Slate Overkill?

There’s a good Slate piece by Jack Shafer today about the tiff between Andrew Sullivan and New York Times executive editor Howell Raines.

In the last graph, Shafer writes: “In typical overkill, a recent New York Post headline called the personnel changes ‘Terror Raines at the Times.'” Agreed, typical overkill. Yet on Slate’s own home page, I couldn’t help noticing the following graphic promoting their article:


Uh, can we say overkill?

Fortuyn the bell tolls…

Perhaps risking showing myself to be a completely uninformed world citizen, I will admit that until he was assassinated a week and a half ago, I’d never heard of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn. Now having read more than I ever wanted to know about him, I don’t think I was missing much.

Am I the only one embarassed and not a bit put-off by the endless defenses of web bloggers (those worth reading and those that aren’t) and how Weblogs supposedly “covered the story of Pim Fortuyn’s death better than the major media” (as one blogger put it)? I’m the last one to defend the mainstream media, whom I naturally suspect doesn’t get (or print) the whole story 99.9% of the time. But enough already. Fortuyn’s popularity was based on stoking fear among the Dutch, and as he himself said when a reporter suggested that the people who would vote for him were racist, “So what? Why they vote for me is irrelevant, but if they do they’re in safe hands.”

Why Kurt Why?

Well, lo and behold I’m once again a follower, this time jumping onto the blog bandwagon, which, if recent media appearances are any measuring stick, is quite a popular bandwagon to be jumping on at the moment (here’s one last mainstream media reference).

So beyond keeping up with the web joneses, what’s the purpose or raison d’etre of these scribblings? Well, honestly at the moment I don’t know, we’ll have to see what comes of it. For all I know 5 days from now I’ll have gotten tired of my newest soap box and it won’t be here the next time you return. It’s not like the world needs another shitlog of words and links and Google searches. In the end, I just couldn’t help myself. I didn’t just jump on the bandwagon, I got run over by it. I just couldn’t continue to live unless I added my voice to the endless orgasm of masturbatory drivel of the blogosphere.

Without knowing what it was called or that there was actually a whole subculture built around it, I actually started a weblog (or “blog” in net parlance) last September in the days post 9/11. But it petered out after only a few days’ entries. It just seemed a bit weird to be posting these thoughts for the edification of myself and me alone (although I did get one email from someone with the same last name who wrote me: “Thank god I found at least one Easterwood who’s not a redneck patriotic asshole” or something to that effect).

What else? I’m 37, live outside of Tokyo, formerly of San Francisco and before that of Honolulu, married and for now with one cat.