Look, Orson Scott Card went nine months without updating his world update blog. Two months and I get a gazillion whiny comments! Come on, people! Have some faith in Blogboy!
Or don’t. Whatever.
Some behind-the-scenes info: I had hoped to have moved this blog to a bigger and better locale, but, after considerable wheeling and dealing, that is not to be. So I have a choice – let it languish forever, or see if I can start it back up and keep it going. So I have chosen B, which, if you’re familiar with the alphabet, is the second letter therein, meaning I choose choice two. Ta da!
The problem is, what should I say with my big return? There’s been so much that’s happened in the past few weeks that I’m not sure how to wrap a whole blog around it.
So let’s just begin with tidbits:
Barack Obama is essentially incompetent. I don’t think he’s evil; I don’t think he’s stupid; I don’t think he’s Bill Clinton, who was the embodiment of sleaze. But the guy has the most massive Democratic majorities in Congress since Lyndon Johnson, and he can’t accomplish anything. I think, overall, that’s a good thing, since what he wants to accomplish is statist nonsense, but it’s astonishing to me how ineffective he is.
That’s one of the reasons the Nobel Peace Prize was such a colossal embarrassment – it highlighted the fact that he’s done absolutely nothing of substance in his first year of his presidency. Add the Olympics debacle, and you have a president who is applauded more loudly even as his proposals go down in defeat. It’s truly bizarre.
The other irony is that in international affairs, Barack Obama is really no different from George W. Bush. The rhetoric is certainly different: close Gitmo! Out of Iraq! End the Bush interrogation policies! But the actions are identical. Gitmo is open and will remain so indefinitely; we’re following Bush’s slow and deliberate Iraq withdrawal timetable, and the warrantless wiretapping and interrogations continue unabated. And essentially NOBODY is calling this guy on it. Never in my lifetime has a leader’s praise been so inversely proportional to his performance.
Much has been made of the Saturday Night Live piece that mocks Obama’s do-nothing administration, which you can see here.
It’s a funny piece, but what’s even funnier is that the apologists for the guy are furious that anyone had the audacity to mock him. It requires a lot more work than people anticipated to keep giving this guy a free pass.
And now for something completely different: Even the usually-alarmist BBC has noticed that Global Warming has taken the past decade off. I’m not Al Gore – I don’t think the debate is over and that the other side should be ordered to shut up, but can we please admit that, at least since 1998. the so-called scientific consensus has gotten it staggeringly wrong? As we consider dismantling the industrial economies of the world to solve a problem that seems to be solving itself, can’t we take this staggering wrongness into account? Wouldn’t it be wise to recognize that drastic carbon taxation during the world’s largest economic crisis since World War II should be based on science that HASN’T been staggeringly wrong?
It’s all probably moot, though. Obama can only get peace prizes. He can’t get Cap and Trade passed in this environment.
Switching gears again, I’m very heartened by the fact that just about everyone recognizes that Roman Polanski is scum. The Hollywood apologists who came out early to support their fellow perv – Woody Allen supports pedophilia? Really? – have been vilified appropriately, even by such unlikely voices of reason as the New York Times and Salon.com. It demonstrates just how out-of-step Hollywood is with American values, but it also refreshingly demonstrates that America still HAS values. That’s nice to know.
I wish someone would tell that to the Glenn Becks of the world.
Glenn Beck used to be my favorite talk show host. He also used to be the most reasonable. What happened? He’s approaching Michael Savage-style levels of awfulness. I can’t listen to his whining for more than five minutes at a time. Look, I know Obama is a lefty, but he is not the end of the republic as we know it! This is NOT the end of the world. America has been through much, much worse – and we’ve been far more divided than we are now. (Anyone remember a little thing called the Civil War?) In addition, politics have been far nastier than they are today. The campaign between Jefferson and Adams was far more vicious than any political pablum the current guys can serve up. Can we please stop talking like America has collapsed, especially when Obama hasn’t really been able to do much of anything?
Speaking of disappointments, I just finished reading Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. I quite liked The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, and I had a great time reading this latest piece up until the crushingly inadequate ending, even though it was kind of stupid. My problem with it wasn’t the stupidity – my problem was that the titular lost symbol is pretty much absolutely nothing. So as you read the book where people are risking their lives and panicking wildly that the lost symbol is about to be revealed, you kind of expect there to be some kind of lost symbol of some importance. I mean, The Da Vinci Code was ludicrous, but it was ludicrous in a fun way, and the Holy Grail really was kind of a big deal. This book is a lot like The Da Vinci Code, except that instead of the Holy Grail being the bones of Jesus’ wife, it’s a ham sandwich from 1974 with moldy bread and congealed mayonnaise. I’d advise you to skip it, or at least to go to a spoiler site and find out what the lost symbol actually is, and then decide if you want to waste hours of your life reading about people engaging in cloak-and-dagger mayhem to protect a ham sandwich. Although I had just been to Washington DC, so it was fun to see all the locales that were fresh in my brain.
So that’s it for now. I’m not sure how much of a pace I can keep up, but I’m not going to let this blog congeal like Dan Brown’s mayonnaise.
So can we stop the whiny comments now?