Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Scribes With Constipation and Fury
On the blogroll to the right (and down) there are a handful of liberal blogs listed. I like to keep tabs on both sides of the conversation, even if from time to time it feels as if those two hemispheres are thrust parsecs apart by different priorities, different topics, and indeed entirely divergent views of reality. (One, you’ll note with humor at the impudence, actually endeavors to call itself the ‘reality-based’ community.) But one thing that may always endear to me a soft-hearted liberal as quickly as a sure-shot conservative is good writing. The internet is as big —bigger, in fact —than Earth in some ways. There is good writing to be found everywhere. For every political ideology I can name (or can locate) a handful of blogs with commentators who do a better job sowing his camp’s seeds than any New York Times columnist.
The biggest conservative-minded blog is Power Line. Roughly 77,000 individuals read it every day. The writing is crisp, clear, and usually brief. They are lawyers with law to say and clients to satisfy. And one has the distinct feeling that, even in the early morning and after hat-hanging time at five o’clock, their lawerly dress never fades. In “Some Thoughts on Casualties in Times of War and Peace” for example, John Hinderaker notes with characteristic warmth that public support for America’s war in Iraq is fading, but that that does not make a goal unworthy. He begins with a thesis (that public support is faltering and supports may well be a minority) and through sensical argumentation builds a bulwark for that thesis. One which in turn buttresses his personal politic.
The biggest liberal-minded blog is the Daily Kos, which attracts no fewer than 500,000 eyeballs every day. There is no comparison to be made between that figure and that of Power Line, as Kos’ main draw is an interactive commenting and meta-blogging system that invites multiple hits per visit. And Kos, when the left side of the internet is looked at as a pie, represents a dominating share. Power Line, in contrast, is merely a bigger little fish. It has many equals and near-equals on the right.
Kos employs a stable of five or six front-page commentators, all of whom seem to have indistinct temperments that, melted together, produce a site voice rather than an author’s voice. Critique is made easier by the fact that well-nigh every front-page writer on Kos has refused to reveal his real name.
The site voice I mentioned is eminently shrill. In “Bush Supporters of the Far Right: Cries from the Lake of Fire” one of the pseudonymous penmen, Hunter, lashes out at a Republican writer whose latest piece attempted to lowball the import of the indictment of Tom DeLay. Hunter’s piece is full on blue language and snobbish, our-side-only references and cant. Instead of analyzing the conservative’s argument bit by bit, he reprints a passage and uses it as a ticket to Bashville. The writing is ugly, brutish, and ineffective to anyone who does not already agree with him. His rail ends: “Get used to the world you have created, and the stench your worshipped heroes have unleashed.”
And that, friends, is why I’ll no more of the Daily Kos.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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