« Brian Francis Slattery at Ficlets | Main | The Hugos/Campbell This Year: A Discussion Thread »

May 29, 2007

System Check: Politics

The Whatever continues its dearth of political commentary these days, mostly because I still have the urge to jam a stick into my eye whenever I start to write about it. Just tried to write something about the Iraq funding bill the president just signed; blatted out some verbiage, looked at it, and decided that its real value was therapeutic rather than being of readable quality. Deleted it; it's gone, you won't miss it.

It's not that I'm feeling apolitical, mind you. I'm just not seeing myself adding anything particularly interesting to the discussion. Of course, part of the problem is a vague feeling I should add something substantive; maybe I should just go for the snark. Three sentences and out. That's always fun. I'll have to think about that.

Posted by john at May 29, 2007 12:05 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Steve Buchheit | May 29, 2007 01:14 PM

But, what are we supposed to do with all these puppets from the puppet show? I mean, we abandoned political theater and reasonable discourse years ago and now it's just a bad muppet display. We were going to get rid of those and substitute it for a Jakarta Shadow Puppet display, but everybody missed the color. And Xerox tells us everything is better with color and we can no longer understand anything in black and white.

John H | May 29, 2007 01:26 PM

Sorry, Steve -- that was four sentences...

deCadmus | May 29, 2007 01:35 PM

I really can't write about *anything* politics today, for fear of blowing out a ventricle (mine, or maybe someone else's.)

Suffice it to say, I ache for change, write brief notes to my congress critters from time to time, and reward good behavior with an occasional, yet paltry, political donation.

| May 29, 2007 01:36 PM

I have exactly the same problem when I think about commenting. Luckily there are no sticks nearby.

Patrick | May 29, 2007 01:37 PM

I suppose you could talk about me instead. I'm mostly apolitical.

RooK | May 29, 2007 02:02 PM

Aw, come one, some of us like finding new reasons to scream futilely at sound bites Dubya makes.

Pablo Defendini | May 29, 2007 02:08 PM

John, I feel ya. It's hard to take politics seriously these days, simply because it all comes off as such a massive comedy of errors. If only the consequences of such constant bungling weren't so dire. . . At least we've got Jon Stewart to make fun of all of them on a regular basis.

dave | May 29, 2007 02:43 PM

Yes, but I do SO miss the political commentray. That and the lovely occasional beat down of some idiotic confederate sympathizers, or the childfree, or religious zealots. I haven't been reading as much as it seems a lot of the postings have been geared towards writers, which I ain't. Can I vote for more snark? Please?

Carol Elaine | May 29, 2007 03:24 PM

I feel the same way, John. Unfortunately, I maintain a political blog for the activist organization I belong to, so I don't have the luxury of just sitting back the way I'd like.


Lisa | May 29, 2007 03:43 PM

I second what Dave said. I get how you feel, I've been decidedly less inclined to even want to think about politics the last couple of years, but I think you do add something. It may not be that the substance of what you add is that different from what you can find elsewhere on the web, but the way you say it--very pragmatically, logically, and without a lot of crazed dogmatism--that makes what you say of value to whatever else is out there. I'll be glad when you can pull the stick out of your eye and come back to some of that.

Oh, and I'm all for snark, too.

Clay | May 29, 2007 03:51 PM

It's easy to get discouraged when for about 120 days in a row, the topic would be "Politicians again failed to understand what the sentence 'Stop the fucking war' meant". Mixed with a helping of "Perhaps they don't understand that someone saying that they owe their souls to business interests isn't the compliment that 'Nice shirt' is."

I used to own dogs that never learned that just inside of the screen door was a sliding glass door that really wasn't fun to run headlong into. I think we've got a pack of politicians with the same learning curve.

I think I've been through half a dozen political revolutions in my life now, and we still keep voting for the same types. Great, thanks. Now I'm depressed about the whole setup. There's a wooded area behind work, maybe I can go find a stick.

Christian | May 29, 2007 04:45 PM

> Of course, part of the problem is a vague feeling I should add
> something substantive; maybe I should just go for the snark.

I think you need to swing on down to the new Creation Museum (that's gotta be relatively close to where you live, right?) - and THEN give us a tasty, substantive, and therapeutic thread (with snarks on top).

All in favor of John visiting the Creation Museum, say "Aye".


Clay | May 29, 2007 04:51 PM

Aye. I had some of the same thoughts when I read the article earlier

Lee | May 29, 2007 04:52 PM

Just counting the days when these bastards will be gone but the stink will remain and we will most likely get the same dogs (just a different color). All I've been doing now is just lowering my blood pressure by watching "The Daily Show" and reading stuff like the following:


MWT | May 29, 2007 04:53 PM

Hmmm... considering that I get 90% of my political news by reading it here, I'd be happy to see anything about it - repeat of other places or not.

Nick Stump | May 29, 2007 05:05 PM

As I'm writing speeches and strategy for a Senate hopeful, I'm writing politics full-time right now. Not my dream come true for sure, but I'm the one who took the job and as I needed the job, here I am. (Note: when a lawyer running for office hands you his self-written speech, don't yell, "Nobody wants to hear you read a f**king legal brief!")

We just had a primary here in Kentucky where we actually voted for the best Democrat running. Our Republican Governor's in trouble, both with his own party and with the people of Kentucky. I think Democrats are coming back in style in the Great Commonwealth, so I'm very pleased.

Tim | May 30, 2007 07:58 AM

I always liked your political commentary. Not that I usually agreed with it (I am decidedly of a more constrained vision of human nature than you share [see Thomas Sowell's A Conflict of Visions]}.

What I liked most about your posts was that even though you clearly start out, emotionally and ideologically, from an position I cannot share, your reason, logic, and common sense dragged you, rhetorically kicking and screaming with occasional swipes at people of my ilk and generous dollops of snark, to a final centrist position which I found reasonable. That's very unusual in political discussion these days.

I read many blogs. Some(most?) of course are political. It's common at the political blogs to read detailed pieces regarding any issue, but they almost always end in the same ideologic position from which they began. I'm a political junkie and politics, at least in a democratic republic, is about compromise. Nobody gets what they want. Politics is the art of the possible.

I fear that today, with both political poles screaming past each other, nothing is possible, and we all lose.

John Scalzi | May 30, 2007 08:22 AM

Well, to be clear: I'm not going to stop writing about politics in a general sense. It's just at the moment I apparently have little interest.

MikeB | May 30, 2007 12:52 PM

The worst thing one can do is stop having feelings about politics. In a sense that is the "desired reaction" - the more numb you get the more chance is that something outragsous will be passed by.

Despite ventricular concerns I recommend venting on a constant basis. After all, is there anything you can write that is worse then what is actually happening out there?

MikeB | May 30, 2007 12:54 PM

hmmm - nice spelling there Mike . . .

Rod Walker | May 31, 2007 06:17 AM

Pelosi Lied, People Died.

Matt | June 1, 2007 04:11 PM

It's a Friday so another announcement of a resignation from the administration. Rats jumping off a sinking ship! It's becoming predictable.


Jeff Hentosz | June 2, 2007 12:40 AM

Before this post rolls off the fairway into the sand trap of the archives... this story about a Giuliani speech in Silicon Valley made me laugh.

Post a comment.

Comments are moderated to stop spam; if your comment goes into moderation, it may take a couple of hours to be released. Please read this for my comment moderation policies.
Preview will not show paragraph breaks. Trust me, they're there.
The proprietor generally responds to commenters in kind. If you're polite, he'll be polite. If you're a jackass, he'll be a jackass. If you are ignorant, he may correct you.
When in doubt, read the comment thread rules.

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)