Matters, Caleb Crain writes this:
Then there are West’s eccentricities of tone. For the ”soul murder” of American youth, West blames cocaine, Ecstasy, oral sex and –Weblogs. He writes, somewhat cryptically, that ”Since 9/11 we have experienced the niggerization of America.”
Weblogs are murdering the soul of American youth. Wow. It that because we are addictive or just because we like puncturing that self-important bag of tepid wind, West?
Then again, we could use this as our new marketing slogan: Weblogs: as much fun as cocaine, Ecstasy, and oral sex!
: One more bit of NYT book review fun: Ana Marie Cox, the Wonkette, reviews the new chick-lit novel by Al Gore’s daughter, Kristen Gore. She didn’t like it.