Monday, March 18, 2002
Geraldo Rivera is a fool. Yes, I know - waters wet, the sky is blue; what other insight can I bring to the table today? Ive always thought he was a ridiculous character, almost something the Onion would hire for an advice column. Ask the War Correspondent Who Looks like a 70s Porn Star.
Dear War Correspondent Who Looks Like a 70s Port Star: my girlfriend gets jealous when I run to an ex and talk to her for more than a minute. Is this normal, or should I ask her to lighten up?
Dear Confused: It was here, in what is now considered hallow ground, that brave men faced unimaginable odds to win what will hereafter be known as The Battle of the Can Openers, when fourteen of Americas finest struggled to prepare meals using that one weird tool on a Swiss Army Knife. I am reminded of the words of the great statesman Winston Churchill, when he said we will fight them on the beaches. Even though this plain is hundreds of miles from the ocean, it was a beach millions of years ago, before geological events of unimaginable violence changed the world as we know it forever - leaving us these fossilized trilobites as a reminder than in war, sometimes the bones are the only living witnesses - witnesses whose demand for justice still echoes like the gunfire that would have cracked this peaceful dawn if there had, in fact, been a battle.
So Geraldo is in Israel, interviewing a man whose teenaged daughter had recently been blown to bits by a madman heading to heaven for his seventy-two dark-eyed seedless Sun-Maids. The father showed Geraldo a picture of his daughter and her friend - they were inseparable, he said. They had spent the morning redecorating a room, then headed into town for some shopping. Where they were blown up. Ripped to bleeding chunks for the greater glory of Allah and Arafat. The father had a stoic grieving dignity that would no doubt provide a certain cartoonist with weeks of hilarious material. Geraldo stumbled around, unable to find the words, and finally launched gracelessly into his new script: I am a Zionist, he said, but I want to be a Palestinianist. I have seen so much suffering on the other side. Just the other day I witnessed a man with his newborn baby, swaddled, going home from the hospital, and they had to wait behind a checkpoint -
I watched the fathers face carefully; not a flicker of emotion. No doubt he found the comparison obscene - his daughter had been killed, blown apart, and the fellow in Geraldos example had moral equivalence because his arrival home with his child was delayed by a few hours. I fully expected the father to ram the heel of his hand into Geraldos trachea and drive his hyoid bone clean through the back of the kapok-stuffed gourd Geraldo calls a head. But the father didnt move a muscle.
Next, on Fox, a story about anti-Jewish messages in Arab media. Any visitor to lgf or memri knows these despicable stories, including the marvelous description in the Saudi state paper of how, exactly, the Jews drain the blood of their victims for use in their special pastries. (The TV report also showed a short skit from some Gulf-area state television showing Sharon as the bottler of a Jewish soft-drink made from human blood. Ha! Ha! Stop, you guys are killing me. Or would, were I Jewish.) Naturally, we have to get the other side, so they interviewed this haughty sack of goo I see and hear on every talk show. I cant remember his name, but hes the spokesman for a leading Arab-American group, and can be counted on to ruin his cause of domestic amity by defending indefensible acts in other nations. He said, as expected. that 1. the reports are exaggerated, and 2. of course these things are deplorable, and 3. while one can find these things in the Arab media, there is similar anti-Arab material in American newspapers.
This last claim was pure codswallop; the man is lying, and he knows it. I looked at the front page of the paper today for some wild, crazy story accusing Saudi religious police beating young girls fleeing from a burning building because their heads were bare. Get back in there and die like a good chaste maiden, and oh: when the firemen come well interfere with them as well, on the off chance their passions are inflamed by seeing bareheaded girls engulfed in flame.
I did not see this story on the front page. Whats more, if I had seen it, the tale would not be analogous to the old Jewish blood libel, because its true.
Weekend movie: Heist, a David Mamet film. I love his movies, because unlike most Hollywood writers he can actually write, and unlike most directors he is less interested in what the camera can do than what the actors can do. The result is always smart - Tarantino for grown-ups, in the case of Mamets crime pictures. This one had less mannered dialogue than its predecessors, and it seemed to draw its mystique from previous Mamet crime films whose twists and turns were endless and always surprising. When this one didnt twist and turn, you wondered if that was a twist and turn. It was 9% longer than it had to be, alas, but the acting was superb all around (Gene Hackman, at his finest, as was the irreplaceable Ricky Jay.) Not Mamets best - but hed have to make ten movies in a row ten times worse than this one before Id think about avoiding number 11.
Went to the lamp store today. The living room has been a sepulcher for many months as we searched for Le Lampe Juste, and I found it. (Months ago, of course.) Today I went to get it, and lucky me! It was forty percent off!
Good thing I didnt go last week, when it was . . . 40 percent off!
This is what irritates me greatly about this store: everything is always on sale. For that matter, the very phrase On sale annoys me, since it implies that half the year the goods cannot be obtained for love or money, and sit in the store in mocking silence. But this store is always having a sale - save the six or seven days a year when they dont, and the entire staff just sits around balling up copier paper and lobbing them into the wastebasket. Maybe the non-sale days are when the rich folk come round, just for the joy of paying full price and not caring a whit about it.
Then I wandered down to the rug department, since my wife has deemed the ancient living room rug as the enemy of all that is right, true and just, and she wanted me to look at - i.e., approve - a design shes seen on a previous visit. Im not crazy about most rugs. Correction: I dont like Persian rugs, which are most rugs. I just dont. Theyre too busy. I can certainly see how some people like Persian rugs, given the rich and intricate nature of the design, but I like something that doesnt writhe so much. Persian rugs always look like ten pianists playing scales as fast as they can.
I asked the clerk to see a rug that had a tree border, which my wife said would tell him just one it was. And indeed he knew just which rug I meant. I hated it.
My wife was not happy that I hated it, and said: Well, you find one, then. So I got out some Arts & Crafts catalogs Id been saving, found one, and said: this. This! Behold, THIS! It was the anti-Persian, the rational stylized iconographical Arts & Crafts rug, take THAT!
Id buy it, but its expensive. The one at the store - if you can believe our luck - is forty percent off.
|Tuesday, March 19, 2002
Today: library wars; SiSi!; hot teen sheep; Andrew Sullivan is worried
Child in my arms, I approached the front desk to apply for a library card. Why, sure! said the merry librarian. He slid a form across the counter, and said getting some books for the little one, eh? Well, thats just grand. We could always use a new customer - especially one this cute. Whats your name, little one?
Actually, he just slid he form across the counter and looked away with the expression of a man dimly recalling a paper cut back in 74.
Gnat staggered off to the book section, chanting de bucks. De bucks. O de bucks. She found a section devoted entirely to bad news: death of a pet, death of a relative, death of faith in empiricism, etc. I steered her over to some counting books while I filled out the form. It said Id have to prove my residence with a photo ID, and if I didnt have that I could present a utility bill. Since my drivers license shows my old address, I figured Id have some explaining to do.
Not a problem! the gray-haired library lady said. Well mail it to you, and in the meantime enjoy these four books. So nice to see a little girl who loves to read!"
Actually, no. She said I could take two books. Not four. If I had a utility bill with my new address, I could have four. Once I got my card I could have dozens. But without such proof, I could only have two. So take two books away from your daughter, please.
Then I made a fatal mistake.
Look, I said. If you doubt that Im on the up-and-up, let me go get the newspaper. I work there, and my pictures in the paper with my name.
The librarian looked as though I suggested she cram the entire Oxford English Dictionary up her intestinal aperture.
Just so you know Im not trying to pull something here, I explained."
She started typing in my information, obviously flustered. She was having a hard time processing the exchange that just took place. I, of course, was sympathetic to her position, because for all she knew my entire day - no, my entire life - had been leading up to this devilish caper. The borrowed child; the fake ID; the long career laboring in journalism until one day Id have my picture in a newspaper already sitting on the library shelf before I got there - to say nothing of the books Id written that were in the library collection - all a carefully constructed clockwork mechanism designed to steal Tiggers Happy Counting Day and Spot Learns his Colors.
She finished the paperwork. So which two books do you want.
Obstinate library lady, meet Mr. Taxpayer.
So, you dont trust me?" I said, commanding face to assume Muscle Posture #90445, genial incredulity. "Believe me, Im not here to steal books.
Well - no - you just flustered me - I mean, if I bent the rules you could write a newspaper column about me.
Lady, Im more likely to do that if you dont, but I bit my tongue, hoisted my child up and said Its not like that - I dont use my column for evil. Only for good. I chose two. Im just curious why two books is okay, but four is forbidden.
She was frankly amazed by my obdurate stupidity.
Its policy, she said.
It was only later I realized what she meant: if shed given me four books instead of two, I might have written a newspaper article blowing the whistle on lax policy enforcement in the public library system. Jebus help me. I have sympathy for people who are bound by the rules of All-Powerful Bureaucracy, but if its gotten to the point where a librarian cant say oh, take four, its no problem then we have, once again, an institution that serves itself before the customers. I can certainly understand a librarian not wishing to give a book to a patron without a card, and I am not suggesting I should have had the rules bent for me because I am A COLUMNIST. Only that her attitude was fascinating: there was never any doubt that POLICY would rule. There was simply no way around it, and it would never occur to her to do anything outside the boundaries of policy, and she could not understand why I would think the policy could be bent.
Daily Amazing Gnat moment: I tend to whistle music cues when Im distracted - snatches of the Elmo theme, Rolie Polie Olie cues, Richard Scarry tunes, etc. Its what happens when you live on the Planet Toddler. Today I whistled the outcue for the Simpsons syndication package, the brassy recap of the theme used in the be right back 5-second spot they throw up between commercials.
Si si! Gnat said.
I looked at her, thought: hmm. Whistled it again.
I whistled the Elmo theme.
I picked up the TiVo remote, called up a Simpsons ep.
She knows the Simpsons.
Did I mention the other day we were at the computer store, in the Mac section? I pushed her stroller past a book about OS X, and she said:
Daddys daughter indeed.
Ive been getting some really odd pr0n spam lately. (The misspellings, as usual, are to thwart the Google spiderbots and keep them from linking to this page for the wrong reasons.) (Its interesting how the belief that spiders are crawling all over ones self is now a sign of mental health, not paranoia.) They involve various activities in barns and zoos. Oh, yes, please. Whee. Its the miracle of the modern world: long ago in the distant 70s, b3stiality enthusiasts had no outlet for their preversions, as Keenan Wynn might put it. Now, on the odd chance one is so inclined, strangers send you invitations to head on over for some ruttin mutton. Chinese spambots send out millions of these things, and the end result is two guys out of 17 million recipients, their jaws in their laps, thinking I am the luckiest man on earth. I also heard on the news today that the most popular dramatic play on Broadway - maybe Off-Broadway - is the Albees new tale about a married man who has a torrid physical affair with a goat.
Some days you think youre living in Sparta; some days you wake up in Caligulas Rome.
Andrew Sullivan, who is recovering from gut crud, wrote some worrisome words yesterday about Cheneys sweep through the Gulf. The Wall Street Journal also reported today that Cheney got the stiff-arm from the sheiks about an Iraqi strike, and that their noncompliance cast the Iraqi strike in doubt. Well. I dont think this came as a surprise to anyone in the administration, certainly not if Wolfy has been attending the meetings.
Of course no one in the region wants Saddam deposed, for the obvious reasons - if he goes, the nation might go, fractured like hard toffee rapped with a hammer. If an elected regime replaces Saddam, it will make everyone else look like the autocrats, which of course they are. And it might provide a region-wide example of an alternative to foamy-mouthed religious fanaticism: democracy. The leaders of the Arab world fear this more than fundamentalism. Islamicist irrationalism is useful; democracy is not. Ranting mullahs channel the steam of the dispossessed, and gives it a handy target: those blood-sucking Jews and the whorish cabal of infidels in America. Sure, you may have no job, and live in a stinking flat made of crumbling concrete, but at least your government tolerates a certain amount of useful hate. A Bahrain prince put it succinctly: no one is dying in the streets because of Saddam, but Palestinians are dying in the street because of Israel.
The Arab leaders dont give a rotten fig for the Palestinians. It is rich to be lectured by the Kuwaitis on the matter, when the invasion of their country was endorsed by Arafat, and the Kuwaitis themselves expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians upon the liberation of their country. (And where did they go, exactly?) The Arab leaders dont really care about the Iraqi people, either. They want stability, which means money and power. They want no public indication that self-determination is even a possibility.
So many kings and princes! Doesnt that tell you something about the region? Its like Europe in the 18th century - except that the Kings men have cellphones, and standing orders to throw Voltaire out the third-story window. I do not believe, however, that post-monarchical governments in the Arab world will take the form of, say, Frances atheistic egalitarianism. Id love to think otherwise. Id love to think theyd realize that the Jews are the absolute least of their problem. I think the opposite would be true.
As far as the momentum goes, agreed; the wind is not exactly gusting at our backs here. But the Afghan theater isnt over - and more importantly, the US drew down its precision munitions supply during the last war, and we, ahem, are sort of low on cruise missiles. This is a perfect time for a diplomatic interregnum, which is precisely what the US is so often accused of abjuring.
Bottom line: peace deal offered to Arafat by late spring. It will be rejected. Europe will blame both sides, but will actually start to believe that Arafat just might be the problem here. The Iraqi-American war will start in August, just because thats when this crap always seems to happen.
But what do I know? Bupkis, thats what I know. Informed bupkis. But bupkis nevertheless.
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
This is the sound that surges from the bowels of the house when the boiler starts up. It sounds like the house has the dry heaves. It comes on in the middle of the night, echoing through the empty pipes:
It wakes the wife and gives me dreams of beasts in the basement, swallowing whole my Simpsons figurines, chewing my DVDs like Girl Scout Thin Mints. Or Girl Scouts, for that matter.
Its a new sound, so it cant be good. No new house-sounds are good. It takes a while to learn your houses personality; I now know the feel of Jasperwood by foot, where the beams are, where the aged floors slope slightly away, and I no longer expect the entire pile to fall down tomorrow. It is 87 years old, after all. I know that the third step must be avoided at night, for it sends out a baby-waking shriek that makes you sound as if youve stepped on the tail of some old wooden dog. I know the tortured-kazoo noise the wind makes in the window of my studio. When I go bed late at night I make a wide circle around the bed, because the floorboards dont bitch like old men who havent hit Bingo all night. So when the boiler started heaving the other night I knew it was time to call the repairmen. Again.
That was three weeks ago, of course. They come tomorrow, and I fully expect the boiler to be on its best behavior and not make a sound. But since I pay the gas company a monthly fee to fix this sort of thing, I dont care how long it takes - unless, as is likely, the problem is in a pump that isnt covered by my contract. See, this is how it works: you sign up to have your boiler covered. When they come to fix it, you find that the boiler is rather loosely defined. You have the options of insuring other appliances, but once insured they will never malfunction. Last weeks fridge episode wouldnt have set me back $80 if Id added it to the plan. Should I add it to the plan now, after paying out the money? Or wait and hope?
Its a good thing I spend all my time here at Jasperwood, because thats where every damn dime goes. Last night, for example, I turned on a the new lamp I bought Sunday. Ping: the bulb burned out. This was a small bulb in the column of the lamp itself; it illuminates an ersatz stained-glass panel (read: resin.) (Read: plastic.) I removed the light, and in a rare act of foresight put it in my coat pocket so I could get one the next day. (Most of my life these days seems to consist of impersonating some Theoretical Dad who would do these things without thinking twice about whats required.) Today after work I stopped off at the hardware store. It was pitch black; no power. I realized that the streetlights had been dead for blocks - hmm.
I went to the light bulb aisle. A clerk came by and asked what I needed.
Ironically, a light bulb, I said.
Save the adverbs, word boy, he said, and with one quick move hed disarmed me and pulled my coat over my arms.
Youre going to pay for that, mister, I said, hoping my voice had the deadly menace I intended. But he just laughed and shoved me towards the door, where my boss was waiting. He wouldnt be happy. I was supposed to bring Spade up at gunpoint, and now I was the one with a roscoe at his back.
Ah, I see youve met my associate, sir, said my boss. Very good sir. A man of action. Splendid, splendid. Yes. Well then. May we speak frankly? I like a man who speaks frankly about frank things, yes. Youve probably wondered why this Bleat has suddenly turned into a scene from The Maltese Falcon. Id wonder myself. I admire that, sir. I admire a man who wonders frankly about these things.
The man named Spade had a bemused grin. He lit a cigarette. I figured it was because the Bleat had reached its inevitable dead end, and there was little point telling a tired tale about one more trip to the store.
Quite so. Quite. Gutman gave a snort of wry contentment. Very good sir. You impress me, sir. Now let us talk of the bird -
I jumped, startled - Spade and the fat man both looked at me, then smiled.
Youll forgive Wilma, Gutman said. Nerves of a Milanese castrato. I -
Sounds like your pipes could stand some bleeding, Spade said.
Quite! But if you dont give us the bird, sir, the pipes will not be the only ones who find themselves leaking precious fluid. His face went dead. Give it to me, he said. The bird. Give it now.
I saw my gun on the end table, and moved towards it - but the floorboard creaked like an old, wooden, Bingo-playing dog. Spade lunged for me, clipped me once on the jaw, and the room spun into blackness.
NEXT MONTH: THE REPAIRMAN ALWAYS RINGS THREE TIMES, THEN GOES BACK TO HIS TRUCK AND PHONES FROM HIS CELL, AND IF YOURE NOT HOME THATS YOUR PROBLEM; CALL THE CENTRAL OFFICE TO RESCHEDULE, AND NO I CANT COME BACK TODAY, IM FIXING A BOILER IN NEW BRIGHTON, AND THERES NO WAY I CAN GET BACK TO SOUTHWEST MINNEAPOLIS, by James Cain
Yesterdays library story brought some interesting mail, much of which suggested I was being a jerk. And I think I was, really; when I reread it before posting I winced at the whole damn tale, but, well, I get to be the bad guy sometimes. It all boiled down to this: if someone, anyone, had given me the shadow of a frickin smile while I was in the library, and not treated me like some chancrous Quasimodo whose exploding pustules were messing the carpet and annoying patrons with their loud pops, Id have been inclined to go along with the Policy. Its a lesson for all: begin all transactions with a smile, even if you dont feel like it. Especially if you dont feel like it.
|Thursday, March 21, 2002
|The GAWRSH fixer came by this morning, spent ten minutes in the boiler room, and announced he could do nothing. Apparently theres air pocket somewhere in the pipes, migrating like an Al Qaeda fighter, roaming from radiator to radiator. Id have to call in A Professional. (Visions of Jean Reno at the door with a briefcase containing a disassembled wrench.) To be specific, a plumber. He embarked on a lengthy explanation of what was going on, and why he couldnt do anything about it, and after a while I got the point and absolved him of the need to continue. Ill let you get on to your next job, I said.
Oh, it doesnt matter to me, Im paid whether Im here or there, he said.
That wasnt what I meant. I meant Ill free you up so the people who are, right now, waiting for you to come will be released from their vigil sooner rather than later. So I said so, and noted that I knew what it was like to wait for the repairman to come between 10 and 3. He didnt seem to make the connection. Perhaps plumbers, repairmen, and other men in this profession just have some sort of mental state that denies the existence of the future, which would posit the existence of people not yet served whose lives are on hold until the repairman arrives. They must believe that the world is created anew every second, which would mean it is impossible to inconvenience people not yet served because these people do not yet exist. If true, this is a remarkable view of the universe, and the theological implications are staggering.
If the world is indeed constructed anew every second, then St. Augustines clever reconciliation of divine omniscience and free will falls apart. Augie said that God knows the future and what we will do - so arent we predestined, then? No! He denies himself foreknowledge, thus permitting us to act freely. (Thats the rough version; its a little more complex.) But if God is remaking the world every second, then He is literally designing the world as it happens, willfully creating those seconds in which good and evil happen in a trillion small manifestations. So God does not permit evil as a reflection of human choice, but actively creates it in order to manifest the consequences of human choice in previous, God-created seconds. And His preachers, His disciples, His chosen tribe:
Repairmen. They alone bear witness, yet we are so blind as to not see.
Id rather believe this than believe repairmen dont care if you wait all day or not.
After the bootless repair mission, Gnat napped and I worked. Afterwards, a variety of foodstuffs were flung wudely to the gwound. Pasta: on the floor. Yogurt: splashdown. Peaches: dumped on Jaspers back. Eggs: mashed into a fine powder, ground into hair, and thrown on the ground. Only Mac & Cheese went down the burp-pipe, as usual; thats all she eats. It is, of course, the messiest foodstuff ever made - its like feeding her yellow paint and glue - but it sticks to the ribs. And the windowpanes. Then it was off to the Mall of America, where I had some business at the Apple Store. There was a young woman trying to decide if she wanted an iMac, and the salesman paused for a second to ask if he could get me a clerk. Actually, I need a Genius, I said, referring to the techies who staff the Genius Bar at the back of the store. Sure! he said. Ill get you one. The other customer seemed a little amazed by this - wow, ask for a genius and they know what you mean and they have them right here! I asked some networking questions, bought some DVDs and a USB mike so I can continue with the long & gruesome process of converting all the old Diner shows to MP3s. (Which will be available for sale some day.) (Yes, yes, I know, T SHIRTS. Theyre coming.)
Then I released Gnat from the stroller and let her explore Camp Snoopy. I remember my first impression of that place: horror. But seen through a childs eyes it has much to offer, from the rumbling roller-coaster overhead to the little stream snaking through the center of the miniature jungle in the center of the park. I threw in a coin and made a wish (of course I cant tell you, but any parent can probably guess.) She was so happy just to walk, and walk by herself, thank you, no grabbing on to Daddys finger. Since the floor rises and slopes all over the place, and the walkways are bordered by hard stones, and her stumbling toddler gait makes her pitch brain-first on the most level of surfaces, I feared some sort of injury was imminent, but we finished the day without bleeding. Thats all I ask, really. Get some cheese down the hatch without choking, a day at the mall without bleeding. All else is gravy.
And theres so much gravy.
|Muthafrickincoldday, March 22, 2002
|I rarely get the chance to thank the individuals who really make a difference in my life, so let me just say this: to the parent who really, really wanted to work out last Saturday and brought her runny-nosed sneezy germ-shedding Typhoid Justin to the gyms day care center, I want to thank you for introducing our family to the one cold germ we havent yet experienced. Gnat got a runny nose on Wednesday; by the end of the day everyone had the tell-tale scratchy throat, and now the claw of another cold has fastened itself around my windpipe, thrust its beak up my nose. This one feels mild, though. Yes, Ive had so many this past year Im an expert at discerning the minute details, the subtle bouquets and hues and gradations of congestion. Ah - ocular graininess, bilabial dryness, verdant lung oysters of palpable viscosity; Id say its rhinovirus IX-34.
I volunteered for this one. I could have avoided it. If I hadnt kissed my daughter goodnight, or if Id hosed my hands with disinfectant every time I swabbed her runny nose, or if Id turned away when she wanted to give me a hug, Id have been fine. But those things arent in the job description.
So here we go again.
Interesting day - thanks to the fine fellows at the Mall of Americas Apple store walk-in tech-help department (deep breath) I got the wireless internet access up & running, which means when Gnat decides to play in the living room I can just pick up the iBook and prowl the web from the sofa. Or the sun porch. Or the dining room table. Previously Id strung a phone cord from the iBook to a wall outlet, which just bugged me. Inelegant. No wires, no floppies: that is Our Credo here in the small, defenseless sliver of Macland.
As long as Im on the subject: I dont like the new iMac. I know some people are gaga over it, and Im glad its popular, but its not for me. I like a certain amount of roundness, but this one is 21% rounder than Id like. Were it a rectangular slab (with rounded corners) and a screen anchored on the right side, Id get slamming Franklins on the counter for it yesterday, because it would have a certain Perfecta TV ethos I love. But at some point, excess roundness reminds me of the 70s, and all those round-ball 8-tracks and Panasonic radios that filled the houses of my junior-high friends. I know were at the point in the design cycle where 70s is now the official retro standard, but I say its spinach, and to hell with it.
I have, thanks to a good friend who repairs radios for a hobby, a collection of desktop radios from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Each is a tidy masterpiece of industrial design, and each one has the same thing: shoulders. Think of the great cars of the 50s: shoulders. Damn, a Quicksilver Mac viewed from the side has padded shoulders. The new iMac has sloped geeky shoulders and a long gawky neck. It looks like Pete Townsend holding a cookie sheet in front of his face.
There, Ive said it. Stone me. Not that Id notice.
Why am I still writing? Criminey. Enough. Look, heres some fun for those who are on the periphery of the Wonderful World of Blogs, and have been daunted by the sheer number of sites, all of which seem to look exactly the same. This will be old news to familiar habitués of the blogmos, but if like me you spend half the day treating the web like a crack-addled squirrel in a Skinner box hitting the gimme bar, you might appreciate some new links. As with most blogs, the appeal may seem scant on first visit, because all blogs are conversations in progress. Repeat visits acquaint you with the tone and temperament of the author, and start to feel at home.
Vodkapundit. Mordant wit and stylish cynicism. Bonus points for posting at 1:03 AM.
The Sarge. Sometimes the most interesting writers are those who don't call themselves writers, but just write nonetheless. Do your part to close the gap between military and civilian culture, and read the Sarge. A lot of people never know anyone who serves; here's your chance.
Ken Layne. Just read it all, and come back, and keep reading. When hes sailing theres this effortless and quintessentially American tone to his writing I love.
Ive never met any of these guys, but Id like to buy them all a drink. If theyre smart, theyd decline the invitation - what, and get a cold? No thanks, pal. No thanks.
Just spellchecked this Bleat, and the program choked on Nyquil. It wanted to know if I wanted this word added to its database. I sighed. Faced facts.