Donate to American Red Cross here. Donate to The National Coalition for the Homeless here.
All The News That Gives Me Fits

WWW Amygdala

Our Mysterious Name.



Photo (©) David Hartwell. August 7th, 2010.


Blog advertising supports bloggers!

I currently blog politically/policywise at Obsidian Wings.

Follow GaryFarberKnows on Twitter

Scroll down for Amygdala archives! You know you want to. [Temporarily rather borked, along with rest of template.]
Amygdala's endorsements are below my favorite quotations! Keep scrolling!

Amygdala will move to an entirely new and far better blog template ASAP, aka RSN, aka incrementally/badly punctuated evolution.
Tagging posts, posts by category, next/previous post indicators, and other post-2003 design innovations are incrementally being tweaked/kludged/melting.

Blogroll is now way down below! You may be on it!

Site Feed

Feedburner RSS Feed

LiveJournal Feed

Gary Farber

Create Your Badge

Above email address currently deprecated!

Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz!

Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!

Commenting Rules: Only comments that are courteous and respectful of other commenters will be allowed. Period.

You must either open a Google/ Account, or sign into comments at the bottom of any post with OpenID, LiveJournal, Typepad, Wordpress, AIM account, or whatever ID/handle available to use. Hey, I don't design Blogger's software:

Posting a spam-type URL will be grounds for deletion. Comments on posts over 21 days old are now moderated, and it may take me a long while to notice and allow them.

I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?

I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.

Thanks for any understanding and support. I know it's difficult to understand. And things will change. They always change.

I'm sometimes available to some degree as a paid writer, editor, researcher, or proofreader. I'm sometimes available as a fill-in Guest Blogger at mid-to-high-traffic blogs that fit my knowledge set.

If you like my blog, and would like to help me continue to afford food and prescriptions, or simply enjoy my blogging and writing, and would like to support it -- you are welcome to do so via the PayPal buttons.

In return: free blog! Thank you muchly muchly.

Only you can help!

I strive to pay forward. Please also give to your local homeless shelter and street people: you can change a person's life.

Hundreds of millions of people on planet Earth are in greater need than I am; consider helping them in any small way you can, please.

Donate to support Gary Farber's Amygdala:
Please consider showing your support for Amygdala by clicking below and subscribing for $5/month! Free koala bear included! They're so cute!

To subscribe for further increments of $5, simply click above again, after completing one, for as many $5 subscriptions as you desire!

Advance notification of cancellations are helpful, but it's all up to you.

Thanks so much for your kind generosity.

Additional options! $25/month Supporter subscription: click below!
$50/month Patron subscription: click below!

Variant Button!
Subscription options|Start Petition

"The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson

"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin

"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton

"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan

"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt

"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley

"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss

"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire, the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind; and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon

"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders and they love to chatter instead of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers."
-- Socrates

"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook

"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization. We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr

"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion

"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson

"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices, intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation; a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition -- to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri

"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke

"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology; it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant

"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville

"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon, but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant

"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand

"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.

"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible, and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus

"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814

"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort, are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true, the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated. This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944

"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News

"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas

"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
-- Cicero

"Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue." -- François, duc de La Rochefoucauld

"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." -- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson

"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example." -- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance." --
H. W. Fowler

"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place." -- Kate Wilhelm

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein

"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms

"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho

"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).

"Nothing would be done at all, if a man waited till he could do it so well, that no one could find fault with it."
-- Lecture IX, John Henry Cardinal Newman

“Nothing is more common than for men to think that because they are familiar with words they understand the ideas they stand for.”
-- John Henry Cardinal Newman

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
-- James Madison

"Those who are free from common prejudices acquire others."
-- Napolean I of France -- Napoleon I of France

"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128

"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)

"American life is a powerful solvent. It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native good will, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism."
-- George Santayana, Character and Opinion in the United States, (1920)

"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs

"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden

"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
-- Batman


Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit. He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.

The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cute panda. Don't you love pandas?

Current Total # of Donations Since 2002: 1181

Subscribers to date at $5/month: 100 sign-ups; 91 cancellations; Total= 9

Supporter subscribers to date at $25/month: 16 sign-ups; 10 cancellation; Total= 6

Patron subscribers to date at $50/month: 20 sign-ups; 13 cancellations; Total= 7

This page best viewed by you.

Contents © 2001-2013 All rights reserved. Gary Farber. (The contents of e-mails to this email address of Gary Farber are subject to the possibility of being posted.)

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world

[Blogroll now far below the sea line! Dive, dive, dive!]

You Like Me, You Really Like Me

Gary Farber! Jeez, the guy is practically a blogging legend, and I'm always surprised at the breadth of what he writes about.
-- PZ Meyers, Pharyngula

...Darn: I saw that Gary had commented on this thread, and thought: oh. my. god. Perfect storm. Unstoppable cannonball, immovable object. -- Hilzoy

...I think Gary Farber is a blogging god. -- P.Z. Myers, Pharyngula

...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow

‎"Gary Farber is a gentleman, a scholar and one of the gems of the blogosphere." -- Steve Hynd,

"Well argued, Gary. I hadn't seen anything that went into as much detail as I found in your blog." -- Gareth Porter

Gary Farber is your one-man internet as always, with posts on every article there is.
-- Fafnir

Guessing that Gary is ignorant of anything that has ever been written down is, in my experience, unwise.
Just saying.

-- Hilzoy

Gary Farber gets it right....
-- James Joyner, Outside The Beltway

Once again, an amazing and illuminating post.
-- Michael Bérubé, Crooked Timber

I read Amygdala...with regularity, as do all sensible websurfers.
-- Jim Henley, Unqualified Offerings

Okay, he is annoying, but he still posts a lot of good stuff.
-- Avedon Carol, The Sideshow

Amygdala - So much stuff it reminds Unqualified Offerings that UO sometimes thinks of Gary Farber as "the liberal Instapundit."
-- Jim Henley

...the thoughtful and highly intelligent Gary Farber... My first reaction was that I definitely need to appease Gary Farber of Amygdala, one of the geniuses of our age.
-- Brad deLong

Gary is a perceptive, intelligent, nice guy. Some of the stuff he comes up with is insightful, witty, and stimulating. And sometimes he manages to make me groan.
-- Charlie Stross

Gary Farber is a straight shooter.
-- John Cole, Balloon Juice

I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber

Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
-- Ogged

I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow

One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.

One of my favorites....
-- Matt Welch

-- Virginia Postrel

Amygdala continues to have smart commentary on an incredible diversity of interesting links....
-- Judith Weiss

Amygdala has more interesting obscure links to more fascinating stuff that any other blog I read.
-- Judith Weiss, Kesher Talk

Gary's stuff is always good.
-- Meryl Yourish

...the level-headed Amygdala blog....
-- Geitner Simmons

The only trouble with reading Amygdala is that it makes me feel like such a slacker. That Man Farber's a linking, posting, commenting machine, I tell you!
-- John Robinson, Sore Eyes

...the all-knowing Gary Farber....
-- Edward Winkleman, Obsidian Wings

Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged

We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog

Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog


Gary is certainly a non-idiotarian 'liberal'...
-- Perry deHaviland

Recommended for the discerning reader.
-- Tim Blair

Gary Farber's great Amygdala blog.
-- Dr. Frank

Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott

Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit

My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal

If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.

Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks

I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes

Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this?
-- Natalie Solent

You nailed it... nice job."
-- James Lileks

Gary Farber is a principled liberal....
-- Bill Quick, The Daily Pundit

December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 December 2011 January 2013

Blogroll is Always In Progress:

Roger Ailes
Alas, A Blog
The American Street
The Aristocrats
Avedon Carol
Between the Hammer and the Anvil
Lindsay Beyerstein
The Big Con
CantBlogTooBusy The Center for American Progress
Chase me Ladies, I'm in the Cavalry
Doghouse Riley
Kevin Drum
Fables of the Reconstruction
Gall and Gumption
Gin and Tacos
House of Substance
The Hunting of the Snark
If I Ran The Zoo
Lawyers, Guns & Money
Lotus: Surviving a Dark Time
Matters of Little Significance
Nancy Nall
Charlie Stross bastard.logic
Daniel Larison
American Conservative
American Footprints
Andrew Sullivan
Angry Bear
Balloon Juice
Beautiful Horizons
Bitch Ph.D.
Brad DeLong
Crooked Timber
Cunning Realist
Daily Kos
Debate Link
Democracy Arsenal
Edge of the American West
Ezra Klein
Glenn Greenwald 13th Floor
Hit & Run
Juan Cole
Kevin Drum
Lawyers, Guns and Money
List Project (Helping Iraqis who worked with us get out)
Marc Lynch
Mark Kleiman
Katha Pollit
Market Square
Matthew Yglesias
Megan McArdle
Metro Green
Pam's House Blend
Paul Krugman
Philosophy, et cetera
Radley Balko
Sadly, No!
Southern Appeal
Stephen Walt
Steve Clemons
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Taking It Outside
Talking Points Memo
The Poor Man
The Progressive Realist
The Sideshow
U.S. Intellectual History
Unqualified Offerings
Volokh Conspiracy
Washington Monthly
William Easterly
Newsrack Blog
Ortho Bob
The Poor Man
Prog Gold
Prose Before Hos
Ted Rall
The Raw Story
Elayne Riggs
Sadly, No!
Texas Liberal
Think Progress
3 Weird Sisters
Tristram Shandy
Washington Monthly
Ian Welsh
James Wolcott
World o' Crap
Matthew Yglesias
Buzz Machine
Daniel Larison
Rightwing Film Geek About Last Night
can we all just agree
Comics Curmudgeon
Dum Luk's
Glenn Kenny
Hoarder Museum Juanita Jean
Lance Mannion (Help Lance!
Last Words of the Executed
The Phil Nugent Experience
Postcards from Hell's Kitchen
Vanishing New York
a lovely promise
a web undone
alt hippo
american street
city of brass
danger west
fierce urgency of now
get fisa right
great concavity
happening here
impeach them!
kathryn cramer
notes from the basement
talking dog
uncertain principles
unqualified offerings
what do i know
crooked timber emptywheel
ezra klein
The F-Word
glenn greenwald
schneier on security
ta-nehisi coates
talking points memo
tiny revolution
Roz Kaveney
Dave Ettlin
Henry Jenkins' Confessions of an Aca-Fan
Kathryn Cramer
Monkeys In My Pants
Pagan Prattle
As I Please
Ken MacLeod
Arthur Hlavaty
Kevin Maroney
MK Kare
Jack Heneghan
Dave Langford
Onyx Lynx Atrios
Rittenhouse Review
Public Nuisance
Scoobie Davis
Nathan Newman
Echidne Of The Snakes
First Draft
Rising Hegemon
Cab Drollery (Help Diane!
Southern Beale
The Kenosha Kid
Culture of Truth
Talk Left
Black Ag=Q< Report
Drug WarRant
Nieman Watchdog
Open Left
Meet the Bloggers
Dispatch from the Trenches
Crooks and Liars
Campaign for America's Future
Iraq Today
Daily Kos
Lefty Directory
News Hounds
The Brad Blog
Informed Comment
UN Dispatch
War and Piece
Glenn Greenwald
Schneier on Security
Jim Henley
Arthur Silber
Julian Sanchez
The Agitator
Balloon Juice
Wendy McElroy
Whoviating (LarryE)
Scott Horton
Tennessee Guerilla Women
Looking Glass
Charles Kuffner
Brad DeLong
Busy, Busy, Busy
Oliver Willis
The Carpetbagger Report Shakesville
Down With Tyranny
Professor B
Monkey Media Report
The Grumpy Forester
Ian Welsh
Pacific Views
Booman Tribune
Matthew Yglesias
The American Street
Media Bloodhound
Liz Henry's Composite
The Heretik
Arizona Eclectic
Sisyphus Shrugged
Interesting Times
Talking Dog
Liberal Desert
Under the Lobsterscope
Seeing The Forest
Sean Paul Kelley's The Agonist
King of Zembla
Mark Kleiman
Liquid List
Elayne Riggs
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Fanatical Apathy
Blue Gal
Mark Evanier
Roger Ailes
Suburban Guerrilla (Help Susie with money!)
The Mahablog
Brilliant at Breakfast
The Group News Blog Scrutiny Hooligans
Respectful of Otters
Max Blumenthal
Two Glasses
Running Scared
Sadly, No!
WTF Is It Now?
William K. Wolfrum
Rox Populi
Angry Bear
Crooked Timber
No Capital
Alternative Hippo
The Rude Pundit
Ezra Klein
Trish Wilson's Blog Jon Swift, RIP
Jeremy Scahill Mercury Rising
Cup 0' Joe
Lance Mannion (Help Lance!)
Lawyers, Guns and Money
Feministe SF
Progressive Gold
Paperwight's Fairshot
Biomes Blog
Progressive Blog Digest
A Tiny Revolution
Yellow Doggerel Democrat
Pros Before Hos
Michael Bérubé
Notes From Underground
Bob Geiger
Adam Magazine
Reptile Wisdom
Steve Gilliard archives
The Poor Man
Neal Pollack
Jesus' General
Running Scared
Paul Krugman
Hendrik Hertzberg
Murray Waas
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Kevin Drum @ MoJo
Political Animal
The Big Con (Rick Perlstein)
Talking Points
Dan Perkins
TomPaine weblog
MoJo Blog
Jim Hightower
Chris Floyd
Michaelangelo Signorile
Naomi Klein
James Wolcott
Bear Left
Lean Left
Left i
The Left Coaster
Upper Left
Here's What's Left
Left in the West Daily Howler
Common Dreams
Smirking Chimp
Moose & Squirrel
Make Them Accountable
Failure is Impossible
White Rose Society
Velvet Revolution
Political Strategy
The Daou Report
Meryl Yourish
Blogwise Paul Krugman
Gene Lyons (or)
Joe Conason
Sadly, no!
Walter Jon Williams
Stiftung Leo Strauss
Crooked Timber
Gordon's Notes (John Gordon)
Bruce Sterling
Ian McDonald
Antick Musings (Andrew Wheeler)
I, Cringely
I Blame The Patriarchy
LawClanger (Simon Bradshaw)
Carrie Vaughn
The Sideshow (Avedon Carol)
This Modern World (Tom Tomorrow)
Jesus's General
Mick Farren
Dave Clements
Early days of a Better Nation (Ken MacLeod)
Terra Nova
Whatever (John Scalzi)
Michael Swanwick
Demography Matters
Justine Larbalestier
The Law west of Ealing Broadway
Inspector Gadget
The Yorkshire Ranter
Kung Fu Monkey
Pagan Prattle
Gwyneth Jones
Brain Windows
Informed Comment: Global Affairs
RBN Exploits
Progressive Gold
Kathryn Cramer
Halfway down the Danube
Fistful of Euros
Joe Conason
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson)
The Panda's Thumb
Martin Wisse
Wave Without a Shore
Scrivener's Error
Talking Points Memo
The Register
Plagiarism Today
Juan Cole: Informed comment
Global Guerillas (John Robb)
Information Warfare Monitor
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes)
Simon Bisson's Journal
Ethan Zuckerman
Encyclopaedia Astronautica
Warren Ellis
Sociopath World
Brad DeLong
Hullabaloo (Digby)
Jeff Vail
Jamais Cascio
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood)
Mark Safranski
Dan Drake
Geoffrey Wiseman
Libby Spencer of The Impolitc
Zeno is always HalfWay There
Aaron Krager may Have A Point
Scholars & Rogues
Blog Sisters
Better Things to Waste Your Time On
Taking Barack To The Movies
Not An Accident: Peace To All
Scott McLoud
The Secret Recipe Blog
Terri Windling's The Drawing Board
Damn Dirty Hippies Are Everywhere
Progressive PST
Ryan Harvey's Even If Your Voice Shakes
Matthew Cheney's The Mumpsimus
Jazz From Hell
The Angry Black Woman
Computational Legal Studies
Laure lives at Apt. 11D
Vylar Kaftan
Spocko's Brain
Twistedchick's Wind in the trees
Greg Palast
Jeff VanderMeer has Ecstatic Days
Nadyalec Hijazi has Velvet Migrations
Emily Jiang is Writing with Iceberg in Tow
Global Voices Online
Ethan Siegel Starts With A Bang
Don Herron goes Up And Down These Mean Streets
Punditry Nation
Frank Denton still has a Rogue Raven
Geri Sullivan is On The Funway
Emily L. Hauser – In My Head
The League of Ordinary Gentlemen
Carl Brandon Society
John Hodgman
Streetsblog San Francisco
William Cronon is a Scholar As Citizen
Right Wing Watch
Democracy For America
Hoyden About Town
Bernard Avishai Dot Com
RealTimeSatelliteTracking &ISS
Rachel Holmen's Maple Leaf Rag
SF Signal
Tachyon - Saving the World One Good Book at a Time
The Duck Of Minerva
Abu Muqawama
Abi Sutherland's Noise2Signal
Clarisse Thorn
Whirled View
Adam Serwer
Stuff White People Like
Berkeley Today
The Disorder Of Things
Howling Curmudgeons
The Gun is fired by C. J. Chivers
Raven Brooks's Coffee Is For Closers
Spin Your Web
More Red Ink
Rickety Contrivances Of Doing Good
Brad Ideas
Asking The Wrong Questions
Ambling along the Aqueduct
Committee To Protect Journalists
The Bloggess

People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost, Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry, Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny. It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out. And She of whom I must write someday.

Saturday, May 29, 2004
THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN BLOGGER BASH: 3.0 ALTERNATIVE REALITIES. It took place earlier this evening, until we were thrown out of the Denver Press Club approximately an hour and a half before I began to type this.

Sketch One: Truly True.

The Press Club was a surprise; relatively newly constructed, after the destruction of the cherished turn-of-the-century, older, building, the modern Club is atop one of Denver's highest skyscrapers, a gleaming modernist vision of steel and glass, with all four outer walls consisting of sheer glass. A fascinating feature was the firehouse-type pole allowing inebriated reporters to drop all forty flights to the exit, always resulting in a completely sober individual, able to return home to spouse and kin, believably claiming they'd not touched a drop that evening.

The bloggers: it's shocking how utterly unlike so many bloggers are like their blogs.

Stephen Green of VodkaPundit: Hippie, dressed in a classically wildly colored tie-dyed tee-shirt, long red dreadlocked hair down to his ass, nonetheless came across as an accountant type, sounding remarkably like Ben Stein, yet with a strange high-pitched nasal drone. Would only engage in serious analysis of issues, typically of their economic impact, with particular concern about the money supply of Third World nations.

Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom: actually not just a devout Catholic, but an actual priest, with a collar. Who knew? Spoke passionately of his devotion to Daniel Berrigan. Announced his intention to soon fly to Baghdad to chain himself to the "biggest weapon" he could find to prevent its use. Also announced that he was intimately familiar with his "biggest weapon," having studied it intently, and that his plan was to render impotent all "large weapons."

Walter In Denver: Indeterminate sexual nature. Waxed passionately on the need to smash imperialism. As a professional bowler, has a plan to do this with Jiant Bowling Balls of Doom. Spoke of the need for the government to supply all Americans with free, odorless, bowling shoes. Couldn't go three sentences without giving a Marxist interpretation of the issue at hand.

Andrew Olmsted: An extremely belligerent Navy man, covered in, so far as could be visibly seen, innumerable tattoos, he never spoke without shouting, as he explained that everyone in the world needed to become converted to pacificism, at gunpoint, or there would never be peace. Explained that he was the man to accomplish this, with his special "600-Rubber-Ducky Fleet."

Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft: midget with an Australian accent. Shouted incoherently of her hatred of the criminal element, her secret life that had something to with "criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot; bats will frighten them!" Explained plan to extend the death penalty to traffic offenses. Also mentioned President Bush's "strong manly looks," his heroic leadership in our nation's time of need, and why we needed to amend the Constitution to allow a third and fourth term for him. Strangely, denounced me for being "anti-criminal." Called me a "libertarian," and Jeff Goldstein an "uber-rightist."

Dorkafork. Impeccable transvestite. Remarkably, completely blind. Tried to sign everyone up for memberships in NAMBLA.

Andy of World Wide Rant: Declared that the only person who could save the nation was John Kerry. Had a plan for Ted Kennedy to accept Vice-Presidential nomination, and then Ted would become confused, and convinced that his brother, JFK, was back in the White House. Drooled constantly.

Darren of Colorado Conservative. Refused to admit anyone, and if anyone got by him, Darren ordered them out of the club, and then beat them. Strangely, then gave everyone a cigar, and ordered them to "smoke it, punk!" Kept stealing drinks.

Tim Berglund of Tim Berglund. Raucous drunk who spent much of the evening copiously weeping that "there is no God!"

Everyone else gets left unsketched either because they were too little in terms of readership to care about, they were completely boring, or they've never donated to my blog, let alone blogrolled me.

Sketch Two: The Deeper Truth.

Jeff Goldstein leaned closely into my personal space, weaving drunkenly, and declared accusingly: "Two and a half years, Farber! Two and a half years! And you've never linked to me once! Never blogrolled me. Ignored me.

You're scum, Farber!"

Brightly: "But I love you, man! I love you!"

Jeralyn Merrit, leaving, was interrupted by Another Blogger, who said "Jeralyn, I'd like you to meet Gary Farber." Jeralyn: "You're Gary Farber! Pleased to meet you! Libertarian swine! Why are you so anti-criminal?!" Conversation ensues. Jeralyn declares she was separated at birth from twin sister, the London-residing Avedon Carol. Asks me "do you know her, then?" Parting, instructs me to stop being so anti-criminal.

Stephen Green, having praised martinis twelve dozen times up to that point in the evening, announces that he is on his fourth. Announces to all that what he loved about Jeff Goldstein's blog is that it is sharp, funny, and cruel.

Jeff declares that, no, he loves Stephen's blog. Stephen intones that, no, he loves Jeff's blog more.

Jeff, choked up, allows that Stephen is the Best. Blogwriter. Ever.

And that he loves you, man, he loves you.

Stephen goes down on Jeff. Jeff goes down on Stephen. Coitus is then initiated. It is noisy, passionate, and terribly, terribly, moist.

Upon consummation both bloggers declare their complete support for gay marriage, and announce their engagement. Their wives are nonplussed, yet seem completely understanding, and unsurprised.

Shortly thereafter Jeff projectile vomits, and then passes out.

Stephen has a fifth martini, allows that he will join those going blubbing, er, clubbing, afterwards.

Sketch Three: You'll Never Believe Me Now, But, Honestly, The Truth, Not Remotely The Whole Truth, But Absolutely Nothing But The, Pinky-Swear, Verbatim, Literal, As Close To Word-For-Word Truth As I Can Recreate, Truth.

Research at the Denver Regional Transportation home page having informed me that the bus trip was actually quite simple, if slightly time-consuming (about an hour and twenty minutes each way), I arranged with Andrew Olmsted to meet him and his wife, Amanda Wilson, for dinner at six, prior to the start of the Bashing at seven.

I was perfectly on time for my busses, but a tad annoyed when the bus driver on the Jump answered that, yes, this was the correct side of the street for the B bus to Denver; yes, absolutely.

Twenty minutes later, my suspicions aroused, I asked the driver of a later Jump who, of course, informs me that, no, the other side of the street was where one catches the Denver-bound bus.

I had planned, however, to arrive twenty-five minutes early, so when I was actually five minutes late for our rendezvous at the Denver Market St. bus station, it happened that Andrew and Amanda were also a few minutes later, resulting in them getting there about three minutes after I did. Clearly, it was Written.

Indecisiveness about dinner locale commences; the Cheesecake Factory is settled upon; lots of young people having drinks; impressively large menus, with every other page consisting of advertising for other businesses.

Food is eaten, conversation conversed, they generously buy me my sandwich and fries, we all get doggie boxes, I carefully forget to take mine out of the restaurant. Possibly for the best; I'm not sure eating crabcake left to sit in a warm room for six hours is terribly prudent.

The Press Club is a highly unprepossessing two-story building that appears entirely undistinguished from the outside.

Inside, a small loungish-bar area, followed by a smallish rectangular area with a handful of small tables further back. Later exploration reveals a small, less crowded, much quieter, room downstairswith a single pool table. Also, restrooms!

Upstairs: mildly crowded, extremely noisy. Walls covered with caricatures of Famous Denver People none of the bloggers seemed to recognize any better than I did (warning: information based upon limited survey; also, don't run with those scissors). Colorful section of wall covered with autographed photos of Presidents of the U.S. Centerpiece picture, three times the size of the others: Teddy Roosevelt. Jimmy Carter has an odd look on his face. George Bush, Senior, beams out just above smiling George Bush, Jr.

Press and bloggers are largely easily distinguishable from each other. Press are frequently, though not always, either older and white-haired, or have that certain Front Page hard-drinking look. I keep an eye out for Rosalind Russell dashing in, talking a mile a minute. Meanwhile, man with invisible fedora on his head begins expounding to me upon how all those Presidents had personally visited here, the glorious history of the Club, the beautiful aspects of this classic, turn-of-the-century building, which, he proudly pointed out, had been on this very spot since at least the 1910's, no less. And here are the glorious portraits of Past Presidents of the Club.

At this point, in a valiant effort to keep my head from uncontrollably dropping to the floor, followed by the rest of my body, I excused myself to get a tasty beverage.

The gathering is in desperate need of name-tags (large fonts; blog-name first). I wander about for a bit in sufficiently confused-looking fashion for someone to take me in hand and begin identifying a few bloggers.

Among those I exchange at least a few words with during the evening, aside from the aforementioned, are ResurrectionSong Guy aka Zombyboy, Stephen Wheeler, Bloodthirsty Warmonger, The Blog of The Century of The Week, Jimspeak, and a few others whose name and blog I didn't catch, along with a few Members of The Fourth Estate, and some hangers-on. Plus a few bloggers whose URL I didn't catch, such as John Orr of Coyote Gulch and Ed Driscoll.

Mostly I tended to do my quiet, shyish, observer thing. I don't really deal very well with crowded, noisy, gatherings. I can never hear what anyone who is more than a foot away from me is saying, and after the fourth repetition of "what?, what was that?" with the clever gesture of cupping my hand to my ear, I grow weary of that, and, eventually, vaguely suicidal. And, honestly, I was only vaguely, or un, familiar with a certain proportion of the bloggers.

A helpful sheet had been done up listing bloggers expected to be in attendence; eight I've not mentioned were listed, but I confirmed that at least neither The Speculist nor Peevish... I Was Just Saying were actually in attendence.

Except that I just lied, there, because I thought I had confirmed that about The Speculist, but I, on the bus home, realized I had cleverly confused him with another science-oriented blogger, asking several people after Pharyngula, undoubtedly confusing the fuck out of people. So maybe The Speculist was there. Which would be a shame. Well, not really, but it would be that I missed him.

Several others were on The List, but I never did get introduced to them. Alas, and alack.

Other people I would have liked to have seen attend: Colorado Luis, Dave Cullen.

Verbatim early conversation with very cute younger woman whose name I didn't get. I'm wearing a tee-shirt adorned with a portrait of the Milky Way galaxy, and various locales and objects within.

Woman: "I like your shirt."

Me: "Thanks."

Her: "I like... space. It is... big."

Me: "Expanding, too."

"Yes, and it is filled with so many things, all the way to Pluto, even. Planetoids! It is fascinating." "I hear there's lots of dark matter." "Are you a blogger?" "Yes; are you?" "No. I very much like the blogs, though." "How is it you are here, then?" "My friend blogs. Also, my husband. You would not know them. Do you blog about politics?" "A fair amount." "I could not blog about politics. Perhaps about space."

At this point someone else came up and began chatting with her, and I made the special Move of Mingling.

Not long after, a pleasant conversation with Walter In Denver, and Mrs. Denver, which sequed into a, to me, interminable conversation with a Local Radio Personality about golf. I have appoximately three sentences worth of conversation about golf, none of it remotely interesting; when Radio Guy (named "Gary," actually) came back shortly after escorting Mrs. Denver to the rest rooms, with another fellow eager to Talk Golf, I made my own way to the bathroom. Although not before I had been informed that I could join the Press Club; possibly special group rates at $500/year for three people might be arranged.

Passing through the pool room, I hear bits of a conversation five or so people, who seem to be either lawyers or law enforcement, are having. Bit: "Yes, it's terribly difficult to get men to testify to having been raped."

Considering it was possible one of the conversationalists was Jeralyn Merrit, whom I wanted to meet, I was also thinking I didn't, perhaps, want to make my way into the conversation with a gambit such as "oh, yes, that's a topic of considerable personal interest to me!," and I went back upstairs.

I utilized my First Generation Handheld to take some notes; many people remember this early device as a "notepad," but I prefer to think of it as a highly versatile recording device with a nearly foolproof interface that never, ever, crashes.

My lack of subtlety at this tended to cause ever-increasingly frequent verbal remarks by others along the lines of "oh, shit, he's writing again."

For some reason, my repeated assertions that I was merely making notes for my grocery list were not accepted with uncritical belief.

As the evening wore on, and Jeff Goldstein increased his Weave Level, he seemed increasingly uneasy, and correspondingly increased his imploring that I "make him look good." We at the Amygdala Editorial Board will deal with this in a Special Addendum.

Jeff does, however, get a Golden Quotes Award all of his own. I kinda regret that I couldn't practically follow him around, and simply transcribe the second half of his evening. And, you know, you'd regret it, too, if I could only have gotten some more quotes.

Because, friends, as it happens, just about everyone seemed remarkably like a Live Action, True Personality Included, Version of their blog. It was remarkable. Kinda like seeing a note-perfect live-action version of animated characters. (Conceivably I have that backwards; consultation with Matthew Yglesias and philosophers at Crooked Timber may be necessary.)

Jeff Goldstein personified his blogging style; as did Stephen Green personify his own blogging style, and Andrew Olmsted his own, and so forth.

Stephen: pithy, witty, quotes. (Didn't look so much like his posted picture, though.)

Jeff: um, Jeff. Andrew: soft-spoken, sensible, somewhat to the right of me.

Overheard: "Kerry! He's... him! And I hate that!" -- Jeff Goldstein.

"I'll explain why, but first I must go deliver water to women." -- Stephen Green.

"This guy loves me with the love of a thousand... loves." --Jeff Goldstein, in regard to WalterInDenver.

The evening reached a point of complete degeneration when Jeff Goldstein and Andrew Olmsted begin asking each other's astrological signs, man, and whipping out... driver's licenses to prove to each other they had the same birthday. Reaction by organizer Zombyboy: "And I find myself not caring."

Somewhere prior to that I pompously pontificated to Jimspeak about the politics of blogrolling, tips about increasing readership, and my favorite subject, me, me, me.

Jeff Goldstein begins a rant about how the totally coolist thing about me is, well, it was a tad unclear whether he was saying that I tend to destroy and end blog comment threads by stating the completely and totally obvious, along with other underhanded means, or, as I prefer to interpret it, that often I will sum up the issue in such uniquely pithy, yet comprehensive, and brilliant fashion, there is simply nothing else left to be said. I'm sure he meant the latter.

He specifically cited a comment I made several weeks ago, in Some Blog Or Other, on the topic of Why Jeff Goldstein Is Not A Genius. As it happens, I actually barely rememember making that commnt, which is to say, I had succumbed to Idiotically Commenting While Dead Drunk, And Saying Remarkably Stupid, Intemperate, Regrettable, Things, something I do too often (at all is too often).

Fortunately, Jeff doesn't keep track of these sort of things, and it was around this point that I heard about how I've never once linked to him. Like, ever. Which until this post was true. There was also something about how I had room for every goddam thing Captain Kirk ever said, but no room for him.

It was slightly before this that Jeff said "he said 'bush.' Heh. Bush. See what I did there?"

There were also the, um, requests that I Make Him Look Good. I live to serve.

It wasn't until later that he seemed to be, perhaps, just a bit, channeling a Jewish, pro-war libertarian, Jeff Spicoli.

As well, Jeff said, somewhere around here, and several more times,said "you're going to write about this, aren't you! You're going to go home, and post before you go to sleep!" I may have wittily replied "mm."

Some warnings about "destroying me" if I failed in the "making him look good" thing may have been uttered.

There was also something about the size of his stylus.

This brings us to Jeralyn Merrit.

I frequently remark upon how amused I am at how people will, often, make a quick dash through my blog, come upon a handful of posts, probably because I tend to post in bursts during a given week on something I feel strongly about, and conclude from this single set of samples that I am a socialist/libertarian/centrist/communist/liberal/conservative/obvious-Democrat/obvious-Republican, and so on. It's often a bit of a Rorshach blot function I bring, as part of my glorious mission, to you, oh Gentle Reader.

As is visible on my "you like me" list far down on the left sidebar, a lot of people consider me a "liberal." Fair enough, though I'm definitely stubbornly individualistic about what I do and don't sign on for, in my own non-doctrinaire way, I like to think. But Kinja syndicates my posts as a "conservative," and it's long stuck in my memory that Jeralyn Merrit of TalkLeft (a distinctly Left site, no ambiguity about it), described me a while back (not that, of course, I keep track of this sort of thing) as "a libertarian blogger."

Which makes any actual libertarian roll on the floor laughing, especially given my periodic outbursts against doctrinaire libertarians, my favoring a single-payer national health-insurance plan, support for a wide variety of welfare-state programs, and so on.

Thus, the following somewhat surreal conversation, of which I present a somewhat foreshortened version.

As Jeralyn, whom I'd not met, is leaving, Another Blogger (meaning "I forget") says "Jeralyn, I'd like you to meet Gary Farber."

"You're Gary Farber?"


"It's really nice to meet you. You're a libertarian."

"Y'know, I've been wondering for the longest time, how on earth did you come to that conclusion?"

"Oh, I looked at your web-page and saw that you're a libertarian."

I list my unending opposition to the Bush Administration, my luke-warm support for Kerry, my support for a wide variety of social programs, etc., etc.

"But you're a libertarian!"

I commence banging my head against the handy wooden piller.

"No, I'm not, really, I'm not. I mean, I'm very much for civil liberties, and there are some libertarian ideas I'm for, but...." (I list more reasons why I'm not a libertarian, and never have been.)

Slightly puzzled frown on her face, Jeralyn says something to the effect that she knows there's some good reason she (doesn't quite say "why I never blogrolled you" or "concluded you were One Of Them," but I get the doubtless entirely erroneous impression that she is telepathically broadcasting both)... trails off.

"You're for the death penalty!" she says with relief.

"No, I'm not. Never have been. Well, if God could administer it, I might be okay with it, but since it's just us humans doing it, and we keep killing innocent people, I've always been against it on that basis."

"You said something anti-criminal!," she says accusingly (but in a friendly fashion, honestly).

I don't recall if, at this point, I actually said "what the fuck are you talking about?," or simply enaged my own telepathic broadcast ability, but I think I may have banged my head against the piller some more (thus the slight loss of clear memory here), while emphatically denying ever having said anything "anti-criminal" at any time, and strongly stating that I had no clue what she was referring to.

We then commenced several rounds of "but I know you said something," and "not any of those things," and "but you were anti-criminal!" and "I've been a member of the ACLU since I was a teenager!" and "but I know I read something; what could you have said that gave me that idea?" and I did allow as how I had cautiously, luke-warmly, equivocated on the war, and she allowed as perhaps that was it (I suspect over-interpretation of some of my quotations on my sidebar, as well as the fact that I have on my blogroll Known Right-Wingers and Known Libertarians, along with many Known Liberals and Lefists, as influences here, but I might be All Wet), merry further conversation on Rush Limbaugh (interestingly, she thinks the criminal case against him is bogus, stating that no one else in Florida has ever been charged under that law, which -- I'll assume she's correct, as that's her area of expertise -- does seem quite damning, much as I'd prefer it not be true, because, my goodness, that Limbaugh feller does get my blood pressure up), civil liberteries, this, that, and the other, and her avowal that she will Look At My Blog Again.

Parting words: "Stop saying anti-criminal things!"

I think she was kidding.

Which brings us back to Jeff Goldstein, as I wander into the conversation to hear Jeff exclaim in astonishment (and some, I detected, annoyed frustration) of Jeralyn, "she called me an uber-rightist! I mean, that's, like, someone with a swastika tattooed on his forehead! Does that make any sense!? I've never voted for a Republican in my life!"

Jeff stated several variants of this, dazedly repeating "I've never voted for a Republican in my life!" at least four more times, and then I quietly pointed out that, after all, he was an uber-rightist.

I'm not quite sure if he caught that, or simply ignored it, but I tried to not miss any of several further opportunities to, as the remainder of the evening passed, note that he was, after all, an uber-rightist.

Which is the sort of thing that constantly gets me into either trouble, or stared at incomprehensibly, because when my humor isn't being entirely juvenile, it tends to be so utterly dry that no one else gets it, I'm taken seriously, and so forth. Which is okay, because, after all, it demonstrates to myself that my humor is, indeed, a Higher Humor, a Superior Humor, that mere mortals cannot comprehend my Better, Stronger, Subtler, Humor, which, of course, proves that I'm far more intelligent than they are, which is all that truly matters.

(Meta-notionally, I once explained this "explanation" to an immensely intelligent person who took me entirely straightforwardly, and has apparently actually believed I believe this, completely not getting that I was attempting a meta-joke, that I was pulling their leg, ever since. Oops.)

On the other hand, Jeff did make a funny noise about ten seconds after I observed that my own favorite part of his blog was the Friday Cat-Blogging.

It was about this point that Jeff began pointing to people, and demanding they, beginning with me, state a Seventies tv show, so he and others could sing the theme song.

I said "the Partridge Family," and he warbled off a version with most of the words; I don't believe anyone quite noticed my attempting to insert a verse to the effect of "and I'm anorexic, and you're a drug addict," but I lacked skill in my delivery. I hoped for an opportunity to quickly drop into the conversation the fact that taping of the show once had to be stopped while the producers attempted to figure out what to do about Susan Dey's orange skin, since all she had been eating for weeks was carrots, but didn't pull that off, either.

A couple of other songs were tortured, Jeff then pointed to each of us in turn, and demanded to know our ages, and then announced that we should all chose a song we all truly love, and then sing it together. Somehow we went from a mention of "steely knives" to a drunken (am I being redundant here?) rant from Stephen Green on the background behind this lyric of The Eagles in "Hotel California" by "that asshole" ("Glen Frey"? "No, the other one") Don Henley was why Don Henley was something-to-the-effect-of "the stupidest fuck ever" (quote paraphrased) and "I have no respect to this day for Don Henley" (precise quote).

It was hereabouts that Steve and Jeff began declaring that the other was the funniest, smartest, Best. Blogger. Ever. And "I love you, man!" "No, " I love you, man!" Turning to third guy: "And you, I don't know."

At that point the sun went nova.

SPECIAL JEFF GOLDSTEIN VERSION (Jeff, be sure this is the Only Version you read; trust me): Jeff Goldstein strode into the Denver Press Club like the Greek God he resembled. His muscles rippled manfully, as only those of a truly manful man can ripple, a more manly man than any other manly man ever, putting even Andrew Olmsted's rippling manly muscles to shame.

Jeff's hair was golden, and at least two women fainted as they first laid eyes upon his sexifulness. Others clearly grew weak at the knees, and it was obvious that the eyes of every woman in the club were on Jeff, Jeff, Jeff, and nothing but the studliness of the Jeffness.

While the women trembled, the men humbly agreed with each other that none of them could compare as a writer, a thinker, or a human being, to the greatness that is Jeff Goldstein. Why else was he the most popular blogger on planet Earth, the only blogger to win the Nobel, the Pulitzer, the Tony, the Emmy, the Oscar, and a special plate of finger-licking good "kitchen fresh" KFC chicken?

Jeff Goldstein: no blogger can live up to the standard he sets for us. He is truly a god of bloggers. He looks good.

OBSERVATIONS THAT DIDN'T FIT ELSEWHERE: Melissa Green. Two words: Babe City.

It's a damn good thing they don't do these Bashes more than once a year. I may be lynched at the next one, after this. Or, quite possibly, the mob with torches may show up outside my door tomorrow. No, the day after, after the hangover recovery.

Seriously, I hope neither Jeff Goldstein, nor Jeralyn Merrit, nor anyone else, takes this The Wrong Way; it is sincerely meant purely as good-natured "joshing," and no one should read any of it as some sort of crypto (or overt) personal attack; I'll be very unhappy if I've unintentionally come across in any such way.

Mildly unhappy, anyway.

The crowd was ugly when I said I was drinking lemonade. Yes, I was a wuss. But who posted first, bubbele?

Special kudos, and many thanks, go to the organizers: Walter, Darren, Andy, and Zombyboy.

The statements in Sketch One, the "Truly True" Sketch, were not, in fact, actually true. They were wild falsehoods. The staffer in charge has been sacked. Amygdala deeply regrets this error. Mistakes were made.

I'm doubtless missing typos, and some slight rewordings for grammatical purposes, as well as to avoid libel suits, utterly improve the piece structurally, and completely dodge responsibility for what I've written, may be made tomorrow.

Oh, yeah, I had fun.

5/29/2004 12:24:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 10 comments


Where have I been? I only found this blog from Zombyboy's site. I had intended on attending, but my husband, fearful for my "solo" status, politely asked me to consider not going. So, at the last minute, I didn't attend. As he read your account(over my shoulder) he pointed out several things and made comment as to how relieved he was that I didn't go after all ;) I had planned, as you obviously did, to only have non-alcoholic drinks and watch. Sober interactions are much better recollected in my experience and yield more accurate assessments of people.

Thanks for the fantastically interesting and enteraining report.

May I come again?
Rae, A Likely Story

By Blogger r, at Saturday, May 29, 2004 11:06:00 AM  

Yeah, golf conversations can be painful. It's a job hazard.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, May 29, 2004 11:47:00 AM  

"May I come again?"

You have made the requisite number of compliments. You have Our Royal Permission.

Please remember to take your shoes off at the entrance.

By Blogger Gary Farber, at Saturday, May 29, 2004 12:21:00 PM  

Oh, will most defintiely remove shoes, but know that I don't hand our compliments at the door. I am, unfortunately, not as generous as I should be.

By Blogger r, at Saturday, May 29, 2004 1:05:00 PM  

Geez, and I thought LA bloggers were wild and crazy. That Coors Lite must be some awesome stuff.

By Blogger Unknown, at Saturday, May 29, 2004 2:33:00 PM  

I thank you for the grin that's still on my face. It's been a long time since I've had that much of a chuckle.

By Blogger Kathy K, at Sunday, May 30, 2004 7:53:00 PM  

Ah, yes, you may return at a future date...

Please remember to inflate your shoes and follow the yellow rubber line. The center of all things will balance you against the disturbance of your departure.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, May 31, 2004 12:55:00 AM  

Once again, I request that people please attach some sort of name or tag to their comment when they post a comment, and do not post simply and solely as "anonymous." Thanks.

By Blogger Gary Farber, at Monday, May 31, 2004 3:27:00 PM  

Hey, I was there.

I was the one standing in between the two rooms, looking confused.

The people who looked like bloggers were doing shots at the bar. You shouldn't underestimate how difficult it is for the non-drinker to strike up a casual conversation with a group of people who have tequila leaking from their ears.

The people in the back room looked like real journalists, all professional and stuff. I was terrified one of them would ask me if I subscribed to their paper.

Also? I wasn't able to find the restrooms.

So I left early.

Anne, aka Peevish

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, June 01, 2004 7:59:00 AM  

"The people who looked like bloggers were doing shots at the bar. You shouldn't underestimate how difficult it is for the non-drinker to strike up a casual conversation with a group of people who have tequila leaking from their ears."

Um, did you read what I wrote, with the repeated notations that I wasn't drinking?

Not mentioned overtly, as it didn't seem necessary, that plenty of folks weren't drinking, or were drinking only a modest beer or two.

I spent the majority of my time in the back room, standing or sitting, and only the very end of the evening in the front.

"The people in the back room looked like real journalists, all professional and stuff."

Except for the couple of dozen bloggers, who largely looked like bloggers, and the fifteen or so professional people in the front room.

"I was terrified one of them would ask me if I subscribed to their paper."

Are you serious? They could have asked me, and I'd have said "no." As I expect would be likely with plenty of people there. You think they'd care?

"Also? I wasn't able to find the restrooms."

I used the highly obscure method of asking someone. It's very unusual, I know.

"So I left early."

Both Andrew and I, and doubtless others, were quite disappointed to not meet you. And I thought I could be cripplingly shy at times.

Anne, aka Peevish

By Blogger Gary Farber, at Tuesday, June 01, 2004 12:12:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Bookmark and Share

This page is powered by Blogger.

Visitor Map