Exploding Heads Deathmatch: There Can Be Only One

by Henry Farrell on October 15, 2008

Many thanks to the CT readers who’ve come up with examples of wingnuts’ heads exploding as a result of Paul Krugman’s Nobel prize. Now it’s decision time. I’ve narrowed the field down to the five most impressive spontaneous human combustions that commenters here, at Kathy G.’s and at Brad DeLong’s have reported. And you get to choose the winner by voting in the comments section below. The wingnut with the most votes after a voting period to be determined by meself will be allowed to display both this “still”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/shocho/221986094/ from David Cronenberg’s _Scanners_, and an electronic certificate attesting that he/she has won the ‘Oh Noes! My Head Asploded” award for 2008, on his/her website. He/she will also of course have all associated bragging rights. The contestants, in no particular order, below the fold …

(1) Daniel Klein (with the research assistance of Harika Anna Bartlett) for the combination of ” Left Out: A Critique of Paul Krugman Based on a Comprehensive Account of His New York Times Columns, 1997 through 2006″:http://www.econjournalwatch.org/pdf/KleinBarlettCharacterIssuesJanuary2008.pdf and his “comments to the New York Times”:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/business/economy/14econ.html?em. The closing words of _Left Out_ put Professor Klein in strong contention for the award.

I suspect that Krugman and many others push the people’s romance as a way of promoting the collectivism that they favor for other reasons as well. I see another kind of penchant in play, a penchant that gives rise to a mentality particularly of people of high strata who are chiefly concerned with being among what they regard to be the top of the pyramid of culture and power. Robert Nozick (1986) has suggested that “[t]he intellectual wants the whole society to be a school writ large, to be like the environment where he did so well and was so well appreciated.” Nozick suggested that “wordsmith” intellectuals resent “capitalism” for not according them the high status they come to feel entitled to from their experience in school. I am inclined to see such high-strata statist intellectuals as indulging the mythology of society as organization because that mythology gives structure and vision to the yearning to see oneself as part of the governing set—a mentality betokened in phrases like “the best and the brightest.” It is a mentality of those whose selfhood places them “near the top,” and who from such high station gaze upward. That such a penchant would be selected for in the environment of evolutionary adaptation is certainly plausible. It’s good to be the alpha male or one of his close companions. To my mind, Krugman typifies the profile. I find especially telling the enmity he holds toward Republicans in power. He seems to resent not being among or not being able to identify with the people at the top. I suspect that Krugman’s ideological direction has been determined more by a will to see oneself a part of what one perceives to be society’s leadership than by infatuation with the people’s romance.

This is perhaps the most inadvertently revealing piece of writing on the Interwebs since David Bernstein asked his readers why a “persistent odor of stale urine”:https://crookedtimber.org/2003/09/02/it-follows-me-wherever-i-go/ seemed to follow him from hotel room to hotel room. Which gnawing insecurities, personal inadequacies and past humiliations drive Daniel Klein’s self-admittedly exhaustive (nay obsessive) research on Paul Krugman, not to mention his “fascinating insights”:http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2006/10/wingnuts_r_them.html into how anti-discrimination laws hurt black people? Only you can decide, by voting for him and telling us why!

(2) Professor William L. Anderson, writing for Forbes Magazine, for his extended fantasia on “Krugman in Wonderland”:http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/10/13/krugman-nobel-economics-oped-cx_wla_1013anderson.html. It starts

Today’s announcement that Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in economics, although not earth shattering, indicates that outright political partisanship is not a deterrent to winning. This is not as tragic a moment in western civilization as the sacking of Constantinople in 1453 or the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, but it suffices as one of those sad moments we will regret over time.

So not _quite_ as tragic as historical disasters involving the death of thousands of people, but in the same league. But wait! Read the closing sentences before you leap to conclusions!

Thus, Krugman believes the problem is that the Bush administration is not socialist enough, which makes it ideologically “free market.” If Obama is elected and Krugman receives a high position in his administration, we shall see if Krugman becomes the first commissar who makes socialism work. I’ll be betting against him.

Not as bad as the Russian Revolution, but leading to the same ineluctable result of Socialism in One Country? Ever onwards comrades! Let’s go out and find some kulaks to eliminate!

(3) Donald ‘I _too_ could win the Nobel Prize for Economics, if only I could figure out the “relationship between bond yields and interest rates”:http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2003_archives/002016.html ‘ Luskin, for “Krugman Wins the Nobel Prize”:http://www.poorandstupid.com/2008_10_12_chronArchive.asp#900412095577268845.

The Nobel Prize is never posthumous — it is only awarded to living persons. So some great minds such as John Maynard Keynes and Fischer Black never received the prize in Economics. All that has changed. With today’s award to Paul Krugman, the Nobel as gone to an economist who died a decade ago. The person alive to receive the award is merely a public intellectual, a person operating in the same domain as Oprah Winfrey. And even as a public intellectual, the prize is inappropriate, because never before has a scientist operating in the capacity of a public intellectual so abused and debased the science he purports to represent. Krugman’s New York Times column drawing on economics is the equivalent of 2006’s Nobelists in Physics, astronomers Mather and Smoot, doing a column on astrology — and then, in that column, telling lies about astronomy. But what’s done is done. The only question now is whether Krugman will pay taxes on the prize at the low rates enabled by the Bush tax cuts he has done so much to discredit, or if he will volunteer to pay taxes at higher rates he considers more fair.

So you want to link Paul Krugman to Oprah Winfrey as a ‘public intellectual?’ Donald – you’re getting your wingnut talking points mixed up! What you surely mean to say is that Paul Krugman, like Oprah, Barack and Paris is a _celebrity!_ And not only that, if your argument is correct. He’s a _dead celebrity_ like Jesus, Elvis and Jim Morrison! When will we have the first sightings of Dead Paul Krugman in gas station restrooms? ‘I swear – I was peeing right next to him when he turned around and started talking to me about the consequences of increasing returns for industry location! I couldn’t have been mistaken!’ Only Donald Luskin (a wholly owned subsidiary of Fafblog ™ Enterprises) knows!

(4) Jules Crittenden for “Krugman Ennobled”:http://www.julescrittenden.com/2008/10/13/krugman-ennobled/.

I’m afraid I have zip to offer on that, except to say if the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences likes it and it isn’t about DNA, it must either support terrorism, hate America or be completely absurd. Extra credit for Bush-bashing …

And if you don’t, and you aren’t, and you haven’t, why would you want it? I’m mean, aside from the 10 million kronor and the global fawning …

I wouldn’t want to suggest Krugman excuses terrorism or hates America. It is likely, however, that his extensive Bush-bashing, Saddam-dismissing, GWOT-mocking absurdism was a heavy thumb on the Nobel scale. Curious that an economist whose work on patterns and locations is Nobel-worthy couldn’t do the math to figure out that a sociopathic mass-murdering megalomaniac with a pattern of supporting terrorism, seeking WMD and invading neighbors, located on some of the most strategically important real estate on Earth, with whom much of Europe was eager to trade again, is someone who could no longer be tolerated.

… followed by a long maddened rant about how Al Gore’s Nobel Prize isn’t really all that maddening. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure that Crittenden shows the same chops as the other contestants, but his riffs on ‘I’m not suggesting that Paul Krugman is a crazed terrorist-hugger but …’ and ‘no-one who disagrees with me about the need to nuke Saddam till he glows deserves a Nobel prize’ are game efforts that deserve some recognition.

(5) ‘ryck’ at Clownhall for “Krugman Receives the Ultimate Insult: The Swede’s Bozo Prize for Leftist Stooges”:http://rycksrationalizations.blogtownhall.com/2008/10/14/krugman_receives_the_ultimate_insult_the_swedes_bozo_prize_for_leftist_stooges.thtml.

I nearly put this competition up last night, and am glad that I didn’t – truly, some of the best wine was saved until last. The other four contestants have a little polish to their madness. One senses that if they were hosed down, stuffed into a suit and given appropriate medications, they might even be able to simulate sane and normal people for short periods of time. ‘ryck’ is far, far beyond that. What he lacks in sophistication, he makes up for in sheer, raw natural talent. I’ll provide some excerpts:

The New York Times—aka the Walter Duranty Papers has a 90+ year history of apologizing for Communism, propping up losers, dictators and despots in their opinion columns and scrounging for new ways to reinvent Marxism. The Times has praised a swarm of disgusting parasites who parade as ‘leaders’ in the world and issues ‘prizes’ in many fields for practicing far leftist politics. Today, Paul Krugman is disgraced, internationally, and anointed with the Mantle of Stooge as defined by the Swedish Academy. This Academy is besotted with political choices for prizes … Various ‘prizes’ have been given to these ‘people’ [le rouleau de papier de perdants et de pervers]. Look at this sorry list of losers, criminals and worse who got ‘prizes’ from the Ignoble Nobel Circus … Mikhail Gorbachev [Drooling Communist who ‘believed’ in Communism.] … Fact: London is a socialist swamp infected with Sharia law and knee deep in Islamo-Fascists. They grovel in fear of a revolution like the cowardly Spanish and French do.

but to really appreciate this in its plenitude, you need to click on the link. The stylesheet alone is worthy of an award, demonstrating that different colors and the [em] tag do for the modern crank what ALL CAPS and different font sizes did for his predecessor in the age of the handcranked mimeograph. Butthere’s more. The cod-erudition of footnotes and quotes in doggerel-French so as to suggest that the author has book-learning. The rambling prose – sometimes managing to sort-of keep ahold of an idea for two sentences but never three. For sheer nuttiness, this has the others beat – but there are many possible criteria of excellence for this award, and I’ll leave it to you, the voter, to decide which one is most important.

Now vote!



Delicious Pundit 10.15.08 at 3:37 pm

1. I vote for Ryck. Think of how many Islamo-Fascists have to be in that socialist swamp to get them to knee-deep height. That’s if they’re loaded on their sides, that is; I suppose they could be standing up and the ground is so swampy they only reach up to your knees.

2. As a communications device, all caps is STILL PRETTY EFFECTIVE.

3. I would, however, hold off on making the winner of this competition the winner of the My Head Asploded award for the whole year, because we don’t know what they’ll say if/when Obama wins and changes the official language to Islamish.


SamChevre 10.15.08 at 3:54 pm

#5 definitely wins. The others seem like it might be possible that an actual reality-connected point existed somewhere.


notsneaky 10.15.08 at 3:59 pm

Not #1 because it actually predates the prize, no? And it’s supposed to be ‘spontaneous human combustions’. Plus it just doesn’t have enough spittle n’ rant.

#5, with #2 closely behind. Actually I feel sort of sorry for #5.


sean 10.15.08 at 4:05 pm

Definitely #2. #5 has more crazy, but #2 wins because the author once managed to finish a PhD, is willing to attach his real name to his rant, and managed to get said rant into a dead-tree publication.

Shorter version: Less asplodin’, bigger head.


Minivet 10.15.08 at 4:11 pm

I love how #4 and #5 both reference the Swedish Academy, even though the Economics prize winners are both apparently picked by different entities. (Nor the Peace prize, which is more often fulminated against.) But I vote for #2; it’s graded on a curve since Forbes published it.


Minivet 10.15.08 at 4:13 pm

Oh, never mind – I guess the Swedish Academy does pick the Economics prize winner, even though the Bank of Sweden endowed it.


Nick Barnes 10.15.08 at 4:19 pm

#5. No contest. The colours! The colours! Extra credit for his list of Peace Prize winners (mostly wingnut hate figures such as Amnesty International and “Marxist stooge”s Jimmy Carter and Al Gore, but also including “Idiot” Henry Kissinger) . Oh, and the list of people who “should have won”.

Can you add a green crayon to the prize?


sean 10.15.08 at 4:21 pm

I still don’t think he won, but clicking on #5’s “Biography” link reveals a thing of rare wingnut beauty: “Being a practicing advocate of individualism is like living the life of a paladin…” It only gets weirder from there.


The Modesto Kid 10.15.08 at 4:24 pm

What Sean said. Also, your link for #4 is broken. Is this a subtle hint?


Donald A. Coffin 10.15.08 at 4:25 pm

I’m the first person to vote for Luskin? “…never before has a scientist operating in the capacity of a public intellectual so abused and debased the science he purports to represent…” is by itself sufficient. If Luskin understood economics…


David in NY 10.15.08 at 4:28 pm

I’m voting #2, because I don’t feel one bit sorry for him. (It’s William L. Anderson, by the way; took a little while to find out that he’s an assistant professor at Frostburg State University (did Sarah Palin spend a semester there?)) Talk about pseudo-intellectual tripe, the link is full of it, obviously the detritus of a head-asplosion of the first magnitude.


Uncle Kvetch 10.15.08 at 4:33 pm

Just to be annoyingly contrarian (I can haz job riting fur Slaite nao?), I’m going to say #1. I loves me that old-time off-the-cuff, evidence-free psychologizing.


donDonE 10.15.08 at 4:35 pm

In another life my head would have Asploded from reading such scholarly comments about Professor Krugman; however, after surviving Bush I am merely amused.
I must go with #2 simply because Professor Anderson went through so much trouble to disgrace not only himself but the institutions which educated him and all who may call him friend, family, employee.
Number 5, while deranged, was simply a crazy from FreeRepublic or some like wingnut haven and they are a penny a gross.


Cheryl 10.15.08 at 4:43 pm

I must admit that I was very tempted by “ryck” – London is knee-deep in Islamo-Fascists? Eek! I must buy a pair of thigh-boots before I have to pass through there next week. However, I’m going to vote for Professor Anderson. That’s partially because of the bizzaro mix of erudition and wing-nuttiness, but also because his comparisons with great military disasters seem to invest Kurgman’s Nobel with far more prestige and influence than it is probably worth.


notsneaky 10.15.08 at 4:44 pm

Re 8. Yeah the ‘paladin’ part is what made me feel sorry for the guy.


arthur 10.15.08 at 4:47 pm

While ryck puts up tough competition with his eye catching visual design and effective use of hyperbole, I have to put in a vote to Dan Klein. I have long admired his Econ Journal Watch, where Klein & Co. have managed to leverage their inability to interpret economic papers into a publication widely read by scholars arguing that they have been misinterpreted. This strategy allows them to attract articles and readers in a single stroke – truly a stroke of genius worthy of a Harvard case study.

The Krugman piece is noteworthy in another respect: it is a proud continuation of the Austrian economic tradition of accusing your opponents of being sore losers who hate the poor. Surely one can see shadows of Mises’ “The Psychological Basis of the Opposition to Economic Theory” in it? Ah, the flames of defunct economists burn bright…

So yeah, while ryck may be nuttier, at the end of the day I think it’s Econ Journal Watch which deserves wider recognition.


Malaclypse 10.15.08 at 4:48 pm

#2. #3 is a good run for the money, but the snark is on too personal a level. 5 wins for flat-out crazy. But This is not as tragic a moment in western civilization as the sacking of Constantinople in 1453 or the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, but it suffices as one of those sad moments we will regret over time. is just too wonderfully written to not win something.

I just wish he had managed to work in a Holocaust comparison, for the full Liberal Fascism treatment. That would have made it perfect.


dr. doctrine 10.15.08 at 4:48 pm

Definitely #5. However, I voted for #4 before I voted for #5. Do I git sum sort of librul prise now?


Righteous Bubba 10.15.08 at 4:49 pm

My favourite part of Anderson’s piece:

Paul Krugman is an unabashed liberal, and there is no crime in an economist having such persuasions. For that matter, many economists have a bit of that streak, too.



Dave S. 10.15.08 at 4:50 pm

Like others above, it is a split decision between #1 (he had me at “penchant in play”) and #5. Regarding the latter, to whom should I apply to get my five minutes back?


mclaren 10.15.08 at 4:54 pm

This is great. Zombie Krugman! Marxist stooges! A little disappointed we didn’t get the good old-school “human vermin crawling like reptiles in the night” stuff, that great classic kind of “subhuman running dog socialist pigs” hysteria. But, man, these guys are on fire. I wish they’d put these things up on YouTube so you coulda seen the green foam coming’ outa their mouths…


Colin Danby 10.15.08 at 5:07 pm

Klein might win for epic tendentiousness, but the category is exploding heads, people. He’s a damp squib. *Way* too may qualifiers.

2-4 are morosely phoning it in.

Ryck has two merits. One is his reversal, in the third sentence, of the usual criticism that the awarding of the prize disgraces the prize-givers. No, in Ryck’s view the prize further disgraces Krugman. This is great. Then there is the way, as Henry notes, that the piece gathers force as it moves, logical connections between breaking as the words themselves start flying apart, like John Belushi’s _Weekend Update_ commentaries.


Righteous Bubba 10.15.08 at 5:08 pm

Oh and I vote for #5. Clearly the craziest, if not the most debased, and he deserves credit for asploding his brain above its weight-class.


Aaron Swartz 10.15.08 at 5:12 pm

If #1 wins, I think Mankiw should get a bonus mini-oh-noe for linking to it favorably.

But as for my vote, is it really too late to give some kind of award to David Bernstein and W. Kiernan?


David in NY 10.15.08 at 5:13 pm

Note, by the way, that Von Mises is an inspiration for (or the source of the pretensions of) the authors of both #1 and #2. Hmmm …


des von bladet 10.15.08 at 5:18 pm


Like many, I suspect #5 of being pre-asploded. (If Cosma is now summonable, perhaps he can give his expert psychoceramicist opinion.)


David in NY 10.15.08 at 5:21 pm

As for Luskin — Can’t we just give him a lifetime award and retire him?


Sebastian 10.15.08 at 5:30 pm

another voter for 2. Being a professor and writing on a “serious” site gives extra credit – and Krugman the Bolshevik is just too good .


Walt 10.15.08 at 5:31 pm

I alone possess the Cosma bat signal. Now smashed, since he’s gone bad…


Rich Puchalsky 10.15.08 at 5:38 pm

There is one clear winner. Ryck, #5, can’t be it; it’s unfair to pick out some random wingnut who no one has ever heard of. Luskin has already won the valuable Stupidest Man Alive prize, and you wouldn’t want him to take on airs. Klein is too boring. Crittendon disqualifies himself with his “I’m afraid I have zip to offer” passive-aggressive start; that’s not a head explosion.

It had to be #2, Professor Anderson. Come on, this is in Forbes. Dr. Anderson didn’t just run out into the virtual street, head popping like a crazy person. No, he carefully combed his hair, arranged for television coverage, and sold tickets for people to see his head explode.


Scott Martens 10.15.08 at 5:50 pm

Quoting Roger Ebert:

“The star rating system is relative, not absolute. When you ask a friend if Hellboy is any good, you’re not asking if it’s any good compared to Mystic River, you’re asking if it’s any good compared to The Punisher. And my answer would be, on a scale of one to four, if Superman is four, then Hellboy is three and The Punisher is two. In the same way, if American Beauty gets four stars, then Leland clocks in at about two. ”

In this vein, #5 is really out of place here. When you’re looking for idiotic, ill-conceived, grotesquely ignorant spittle about men of Krugman’s calibre, you’re not looking for the kind of coddleswop one might have expected over, say, Michael Moore winning an Oscar. It’s Bircher schlock, a betrayal of the author as a crackpot clearly out of his depth. Krugman might merely respond as Trudeau is alleged to have replied to Nixon, “I’ve been called worse things by better men.”

No, a man like Krugman deserves something more than ordinary ignorance, he merits… the Stupidest Man Alive. I vote for #3 – as much to honour Luskin’s shining past work as for the section cited.


K 10.15.08 at 5:52 pm



engels 10.15.08 at 6:02 pm

I was leaning towards Daniel ‘Adaptive Penchants for Statist Serfdom Among Alpha Male Liberal Intellectuals’ Klein, with an honorary mention to Mankiw for the classy ‘Brutus is an honourable man’ way in which he linked to it, but I can also see the logic of those who think it doesn’t really qualify. For that reason, and for sheer historical bathos, I am going to have to go for William Anderson.


Jay 10.15.08 at 6:04 pm

#4 I’d say, underappreciated so far. As for screaming nuttiness, #5 certainly wins the day, and I’m just plain fascinated by how #2 managed to squeeze and squish its bulky moronic madness into a crumpled tuxedo and dupe the bouncer, crash the party, and slobber all over the Focus’s buffet. But still—by suggesting that the Nobel Prize committee supports terrorism and hates America while certainly not suggesting that Krugman excuses terrorism and hates America, #4 has all the wonderful qualities to win over even the most liberalest, bleedingest heart.


Maurice Meilleur 10.15.08 at 6:05 pm

#2. As a prize, we should offer Anderson further points of comparison for great moments in the downfall of Western civilization he can use in his rants. Besides the Holocaust, as Malaclypse suggested, how about:

— the Black Death
— the sacking of Rome by the Visigoths
— the Mongol invasion of Europe
— the burning of the library at Alexandria

After all, your writing will get pretty stale if you run out of over-the-top metaphors completely inappropriate to the person or event you’re describing.


Jay 10.15.08 at 6:06 pm

Forbes’s buffet, of course. Just recovered from a migraine attack, sorry.


The Epicurean Dealmaker 10.15.08 at 6:31 pm

Oh, #5, please. There is such a grandeur, such a je-ne-sais-quoi in his fulminations as to make one’s very ears peel in masochistic pleasure.

Besides, putting that many colors on a website takes real talent.


OPINIONATED GRANDMA 10.15.08 at 6:34 pm

Krugman’s Nobel Prize is NOT a catastrophe on the level of the Burning of the Library of Alexandria. RATHER IT IS akin to the ERECTION of an anti-library, a NEW LIBRARY of Alexandria, the sad waste of so much manpower to erect an edifice of LIES which so many cannot tell from the truth. I would rather see the library BURNED HONESTLY than a new liebrary erected and we all to stand prostrate kneeling before it and the ivory tower from whose head it sprang.


MQ 10.15.08 at 6:35 pm

I vote for #2, based on the great comparison to the sack of Constantinople. I like my gems of pure insanity sparkling in a relatively plain setting, not lost in a river of craziness like #5.

But really, you need to get Krugman himself to pick between the finalists. Surely someone must know him well enough to forward the email.


Keith 10.15.08 at 6:40 pm

I just wish he had managed to work in a Holocaust comparison, for the full Liberal Fascism treatment. That would have made it perfect.

For that we must wait until Obama wins the election. Sweet mother of Abraham lincoln, this is going to be good!

And I add a vote for #2. From the sacking of Constantinople to the Bolshevik Revolution, with a half backstep away from the brink of a Godwin violation, and all in the context of criticizing an award for economics. That’s the sort of thing you can only get from native talent finely honed.


Henry 10.15.08 at 6:40 pm

Thanks all for comments (and for corrections to link and middle initials). For better or worse, I think that Paul K. has other things on his mind than judging Internets competitions at the moment …


David in NY 10.15.08 at 6:40 pm

No, he carefully combed his hair, arranged for television coverage, and sold tickets for people to see his head explode.



Cosma "mid-terms to grade? what mid-terms to grade?" Shalizi 10.15.08 at 6:49 pm

Oh dear this is a hard decision. #5 is definitely the only one with a psychoceramic flavor (the colors
and layout are clearly on a spectrum with TimeCube, though not really spectacular yet), but it somehow lacks the sputtering indignation appropriate to heads exploding, and the delusional thoughts travel along well-worn tracks to a foregone conclusion. #1 has many virtues – that is, vices – but it’s too early and not out-of-control enough. On the other hand, I’m very passive-aggressive, and so inclined to vote for it to honor Mankiw.

In the end, I think this goes to Luskin as a second-best solution.


nashe 10.15.08 at 7:02 pm

I was going to go with #5, but the Roger Ebert argument in #31 stopped me in my tracks. #3 it is.


Righteous Bubba 10.15.08 at 7:04 pm

I agree with everybody who believes that screaming with cats attached to your shopping cart is not notable, but screaming from atop a carefully-designed tower of yowling kitties is. 21 footnotes from ryck!


rmz 10.15.08 at 7:15 pm

This is a toughie.

I have to vote for (1) – Daniel Klein for a couple of reasons. First, I do love me some insane sociological generalizing. Second, Klein’s pseudoknowledge is just so much more earnest (and unaware) than the run-of-the-mill politics politics politics of the other commentators.


Uncle Kvetch 10.15.08 at 7:25 pm

I agree with everybody who believes that screaming with cats attached to your shopping cart is not notable, but screaming from atop a carefully-designed tower of yowling kitties is.

The poor, poor kitties.


roger 10.15.08 at 7:34 pm

This contest is like trying to hold the World Series without the National League. Am I the only person who sees, there, on the far horizon, the giant shadow of David Horowitz looming? Horowitz will make these crazies seem like the small fry they are when he gets his mighty mind around this object. Will Krugman figure in the network of academo-terrorists? Will he be evidence that Princeton is the capital of holocaust deniers, on the brink of awarding President Ahmedwhosit of Iran an honorary degree? I don’t know. I am a modest observer. But I do know that Horowitz’s giant strides will strike awe into our heart, once he puts his mind to it!


Barbar 10.15.08 at 7:38 pm

Number 2.

Number 1 is tempting because of Mankiw, but 2 takes the day.


Emma 10.15.08 at 7:47 pm

#2, definitely. Come on, #5 is shooting fish in a barrel.


R. Stanczak 10.15.08 at 7:49 pm

This was a tough choice. Numbers four and five were both equally stupendous in their stupidity. While I normally hate choosing based on style, number five [ryck] takes the cake. The innovative use of eye popping colour, the brilliant insertions of capitals and bold lettering, and finally the craptacular footnotes, make him deserving of this award.


Alex 10.15.08 at 8:10 pm

For shame. Someone corrected Luskin’s spelling. It’s so much less poor and stupid without the reference to “astromers”. Reinstate the seminal text.


Farren 10.15.08 at 8:10 pm

‘ryck’ at Clownhall is a real class act.

My head asploded when I got to fellow-countryman
1984: Desmond Tutu [ Bigot,racist]


Colin Danby 10.15.08 at 8:14 pm

It’s all fish in a barrel.


LFC 10.15.08 at 8:19 pm

I vote for #2, for the reasons some others have given already.
(and, btw, #2’s “not as tragic as” should be “not *so* tragic as” — if you care about such minor stylistic things)


anon/portly 10.15.08 at 8:39 pm

(3) is mere snottiness, (1) and (4) aren’t actual examples of “wingnuts’ heads exploding as a result of Paul Krugman’s Nobel prize” [(1) is old stuff and (4) is just a guy who doesn’t like the Nobel prizes and Krugman’s foreign policy views] and (5)’s head apparently exploded many years ago.

The clear winner is (2). I can’t imagine what that first paragraph was supposed to mean. Shorter second paragraph:”I would try and make an argument against Krugman winning the prize fit for forbes.com to print but right now my head is exploding.” The hash of Krugman’s bailout arguments at the end is appalling. But the key paragraph is this one:

“In Krugman’s world, ideological right-wingers took a meat axe to the carefully planned, stable New Deal economic structures of finance, telecommunications, transportation and manufacturing and created an unstable mess in which greed overruled good sense. Going even farther, Krugman has called for a reinstatement of the New Deal or at least another set of legislative initiatives like the New Deal.”

I think this accidental burst of lucidity (or fairness) is the strongest evidence that a head-exploding like event did occur.


Fr. 10.15.08 at 8:42 pm

Luskin without any form of hesitation, although ryck’s end comment is priceless:

Fact: London is a socialist swamp infected with Sharia law and knee deep in Islamo-Fascists. They grovel in fear of a revolution like the cowardly Spanish and French do.

(Play a game: go to his website, click “Biography”.)


Helen 10.15.08 at 9:35 pm

#1 deserves a special mention with the tossed-off line, “It’s good to be the alpha male or one of his close companions”. Evidently Klein still lives in a world where Homburg hats are worn and cars have running boards.


elspi 10.15.08 at 9:40 pm


I am sorry, but in this thread we are choosing the winner.
I am very impressed with your entry, but it is too late to receive consideration.

(oh and #5 of course)


Nix 10.15.08 at 9:57 pm

#5 is simply stunning. One of the others must win because they display a simulation of actual erudition, but for self-contradictory awesomeness you cannot beat #5.

I mean, just in the first few paragraphs, we have the ordinary complaint that Nobel prizes are awarded on the basis of political leanings rather than accomplishments… followed by a leap into asplodery terrirtory with denunciations of large numbers of winners, by name, because of their political leanings, without consideration of the accomplishments for which they won the prize. You can’t self-contradict that effectively in a two-paragraph span without great native talent.

Damning Gorbachev for being a professed Communist while ignoring little matters like ending the Soviet Union, and damning the prize on the basis of people who didn’t win it except on the inside of his head, just takes the cake. (Adolf Hitler didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize, but he could have won the Literature prize if he had switched from painting to writing rather than to evil monsterdom, and anyone who’d award a prize to someone like that is beneath contempt!)

Further bad bits that nobody’s pointed out so far:

His footnote links are nicely broken: a little present from MS Word.

His grasp of economics is such that he doesn’t understand that cutting taxes constitutes a cost to the government. His understanding of regulation is such that if regulators ever pronounce on a subject, he considers that he can castigate others for proposing more regulation in that area, because they are ‘already regulated’. (It’s a binary state, you see: any regulation at all, which is communism and thus bad, and no regulation, which is Somalia and thus good.)

He can’t tell the Swedes and Swiss apart, and, well, did you know that Iran was governed by a ‘Shaw’? (George Bernard Shaw, probably, that damn Communist. I mean he shares initials with Gordon Brown, who lost us the Second World War by breaking the banks in 1917. Or something.)

As for the comparison of London to a socialist swamp, my eye was caught by his description of the French not just as ‘cowardly’ (any wingnut can do that) but as ‘grovel[ling] in fear of a revolution’. And here I thought Bastille Day was a celebration of revolution…


David in NY 10.15.08 at 10:00 pm


I think “not as ____ as” has been accepted usage for a long time. The form “not so ___ as”, I gather, is preferred by some, but I’ve always thought it was used in the US mostly by those influenced by English-English usage (or by those who had unusually persnickety eighth-grade English teachers).


Katherine 10.15.08 at 10:04 pm

#2, definitely. #5 is clearly the maddest, but #2 just has that extra-special self-important I-think-it’s-wrong-therefore-it’s-the-worst-thing-in the-world delusion.


Jay C 10.15.08 at 10:12 pm

Going even farther, Krugman has called for a reinstatement of the New Deal or at least another set of legislative initiatives like the New Deal.”

Yeah, another vote for #2: if no other reason than the deliciously unironic way in which it seems to be taken for granted that the above is a bad idea.

But of course, a booby consolation prize to “ryck” for his wonderful rant : inscribed with that timeless legend of the Internet: ROTFLMAO


Michael Drake 10.15.08 at 10:14 pm

I vote Klein, but only because I’m concerned with being among what I regard to be the top of the pyramid of culture and power.

Plus, the Luskin choice would be hackneyed.


Katherine 10.15.08 at 10:18 pm

Fact: London is a socialist swamp infected with Sharia law and knee deep in Islamo-Fascists. They grovel in fear of a revolution like the cowardly Spanish and French do.

Mad Mel at the Daily Mail called it Londonistan, so this is not an original asplosion. I think the footnote should be disqualified.


perianwyr 10.15.08 at 10:25 pm

it’s ryck

ryck is the best (worst) poster

“Being a practicing advocate of individualism is like living the life of a paladin.”

dude if you don’t like the class, reroll


rmz 10.15.08 at 10:32 pm


Well, that class suffers from poor itemization and growing irrelevancy in raids. They can still do alright in PvP, due mainly to their incredible staying power, but do not expect them to contribute very much.

Also, lol.


Roy Belmont 10.15.08 at 11:00 pm

#5, with compassion.

Dept. of Jungian Word Association Studies:

and hangs from iridescent strings
5 million aliens
to splash the recipients with this phony glory

[Mr. Ryck’s full biography, source for the following, should tip the scales in one direction or another, and can be found

scorned for having
inherited it from his crooked ancestors
An account of this follows
where thousands of Dustbowl Okies
settled comfortably into the welfare system
They are still there
in my household we had plenty of kindness, love and food
I was orphaned at 15
abandoned by my step father
an unusual dose of fortuitous political training
The teachings of Hoffer would act as a beacon
and alarm system
I started working in the cotton fields in 1954 (11 years old)
watching Caesar Chavez and his loyal followers bash the heads
of reluctant field laborers
intimidating peasants with threats and beatings,
and by night ferried hookers though the Mexican towns,
like Cutler, in the same vehicles
They covered the interior lights
with blue cellophane and kept
their head lights turned off for effect.

Nobody in my extended family, or members of the town,
ever lied to me
stole my meager belongings, or tried to sleaze me
strangely mirrored by the antics of the (then future)
characters in the movie American Graffiti

After an exchange of nastygrams with my draft board
My car had died of old age. The Bay Area was jumping.
tried to thread my way through the dope, incense,
massage parlors, hookers,
and gays cruising for errant sailors
I was addicted to bridge
I even accepted invitations to various parties
calculated to disguise the designs
intellectuals who were frequently dedicated cadres
deftly steered by grad students at UC Berkeley

Leary and Ginsburg had nothing to offer but sorrow

numerous opportunities to join failed causes
headed for the Viet Nam war theatre. I was flown to Saigon
we interdicted junks and shelled caravans
Any centurion in Caesar’s Tenth Legion could have shown us the way
dedicated, but ignorant, peasants died
in a hopeless war at the hands of the guns on my boat
I worked day and night
which included the absence of a car
and the salient fact that I had no civilian shoes
two tours in some steamy fantasy land
a nasty welcome from howling hippies,
drug-crazed loonies and flower children
a gift of a big gob of spit deftly
directed to my sleeve

by a deranged female hippie

The world I knew had changed – and not for the better
I ignored as much of this as possible
skillfully earned in the seedy card parlors of San Diego
I was now an expert in most phases of radar technology
The anti-war fever was high
The mental pathologies of these frustrated activists
Kent State had set a precedent.
Living very close to the financial abyss in New Haven
I adapted to the university culture,
thoroughly enjoyed its elitist social life
My sympathy for the leftist causes dwindled
and my taxes started to rise
have begun to cope with ever higher taxes
I only partially escaped
the noisy banter of the radical left mentality
I now rely on eternal literary works
with strong predictive qualities
The mortgage is paid
offered many politically inspired opportunities
to be an accomplished (and celebrated) loser

Just what did Tom Hayden, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan , Susan Sontag and Allen Ginsberg really offer? Sloth, sodomy and sedition?

Chronologically, I live on the leading edge of the giant boomer movement
now muddled in debates over global warming
the social leprosy that is intended for us
Prosperity, despite the scorn and disgust of the liberals,
is certainly within my grasp,
baring some cataclysmic tax event. I am confident

obtained in spite of the perceived horrors of individualism,
aided by a general contempt
reported with relish


Malaclypse 10.15.08 at 11:01 pm

Being a practicing advocate of individualism is like living the life of a paladin. Personal hygiene becomes optional, and you never speak to, much less touch, an actual woman.


MarkUp 10.15.08 at 11:25 pm

66>”should tip the scales in one direction or another, …”

I’ll pull for #5 if I see a box of chocolate and a shrimp boat, otherwise 2 & 4 should be invited to write-off.


RudyTahuti 10.16.08 at 12:57 am

For me it’s Luskin (#3), all the way, for connecting to John Nash’s schizophrenia. I’ve been eagerly awaiting that linkage.


roac 10.16.08 at 1:54 am

Can anyone tell me what Millard Tydings is doing on #5’s list of People Who Should Have Won The Nobel Prize?

I vote for #2 for reasons well articulated by others.


LFC 10.16.08 at 3:20 am

David in NY @61:
I agree with you that “not as ___ as” is accepted usage. I should have been clearer that I think this is a matter of stylistic preferences, rather than right/wrong. I prefer “not so __ as” for reasons that would take too long to go into here. (Sorry for the cop-out, but it’s late and I’m tired.)


LFC 10.16.08 at 3:21 am

Please ignore all the italics in my previous comment — unintentional.


pär 10.16.08 at 3:46 am

#5, definitely. a consolation prize to Anderson.


Righteous Bubba 10.16.08 at 3:57 am

An inspiring reframing by Roy Belmont.

I guess at this point I have to giggle at Professor Anderson duking it out with Mr. Koo Koo Nutty Nut for the coveted “Oh Noes! My Head Asploded” award. What an insult it would be to come in first or second.


lemuel pitkin 10.16.08 at 4:16 am

I vote for #1, mainly because it, and especially Henry’s gloss on it, remind me of this classic CT dissection — disembowelment? vivisection? — of Steven den Beste. Good times.


Brad DeLong 10.16.08 at 4:35 am


But I am somewhat disappointed: Have we no Kauses? Have we no Sullivans? Have we no Okrents????

Surely someone can write the exploding-head posts they would have written were they all still in their prime…


lemuel pitkin 10.16.08 at 4:46 am

Um, Brad, you’re supposed to cast a vote….


Brad DeLong 10.16.08 at 4:47 am

It’s such an embarrassment of riches…


Mayson Lancaster 10.16.08 at 4:58 am

I have to go with Klein, simply because his quote in the Times so perfectly illustrates the media’s absurd knee-jerk compulsion to “balance” every story:

“Much of his popular work is disgraceful,” said Daniel Klein, a professor of economics at George Mason University, who this year wrote a comprehensive review of Mr. Krugman’s body of Times columns. “He totally omits all these major issues where the economics conclusion goes against the feel-good Democratic Party ethos, which I think he’s really tended to pander to especially since writing for The New York Times.”</blockquote


Brad DeLong 10.16.08 at 5:05 am

OK. I vote for Daniel Klein…


Colin Danby 10.16.08 at 5:09 am



David Bernstein 10.16.08 at 5:41 am


LN 10.16.08 at 6:11 am

#3, of course. Since when did being a public intellectual become a crime? Most of us can relate to what Krugman writes. Sour grapes indeed.


MQ 10.16.08 at 6:17 am

Ryck’s bio, linked in 68, actually has some good writing in it. This is a nice, funky passage with a good beat. Shows the 60s writing influence, I prefer it to e.g. Richard Brautigan:

My life’s financial progress was calculated after this transaction and my net worth turned out to be about -50 dollars, which included the absence of a car and the salient fact that I had no civilian shoes. I was not getting ahead by participating in this war exercise, my education was behind schedule, and folks were trying to kill me.

His talents are wasted being a wingnut. But “sloth, sodomy, and sedition” is an excellent propaganda line too, a little too high-flown to be as good as “acid, amnesty, and abortion”, but still pretty zingy.

I renew my vote for 2, I think Ryck is a unique eccentric whose head is constantly asunder, sort of an outsider art type, while the others are supposed members of the establishment who reveal themselves as idiots in this time of stress and challenge.


ingrid robeyns 10.16.08 at 6:22 am

I think they all deserve a prize – they are all terrific (or terrifying?).
So I’ll vote for the one that made me laugh out loudest – Anderson.


Lex 10.16.08 at 8:02 am

Roy @68 – dude! Read that way, it almost brings a tear to the eye. But then so many monsters have a tragic past…

A vote? I’ll add to the small minority for #4, on the basis that such dedication to making everything about how invading Iraq was right deserves acknowledgment…


Nathan Myers 10.16.08 at 9:03 am

If I can’t have #3, I’ll take #2.


Roy Belmont 10.16.08 at 9:03 am

I prefer “Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash”, myself.


margolis 10.16.08 at 9:43 am

I may have the wrong criteria here, but I would vote to eliminate #s 2-5 from contention. These last four all have, in their own way, a certain panache, which acts in concert with their own absurdity to increase our pleasure in laughing at them. In contrast, #1 is nothing but joyless inelegance. The writing is simply not competent. It’s a chore to read, and only makes us shake our heads.
Should this make it the loser? Maybe. But, I vote for it as the winner.


John Meredith 10.16.08 at 9:49 am

#2 should be dropped from competition because “This is not as tragic a moment in western civilization as the sacking of Constantinople in 1453 or the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, but it suffices as one of those sad moments we will regret over time” is so obviously a joke. And quite a funny one, if not exactly side clutching.


Ben 10.16.08 at 9:54 am

(2) Professor William L. Anderson.


Ciarán 10.16.08 at 10:30 am

Definitely #4.

Just as a question, though – and this despite my affection for most things American – do we really think that if the particular Yanks cited above discovered the joys of socialism they’d settle for having it in one country?


toby 10.16.08 at 10:34 am

For me its Daniel Klein, though he left out Attila the Hun, the old Scourge of God himself, as a comparative disaster for Western Civilization.


Ginger Yellow 10.16.08 at 11:51 am

It has to be number (2) for sheer insane hyperbole, but I do love this line from Luskin:

The only question now is whether Krugman will pay taxes on the prize at the low rates enabled by the Bush tax cuts he has done so much to discredit, or if he will volunteer to pay taxes at higher rates he considers more fair.

Or, you know, he could just vote for a president who would raise taxes on the rich like any principalled liberalish person would.


Ginger Yellow 10.16.08 at 11:54 am

Oops. “Principled”, of course.


John Howard Brown 10.16.08 at 1:06 pm

Such a difficult choice, but I think ryck (love the spelling by the way). Did he call the Nobel a socialist tool with Milton Friedman and Gary Becker won it?


Matthew 10.16.08 at 1:22 pm

#5 has cornered the market on crazy.


Patrick Burke 10.16.08 at 3:19 pm

By law #2 must win…mere mention of the word commissar adds precious bonus points to an intellectually bone-chillin’ close race. And seriously, when did Forbes start publishing satire ?


christine 10.16.08 at 3:53 pm

#2. Not as crazy as #5, perhaps, but clearly head exploding. Obviously wanted to be able to point to actual deaths Krugman is responsible for, and is irritated at having to wait until after Krugman’s imposition of socialism on the US actually causes them.


Robert Waldmann 10.16.08 at 4:11 pm

Zut alors. Holy materiel fecal ! It appears that this “Ryck” actually exists. I clicked the link assuming I was going to see a banner “Ha. You’ve been Ryck Rolled !”.


RS 10.16.08 at 4:21 pm

I vote for Klein–its not about Krugman, its all about him–exquisite self-hatred..


David in NY 10.16.08 at 4:31 pm

Just want to say that this is the best election since Berube (please excuse absence of accents) won David Horowitz’s contest for world’s most dangerous academic. By the way, what is Berube’s vote?


Uncle Kvetch 10.16.08 at 4:42 pm

Just what did Tom Hayden, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan , Susan Sontag and Allen Ginsberg really offer? Sloth, sodomy and sedition?

Well, isn’t that enough? Sheesh…some people are never satisfied.


dejla 10.16.08 at 4:46 pm

I vote for ‘ryck’ at Clownhall: sheer, unadultered, tinfoil-hat, batshit, asinine craziness strung onto a Mobius loop of repetitive insults.


joseph duemer 10.16.08 at 5:40 pm

Daniel “Penchant” Klein is the clear winner. Ryck is too much the wonderful anti-poet of wingnuttery for this particular prize–perhaps there is some other appropriate honor we could bestow upon him. And Uncle Kevtch? Thanks, your comments made me laugh out loud.


PSP 10.16.08 at 6:06 pm

Number five clearly gets top points for sheer insanity, but two deserves a special award for just getting the phrase “Krugman believes the problem is that the Bush administration is not socialist enough” published in a national publication.


Teresa Nielsen Hayden 10.16.08 at 6:31 pm

I cannot vote for Ryck. If years of reading slush has taught me anything, it’s how to recognize writers in the grip of neurochemical disorder. As certain funguses provoke plants into senseless yet strangely compelling efflorescent growth, so schizophrenia and related illnesses can lead to tortuously illogical political theories and profoundly unpublishable novels.

My vote goes to Contestant #2, Professor William L. Anderson. It’s no small feat to write that clearly and incisively while being that wrong. The real difficulty would be finishing the piece when the awfulness of the part he’d already written was right there on the screen in front of him. Maybe he typed the whole thing with his eyes closed, and didn’t read it until after he’d sent it off to Forbes?


twodox 10.16.08 at 6:59 pm

Donald Luskin has displayed his outstanding comprehension of economics and general, and tax policy in his statement: “The only question now is whether Krugman will pay taxes on the prize at the low rates enabled by the Bush tax cuts he has done so much to discredit, or if he will volunteer to pay taxes at higher rates he considers more fair.”

Nobel Prizes are TAX EXEMPT!


larryepke 10.16.08 at 7:42 pm

It’s a tough competition. There’s the pseudo-intellectualism of Klein. There’s the outlandish historical comparisons of Anderson. The cognitive dissonance of Luskin. The “I don’t want to say something bad, but I will anyway” meme of Crittinden.

But in the end, there can be only one winner, and that winner, far and away, is ryck. One can see the spittle sparkle on the monitor, the drool drip into the keyboard. Colors whirl! French (a language usually loathed by wingers) pops up like dandelions! Non sequiturs flourish! It’s economics as seen by the loonie begging for quarters on the street corner.


Blake 10.16.08 at 8:18 pm

ryck wins in my estimation


LL 10.16.08 at 8:37 pm

ryck with the Clowns. He clearly needs to get his meds adjusted.


Dan 10.16.08 at 9:09 pm

Can we skip ahead and nominate ryck for the ‘Prize in Literature?


David in NY 10.16.08 at 9:12 pm


Doesn’t your IRS publication say that Nobel prizes are “generally” included in taxable income, unless certain conditions are met, of which one is that you never receive the prize and direct that it be given to a non-taxable entity? That’s how I read it.


mere mortal 10.16.08 at 10:40 pm

#1 deserves high praise.

Consider, a PhD in Economics became so unhinged by regular strength Krugman that he decided to actually publish a paper that relied upon psychoanalysis (“a mentality particularly of people of high strata who are chiefly concerned with being among what they regard to be the top of the pyramid of culture and power”) and evolutionary psychology (“That such a penchant would be selected for in the environment of evolutionary adaptation is certainly plausible”) in order to support its thesis, without ever consulting or co-authoring with a specialist in such matters, is quite impressive.

Even more SuperAwsum is the “journal” that published it has as its mandate: “EJW watches the journals for inappropriate assumptions, weak chains of argument, phony claims of relevance, and omissions of pertinent truths.”

When confronted by Nobel Krugman (#1 Economist), splosions are absolutely inevitable (or at least plausibly certain).


mere mortal 10.16.08 at 10:45 pm

Oh, crap. Daniel Klein (#1) is actually the editor of the publication where that tripe appeared.

That answers the question about where the editors must have been when this steaming pile was submitted.


daddysteve 10.16.08 at 11:11 pm

So the gist of all this is that you people all think Krugman SHOULD have won a Nobel prize for economics? wow. This is a republicrat issue. Good luck.


Jay 10.17.08 at 2:30 am

The real difficulty would be finishing the piece when the awfulness of the part he’d already written was right there on the screen in front of him. Maybe he typed the whole thing with his eyes closed, and didn’t read it until after he’d sent it off to Forbes?

Excellent point. Maybe we should insist that all denizens of Mount Wingnut have this little device installed on their computers, first proposed by Randall Munroe at XKCD, and shortly thereafter actually implemented on youtube:



Theophrastus Bombastus von Hoehenheim den Sidste 10.17.08 at 2:45 am

Luskin will always be the sentimental favorite around here.


troll 10.17.08 at 4:39 am

[aeiou] The Daniel Klein excerpt doesn’t belong with the others. Are you really so lacking in discernment, Henry?

And the gratuitous slag on David Bernstein is just puerile. Tell me, Henry: Are you more upset because Bernstein’s books out-sells yours by a factor of a dozen or because his work has influence on the world while you’re a professional masturbator?


Roy Belmont 10.17.08 at 7:05 pm

Can you possibly forward to this email address any pertinent information as to this profession of Henry’s, heretofore unknown to me, which from your tone I assume you must have had a more than passing familiarity with in order to be able to have redefined so emphatically Henry’s occupation thus, which I myself had thought was merely academic and having to do only with schoolwork.
I would be most appreciative as I am currently unemployed and can readily see myself, having brushed up on the basics, toiling happily in a field where I was once a seriously dedicated amateur.


rycK 10.17.08 at 8:25 pm

Just a note to clarify the progressive spelkink of ‘ryck’ as rycK

Everybody seems to be locked into passé literary noti0ns as well as outdated dogma. Thinking backward is a 20th Century lost virtue.

Also, update on the krugmanical one here:http://rycksrationalizations.blogtownhall.com/2008/10/17/the_winner_of_the_swedes_bozo_prize_for_leftist_stooges_now_instructs_us_in_fiscalism.thtml



Baxil 10.18.08 at 12:36 am

#2. As others have observed, Anderson is one small step from an invocation of Godwin. I humbly submit that he’s most worthy of the award: clearly he would have thought to include the Holocaust reference along with the other two had his head not finished exploding while writing that very sentence.

Ryck is clearly the most raving lunatic of the lot, but the true brilliance of insanity is in subtlety and clarity. Anderson is The Joker, diabolically scheming his brilliant master comparisons; Ryck is just that henchman who empties his machine gun into the darkness at the first hint that Batman is on the scene.


a different chris 10.18.08 at 3:00 am

Hold on here. … you gotta walk me past the revelation that Luskin (hearts) Keynes here before I can concentrate on picking a winner.

WTF is up with that?


blake 10.20.08 at 2:34 am

#5 is truly incredible


Michael Turner 10.20.08 at 6:39 am

I know it’s late in the game, but I move that #5 be disqualified. On a technicality.

What technicality? Picture this: you’re judging a rythmic gymnastics competition, and for the first time ever, a contestant deploys a feather boa and castanets. You’re beguiled, charmed, seduced, distracted. And the chief judge has even spoken warmly of the feather boa.

That’s like #5. You’ve been taken in by the rainbow color scheme of rycK’s blog. His autobiography (“I saw the best minds of my generation starving, hysterical, writing for Tech Central Station…”) has pyrotechnics far outstripping his anti-Krugman freeper-flaregun blast.

The problem: people here are supposed to be voting based on actual on-topic detonations, not on this pyrotechnic color lovingly prepared long in advance without Krugman (especially) in mind. It’s not that rycK couldn’t have won. It’s just that we had an inadequate and/or misleading Voter’s Guide, resulting in too many votes for rycK.

I vote Anderson, with the understanding that it could have gone to rycK if this competition hadn’t been criminally mismanaged, like mismangaed wrose than Hilter wood mismanag it ….


Froodish 10.20.08 at 7:20 am

The stylesheet alone is worthy of an award, demonstrating that different colors and the [em] tag do for the modern crank what ALL CAPS and different font sizes did for his predecessor in the age of the handcranked mimeograph.

You’re much too kind – that HTML is straight out of Microsoft Word with all it’s inline style goodness. You didn’t think that a frother like rycK actually knew how to author HTML did you?

W3 Validator says 252 errors


Chris 10.20.08 at 7:02 pm

#2 in the professional division

Id like to see more entrants in the amateur division but ryck looks to be a strong contestant. He gets extra points for hyperlinks (his footnotes) that link to files on his personal hard drive. Hey, who knew that a file like


could only be viewed by ryck personally?

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