This is good by DougJ| April 29, 20126:29 pm| 65 CommentsThis post is in: Blogospheric Navel-GazingFacebookTweetEmailVia Jim Newell :
He’s obviously just a jealous havenot.
I saw Eli Lake’s response, then I caught Lake on Up with Chris Hayes, and damn he’s a dick.
Funny post. Thanks.
And as a token of my thanks, I demand, demand you hear, that all the Balloon John front posters make a video about what they hate about the culture of their towns.
I’ll check back later today.
The first step to solving a problem…
Sure, and especially the climate. The traffic? Meh, there’s worse. The rest is dead on, except the part about them not being alien mutants.
And BTW, shouldn’t this be filed under the category “Shit Spencer Ackerman Don’t Like”?
@Calming Influence: it surely should, but this ‘full service’ blog doesn’t that tag yet.
No wonder a person can’t find anything around here.
I lived in D.C. for about five years. The shit about the Metro starting at 2:05 is hilarious and true.
Let’s not forget that category includes the apparently “dangerous and terrifying” Obama administration too.
I can imagine Matt Yglesias watching that putdown of DC and just bawling uncontrollably.
He was doing fine until he turned into Just Another Condescending Noo Yawka.
@BGinCHI: Yglesias will write about the elementary philosophical error in Ackerman’s video soon.
DougJ, Head of Infidelity
Everyone says dumb stuff when they’re talking off the cuff, tho. I cut him slack for that.
@jl: Nope, he’ll write about why Ackerman parking on the 3rd level of a poorly designed parking garage makes him a war criminal.
Having lived in DC metro for 7 years, while having nothing to do with “Beltway Culture” (not my line of business) I can say that yeah, the weather is worth complaining about 10 months out of twelve.
Although I’ve moved to the Bay Area and the traffic is better than around DC.
Steve in DC
He could you know, not deal with politicos and that sort of people. I know it’s hard when that’s what you do. But I sure as hell avoid dealing with those sort of people when I’m off work. Anybody here who went to a top school, has a masters or better degree, works in an NGO, works in a non profit, works on the hill, works in the government, works off K street, works in the press, yeah they are obnoxious for the most part. But you don’t have to deal with them socially. Just stop going to those places and ignore them.
I was born here and I’ve never seen anybody get mad over calling the Metro the subway.
The DC traffic does indeed suck. Too many people who all believe that they are the most important things on the road and entitled to be jerks…coupled with the clueless tourist traffic and the traffic passing their way through town from north to south and vice versa.
@BethanyAnne: Link of the response?
@peej: Sounds like certain parts of Los Angeles and SF. How often to people run red lights in DC? It is routine in SF, but dies off further you go from Bdad on the Bay.
SF, is seven miles by seven miles. How late can you be? And people run red lights all the time, in a hurry. In that dinky little city.
Edit: forgive me, my regional pride showed a few cracks there, I guess.
@burnspbesq: Exactly. He’s mad because we don’t call the Metro what he wants to call the Metro? Fuck him. That has nothing to do with the Beltway culture he despises, but his complaint has everything to do with the transplants who make that Beltway culture so fucking despicable.
I had thought Ackerman and Yglesias were part of the same young pundits that ran around together, but my go-to source on this suggests otherwise.* They are fellow members of the Juicebox Mafia, though. That, of course, is what got him fired by Marty Peretz from his first big job at TNR; Ackerman loved that job, and took the dismissal really hard, although he had to know that he was stabbing at Peretz’s sacred cow with his anti-Likudnik posts. Whether it was naivete, whistling-past-the-graveyard deranged hopefulness, or some kind of fatalism – professionalism in the face of the inevitable fatalism, maybe? – I don’t know. [He may have written about it somewhere; he has done some quality navel-gazing before…]
I think he recently got married, and if he is starting a family, the new financial pressures on him won’t make his career path any easier – unless he selected a bride a la John McCain or the Moustache of Understanding (I don’t think so though; she subbed for him at FDL a few times, didn’t give off a trustafarian vibe). Being at Wired presents fewer hazards, I would assume.
He is one of several young journalists I try to follow, to see how they negotiate the challenges of that profession. Ackerman has a few callous-inducing experiences in his past, which will hopefully make him tough enough, without becoming an unempathetic ladder climber.
*Where are yoooou, Gavin M.?? You are very much missed.
@Bnut: It’s here.
Don’t know what it’s like in the Conde Nast era. I hung out with some people there in the early years and it was all glibertarians and would be robot fuckers.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
class politics, disdain for the poor, self-satisfaction, clueless white privilege, pious outrage at basic profanity, lack of any sense of humor… Anybody else have the image of Cokie Roberts conjured into their head like a demon floating in the steam the Weird Sisters’ cauldron?
“It’s a mothefuckin’ subway.” Awesome.
he needs to tell how he really feels.
he needs to tell how he really feels.
Who is the Ackerman anyway I have never heard of him. Did Andrew Sullivan feature him because he has a beard?
What I hate? it’s the Beast video. Fuck you, Ackerman.
@Steve in DC: And, oh, yeah, go fuck yourself you glibertarian asshole.
@schrodinger’s cat: My question too. My God, that was whiny.
In other words, similar to ancient Greece, except for the fact that they invented that “democracy” thingie that we all pretend to embrace because confronting the reality of the Corporate State is simply too fucking painful to contemplate, let alone confront. Now we are more similar to the late Roman Empire. Without that icky subway, of course. Hail, Metronius! Also,too, the unavoidable architecture can’t help but conjure up comparisons. The modern state does know how to whip a tasty plate of grub though, so that’s something. Not much, but something. Oh, and don’t forget Wired magazine, the arbiter of….wait, I’m thinking! Well, something important that I read about on some website. I read Ackerman from time to time, and don’t consider it time wasted, but c’mon, Spence, you’re better than this. I hope.
BTW I have decided to stay put not going to India this week for funeral ceremonies of the 10th and 13th days for my FIL. Will go at the end of summer. Mr schrodinger’s cat is fine with it, I talked to him for about two hours this afternoon. The funeral is over, some other last rites, dealing with the collecting the bones after the cremation etc are done too. He seems to be coping well.
According to tradition, the close family members are not supposed to leave the house until the 10 and 13th day ceremonies, neighbors, friends etc come to visit and offer condolences. Glad not be cooped up with two crazy ladies (MIL and SIL), when they are emotionally fragile.
@arguingwithsignposts: You seem snippy this evening? How is your kitteh, haven’t seen any new photos in a while.
If you hate shit inside the Beltway so much, there ARE other jobs out there, Spencer.
He was asked the question, he answered honestly. He’s not complaining. He’s only answering the question.
This is good.
OK, I checked out that link with Eli Lake’s rebuttal to Ackerman (thanks, BethanyAnne @22!). Lake sort of defends the indefensible, but from the stance that this-is-just-the-way-it-is, i.e., Evil Eisenhower’s Dragon* is evil, but it’s the dragon that pays; something like that.
But I liked the second e-mail response below the video, which addresses Ackerman’s whining a bit more directly and effectively.
I think Ackerman would have been wiser to restrict such cathartic rants to his own blog. Or he could move on, although finding a comparable writing job – one that pays – with no downsides of its own is gonna be a huge challenge (which I’m sure he knows already).
*My pet name for the Military-Industrial-Congressional#-Complex (#I added ‘Congressional’, contrary to accepted usage, ’cause it belongs)
I’m kinda confused about the Ackerhate going on here.
The dude fucking listed everything that gets complained about in these threads, from the abstract to the specific, and y’all are talking about his tone and hypothetical social life and somehow imputing New York homerism into an observation about the pretentiousness of DC civic culture. Fuck that. Dude only deserves hosannas.
As far as his specific situation within the juice box mafia, I can clarify it a bit. He came up professionally in the New Republic with Ryan Lizza and Frank Foer, which was at a bit of a remove from Klein, Yggles, McArdle, etc. He’s mainly a TNR writer/editor, so he’s not as immersed in the day-to-day blogging incest as the others were. But he also posted fairly regularly at TAP, the Prospect group blog. At the same time, he was also plugged in socially to those guys. (There’s a just odious video of him and McArdle puttering around in the kitchen. I will not link to it.) So he’s kind of at the end of the Juice Box Mafia lunch table.
The way his career progressed re-enforced his professional remove from the day-to-day blogging incest. As that class of writers/bloggers are advancing professionally, Foer starts having fairly petty problems with Ackerman, and Lizza just stabs Ackerman in the back and twists the knife around multiple times to sever as many nerves, muscles, and connective and cardiovascular tissue he possibly can, leading to Ackerman’s dismissal from TNR.
Ackerman starts his journey around the farther shores of the political journalism power structure, from ThinkProgress to FDL to Wired, and starts becoming a more traditional blogger. But, at the same time, he starts dedicating himself to becoming the premiere progressive journalist who focuses on, and does frequent on-the-ground reporting in, Iraq. And damn if he doesn’t just become very, very, very good at it.
But what this means is that, even as he’s crafting a blog that looks similar to the JBM in style, it’s radically different in content. He’s not engaging very much in the stuff that the Sadly, No link above captures so well. He’s explaining why the southern neighborhoods in Fallujah are becoming a problem for al-Sadr.
So, no. Ackerman has proved his commitment to honesty and integrity in a number of ways over the course of his career, and he continues to do so in the video. And rotoscoping is awesome. The video’s great.
@jeffreyw: How is itsy bitsy kitteh?
@schrodinger’s cat: She has steady work now and is fine.
only posted in one category? It fits at least a dozen and a half… Doug’s running scared.
@MikeJ: I hung out with some people there in the early years and it was all glibertarians and would be robot fuckers.
You know, that surprises me exactly not at all. As an actual computer engineer sort, I’ve never liked Wired very much.
Just watched part 1 of the 60 minutes segment of the guy who ran the Bush torture program for the CIA. Leslie Stahl does a pretty good job of asking the right questions and countering some of the bullshit thinking of this guy. And the FBI claims still that they got all the information from Zubeyda before he was tortured. And even with clear implication all knowledge and permission all the way up to Bush, imo, this country would never convict the perps, for the reason of the attack was so large and on US soil.
@jeffreyw: Homer looks so comfy and Bitsy is not so itsy any more. BTW I have that tomato pin cushion too. I bought a sewing machine and was going to teach myself how to sew. I ran out of patience and gave up. Some day…
The prophet Nostradumbass
When I see how often people run red lights down on the Peninsula and in the South Bay, that’s a scary thought. Around here, making left turns after the arrow has gone red is epidemic.
@Merp: Thanks for your comment, especially that Too Hot For TNR link; that’s the site I wanted to reference, but I could not remember the URL. It will also serve to correct any misconceptions I had (and passed along here).
I really hope he succeeds, and does so in a manner that makes him and his proud; he’s already negotiated a lot of rough waters that would have drowned me early on.
@schrodinger’s cat: Mrs J has found that YouTube has a lot of sewing lessons that helped her a lot on particular sewing techniques. She would still be trying to thread the needles on her serger had she not found several video how-tos on her exact model.
@The prophet Nostradumbass: I commute back and forth in my car often enough to monitor the progression from bad to worse to worstest.
@jl: DC and the beltway has cameras at traffic lights, if you run a red light they take your picture and then send you a ticket in the mail.
The prophet Nostradumbass
@schrodinger’s cat: There are traffic cameras all over the Bay Area as well.
@schrodinger’s cat: Good. I seen so much nonsense on the roads, I am 100 percent law n order on traffic violations.
I want cars, bikes, and shoes impounded and crushed for flagrant violations for certain types of people (that is, reckless jerks).
Either yesterday or today, I saw a guy flagrantly cruise through a red light. Jackass cruised right through, I guess because it was early on a weekend morning and not much traffic.
Edit: actually I was right next to him. I had stopped. Why, because the light was already (note well: already) red. A second or two later, this ahole flies through in the next lane. This was near Golden Gate Park.
If I ran the place, the guy would get his car crushed by official red light runner car crusher machine as part of his punishment.
@Merp: What you said.
@jl: I have never been to California, I have to visit sometime soon.
@schrodinger’s cat: hope you can visit someday. Be careful, though, you were warned about hazards.
Not all CA drivers are what you will see in LA or SF Bay, though.
I got up to “we are real American people” before I gave it up. Life’s too short to spend any more time listening to what the view looks like up that guy’s ass.
@slag: Was this Lake guy was like, serious about it? That is bad sign. Who is this Lake guy anyway?
No, never mind. I don’t want to know.
@jl: I don’t know. He’s someone who doesn’t want to hear when he gets his facts wrong. At least that’s how he describes himself. That, and he apparently likes cocktail parties because having people be fake nice is better than having people be honest. That’s all I know.
The prophet Nostradumbass
@jl: I live on a street with one lane of traffic each direction, and a wide median with a pair of double yellow lines (not the “two-way left turn lane”). I routinely see people drive up the median, make left turns through it, or pass people using it, because they’re in a hurry or something.
@jl: From what I saw on DD webpage Lake is a bit Tunchesque, but does not carry his extra poundage with the dignitude of the Tunchster.
I can personally vouch for that.
Wow, what a jerk really. I don’t know this person but I don’t think he actually knows much about DC. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, an intensely neighborhood city and live here mainly because of my work but have ended up living here for a long time.
Washington is also a neighborhood city but has ones that may not be recognizable to those who are apparently just political transients like this poser.
Fact: Washington’s Metro, as pathetic as it is with chronic funding and management issues is nevertheless second only to NYC in ridership in the entire US (look it up). DC also has the second largest number of non-automotive commuters in the country (i.e. walkers, bicyclers, Metro), the first again being NYC, of course (again look it up, I am not making this up).
So, this ranter doesn’t really know a lot about DC IMO. But he’s really loud, I’ll give him that.
That’s the best description of Lake I’ve ever heard
The question was “what do you hate about Beltway culture?”
I’m not sure why he would talk about the pleasant surprises waiting behind every corner of Washington’s diverse neighborhoods when answering that question.
Plus you completely misunderstand his gripe about the Metro. He’s not slagging the Metro. He’s slagging people who refer to it as “the Metro” and refuse to call it a subway, because the former term is hoity toity and prestigious and the latter . . . well, Oakland has a subway system.
Whether lots of people actually do that is an accurate observation, who knows. But if they do, that’s a legitimate gripe, right?
I wonder if he attended the White House Correspondents Dinner.
He says in the first few seconds of the video that “DC itself is a wonderful place.” I absolutely love DC and his complaints about the city didn’t really strike me as all that serious.