As part of a minor project aimed at eliminating the cliche “the very real concerns of the white working class” (the latest weaselly codeword for people who want to gain the political benefits[1] of playing anti-immigrant politics while avoiding any of the costs) from British political life through a campaign of sustained mockery and invective, I had an article up on the Guardian blog last week. A digression that I probably should have edited out of it, but in fact liked so much that I not only left it in but am posting it here now, concerned the sunset of what was once an important subsector of the British social work profession in places like Kilburn and Camden Town:
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It depends what ‘worst’ means

by John Holbo on November 28, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson: “George Bush is neither the source of all our ills nor the “worst” president in our history.”

It says something that even Bush’s die-hard defenders implicitly concede that assessing his legacy is going to be a matter of wrangling over the semantics of ‘worst’.

Full disclosure: I’m married to a woman who is descended from James Buchanan, so it may be that I am over-eager to see the mantle of ‘worst’ pass to another family line, freeing my offspring from the stain of shame.

The Alaska Mink

by John Holbo on November 28, 2008

I can’t believe I beat Josh Marshall to this one. Check out this preview page for #3 of the new Top 10 run. To the right, in the center panel, see an elongated Don Young with ‘AK Mink’ – Alaska Mink – on his spandex. (See this old TPM post for backstory.) Also, Newt Gingrich is there. Of course I know all this because like a sensible person I listened to the John Siuntres Word Balloon podcast interview with Gene Ha, the artist for Top 10.

If you don’t know: Top 10 was an Alan Moore-authored series now being written and drawn by two of the original artists, Zander Cannon having shifted to writing. And so this seems like an appropriate time to reflect on the fact that Alan Moore is famous, and everyone has heard of Watchmen and V for Vendetta and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. But I like a lot of other Moore work as much, if not better. [click to continue…]