Pundits all the way down

by Henry Farrell on January 21, 2005

“Mark Dery”:http://www.markdery.com/archives/media_burn/000032.html on the political blogosphere:

bq. But bloggers who want to remedy what ails the corporate McMedia monopoly should grab a clue from Chris Allbritton and haul their larval, jack-studded flesh up out of their Matrix-like pods and do some goddamn reporting instead of just getting all meta about Instapundit’s post about The Daily Kos’s post about Little Green Footballs’s post about the vast left-wing media conspiracy’s latest act of high treason. It’s the Yertle the Turtle syndrome: Pundits stacked on top of pundits on top of pundits, all the way down, and, at the very bottom of the heap, the lowly hack who kicked off the whole frenzy of intertextuality: the reporter who dared venture out of the media airlock to collect some samples of Actual, Reported Fact.

Friday Fun Thread

by Ted on January 21, 2005

You’ve been hired as the program director at a new satellite radio station. You’ll be playing songs that should have been huge hits, but weren’t. You’re looking for songs from any period that you liked the first time you heard them, songs that are immediately catchy and pleasurable, songs that would please your coworkers rather than the clerk at the local independent record store. The artists could be obscure or famous, but the songs should not be in regular rotation on terrestrial radio stations.

There are a lot of buried “Hey Ya!”s, “Tainted Love”s, “Gin and Juice”s, and “You Shook Me All Night Long”s out there. Help your station find them. Bonus points if you can help us understand why you like your obscure song by connecting it to a more popular song that shares its appeal.

I’ve invited some of my favorite mp3 bloggers to play along, and I’ll update this post with their responses as they come in.

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Having recently read W.G. Sebald’s “The History of Natural Destruction”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0375504842/junius-20 , I found myself referring to Michael Walzer’s “Just and Unjust Wars”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0465037054/junius-20 and his discussion of the “supreme emergency exception”. I was _slightly_ relieved by what I found there. Walzer doesn’t justify the bombings of Dresden (1945) or the firebombing of Hamburg (1943) but rather holds that Britain, with no other effective means of waging war against the appalling evil of Nazi Germany, and facing the threat of national annihilation, was only justified in the area bombing of German cities — in violation of the prohibition on attacking noncombatants — until early 1942. Nevertheless, what Walzer calls “the supreme emergency” exception is there, and the grounds for it are reasonably clear: necessity. The bombers were the only weapon available to leaders the continued independent existence of whose people was mortally jeopardized.

Surfing over to “a blog post by Oliver Kamm”:http://oliverkamm.typepad.com/blog/2005/01/livingstone_and.html , concerning our old friend Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, I find Walzer invoked as an authority against Qaradawi’s apologia for suicide bombing.

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