Rules of the Games

Rules of the Games

Rules of the Games

Recent posts from our readers forum.
Jan. 17 2001 11:30 PM

Rules of the Games

Subject: Drawing the Dividing Line
Re:
" Frame Game: The Impotence of Being Earnest"
From:
J. Mann
Date:
Thu Jan 11 7:33 a.m. PT

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I don't think anyone who voted for Bush thought he would unite with everyone, only with moderates. It's unlikely that Maxine Waters or Saddam Hussein are going to feel united with Bush no matter what he does, but Bush probably can't afford too much conflict with [Bob Kerrey or John Kerry or] John McCain. The question is whether Bush or NARAL gets to define what the reasonable positions are. Bush can (and hopefully will) "unite" the middle 60 percent and far-right 20 percent of the country by "dividing" them from the 20 percent on the far left. If he can do it in a nice way and without seeming mean, he might win the frame game after all.

[Find this post here.]

Subject: Degrees of Horror

Re:
" Foreigners: News Flash—War Might Kill You"

From:
Daniel Kleinfeld

Date:
Thu Jan 11  11:53 a.m. PT

Your argument could be summarized as "War is so hellish and awful that any attempt to make it less hellish is pointless, and any protests over someone making it more hellish than it needed to be is whining." This idea—that war is so nightmarish that it renders all ethics, morals, or civil behavior senseless—is beloved by many novelists, but makes for a truly toxic moral atmosphere.

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[Find this post here, and for another point of view click here.]

Subject: When a Poem Just Won't Do

Re:
"Chatterbox: There Once Was a Bush Named George Dubya. ..."

From:
Joseph Britt

Date:
Fri Jan 12  2:52 p.m. PT

Chatterbox is surely aware that inaugural poems are mostly a tradition of incoming Democratic administrations. Poems demand reflection, contemplation, and a comfortable, seated posture to consider properly. Having them read to a crowd of people, many of whom are standing or parked in temporary grandstands in the middle of winter, diminishes them and is moreover thoroughly inconsiderate. It's just the sort of thing one would expect of Bill Clinton. As a Republican, I expect more from George Bush.

[Find this post here, and more political lit crit from Mr. Britt here.]

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Subject: Making and Breaking the Rules

Re:
" Chatterbox: St. Linda's Passion"

From:
Attitude

Date:
Wed Jan 10  8:16 a.m. PT

I am sure you will get many responses to the effect that Slate is too liberal. The real problem is found in your assessment that Chavez's failure to comply with the laws that she would have administered as Secretary of Labor is no big deal because paying workers under the table was a dicey but common practice until the Zoe Baird affair. What this reveals (again) is the real problem with Slate, not that you are or are not liberal, but that you are the same kind of Washington insiders that you pretend to cover. There really are two Americas: "inside the beltway" and "everyone else." We are the ones who must obey the endless laws and regulations that Washington dreams up.

[Find this post here.]

Fray Notes

A challenging Fray: " The Book Club" on religion produced an impassioned, high-energy discussion that showed the eclecticism and wide appeal of Slate, and why, as we have said before, sometimes we at "The Fray" close our eyes in holy dread when we see the Slate articles. Paul Lynch had the theological quote of the week: "Katha Pollitt is mistaken in suggesting that any church sends people to hell. … The Christian belief is that God makes these decisions."

"The Breakfast Table" Fray was also an exciting place: Mommies, good or bad? We  found there one of the week's unusually high number (two) of great posts about pandas; the other one is here ("It's better that the pandas die free here in America, than live under Chinese communist oppression").

More Fray stars were handed out to History Guy (see a good post here), Michael Murray (here) and Tom R. (in a thread with another star poster—a Fray first?).

Most unlikely Fray connection of the week: This poster linked Dracula to open-source computer code in a couple of logical steps.

What can he mean by this? David M. Gable said here, "Washington does not have the same amount of venom as one finds in The Fray. It would truly be scary if the members of The Fray suddenly ran our government. That would truly be cause to flee the country."