I have nothing to say. This is a bit of a problem, since I have two columns to write this evening, but it’s not fatal; if you can’t persuade your fingers to come up with a topic or an argument, you can’t persuade anyone else. At least I’m coming up dry in a nice spot: here’s the new gazebo.




Crazy about it I am not. The previous one was woodier and had more arts-and-crafts details, but it rotted and perished, and this was the only one Target offered this year that wasn’t overwhelmingly thick and expensive. It weighs three ounces, so I expect it will blow away sometime this month. Set a world record for the number of bolts left over after completion, too – 17. I have no idea where they were supposed to go. I checked every inch of this thing, and there were no spots crying out for the gratifying finality of a bolt.

This is the radio on the table, incidentally. Take it from me: she's waterproof. So far, anyway.

Anyway. It’s just one of those weeks in which I’ve done the exact same thing every day, and it’s sanded the brain smooth. I feel compelled to talk about some things, but on the other hand, I’ve nothing to add. Israel’s 60th anniversary, for example: I’m glad. Hearty congrats, and good luck. I did hear an interview about the subject on the Prager show, and he noted this tiny country the size of New Jersey had more member of the international media than most nations, and wondered why. Seems obvious: no one who wants to report on the other actors in the neighborhood wants to be there. Who’d want to live in Syria? A posting like that would be like scraping your teeth on a concrete wall all day.

Unfortunately,  I suspect it’s easier to regard everyone in the area as morally equal actors if you’re reporting from a nice place with good beaches and lively bars and women who do crazy things like drive cars and wear bikinis; like the rest of the West, you begin to think that everyone wants the same thing, more or less, like cars and ice in their drinks and a day at the beach, but that only goes so far – and it’s also not entirely relevant when the other societies in the neighborhood aren’t free. And so you have stories that report The Israeli Position, which is the result of free elections imperfectly filtered through the fractious nature of democracy, and The Syrian Position, which is the result of Assad the Minor nodding “yes, of course” when Iran calls on the phone.

Speaking of which: always one with the quick quip, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “labeled the Zionist regime as a ‘stinking corpse’ and said those who think they can revive the corpse of this fabricated and usurper regime are in mistaken."

If you think he was taken out of context, well, that’s from the Iranian news agency.  It’s enough just to point out the quote and let it sit there and stink. File that one away with the others. The future should never come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention.

Earlier this week I actually wrote something about an internet dust-up, the sort of thing that used to be bread & butter in the fisking circles; Andrew Sullivan had accused Katherine Lopez at the Corner for being a narrow-minded partisan theocon because she wondered why nuns were voting for pro-choice candidates. Nuns. Her questions sickened him. I am sickened by many things, but the idea of wondering why nuns are voting pro-choice does not make me gargoyle out supper into the bushes.  I suspect he is SICKENED by anyone who does not share his admiration for Obama, and of course he’s welcome to it, but it’s just interesting to note how someone can come out for Barack and be SICKENED by a small post about pro-choice nuns and still be reliably described as a Catholic Conservative without any footnotes – but then, 900 words into it, ennui descended.

It’s all a thicket of nettles. I was having a minor mild political chat with someone today about why I thought Clinton was more experienced for the job than Obama, and when it was clear that I Did Not Get It the light just went out of the other person’s eyes. It’s like the Lovin’ Spoonful song about believing in magic: it’s like trying to explain to a stranger about rock and roll.

Hey! It’s Friday. The week went exactly as planned. All the updates on the site were posted; the Bleat appeared, for what it was worth; buzz.mn percolated along nicely (I passed post 1000 a while ago, I think – we’re coming up to the first anniversary of my stewardship), I did my XM radio bit, did the Hewitt show appearance, and managed to bark out a Diner tonight.

Here’s the Diner in MP3 form. There’s always the cool-looking page where you can subscribe via iTunes, too. Now it’s another day of blogging – a bit diminished, since I have Meetings – then piano, pizza, the wonderful Friday Nap, then an evening in which nothing need be written at all.

So! Thanks for your patronage – I’ll see you at buzz.mn - where you'll find the link to Friday's dead-tree column. See you there!

Eked a Bleat out anyway. How about that.