Michael Bérubé Joins Crooked Timber

by Scott McLemee on March 19, 2007

When a rumor began to circulate during the first week in January that Michael Bérubé would soon be shutting down his blog—confirmed in due course by an official statement/explanation—it was big news in this little world of “web” “logs.” Sure, there are plenty of places online where you can find discussions of Stuart Hall, economic populism, Ralph Nader, the NHL, and disability studies. Just not all in the same place at the same time. Bérubé had been at it for three years, during which he built up a large readership and even managed to include a number of blog entries in a collection of essays published by a university press.

So when the news got out, there was a general groan of dismay from many quarters of the academic and lefty/progressive commentariat in the United States. And in particular from that subset of each consisting of hockey fans. The shutting down of Bérubé’s blog also met, it must be said, with cheering from members of the Peoples’ Revolutionary Committee for a Committee of Revolutionary Peoples who were still upset that he had occasionally written disobliging things about Slobodan Milosevic.

No doubt there were also sighs of relief—gentle tears of gratitude, even—elsewhere.

It was in short an epochal event: the end of an institution, the twilight of an era, etc. Then came February and it all really was history.

Well, after some downtime—during which he’s probably written a couple of books—Michael Bérubé is now joining Crooked Timber. He is being taught the secret password (“Is there no help for the widow’s son?”) and handshake even now. In the meanwhile, please join me in welcoming Michael back into the fray.

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{ 92 comments }

1

peter ramus 03.20.07 at 12:14 am

Welcome, Michael. Looking foward to 5 or 6 thousand well-chosen words on Stuart Hall. Cheers.

2

Tyrone Slothrop 03.20.07 at 12:15 am

w00t!

3

apostropher 03.20.07 at 12:18 am

Hooray!

4

Jackmormon 03.20.07 at 12:21 am

I hope he has brought cargo.

5

LizardBreath 03.20.07 at 12:45 am

Holbo meets his match.

6

Patrick Nielsen Hayden 03.20.07 at 12:51 am

Best blogosphericalistic news I’ve heard all month.

7

Dæn 03.20.07 at 12:58 am

Whoa, this is almost as cool as Johnny Marr joining Modest Mouse. Almost.

8

vkri 03.20.07 at 12:58 am

Wonderful. I’m glad he cannot overcome his addiction which is great for us readers.

9

Kieran Healy 03.20.07 at 1:00 am

_“Is there no help for the widow’s son?”_

Crap, I thought it was “The tentative owl hoots in the night.”

10

Ian Gray 03.20.07 at 1:05 am

Huzzah!

11

DILBERT DOGBERT 03.20.07 at 1:08 am

Reading this I searched feverishly for his name on the left of this page. NOT TO BE FOUND!!! You are just pulling the legs of us readers. Shame on you.

12

Aaron Swartz 03.20.07 at 1:14 am

Woohoo!

13

Scott Eric Kaufman 03.20.07 at 1:20 am

Welcome back, Michael. My only question is, will your commenters play nice with the CT regulars, or will we soon be privy to threads the likes of which have never been seen before?

14

otto 03.20.07 at 1:23 am

Surely, now, the Crooked Timber T-shirts-n-mugs cannot be long in making their appearance…

15

Cala 03.20.07 at 1:29 am

The cagéd whale knows nothing of the mighty depths.

16

Randy Paul 03.20.07 at 1:44 am

Michael,

I couldn’t envision a better match than you at Crooked Timber. I’m happy to see you blogging again.

Does this mean the return of ABF Friday?

17

Kieran Healy 03.20.07 at 1:45 am

To the axeman all supplicants are the same height.

18

bitchphd 03.20.07 at 1:48 am

Awesome.

19

PZ Myers 03.20.07 at 1:55 am

Aww, can you just picture the poor guy, shutting down his blog and then going through the spastic withdrawal fits, fingers twitching, brain itching to belch forth more liberal propaganda on the web? I knew he couldn’t stay away.

It bodes ill for the rest of us though — there is no escape.

20

oneoffmanmental 03.20.07 at 1:57 am

\O/

21

the cubist 03.20.07 at 2:01 am

Hallelu! It appears we are all giant Berube fireball now…

22

Ted 03.20.07 at 2:02 am

And the damn Rangers just beat Pittsburgh.

23

dsquared 03.20.07 at 2:14 am

If it was Stuart Hall you wanted, I could have done that. I used to watch Northwest Tonight and It’s a Knockout all the time when I was a kid.

24

Richard Cownie 03.20.07 at 2:29 am

Great news! Now how about coaxing Fafnir and
Giblets out of retirement ? I really need to hear
the Fafblog explanation of why the US Attorneys
were fired …

25

bloix 03.20.07 at 2:42 am

I thought he was joining Pandagon? Don’t tell me he’s doing both?

26

Seth Finkelstein 03.20.07 at 2:43 am

“I really need to hear the Fafblog explanation of why the US Attorneys were fired …”

Ditto (err …). Something like “The US attorneys were fired in the interests of justice, because when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal”.

27

Adam Kotsko 03.20.07 at 2:49 am

Two months is the best he could do? Does Penn State only offer HMO coverage, or what?

28

"As You Know" Bob 03.20.07 at 3:13 am

This is good news.

But the world waits for an answer to the most important question of our time:

Does this mean that CT will inherit “ABF Friday”??

29

Jonathan 03.20.07 at 3:15 am

<<Nay>> in the “Last Exit from Springfield” guy’s voice.

30

Jonathan 03.20.07 at 3:15 am

“Nay,” I mean.

31

KCinDC 03.20.07 at 3:15 am

If Giblets had fired the US attorneys, he would have fired them INTO THE SUN!

32

Michael Bérubé 03.20.07 at 3:20 am

Thanks, everyone. And now it’s time for Mister Comment Answer Man:

My only question is, will your commenters play nice with the CT regulars, or will we soon be privy to threads the likes of which have never been seen before?

The correct answer is (b)!

Does Penn State only offer HMO coverage, or what?

See above! (b)!

I thought he was joining Pandagon? Don’t tell me he’s doing both?

Once again, (b)! But I’m only on the p/t crew over at Pandagon — weekends and occasional penalty killing.

Does this mean the return of ABF Friday?

I don’t see why not, if ABF Friday is to be truly A.

I really need to hear the Fafblog explanation of why the US Attorneys were fired.

I thought everyone already knew I was Fafblog. Whatever. I’ll try to have something ready and crookedtimberworthy on Thursday. See you all then!

33

David 03.20.07 at 3:39 am

wonderful news. calls for a pun combining vigorous expression of approval and the Canadian nudge: “Fuckin’, eh?”

34

Tyrone Slothrop 03.20.07 at 3:40 am

I’ll try to have something ready and crookedtimberworthy on Thursday.

Thursday? That’s three whole days from now. Or a little more than two, if you post something bright and early Thursday morning.

I don’t mean to be critical, but in The Old Regime and the French Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville suggested that the French Revolution came not when things were at their worst, but when the French people had started to think that things had improved, only then to be disappointed.

35

Sam 03.20.07 at 3:45 am

The return of MB is the best news I’ve heard in a long time.

36

Sean Carroll 03.20.07 at 3:49 am

I don’t want to say I told you so; which is, admittedly, just a way of saying I told you so.

37

bloix 03.20.07 at 4:21 am

Don’t encourage him. You want to have to read 3,000 words twice a day?

38

David Moles 03.20.07 at 5:27 am

Awesome. Maybe I can even stop forlornly reloading my michaelberube.com bookmark.

39

John Quiggin 03.20.07 at 6:11 am

CT EYES ONLY

Due to the undisciplined disclosure of the password and the backup password, we now have to move to the emergency special executive password “Time flies like an arrow”.

CLOSE

40

Zarquon 03.20.07 at 6:41 am

“But fruit flies like a banana”
Ha Ha Ha
All your base are belong to us!

41

Evan 03.20.07 at 7:12 am

Fucking sweet.

42

Bill Humphries 03.20.07 at 7:25 am

And I look forward to his annual handicapping of the Stanley Cup post. I mean, after all, the Predators and Sabres could you know, choke at the last minute.

43

tom hurka 03.20.07 at 9:15 am

Hockey on CT? Can’t wait.

44

Michael Greinecker 03.20.07 at 9:27 am

*standing ovations*

45

zebbidie 03.20.07 at 10:19 am

I shall bake a cake in the shape of a small thermonuclear device.

Interestingly, I still read the blog of the “Peoples’ Revolutionary Committee for a Committee of Revolutionary Peoples” and he had the following remark:

“The gentrified, capital-intensive arts industry in the UK with its yawn-enforcing, funereal parade of provocations, contains some market-savvy people with purse-strings who know how to spot a trend.

Interesting because when I read it, my first thought was, “I must point that out to Michael Berube coz that kicks arse”.

Pathetic really.

46

Kelly 03.20.07 at 10:44 am

Don’t encourage him. You want to have to read 3,000 words twice a day?
Wait… reading 10,000+ words a day isn’t normal?

…someone could pass that along to the chair of my department. ;-) (And right after that, go find my boss…)

Welcome to CT Michael!

47

The Constructivist 03.20.07 at 10:45 am

re: #8 and #36: dammit, you beat me to those lines. I have nothing…but joy!

48

greensmile 03.20.07 at 12:28 pm

But he was a real touch of class while he lasted at Pandagon. [it was an odd association to my mind] Though he did show some discipline there by coming in at under 20,000 words per essay. Michael, I hardly new ye.

you’ll find my IP on your hit counter a little more often now.

49

SamChevre 03.20.07 at 2:06 pm

Yeah!

Theory Tuesdays!

50

Tim 03.20.07 at 2:10 pm

Hooray! Welcome, Michael.

51

charles pierce 03.20.07 at 2:26 pm

And just in time for the playoffs, too.
The Cup’s coming to Nashville, Canuckistan!

52

Ginger Yellow 03.20.07 at 3:02 pm

Understated British congratulatory post.

53

John Protevi 03.20.07 at 3:41 pm

Will the trolls you banned at your old place get a fresh start here?

54

Jonquil 03.20.07 at 3:43 pm

I dance the dance of the Return of Spring and Good Commentary.

55

tl 03.20.07 at 4:17 pm

answered prayers.

56

Thomas Allen 03.20.07 at 4:44 pm

The We Are All Giant Nuclear Fireball Now Party rejoices! When will the Show Trials begin?

57

George 03.20.07 at 4:51 pm

Great news, but I wish I had heard before I sent my computer’s accent marks off for spring cleaning. You are cruel to be kind, sir, but in the right measure.

58

Laura 03.20.07 at 4:53 pm

I demand the latest installment on the kids.

59

dmh 03.20.07 at 5:52 pm

I look forward to Berube renewing the greatest debate ever joined–what is the greatest pop song of all time. For the record, Help!

60

D. Hyland 03.20.07 at 5:55 pm

…’bout damn time! (And the Rangers won last night, too!)
—daveh

61

fardels bear 03.20.07 at 6:44 pm

I hear the gooseberries are doing well this year… and so are the mangoes.

62

mark 03.20.07 at 7:00 pm

zut alors!

63

Turbonerd 03.20.07 at 7:07 pm

John has a long mustache.

64

Nell 03.20.07 at 7:55 pm

And then a miracle happened!

What delightful news, and just in time for the playoff push. Will send rooting vibes Rangers-ward, since the Thrashers finally have a bit of breathing room.

65

Davis X. Machina 03.20.07 at 7:58 pm

Stuart Hall, hell.

I want a few chosen words on Robert Hall. And Anderson Little.

66

c 03.20.07 at 8:53 pm

And Richard Hell.

67

sidereal 03.20.07 at 8:57 pm

…many quarters of the academic and lefty/progressive commentariat in the United States. And in particular from that subset of each consisting of hockey fans.

All 15 of them? Impressive

68

greensmile 03.20.07 at 9:55 pm

Kieran, how did you come by that bit of executioner’s lore?

69

Rugosa 03.21.07 at 12:23 am

Chris Clarke came back from a short hiatus and joined Pandagon, now Prof. Be(accent)ru(no accent)be(accent) comes back from a short hiatus. There is joy in Mudville!

70

Henry Holland 03.21.07 at 12:24 am

IIRC, Mr. Berube is a Rangers fan. The sports pages in the LA Times today described the Rangers playoff run thus: “the surging New York Rangers”. Now that he’s back with a regular gig, it’ll be interesting to read his thoughts when the Rangers implode, as they surely will, and miss the playoffs.

71

The Constructivist 03.21.07 at 1:01 am

#56: perhaps sooner than you think….

72

vachon 03.21.07 at 1:17 am

I keep telling people that get this urge to “go outside” that they’re playing with fire. I’m glad the Dr. Berube has come to his senses.

73

Brian C.B. 03.21.07 at 1:30 am

I hear CT is in negotiations with Bilmon, but he’s holding out for higher billing.

74

Michael Bérubé 03.21.07 at 2:01 am

Now that he’s back with a regular gig, it’ll be interesting to read his thoughts when the Rangers implode, as they surely will, and miss the playoffs.

No need to wait, Henry! You can read ’em now.

The Rangers might still squeak in, having recently strung together a series of sketchy 2-1 victories over reasonably competitive teams (Hurricanes, Penguins, Islanders). But they’re still, at heart, a team devoted to the fine art of Blowing of the Two Goal Lead. (See, e.g., Rangers v. Senators, 127 S. Ct. 543, 13 Mar., and the truly dreadful Rangers v. Blue Jackets, 127 S. Ct. 144, 24 Feb.) So I have no illusions about their chances this year.

I would, however, like to see those frantic adolescent Penguins make it into the second round. I’ve lately been impressed with 40-year-old grandpa and trade-deadline pickup Gary Roberts, who may well turn out to be one of those grizzled Cory Stillmanesque role players who takes the team to the Next Level. They’re not a conference-finals team just yet, but they have pwned the Devils a couple of times on New Jersey ice (Feb 16, Mar 14), and they seem undaunted not only by facing three-goal deficits in the third period of an away game (Senators, 5-4 shootout, Mar 6) but even by blowing three-goal leads in an away game (Maple Leafs, 6-5 OT, Feb 10).

Not that I’ve been following the team closely or anything.

75

LittleJeb 03.21.07 at 2:05 am

WOW! I self-medicated into a coma when the good Professor’s blog died and have awoken to the best day of my life!

76

Donald Johnson 03.21.07 at 2:09 am

Glad to hear this–MB was and is and always will be my favorite cruise missile leftist. (Yes, I read Ed Herman sometimes.)

77

Donald Johnson 03.21.07 at 2:11 am

I wish the #72 billmon joke were true–some bloggers shouldn’t be allowed to retire. What business does billmon have with a personal life?

78

John Emerson 03.21.07 at 2:39 am

Billmon quit because he didn’t trust the Democrats. Who can say that he’s wrong?

79

Colin Danby 03.21.07 at 4:30 am

Yikes, I’ve just been spammed, er, informed by the WAAGNFNP that it’s setting up its own blog. Is this a split? I realize its doctrine provides for that, but…

Anyway welcome back Michael and yes, I’m expecting at least ten thousand words on Stuart Hall. These social scientists here at CT think they can get away with a paragraph or two and that’s a post.

80

DILBERT DOGBERT 03.21.07 at 4:31 am

Yes! Yes! Yes! Bilmon

81

skippy 03.21.07 at 5:13 am

now i have to start reading crooked timber again.

82

JP Stormcrow 03.21.07 at 6:12 am

I would, however, like to see those frantic adolescent Penguins make it into the second round. ..[more detailed Pens stuff]

I assume the Rangers can bring up Darius Kasparaitis for the playoffs, correct?

‘Cuz I’m trying to decide if I need to mentally prepare myself for the possibility of the Pens getting knocked out of the playoffs on a Game 7 overtime goal by Darius Kasparaitis. (Not that he is capable of such a thing…)

Actually, if it did happen, I think it would imply a good playoff run by both teams.

83

The Constructivist 03.21.07 at 7:04 am

#79: only time will tell.

84

George 03.21.07 at 12:17 pm

Bérubé’s back! I’m quivering like a blancmange!

85

Ginger Yellow 03.21.07 at 12:25 pm

The sports pages in the LA Times today described the Rangers playoff run thus: “the surging New York Rangers

“the escalating New York Rangers”, surely.

86

mmt1949 03.21.07 at 1:31 pm

Welcome news about the return of Dr. Berube, what with Molly Ivins gone and Steve Gilliard still in ICU. Bravo.

87

Retired Catholic 03.21.07 at 4:41 pm

Hot Damn!

88

Wax Banks 03.21.07 at 5:54 pm

This won’t be so bad.

89

Lars 03.21.07 at 9:42 pm

Greensmile –
Kieran has been reading Terry Pratchett. I believe that this was a password of the Elucidated Brotherhood of the Ebon Darkness.

90

Ruthie 03.22.07 at 12:04 am

Mr. Berube is a Rangers fan.

Oh, for the days when Lord Stanley lived in Philly!

91

Dr. Crazy 03.22.07 at 3:07 am

YAY! I’m so excited! And just today I was lamenting his absence from Blogworld! Yay for Michael at Crooked Timber!

92

r@d@r 03.22.07 at 4:11 pm

now i have to start reading crooked timber again.
Posted by skippy · March 21st, 2007 at 5:13 am

me too – for the life of me i can’t even recall why i stopped. perhaps someone posted something with words that were too big for me, or something.

and if no one else offers, i volunteer to be Fafnir in Fafnir’s place. i will even make a pizza out of an old tire and a can of whip cream.

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