Monday, April 26, 2010

Multi Multa; Nemo Omnia Novit - Blogging by Numbers!!

If the Latin in the title escaped you, it means "Everything tastes better with Nutella" - Caligula was a big fan of the stuff. He claimed the hazel-nutty goodness soothed his neurosyphilis. Actually it means "many know many things; no one knows everything", which is a good description for blogging by numbers. It might sound a little pretentious, like those people who decorate their kitchens with replicas of obscure French advertising posters from the 1920's (actually, I'm one of those people - which makes me a bit of a douchebag, I guess). I bring it up because there's been a rather curious debate amongst our friends at NRO over the habit of using a foreign word or phrase when an English one would have been equally suitable. John Derbyshire and James Bowman are probably the worst offenders (if this can even be considered an offense), but in Mr. Bowman's recent article The End Of History, he makes the best case against dumbing down society in his critique of Christopher Alden's rather flighty take on Don Giovanni.

"What else was Christopher Alden doing by taking away Don Giovanni’s tragedy and terror and making him into a rock star avant la lettre? What else was what Maria Aitken doing with As You Like It but converting Shakespeare into an extended essay in celebrity-worship? The idea in both cases was to make the works "accessible" to modern audiences — which sounds like a good idea until you reflect on what it takes to make something accessible to those with no interest in history."

I like fart jokes and making armpit zerberts by flapping my arms like an epileptic duck as much as the next guy, but I've often noted the weird trend of people using texting acronyms in conversation. OMG's were bad enough, but over the weekend Claire and I overheard people loudly exclaiming "Question Mark!" in the place simply saying (or asking) "pardon?" I don't even know where to begin with the myriad of problems I have with this, or the overarching implications of such a thing for our society in general.

Let the blogging by numbers begin.

1 - Alicia Lewis and Ashli Briggs like to dig through the trash. Around these parts we call them hobos, but over at the Huffpo and The New York Times they're the next Woodward and Bernstein. Lewis and Briggs, students at California State University, brought two bags of garbage to Attorney General Jerry Brown in a pathetic attempt to bring trumped up ethics violation charges against the university administrators under a vague public disclosure law. The students claim to have found five pages of a contract for an upcoming speaking engagement featuring Sarah Palin stuffed within 2 massive garbage bags of shredded paper.

The university has shot back, claiming (correctly) that they are "...protected by both a privacy clause in her contract and a state law that shields public university foundations from the Public Records Act."

The students are motivated by nothing other than pure hatred of Sarah Palin, who Attorney General Brown has stressed is in no way involved with the dispute. They are wasting both tax payer money and time trying to smear former Governor Palin's name by proxy. No public funds are being used for Governor Palin's speaking engagement, and the details of a private contract between the university and a speaker should be of no concern to anyone. The university has not violated any laws, but the students' very public appearances, garbage bags in hand, and the media's eagerness to imply impropriety has certainly left the University in a difficult position. Lewis and Briggs should focus more on their studies, and to quote The Narrator from Fight Club ; "...maybe you shouldn't bring me every little piece of trash you happen to pick up"

2 - The Hype will be updated less frequently in the coming months. My mother is battling cancer, and I'm sure you can appreciate that family concerns are my immediate priority. Mom is doing well and asks for your prayers. Well wishes and emails of support for her can be sent directly to TSH's mailbox at .

3 - Mark Steyn proposed an interesting scenario for contemplation on National Review last week;

"...imagine Neville Chamberlain in 1938 hosting a conference on the dangers of rearmament, and inviting America, France, Brazil, Liberia, and Thailand . . . but not even mentioning Germany."

True enough. If the president was truly committed to non-proliferation, he would have made actual global threats such as Iran, North Korea, and Syria the focus of the summit. That sort of bold action would have been, to quote the President, “what this moment in history demands".

4 - Our good friend Jonah Goldberg managed to finagle a sweet gig over at the American Enterprise Institute as a visiting fellow. I guess they figured he can't screw it up any worse than David Frum...At the very least, he'll show up. He may show up drunk, but he'll show up. I joke of course. Jonah Goldberg has not only become the face of National Review, he has repackaged conservatism to a new audience without compromising any of the core principals of our ideology - though I've always suspected he's reluctant to define conservatism as an ideology (see H Stuart Hughes). We wish Jonah nothing but the best in his endeavours to protect us all from a fiery death by being a staunch advocate for the latest in volcano lancing technology.

5 - Have you not heard?

6 - That is all.



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