September 2008 Archives
AJ is now into its tenth year of publication (it started on 19 Sept 1999, he mentions in the interview) and gets from 45,000 visitors per day, with some 33,000 people signed up for the email. On the one hand, a lot. On the other hand, a fraction of the growth that Inside Higher Ed has had in under 4 years. I'm not sure why that is, though each is clearly occupying a large portion of its mass-media niche market.
Thanks to Henry for the link to my Nation piece. It seems that some Crooked Timber visitors are under the impression that my name is Lemmy and that I used to be in Motorhead.
Such is not in fact the case, though you'd be surprised how often I get that.
I gather that the folks in and around "artsjournal" or "inside higher ed" have a habit of "fisking" Jon Swift, so maybe he's not representative of anything much more than that sector of the audience who "gets get all their news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Jay Leno monologues."Now, I do not really understand this very well -- and you'd think I would, given that the set of "folks in and around" both IHE and AJ is not enormous, and may even consist of a single member. Furthermore, I do not fisk, or at least hope I don't. It sounds kind of dirty.
Be that as it may, it seems at least slightly possible that a blogger bearing the name "Jon Swift" might be writing in a satirical vein. If so, when Swift includes himself among those who get "all their news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Jay Leno monologues," it might not be meant to be taken literally. I am just going to put that idea out there on the table.
Other than that, I will concede some of Howie's point in the parts of the comment that I do understand -- namely, that it might be somebody other than Palin who assumes the role of Telegenic G.O.P. Demagogue.
But there are going to be plenty of folks out there who will see her as a victim of (warning: irony ahead) Katie Couric's hard-hitting, attack-style interviewing methods, and look back on her fondly. So my guess is that Palin will, over the long term, come out ahead.
(Thanks to Brian Book at The ITT List for linking to yesterday's post.)
My column yesterday was about a book called The Anti-Intellectual Presidency. In it, I expressed some very faint hope that the cretinizing effect of recent exchanges between the Demopublican and Republocratic candidates might be mitigated once the debates started. It is clear that I have no great future as prophet before me.
Aside from the bizarre and even desperate move by McCain himself to get out of Friday's scheduled event -- and to postpone indefinitely the Veep debate -- we can now witness Palin's most recent interview. It will not do to read the transcript. Only while watching the actual video is it possible fully to appreciate the wisdom of Palin's handlers in keeping her away from open microphones as much as possible:
Even so, it seems to me obvious that this is the face of a future president. Perhaps not this decade, but sometime in the next. It is important to understand that -- and, if not to accept it, then in some way to come to terms with it.
The trends that, as Lin argues in his book, hollow out any possibility of serious political discussion are precisely why Palin will be an ideal vehicle for a politics that evades deliberation, as well as the proxy for that segment of the American public (not a small part) that loathes it.
She will be better coached in the future, and learn the art of translating ignorance into arrogant self-confidence. She was able to manage that on a state level, but will need a little more practice to pull it off on the larger public stage. All it will take is time.
UPDATE: Aside from being one of America's finest book reviewers, Jon Swift is making a sober estimate of the state of the polity: "McCain is not by nature one to be rash and impulsive, but I think it's time for him to throw caution to the wind for a change and ask Barack Obama to agree to suspend the entire election/"
And congratulations, too, to my New Politics comrade Jason Schulman, who successfully defended his poli-sci dissertation over the weekend and is now Herr Doktor Schulman -- coming to the editorial board meeting immediately after doing so, in fact, since we were meeting one floor up from his defense at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
It is good to be able to acknowledge the progress of friends at a time when the horror of other news continues to deepen, compounded by another sad development.
That's just the tip of the iceberg, of course. It's pretty bad when the obituary page is one of the less depressing sections of the newspaper.
As mentioned in a recent column, my wife and I developed a mythology about Cuttyhunk Island (population maybe 50) while on vacation there a couple of weeks ago -- one involving the sacrifice, by locals, of tourists to the sinister fish gods. Then, while visiting the Cuttyhunk Public Library, we happened to notice a copy of Shirley Jackson's short fiction atop the stack of newly returned books. Not that this proves anything, of course.
Here is my short guided tour, filmed with a digital camera as Rita drove the golf cart. I think there may be three or four trucks on the island. Everybody else drives golf carts. Unfortunately we did not take pictures of the more pimped-out ones.
Between going on vacation for ten days and then attending a National Book Critics Circle board meeting this weekend, I have put this blog on de facto hiatus for a bit. Time to resume....
On Friday -- after years of searching for anything on CD by Fred Smith's post-MC5 group Sonic's Rendezvous Band -- I found the recently issued recording of the band opening for the Ramones in Detroit thirty years ago. Evidently there have been a few bootlegs and limited-edition releases. But for some reason one of Detroit's great bands (another member had been the drummer for the Stooges) never came to the attention of a label with any clout.
So let's start the new season off with the A side of SRB's single -- the only one they ever released, I think....
AJ BlogsAJBlogCentral | rss
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog