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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The columnist the NYT should have

Posted by: Jambo / 2:51 PM

I can't tell you how happy I am to see Sarah Vowell getting a chance to fill in for Maureen Dowd for a few weeks.

This is from today's entry, The Speech the President Should Give. Read the whole thing before the link expires.

A couple of weeks ago, on this very page of this here newspaper, Senator John Kerry wrote an Op-Ed article imagining "The Speech the President Should Give," about that night's televised presidential address on the war in Iraq. Of course, Kerry had about as much chance of George W. Bush's following his advice as the producers of "MTV Cribs" have of getting the president's mother to show them around Kennebunkport.

Still, Kerry stunned me, not because his ideas were sane, but because he was actually able to fantasize that President Bush would give a speech offering just and concrete solutions for that black hole. Because I don't even remember being able to dream that big.

Dowd has been frustratingly hit and miss the last few years but when she is on she can be very good. Sarah Vowell may not yet have quite the stature but boy I enjoy reading/listening to her stuff. She has found a great niche, the earnest nerd with a sense of humor who happens to think history and politics might just be kind of cool/important. I just finished her book, The Partly Cloudy Patriot, and would recommend it to anyone who, well, has a sense of humor and thinks history and politics might be kind of cool/important. And if the NYT wants to build a younger audience they couldn't do much better than giving her a regular spot in the op ed section. Plus she's kind of cute, in her impish little way:

Granted she hasn't mastered the sultry sophistication of the publicity photo the way MoDo has,

But then again Dowd doesn't have Vowell's film credits.

In any case she sure has it all over our local Stygian witch who writes for the Strib, Katherine Kersten, AKA Minnesota's Worst Writer™. (Like those witches of mythology she and her fellow conservative think tankers have one feeble thought that they pass around between them.)


Count me in as another fan of Sarah, having read "Patriot" a couple years ago. And yes, seeing her in the NYT editorial section every week would definitely be a boost to the Grey Lady's fading reputation.

Good lord, I am agreeing with Jambo, what is wrong with me. Picard is superior to Kirk, Stones over Beatles, Aliens better than Alien...there, I feel better now.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:48 PM  

All I really care about is where you come down on the Jambo vs. Hammer question.

By Blogger Jambo, at 4:23 PM  

Well of course I would come down on the Jambo side, even though you just could not grasp the importance of Exile on Main Street. However, if Hammer reveals himself as a Rush fan, you may be in trouble.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:34 AM  

My birthday is September 12. How much does that count for?

By Blogger Hammer, at 8:42 AM  

Man, if you want to have a significat presence on the web just have something to say about Ayn Rand. "Forget about the music, Neil, what do you think about Atlas Shrugged?"

By Blogger Jambo, at 1:14 PM  

When is Rush's rock opera libertarian retelling of Return of the King going to be finished? I know Neil was having a spot of trouble rewriting Sauron as a allegorical level of bureaucracy.

By Blogger Hammer, at 2:23 PM  

Hammer, I believe Neal Peart is currently working on the libretto for an expanded opera based on "By-Tor and the Snow Dog". Jambo is being considered as a candidate for the role of By-Tor, while Billy D. of the Gear Daddies is already cast as Snow Dog.

While I am impressed by your birthdate I must confess that mine is September 11. So for the rest of my life, whenever I have to give my birthdate I either get the "you've got to be kidding" or "wow, sucks to be you."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:34 AM  

In case Jambo's still paying attention, Neal Peart was also born September 12. My freshman year roommate reminded me of that as often as possible.

By Blogger Hammer, at 7:48 AM  

Yes, I picked up on that. I followed the link from Sept 12 and found an entry about Pert that paid a lot more attention to his passing references to Ayn Rand than it did to his music. Thus the Atlas Shrugged comment. Jerjo has some fine qualities but his fondness for washed up prog rockers is not one of them, tho I suspect/hope his fondness is at least a little tongue in cheek. Tho I will fess up to having to seen RUSH live when I was about 15 but chock it up to lack of exposure to musical alternatives in eastern SD.

By Blogger Jambo, at 1:46 PM  

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