Saturday, March 27, 2004

Have a Beer to Honor One Year
This weekend marks the first anniversary of this blog as a daily or semi-daily feature. I started posting occasional topical rants to my website in February 2003, but it wasn't until Best of the Blogs put me on its blogroll late in March that updating daily became a priority. Then, in October, I started working at home and switched to Blogspot, and the thing has become an obsession--the most serious hobby I've ever had. I find myself composing in the shower, while driving the car--almost anytime I'm away from my computer. Maybe I'm a little too serious about it.

Around New Year's, I did a recap of some of my favorite 2003 posts. If you missed it, go here to read it. Here are some of my favorite bits so far in 2004:

January 5: "It occurs to me that the Atkins diet--which lets participants eat a lot of meat and shuns vegetables, yogurt, fruit, and bread--is the perfect diet for the American psyche at this moment in history. . . . Hummers and phonics, baby--back to basics, by-god red meat. Yes indeed, the food that fueled the winning of the west will fuel the winning of the Middle East. You think they serve yogurt in the Defense Department cafeteria, sissy boy?"

January 23: "Cheney has crossed the line into drooling gooberhood lately. . . . But even if he's showing signs of senility, he's almost certainly on the ticket to stay. If he was replaced (by Ashcroft? Bill Frist? Rick Santorum?) for 2004, that person would become the automatic Repug heir apparent for 2008, and the Bush family wants to keep the chair warm for Jeb. So Cheney will stick, even if they have to hook him up to a car battery and crank him every morning."

January 26: "If the short term is our only focus, we'll never have the big conversation we need to have about the long term--and what Bush is all about is the long term, big dreams for dismantling government, installing empire, regulating morality, and unfettering corporations, in big, irrevocable terms. Bush is talking about another American Revolution, one from inside. The prophets of this revolution have been patient in waiting to make it happen, some since the days of Barry Goldwater. If their ideas aren't challenged and defeated with better ideas over the next four or eight years, they can simply wait out the Kerry or Edwards administration and start up again down the road. William F. Buckley once said that it is the responsibility of conservatives to stand athwart history and yell 'Stop!' But that's really what Democrats have to do with recent history and what it portends about the long term."

February 3: "The Janet episode has everything Americans love most--the chance to spew moral outrage at big targets (rock music, youth culture, TV, celebrities), the opportunity to look all concerned and involved without actually having to think too hard, and, of course, tits."

February 8: "[Bush claimed] not to have known Kerry at Yale, where Kerry was two years ahead of him and they were both members of Skull and Bones--and said of the fall campaign, 'I look forward to a good campaign. I know exactly where I want to lead the country.' (This caused me to sourly remark to the Mrs. that he must have found Shit Creek on a map.)"

February 29: "Sometimes you just gotta step back and survey the spectacular panorama that lies before us. The evidence is growing that Bush doesn't give a damn whether he alienates significant segments of his own core base of support. He's far more interested in placating the triumphalist, hardcore Christian wing of it--the sort of people who think Jesus is coming back any minute now, and that he'll be waving the American flag and driving a Hummer when he does. Meanwhile, secular conservatives are finding themselves left behind just like we godless liberal pukes are."

March 9: "The anti-Kerry left is essentially insisting that if they can't have everything they want, right down to bomber jet planes turning into butterflies above our nation, they don't want anything at all. . . . 'Let Bush get reelected,' they say. 'Then people will see how bad things can get, and they'll be more interested in voting for us next time.' Which is the same thing the Naderite left said in 2000. They were right about one thing--we've seen how bad things can get--but wrong about the other thing. Given what's happened since 2000, shouldn't a candidate more to their liking have gotten more traction this time?"

I am deeply grateful to everybody who bothers to read this bilge on a regular or semi-regular basis, and to those who have forwarded either links from the site or word of the site's existence to other potential readers. Just how many readers I have is not entirely clear. My site statistics indicate that I get 20-some visits per day on average, which is not very many, and might be even less than it seems, should some people visit more than once. I know who many of you are--my old friends Karen, Greta, and John, thank you very much. If you're lurking and have never posted a comment, please check in. Just a hello will suffice. If you want to tell me where you are, I'd be interested in knowing. (The site stats show visitors from all four time zones in the continental U.S.) If you prefer private e-mail to public comments, use bartlettweblog@yahoo.com. And if you read regularly and have your own website, I'd appreciate a link on your site. You'll get one back in "I Link You Link Me" on the right side of my page.

My thanks to all.

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