Friday, December 31, 2004


The Blogalaxy (no! skippy didn't invent that term!) is indulging in its annual "moral equivalent of self-abuse" by giving itself prizes. Wizbang announced voting results for its 2004 Weblog Award Winners, and Wampum will soon open voting for its 2004 Koufax Awards, named after Sandy Koufax, the great Dodgers left-handed pitcher. The American Street has joined the parade with categories Wampum left out, calling theirs the Perranoski Prize after another lefty who was Koufax's relief pitcher.

Wampum, which started its awards first, explicitly says its awards are "to honor the best of the left of blogtopia (ysitp)." Wizbang doesn't say it is solely for righties, and even includes separate categories for "Best Liberal Blog" and "Best Conservative Blog", but it is clear from the nominations and voting that it serves as a "non-Koufax". Why not a non-sinister baseball name? Sure, "Cy Young Award" was already taken, but they could have used Walter Johnson, or a more recent noted righty, who was a solid Republican and actually worked for Our Noble Lame Duck, namely Nolan Ryan.

The best evidence of Wizbang's starboard lean is its winner for "Best Liberal Blog", Matthew Yglesias, who isn't even a real liberal, but a mush-mouthed establishment "pragmatic" centrist that we've co-opted with the bright lights of the beltway. He was as close to a righty as the conservative voters could find among the nominees, and probably would have narrowly edged out even Kevin Drum, if that other moderate waffler had been in this category instead of coming in next to last in "Best Overall".

Wizbang's prize voters didn't totally miss the boat. For "Best Overall Blog", they picked the broader coverage of Powerline over Chucky's site, increasingly a launch pad for obsessive commenters, and Insty's often frustrating shorthand links, where his mere "indeeds" or "reallys" are more like Dave Barry's blog, leaving you to flip a coin over clicking the link. But their "Best Humor Blog" award went to Scrappleface, whose commendable regularity is burdened by trivial content. Like the later Mad magazine, it is not actually un-funny, merely dull. Further evidence that the voters were clueless is their ranking of the funnier, but more, well, "challenging" to conservatives, Jesus' General in fourth place, while not even including the sharply ironic Politburo Diktat. Wake up, folks, you're seriously confused.

Notice that they didn't even have a category for "Best Libertarian Blog". Tinfoil hat question: were they worried that might have split some of the vote for conservatives? If anyone knows of awards that explicitly honor such sites, please clue us in. We always find it amusing to spice up our own surfing with both the extreme totalitarians, now nearing deserved extinction, and their diametrical opposites, now perhaps too isolated for a stable gene pool (though a recent article about laptop use and decreased sperm production may make that irrelevant).

I generally don't vote in such exhibitions, but this year I did cast ballots in a couple of polls for two bloggers who asked me. I don't plan to nominate my own site in any of these contests. That's both because I don't stoop to compete with lesser beings (unless I can get les frères Urosevich to do the counting), and because my site doesn't fit the categories or the polarized voters picking the winners. But there will be no Sherman statements here; if drafted by write-ins, like those which made The Clenis runner-up for most evil person of the millennium, I'm sure I would triumphantly cackle "Who's your daddy?" at the beknighted losers just as much as anyone else. Even we Gausses and Gödels of the blogging world are not immune to flattery.

Actually a better parallel might be a musical one, like Satie or Schönberg, since the Parodess Laureate of the Left, Mad Kane, has not only nominated me in two Wampum categories, "Most Humorous Blog" and "Best Political Poems and/or Song Parodies", but has also decided to issue her very own 2004 Mad Blogger Award Winners. In this ingenious way to make sure your choices win each category, she gave me her prize (which I suggest she should name after another pitcher, Bill "Spaceman" Lee) for "The Most Likely To Make Me Feel Undereducated". While this swells my head, I wonder just what provoked it from someone I understand was herself both a lawyer ("recovering") and a musician. Maybe she doesn't read shape notes? Le parodiste Madeleine was not alone in establishing her own awards. Life ... or something like it posted Jess' blog awards which honored me (indirectly) twice; the obvious one was for "Best Blogger Jess is still trying to get". (I am also an infiltrator of the "gang" at The American Street, which he named for "Best Analysis".)

These two made me ponder starting my very own prizes, perhaps next year. My first thought was to name them after the Giants' screwball wizard Carl Hubbell, but he was another lefty, so I went instead with a non-pitching right-hander who had other interesting qualities. This White Sox catcher
was a brilliant scholar, picking up degrees from Princeton and Columbia Law School and studying philosophy at the Sorbonne. His linguistic skills inspired this observation by a teammate: "He can speak seven languages, but he can't hit in any of them." ... He and a teammate, also a linguist, would communicate on the field in Latin.
He spied on Japan for the U.S. in the 1930s, then was in the O.S.S. during the war, and was "chosen to carry out one of the O.S.S.' more ambitious endeavors - a plot to possibly assassinate Werner Heisenberg, the head of Nazi Germany's atom-bomb project."

I find this ambiguous career appealing, so this would be the first annual Moe Berg Awards. As the essence of the blogging world is self-centeredness, I might limit the nominees to those who have wisely permalinked my site or cited my stuff -- unless I just couldn't help mentioning something like "unrequitedly linked to most often". Now, what would be some appropriately insidious categories....

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com