In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff


We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.







Try Advanced Search


  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...


CultureBlogs
Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
PhilosoBlog
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Gregdotorg
BookSlut
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Cronaca
Plep
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Seablogger
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette


Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Samizdata
Junius
Joanne Jacobs
CalPundit
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Public Interest.co.uk
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
Spleenville
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
CinderellaBloggerfella
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
InstaPundit
MindFloss
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes


Miscellaneous
Redwood Dragon
IMAO
The Invisible Hand
ScrappleFace
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz

Links


Our Last 50 Referrers







« Bryan on Digital Originals | Main | Summers »

January 19, 2005

Elsewhere

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

The turn of the year seems to be a season for bloggers to ruminate on some of Life's Larger Questions.

* Thanks to Searchblog, who alerted me to Nate Davis' thoughtful and powerful posting here. Nate's account of his relationship to his father and how it has affected his own view of men and women has the punch of a good novel. (Russell Banks, it's time to make some room on that sofa.) Nate's posting, IMHO, deserves some kind of special blog-Oscar.

* Searchblog herself recently took a trip to a town named Entropy, and wore one far-out and stylish denim jacket.

* It sounds like 2004 was a good year for Waterfall. She does feel sorry, though, for her decent Kerry-votin' friends, and wonders if some other Dems -- the ones who spew bile and carry on disgracefully -- have any idea that they're alienating the very people whose votes they need.

* I enjoyed some musings and recollections from Whiskyprajer, a Canadian in whose life -- in whose real life as well as fantasy life -- California has played a big role.

* Colby Cosh is a guy from a working-class family who works in journalism, a field where many people come from middle and upper-middle-class families. He writes a dazzler here about what goes through his head when privileged-background colleagues carry on about what's best for the working class.

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at January 19, 2005




Comments

Glad you linked to that Cosh piece. Good stuff, that.

Posted by: Ray Midge on January 20, 2005 1:44 AM



Colby Cosh is one of those eclectic bloggers I always read. He's great. I'd better contribute to his tip jar, now that I think of it.

Blowhards: when are you going to cover that Steve Sailer essay "The Decline of the Metrosexual"? If you're collecting your thoughts, I understand.

Posted by: JT on January 20, 2005 9:35 AM



MB:

Nate Davis' piece makes me feel as if I've been tried and convicted in absentia. Maybe I didn't read it closely enough, but it wasn't entirely clear to me if he understood that his rather paranoid vision of masculinity was, er, rather paranoid.

Colby Cosh rocks, dude.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on January 20, 2005 10:31 AM



Too bad Colby writes so much about hockey and Canadian politics, eh? ("Eh" being understood to be said in my bad imitation of a Canadian accent.) He's amazing. I'd love to see him take on more subjects that non-Canadians (and non-hockeybuffs) can get interested in.

I thought Nate was being pretty frank about how he and his views have been marked by having had such a bum of a dad. I didn't take him to be making generalizations about chicks-'n'-dudes generally. Did you? But maybe you're right. Nate? Are you out there. It's a good point generally too: how personal experience translates into general views of things. Come to think of it, we gabbed about this a bit recently. Hey: it's a subject that's in the air!

It sometimes makes me wonder how much any of us are entitled to make general observations about anything whatsoever. Maybe it's all personal, a few well-nailed-down scientific facts excepted. On other days, I find it cool that all any of us really seem to be doing is comparing notes, out of which may or may not emerge a few semi-consensi ... On the third hand, lordy but it's a lot easier to phrase a lot of things as general observations than it is to put them out there as strictly-personal statements.

How do you guys handle these kinds of questions? On the blog here, I do make an effort to 'fess up to being personal in my responses and judgments. That's partly because I've got no taste for the usual "is it good or is it bad" arguments. But it's also partly because I want to be semi-honest about the nature of what I'm saying: it's personal. And because I'm hoping to encourage conversations where personal-responses play the main role, not general issues. But that could be me: I like comparing notes with real people, and semi-despise debating issues. Especially where the arts are concerned ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on January 20, 2005 11:22 AM



Yes, I am aware that my vision of masculinity is a bit paranoid. That's why I began with the story of my personal upbringing - to show that my rather emotional, perhaps irrational, discomfort around men most definitely comes as a result of my particular experiences, not as the result of any thorough survey or study. In fact, I didn't have any plan for that posting and just started with a bit of venting. It was after I got started that I got to thinking about all the women I know whose lives have been ruined by men. There's an awful lot. And I don't know many men who make the lives of the people around them any better. A few. A very few.

But hey, that's just me, and who I know, out here living in a backwater part of the country. Maybe fellas in the big cities are much nicer.

I guess what really struck me once I got going was how that autistic maleness (Hey, Michael, you were writing about it at the same time, in your post on acting, which I just caught yesterday!) can be used for good or evil. If it's based in reality, it leads to science and engineering. If it's based in lazy-mindedness and doused with alcohol, it leads to rituals and rules that make no sense. It's the difference between "Wash your hands before you eat or you'll get sick," and "Eat everything we put on your plate even if you aren't hungry, or you'll go to hell for wasting food."

BTW: From what I've read, Freiderich, you sound like one of the good ones.

Michael: You, too, and thanks for the kind mention!

Posted by: Nate on January 20, 2005 11:30 AM



M. Blowhard - now that you've read Colby's dazzler, perhaps you should revisit your Mildred Pierce comments.

Can't remember if I posted, but do remember be shocked - shocked I tell you - that you and your fan club - even the wife thought Mildred would be a bad boss! - failed to see that Mildred was not paraniod or a climber, but dealing with very real prejudice. The book, and to some extent the film, have a double pay-off: Mildred both makes it out of the ghetto and finds out that all them rich swells ain't no good. This one popular theme is now absent from everything but teen love movies.

If only I could find a boss who would give the adorably inept Butterfly McQueen a job for life.

Posted by: j.c. on January 22, 2005 10:14 AM



M. Blowhard - now that you've read Colby's dazzler, perhaps you should revisit your Mildred Pierce comments.

Can't remember if I posted, but do remember being shocked - shocked I tell you - that you and your fan club - even the wife thought Mildred would be a bad boss! - failed to see that Mildred was not paraniod or a climber, but dealing with very real prejudice. The book, and to some extent the film, have a double pay-off: Mildred both makes it out of the ghetto and finds out that all them rich swells ain't no good. This one popular theme is now absent from everything but teen love movies.

If only I could find a boss who would give the adorably inept Butterfly McQueen a job for life.

Posted by: J.C. on January 22, 2005 10:15 AM



Wow...Colby Cash's piece really does make ya think---and feel---doesn't it? Maybe there is a LOT to the thought that "where you come from" colors, well, everything. I'm beginning to think you were really onto something when you said that everybody's philosophy stems much more from the "personal" than the strictly "intellectual". I read something the other day which genuinely surprised me, because I hadn't noticed it at the time, and yet might have something to do with the results of the recent election that neither the Repubs or the Dems have discussed, but seems related to this subject. In the third debate, when the two candidates were asked about their wives, Bush--the inarticulate candidate--spoke glowingly of his wife. Kerry---the articulate debater---fumbled around for words and ended up talking about Bush's wife. I laughed when I read this, and then realized it was true. Maybe THAT'S the quality that voters responded to. Maybe all the gay marriage talk etc. is a red herring. (Because, let's face it, neither presidential candidate knew squat about working in a machine shop. Although John Edwards does).

Posted by: annette on January 22, 2005 12:34 PM






Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:



Remember your info?