'Literary discovery in...Conway, NH?': John
has discovered an Opus Dei blog
that claims to have discovered the first draft of the 'Da Vinci Code.' ... I tip my hat to Fr. Wauck. It's a funny post. ... 'Nosedived':
The latest Reilly vs. Patrick poll numbers
. ... Both are doing well against Healey. ...Tolerance of intolerance:
A European journalist defends
the printing of the Mohammed cartoons, despite the finger wagging from Bill Clinton and others. ... Reminds me of a quote in a post
last month before the cartoon issue came to a head: "Lady Kennedy was arguing that our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people's intolerance, which is intolerable." ...
Opus Dei - coming to a theater near you:
They really do have pointy thigh chains.
... Am I being intolerably insensitive? ... Hub Blog thinks I was once recruited to join Opus Dei (or something like it -- it's a secret society after all). I walked into a room and there were all of these guys with JFK haircuts, stiff white shirts (no ties), blue pants and polished loafers. They were trying to look relaxed. Since I was going through my Stairway to Heaven phase at the time, I didn't fit in. A Hub Blog acquaintance was also recruited to the same outfit. His interview process ended very abruptly when he casually mentioned he was an admirer of a certain Jesuit
'Political newcomer Deval ...':
In the low-expectations game, Reilly was supposed to exceed the low expectations. He didn't.
He now has a first-class primary on his hands -- something his gubernatorial campaign had tried to avert as its first order of business. ... Wonder if Bill Galvin and others now regret not getting into the race. ... Much more at Blue Mass. Group
, which did an awesome job yesterday covering the caucuses. ... I admire Reilly reaching out to the center. No Dem candidate is going to win the general election without the support of Independents. Reilly gets it. The Progressive-Hack alliance doesn't. But the idea is to lock in a large percentage of the party faithful, then reach for the center. Reilly is failing at this. ... Time for thumb-sucking analysis about a possible Patrick nomination: I think he'd do better in a general election than some pundits might forecast. He's different. He's articulate. Even though he's now frolicking around in the P-H fields, he doesn't have a P-H track record per se. There's something suburban about him that tells me he knows what he needs to do and say in a general election. Whether it's enough to beat Republicans is too early to tell. ...'Smells like it's 80 percent true':
Strange book review
by Walter Isaacson of James Risen's 'State of War.'
Starts off with references to Nixon, Woodward and Bernstein (Hub Blog eyes roll at this early point), asserts the NYT printed its NSA articles when it did due to the book's publication (Hub Blog head nods in agreement), states NYT was probably being prudent in not publishing beforehand (huh?), and then floats the idea that the book in question might be only 80 percent true, which is better than being only 50 percent true (well, thanks!). ...'Start repeating 'fun' like a mantra':
Put down Mark
as now being skeptical about the big Celts trade. ... I must say this about the Celts: They hustle. There's an intensity on the court that I admire. I was watching yesterday's game on the tube and couldn't help but notice they're giving it their all. But the problems remain: No big man, no point guard. ... They're also wound too tight. There's no encouraging free flow to their game. ...
Buy Danish! Part II: John
raises an interesting point: At what point is the media merely adding fuel to the fire by reprinting the Mohammed cartoons
? Reminds me of the controversy over Piss Christ
(a piece of 'art' that infuriated me personally -- partly on religious grounds, partly because it was government funded, partly because it was a classic lame bourgeois attempt to shock the bourgeois, and partly because of the media's gleeful bias in favor of the lame bourgeois artist, etc). But here's why I think the Mohammed cartoons are different: Europeans are standing up for their Western culture and right to free speech at a critical time. I'm encouraged by it. Sadly, I'm also a little surprised they're doing it at all. ... Notice how the great Buy Danish! campaign has fizzled. Once the cartoons were published in France, the logic of the campaign dictated that the next course of action was to buy French. Solidarity can only be taken so far. ...Update
-- I tinkered with this post a bit after posting. I found myself wanting to be sensitive but also not wanting to self-censor myself (i.e. to link to the cartoons or not to link). Says something about the entire issue. ...Update II
-- Hmmm. Maybe the Buy Danish! campaign hasn't
fizzled out. ...Update III
-- They've set fire
to the Danish embassy in Syria. ... Buy Danish!Update IV -- 2.5.06
- A look at the shifting free-speech views
of a certain local newspaper. A special bonus 'Piss Christ' editorial is included. ...
'Even a Shannon O’Brien comeback':
It's not going to happen
. Not even Democrats are that stupid. ... Now watch it happen. ... The best thing going for Reilly at today's Dem caucuses: low expectations
'Two-team sports town?': Bob
tardily states the obvious but states it well: "The Celtics and Bruins have a month to impress us, but that's all. In 17 days it will be pitchers and catchers, and in April it's the NFL Draft and most of you won't need no stinkin' basketball or hockey." ... The Bruins and Celtics appear to be playing good cop/bad cop with us. The Bruins are now quite qood
. The Celts are bad
. They'll probably reverse roles soon. ... Hey, Boston used to be a three-team sports town for yours truly, in this order: Celts, Pats, Sox. I know. Odd. But that's what CYO basketball and Pop Warner football will do to a lad.
'Blowing up on the launch pad':
Re l'affaire St. Fleur
: It's about Reilly's judgment
-- not tax liens or unpaid bills. Reilly has managed the near impossible by making John Kerry look consistent and decisive in comparison. ... I actually admire St. Fleur, who truly does have an inspiring immigrant story to tell. I do not begrudge her having -- or others having had -- financial problems. But her initial political instincts were spot on that her financial problems would become an inevitable issue in a statewide political race. She warned Reilly so. Reilly's instincts weren't spot on. He ignored the warning. The entire affair speaks volumes about his judgment. ... FYI: If I lived in St. Fleur's district, I'd probably vote for her reelection. I don't agree with most of her political views. But I respect where she's come from in life and the dignity she's shown over the past few days. ...Update
tallies up all her other financial transgressions. They're more damning than I originally thought. I guess I'm lucky that I put the word 'probably' in the above FYI note. But I do have a soft spot for: a.) people who struggle in life and b.) Haitian immigrants in particular. If you've ever been to Haiti (and I have), one appreciates how remarkable St. Fleur's rise has been over the years. ... FYI II: Observations on Reilly remain unchanged.Update II
: It's about judgment. ... Like Joan, I'm beginning to wonder how much longer Reilly will stay in the race.
Now fanatics are issuing death threats, boycotting products and demanding that a democratic government apologize
for the actions of its free press. ... I know what I'm doing
-- Hey, great minds think alike
. (We independently posted at the same time. I swear!... Buy Danish
!) ...Update II - 2.1.06
-- Now a French newspaper
is publishing the cartoons as an expression of support for free speech. ...'A ticket you can trust?':
I can't recall the last time the local MSM and blogosphere actually seemed to agree on something, i.e. the head-scratching response to Tom Reilly's selection
of Marie St. Fleur as his unofficial running mate. Some of the MSM reactions here
. Some of the blogger reactions here
). With few saying the selection is inspired genius, should we be wary of instant CW? I'm cynically tempted. Maybe all of this will fade into insignificant campaign background. But I really don't see how St. Fleur can help Reilly -- and I don't see how Reilly's vaciliation and his angering of other Dems can help him either. I do see, however, how it all helps Deval Patrick. ... Update
has more. ...'Padding out a term paper':
Hub Blog is a minor fan of Bernard-Henri Levy and not a big fan of Garrison Keillor. But when you have a book
on America panned
with anti-French gusto, my sympathies instinctively lean toward Keillor. ... Is the book really that bad? Or are liberals upset with Levy's somewhat conservative (for a Frenchman) view of the post-9/11 world? I'll probably never know, for I have no intention of reading the book. But some of the Levy passages cited by Keillor (and other reviewers) sure sound dumb. ... P.S.: I can recommend this book
. Lots of Frenchmen, Americans, English and Indians fighting it out for control of North America. Enjoyed it immensely. ...Update
-- Reader No. 1 on Levy: "Difficult to find myself agreeing with Keillor too. I found Levy's serialization in the ATLANTIC tedious, unreadable, and not a good advertisement for renewing my subscription. I guess he means well."Update II
-- At least John Farrell's
new book has won high praise
. Congrats, John! ... Also see John's lengthy critique of Tom Bethell's past science writings. 'When he was with us':
The Celts lost
to Minnesota last night -- thanks to ex-Celtics taking it to current Celtics. ... The evidence builds for the argument that the 'blockbuster' trade was another mediocre bust. ...Update
-- And Reader No. 1 again: "It's too soon to judge the Celtic trade a bust after 3 games (remember we won the first 2 with Antoine Walker wearing #88 last February). But I agree that the gut says it's unlikely to make much difference. Adding a top 5 talent like Shaq or Duncan might make a difference, but they ain't walkin' in that door."
Ubiquitous blandness? Part II:
Last July, I was hoping against hope
that I was wrong about the Greenway. But the latest evidence
indicates it's indeed going to be a big disappointment. They didn't even measure the depth of dirt before agreeing upon a streetscape design? Perhaps they should plop the 'Partisans' statue somewhere along the new parkway. At least it'd cast off shadows. ... John
says it all.
'The War That Made America,' Part II:
The second part of the PBS series
was quite good and it even mentioned William Pitt. I'm impressed. ...
The latest Celts 'blockbuster' trade:
You know you're down on the Celts when they make another big trade
and the only thing you can think is: 'So how long does it take before its mediocrity becomes apparent?'
'Satisfying work environment':
I was all set to say Theo's return
is a sign how screwed up and silly
the Sox organization has become. Then I read that You Know Who
also thinks the move is 'embarrassing.' So I'm now reassessing my opinion. ... OK, I've thought about it. It's still embarrassing. ... Dan Kennedy
has more on our new sports power broker. ...
'The War That Made America':
Not local blogger wars. Not King Phillip's War. But the French and Indian War
, tonight at 9 p.m. on WGBH
. ... Not a big fan of docudramas. But this looks good. ... Don't forget two recent books on the subject: Fred Anderson's 'Crucible of War'
and local historian William Fowler's 'Empires at War.'
...Update - 1.20.06 --
Saw it last night and it was quite good. One quibble: If the second half of the series finishes without mentioning William Pitt's brilliant overall war strategy, then pick up copies of the books above. ... One high praise: The episodes last night didn't descend into PC sermonizing, i.e. Europeans, bad; Indians, good. Yeah, there's a PC moment here and there, such as how the practice of scalping victims alive was described as a 'custom.' (I can't imagine someone at PBS downplaying the hangings of witches in Salem as a 'custom.') Those PC lapses aside, the series does a good job showing the complex interaction between the Indians, French and English. ...
Good comments over at Adam's site
on the sudden and sad disappearance of the 'Partisans' statue on Boston Common. It was indeed a 'striking' piece of art that will be missed. ... All Quiet on the Blogger War Front:
All quiet on the ... wait!
The BPD blog
is calling out the Globe. Adam
catches it. John, who for years didn't tell readers where he worked, comes out with a 'full disclosure'
and lectures the Globe on 'transparency.'
... My long-time standard non-click disclosure: I work at the Herald.
The Strangers and the Separatists:
Finished Nathaniel Philbrick's new 'Mayflower.'
Terrific. Another big thumbs up. It's all there: Miles Standish, the Winslows, the Mayflower Compact, Massasoit, the Mohawks, Pokanokets, Nipmucks, King Phillip etc. I was aware of the broad sweep of the area's early colonial history. But I really didn't know the detailed history. ... Two things stand out: 1.) The Puritans, in their early years in Plymouth, were much more flexible than one would normally associate with religious fanatics. It's why they survived. I came away with deep admiration for them. 2.) Philbrick really brings the Indians and their complex societies and tragedies to life.
‘Tone down the snark and grumpiness,’ Part III:
You know, I just reread the Part II post below and I'm not too proud. I thought Johnny Bag O'Donuts ended his post on a classy note. I didn't. No excuses. Sorry, Johnny. You deserved the first hit. Not the over-the-top second, proving non-anonymous writing certainly doesn't guarantee thoughtful writing. ...Update
-- Interesting discussion about anonymous blogging over at Blue Mass. Group.
... FYI: Not for a second do I take back my remarks about anonymous blogging. Stand by them. As well as the advice about writing, criticism and careers. I just thought JBOD acted in a gracious way at the end -- and I didn't. ... More discussion over at JBOD
. Question: How the heck do you launch a 'personal attack' on an anonymous person?Update II
-- As if on cue via John
, a WaPo story
on blogs, students, colleges and future employers. ... What a coincidence. There are consequences, folks. JBOD, take note. And that's not a dig.
I’m not going to link to any of the Pats coverage. It’s too depressing. But here’s something from Reader No. 1:
“In the 'Look How Wrong You Can Be' Department - I did pick the number of points scored by the Steelers and Redskins on the nose, and missed Denver by one point. Of course, very little else went as expected. On the other hand, down the road very little of this may look unexpected
"I know you issued an injunctional against blogosphere cruelty but... a new nickname for Peyton Manning: Mr. October.”‘Tone down the snark and grumpiness,’ Part II:
Oh boy. Almost feel sorry for Johnny Bag O’Donuts
. But not that sorry. Turns out he’s a grad student studying journalism. I suspected as much. Anyway, the post is nice but still inadequate (personal name and name of school, Johnny; see point 3 below). And here’s some career advice in general and advice specific to writing and blogging, JBOD:
1.) An earlier generation of Americans had a saying: Try to be nice to people when you can. You never know who’ll be sitting on the draft board.
2.) An unofficial Rule No. 1 of the blogosphere: Don’t be so foolish as to harshly criticize your boss or, in your case, your future bosses. It’s just not worth it. No one is going to respect you in the blogosphere for being so dumb.
3.) The best editing tool in writing and blogging is: Putting your name and credibility on the line. You say you’re trying to practice writing. Fine. Now practice writing by attaching your name to what you write. I think you’ll find it’s an entirely different experience, one requiring more thought and care, etc. etc. It’s much harder, but ultimately more satisfying.
… Sorry if this sounds condescending. But, well, it’s meant to be condescending. …
Egads! A truce has been reached on this blog front. But a separate local blog war
has broken out! Is there no respite from these terrible wars? … I’m also rather partial toward the French F1 Steel Helmet w/Camo Cover
-- Adam's remarks sent me looking: German Imperial Spiked Helmets
. Ooooo. I should have thought of that before. ... And then there's the British Safari Zulu Desert Helmet.
... But are they practical in today's blogger wars? That's why the French, Israeli or British Army Issued Kevlar Helmets
are preferred. ... I'm not a big fan of the modern American helmets.
‘Tone down the snark and grumpiness’:
Oh, man, World War III has broken out in the local blogosphere. Bruce
is calling for a jihad against Ron Borges. Mark Jurkowitz
runs an anonymous rebuttal from someone who thinks fan ‘blogs have no business lecturing professional journalists.’ Mark, meanwhile, comes in for criticism from Herald blogger Sean
for the space he devotes to the Globe, a post that catches the attention of Adam
who throws in an anti-Herald tirade
from Johnny Bag O’Donuts. John, who not so long ago subtly lectured
the Herald about its 'reliable' sourcing, lavishes praise not once
on the fearless anonymous Johnny Bag O’Donuts, who seems to take pride in his ‘mostly bitter, angry and ultimately hypocritical media criticism.’ …
… Anyway, three points:
1. I recommend the 1.1Kg British para army helmet
in times likes these.
2. My name is Jay Fitzgerald. I’m a journalist and blogger. I work as a business reporter for the Herald. Your turn, Johnny Bag O'Donuts. What’s your name, occupation and employer? Is there a conflict of interest here? If you’re in journalism in some way, weren’t you taught (and/or don’t you teach) about the dangers of anonymous sources? Would you get in trouble if your name got out?
3. I think the non-anonymous LCL
has it right: “Tone down the snark and grumpiness.”Update
-- Now the self-described bitter and angry hypocrite
is going after Brian McGrory. ... What a class act. ... It's OK to be critical. It's even OK to be vicious if that's your style. But for bloggers to criticize journalists (and justifiably so) for overreliance on anonymous and/or shoddy sources and then to regularly link to this anonymous guy with an apparent axe to grind, well, the word 'hypocrisy' does jump to mind. ‘Game of the decade potential’:
From the fearless anonymous Reader No. 1 (who at least I know
– which shouldn’t be confused with those who link to those they don’t
“** Seattle 28-10. The usual 4 pm Fox NFC snoozer (at least we can eat dinner in peace).
“** Pats 31-28. I don't know how they do it, I think this is the toughest game the team has faced in 5 years of Belicheck. I freely admit to my Pat fandom. Has game of the decade potential (at least for this week).
“** Colts 35-21. I can see Indy shaking the rust early, coming out of the gate with a bang and winning rather comfortably. Be interesting to see if they can sustain 60 minutes at this point after the slippage.
“** Panthers 3-2. Bet the Bears wish they had Jim Miller or Doug Flutie quarterbacking.”
Hub Blog? I have bad vibes. I’m optimistic about the Pats winning. Which isn’t good due to my superstition that my pessimism is good.
'Where are the hoop gods?':
The Celts lost a crusher
last night to Dallas. But it was a great game and I was encouraged. ...
'With tears welling up in his eyes,' Part V:
Tom Reilly simply won't
let it go
. Now he probably can't let it go: The man who acted as a 'spokesman' for the Murphy family turns out to be dot-com king Bob Davis, who organized a $10,000 fundraiser
for Reilly last June. Reilly's office won't say if Davis contacted the AG about the Murphy tragedy. ... I'm beginning to reevaluate my reevaluation of my original 'severely' hurt assessment. ... FYI: Reilly was sticking foot in mouth
over the weekend, keeping the issue alive. Why?Update
-- This just in: Reilly says he talked to Davis
about the case. This changes the dynamics of the controversy, clearly. It's no longer about 'only $300' in campaign contributions. ...
Jill Carroll, a freelance journalist for Boston's Christian Science Monitor, has been kidnapped in Iraq while on assignment. Here's the CSM
versions of the story. ... Her proud sister, Katie, had been blogging about Jill's exploits at "Lady of Arabia"
(I found a cached version). What an awful event. One can only pray she's released soon and unharmed. ...Update
-- Here's more
'I can't help hating Chris Bangle':
Self-appointed aesthetic visionary Chris Bangle and his Bauhaus-BMW modernism get the modern blogger treatment from Mickey
. If only Mickey and Tom Wolfe
had been around to counterbalance the first Bauhaus movement in the '30s. ... Rick Wagoner's non-aesthetic financial acumen gets the local blogger treatment from Carpundit
'There’s a tipping point you reach':
The owner of Centerfolds
is trying to open a megacafe in the North End 'for his children to run.' North End residents are expressing 'skepticism.'
I wonder why. ... Let's do a Google search.
'Either Indianapolis or Denver next weekend':
Hub Blog was pessimistic going into last night's Pats game. But that's good
. The Pats won
. Superstitions are important. ... The question now is: Which opponent am I more pessimstic about playing next week -- Indianapolis or Denver? Answer: Denver. But am I being overly optimistic about my pessimistic superstition? Does a tradition of humiliating Peyton Manning override a superstition? My pessimistic divining wand is failing me at this moment. ...
'With tears welling up in his eyes,' Part IV: Eileen
are letting Tom Reilly et gang have it. ... Reilly clearly deserves the lumps. But how will it play in the gubernatorial election? As noted below, I suspect a lot of voters will file the incident away in the memory banks and retrieve it for review if and when Reilly blunders again.
'Culture wars between Islam and the West':
A lot of talk these days about Europe, Islam, Western civilization and culture wars. Denmark
is now grappling with the issue. Mark Steyn
is also tackling it (via Reader BK). And so is James Lileks
. The right has been debating the issue for a while now. The left, caught in its own multiculturism web and its vain 'counter-intuitive' criticism of all things West, has been dodging it. But, as Denmark now shows, many on the left are beginning to push back at extremists who have used multiculturism to promote a most un-multicultural vision of the world. ...
I'm not a terribly big fan of Mark Steyn. But, man, is this a good zinger about an aristocratic promoter of multiculturism: "Lady Kennedy was arguing that our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people's intolerance, which is intolerable." ... FYI: By bashing 'multiculturism,' I take aim at how it's practiced, not it's theoretical ideal. The way it's practiced is to hurl extremely harsh criticism at Western civilization (i.e. the vain 'counter-intuitive' criticism that makes lefties feel like they're being 'honest') while denying that other cultures are even more oppressive and dangerous to hard-won liberties (i.e. extremist Islam). ...