Bow before Giblets’s air of executive authority NOOOOOOOW!

by Henry Farrell on November 5, 2007

“Ezra Klein”:, responding to this blog and others, lists off the five bloggers whom he misses most. Prominent among them, of course, being the Fafblog, “the only blog that’s ever really mattered.” See also “Dan Nexon”: on how “the fact of the matter is… and now I’m going to get choked up and grieve for a minute about the gaping hole its lack of updates has left in the blogmarch… almost any random selection from Fafblog would beat out the competition.” Which is so completely and obviously true. But even as the Library of Congress is “cataloguing and preserving”: blogs of “historical importance to the Congress and to the American people,” the Fafblog’s archives, a genuine national treasure if ever there was one, are 404ing (I’m sure that both Brewster Kahle and Google have them stashed away somewhere but what a pain). In order to collate and preserve material of vital historical significance, I ask you, Crooked Timber readers, to link to, quote _in extenso_, and thus preserve your favourite Fafblog posts of all time. As my contribution – this reminder of how, long before there were glibertarians, there were “Gibletarians”:

Nothing Says “I Care” Like A War on Poverty!

Giblets is a compassionate Giblets. He has been moved by the plight of poor people, which were believed to be extinct, like the ivory-billed woodpecker, until they were rediscovered fairly recently. Like the ivory-billed woodpecker, they live a delicate and tenuous existence, endangered by predators and modern man alike. Unlike the ivory-billed woodpecker, Giblets rarely attempts to chase them down and cook them in a giant quiche. This is because of the compassion. Giblets has so much compassion he has decided to declare war on poverty and destroy it forever! Behold his three-step plan – NO! – his three-compassion plan – to hunt down poverty and kill it where it lives!

COMPASSION THE FIRST: FREEDOM! Poverty hates our our way of life: that is why it is always harassing Giblets on the street for his precious dimes and nickels.1 The only way to fight it is with freedom! Thus Giblets will liberate the poor from the Medicaid and food stamp programs which have oppressed for so many years! No longer will they be terrorized by the tyranny of having food! Instead they can experience the heady up-from-the-bootstraps independence of chasing small animals for their own food! No longer will they suffer at the slavery of subsidized health care. Instead they can use just scrape the mold off the remnants of their drowned homes and pound it into penicillin! Don’t bother to thank Giblets, poor people – your newfound liberty is thanks enough.

COMPASSION THE SECOND: FLYPAPER! Giblets’s multi-billion-dollar tax cuts for the rich will continue unabated! By slashing local wages and maintaining fat tax cuts for the rich, Giblets will cleverly trap poverty in isolated pockets of poor people, far from our own mammonite shores. We must ignore poverty over there so we don’t have to fight it over here.

COMPASSION THE THIRD: HUMANITARIAN AID! These have been trying times for our nation’s wealthiest, who have lost vacation homes and tourist destinations and have been forced to endure the painful spectacle of thousands of homeless on television night after night. Giblets promises swift relief in the form of more giant tax cuts. Stand strong, mammonati! You’ll buy that extra yacht yet.

We will defeat poverty, and we will do so by creating a perfect, classless society: one where the upper class has risen so far above the lower class that it has left the earth as a space-faring race of celestial beings made entirely of money, and the lower class has gradually transformed into rock-dwelling cannibalistic sewer mutants which disintegrate in the harsh light of a wasteland sun. On that scorched earth, whoever remains will stand as equals, victors in the war on poverty!

1 Poor people will receive Giblets’s commemorative Idaho quarter when they EARN his commemorative Idaho quarter.

and Chris, fafnir, Giblets and the Medium Lobster, if you are still out there somewhere, please come back. Your people need you.

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11.05.07 at 10:35 pm



The Navigator 11.05.07 at 9:58 pm

You really want us to just cut and paste long Fafblog quotes? That may go a little bit beyond fair use, but since you asked, here’s the one I always think of, even if it’s not the most stealthily profound one of theirs, featuring a deity getting a little defensive:
“FB: Are you worried about the Draft Superman movement?
GOD: The what? There’s no Draft Superman movement.
FB: Sure there is. They got like a blog an everything.
GOD: Huh.
FB: So did you ever tell the president to do anything about Valerie Plame? Cause I hear you got subpoenaed to testify in front a the grand jury.
GOD: I won’t answer that without the advice of my attorney. Look, there’s a ton of inconsistencies in the Superman gospels, ever notice that? One day he’s got a fortress of solitude and a bottle city of Kandor and the next day he doesn’t. Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
FB: Pretty much everybody thinks you gotta resign if they indict. Does the line of succession make Jesus the Acting God then or does the Vice-God take over?
GOD: I mean, people aren’t gonna pray to Superman! You can kill the guy with a freaking rock!
FB: It’s been great to have you here, God! Stop by anytime.”


Brett Bellmore 11.05.07 at 10:22 pm*/

Don’t sweat it, it’s already saved.


p m 11.05.07 at 10:28 pm

their archives aren’t 404’d.

there is an error in the syntax of the links, so clicking an archives (“fafblog of christmas past”) link from a single post permalink page (e.g.: ) appends the archive part of the URL after the year-month part of the permalink.

so from that post, clicking the first archives link sends you to
— which is 404.

remove the /2005/10 and the real page — — appears.

since you asked:

drivin with Donald

Donald Rumsfeld is no perfectionist.So we’re ridin on down the road in our Cross Country Journey of Inner Discovery and Of Course the American Dream when Donald Rumsfeld hits a moose.

“Maybe we should stop an get a tow truck,” says me.
“Gosh, that seems pretty excessive,” says Donald Rumsfeld. “I mean, was a moose hit? Yes. Do the antlers sticking through the windshield make driving trickier? You bet. But should we just turn around and quit because the road got a little bumpy? I’d say no.”

One thing about Donald Rumsfeld that you have to give him credit for is he always cuts through the crap to tell it like it is in his no-nonsense style. I am reminded of this when we hit the second moose.

“Moose happen,” says Donald Rumsfeld. “There are moose, and we’ll hit ’em. That’s the way it goes. We’ve lost two tires and the brakes. That’s life. I’m drunk, legally blind and have been charged with eight counts of vehicular manslaughter in the last three years. Gotta deal with it. Nothing’s perfect.”
“If you think about it the more moose get hit by us, the fewer moose there are to get hit by us!” says me.
“I like the way you think,” says Donald Rumsfeld.

Donald grabs a beer an misses a pedestrian. Hooray! One of the moose is still alive an kicks at the engine. “Bad moose,” says me. “No beer until you stop.” Donald Rumsfeld throws an open bottle a Coors at the back seat to put out the fire.

“Are parts of the car on fire? Sure. Would we like them not to be? Of course. Have I gone insane from three decades of snorting military-grade rubber cement? Quite possibly. Do we need everything to be perfect for us to go out on the road? Well, that’s absurd,” says Donald Rumsfeld.
“That’s very true,” says me. “We cannot make the perfect the enemy of the terrible.”

The bridge up ahead is either out or doesn’t exist. But if we waited for everything to be perfect before we did stuff well then we’d never get anythin done! Forward, onward, downward, Donald Rumsfeld!


Emma 11.05.07 at 10:30 pm

Are we sure that Fafbloggers haven’t got paying jobs by tonimg themselves down slightly and writing for Steve Colbert? Sounds awfully familiar.


brayden 11.05.07 at 10:33 pm

So many favorites. I really enjoyed the posts where Fafnir and Giblets torment poor Chris and wax philosophical.

So me an Giblets an the bowl of frosted flakes an bananas are stuck sittin on top of the dryer talkin.

“Harrumph,” says Giblets.
“Think Chris’ll be mad?” says me.
“Why should he be?” says Giblets. “Not our fault the basement flooded. It’s God’s. He knew what was gonna happen when we put all those marbles in the washin machine an he didnt do squat.”
“That’s very true,” says me. “Foreknowledge is fore-responsibility. For shame, God.”
“I don’t think Chris will believe it,” says Giblets. “Chris does not believe in God.”
“I don’t understand why,” says me. “There is plenty of anecdotal evidence like the Jesus tortilla.”
“Does God really look like Jesus or does God really look like the tortilla?” says Giblets.
“The Catholic Church has informed me in numerous paintins that God is a really big ol man in the sky with a beard,” says me.
“That is absurd,” says Giblets. “Everyone knows that God is a really big ol rabbit in the sky with a beard.”
“Very true,” says me. “There is plenty of anecdotal evidence.”

Here’s the link.


bonecrusher 11.05.07 at 10:50 pm

I keep this on my palm pilot:

Fafblog Interviews: THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

FAFBLOG: So what’s up, Democrats?
JOE BIDEN: What’s up is the war in Iraq, which is terribly mismanaged, Fafnir.
FB: Oh wow! Are you guys against the war, too?
JOE LIEBERMAN: Oh no, we’re not AGAINST the war!
HARRY REID: We’re all FOR it!
BIDEN: It’s the best worst idea in the world, and we’re gonna run with it to victory!
HILLARY CLINTON: Watch me eat a bug!
FB: So we can actually win the war! That’s great news!
REID: Sort of!
BIDEN: Maybe!
CLINTON: I can wrestle a buffalo!
FB: I’m confused.
REID: The problem is troop levels, Fafnir. The US invaded without enough boots on the ground!
LIEBERMAN: Just another couple hundred thousand soldiers on the ground and hey, we should have this thing wrapped up in no time!
BIDEN: Just like I told George Bush all along! I told him in the Oval Office, “You’re gonna go in without enough troops and you’re not gonna plan for the occupation and it’s gonna be the biggest mistake of your presidency and I’m gonna vote for it!”
FB: Wow, that all seems so prescient.
BIDEN: And then Batman jumped in through the window and said “Senator, the Justice League needs you right away!” and I said “Shut up and move, rich boy, we’ve got a moon to save!”
CLINTON: I have eaten the heart of a gorilla!
FB: So how come you guys voted for the war if the president was gonna screw it up?
REID: We were misled!
LIEBERMAN: We were deceived!
BIDEN: We were given the impression that the war was actually a match of bareknuckle fisticuffs between a mustachioed Brooklyn brawler and a plucky midget Irishman!
CLINTON: Wanna see me punch out a yak? ‘Cause I will!
FB: Will the lies never end. But where will we get the troops from now, Democratic Party? Aren’t we runnin out of em?
REID: We’ve used up plenty of REAL troops, sure, but what about FAKE troops? Why isn’t the military pounding the streets looking to recruit new mannequins, crash-test dummies and hand puppets?
LIEBERMAN: Our nation’s rich supply of blow-up dolls has barely begun to be explored for national security purposes.
BIDEN: To say nothing of our nation’s patriotic trained seal and dolphin population! When will the Pentagon deploy the 101st Fighting Shamu Brigade?
CLINTON: I can tear a boulder in half with my teeth!
FB: Yknow you’re right! An that’s not even countin what our friends in the fungus kingdom could do.
LIEBERMAN: And you know, Fafnir, if we could train the Iraqi forces to replace our forces more efficiently, we could end the occupation that much faster.
FB: That’s such a great idea I can’t believe nobody’s thought of it before! How do we do that?
REID: Voodoo!
LIEBERMAN: Santeria!
BIDEN: Giant samurai robots piloted by magical fairy children!
CLINTON: If elected I promise to rampage through New York City and swat biplanes from the top of the Empire State Building until my grisly and untimely demise!
FB: Now I like everything I’ve heard so far today but for some crazy reason most Americans think we should just start pullin our troops OUT of Iraq. Are most Americans crazy?
REID: They’re not crazy, Fafnir.
LIEBERMAN: They’re just weak, willing to expose America’s flabby underbelly to the curved scimitars of a thousand swarthy terrorists.
BIDEN: We can’t blink, man! That’d be like… like losing an arm-wrestle to Allah or something! Game over, man! Then they know we’re pussies!
CLINTON: I will go back in time and become Richard Nixon and lose the Vietnam War twice as hard as anybody!
FB: Yknow you guys got tons a great ideas but you won’t be able to do anything with em unless you win some elections again. How’re you gonna do that?
REID: By listening carefully to the American people, and then ignoring them.
LIEBERMAN: By forcefully arguing against the direction George Bush is taking this country!
BIDEN: Just before we vote for it again.
FB: Thanks, everybody! It’s always great to hang out at the Democratic Party.
CLINTON: Clinton strongest one there is!


joel hanes 11.05.07 at 11:03 pm

This is my favorite Fafblog post ever.

The Priest-Avatar of the State

There are times when the Medium Lobster is beseeched by linear beings who seek to understand a portion of that greater wisdom which is possessed by the Medium Lobster. And today the Medium Lobster has deigned it appropriate to respond.

Petitioner Stephen Richards asks:

I seek your enlightenment on the question of how much knowledge a true citizen should need before an election. In particular I am curious to whether the candidates – if deemed elected – would invade Iran to protect us all from the forces of evil. …

However I am unsure if the press should even ask such a question. How much truth is too much truth for the American voter in a war for truth in the world? Should America be allowed to know where both candidates stand on this issue – before November? …

Ah, Stephen. The larger issue – should America invade Iran? – is a serious one, and will surely be addressed by the Medium Lobster in the days to follow. But your question – should the press ask George Bush and John Kerry if they support an invasion of Iran? – is even more crucial, for it goes to the very heart of the nature of the Presidency itself.

No, Stephen, the media should not press a candidate – or an elected President, for that matter – on his wartime plans. Not because the public does not have a right to know – although this is questionable indeed – but because it is not the job of the President to invade Iran, or conduct a war, or decide matters of policy in general. No, Stephen, the President does not exist to make petty decisions such as these, to muddy his hands in the tedious affairs of state. He exists not to guide the nation to where it should be. He exists to project an image of what it wants to be.

America doesn’t need a President to lead them; America needs a President who projects leadership. America doesn’t need a President who’s honest with his country; America needs a President who’s honest with his wife. America doesn’t need a President with a firm grasp of policy and a commitment to serving his country; America needs a President with the appearance of irrepressible optimism and Wholesome Heartland Values. America doesn’t need a capable wartime President; America needs a President who makes himself look like war.

And President Bush has done a magnificent job of that. Indeed, he’s even started a couple of them. Remember, it’s not the President’s job to finish or win wars – that falls into the lower realm of policy. But within the realm of Strength – or the apprearance of Strength – it is the Strong Leader who charges boldly into wars, undaunted by the humdrum webs of “post-war planning” and laborious “coalition-building” called for by “sensitive” policy-makers.

The job of the President of the United States is to forcefully emote the conscious and unconscious will of the American People. He is not the commander-in-chief. He is the Happy Warrior. He is the Priest-Avatar of the State.

As Colorado Governor Bill Owens said when defending President Bush’s supposedly-infamous seven minutes sitting before schoolchildren on September 11th, “A lot of what governors and presidents have to do is project a level of confidence and a level of calmness.” Indeed, and that is exactly what the President did on that terrible day: when America needed to be protected, George Bush was projecting an aura of protectedness; when America needed to be safe, George Bush was looking like safety; when America needed to be strong, George Bush was exuding something like strength. When you watch that clip again, in Michael Moore’s detestable piece of propaganda or elsewhere, remind yourself, This is what a President is for: projecting, smiling, posing, waving, doing nothing.

posted by Medium Lobster at 11:07 AM
Wednesday, August 18, 2004



Luis 11.05.07 at 11:09 pm

(1) By definition, this is now the best CT post ever.
(2) personal favorite, shortly after game 3 of the 2004 American League Championship Series:

“I am not sure about your theory of sucking Giblets,” says me. “I always believed sucking was reducible to natural properties such as double-parkin your car or stiffin your roommate on rent or leavin in Pedro Martinez for too long.”
“No!” says Giblets. “Sucking is an objective irreducible moral property an we can intuit when sucking is present! It is an objective moral truth that the Yankees suck!”
“But Giblets why would so many sucky Yankees be beloved by so many New Yorkers?” says me. “An why would so many sucky Yankees be rewarded with so many pennants?”
“There is no such thing as suckical subjectivity!” says Giblets. “The Yankees suck no matter how much society has approved of and rewarded their sucking!”


tom s. 11.05.07 at 11:10 pm

So who was/were the Faflogger(s) anyway? DeLong didn’t know in 2004. Does anyone know now?


Anderson 11.05.07 at 11:14 pm

My favorite, I guess, was the Condi Rice interview:

FAFBLOG: Wow, Condoleezza Rice, right here on our blog! How do we do it!
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: It’s a pleasure to be here, Fafnir.
FB: Secretary Rice, right now America’s takin a lotta heat from the European Union on account of our policy of sending prisoners to foreign countries to be tortured. Question: what’s wrong with good ol fashioned American torturers? Aren’t we just shippin their jobs overseas?
RICE: First of all, we don’t send prisoners off to be tortured, Fafnir. We just transport prisoners to countries where torture
happens to be legal and where they happen to end up getting tortured.
FB: Well that explains everything then! It’s all just a wacky misunderstanding, like that episode a Three’s Company where Jack sends Janet off to Uzbekistan to get boiled alive by the secret police.
RICE: I’d also like to point out that whenever we send a prisoner to a country that routinely tortures prisoners, that country promises us NOT to torture them.
FB: And then they get tortured anyway!
RICE: Yes, they do! It’s very strange.
FB: Over and over again, every time! That’s gotta be so frustrating.
RICE: Oh it is, it is.

Thanks for the Wayback link, Brett!


Luis 11.05.07 at 11:16 pm

tom: I met someone once who was shocked to see my fafblog bumper sticker; a friend of hers (in Rhode Island I think) was the author. She had no idea it was an internet phenomenon- she thought it was just the weird blog of some friends of hers.


P O'Neill 11.05.07 at 11:27 pm

Just to briefly detour from the homage, I agree with some of the commenters on Ezra’s thread who specify Media Whores Online as the greatest of the lost treasures. I fondly remember voting in the final Media Whore of the Year contest, which Tim Russert won in a landslide.


Mo MacArbie 11.05.07 at 11:28 pm

It’s a toss-up between Big Poor, the Boston Cream Pie, and the one that lizardbreath beat me to.


MadeOutOfPeople 11.05.07 at 11:32 pm

#5: The Fafblogger was Karen Hughes (who knew?). Stopped blogging when her international work started taking up too much time.


John Emerson 11.05.07 at 11:41 pm

Tom S.: As I remember, people figured out who the author probably was, but redacted everything because he unmistakably did not want to be known. A I understand, Fafblog ended because of the author’s serious health problems.

Treat as rumor.


Scott Swank 11.05.07 at 11:52 pm

Behold: all of Fafblog, preserved by google. For now.


Henry 11.06.07 at 12:41 am

Tom – if you figure out the author’s identity, you can find a page promising that one day they will all return (won’t be more specific b/c as John Emerson says I don’t think that the author wants to be ID’ed).


PT&S 11.06.07 at 12:44 am

Tuesday, July 13, 2004
A Serious Philosophical Discussion on Utilitarianism versus Deontology

Welcome to yet another Fafblog Serious Philosophical Discussion! Like before we will do this as a Socratic-style dialogue between me an Giblets, the better to arrive at Deeper Truths.

FAFNIR: Why hello Giblets! I see you are almost fully immersed in a bowl of ham jello.
GIBLETS: Unnngh… Giblets is in such pain.
FAF.: Oh no Giblets! You have not been eatin pork to painful excess again have you?
GIBS.: Giblets does it… GLLGGLL… for national greatness. He stuffs himself with liquid ham… for the glory of the republic!
FAF.: But Giblets does the end always justify the means? For example say there is a man stuck in the opening of a mine shaft.
GIBS.: How would a man get stuck in a mine shaft? Mine shafts are huge.
FAF.: Well lets say he’s a big fat man stuck in a mine shaft an there are like a dozen other people trapped in there because the fat man he is just so fat.
GIBS.: This is an improbably fat man we are talkin about.
FAF.: Maybe he has been eatin ham jello. For the glory of the republic.
GIBS.: Then he can stuff off. This is Giblets’s ham jello.
FAF.: Anyway the question is should we blow up the fat man if there is no other way to get him out of the mine shaft to free the trapped an starving people inside when we know that blowin up the fat man is cruel murder?
GIBS.: Ha! I’d like to see you try! The explosives’ll just make the mine shaft collapse an squish everyone inside.
FAF.: Giiiiblets, you’re ruinin my moral dileeeema.
GIBS.: The real solution is to keep the starvin people inside the shaft alive by eatin the fat man. Problem solved.
FAF.: But Giblets what if in killin the fat man you are motivated not by the duty of savin the trapped people but by petty hatred of the fat man?
GIBS.: Then in that case Giblets is bein efficient. Two birds with one stone.
FAF.: OK but what if instead of a fat man there is a natural disaster trapped in the mine shaft like a tsunami or a comet?
GIBS.: There is a comet trapped in the mine shaft?
FAF.: Yeah cause yknow we want to say that from a utilitarian stanpoint that natural disasters are bad because of their large negative impact on people but they also have no motivations so we cant judge them from the point of “why did you blow up the dinosaurs comet it was against principles of higher justice.”
GIBS.: Nah, I think the comet’s just the fat man again. Just a really really fat man on fire.
FAF.: Sorta in disguise huh? Pretty sneaky!
GIBS.: Fat men are crafty, always tryin to steal Giblets’s ham jello.
FAF.: But what if in order to save the starvin people in the mine shaft you have to give them your ham jello Giblets?
GIBS.: But that would be wrong. It is Giblets’s ham jello.
FAF.: I am sorry Giblets they are starvin.
GIBS.: But it is Giblets’s! Feed them somethin else like the fat man or horses or straw.
FAF.: There is nothin else to feed them Giblets. It has all been stolen.
GIBS.: But –
FAF.: By aliens.
GIBS.: But Giblets’s ham jello is Giblets’s ham jello! It is Giblets’s an it is Giblets’s forever!
FAF.: Cmon Giblets give it up.
GIBS.: You give it up!
FAF.: Ouch! Quit it!
GIBS.: You quit it!
FAF.: You quit it!
GIBS.: AHHHH! Stop it!


Jared 11.06.07 at 2:20 am

On July 10, 2004 (but it could have been yesterday) Fafnir linked to this and somehow his tongue briefly came unstuck from inside his cheek:

It’s so easy to kind of sweep it all under your brain an think “Well theres nothin more to be said an nothin more to think about it” cause let’s face it nobody wants to think about their government participating in horror. An right now the level of torture talk has gone from “Torture: Bad!” to “Torture: Bad, But Not As Bad As Saddam Hussein” to “Torture: Bad, But What About Ticking Bombs?” to “Torture: Bad, But Not Necessarily Proof That The People Who Ordered Torture Are Bad” to “Torture: We Still Talkin Bout Torture?” to “Torture: Bad?” An before we get to “Torture: Sorta Like Mowin Your Lawn” I think we should try as hard as we can to wake up.


Goldrush 11.06.07 at 3:11 am

Media Whores Online was the blog that started me reading blogs. I keep hoping it will rise above the horizon, just like I kept checking Fafblog for many months after it ground to a halt.

All this other stuff is nice and informative, and the bloggers are charming, but I’d give a pretty to have those two back.


tom s. 11.06.07 at 3:36 am

Internet fame is usually reserved for good self-promoters. There is something quite adorable about the fafblogger wanting to maintain his/her anonymity. Good for them.


Tom Bozzo 11.06.07 at 4:08 am

Decisions, decisions… since nobody’s yet mentioned them, how about okra tofu pie or Giblets’s Juan Cole: Killjoy:

Giblets is proud of his beloved pet pig and has decided to reward it with a delicious treat. A treat like dynamite!

“You really shouldn’t feed dynamite to your pig,” says Juan Cole, mideast expert and professor of pig studies. “Dynamite has never been a safe feed for pigs and has only resulted in disaster for pigs and the pig community.”

Oh what do you know Juan Cole! Your expertise in the fields of pig history and pig theory just means you have swallowed the standard academic dogma regarding the pig-dynamite dynamic! Giblets has reason to believe his pig will receive fantastic dynapig powers, but Cole has been too heavily indoctrinated by pigs and Arabists to see the truth.

“Dynamite is explosive,” says Juan Cole. “If you feed it to your pig, your pig will explode.”

Now that’s just crazy talk motivated by Cole’s gloomy dynamite-bashing. Now if you’ll just step aside, Giblets has a pig to feed.


Matt Weiner 11.06.07 at 4:45 am

I like this one:

As a trial lawyer Edwards repeatedly stole money from poor corporations to give to greedy children crippled by their products! Do we really need a vice president who is a lackey of Big Children? Giblets thinks not!

Judging by the post title, I’d guess Henry agrees.


eb 11.06.07 at 9:06 am

The post Henry quotes makes me think of Baudelaire’s “Beat up the Poor.”


David Hunter 11.06.07 at 10:11 am

There is I Miss Fafblog, Spot
Not the same but still sometimes fills the gap.


Warren Terra 11.06.07 at 11:07 am

One closing coda quoted above — Forward, onward, downward, Donald Rumsfeld — made me realize how much of Fafblog – which I adored, and still sorely miss – was not just the clever ideas, but the writing. I probably read it in the day, but only this time did I see the rhythm and the rhyme in it, reinforcing the efficiently conveyed (three words!) idea of Rummie bullheadedly progressing into greater disaster.

Come back, Fafblog. Nothing needed forgiving, and all is forgiven.

P.S. As with others above, the Horse – another blogging giant that preserved their anonymity – was also my introduction to what wasn’t yet called the blogosphere. The Horse doesn’t get referenced much now, and even in their latter days were often seen as a crank, but clearly they had a real impact.


Alex 11.06.07 at 11:28 am

Chris. Fucking. Lightfoot.

It took me months to get around to removing the RSS feed from my reader, as if it might one day light up again.


Gdr 11.06.07 at 12:14 pm

I miss Chris Lightfoot too. What made him special was not only his enthusiasm for rigorous analyses of political issues (for example, his principal components analysis of UK Parliamentary voting records) but his unwillingness to come to conclusions that couldn’t be supported by data (for example, in his analysis of the UK murder rate). We will not see his like again.


MR. Bill 11.06.07 at 12:53 pm

Thank you David Hunter.

I also miss MediaWhoreOnline (the urBlogger for me)
and Billmon, who seems to have given up in despair, just before the Democrats won. It makes more sense, now..


rm 11.06.07 at 2:42 pm

A post called “the Jesus Bread-Golem Project hits another snag” is indisputably the best blog post ever, in both senses — most paradigmatic and most bestest.

The linked news story was about a little girl in New Jersey who took her First Communion with a non-wheat wafer, because she is so allergic to wheat it would kill her to take the normal wafer. On review, the Vatican denied the validity of her communion, because the body of Christ just can’t inhabit the substance of a non-wheat wafer.

I can’t decide if “the Jesus Bread Golem project” is ragingly irreligious or deeply Christian. I can’t decide if the Author is a divinity student or anti-church, a Swift or a Voltaire. All I can do is bow to Its genius, bow to it noooooooooow.


Jackmormon 11.06.07 at 3:54 pm

Fafblog is one of the few sites that might work as a book. I would so totally buy that book.


rm 11.06.07 at 5:37 pm

The problem with blog books, I would guess, will be the links. The paradigmatic blog post (see above) only makes sense when you know what current event or outside bit of text it responds to.

Barack Obama will either be remembered as a figure in American political history, or he won’t (it hasn’t been long enough to tell yet), so if he is, then this response to his 2004 convention speech will be hilarious to everyone, and if he is not, then any future Norton Anthology of American Blogospheric Literature will have to have extensive footnotes explaining the speaking style of an obscure American politician in the last days of the republic. And we know how jokes go which have to be explained.

For posterity:

But the most important thing ever to happen ever in this convention or in the news in general is Barack Obama who spoke last night an who is just some state senator right now but who is gonna be senator an president an space pope some day an I will vote for him over an over an over again because he speaks so so good an even though I dont know who he is or what his policies are or what he wants to do I am sure he is the biggest thing to happen to anyone since God at least! An even though I do not remember exactly what he said I think it was about unity an goodness an the beauty of beautiness an how America is made of candy an how we will triumph over adversity even though bad non-candy-comprised people may try to stop us because of HOOOORAAAAAAY! An then he ascended into the skies.


rm 11.06.07 at 5:41 pm

It occurs to me that waiting for Fafblog and Al Gore and Godot are all kind of similar pursuits.


J. Dunn 11.06.07 at 7:21 pm

My favorite fafblog is Q & A: Our Omnipotent President. The whole thing is great, but the two best parts are:

Q. Things sure have changed since the innocent days of mutually assured destruction! But is it legal for the president to ignore the law?
A. Maybe not according to plain ol stupid ol regular law, but we’re at war! You don’t go to war with regular laws, which are made outta red tape and bureaucracy and Neville Chamberlain. You go to war with great big strapping War Laws made outta tanks and cold hard steel and the American Fightin Man and WAR, KABOOOOOOM!
Q. How does a War Bill become a War Law?
A. It all begins with the president, who submits a bill to the president. If a majority of both the president and the president approve the bill, then it passes on to the president, who may veto it or sign it into law. And even then the president can override himself with a two-thirds vote.
Q. See it’s the checks and balances that make all the difference in our democratic system.
A. It’s true.


A. Well if you want, the president can stop the illegal wiretapping just for you.
Q. Really? Well thanks, that’d be great!
A. And then the terrorists can come and eat you.
Q. Wait! What?
A. Cause without the wiretaps there’s nothin to stop the terrorists from eatin you, yknow. The terrorists and their army of bees.
Q. Oh no! I’m allergic to terrorists AND bees!
A. Oh that’s too bad, cause now the president hasta stop the illegal wiretaps and let alllll those terrorist bees eat you.
Q. Quick! Put the wiretaps back, put the wiretaps back!
A. No no, you just said you wanna get eaten. Eaten by terrorist bees.
Q. I change my mind! Please let the president wiretap me, pleeeease.


Z 11.06.07 at 8:25 pm

But the real point is that these accidental torture missions are vital to the war on terror. Remember that these aren’t just prisoners. These are known Muslims with names very similar to suspected associates of other Muslims.

Funny only because it is true.


rm 11.06.07 at 8:35 pm

Funny only because it is true.

Funny. Unfunny. Funny. Unfunny.

You see what I mean? It’s the metaphysics of presence and absence, but funny and with pie.


withrow 11.06.07 at 9:02 pm

Fafblog is just honoring the writers’ strike. I’m sure we’ll have new Faf to read soon.


Scott McLemee 11.06.07 at 11:15 pm

James Dobson (Focus on the Family): If our society continues to slide down this slippery slope of moral relativism, it will mean the end of Western Civilization.

Fafblog: Oh no! Not Western Civilization! That’s where all my friends live!


Helen 11.07.07 at 2:53 am

The problem with blog books, I would guess, will be the links. The paradigmatic blog post (see above) only makes sense when you know what current event or outside bit of text it responds to.

it’d work. Fafblog didn’t depend very much on links within the text. All it would need is for a sympathetic editor/writer (preferably the original Fafblogger, of course) to write a simple contextual gloss to start off any post which might become a bit obscure later on.


aa 11.07.07 at 5:08 am

I will not only buy that book, I will pay $39.95 for it. And burn my Calvino. Well, I exaggerate.


SG 11.07.07 at 2:09 pm

When this post came up here I went to look at fafblog after a long break, and it hadn’t changed. I thought “I’ll see what the first ever fafblog post was” and clicked on the link and it was broken. Bum! I thought. So I came back here and read a few more comments, and someone gave advice on how to fix the broken links in your browser.

So tonight, with 20 minutes to kill waiting for the remainder of Heroes to download, I went to fafblog to apply the instructions. I clicked on the link intending to make the edits in the location bar (I am lazy). The link worked straight away.

I think this is a strange coincidence.


J 11.07.07 at 3:07 pm

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
the decline of british sea power

We are out on the boat hidin from our dangerous evil alternate twins from the evil alternate negaverse. We are hidin out on the boat cause man those guys’ll never think to look for us on a boat. I mean, it’s a boat.

“Another half hour an we will have safely sailed to Arkansas,” says me.
“I do not trust this boat,” says Giblets. “How many cannon does she have.”
“One,” says me. “If you count the ham sandwich.”
“Lame!” says Giblets.
“Two then,” says me. “If you count the can of beans an the ham sandwich.”
“Less lame,” says Giblets.
“You should respect our boat,” says me. “She is the HMS Munky Bizness an I was told she is among the finest vessels in Her Majesty’s sea forces.”
“Harrumph,” says Giblets. “Giblets finds Her Majesty’s sea forces to be in serious decline.”
“You should man the sandwich,” says me.
“Giblets commandeers this ham sandwich in the name of our defense,” says Giblets. “In case our evil alternate twins show up in an evil alternate boat.”
“It could be ham or spam,” says me. “I have to run a Bayesian filter to see.”
“Giblets rejects your hegemonic ham/spam binary!” says Giblets. “Spam is just a superior form of ham. It is man’s improvement on nature’s ham.”
“That’s true,” says me. “Spam comes in a handy can while ham comes packaged in inconvenient pig form.”
“In the future we will get spam from special improved spam pigs,” says Giblets, “which I call ‘spigs’.”
“In the future insects will be replaced by robot insects,” says me, “which are cheaper and easier to manufacture.”
“In the future we will discard spaceships and travel to the moon and back on comfortable moon trains,” says Giblets, “built by a joint human-moon man effort. But vast immigration difficulties will develop.”
“In the future humans will conduct all contact through the internet,” says me. “All jobs will be e-jobs, all friends will be e-friends, all sex will be e-sex. Sperm and ova will be joined electronically to form e-babies.”
“Porn stars will have e-sex with millions of strangers a day,” says Giblets. “They will be constantly pregnant, even the men, but will be genetically engineered to reproduce only through budding.”
“The president will be a giant satellite dish shaped like the president,” says me. “He will have all of America’s hopes an fears transmitted into him several times a day, an use use amazin new technologies to transform them into delicious hope-and-fear-flavored combo meals.”
“On Fridays you will be able to get an American Dreamburger with fries and a large Coke for just $3.99,” says Giblets.
“The future is a strange an beautiful place,” says me.
“Like Arkansas,” says Giblets.
“Here it comes! Look at that golden Arkansan shore,” says me.
“Claimed in the name of Giblets!” says Giblets.
“Oh no!” says me. “Our evil alternate twins on an evil alternate boat!”
“A mighty battle!” says Giblets raisin the sandwich.

An there followed a mighty battle.


arby 11.07.07 at 4:36 pm

Does anyone who knows more about Wikipedia than I do know why they would delete the Fafblog entry? It seems to me that it should remain for historical reasons at least. Is there some critical shortage of storage space or something? All them bits crowding out the important stuff? God I miss Fafblog! I hadn’t been back to look at it until last week, it just bums me out. I loved the little thread community too, way smarter and funnier than me. Very tolerant, kind, non-flaming folks. Good recipes too. rb


arby 11.07.07 at 6:19 pm

Can someone who knows more about Wikipedia than I do tell me why they would delete the Fafblog page? All them bits eating up too much space? They should keep it for historical reasons at least. I really miss Fafblog, I hadn’t even gone back to look at it until last week, bums me out too much. I loved the community of common-taters too, much smarter and funnier than I am. Very tolerant, kind, non-flamey folks. And then there was the pie… rb


arby 11.07.07 at 7:01 pm

excuse, please. rb


HP 11.08.07 at 4:34 am

When I first encountered the work of Don Marquis, I remember wondering, what must it have been like to pick up the newspaper when his stories and poems were being published? Did people recognize how beautiful and wonderful it was, or just take it granted? Did they eagerly await the latest letter from archy, or a new song from Mahetibel?

When I discovered Fafblog, I thought, this is the Don Marquis of the twenty-first century. And I get to read it when it’s fresh.

Toujours gai, Fafblog. Toujours gai.


rm 11.08.07 at 7:41 pm

sg, no one knows what Al Gore was doing during those 20 minutes. Except Al. Could this mean he is running? And that’s why he hasn’t updated Fafblog?

hp, indeed . . . indeed. Sigh.


Kathleen 11.08.07 at 11:14 pm

Not to be really grim, but given that the anonymous author had serious health problems is it possible s/he died? Like many people in the thread, I’ve just checked back and checked back assuming at some point Giblets an Fafnir would return, but it’s been a looong time. Saving the archive (and I understand, above, it has been saved?) would really be a noble memorial in that case.

I want to second P M on “Drivin with Donald” but actually there was just so, so much endless brilliance to be had on Fafblog. Nothing since has measured up.

Plus, yeah, the pie.


Kathleen 11.08.07 at 11:18 pm

… an the nutmeg an the cinnamon an the inch-long retractable teeth, of course.

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