38 Comments

  1. uh oh, I think he literally posts 16 hours per day (with the help of interns), be sure to take breaks for naps etc.!

    1. Just open up the Dish in an Incognito window and reclose and open a new one each time you hit the wall, skirts almost all Paywalls out there. Not that I am a total advocate of doing so, but I don’t have a moral qualm with it either.

    2. So there are what, five Freddie tours de force and it’s only Monday. I expect that level of output every day.

      1. I’m glad I subscribed, I may actually be doing my first peer review in the latter half of this month. One of his articles is quite on point.

        I suspect he’s been stockpiling some for a bit, but I’m still impressed by his pace.

  2. Is there a pool for long it takes at the Dish before Freddie starts calling us fifth-columnists and traitors? Just kidding. Probably.

  3. We’ve tussled before, but anyone who will stump for the masterpiece status of Southland Tales is okay in my book.

  4. I wish the dish had its email addresses out in the open. On Safari (what we have at home), you click on the email us feature and it opens up a “mail” window which my wife and I have no interest in using.

    I have emailed Andrew at what I think is his address, but have no idea if the emails are read.

    Anyway, I’ll put my Syria/Israel comment here. One reason Israel gets attention from non-Americans when other countries have a much higher death toll is simply that Israel represents the last vestige of European settler colonialism. Defenders of apartheid South Africa (which was tacitly allied with Israel) made the same complaint–why focus on S.A. when Idi Amin killed more people? Of course if you included the civil wars that South Africa supported in Angola and Mozambique that wasn’t true, but people normally didn’t include their death tolls. One could also do an interesting study of the rightwing regimes, like Rios Montt in 1982 Guatemala, that Israel used to support. That might factor into why the Latin American left takes a dim view of them. But even leaving aside this outside meddling, Israel and South Africa are/were singled out because they were the last remnants of European imperial domination over nonwhite people. Apartheid is gone–that leaves Israel.

    One other point–the Syrian civil war, as horrific as it is, actually has a lower fraction of civilian dead than Gaza. One third, if one believes the Syrian Observatory figures. More important, though, is the fact that the insurgents pose a serious threat to the survival of the Syrian government, and also to anyone who isn’t a Sunni fundamentalist. Hamas simply doesn’t pose anywhere near the same threat to either the Israeli government or Israeli civilians that the rebels in Syria pose. If Hamas did–if they could kill tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers and civilians, then Gaza and its people would be a smoking ruin.

      1. I’m basing it on a NYT article from last summer (June 27, 2013) .

        Here it is–

        link to June 27 2013 NYT story

        At that point, the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (which is an anti-Assad group) said that the death toll had reached slightly over 100,000. Of their count, 36,600 were civilians, or a little over one third. Of the civilian dead, about 8000 were women and children.

        One of the peculiar things about coverage of the Syrian civil war last summer, when it looked like we might be bombing Assad, is that American politicians and pundits commonly spoke of Assad “killing 100,000 of his own people”, when the available figures showed something drastically different–a brutal civil war where the bulk of the dead were allegedly combatants on both sides.

        Are these figures correct? I have no idea. But the Syrian Observatory figures (the total, that is), is often the one cited. By now, of course, the numbers are higher, and I don’t know what the current breakdown is, but it seems unlikely that percentages would have changed drastically.

        Incidentally, I’m not saying that Assad isn’t a war criminal–he clearly is. So are the insurgents. I’m just saying that the popular depiction of what was happening in Syria was oversimplified, as one might expect any time the US is on the verge of bombing a country.

        By the way, what did you think the percentage was? And on what basis?

        1. Donald,

          Sorry I’m in arrears on reply. To answer your last question first, I misread you, my apologies, I had thought you were referring to death rates and not death counts, error on my part.

          I was just going off most sources the Syrian death toll is in the low six digits, the Gaza death toll in the low to mid four digits, but that’s orthogonal to your point.

          That said, I would have assumed the civilian death rate in Syria would have been higher, given the use of dumb bombs and such.

          1. I would too–the civilian death rate seems low, but maybe the vast majority of the civilians clear out when the fighting gets close. There are, after all, many millions of Syrian refugees. Another peculiarity about the numbers is that the pro-Assad military forces seem to be losing more men than the insurgents, which is strange given that the Assad side has most of the heavy weaponry. At one point the Syrian Observatory people counted “informers” as part of the pro-Assad militia dead–I saw this on their Facebook page, but I found it really hard to find anything there when I tried to do so last year, so I wouldn’t be able to find it again. Anyway, to my mind that probably means civilians murdered on the suspicion that they were spies for Assad, and then these people would be counted as pro-Assad militia when they were really civilian.

            Assad’s side uses indiscriminate firepower in urban areas (like Israel in Gaza, but it’s been going on for years now so the death toll is far higher). So presumably a big chunk, maybe the majority, of that 36,600 figure comes from that. It’d be nice to see a breakdown. I had my problems with Iraq Body Count, but they do a good job analyzing the data they have. I don’t know of anyone doing that for Syria.

          2. Don’t know if anyone is still reading, but “The Angry Arab” blogger has the updated Syrian Observatory numbers.

            link

  5. I’ve been to The Dish front page three days in a row and managed to read all of Freddie’s commie incitements, though I think I’ve now butted up against the crypto-fascist paywall. Maybe I’ll take a year off from the internet.

  6. I’m sorry to read that you’re going to stop writing about Palestine and Israel on the the Dish, at least for this week. I hope you’ll return to the topic next week. I’m especially curious to know more about the responses you’ve been receiving. Are your interlocutors mainly arguing with you, or are you also finding support? I’m curious because I suppose I’d like to know if there are others like me who are grateful for your writing. You are saying what I think, but much more persuasively than I could. I’m impressed by your moral passion and blunt style, but also by the scope and precision of your analysis. I’m so accustomed to hearing only a satisfied consensus on the dehumanization of Palestinians that your writing, and its presence in a prominent blog, is actually a surprise to me. And a very welcome drop of rain in a dry land. Please don’t stop.

  7. Really enjoyed your essay on Social Liberalism On-line. Kudos to you. I wonder how much of your thinking was related to how events in Ferguson have been discussed on-line. What happens when indignation rarely gets a rise out of the people you say should be included? Is the burden *really* on the minority for calling someone a de facto racist? Or are the vast majority of folks, mainly white, to blame for ignoring the indignation? Also, is it *really* the responsibility of people under attack to educate disinterested parties on the fact that they are being attacked?

  8. You’re usually pretty perceptive about this kind of stuff, so I’m kind of surprised at the lack of discussion of Gawker in your online writing posts.

    I mean, you call the Bustle guy a ‘dink’ (fair enough), but that entire ‘controversy’ was ginned up by Jezebel and Gawker in what cynical-me believes was clearly an effort to make reading a new competitor’s website verboten. On a similar note, you call Buzzfeed out for ‘corpsefucking’ Robin Williams (and link to Gawker saying as much; fascinating how often they attempt to make competitors culturally forbidden), but how much money has Gawker made on ‘look, an obscure person with a bad opinion about Ferguson’ posts?

    I dunno. Feels like any discussion of online writing culture has to come to gawker at some point, as central as its opinion-setting role is among media elite.

    1. “I dunno. Feels like any discussion of online writing culture has to come to gawker at some point, as central as its opinion-setting role is among media elite.”

      Christ, that’s an utterly depressing thought.

      1. Not really. Gawker is far from perfect — but it’s great that, like, the first thing any honest commentator says about it is some version of “Gawker is far from perfect.” Because ALL news outlets are far from perfect, but too many of them are really good at hiding those seams. Gawker has a combination of pugnacity and high-mindedness that’s missing from a lot of journalism, and I’m loath to criticize the people there too much for their moments of hypocrisy, because the hypocrisy is a function of the standards they set — it’s annoying when Gawker traffics in least-common-denominator work precisely because it so often shows itself to be capable of more.

        I dunno, I’m biased because I made a lot of friends commenting over there back in the heyday, but I’ve always felt like you could tell real human beings were working at Gawker. And they seem more interested in experimenting with what online news can do as a medium than any other mainstream site, and they churn out a lot of coverage. Plus, how many other big news sites run posts calling out their bosses — for the anonymous violent-porn stuff on Kinja — and don’t seem overly worried they’re gonna get in trouble? “Populist” isn’t the right word for Gawker, but it’s got a commonness to it that is valuable and way less troublesome to me than the more elite branches of the media elite.

  9. Hi — I’ve really enjoyed your week at the dish. It was almost like reading andrew a dozen years ago.

    I’ll be a regular reader from now on.

  10. Speaking of Balloon Juice, they couldn’t figure out what to bash Freddie for this week, so they chose the post about internet opportunity and trolling. Strikes me as strange to use that as a jumping off point for a spasm of Freddie Derangement Syndrome. There are some odd people in that little community.

  11. Really enjoyed your blogging there.

    BUT 🙂 I handed you GICYB, it’s obviously the best idea in poverty / unemployment policy discussion for a host of reasons. Mainly because it starts as software, and lets each state set their own rules (set their dials). Mark my words, code as policy is next.

    But here’s a policy that has crazy support amongst the Breitbarters, admiration of real econos, and grudging respect proggies like Konczal and you…

    DUDE, that’s on you. God sent you a friggin row boat and you’re still sitting on the roof.

    The real trick to life is to STEAL THE BEST IDEAS and use them as your own. Commenting is a nothing burger. So is blogging. Nobody needs “on the one hand, on the other.”

    Finding the single best possible idea for any given problem, your brain can find, and then SCREAMING ABOUT IT, thats a career. In any field. That’s what careers are made of.

    I wrote for a living until I was 25 (junk mail) and I loved it. But I can’t imagine wanting to curate my mirror audience and then try to get them to change their mind when I change mine. It’s almost a pure setup for never being able to change your mind. It’s a formula for never driving a new policy home.

    GICYB is the best political policy proposal. Period. The end. You are the proggy capable of knowing it and seeing clearly how you could beat all the other proggies with purely proggy arguments of your own design.

    Get down off the roof.

  12. It was so much fun reading you over there this week, and your farewell post was just lovely. You have such a big heart, and it’s always so wonderful when the joy inside it comes through. Making a note to check out Diana Wynne Jones, too.

    (And I’m really glad they paid you! I wasn’t sure if they were doing that. I feel like they didn’t pay guest bloggers, back when it was under other sites’ umbrellas, but maybe I’m mistaken.)

    1. I would never work for a professional operation like that without getting paid at least something, out of solidarity with professional writers. And not only did they pay, they paid a lot. Like, a lot.

  13. I always hate it when Andrew takes a long vacation. Not this time. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts. I only wish you were there longer. I’ll follow you here now.

    Thank you.

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