Friday, October 30, 2009


My entry for the WaPo insta-pundit contest was rejected. Thus, and without further ado, here's pretty much what I submitted:


So, I was tooling around the internets as is my want, looking for various mots to snag for mine blog, bon or otherwise. (Mine blog is a good blog, although I would not say it is a *useful* blog. Or in any way original.)

Lo, (this seems like a good place for a "lo"), Lo, as I read LittleGreenFootballs' latest rant on how the GOP has their collective head up their equally communal behind, I came upon a link describing some sort of pundit contest for the Washington Post.

"Aha!" I said to myself. "This seems to be a wonderful opportunity to write a load of nonsense, momentarily impress whatever intern they got vetting these things with how funny I think I am, and maybe increase the traffic on mine blog (did I mention I have a blog?) by three or four visitors for a couple of days! Sweet deal!"

Not really, though.

If this contest is at all for real, not only do I think that *I* shouldn't win, I don't think *anybody* should win. By saying, basically, that any idiot can write an OpEd column for the Post, the newspaper debases its own reputation, and debases political discourse in general.

A pundit should be a pundit because s/he's got something worthwhile to say, not because they've found a venue in which to say it. A person's not VP material because a party picks them; their qualifications for the job should be the *reason* they were picked in the first place. Likewise, a newspaper should invite those folks with worthwile things to say to come say them, not crowbar open a slot and, hey presto, whoever falls in that slot automagically becomes somebody worth listening to.

Me? I'd invite Neil deGrasse Tyson, hands down. If he can make the case for Pluto being a dwarf planet in a way that keeps the Disney people happy, he surely has an interesting thing or two to say about climate change, evolution, and, perchance, health care.

If not death panels, then the neuroscience behind sloppy thinking, I'm thinking.

By the way, did I mention I have a blog?


I’ve lived in various places ([list of places removed]) and have done various things ([list of jobs removed], office slavey for scientific publishers, figure drawing model, volunteer radio DJ).

My claim to fame is having lived or worked in the towns featured in both the UK and American versions of The Office: Slough and Scranton. Well, that, and having won some kind of poetry award about, I believe, tadpoles.

I should win this contest because it would be ironic and, if I understand the term correctly, “postmodern”.

Possibly “hip”.

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