October 5, 2007

I am tired

Attended a history conference today. Kind of. Actually "crashed" a history conference today to see some people and peruse the books. I noticed one little trend. Since I wore no name tag, I confused and interrupted one of the great conference traditions--tag watching. I had done it myself. You see people looking at the name tags of people watching for names of famous historians (yeah, I know). As a recipient of the look, it goes something like this: Person looks at my name tag, wondering if I am worthy of further attention or possibly introduction. Person sees my name and affiliation and immediately moves on to the next person. No need to look at my face to know I am not important.

It is really funny to watch. But today was hilarious. Not only did I lack a name-tag, but I also wore no tie or jacket. But I know I looked comfortable there, because I was not looking for help or looking through the book for the next session. And I think that confused the name-taggers. They didn't know what to think of me.

I think I will do that again. It was empowering.


Couple of items in the blogs and papers. One, if you didn't see Jon Stewart interview Chris Matthews the other night, it was a gem. Jon suggested that a book called "Life's a Campaign" was all about strategy, not about doing good. He said the book was "about sadness."


The Anonymous Liberal has an interesting quote from someone who used to be a Republican on why he was changing:
"Like me. It had nothing to do with Burke, and everything to do with what the party had become. A bunch of bedwetting, loudmouth, corrupt, hypocritical, and incompetent boobs with a mean streak a mile long and no sense of fair play or proportion. . . .

Screw them. I got out. They can have their party. I will vote for Democrats and little L libertarians and isolationists until the crazy people aren’t running the GOP. The threat of higher taxes in the short term isn’t enough to keep me from voting out crazy people and voting for sane people with whom I merely disagree regarding policy. Hillarycare doesn’t scare me as much as Frank Gaffney having a line to the person with the nuclear football or Dobson and company crafting domestic policy."
Heh. Crazies and Dobson and company. Exactly.


Paul Krugman has an interesting observation on why Bush stumbles so much when he speaks, but not all the time:
"Mark Crispin Miller, the author of “The Bush Dyslexicon,” once made a striking observation: all of the famous Bush malapropisms — “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family,” and so on — have involved occasions when Mr. Bush was trying to sound caring and compassionate.

By contrast, Mr. Bush is articulate and even grammatical when he talks about punishing people; that’s when he’s speaking from the heart. The only animation Mr. Bush showed during the flooding of New Orleans was when he declared “zero tolerance of people breaking the law,” even those breaking into abandoned stores in search of the food and water they weren’t getting from his administration."


Finally, after nearly 7 disastrous years, even Republicans are starting to recognize that Bush has not exactly been a uniter. Or even competent.
Talking Points Memo | Bush leaving some problems to successors: "Dowd said Bush has only to look at himself for why he didn't fulfill his promise. His unwillingness to admit mistakes and inattention to building relationships with lawmakers of both parties helped put success out of reach, Dowd said.
'Most of the responsibility _ I don't want to use the word blame _ is at his doorstep. It has to be,' Dowd said. 'In the end, he is the leader, elected twice, with Congress at times in his own party.'"
Funny, when I said that in 2004, conservatives shushed me and focused on John Kerry's flip-flopping.


And finally, this which perhaps suggests that I might have been right when I said back in 04 that Bush was bad for evangelicals. Evidently, young non-Christians see Christians increasingly negatively:
"Currently, however, just 16% of non-Christians in their late teens and twenties said they have a 'good impression' of Christianity.

One of the groups hit hardest by the criticism is evangelicals. Such believers have always been viewed with skepticism in the broader culture. However, those negative views are crystallizing and intensifying among young non-Christians. The new study shows that only 3% of 16 - to 29-year-old non-Christians express favorable views of evangelicals."


ANewAnglican@gmail.com said...

I had a similar no-name-tag experience. In the past this would have been depressing, but now, as you say, the whole thing is just so transparent.

Dr. Bad Ass said...

When in graduate school, a friend and I regularly attended a research conference in our field. We always refused to wear nametags, precisely because (as grad students) we had been treated to the "glance at your name tag and immediately decide you are not worthy of my time" treatment. It was SO freeing to be unrecognizable . . . now I think about it and sometimes act on it every time I go to a conference.