May 31, 2005

"Anyone Who Ever Disagrees With Me is a Homophobe!"

Andrew Sullivan:

Even Glenn Reynolds is now forced to concede that the accumulation of evidence is "non-hysterical", (i.e. written by a heterosexual male)...
How was it, I wonder, that anyone ever got the idea that Andrew Sullivan could be hysterical?

UPDATE (June 1, 4:25 PM): Downtown Lad writes in the comments below:

I would say the real "hysterical" people includes you and your blog readers, who are incapable of reading a blog that offers another opinion.

Anyone who runs around saying that the world is coming to an end, solely because two guys want to get married, should clearly be classified as "hysterical".

And that would include you, not Sullivan.

What on Earth is he talking about? I'm for gay marriage, and I've read Sullivan almost daily since before 9/11. I can sort of understand being too lazy to enter "gay marriage" into the search field at the left before making assumptions about my views on the topic, but this very post should put paid to the notion that I'm among those (the comments, thanks to the Insta-Link this morning, are full of them) who've given up on Andrew. How could I have responded to his blog if I weren't reading it?

I like Andrew. He's always been nice to me-- he's linked to my stuff a few times, and he was quite cordial when we met at a function in DC recently. I still find him worthwhile reading even though I think he's lost his way on some issues. But ascribing some kind of veiled anti-gay bigotry to Glenn Reynolds is just nuts.

Posted by John Tabin at 11:14 PM | Comments (103)

Belated Revenge of the Sith Review

I liked it. Pauline Kael nailed it in 1977:

Maybe the only real inspiration involved in “Star Wars” was to set its sci-fi galaxy in the pop-culture past, and to turn old-movie ineptness into conscious Pop Art. And maybe there’s a touch of genius in keeping it so consistently what it is, even if this is the genius of the plodding. Lucas has got the tone of bad movies down pat: you never catch the actors deliberately acting badly, they just seem to be bad actors, on contract to Monogram or Republic, their klunky enthusiasm polished at the Ricky Nelson school of acting.
Some reviewers, with their complaints about the acting and writing, seem to be forgetting that this is a Star Wars movie.

Incidentally, Kael liked The Empire Strikes Back much better-- rightly, I think.

Posted by John Tabin at 01:28 AM | Comments (1)

May 20, 2005

Links of the Week

It's open season on Shawn Macomber's books: "In fact, you could come into my house today and throw any one of my books into the toilet and I might call you a jerk, but I guarantee you I will not scream, cry, or risk my life over it. Kick any of my books across the floor and I will not pray for God to smite you."

Michael J. Totten blogs on encouraging developments in Syria, as does Chuck Freund.

Washington correspondant Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff writes on Germany, America, and foreign policy in Die Zeit. Very interesting.

If you don't scroll down after reading his posts once, you might miss Glenn Reynolds's updated round-up on Uzbekistan. Or the one on Star Wars.

Speaking of which, I haven't seen Revenge of the Sith yet (I'll get to it next week), but here's what I wrote on seeing Attack of the Clones. Jonathan Last's case for the Dark Side that I linked to back then remains a classic.

Posted by John Tabin at 10:00 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2005

Enquiring Minds Still Want to Know

Check out my traffic stats:

What's going on? Star Wars: Episode III hit theaters today, and apparently the Anakin and Amidala romance remains as unconvincing as it was in Episode II, because the vast majority of my hits are coming from search engines, where people are finding this old post.

Posted by John Tabin at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

The Times Fallacy

Most of the discussion of the New York Times plan to charge for online access to their op-ed columns seems to rest on a faulty assumption that the op-ed page is a single product, available online only through nytimes.com. A typical example:

In The Boston Globe, consultant Peter M. Zollman noted that the Times is perhaps uniquely positioned to make this plan work. "Maureen Dowd and Tom Freidman are premium content," he told the Times Co.-owned paper. "You don't find those types of columnists at other newspapers."
Actually, you find exactly those columnists at papers all over the country. Here's Dowd in the Falls Church News-Press. Here's Friedman in the Salt Lake Tribune. All of the regular NYT op-ed columnists, in fact, are widely syndicated by the New York Times News Service. (I've put links to the last five days of columns beneath the fold.) I doubt there will be new restrictions on what NYTNS clients can do with their content that give nytimes.com online exclusivity; the syndicate is a cash cow that 42nd St. would be very foolish to tip.

So the kings of the lefty and righty blogosphere are missing the big picture when they agree that NYT op-eds won't get links anymore:

If my readers can't read it, why would I link to it? The key to blogging is that readers can look at the source material and make up their own minds.
So you'll link to the columns in a different paper (usually a day or two after they show up in the Times)-- and reward the papers that make those columns available with more eyeballs to drive their ad revenue. The fee for the nytimes.com op-eds will amount to a tax on those who don't have the time or online savvy to hunt down the content elsewhere. But one of the big reasons people read blogs (in particular the link-heavy ones, like Instapundit) is that bloggers hunt down content so you don't have to.

For the record, here are the last five days worth of NYT columns, with no links to nytimes.com at all (there are a couple links here to the International Herald Tribune, which the Times owns, but I don't know of any plan to change IHT's online access policies yet):

Sunday: Brooks, Kristof, Rich

Monday: Herbert, Krugman

Tuesday: Kristof, Tierney

Wednesday: Friedman (Dowd is on vacation).

Posted by John Tabin at 04:06 PM | Comments (1)

May 13, 2005

Hiatus

No column, no substantive blog-post, and no links. Blame my parents, who raised me wrong are in town visiting and taking up my time. Be back next week.

Posted by John Tabin at 06:48 PM | Comments (1)

May 06, 2005

Links of the Week - UK Post-Election Edition

David Weigel, who used to live in England, was live-blogging last night; catch his wrap-up at the bottom.

Other livebloggers: Andrew Sullivan; Iain Murray, and Patrick Ruffini.

The Weekly Standard's Gerard Baker has a doom-and-gloom postmortem, while an excellent NRO editorial looks ahead.

Finally, the Guardian looks at possible Tory leaders to replace Michael Howard.

Posted by John Tabin at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2005

Parliament of Dunces

In today's AmSpec column, I look at the British election.

Posted by John Tabin at 03:17 AM | Comments (1)