|Man Without Qualities|
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Like the Blaster and SARS viruses, the nonblog (the "flog"?) is ravaging the higher reaches of the Democratic Party. John Kerry and Howard Dean and Tom Daschle and Dennis Kucinich and Bob Graham ... and even Gary Hart have been struck.
And Maureen Dowd, gets it almost all down in fine style. Recent research has demonstrated that Big Mo is energized by the peculiar oscillating political force fields emitted by top Democrats in the decay of faux-personal display. She is then sustained as if by some mysterious power induction akin to the processes of toy railroad transformers. Sadly, the reliable electrifying current of issues raised by how Bill Clinton's pelvic region is garbed and where it has been whilst ungarbed no longer flows as it did - and Ms. Dowd has correspondingly declined. But Democrats' self-trivializing spectacle of substituting pre-processed cant for the highly personal views of the blogosphere gives her column a jolt.
As criticism of her effort, I can offer naught but a quibble. Yes, Ms. Dowd is correct to write that these Democratic candidates are crowding into the blogosphere — spewing out canned meanderings in a genre invented by unstructured exhibitionists. How quickly things change now. Before the blogosphere, such candidates could only spew out their canned meanderings by crowding into the first available genre invented by unstructured exhibitionists: the mainstream media.
How could Maureen Dowd, the nation's leading unstructured exhibitionist, have missed such a point?!
Get me re-write!
But what the heck! Big Mo's column is what the Times runs because the paper doesn't have a comics page. She is "presented" by the Times as a political columnist. But, see, that's all part of the big, inside joke. For example, "The Washingtonian" magazine found that Maureen Dowd missed nine of 12 elections from 1994 to 2000! Some people who sleep on Canal Street sidewalks must do better than that. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been criticized for missing 5 of 11 - even though he wasn't even involved in politics at the time, never mind hilariously "masquerading" as a political analyst as Big Mo does.
MORE: Simon, Hobbs and Reynolds. STILL MORE: Drezner, Yglesias, Andersen, and Farrell. And Taranto points out that Big Mo is just lifting his column of last week! That's true - at least for the better parts of Big Mo's effort. STILL MORE: The fully monty.
UPDATE: Take the Antler challenge!
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