Other Stuff, 5/4/06
Quick thoughts on the rest of the universe:
* I do hope Zacarias Moussaoui had fun carrying on like a James Bond villian in court, because his fun is over and now he’s off to an 8×8 room for the rest of his life, which one hopes is nice and long. I am happy and impressed that the jury didn’t decide to give him the death penalty; it both denied Moussaoui what he wanted (for his own delusions of martyrdom), and denied the government what it wanted, which would have covered up all its various acts of incompetence prosecuting the case. That’s as much of a happy ending as this case it going to get.
* A piece on SFSignal about SF writers and their Web sites (including me and mine). It’s a fine article, although I can’t help wonder when we’re going to get to the point where authors promoting themselves online isn’t going to be that big of a deal anymore (which is to say, when no one will think about writing about it any more). I think reality-wise we’re pretty much at that point, particularly in SF; the number of working SF writers who don’t have an online presence can pretty much be counted on one’s fingers. At the very least, I take for granted that I can find writers online, and I’m always confused when I can’t.
* Over at Boing Boing, an entry about the difference between the Washington Press Corps and the rest of us, which is that we think Colbert’s performance at the correspondence dinner was funny, and they didn’t (which is the excuse not to write about it). I think the real problem was that according to this NYT article, the guy who booked Colbert didn’t actually get the fact that Colbert’s schtick was what it was. This is like hiring a stripper for your kid’s birthday party because she starts her act in a clown costume. If you aren’t paying attention, you’re to blame.
That said, I do have to say I think rather too much is being made of the Colbert thing. Look, he did his thing at a gig, the audience was confused and that’s pretty much the story. I think that Colbert’s performance is being retrofitted as a great moment in confronting power with mockery when it really was just Colbert doing what he was under the impression he was hired to do, which is say, the act which made him famous. I enjoyed it as much as the rest of y’all; I just don’t think it was a significant moment in American dissent. The only real lesson to be learned here is that the White House correspondents maybe ought to pay more attention to who they’re hiring as entertainment so there’s no confusion on the matter when the dude gets up to talk.
* The Cato Institute rips Dubya a new one on the matter of the Constitution. Go Cato Institute. The Cato folks lose me in a lot of places regarding policy and philosophy, but we’re on the same side of the street with this one.