Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 2, 2006
By: Debra Dickerson

Dudes. Quit Bogarting....For a person WHO NEVER SHUTS UP, being asked to guest blog anywhere is a little like asking Anna Nicole Smith if she'd like to 'entertain' the newly reincarnated but still insane Howard Hughes. Duh, yes!!! Then, the time comes, guest blog time. You have two political science degrees....a law degree.......libel insurance....a huge brother who's a bouncer and cousins who'll do anything for a six-pack and a slice of sweet potato pie......all the nation's politics and policies to wax philosphical about...not to mention the planet generally and you, never-at-a-loss-for-words Debbie,.......dither. You pick one subject, then the other. You read the last six month of entries and see, one by one, every topic you've ever even mumbled about in your sleep debated ad nauseam. Thoroughly. Provocatively. The inescapable conclusion? The regulars have bogarted all the umbrage! But stay tuned. This is still America: I know I can find something fresh to be pissed off about.

Debra Dickerson 6:08 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (48)

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Comments

Say what?

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on January 2, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

How about the topic of hyper-PC sensitivity (with its evil twin of humorlessness) in today's declining civility factor? Everyone is so keen on being perpetually pissed off at the wrongs done to them that they miss the wrongs done to their neighbor--some they have committed. Isn't that a problem unto itself: just feeling the need to be pissed? Just askin'.

Posted by: MAMA on January 2, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

somehow I missed the interesting part of that post. Can you highlight it?

Posted by: morris on January 2, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

bandwidth, awastin'....

Posted by: elfranko on January 2, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

What? who cares?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on January 2, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Try this one Steven Pinker or anything else from this years "dangerous ideas" at The Edge.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on January 2, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

You ought to be pissed off that the DLC has not yet read James Kroeger's The Republican Nemesis

Posted by: Linette on January 2, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

You want topics? We'll give you topics!

Saving the Democrats.

The sorry state of our schools.

What will happen if Iran doesn't blink?

Can we expect another Fitzmas this year?

What blogs do you really hate?


Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on January 2, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

I think the cult that the bush supporters have become has not been adequately examined in the blogosphere.

Someone should document all the positions of the administration that these members of the cult support that would be an anathema either to facts or to a real conservative or to even a real Republican.

Yeah I am really pissed off with blind Bush supporters.

Posted by: lib on January 2, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Try this one Steven Pinker or anything else from this years "dangerous ideas" at The Edge.

Excellent site.

Posted by: Red State Mike on January 2, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Debbie, if you don't have anything to say, don't say it. Ther's too much noise on the internet already.

Posted by: x on January 2, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Life-of-outrage in BushAmerika is like weather in Colorado -- wait 10 minutes and something new will come along, usually something unprecedented that we can all bitch about. Can't wait to read what you have to say... tick, tick, tick...

Posted by: The Dad on January 2, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

More noise. We like noise.

See? This comment = totally pointless. A 'waste of bandwidth', but on Washington Monthly's dime, so what do I care?

My advice for topics?

When in doubt, meta-blog.

Posted by: Dadahead on January 2, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

I'm teaching 1984 this semester to college freshmen; I'm trying to think of ways to link current events to the novel, any ideas?

Posted by: Gerald on January 2, 2006 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

The very definition of evidence of not being ready for prime time.

Posted by: collounsbury on January 2, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Debbie, if you don't have anything to say, don't say it. There's too much noise on the internet already."
Agree with "x". Your degrees are irelevant if you have no insight and nothing to say of interest.
Let me give you a freebie topic: how Bush has made the American people the enemy, and made the words "freedom, democracy, liberty" into a cruel joke.

Posted by: pogo on January 2, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Como?

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on January 2, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Debra - ignore the schmucks who have already chimed in. I emailed you a mash note (based on your memoir and slate and salon posts) a few months back, and was excited when I realized you were guest-blogging here. I eagerly await your efforts. (I'm using a psuedoynm to avoid flack directed my way).

Posted by: marcel on January 2, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

For a person WHO NEVER SHUTS UP

Well, you're meta-blogging that you have nothing to say. That's pretty good. Self-control. Practice makes perfect. Yeah. That's the ticket.

You have two political science degrees....a law degree.......

My condolences. I assume the doctors told you that in time you would make a full recovery?

a huge brother who's a bouncer and cousins who'll do anything for a six-pack and a slice of sweet potato pie......

That seems more appropriate for burying bodies. So...you're blogging to kill?

You read the last six month of entries and see, one by one, every topic you've ever even mumbled about in your sleep debated ad nauseum.

The fact that a previous topic was debated to death has never stopped Kevin.

The inescapable conclusion? The regulars have bogarted all the umbrage! But stay tuned. This is still America: I know I can find something fresh to be pissed off about.

I have no fucking idea who you are. I'm sure Kevin said something, but I've slept since then.

ash
['This should be a useful irritant.']

Posted by: ash on January 2, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Take your time, Debra. Judging from your past work, whatever you do post will probably have been worth the wait. And ignore the cranks who not only give you crap for briefly mentioning a syndrome any of us who have ever blogged (or written anything) know very well, but who also have absolutely nothing worthwhile to say themselves.

In fact, here's a topic: when did it become an entitlement in this country to be an asshole and expect anyone to pay attention to you?

Posted by: jonnybutter on January 2, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Deb,

I read your post as a compliment to this site and contributing commenter's. Unfortunately, some didn't see it that way and appointed themselves comptroller of the internet before expressing it.

There is much to discuss, and even if the subject has been raised it hasn't necessarily been cast from your POV. Tell us what's on your mind.

In my book; if Kevin gave you the space it speaks volumes, and surely you must deserve more than our scorn.

Let'er rip.

Posted by: ww on January 2, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Who cares what the topic is anyway, all we ever hear is a series of monologues.

Posted by: G on January 2, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Is this blogger the Surfer Girl from slate?

If so, I look forward to her more interesting and amusing posts. That surfer girl is excellent.

Posted by: lib on January 2, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

This is still America: I know I can find something fresh to be pissed off about.

How about this:

"W" was born with a cock and you weren't.

Ain't life a bitch?

Posted by: White and Male and Christian and American on January 2, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe you stink?

Posted by: tbonz on January 2, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Blogging has to be something like writing a newspaper column. As I recall some of the newspaper men I have met over the years, they tell me that getting drunk helps sometimes. On the other hand getting sober occasionally works just as well.

Know what I would like to talk about, I would like to examine just what America is going to be like when the students ranking 38-39th in the world take over. Will we be able to compete with anybody? Can we now? Why is it we just can't get our educational act together? Parents? Schools? MTV? Dumb kids? Dumb teachers? There is a topic for you.

Want another topic how about--why would anybody want to go to law school?

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 2, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

HOWARD HUGHES


I strongly resent the Howard Hughes reference.
For those unaware his brain was affected by
the sexual disease syphilis. Gone untreated
due to the fact his mother had installed in him
a fear of doctors. Keep in mind his childhood
was spent in the midwest during the height of
measles,smallpox and polio epidemics. Before
the vaccines were invented. Back then a trip
to what ever snake oil salesmen who called
himself a doctor was often shortly followed
by a trip to the cemetery.Hollywoods picture
of him did not take into account that there
was reason for the madness.
Sorry to take it so personal. The fact
that he died with out a will. Made the
political careers of many still in power.
He did have Family who loved him.
Meda and the Legal system spun it in there
favor.

Posted by: Honey P on January 2, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Debra:

Don't know why you think you can't rehash an old topic here. For example, the one below this one is about the tenth time I've seen some variation on "what the hell can the Democrats tell people that will get them to vote for us?"

Posted by: tbrosz on January 2, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Over at HuffPo, an article by Kit Seelye of the NYT is posted. Seelye talks about the internet changing the relationship between the newspaper interviewer and the interviewee. Before it was more difficult for a subject of an interview to fight back against a perceived bias or misstatement by the reporter.
Now, many subjects of articles post their version of the interview on their web sites, sometimes in advance of the article. Instead of filing a law suit against the paper and/or forcing a retraction, one can carry the fight to the web.
However, no one mentioned in their comments about Kit Seelye's bias for Bush and her disdain of Gore and Kerry. During those elections, there was a firewall by the Public Editor or Ombudsman at the NYT which blocked any direct confrontation over their bias with any of the NYT reporters, including Bumiller and Seelye. Strange that Seelye writes about the internet allowing more confrontations with reporters, while she and other reporters at the Times are shielded from the public.

Just a thought for a thread.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 2, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I thought Howard Hughes left me a will. That Summa Corp, though, was worse than the Mafia in Las Vegas and then to have a Mormon Federal Judge get upset because the will had been left in the Temple in Salt Lake City, geez.

However, you are correct about the influence of his mother and the horrible, suffering last years for a brilliant man.

Posted by: Melvin Dummars on January 2, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, a Little Feat reference!

No admission to anyone wearing motor bike gear or any metal studded clothing, say I.

Posted by: lambert strether on January 2, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Boy did you open a can of worms!

Most bloggers have nothing to say. Admitting it is a great crime though.

Bloggers are the short order cooks of literature. If you mess up an order, their can be plenty more chances to get it right.

I've read some of your stuff, and it's good. Jump on in - the sharks are hungry.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on January 2, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Hedley Lamarr,

Como? Isn't that some Lago where you tried to drown me on our Grand Tour?

Posted by: William J LePetomaine on January 2, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Here's "something fresh" I'm kind of pissed off about: bloggers who can't spell ad nauseam.

Posted by: monocle on January 2, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Being as youre a woman, here an idea that should really should really get your juices oozing.

You can research and write about Macho Man George Bush. He is so impressive!

Check out the bragging hes done about fictional varsity rugby in college.

Check out the rough tough cheerleader experience.

Look for all those instances where he faced down bullies in his life.

Note that he was man enough to give up drinking when he was still only forty years old with no real skills.

Notice how brave he has been on those rugged running trails and gyms, ALWAYS telling the absolute truth about PRs.

Look at the old videos from his twenties and thirties when he still talked like a sissy without an accent. Now hes become a MAN with manly (and genuine) southern drawl.

And dont forget to examine his sterling performance in the military, which foreshadowed his manly top gun performance as President.

Youve got to admit, for millions of Republicans, hes the Daddy they need so bad.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 2, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Guest? No. Gassed.

Posted by: Lyn Robie on January 2, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Here's my thread topic:

Why do Americans have such a goddamn hard time dancing to music in odd time signatures?

Bob (a composer of music in odd time signatures)

Posted by: rmck1 on January 2, 2006 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Howard Hughes

Howards mother was well aware of the health
issues during the early days of his childhood.
A little known fact is that 1)the area they lived
in had no doctors. 2) The word QUARANTINED was
posted at nearly every door in there area at one
time or anouther. 3) but most important fact
was that Howard himself was left unable to
have children due to a almost fatel battle
with Smallpox.
The fake wills that materialized after his
death. Where denounced as such. The Goverment
walked away with his land,money, and companies.
Many of those companies still fund the Republican
party today. Dish Tv came from Hughes tool and die.
Howards father invented the Diamond tip
drill bit allowing oil companys to drill to
depths never before heard of. The money used
during the lean times before this bit was
marketed came from his mothers side of the
family. His grandparents from both sides of
the family rest in peace next to mine in
the family graveyard. Howard provided funds
for its up keep. Funds that stopped once
the Goverment took control of his intrest.

Posted by: Honey P on January 2, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

"There's Howard Hughes in blue suede shoes
smiling at the majorettes smoking Winston cigarettes"

--Peter Gabriel

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 2, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with the commenter above - drink heavily, the ideas will come. If I were offerred a shot at Kevin's audience, a couple of ideas I would try would be how a McCain/Lieberman independent ticket might fare against the major parties, or how about something constructive on the illegal immigration problem, like making those jumping the queue pay a hefty fine with a portion sent to the people back in the Phillipines or wherever who are playing by the rules waiting for a green card.

Posted by: wks on January 2, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Debbie, since you don't seem to actually have a topic (and managed to offer up an entire paragraph announcing it), here's one, based on *bogartization* and totally just for fun :-* .

What famous person shares your birthday?

I'll start because *bogarted* inspired me. Humphrey Bogart and I share the 1/23 birthday.

My 8 y /o's birthday is 5/29, same as JFK.

My DH shares 9/26 with Olivia Newton John.

19 y/o shares 8/10 b'day with Antonio Banderas.

17 y/o shares 7/9 with OJ Simpson & Tom Hanks.

30 y/o celebrates 11/19 with Jodie Foster.

Soooo, what famous person shares YOUR birthday?

Posted by: A Suburbanmom on January 2, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, go read Ms. Dickerson's biography before you assume she has nothing to say or needs your advice on a topic.


Certainly she has the credentials to "rehash" a number of subjects; not many guest posters actually worked in military intelligence, to give just one example.

Posted by: Joe Buck on January 3, 2006 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

...can I get some whipped cream on that sweet potato pie?

Posted by: Gordon on January 3, 2006 at 5:19 AM | PERMALINK

Any relation to John or Nancy Dickerson?

Posted by: bob h on January 3, 2006 at 6:28 AM | PERMALINK

How about the biggies that only get some irregular attention?:
1. World population. Many on the right still claim there are not too many people on earth. Example -- John Stoessel (sp?) on ABC recently debunking the "myth" of too many people on earth.
2. The sustainability of our civilization from an energy/resource stand point.
3. China -- when will this cluster**** explode?
4. Coal and global warming -- are we priming the pump to exploit this resource to the max?
5. Collapse. How many people really believe we have a chance to salvage this system that seems to have us on an unalterable course to ruin? How many of us care enough to really alter our way of living beyond techno fixes like hybrid cars?
6. Vision. Who are the real visionaries that might save us from ourselves? What chances do visionaries have to gain enough power in our political system to lead us?
7. Growth. Are there any economic theories that would allow the economy to function without growth. Is negative growth possible? All sides of the political spectrum claim that growth is essential and a pancea to all kinds of social and political problems. This just does not seem to jive with ecological reality.
8. The irrelevency of political labels. Are labels like left, right, conservative, liberal so irrelevent to addressing all the above that they just get in the way to getting ourselves out of the box?

The biggies seem to get lost in muddle of our daily discourse about Iraq, Bush, Katrina, etc. Are we losing sight of the big picture or is it so depressing and the problems so huge and intractible that no politician will confront them honestly?

Posted by: lou on January 3, 2006 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

Here you go, Debra--

Talk about your experiences at Osan Air Base.

Many Americans have no idea that there even is an Osan Air Base, deep in the middle of what is still Korean farm country.

I was last on Osan in 2002 and there are probably a few readers who have been there since. Osan is still situated at the base of a massive fortress of a hill, which withstood the North Korean onslaught, it is still a hardship tour for the Air Force (but not us Army folks--we kind of laugh at the idea of Osan as a hardship--my barracks were full of rats, had no phone lines, and I got to live in a building where the mold caused the wall outside the latrine to cave in)

Osan is surrounded by a massive ville, a retail shopping area that attracts Americans. There are all kinds of things you could talk about, relating your experiences at Osan. For example, the importance of Osan has increased because Yongsan garrison is shutting down and US forces are moving to the south.

e-mail me off line if you want more info. I think more Americans should know about the US presence in Korea and how it is radically different from any other 'occupation' or mission currently underway.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 3, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Be sure to mention the "head" bars!

Posted by: Mysticdog on January 3, 2006 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

song and music
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song and music

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song and music

Posted by: song and music on January 4, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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