18 February 2002

Want to know who my favorite neophyte journalist is? Joanna Jackson is my favorite neophyte journalist. Want to know who the most brain-dead person in publishing is? Luci Prinz, intern coordinator for the Atlantic Monthly. Fortunately, she was stupid enough to put this act of blatant discrimination in writing, so you can read this article and find out how Joanna and Luci collided. Go Joanna! (Update: Get it while it’s hot: Romenesko’s letters column calls this discrimination what it is, not only ageist but classist. And they don’t stop with the Atlantic Monthly, either. For those of you laboring in the world under the delusion that the people who put out magazines have or want anything in common with most of us, you must indulge in this link before the letters expire and roll off the page.)

18 February 2002

17 February 2002

This is a very sad story that poses the eternal question: Is it worse than politicians can be evil? Or that voters can be stupid? Many of the rural areas of Washington voted for rollback that certain lobbyists and would-be lawmakers claimed went from their pockets to the roadways of Seattle and Tacoma (that is, the urban areas). Now those areas have discovered that gee, as it turns out they were lied to. So you make the ethical call: Are these folk, about to lose their way of life to this fiasco…

– Venal for obeying the greed that blinded them?

– Worse than venal for responding to the thinly-veiled racism Washingtonians will remember from the Initiative 695 campaign?

– Merely stupid, for not thinking through the clear fallacies in the 695 pitch?

– Wronged, since they were duped by politicial interests that used and discarded them like a leaky love doll?

I’m asking.

17 February 2002

15 February 2002

I’ve figured out what it means when Colin Powell says all this sane stuff, which he was caught doing again this week much to the chagrin of the Christian-fascist movement. It’s not just that Colin Powell is the only member of this administration that not an evil waste of carbon and oxygen. It’s that Colin Powell knows damned well he’s got more Presidential mettle in his eyebrow trimmings than Bush has in his whole body, and that if he, Colin Powell, had listened when folks were begging him to run, we wouldn’t be toppling off our current precipice. Colin Powell, my friends, is EXPIATING. Right before your eyes. Step right up.

15 February 2002

14 February 2002

And the hits just keep coming today: First extreme-right “Christians” blame the left for the World Trade Center attacks, now this. Man, are folk like this going to be surprised when they die and see Jesus standing there with a 2×4. And a bunch of the outcast types he’s recorded to have hung around with back in the day. And a few millennia worth of people twisting his words to fit their hate. And issues. And did I mention the 2×4?

14 February 2002

13 February 2002

An interesting morals quiz, which nonetheless points up one of the things I find utterly maddening about modern academic ethics. If you take this quiz you’ll find a lot of questions asking about death: causing death, preventing death, deciding how many people in a particular situation ought to have to (not) die. Valid mental exercise, but honey please — how often does this come UP for most of us? An ethics that speaks only to the most extreme circumstances is generally not terribly useful for day-to-day navigation. Enjoy the quiz, but don’t hurt your head too thoroughly.

13 February 2002