Catching up with The Times

Three things I meant to blog about The Times this week, but I ran out of time each time:

* I was agog at Henry Blodget’s attempt to shrug off the stock bubble and the tremendous losses he helped cause and — apart from one smart-assed aside — his own responsibility with an op-ed for The Times. He tries to argue that the bubble was a natural — even biological — phenomenon (read: it ain’t my fault):

The growth of the Internet has paralleled that of most industries based on revolutionary technology. Canals, railroads, telegraphs, telephones, cars, radios, personal computers – all progressed (or are progressing) through four phases of development: boom, bust, mature growth and decay….

Sometimes, industry life cycles last a century or more (circuit-switched telephones); sometimes, only a few decades (Polaroid). But the repetition of the pattern – as well as its resemblance to biological evolution – suggests that the boom-and-bust phases should be viewed as far more than repeated examples of human folly. Rather, they should be seen as natural, inevitable bursts of trial-and-error adaptation, the mechanisms through which industries are formed.

What complete crap. But The Times doesn’t stop there. Today, Joe Nocera writes the apologia for his pal, Blodget: “Myself, I think it’s time to give the guy a break.”

Oh, give me a break.

: The paper tells the story of The Cell, a terrorist sitcom making the rounds of Hollywood — and meeting executives who do not have the balls to produce it. They should.

You might be surprised that I say that, being oversensitive about the topic.

But I say it’s time to make the terrorists into the absurd, stupid laughingstocks that they are. I think that is an appropriate insult to them. And, besides, the script is funny:

• Abu blends in by joining a bowling team, and becomes a fanatic: “We will dance in the blood of the losers from Hal’s Body and Paint Shop!” he vows. But he is a hapless terrorist. A fertilizer bomb in his trunk accidentally goes off outside when he is bowling for the league championship – toppling his last two pins and clinching victory.

: In today’s What’s Online column, there’s this snark at blogs:

Bloggers have made a valiant effort to collect money for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Sadly, though, they remain stuck in ideological camps, often listing only charities they deem “correct.”

And what’s wrong with recommending the charity you like and trust?

: And here’s my favorite: Whodathunk that The New York Times would report on the latest fashions in public hair?