Thursday, August 22, 2013


From out of the past, Jeff Jarvis on the NSA revelations:
As a Democrat, I am disgusted with President Obama
I haven't paid attention to Jarvis for a while, preferring the 2.0 Twitter version, FakeJeffJarvis ("Other kids dreamed of being an astronaut. I dreamed of having 500+ LinkedIn connections"). I remember him as the right wing's second favorite futurist, and one of their very favorite bullshit liberals; a man who described himself as "a former liberal pacifist transformed by 9/11 into an avid warblogger," and of whom a fan aptly said to Ann Althouse, "I think people on the right are also horrified at just how left the left has become when people like you and Jeff Jarvis and Instapundit are labeled as conservative or hard right..."

Jarvis has been since-9/11-outraged-by-Chappaquidick for a long time. I also recall him after the 2006 Congressional elections, wishing Joe Lieberman's victory would deprive the Democrats of a Senate majority. And in the 2008 campaign there were few standard-issue anti-Obama sentiments Jarvis did not circulate. March 21, 2008: "I may be the only person who’s not become worshipful of Obama’s speech on race and religion and who finds it more disturbing the more I think about it." April 30, 2008: "Now I’m actually angrier about Obama and the Rev. Wright than before." Etc.

After Obama won, Jarvis was momentarily pleased:
I have been impressed with Obama post-election. He has been moving to the center, where I am glad to see him. He has been unafraid to work with strong characters from the Clinton administration, including his rival. He was unafraid to reach out with a peace offering to the left’s boogeyman, Joseph Lieberman.
Thereafter he used Obama as a means of flogging his usual futurist schtick -- "Now that Barack Obama is in the White House, he must continue to use and spread the tools of the internet and transparency that he so brilliantly plied to win the office or else it would make his promises of change empty."

But Jarvis' thinkfluence didn't amount to much, and now in 2013 he's decided to take a bold stand "as a Democrat" against Obama because of the NSA.  This from a guy who used to say when people bitched about the NSA under a President not named Obama, "this isn’t as simple as raising the tattered-from-overuse privacy flag" -- also known as the "privacy buggabuzzword."

When it's important I'm willing to make common cause with some rightwing asshole to push the tide back on civil liberties. But when you line up with Rand Paul you know what you're getting. Jarvis is so full of shit, he's as useless as an ally as he is as an opponent -- maybe even more useless; he discredits any cause by adopting it. I'm beginning to think newspapers would already be utterly dead by now if Jarvis hadn't spent the past ten years predicting it.


  1. bekabot10:33 PM

    "I may be the only person who’s not become worshipful of Obama’s speech on race and religion and who finds it more disturbing the more I think about it."

    "Now I’m actually angrier about Obama and the Rev. Wright than before."

    This is one of the things that's wrong with these people. They're not normal. They don't get mad the way a normal person does: a normal person gets mad and then gets over it. They're not even industry-standard grudge-holders like me: a run-of-the-mill grudge-holder gets mad and then stays that way, without diminution but without increase. (Classic example.) No, these people get mad and stay mad but the longer they stay mad the madder they get. They end up as boundless cornucopias of ill-feeling. It's like they shattered a spatiotemporal barrier.

    "I'm beginning to think newspapers would already be utterly dead by now if Jarvis hadn't spent the past ten years predicting it."

    No doubt. Some recondite branch of physics seems to be involved in the way these people behave and in the predictions they make. Look at William Kristol. Consider Karl Rove. Their wrongness is not as the wrongness of ordinary men — because unlike the wrongness or ordinary men the wrongness of Kristol and Rove warps space and bends time. If it can drop a world-beating empire down a spider hole it can keep the newspapers hanging on past their appointed time.

  2. Tehanu10:44 PM

    Wait a minute. I was reading Jeff's effusion earlier today and he went on and on about how awful Obama is about civil liberties and all the other things us actual lefties care about. This is the same guy who was happy that Obama was "moving to the center"? WTF? Doesn't he even notice himself turning in two directions at once?

  3. Jeffrey_Kramer10:47 PM

    You protest alongside the idiots and assholes you've got, not the idiots and assholes you wish you had.

  4. gfburke10:49 PM

    It's hilarious to me that the very same people who spent 2001-2008 deriding anyone against the war on terror, patriot act etc. as traitors are now looking at the NSA and going "OMG THIS IS TERRIBLE" . Wait, this is precisely what they asked for. Screamed for, in fact, repeatedly, loudly, and shouting down any disagreement as active treason. I remember asking all the hawks of my acquaintance "So what happens when Hillary Clinton gets her hands on this vast secret intelligence network we're building?" the response was invariably: "She won't."

    Wait did I say hilarious? I meant to say "completely depressing"

  5. So what you're saying is, if Jarvis makes a prediction about the state of Schrodinger's cat, it will invariably turn out to be the opposite? This could be a very important revelation for quantum physics.

  6. I've never understood where you're coming from about making "common cause" with Rand Paul. His anti-drone stance lasted about five minutes. His cause in making that anti-drone speech wasn't to fight the expansion of drone warfare, it was to cement his position in the public eye as a defender of civil liberties, and I assume that making Rand Paul look like something he's not is not your cause, in which case you have no common cause with him. Dude doesn't give a shit about drones is my point.

  7. montag211:35 PM

    Partisan petty tyrants come and go, but the shadow government is always there, lurking.

    Makes one wonder why all these concerned citizens are obsessed with the sideshow, when the main event is much more important.

  8. Well that's the whole point of the sideshow, isn't it?

  9. well, i happen to think that jeff jarvis is a bold thought leader who has written another innovative and ground-breaking column that will disrupt the paradigm and shift the narrative.

  10. bekabot12:06 AM

    Sure. It's like Jesus and Lazarus, only in reverse. So if Jarvis were Jesus, he'd say, "Lazarus, arise!!" — and Lazarus would dissolve into a puddle of goo. But if Jarvis, as Jesus, were to say instead: "Uh, Lazarus, sorry old son, but your sisters have decided that they're better off without you, and they want Me to make sure you stay good and dead" then Lazarus zings out of the tomb like a trick snake out of a canister. Simple enough in effect but it would take a smarter person than me to figure out why it works that way. Schrodinger might be able to do it.

  11. moelarryandjesus12:15 AM

    I once saw Jeff Jarvis eat a live gopher. He held it by the head and ate it from the legs up.

    So you might want to be careful when you talk about him. Know what I mean?

    No condiments, either. Just one big raw squirming gopher. It was terrifying.

  12. Spaghetti Lee12:26 AM

    The paradigm had it coming.

  13. mgmonklewis12:28 AM

    Jeff Jarvis is Camille Paglia?

  14. AGoodQuestion12:42 AM

    Okay, having gotten out of the boat, I found myself falling into a depressed slumber by the time I reached the island. But what I was able to make out loud and clear is that Jarvis has no interest in tracing what went wrong with civil liberties in America. (Hint: It started before Obama was even a US Senator.) For that matter, he doesn't show much interest in the specifics of the NSA surveillance stories at all. In his telling it's just something that's big and bad and All Obama's Fault. The man is Glenn Beck without the flair.

  15. ColBatGuano2:38 AM

    I didn't see anything about Madonna in there, so I don't think so.

  16. DocAmazing2:39 AM

    You'd open Schrodinger's box and find a dog within.

  17. skylights4:05 AM

    Holy crap, most obvious concern troll ever.

  18. Another Kiwi4:11 AM

    Just the poop. "Hi" it would say "I'm Jeff Jarvis"

  19. coozledad8:13 AM

    God damn it, Jarvis You know it's always the five of diamonds.

  20. mortimer20008:18 AM

    I'm guessing Jarvis has Liberal Democrat Most Linked by Instapundit!
    on his Cloudspeak™ E-Ink digital business card by now. Has he written his If Trayvon had been an Open Web entrepreneur he'd still be alive post yet?
    And mucho thanks for the link to the hilarious FakeJeffJarvis. It's impossible to tell from the real thing.

  21. O.T., perhaps...

  22. edroso9:06 AM

    Oh, I know what Paul was up to. But that filibuster got the issue on the radar for a lot of people. Paul's behavior before and after is pretty self-debunking, but U.S. drone policy still stinks and more people are aware of it.

    The NSA stinks, too, but what Jarvis is doing won't help. Not because he's any more or less devious than Paul, but because the issue is already live and Jarvis adds nothing to it but self-credentialing.

  23. Halloween_Jack9:24 AM

    Well, if there's one thing that could kill the mainstream media for good, it's this bit of news. Good luck, CUNY.

  24. montag29:31 AM

    Clearly from this, grade inflation is not nearly the biggest problem facing higher education these days....

  25. teresa9:49 AM

    Jarvis certainly took a many years nap before getting upset about NSA. Glad he's totally quick and on top of things. Hopefully he responds faster to problems at his home than did on this.

  26. whetstone10:16 AM

    This. All of it. I'm in the web side of the industry and there has been nothing more insufferable than Jeff Jarvis. You want to know what the Future of Journalism is? It's NOT WRITING LIKE JEFF JARVIS. At least start there and you are headed in the right direction.

  27. redoubt10:34 AM

    As Richard Nixon himself might have said, "When the Republican President does it, that means that it is not illegal."

  28. mgmonklewis10:42 AM

    I almost mentioned that in my comment, but I was overcome by the Dionysian, paradigm-disrupting performance of a Brazilian chanteuse, and was rendered temporarily incoherent. Much like la Paglia.</em

  29. LittlePig10:52 AM

    Gack, that's awful.

    "I'm a professional"

    Yes Jeff, it was pretty clear from the get-go that it was only a matter of haggling over price.

  30. DocAmazing11:48 AM

    It's not even bandwagon-hopping; it's bandwagon-awareness, and he seems to expect praise for becoming aware that the building is on fire as the guys in slickers and helmets are escorting him outside.

  31. XeckyGilchrist12:14 PM

    True, but it is also worth pointing out repeatedly that no liberal should ever seriously support Rand Paul.

  32. Mr. Wonderful12:27 PM

    Fake Jeff Jarvis had me in tears o' mirth. In that spirit, can I suggest that nothing is cheaper or more tackily pornographic than journalistic futurism? From Future Shock to Megatrends to Dow 36,000 etc., it's a Sunday supplement (you can kiss that term good-bye) racket--"extrapolating" from some new little development without being burdened by the requirements of plot and characters, as in honest s.f.

    I was about to say that someone should write a parody of it, but then at the last moment remembered that I already did (with my partner, Danny Abelson) at Lampoon in the Year of Our Lord 197fucking5.

  33. Mr. Wonderful12:29 PM

    I yearn for the harsh-but-fair-minded guidance of someone to whom I can bow deferentially, click my heels, and reply, "Yes, Thought Leader."

  34. tigrismus12:46 PM

    Linky? Because that sounds AWESOME.

  35. ColBatGuano12:58 PM

    Watching too much porn will do that to you. Or so I've heard.

  36. Jay B.1:08 PM

    IN THE FUTURE...Man will be naked, except for his clothes. There will be more trees, but less shade. We will all be rich, but money will be worthless. THINK ABOUT IT.

  37. So in summary- personal attacks, slander, personal attacks, and name calling. Wow, let me digest the wonder that was that blog post.

  38. Mr. Wonderful2:21 PM

    Here's a pdf of the issue. Scroll to pdf p. 57. But, uh, it's not quite what I remember--it's more a parody of what later would be called New Age pop psych-philosophy-sociology. And be kind. We were 25 when we wrote it:

  39. Gentlewoman2:33 PM

    This your first time on the riverboat, Slim?

  40. ''In The Year 2000...''

    ''The Catholic Church will decide that it needs a leader one step above the Pope. His title will be Captain Popetastic.''

    Hey, wait a minute ...

  41. Yeah, The Guardian's "Comment is free" gets that a lot.

  42. Jay B.2:52 PM

    Did you actually care to make an argument? To rebut, in some way, the premise that Jarvis laid down for Bush over the exact same thing he's "disappointed" about with the "Nixonian" Obama Administration? Or would you prefer a nice pillow for your fainting couch?

  43. tigrismus3:01 PM

    Lord, hilarious but WAY too close to reality.

  44. ohsopolite3:01 PM

    Oh, the incivility! I haz a sad...

  45. RogerAiles3:32 PM

    D minus. Next time, show your work.

  46. RogerAiles3:36 PM

    Cigarettes, stereo equipment and titties.

    The 70s were the Golden Age of Magazine Publishing.

  47. Everything that you think, do, and say /
    Is in the National Review email that you got today

  48. satch6:35 PM

    Oh, sorry, teacher. For a minute there I thought you were talking about Jarvis...

  49. glennisw12:23 PM

    Rand Paul March 6, 2013: " “That your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.”

    Rand Paul, April 23, 2013: "“I have never argued against any technology being used against having an imminent threat, [or] an act of crime going on...If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and 50 dollars in cash I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.”

    Rand Paul's fine sensibility for due process brings a tear to my eye.

  50. glennisw12:28 PM

    I want to simultaneously like and not like this comment.

  51. Halloween_Jack9:44 AM

    It's chock-full o' fiber to keep things moving along, which I'm guessing is something that you need desperately.

  52. Halloween_Jack9:46 AM

    If this comment dealt me a seventeen, I'd hit it.

  53. MuhamadFarhan10:38 PM

    Well things like this were always bound to happen. It was just a matter of time.


    Freelance Dance Instructor

  54. google9:43 PM

    Sick to Heard that, isn't ?