Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Least Harmless Historical Analogy Evah?

Here's a great way to start a blogspat: claim that someone's historical analogy is offensive--it's even drawn a rather stylish French ex-blogger into the fray. Clearly we at Mostly Harmless must make like The Poor Man Institute and invent a New Blog Award. Because, really, the world doesn't have enough of them.

OK, so I hereby open nominations for Least Harmless [Bloggy Misuse of an] Historical Analogy of 2007. Surely someone in Blogoramaville can top the [Chafe-Kristof-Johnson] Scottsboro Boys/Duke Lax Boys Will Be Boyz II Men nomination from one of the Many Blogging Scotts! Just be sure to provide links to [specific blog posts that offer] analogies and/or [make] critiques in the comments. Nominations close on GNF Day (that's 9 January 2008 for those who have not yet joined the WAAGNFNP). Other rules to be made up as circumstances dictate. [Or as commenters activate more unintended ambiguities. Those things are like, like, no, wait, let me not go there.]

[Update: And since this post does double-duty inaugurating MH's BerubeWatch (which Adrian will no doubt love!), here's yet another plea for the glorious resurrection of Floating Head Professor from the unwashed masses of Blogoramaville. This won't appear first in the hopefully ongoing series when you click on the label to your left, b/c I added it to earlier posts that turn out to have already fit the bill.]

[Update 2/7/07: I nominate this post for Most Ambiguous Award Nomination Call in Blogoramaville. I've added some clarifications (in square brackets) so as to limit the range of ambiguities. For good measure, I've even edited the first update, but you'll have to use some sort of intertubesque time machine to identify those changes! I hear that's all the rage these days.]

[Another Damn Update: Just to prove that blogspats can generate light as well as heat, Ralph Luker has helpfully (if inadvertantly and somewhat nonsequiturly) pointed out that Timothy Burke has already written the rules for judging egregious historical analogizing, bloggy or otherwise. I just wanted to make him feel better, because otherwise he did not come off that well. Plus, doing this gives me a chance to strike ambiguous parts of a supposedly clarifying addition from a prior update--and feel like Glenn Greenwald at the same time. Whee! Now if only we could harness blogspat heat, we'd be well on our way to diversifying world energy sources.]


David Watkins said...

In fairness to Ralph and KC, we'd have to officially give Munich a lifetime achievement award and retire it from future competition for them to be in the running.

The Constructivist said...

1. Thanks for the comment!
2. I don't get the allusion!
3. I thought I maintained a lot of blogs! When do you get time to write that dissertation?!

OK, to end the ! streak, let me start a ; one:

a. apologize for the post's title, which implies the lifetime achievement thing you allusively respond to, but which I would be open to creating a category for if people keep nominating for it;

b. clarify that I intended to limit the contest to blogged historical analogies;

c. but add that I would be open to creating a category for non-blogged historical analogies if people keep nominating for it;

which I'll finish by taking a stab at your allusion. The Spielberg movie I didn't see? No? What, then?

David Watkins said...

I just meant as far as lame historical analogies go, appeals to appeasement--Munich 1938--in reference to not, y'know, anything other than what warmongers think is appropriate at the time, are going to dominate a lame historical analogy contest.

(Dissertation? What dissertation? Go away! Leave me alone! *wimpers softly*)

The Constructivist said...

d'oh! I'm so thinking pop culture when I'm on this blog that if you had said Chamberlain, I would have asked which Harry Potter novel/movie you were alluding to. And I'm so dumb to be using blogging to pace myself while grading that not only do I not know if that last line made sense, I don't even know if I spelled the appeaser's name correctly--or even got the right name.

and d'oh again for intending to write something like analogizer instead of analogy--what I'm trying to get at with the contest is something like "the most egregious bloggy misuse of a historical analogy in 2007." you'd think an English prof would know how to write--but see above paragraph!

oh, and next time a prof asks you about your diss, just ask how/his her book is coming. nicely. sweetly. w/o a wicked smile...or only with traces of one....

JP Stormcrow said...

Watch this drive:

1) I hereby declare the online representation of the US Congressional Record to be a powerful and cutting edge group blog. Or maybe the whole "Thomas" system is the "blog". (Awesome name dudes, polymaths are Da Bomb!!) Anyway, anything said on the floor of Congress ends up in a blog.

2) Go to the Senate Executive Session portion of the May 19th, 2005 entry and catch the Rickster saying [response to Dem response to Rep threat to end filibuster]... the audacity of some Members to stand up and say, How dare you break this rule, it is the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying: I'm in Paris, how dare you invade me, how dare you bomb my city . It's mine.

I declare every other entry to be terminally pwned.

The Constructivist said...

There's no hope for 2007, is there?

JP Stormcrow said...

Oh right, Least Harmless [Bloggy Misuse of an] Historical Analogy of 2007.

[insert admiration of understated use of square brackets here.]

The Constructivist said...

Ralph Luker helpfully summarizes recent entries from that LGM thread here.

The Constructivist said...

HTML Mencken roasts Max Boot and others on the Boer/Iraq parallel.

The Constructivist said...

Digby takes out the wingnuttospheric embrace of 300.

The Constructivist said...

And while we're on the classics theme, d socks it to Victor Davis Hanson.