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September 03, 2004

Enter Fenster

Thank you, Michael, for designating me a Blowhard, or even a semi-Blowhard. My friends think I am the real thing, and that gives me hope for the future. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in your conclave, along with Friedrich, Vanessa and your many regulars.

As you said in your gracious intro, I run a little joint of my own under the sobriquet Fenster Moop. Due to a series of personal issues, including a job change, I'd been slowing down the rate of my postings recently and, frankly, was wondering about the best way to continue blogging. When I got the invite from you, I jumped at the chance. I've been a regular reader of, and occasional poster to, this site for some time. I've always liked several things about it immensely: the conversational tone, the mixture of firm opinions with a willingness to be persuaded, the eclectic melange of topics and the slight bias toward viewing many matters, from politics to aesthetics, through a cultural lens. The latter inclination suits me just fine, as I discussed here.

I was at a Six Flags park recently and paid a couple of extra dollars (over and above the exorbitant entry price!) to sit through an alleged "4-D" experience--one of those helmet devices that supposedly puts you into a virtual reality. What a joke. To my mind, 2Blowhards does a far better job simulating a Viennese coffee house than Six Flags did simulating an Arctic roller coaster ride. So, as my nephew puts it, let the games start on!

A word first about Fenster, though. As I wrote in one of my first posts, here, Fenster is just a nom de plume, and I blog anonymously. I do so reluctantly, since anonymous kneecapping is all-too-easy. But I work in higher education and a number of my posts have dealt with the zaniness of that august institution (say, here, here and here). And if you know anything about the zaniness of higher education, I think you can appreciate that my desire to blog under my own name might conflict with the urge for self-preservation, and that anonymity represents prudence rather than weasel behavior. If you are not persauded to that view, I invite you to visit some of the sites that I consider role models, such as Critical Mass and University Diaries and J.V.C. Comments. They are excellent.

But while I started out with a slant in the direction of academe, I am interested in other topics too (Sharia law?, Cialis?), and have blogged accordingly. My own career is a melange--everything from academia to investment banking to government policy to political campaigning. So I am not afraid to be eclectic myself. Perhaps that's one of the reasons you've invited me to this particular coffee house.

As to Fenster his self, he's just a li'l swamp animal. Actually just a very minor character in the old comic strip Pogo. I've always like the name. Not a lot more to it than that.

But now 'n then, when I blog as Fenster, a little bit of that ol' swamp animal comes out. Sometimes I refer to himself in the first person; sometimes he refers to myself in the third. Or second, even. I don't mind a little bit of identity confusion. As the old saying goes, it takes only one to make an argument. Put another way, any good monologue is really a dialogue, and sometimes Fenster can be seen to be kinda having a conversation with his self. He likes nuance in his self--or, he likes it better, at any rate, than he seems to like nuance in presidential candidates. So I don't really mind disagreement--I do it with myself a lot. It's called forming opinions. And, as one of the things I like about this site is its civil, coffee-house quality, one of the things I hope to contribute is more of the spirit that animates a good coffee house conversation. If you would persuade, you must be willing to be persuaded. Count me in.

posted by Fenster at September 3, 2004


Thrilled you're joining in!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 3, 2004 12:26 PM

I'm jealous already.

What a wonderfully fluid writing style you have.

Posted by: ricpic on September 3, 2004 4:29 PM

Fenster's pretty slick, ain't he?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 4, 2004 8:01 PM

Fenster Blowhard. The name just rolls off the tounge!

Posted by: Scott Wickstein on September 6, 2004 5:32 AM

I love that you posted a picture of the ol' swamp animal. He's cute!

Posted by: Vanessa Del Blowhard on September 8, 2004 11:37 AM



Now if Fenster can only get his head above water in his new job to find something to say.

Posted by: Fenster on September 8, 2004 2:52 PM

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