The GOP's deficit-attention disorder.

The GOP's deficit-attention disorder.

The GOP's deficit-attention disorder.

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Dec. 21 2002 1:16 AM

Deficit-Attention Disorder

The Fray on the Republicans' new math.

(Continued from Page 5)

Monday, Dec. 16, 2002

Uxorious, indeed: The big news over the weekend—Al Gore’s SNL gig—has spawned some serious thought about comedy's role in our political culture. Or a couple good posts. Zeitguy declares here:

SNL has become an orifice of the Industrial Military Infotainment complex which establishes the non-threatening nature of a public person by subjecting them to sophomoric initiation rituals.

The hardline "conservatives" who are writing the agenda for the next decade can ignore him altogether now.

Zathras finds this rather Nixonian here:

Gore may calculate that there is at least a very strong chance that no Democrat can beat Bush in 2004, and that even he may succeed in reinventing himself given six whole years to do it in. This is what Richard Nixon did, and Nixon is the best model Gore could use if he did want to run for President some day. Nixon, incidentally, managed to successfully poke fun at his own buttoned-down image on NBC's "Laugh-In," and he did it using just four words. …

Soupçonner: The Shopping Fray is heating up the usual disdain for canned soups (with exceptions for several Progresso varieties). Still, as any discussion of soup must, the Fray turns to Pea Soup Andersen's, legend of California car culture, and MSG, now available in supersecret substitute forms to dupe unsuspecting consumers. Rstoler was the first to point out that "yeast extract" is one of Ms. G's many guises (for more, see this site). …

Turkey and stars? Responding to the International Papers discussion of the indefinite delay in Turkey's application for EU membership, PaulB and RobertMolineaux have a nice Huntingtonian thread on the prospects for Turkish democracy beginning here. Since the EU continues to shaft Turkey, Deodand has resurrected his proposal that the U.S. adopt it as the 51st state. He is taking nominations for No. 52. (I'm thinking Djibouti.) …

Sink the Biz-Marky? Whenever the topic gets narrow, the experts come out in force. The "five best indie albums" list from David Samuels has brought out the partisans and Mark Lewis's critique of James Cameron's Bismarckdocumentary has brought out the naval warfare aficionados. ThWriter has his baffled hat on here:

And come on: If the sporadically marvelous Guided by Voices is "great," the half-baked "Universal Truths and Cycles" album is "great," and ex-Bangles kewpie doll Susanna Hoffs is "great," what's left for the Vowel Bands?

As for the great Battleship vs. Carrier debate, there some question as to whether the Bismarck was obsolete when it was launched or whether its obsolescence was, um, circadian, as MatteBlacke-6 points out here:

Battleships in 1941 in the North Atlantic weren't quite obsolete. Aircraft and aircraft carriers were the dominant weapons only in the day and in good weather. You could see this in the Pacific, even a couple years later; Japanese fleet tactics of the time usually had them detaching battleships or cruisers from the main fleet to seek out US aircraft carriers for night action.