This is a day late, but I’ve been hella busy — a Smart Money deadline at week’s end, an Hour Detroit one after that, my Great Big Essay on Newspapers for another client and in between, I have to wrangle a newsletter into shape, while many of its opinion-laden contributors and principals are in Turkey, Spain and other distant lands.
I don’t normally talk about my clients here, mainly because most of them are magazines and don’t post their content online, so what’s the point if you can’t link to it? But it occurs to me that many people, reading this blog, would assume I have one of those “careers” that sort of asks for ironic quotes around the word, and that isn’t the case. I really do write and edit for a living. My workload waxes and wanes, but at the moment it’s all wax, baby.
So let’s get to it, then.
Roy Edroso at Alicublog has become one of my favorite lefty bloggers, mainly because he has the patience to do what I don’t — read and respond to a great deal of the krep being churned by the so-called blogosphere. (He’s particularly devastating on Lileks.) Anyway, he took the time to write this, and for “Have a Right-Wing Valentine’s Day,” I’m grateful.
Nathan Gotsch has been working the Fort Wayne blogworld for the better part of a year, and not badly at all: All those stories he’d been doing about Fort Wayne topics, sometimes showing up or outright shaming actual paid local reporters in the process? He was living in L.A. most of the time. (“Has any editor in Fort Wayne approached you about maybe taking a job there?” I asked him once. After all, he can already write and work sources and demonstrates an eye for a good story. The answer: “No.” But of course. Not that he wanted a job there, but you know, you’d think someone might have made the gesture.) This week, though, he’s hanging up his cleats and turning the name, archives and all the rest of it over to ex-state legislator Mitch Harper, who’s now running Fort Wayne Observed.
Among Nathan’s many accomplishments in a short time is the humiliation and otherwise stick-a-fork-in-him-he’s-done barbecuing of the maroons at Mediawatch. (I’d link to the amusing podcast he did about their great trademark dispute, but it’s gone with the switchover. NO IT’S NOT: It’s here.)
Once again, terriers rule.
I keep reading about Cheney’s hunting screwup, and I notice that the quail, on this hunt, were farm-raised. Most people know something about “canned hunts,” where exotic, aged or fenced-in animals go toe-to-toe with armed Bwana Diks — Carl Hiaasen made them the focus of one of his comic novels, and they’ve gotten a lot of publicity. I’ve read defenses of them here and there. My feelings run across a range from open contempt to shrugging dismissal. I have no problem with most hunting, but if you want to shoot an animal in an unfair fight, that’s its own punishment, in my opinion.
Farm-raised birds are another variety of manipulated hunting. It goes without saying that this is a wussy-boy pursuit; one reason I generally respect hunters is, they get out of town and actually go into the country looking for their quarry. Most ethical hunters are also environmentalists (Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited), so we have that in common. But getting into the country requires some exertion — walking, hiking, even trudging. Evidently the vice president cannot be bothered to trudge.
Ultimately, I’m with Jon Stewart. As the WSJ reported a snippet of his “Daily Show” monologue:
The other player in the drama? Ranch owner and eyewitness Katharine Armstrong.
Katharine Armstrong: “We were shooting a covey of quail. The vice president and two others got out of the car to walk up the covey.”
Jon Stewart: “What kind of hunting story begins with getting out of your car? As I sighted the great beast before us, my shaking hands could barely engage the parking brake. Slowly, I turned off the A/C and silenced my sub-woofers…”
Many years ago I read a story about these sorts of bird hunts. They were called, not ironically, “shootenannies.” Snicker.
More tomorrow or later. Back to the grindstone.