Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Introducing: The Sullivan Award

Having already weighed in on the grand potential of blogs, I hereby introduce a new recurring feature, where readers can send in examples of the most self-indulgent writing in the blogosphere. While naming the award was a very tough call indeed (there were two chaps in the running, can you guess who the other one was?), Andrew Sullivan has run away with the honors thanks to this morning's seminal post:

"CPAP UPDATE: I have a little piece in this week's Time special on sleep about my apnea diagnosis and treatment. But there have been some subsequent developments. In general, I haven't had the amazing burst of energy I had after my night in the hospital. Maybe the psychosomatic explanation holds up. But my sleep has been better; and longer; and deeper. I'm told it takes time to feel the cumulative effects; I do feel more rested; and sleeping itself has been much easier than I anticipated. But one side-effect has surprised me. It probably shouldn't have. It makes sense, after all. I'll give you a subtle hint: when you have air being pumped into you with a face mask for eight hours a night, and when there's nowhere for it to escape, except some small holes in the top of the mask, then the air finds other outlets. So now, I officially have hot air coming out of both ends. The boyfriend has to choose between being deafened or fumigated. But my sleep is heavenly."

I encourage readers to send in their own nominees. There's certainly no shortage.

One last thought: Can you imagine what the blogosphere's reaction would be if one of those Big Bad Old Media types--say E.J. Dionne or Robert Fisk--published something like this? The entire internet might collapse under the harrumphing.

Update, 6:32 p.m.: I should say, in light of Sullivan's Self-Parody Watch item from yesterday, that I don't mean this to be any way negative. Andrew Sullivan is, objectively speaking, a blog hero, too!


Dean Barnett said...

I am so relieved that Andrew now has heavenly sleep. While Andrew is literally breathing easier the rest of the blogosphere is figuratively breathing easier. Our prayers having been answered.

Anonymous said...

Love the award idea. I tried looking for the "search" function on NRO but if it's there, it isn't obvious. I planned to count the number of Jonah Goldberg posts, roughly 92 percent of which qualify as self-indulgent, that mention "my wife, jessica, who by the way is the chief speechwriter to attorney general ashcroft," and "my dog, cosmo, the amazing, the wonderbeast." Maybe that's why the search function isn't readily apparent.

Here's an example from a recent article -- not a blog post, sorry, but really, it's all recycled material anyway.

"There's good news and bad news. The bad news is that Attorney General John Ashcroft has resigned. The good news is that this is the last time I'll have to offer this annoying full disclosure thingamajig: My wife works for John Ashcroft. These clunky full disclosures are frustrating, but they're nothing compared to what my wife had to endure as chief speechwriter to the most unfairly vilified public official in modern memory. Jessica's a brilliant and gifted writer, but she could be Shakespeare and the media would focus on the stodginess of Ashcroft's iambic pentameter."

Yeah right, he's so genuinely disappointed not to be able to mention his brilliant wife's job anymore. I believe him.

Even his masthead bio mentions his wife's job (assuming she still has one -- 3 cheers for Al Gonzalez!) and his dog. It's one thing to reverently absorb all of his "thoughts" on politics. But what kind of person really thinks his or her readers WANT to know about their dog's baths and children's bowel movements? A smartass could answer "The Columbia Journalism Review," I suppose, but honestly.

I will bring myself to scan the Corner if only to help you find suitable award nominees.

Westmont said...

Seminal post indeed. Yet another reason why I don't waste my time with anything Andrew Sullivan has to say. Talk about a whack job... (pun intended) I'm still recovering from your post regaling his blog party where one could meet other "cool and sexy bloggers" or something to that effect. I wiped off my keyboard, screen, and mouse after reading that one!

Lawjedi said...

This kind of thing reminds me of the class I'm thinking of holding each fall about writing *tasteful* Christmas letters to family and friends. Discuss family successes and happiness, discuss the losses in a reserved manner. Avoid discussions that involve lots and lots and lots of information, like the your son's gender identity issues or the details of the development of your pubescent daughter's body into womanhood, or your husband's decreased tolerance for "gassy foods".

I think I'll avoid Sullivan's site from now on. Egad.

Anonymous said...

I planned to count the number of Jonah Goldberg posts, roughly 92 percent of which qualify as self-indulgent, that mention "my wife, jessica, who by the way is the chief speechwriter to attorney general ashcroft," and "my dog, cosmo, the amazing, the wonderbeast."A vile an odious lie!

Were you a truly a G-File devotee (a G-Phile I guess), you would at least have mentioned the couch! Of course it's obvious that you are not for you have not even managed to locate a Corner post in your argument.

Here's a google search for "Jonah Goldberg in National Review. I think you will be pleasently surprised by his wit and insight (and yes, his running gags about his couch, his dog and "fair Jessica").

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