After-Christmas blog roll

December 29, 2003
By

Updates from editor people’s blogs:

Newsdesigner on
the New York Times Magazine’s annual "people who died" issue.

Mondo Winkie describes
of those moments that always seem to happen to him. Excerpt:

“Nah, I’m just a peon,” Advance Guy replies.

“Peon,” says large, one-eyed lady, “does that mean you want me to pee on
you?”

“I would hope you wouldn’t,” Advance Guy says nervously.

Infomaniac points to Media
Mayhem,
a new St. Louis media blog; a highlight:

St. Louis Post-Dispatch military cheerleader Harry Levin has requested readers
submit their suggestions for a ” word that would generically define military
servicemen and women. The Time magazine Man of the Year award prompted Levin
to put out the call. Levin took exception to Time casting all military personnel
as “soldiers.” The appropriate term should be “a pithy and punchy word –
one short enough to nestle comfortably in a single-column headline — to cover
everybody in all four branches of the service,” Levin wrote in his Saturday
column. I’m assuming Levin is looking for a bit of 21st-Century jingoism,
sufficiently imbued with a video-game vision of war. How about an acronym
lik e DOF, for Defenders of Freedom. I can see the headlines now: 25 DOFs
Killed in Roadside Bombing; or DOF Amputees Flood Walter Reed.

Of course, a perfectly suited “pithy and punchy” word already defines members
of the armed services — GIs. A GI, accord ing to the American Heritage Dictionary,
is an “enlisted person or veteran of any of the U.S. armed forces.” The acronym
is an abbreviation for government issue. Originally, though, GI stood for
galvinized iron, the stuff from which gar ba ge cans used to be forged. It
came to represent men who swallow garbage and develop skins of iron.

Maybe Levin would object to reissuing GI for the Iraqi war because it excludes
officers. Like all wars, however, the grunts do the most fighting and dying.
Back in the “Good War,” GIs coined another phrase based on reality — SNAFU.
The acronym stands for situation normal, all fucked up.

There’s no need to fashion any new words for this war. Some things never
change.

Off-topic
links to a story that comes closer to the definition of irony: a candle causing
a fire in the home of the deputy fire chief. Comment: I’m not sure this is really
irony; otherwise every fire that burns down the home of a firefighter would
be ironic. Irony as I understand it means an outcome that is the opposite of
intent. There has to be an expressed intent for an ironic outcome; if the deputy
fire chief had made some fire-prevention precaution that accidentally caused
the house to burn down, that would be truly ironic.

Maud Newton links to
the story of a guy
who made a living suing newspapers, and muses on the
connection
between drinking and good writing.

Side Salad laments
the Tampa Bay Bucs’ collapse.

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