Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A LACK OF INSPIRATION. Someone questioned me the other day about my recent lack of attention to some traditional alicublog bĂȘtes noires. I understand that longtime followers of this site like to see their favorite characters on a regular basis. But sometimes it's just out of my hands.

For instance: We've had some good fun here at Megan McArdle's expense, and someday, God willing, we'll have more. But lately, McArdle's site is like an endless series of climactic scenes from "I Love Lucy" episodes: after a while, her buffoonish 'splainin' that she didn't really mean the U.S. Army breeds rightwing terrorists, or that Rhodesia should never have gained independence, is more wearying than funny. And the station breaks are, as always, insufferable.

And I regret to say that Jonah Goldberg has also become a disappointment. Since his book came out -- perhaps because he considers himself above it all now, wears a beret, and has his Cheetos brought to him by interns -- Goldberg mostly amuses himself at The Corner with recycled internet gags, or such content-free musings as this:
The death penalty used to be constitutional for barn-burning, horse stealing, fairly minor thefts etc. I completely agree that our evolving standards of decency make that seem like overkill, pardon the pun. But is it really a sign of our evolving standards of decency that brutally raping a child is also on that list? Are we more decent because we don't consider that a capital offense? I don't really see it.
This sounds like something the average person might write if he had neither an opinion on nor an idea of what he was talking about. In fact, Goldberg sounds like someone who is being forced to write -- someone, that is, who isn't a professional writer and expected to come up to snuff regardless -- rather than the rubber-doll wrestler we have come to know and love.

This is one of the things we all hate about journalism: despite our best efforts to make it come out the right way, sometimes events fuck it up. Think of it like "ER," and try to develop relationships with some of the up-and-comers.

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