By far the biggest topic for posters was the Gore recount story: many, many thousands of them taking the time to tell us, "It was all over a year ago."
Subject: It Doesn't Matter …
Re: "Kausfiles: Everything the New York Times Thinks About the Recount Is Wrong!"
Date: Mon Nov 12 11:39 a.m. PT
Yes, the Gore people were grossly outmaneuvered by their more cunning and rapacious counterparts among the Bushies, and maybe if they'd played their hand to perfection, they could have shoehorned a bitterly opposed Gore administration into place. … Would that have stopped the tragic events of 9/11? No way. Would Gore have dealt with the Taliban in a significantly different way than the one Bush has chosen to pursue? Almost certainly not. Would anything have been significantly different in American politics? Not really, because there are no American politics. At least, not this year …
Subject: The Taliban Is Toast
Re: "Frame Game: The Incredible Shrinking Taliban"
From: Arthur Stock
Date: Wed Nov 14 2 5:31 p.m. PT
Deep in their caves, Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden find little reason for optimism. Out of ideas, they turn to the Internet for some kind of sign from Allah. Vindication at last! Slate columnist [William] Saletan is predicting the future, claiming that the Taliban is over, will never have any power again. Only once since the beginning of time has Saletan made a similar prediction, last year, when his topic was an obscure Texas governor with a presidential campaign in about the condition the Taliban is today. Two months later, the governor was president, and a year after that, he had a 90 percent approval rating from New York to Kandahar …
Subject: Why We Listen
Re: "Assessment: Bernard Lewis"
Date: Wed Nov 14 7:25 a.m. PT
Bernard Lewis is convinced … that Western culture must be defended from the enemies of freedom … [giving] carte blanche to the imperial politics of
Subject: Deconstructing Harry
Re: "Culturebox: When Harry Met Maggie"
Date: Sun Nov 18 12:55 p.m. PT
A critique of Thatcherism set in a public school that could have come out of the Boys' Own Paper—now there's an odd mix. Billy Bunter and the Iron Lady go head to head. The idea is quite plausible though, and the frankly rather ridiculous combination explains to me why I don't like Harry. Rowling seems to want to be bang up to date in some ways (girls, multiculturalism, witty magic) and cloyingly, tooth-achingly nostalgic in others. The result is a weird mélange of Enid Blyton, Star Wars, and a Benetton ad. We need a modern Orwell to deconstruct it all for us. Where is Christopher Hitchens when we need him?
ADAS and Kassandra were awarded stars: See above for sample posts.
Election Frays were big this week: In Chatterbox, DBlatt applied voting rules to the World Series to great effect. And Slate writer Erik Tarloff, a frequent and welcome visitor to the Fray, made a controversial post on the rights and wrongs of last November.
Various contests rumble on in "Best of the Fray." We've decided you enter them for the joy of reading the entries and don't much care about being mentioned here, so we'll just say that we've made a list of peer-recommended posters to check out; that we have given judgment in Bluto's Horrific Post contest ("Hot Slate Sluts Want You"); and that Wake's "favorite poster" contest produced upward of 150 posts, with great entries from Rachel, WillV, and Baba O'Reilly.