Posts from December 2003

Blog fashion

Blog fashion
: Why can’t we make T-shirts this cool? [via Moe]

Defying labels

Defying labels
: Dean Esmay gets this off his chest about labeling people neocon. He starts with a history of the term and then says:

What’s bizarre is that, since 9/11, angry left-wing critics have started dubbing just about everyone who disagrees with them on defense matters a “neocon.” Democrat, Republican, socialist, capitalist, it doesn’t matter. If you supported the effort to liberate Iraq, you are a “neocon.”

People who’ve considered themselves conservative Republicans their whole lives, like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, are now routinely called “neocons.” Democrats who support the war effort get called “neocons.” People who voted for Gore who think Iraq was the right thing to do are called “neocons.” Pretty much anybody who thinks that America needed to take out Saddam Hussein and start the process of reforming the thug-regimes of the Middle East, or who thinks the liberal democratic state of Israel has a right to exist and is not the moral equivalent of Yassir Arafat’s terrorist-regime, is now dubbed a “neocon.”

There is also a subtle undercurrent among some (not all, but some) who use the term that a “neocon” is really someone who’s either Jewish, or secretly influenced by Zionist thinkers.

He’s right but I find just as frequently that just supporting the war gets you labeled “right-wing.” It all sinks to the level of a playground argument.

Outing anti-Semitism

Outing anti-Semitism
: Julie Burchill writes her much-anticipated followup column on anti-Semitism too damned close to home. Her lead:

In 1967, Martin Luther King Jr published his Letter To An Anti-Zionist Friend: “Anti-Zionism is inherently anti-semitic, and ever will be. What is anti-Zionism? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the globe. It is discrimination against Jews… because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-semitism.” MLK – what a mensch!

Elections as a reality show

Elections as a reality show
: A few months ago, FX announced and then dropped American Candidate, a reality show in which a real people would run a shadow presidential campaign. Now Showtime appears ready to pick it up.

But it appears that lawyers and bureaucrats and ruining the show — and taking democracy down with them.

What was great, absolutely great about this idea in its original form was that the winner on the show would run a campaign. And what’s great about that is that the candidates and the media would have to deal with what that person said and thus we, the people could suddenly set the agenda again: We could raise issues without all the constraints of parties, special interests, political correctness, and, frankly, the need to win. It brought populism back to politics.

But now Showtime is going to the FEC to get bureacratic dispensation:

Among the concerns the election commission may address: What if the winner becomes so popular he or she runs for real public office? What if the winner endorses an actual candidate? What if the contestants use their platform to promote or disparage President Bush or his Democratic opponent?

Yeah, and what if they do? What the hell is wrong with any of that? It’s called free speech, you twits. It’s called America. We all have the perfect right to endorse candidates. We all have the right to disparage candidates. Since when did we need to get permission?

“I don’t know what it says about the state of American politics that you might have to get people interested through a reality series,” said Larry Noble, head of the Center for Responsive Politics and former FEC general counsel. “But if it gets more people interested in the real campaign, it’s not a bad thing.”

Now isn’t that a condescending attitude. If people aren’t listening to candidates, could it be that the candidates don’t have anything worthwhile to say? [via Lost Remote]

: More election idiocy: Some stations are refusing to carry Saturday Night Live with Al Sharpton because they fear triggering equal-time rules.

Blog cards

Blog cards
: Hugh McLeod, the wonderful cartoons-on-the-backs-of-business-cards guy and always cogent commenter here, is going to start making business cards again and I’ll order some because at blog confabs, blog parties, and other blog events, I want to hand out a card with my blog address instead of my business card. I need blog cards. Don’t you?