ERIN GO BLOG: So D.C. Blogfest was much fun. Met the Offerings; Nephew; Corsair the Rational Pirate; Tony Andragna; Dave Tepper; Will Wilkinson; and the Emir of Blogistan. There was a nifty local vibe–everyone except Slotman, I think, had grown up in the DC area–in George Pelecanos-land, not Inside the Beltway-land. Last night was not very restful (green drinks before bedtime = dreams about being Johnny Farrell in “Gilda”) so I won’t post as much as I’d hoped today, but here are the highlights:

Most Gentlemanly: Thomas Nephew

Most Telling Comments: both by Andragna. First, referring to Leftists as “knee-jerk reactionaries,” which I liked; second, this exchange concerning the incredible expanding war:

ANDRAGNA: North Korea, Iraq, and what the hell was that other country–

OMNES: Iran.

ANDRAGNA: –Iran.

Best Sci-Fi Comments: Jim Henley on Samuel Delany vs. Ursula Le Guin. Caveat: I haven’t read Le Guin. But if he’s right, Henley’s observation is very interesting: Both Delany and Le Guin write about worlds where basic features of our lives (gender, language, etc.) are shifted, subverted, or transformed. Le Guin (according to Henley) creates utopias, where dissolving gender makes everything work out OK and “the only possibility for change would be decline.” Delany’s worlds “have change built in.” Delany isn’t a utopian writer, and so his worlds are dynamic, his characters conflicted and realistic. That is only one of the many reasons he is so cool.

And Henley should write about his “cost-shifting” argument for drug legalization–it’s pretty powerful. I definitely left that discussion much more pro-legalization than I began it.

Links of the day: Stupid Animals (check out the Yoda Cat!); Ken Layne on a truly egregious New York Times Saudi lovefest, and also a great description of the ramshackle Layne home; and a harsh and necessary William Raspberry column on rural poverty (via Dave Tepper).

Quote of the day, from Nephew: “At minimum, next time you’re tempted to France-bash, think how you’d tell it to the Naudet brothers.”

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