South Knox Bubba reports that during a press briefing, the SecDef criticized some media outlets for reporting the looting in Baghdad instead of the jubilation of Iraqis at being liberated. After citing one such example, Rumsfeld apparently turned to General Myers and said, "we ought to go after that newspaper, too." [emphasis mine]
If Gawker were a woman, you'd want to have sex with it.* The gossipy blog spends a good deal of time making fun of Paris and Nicky Hilton, but in your mind it's become conflated with them -- and boy do you want to give those two the business. You know it would be meaningless and shallow, but you'd get to feel superior and it would give you something to talk about later.
In which we explain what is great about blogging by examining the origins of an artwork
What's so great about the internet? Everyone knows about the information, the universal database of all human knowledge, the porn. I love those things too. But the great thing about the internet is obviously blogging, and the heart of blogging is radar love.
The concept is embodied in a single picture, one that must be worth more than a thousand words (as you'll see from how many I have to use to explain it).
Almost six years later there are more than three hundred cartoons. Epigrams with art. Like:
"I'm going to eat this city alive.
Or vice versa."
That one is mine, but it gives you a feel for them. New York is a tough town and Hugh has it pegged.
Exhibit 1: A Hugh Macleod cartoon
PART II: ELIZABETH SPIERS
Elizabeth moved to New York too. Three years later her blog, Gawker, gets 8,000 visits per day. Everyone likes a gossip.
Exhibit 2: An item from the Gawker FAQ:
1. Are you as shallow as you appear? Gawker is dedicated exclusively to frivolity and excess. I do, on occasion, stare into the existential abyss, ponder the nuances and shudders, and produce what some might refer to as "serious thoughts." You will never see these on Gawker.
In truth, I aim to be much more shallow, and am very demanding of myself in this respect. Every morning I look in the mirror and ask myself, "Am I vapid enough?" "How can I learn to make people care less about others, and more about me?" ... Sometimes I find myself not really caring which book Nicky Hilton's reading or whether she's remembering to color inside the lines, and I feel momentarily guilty. Happily, a Xanax, a martini, and a couple of lines of moderate-quality coke seem an effective remedy.
2. Admit it: you're just a bunch of social climbers. We're just a bunch of social climbers.
PART III: THE ARTWORK IN QUESTION
Hugh and Elizabeth have never met. In December, Hugh made this:
Exhibit 3: The Artwork in Question
PART IV: RADAR LOVE, OR THE SECRET GREATNESS OF BLOGGING
That cartoon up there wouldn't exist without blogs. This is the chain of its existence:
All of the critics admit that Bowling for Columbine is bitingly funny. Even Tim confesses: "In awe and admiration, I've seen the film twice," making him an accomplice in Bowling for Columbine's achievement of highest-grossing documentary film of all time.
Which makes me wonder: Which is the better choice, achieving fame while being revealed as a liar, or having your lies believed but at the cost of remaining relatively obscure?
(Yes, you're a liar in both cases. Just admit it.)
Update: Is Bowling for Columbine the highest-grossing documentary of all time as its makers claim, or is that also a lie? MacGillivray Freeman's Everest appears far, far ahead of it. Everest is an IMAX film, and so may all under a different category, but it has grossed over $120 million worldwide, versus a paltry $30 million for Bowling for Columbine.
In news that will no doubt have a profound effect on the war — almost as profound as the initial announcement — the Solomon Islands have pulled out of the coalition. In fact, the Solomon Islands Prime Minister says he was completely unaware that they were even in the coalition.
I mean, no, of course it doesn’t matter. But how do you add a nation to the list without checking first? Did they just hope the little guys would be too embarassed to contradict them?
The only thing I know about Slovakia is what I learned first-hand from your foreign minister, who came to Texas.
-- George W. Bush to a Slovak journalist,
after meeting with Janez Drnovsek, Prime Minister of Slovenia. Knight-Ridder News Service, June 22, 1999
This just in from Ljubljana! Hundreds of Slovenians hit the streets Wednesday to protest their country's inclusion in President Bush's $75 billion Iraq war budget as a partner in the war against Iraq. The White House asked for $4.5 million for Slovenia as part of the grants to members of the vast "coalition of the willing."
Small problem: The lovely Alpine nation isn't a member. "When we asked for an explanation, the State Department told us we were named in the document by mistake," Prime Minister Anton Rop said at what Reuters called "a hastily arranged news conference."
This of course would not be the first time someone confused Slovenia and Slovakia...