Not Saussure

June 14, 2007

Blogpower Awards, a Second Life party, and an entry for next year…

Filed under: Blogroll — notsaussure @ 3:25 pm

The results of the Blogpower Awards are now out; many congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to everyone who voted for me in the various categories. And special thanks both to James Higham for organising and running the contest and to Tom Paine for organising the Awards Ceremony, to be held at 2pm (London time) on Sunday 1st July at Mr Paine’s luxurious Second Life residence. This, I think, is an extremely imaginative idea, and I’m very much looking forward both to the virtual party and to exploring Second Life.

For details of how to download the necessary software, register a second life account (both free) and of the bash itself, see Tom’s post here.

I’ve already filed one potential entry for next year’s competition, for the category Most Unintentionally Humorous post, but since a year’s a long time and my memory isn’t what it used to be, allow me to share it with readers right now. The back-story to this is that Jon Swift (who narrowly won the Blogpower Best North American Blog or Column, after a nail-biting photo-finish with Lord Nazh and Zaftig — many congratulations to both of them; Jon Swift is tough competition, indeed, and coming within a handful of votes of him really is an impressive feat) wrote an obituary of the late Don Herbert, an American broadcaster who was better known as Mr Wizard, the presenter of a Children’s popular science TV show.

Mr Swift, for the benefit of those who haven’t yet encountered his blog, describes himself as

a reasonable conservative who likes to write about politics and culture. Since the media is biased I get all my news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Jay Leno monologues

and, were it not for the fact we have his own word for it that young people

should be taught to avoid satire, which only confuses people and saps the national will. […] While people have occasionally accused me of having a sense of humor, I strive to be funny as little as possible. I hope that, while I may occasionally slip and make an inadvertently humorous remark, for the most part what I say will be taken seriously

one might be forgiven for thinking some of his posts are a bit tongue in cheek.

One person, however, who didn’t slip into the trap of thinking Jon Swift was writing with any sense of irony when he observed that

It must have been a different world back in 1951 when his first show premiered. Can you imagine good Christian parents today allowing their children to be taught by someone who calls himself a “wizard” and tries to seduce children with the “magic” and “mystery” of science? Parents have enough problems these days trying to pry copies of the anti-Christian Harry Potter books out of their children’s little hands. Yet this man was able to go on television every week and tell children there were easy “scientific” explanations for God’s creation and that they should rely on their brains instead of the Bible.

was a Mr M, who co-writes Comments From Left Field (‘Dear Reader, Comments From Left Field is a Progressive news and opinion blog’; Mr M and his colleagues, I’m happy to note, helpfully link the word ‘blog’ in this introduction to the Wikipedia entry for the term, just in case anyone might be confused).

Having read Jon Swift’s piece, Mr M was so incensed that he wrote a scathing attack, Who The Fuck Is This Whackjob?!?!, on Mr Swift. A sample:

The piece, in its entirety, is wholely disgusting, and regressive, and I’m sorry for the invective, but it was necessary. Case in point:

As parents and their children stroll through the 60,000 sq. ft. museum, designed by a former Universal Studios exhibit director, they can see the terrible cost wrought by Mr. Wizard and other advocates of human reason: nuclear war, drug addiction, gay marriage, abortion, evolution taught in the schools, school shootings, graffiti, and carnivorous wolves. Before Eve gave Adam a bite of the apple from the Tree of Knowledge, they lived peaceably with all of the animals, including dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus Rexes munched contentedly on grass and leaves, while children played with their pet velociraptors. One bite of the apple sent these loving dinosaurs into a murderous rage.

Know that my reaction to this paragraph alone was, “Holy Shit.” I mean are you kidding me? Gay marriage and teaching evolution are on par with NUCLEAR WAR? And by the way, Mr. Swift, carnivorous wolves? Most definitely one of God’s creations… not ours.

Then, just to make assurance doubly sure, he went on to Mr Swift’s blog and left a lengthy comment in a similar vein. Oops.




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