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July 18 2002 12:38 PM

Lindh Trap

"The system is frayed," Alan Greenspan told Congress. And indeed it is. But The Fray has its own system: a ruthless compulsion to see that everyone gets his or her just deserts. Sure, The Fray can be supportive, as it was for last week's diarist  undergoing radiation, or for concerned women who had just read the Medical Examiner's discussion of Hormone Replacement Therapy. But The Fray did some of its best work on the attack.

John McCain? Angry loser. John Walker Lindh? Got off easy. Cantor Fitzgerald's commercials? Puh-leeez.

Still, there were some remarkable discussions in "Moneybox" and "Ballot Box," measured political debates that sought to carve out space for opposing viewpoints and find a civil public sphere all could share (see here and here). Like most good debates, though, they were long. So, we conclude with some good zingers. Zathras went after Suellentrop, mfbenson got Louis Rukeyser, Pauline Moore got Rudy Giuliani, Kip Soteres got Mark Turpin, and Bucster got Spain and Morocco.

Subect: Being John McCain
Re: "Ballot Box: McCain vs. Bush on Corporate Corruption"
From: Keep a Clear Eye
Date: Jul 11 2002 5:23 PM

Saletan gets to the heart of the McCain contradiction. As an independent candidate, McCain is a real threat to both Bush and the Democrats. McCain's popular. He's been around the presidential block. He has a policy agenda and he's strong on honesty and integrity where Bush is weak and getting weaker every day. But McCain still looks like a loser. He's an angry temperamental guy seeking to appeal to a group of middle-class swing voters who don't like political anger. Like Perot, McCain's popularity would melt under the heat of hostile press scrutiny. Maybe McCain has a chance if there's no recovery and corporate scandals continue. Maybe he has a chance if the war on terrorism continues to look like the war on drugs. But most likely he doesn't have a chance at all.

[Find this post here.]

Subect: Some Crucifixion!
Re: "Jurisprudence: Lindh's Guilty Plea"
From: cassandra
Date:  Jul 16 2002 5:35 PM

We not only spared his miserable life, but let him off with a 20-year sentence. He, his family, and all his apologists should be on their hands and knees thanking God and the U.S. government that we were the country he chose to betray. And never mind that he was just a 20-year-old kid: Who do you think is making the decision to defend us?

[Find this post here.]

Subject: WAY Too Easy on the Cantor PR Folks
Re: "Ad Report Card: Cantor Fitzgerald: Exploiting 9/11?"
From:
 grumm
Date: Jul 15 2002 10:37 AM

It's like hearing a great Beatles song in some depressing car commercial. You don't have to damn the Lennon/McCartney songwriting team in order to detest the commercial. Apply this to the folks in these Cantor commercials who are saying very heartfelt, legitimate, and important things in a commercial that shamelessly exploits them and what they're saying for financial gain.

[Find this post here.]

Subject: Donald Fehr, Be My Valentine
Re: "Assessment: Donald Fehr"
From: Zathras
Date: Jul 13 2002 9:19 AM

Is Chris Suellentrop applying for a job with the baseball players' union, or contemplating making a move on Donald Fehr's daughter?

It's not unusual for some of the older professional sportswriters to get all misty-eyed about union solidarity against greedy management; not only do they remember the distant days of the reserve clause, but their own experience early in their careers with newspaper management prompts them to a certain gauzy romanticism about unions in sports. Most of these sportswriters are well past 60 by now, though, and I had the impression that Suellentrop was a younger guy.

The fact is that Donald Fehr has been fully complicit in some of baseball's worst decisions of recent years. ...

[Find this post here.]

Subject: Vila-esque Vibes
Re: "Television: Welcome to the Private Sector, Mr. Rukeyser"
From: mfbenson
Date: Jul 11 2002 1:45 PM

Rukeyser IS a very credible source, the problem is that he is now "marketing" it. He has a subscription-based newsletter, he has seminars, he has ocean cruises ... I am reminded of another PBS star, Bob Vila. He had a great show, and then ruined it once he started sending out a vibe of trying to sell us something.

[Find this post here.]

Subject: Rudy Won
Re: "Jurisprudence: Hats Off to Rudy"
From: Pauline Moore
Date: Jul 12 2002 12:56 PM

A question: if Rudy had so little time, how did he make time for all those mistresses?

[Find this post here.]

Subject: Waiting for Lumber OR Lumbering Prose
Re: "Poem: 'Waiting for Lumber' "
From: Kip Soteres
Date: Jul 16 2002 3:06 PM

I fail to see the cleverness behind the repeated "matter" at the poem's close:

as if working or not working were a MATTER
of choice, and who we were didn't
MATTER.

Advertisement

It is in fact so irrelevant to the content and so unclever, I am tempted to suspect that the poet didn't notice it and never got around to a second draft of revision to catch it and correct it.

[Find this post here.]

Subject: Opening Line: Spain by 7 1/2 Points!
Re: "International Papers: Morocco Invades Spain"
From: Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder (aka Bucster)
Date: Jul 16 2002 8:41 AM

Reason: Spanish military larger, better equipped, and most important has historical experience with mounting seaborne invasions—though admittedly not anything recent!

[Find this post here.]

Fray Notes:
Upon Thars: Before she left, Moira told me that one of the best things about editing The Fray is that you can see trends emerging before they reach consciousness. Based upon the number of star posters who lost their stars this week—either through the mysteries of Internet or the purchase of new computers—this Fray Editor is taking some long positions in IT consulting and hardware companies.

You Meta-Believe It: The Poster-Poser contest in Best of The Fray here is like something out of Philip K. Dick.

Held Over: The "Dad Again" Middle Names Contest, first suggested by Tempo. Because at this point, I like my own entries best (Tallulah Borealis and Dixie Winn).

J.D. Connor is assistant professor of English and of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard. He is working on a book about neoclassical Hollywood.