Don't Vote For Smart 

Don't Vote For Smart 

Don't Vote For Smart 

Recent posts from our readers forum.
Oct. 24 2001 7:43 PM

Don't Vote For Smart 



Fray posters were of course concerned with political matters this week, but many of them concentrated their brilliance on the "Best and Worst of the Fray" game …

Subject: Time To Grow Up

Re: "Frame Game: The Power of Negative Thinking"

From: Hedgehog

Date: Thu Oct 18  3:31 p.m. PT

Although the United States has always been a hopeful, dynamic place where hard work, creativity and ambition has been rewarded, it was only after we saved the world in World War II that Americans came to believe that we could "have it all." Prior to that, Europe was still the center of the Western universe. The "American Century" actually started after 1945, when we emerged as the defender and symbol of good in the world. … The reality of hunting down an amorphous foe who lives among us and uses our freedoms and inventions against us, who forces us to change on our own or be changed by him, is scary to a nation which is used to calling the shots and not having to make trade-offs. … There is some cosmic order to the fact that this terror war has come to us just as the generation who refuses to grow up (i.e., the Baby Boomers) have hit their stride in national leadership.

[Find this post here.]


Subject: Be More Afraid

Re: "Ballot Box: Be Slightly Afraid"

From: Michael Rennick

Date: Wed Oct 17  6:42 a.m. PT

The terrorist acts that we have encountered recently are fear-provoking because they do not afford us with the ability to take individual, corrective action. I can slam the brake and turn the wheel to avoid the deer crossing the road, but what do I "slam" and what do I "turn" when my plane is going down, my building is crumbling, or the man with smallpox sneezes in my subway car? The sad truth is there is no reactive recourse, no way to steer clear. That's scary.

[Find this post here.]

Subject: When Smart Isn't Best

Re: "The Book Club: President Nixon"

From: BML

Date: Mon Oct 15  2:52 p.m. PT

Shrewdness and charm seem to serve the chief executive better than highly developed intelligence. If Nixon was our most brilliant president, he bears out the point. Smart presidents can multitask, true, but they also wrap themselves in robes of predestination that make it harder for them to relate to others—the touchstone of all politics. ... I'd choose a person with 140 friends over a 140 IQ any day. The key to the office is not intelligence but sociability.

[Find this post here.]


Subject: The Real Beastie Boys

Re: "Chatterbox: Write the Brookings Fight Song"

From: Jerry Taylor, Director, Natural Resource Studies, Cato Institute

Date: Fri Oct 19  8:54 a.m. PT

We here at Cato don't need no stinkin' song writing! We proudly sing "You Gotta Fight—For Your Right—To Party" by the Beastie Boys before every staff meeting and have done so for years. A product of good ol'-fashioned capitalism, written for a profit and recorded with heapin' helpin' of libertarian flair. And we've been singing it for years. We'll let the choir boys at Heritage and the pencil-necked geeks at Brookings try to top that!

[Find this post here.]

Fray Notes

Five new stars this week: Hedgehog gets one—see his post above—partly because of a special recommendation from Slate senior writer William Saletan. Also Fray stalwart MOH: Try here  for her views on why cyber anonymity can lead to cruelty. "Today's Papers" veteran Bruce hit gold. Also the ever-splendid Texwiz, whom BML memorably described  as "cruising Culturebox and Best of the Fray each night, woman on your arm, cigar in your hand." He is famous for his views on matrimony and on clothing   (and we promise not to mention that ho business).


The fifth star went to God of Wine—not only because he  invented  the Best and Worst of the Fray game, but that did have a lot to do with it. The section on Slate writers made particularly good reading. (From locdog: "Best: would help anyone who suffered from chronic low blood pressure.") The section on the Fray Editor is beyond comment. And we were touched that Ender couldn't think  of any "worst" of star posters, though locdog wanted them to have more power (don't ask). It was all great stuff—more than 200 posts. Here are some choice lines:

BML: "Best: Provides a forum for readers to discuss and dissect subjects they feel passionate about. Worst: Those subjects are sometimes Elvis and Frodo."

Amber (who else?) on star posters: "Best: Flirt really good! Worst: Insult really good."

Call Me Ishmael: "Worst: The constant fear that whoever I flamed, or more frighteningly whoever flamed me, is in the non-Fray world my mother."

MOH: "Best: It's always 'there' ... Worst: It's always 'there', and oh sooo hard to avoid the temptation to check out."

We're glad you found the time to check it out …