Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Welcome Wagon

Dear Heaven, they've hired another one. New Atlantic blogger, Conor Friedersdorf:
These are the questions that occurred to me immediately after I found out I'd be writing a blog about ideas for The Atlantic Online. I jotted them down in a notebook. Naturally, it wasn't on hand the next afternoon when I found myself
waiting for a friend at a Los Angeles café. What I discovered, once the waitress
lent me a pen, is that necessity is the mother of writing on napkins. These I
stuffed into my pockets, the fragile squares overflowing with frenetically
scrawled brilliance I thrilled at sharing. Could a single blog contain them?
Alas, we'll never know: into the wash went the pants and around they spun. Once
in the dryer the napkins separated into pieces so small that picking them from
the surrounding load took an hour. Ideas survive laundering about as well as
insights from social science survive the legislative process.


Hee.

But I predict that what we now think of as the abortion debate is going to radically change within our lifetime in a way that makes many of the strategic gambits employed by both sides irrelevant, or at least beside the point.

Specifically, I think that technology is going to make fetuses viable outside the womb earlier and earlier. In fact that is already happening. And eventually there will be artificial wombs, enabling doctors to extract a fetus from a pregnant woman during the first trimester with a procedure no more invasive or dangerous than abortion, and to keep that baby alive in an incubator.


Let me guess: His turn ons are Heinlein, free markets and getting caught in the rain. Here's another good one.

Consider Las Vegas after 12 hours: already there is an urge to escape. The once quaint sounds of the casino floor clank against the nerves. You discern wrinkles beneath the caked-on makeup of haggard cocktail waitresses and paunch on black-jack dealers whose slouches gradually deepen.

Earlier on wedding parties brush past, tuxedos pressed and bridesmaid dresses flowing, fresh flowers pinned as boutonnières and bundled into bouquets. Friends beam as groom kisses bride: a happy future seems assured.

Hours later, a woman in a wedding dress stands alone, teetering drunk, her husband passed out upstairs. Her veil dangles from a blackjack table, anchored by a rum and coke; its ice is long since melted and a rust colored-ring remains when she yanks up the veil, tipping liquid onto the green felt where the dollar dances of her loved ones were gambled away.

The cliched moralizing, the libertarian fantasy approach to tough questions, the precious self-interest. Oy. A male McArdle.

21 comments:

Chad said...

Maybe I still cling pathetically to the idea that upper American media culture has any standards left, but it still amazes me that "The Atlantic" doesn't even try to pretend that it has any diversity of voices. Even FOX News has its Alan Colmes.

clever pseudonym said...

I didn't think the Atlantic could find someone whose writing was more over-wrought and pretentious than Megan's. They have. Apparently, the new guy is so brilliant that, as a writer, he doesn't carry around a pen and paper at all times. He also couldn't figure out how to type his thoughts into some form of electronic device a yuppy of his nature undoubtedly has, such as an iPod or cell phone. No, he scribbled his thoughts on a napkin after having to borrow a pen and didn't think to empty his pockets before doing laundry. Not to mention he couldn't recall this self-described ephiphanies of brilliance a few short hours later. I can only imagine the genius and insight the human race has lost as a result.

Susan of Texas said...

I forsee a great deal of mutual appreciation and cross-linking.

Downpuppy said...

Dear God, this clown can sound pretentious & stuffy when he's fluffing Limbaugh!

http://www.theamericanscene.com/2009/05/12/no-one-on-the-corner-has-swagger-like-rush

Downpuppy said...

A Friedersdorf/Suderman lemon party!

http://www.theamericanscene.com/2009/02/27/substance-matters

clever pseudonym said...

It has already started, Susan. Megan tells us we're really missing out if we don't torture ourselves with his drivel.

It's not even the mom-diversity of voices, their ill-thought ideas, or notions of moral and social superiority that bug me the most. When it comes down to it, my biggest problem is that they write like crap.

Susan of Texas said...

They sure do. It's like a pony stable over there. And yes, they all think exactly alike.

Downpuppy, thanks for the link. I Googled the documentary filmmaker discussing conservative filmmaking in the coments. He makes porn. Heh.

Downpuppy said...

I just clicked on the username & Websense blocked it as Sex.

Which doesn't mean much- Websense has blocked me from a graph of unemployment statitistics as Fobidden Category: Nudity.

The inbreeding at The Atlantic is appalling. It's not just the Village, it's the Village idiot & her posse.

Susan of Texas said...

Evidently he makes artsy "documentaries" of real people doing real sex with their real partners. Which makes it cinema verite instead of cinema XXX, I guess.

Righteous Bubba said...

Specifically, I think that technology is going to make fetuses viable outside the womb earlier and earlier.

The ability to clone will make scratching yourself MURDER.

MaryRC said...

Not to mention he couldn't recall this self-described ephiphanies of brilliance a few short hours later. I can only imagine the genius and insight the human race has lost as a result.

Why, it's like the man from Porlock.

synykyl said...

The ability to clone will make scratching yourself MURDER.

Heh. It was worth reading through a few paragraphs of Friedersdorf to get to that comment.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the nice shoutout from Roy Edroso, Susan. Now you're officially part of the liberal conspiracy, I guess. I wonder how long it will take the hate trolls to show up in your comments?

Halloween Jack said...

Evidently he makes artsy "documentaries" of real people doing real sex with their real partners. Which makes it cinema verite instead of cinema XXX, I guess.

Here in flyover country, we call it the "amateur" shelf at Swingers World.

Susan of Texas said...

Thanks for the congrats. If anyone in a liberal blog wants to see a ton of trolls, all you have to do is say "Mark Steyn" three times. They'll infest you at once.

Anonymous said...

It's the lingering influence of the late Michael Kelly. His peculiar genius was finding writers of florid prose and disastrously bad ideas to infest a once-influential journal of in-depth news and opinion. His proudest moment, outside of groupie-following Dubya's invasion, was that he helped save us from a Gore administration.

parsec

Batocchio said...

Home run!

Anonymous said...

The Atlantic started to fade after Mort Zuckerman bought it and then bought a one-way ticket to the Inferno when it hitched its wagon to Robert D. Kaplan and assorted copycats.

Downpuppy said...

He can't tell names from characters - Could it be? Could Conor be dumber than Megan?

http://ideas.theatlantic.com/2009/06/worst_idea_ever_4.php

Mr. Wonderful said...

"...and paunch on black-jack dealers whose slouches gradually deepen."

CF--Problem here. Blackjack dealers stand up. Thus: slouches? Mind, it doesn't matter to ME that you never actually went to Vegas, and confected the whole thing. But let's cut this for accuracy's sake. Otherwise: super. Welcome aboard!

--ed.

Anonymous said...

Sing with me (to the tune of that Prince classic):

Purple prose, purple prose