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September 03, 2004


A nice vacation in sunny McKeesport would be just the remedy.

As you say, Moe, There's A Lot Of It About. Gary Farber was remarking the other day how political blogging in general is becoming increasingly aggressive (and often polarised).

Let's face it, there is a lot at stake and this is the first time the presidential election has been blogged. Plus I don't think your country has been as decidedly in one camp or another for quite some time. It's bound to be nasty, and it will get nastier before November. And will probably stay nasty during the next administration, no matter who wins.

You come across a bit "enthusiastic" the other day.

I've let you know before how hard I think it would be to do what you guys do day in and day out.
Before you burn-out (November is drawing nearer) take advantage of the system you set up and let the others carry the weight for awhile.
Spend time with the girlfriend in the outdoors of the early Fall.
Read a lightweight novel. Pick up a National Enquirer at the grocery checkout lane. Go to an amusement park. Spend the day at the nearest big library with no agenda for why you're there other than to explore. Go spelunking.

Actually, we probably do deserve it, Moe, but you'd do better to more gently redirect our sharper comments to a happier place. It's also good to remember that "all conservatives" (Rick Santorum et. al.) is not equal to "all conservatives" (Moe Lane et. al.). I know the temptation is to read our words and take the usual meaning from them but I think that it's not always wrong to mind read or assume a more benign interpretation. We should all be more Pickwickian, as in:

'Mr. BLOTTON (of Aldgate) rose to order. Did the honourable Pickwickian allude to him? (Cries of "Order," "Chair," "Yes," "No," "Go on," "Leave off," etc.)

'Mr. PICKWICK would not put up to be put down by clamour. He had alluded to the honourable gentleman. (Great excitement.)

'Mr. BLOTTON would only say then, that he repelled the hon. gent.'s false and scurrilous accusation, with profound contempt. (Great cheering.) The hon. gent. was a humbug. (Immense confusion, and loud cries of "Chair," and "Order.")

'Mr. A. SNODGRASS rose to order. He threw himself upon the chair. (Hear.) He wished to know whether this disgraceful contest between two members of that club should be allowed to continue. (Hear, hear.)

'The CHAIRMAN was quite sure the hon. Pickwickian would withdraw the expression he had just made use of.

'Mr. BLOTTON, with all possible respect for the chair, was quite sure he would not.

'The CHAIRMAN felt it his imperative duty to demand of the honourable gentleman, whether he had used the expression which had just escaped him in a common sense.

'Mr. BLOTTON had no hesitation in saying that he had not--he had used the word in its Pickwickian sense. (Hear, hear.) He was to acknowledge that, personally, he entertained the highest regard and esteem for the honourable gentleman; he had merely considered him a humbug in a Pickwickian point of view. (Hear, hear.)

'Mr. PICKWICK felt much gratified by the fair, candid, and full explanation of his honourable friend. He begged it to be at once understood, that his own observations had been merely intended to bear a Pickwickian construction. (Cheers.)'

If you're blogging to actually, you know, think independently and stuff, these are going to be dark times. Everyone is locked into place and battling over tiny bits of the electorate -- it's the political equivalent of WWI's Western Front, and we all know how fun that was.

But we enjoy you, so best of luck with it. Maybe more posts on truly consequential issues like AD&D vs. d20: "In my day, we THAC0'ed and we liked it!"

Moe -- think about taking a week off. I did (about a month ago) and it helped wonderfully.

moe, von is right and if not a weeks vacation, at least take Labor Day Weekend off and have some fun outdoors. We are going to Maine if you want to drive up. i'm sure a weekend at a gay B & B will do just the trick for you :)

I know how you feel, Moe. When I see the increased aggression and the ever-more-hyper attempts to pee on peoples' legs and tell them it's raining, from every blog of every political stripe, it makes me sad and depressed and angry and surly and aggressive ("How's that different from your normal attitude, Phil? "Shut up!!!") And since I don't have much of a dog in the electoral fight -- I cannot in good conscience pull the lever for either of the major party candidates -- but I also can't stand what I perceive as unfairness, I find myself fighting fights for both candidates that I don't really care about either way. Meanwhile, I can't think of anything terribly interesting to say on my own blog.

My wife and I are going away for a week beginning 9/27 to the beach in SC. (Assuming there still is a beach in SC after Frances hits.) I can't wait. And I may not come back to blogs, or blogging, at all.

Two suggestions:

1) Long vacation- a week off, away from computer and phones will do you a world of good.

2) When you get back, write about something other than politics: art, music, Star Trek- whatever.

I'm taking the next three days off too. Hope by then some surf and sun will have taken the edge off a very edgy week here in NYC.

I do find myself getting more edgy when it looks like my side is going to lose. I think someone in each campaign should be assigned to work on ideas for healing the inevitiable hard feelings this election is going to bring.

One good suggestion was made in the Times op-ed section yesterday (they invited various speechwriters to suggest an ending to Bush's speech last night...this one is from William Bragg Ewald Jr., a speechwriter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1954 to 1957, is the author of "Eisenhower the President: Crucial Days 1951-1960.''):

After the hard-fought and bitter campaign of 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt asked his Republican opponent, Wendell Willkie, to go on a trip around the world to visit foreign leaders to assure them of America's friendship and respect; to solicit their thoughts on the conduct of international policy; and to make unmistakably clear that, as members of the human family, we all live - must live - in what Willkie so famously called "One World." If I am re-elected, I shall ask my Democratic opponent, Senator John Kerry, to undertake a similar international mission, with these exact purposes.

Moe, you join my mother as one of only two Republicans permanently exempt from all of my horrific statements about those people in that Party.

But Edward
After an around the world tour, Bush may not let Kerry back in.

After an around the world tour, Bush may not let Kerry back in.

I know the Bushies think he looks French, but surely they're not that mean-spirited.

We are going to Maine if you want to drive up. i'm sure a weekend at a gay B & B will do just the trick for you :)

Have a great trip, Wilfred. I've gone to the coast of Maine (just north of Mount Desert Island, by Schoonic) each summer that I can recall. My time was spent at my Grandmother's summer home, though, and not a gay B&B (though at certain cocktail hours the house resembled a gay B&B -- antidiscrimination is a well-settled principle in the family von von.)

von, just got back from Maine. you are one fortunate family to have that kind of access as Maine is a paradise. The scenery, the people, the food and the art were sublime. The next trip has to be for a week or more and hopefully circling a much larger part of the state. And if your grandmother's home is anywhere as fun as that B&B, how do you ever tear yourself away?

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