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Firedoglake hosted a blog chat yesterday with Andrew Cockburn, author of Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy. Here are some quotes:
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what, if anything, Rumsfeld believes in. The answer seems to be: very little, apart from an overriding desire to dominate each and every human encounter. Otherwise it has been hard to detect any thread of principle.And:
Well of course there was no transformation [of the military], at least not in any positive sense. His major legacy, apart of course from the wreckage inflicted on the army and marines thanks to Iraq, has been to let the budget spiral completely out of control, so that at a time when the Social Security and Medicare bills come due in a big way, we will find ourselves committed to footing the bill for defense obligations -- i.e., weapons programs -- that are militarily irrelevant and years late in entering service.Cockburn also suggests that it might not be wise for Dapper Don to visit Europe any time soon.
Blogs turned 10 this year (we think) and this was discussed on Server Side, here at the Tree. Dave brought up the New York Times' "Diagram of a Blog (sic)," a pitiful attempt to ridicule this upstart medium (or so I see it). Here's the reference in context (edited for length):
The first blogs I stumbled onto were like dull diaries, and everyone knows that a diary is only fun to read when it isn't intended for publication.Happy anniversary, blogs. Still caught in the media's throat, like a hairball.
- L.M. 4-03-2007 2:31 pm
I think most people still think of them as dull diaries. A fairly prominent blogger friend was recently on a sociopolitical panel (I'm not giving away too much) and beforehand the organizer said "it's nice that you keep a diary."
- tom moody 4-03-2007 2:39 pm
I think at least some of it has to do with the word 'blog'. I mean, how can you take that seriously? I remember when Peterme coined it, and the awkwardness of the word was a big reason I liked it. Almost like the practitioners were trying to be as uncool as possible. Around this same time Wired was trying to call them "Me-zines." That's just trying way to hard. Whereas blog sounds like something you might expectorate.
- jim 4-03-2007 4:04 pm
Wasn't me-zines Slate? As much of a problem as I had with "blog" (as you know) "me-zines" was orders of magnitude worse. I never thought about it as being deliberately uncool. Now, for that reason, I like it (6 years out)!
- tom moody 4-03-2007 4:08 pm
"Blog' still sounds uncool! It's like made out of anti-cool teflon or something.
- jim 4-03-2007 4:18 pm
i like when msm has to say "blog" in the context of having been scooped by one. like being beat by a child in chess.
- bill 4-03-2007 5:10 pm
critique of pure idiocy
- dave 4-06-2007 1:38 pm
"[Moqtada al-Sadr]'s fighters are not contesting US forces," says presidential aspirant and war hawk John McCain, a supporter of the Bush troop escalation that is supposedly pacifying Iraq, in a Washington Post editorial today.
From the same paper:
April 7 -- American and Iraqi troops engaged in fierce fighting with Shiite militiamen in southern Iraq on Saturday, the second day of clashes that have raised the specter of a resurgence by the Mahdi Army after weeks of lying low.Update, from the AP: "Al-Sadr Calls for Attacks on U.S. Troops." This can't be, "straight talk" McCain says he is "hiding."
As combat aircraft zoomed overhead, U.S. and Iraqi troops fought the militia in street shootouts and hunted down fighters in house-to-house raids in what the U.S. military said was an attempt to wrest control of the city of Diwaniyah from loyalists of firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. It was the third major clash between U.S.-allied forces and the Shiite militia in Diwaniyah in the past eight months.
Paula Scher's "Diagram of a Blog" that appeared as a New York Times editorial cartoon is old-media humor at its unfunniest. It reminded me of a cartoon that ran in the 1910s in response to the first Armory Show. Captioned "The Original Cubist" it depicted an elderly woman sewing a large patchwork quilt. A pundit of the day noted in response to the drawing that "you can't spoof what you don't understand."* At the risk of being more boring explaining what Scher doesn't understand, does she mean "comments to a blog"? They don't go like that if someone makes a half assed effort to moderate. Does she mean the "blogosphere"? The idea that everyone agrees to disagree eventually and nothing gets accomplished in the blog world (as opposed to the newspaper "letter to the editor world") is just so much Cubism. Ask, for example, Senator Jim Webb.
*Per Calvin Tomkins, The World of Marcel Duchamp, 1966.
Getty Images. At the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Jerome Basquiat (nephew of the '80s painter) explains his work, a grid of solarized lily pads referencing Claude Monet, to a collector, foreground, while the artist's dealer looks on. Behind them, another work depicts raindrops hitting the surface of a pond. (photo via Nasty Nets)
"Helipad" [mp3 removed]
Loud, fast rudimentary techno stomper.
I had a hard time titling this. Originally I wanted to call it "Planck Worm," because I'm re-reading Greg Egan's book Schild's Ladder and liked the name of the weapon designed to cripple the planet-swallowing "novo-vacuum." (I'm making the book sound more space opera than it is.) But it's Egan's juice and I didn't feel like appropriating it. Then I looked up pad in the urban dictionary because I was thinking of some version of "crash pad vs launch pad" and discovered that helicopter pad had a sexual connotation. That cinched it.
top image: Richard Woods, 1998; bottom two images: Kelley Walker, 2006 and 2004.