Monday, January 22, 2007


Jeez, I've gone and upset the progressives. When I say upset I don't mean pebble-in-the-sandal annoyed. Nope, I'm talking PhD-candidate-neighbour-looks-over-the-fence-to-see-her-garden-digging
-hanging-three-feet-above-the-ground-at -the-end-of-100-lb-test-line-in-my-backyard angry. (Don't be alarmed; there is no cat-owning PhD candidate next door. Not anymore.)

Okay I'll admit it, it was just a teensy bit rude of me to tell the progressives what everyone who isn't a super-brained lefty PhD candidate, holder or wanna-be already knows: that the Best Blog Post 2006 essay competition is more incestuous than 1930 Arkansas and that, really, most of the essays are about as stimulating as thinking about Mark Bahnisch naked -- I meant a naked Mark Bahnisch; if getting naked and thinking about Bahnisch is your thing, feel free. Anyway, mean ol' me had to go pass judgement -- not once, but twice -- on their hey-look-what-the-score-of-us-wrote-nominated-judged-and-won extravaganza.

I must admit to being a little worried about blow-back from the highly educated Club Troppo and Larvatus Prodeo crews for calling BBP06 like I see it: it's a bit scary for an intellectual minnow like me to swim through a shoal of like-minded brainiacs bio-academically driven to fawn. So, I was both surprised and delighted to discover that I wasn't alone: Tim Blair finds the essays boring and, ay yi yi, poorly written; and Harry Clarke thinks... what the hell, here's Harry:
So the best blog posts of 2006 have been selected by Ken Parish at Troppo with assistance from a committee including Ken Parish, Nicholas Gruen and Helen Dale. Having co-operated in producing a shortlist, Ken then chose the best blogs with Nicholas acting as a ‘sounding board’.

I didn’t get a prize – indeed I didn’t get a nomination - so I’ll try again this year. I’ve already run off copies of the winning posts and I’ll try to imitate their style, humour, depth and lack of snarkiness.

The committee gave awards to, well, themselves (Ken Parish 1, Nicholas Gruen 1, Helen Dale 1). Others from Troppo such as Rex Ringschott and Don Arthur also got prizes. There were no prizes to anyone on the conservative side of politics except for Helen Dale – and yeah, she too was on the committee!
Dryly sly Harry didn't draw much of a reaction from the progressives. Blair and I on the other hand were hit with a blizzard of shit -- Okay, tofu -- from the aggressive Larvatus Prodeo herd; the tofu really hitting the fan when Helen Dale (skepticlawyer, catallaxy) -- with all due respect to Harry, Dale's a self-described libertarian; not conservative -- realizes my second post is up:
This is very funny and all, but unfortunately the misrepresentation isn’t over. There are a bunch more porky pies over at the RWDB, to which I’ve been forced to respond as one of the judging committee here.
For those unfamiliar with rhyming slang, porky pies = lies.

Whoa, a bit of skirmishing and then straight to the you're-a-liar nuclear attack. Some people are taking BBP06 very seriously, very seriously indeed. Fair enough.

It's only natural, and totally appropriate, for BBP06 nominees to be proud. That said, most of the nominated posts are, in my opinion, not worth the time it takes to read them. That doesn't mean the posts are poorly written; it means I don't like them. BFD.

The nature of the competition is another matter. It is, in my opinion, ludicrous for a closely knit group of progressives (plus a libertarian) to lay claim to the Best Blog Posts of 2006 when the project was advertised on only eight blogs over a period of some two weeks. This small group obviously has a very high opinion of its members' abilities.

When posts get this long Blogger starts doing weird stuff so I'll stop here. Part two is in the post immediately below.

Update: Tim "I can dish it out but can't take it" Lambert suggests LPers should consider bouncing my links. Lambert uses link-bouncing as a sort of electronic condom: it prevents contamination by icky conflicting views.


Anonymous The Brute said...

That's fantastic. So, what do our esteemed winners get for their efforts? Is this award able to go into the CV?

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I thought the open warfare in comments at Catallaxy this weekend gone was the most entertaining thread there for a long time. I particularly enjoyed the Yobbo/Bahnisch stoush, where Mark felt he had to defend his masculinity against being call a "girl's blouse", if I recall correctly.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous leftvegdrunk said...

Argh! Someone make it stop!

11:19 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home