Wednesday, July 19, 2006

100,000 and Counting

This week on the very day of the seven-month anniversary of this blog, we had our 100,000th visitor. I thought I would celebrate this milestone with a selection of some of the email, comments and reviews this blog has received since it is the readers rather than your modest host that has really made this blog special.

Recently, for example I had this delightful email exchange with a lawyer, whom I will identify only as AV, Esq. out of respect for his privacy:

Subject: Re: reasonable conservative
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 16:43:06 -0700 (PDT)

There's another name for a reasonable conservative - A

Jon Swift replies:

Dear Mr. V:
As a lawyer I'm sure you are familiar with the liable laws but since I am someone who is not litigious and am also a big supporter of tort reform that will enable only the very richest people to sue somebody and return us to the days when men settled disagreements like men through fisticuffs or pistols at dawn, I am going to ignore your insult and hope that it never happens again. Having said that, let me say thank you for visiting my modest blog and for taking the time to write.

AV, Esq. replies:

1. The threat of a bullet in the head is a huge incentive to avoid negligence - is that the idea? Brilliant! Those are the words I would expect to read from one who characterizes himself as a "reasonable conservative." So what's the remedy when Dow dumps chemicals into ground water that causes the children of an entire town to suffer lukemia at a rate 20 times higher than usual?
2. I don't know how you could "reasonably" interpret my initial comment as an insult. I guess when you inject such outrageous opinions into the public domain you receive so many ad hominem attacks that you just erroneously presumed that's what I intended.
3. Libel laws? What are you talking about?

Jon Swift replies:

1) You insulted me when you accused me of being a "liberal." I can think of no worse insult except perhaps to be called "gay" or "lawyer."
2) Under the First Amendment (which you might have read once in law school), I am free to inject my opinions anywhere on the body politic, no matter how wrong those opinions may be.
3) I am not a chemist so I don't know why you are suddenly bringing up something Dow Chemical did but I'm sure they have a good explanation.
4) I never mentioned "libel laws." If you go back and read my missive you will see I referred to "liable laws," laws that make one liable for anything one says, but, of course, you already know this and are just trying to confuse me. But I also said I am not litigious so you don't have anything to worry about.

AV, Esq. replies:

Apparently, I gave you too much credit. The is no such thing as "liable laws." And, you gave yourself too much credit. I didn't call YOU a liberal. I said a "reasonable conservative" was a liberal. You are . . . something quite a bit less than reasonable.

While I value these "frank exchanges," as the State Department might call them, occasionally I get an email that makes me feel that what I am doing has been all worthwhile, like this one I received from the Baghdad Bureau Chief of a major American newspaper:

You're a funny guy, and your posting on the Jill Carroll controversy made me laugh out loud. Thanks for giving me a good laugh in the midst of rather bleak surroundings.

It seems that my Amazon reviews have inspired quite a few people to write and comment. My review of The Politically Correct Guide to American History moved the author Thomas E. Woods Jr., to write me and (as some speculate) perhaps to comment as well on the blog post I wrote about it.

I also received this email, which I reproduce here, with my reply:

Dear Mr. "Swift"
Like you, I am an average joe conservative. I agree that all media is biased (even Mr. Limbaugh). However, after reading through a few of your blog posts and seeing some reviews on I believe your moniker is ill suited. Swift was a clever writer who cut to the heart of an issue and had a knack for exposing humanity's achievements and downfalls. You are not either of these. Your writing shows a disturbing lack of research and forethought. Your use of political blogging is comparable to giving a monkey a gun.

Jon Swift replies:
Thank you very much for your comments. I am not familiar with this "clever writer" you refer to who is also named Swift, but I would like to know more about him. I must confess that that Jon Swift is not actually my real name but is in fact a name I gave myself as a tribute to the brave Swift Boat Veterans. I'm not quite sure I understand your comment about a monkey with a gun. Is it some sort of reference to Evolution? I should tell you that I am opposed to Evolution no matter how much evidence they come up with to support it. If, on the other hand, you are recommending that we somehow extend the Second Amendment to animals, I will have to admit it is an idea I have not thought about before but it is very interesting. Thanks again for writing.

My Amazon reviews also inspired this comment from a very exasperated reader, which can also be found here:

Anonymous said...
Mr "Swift",
I came across a review you wrote on Amazon that made me laugh. Then I read your blog and laughed even louder. I thought, "can this guy really be this idiotic?". So then I went and read all of your Amazon reviews and realized that you are even more idiotic than I originally thought.

And before you jump to conclusions (since that's clearly what you always do), please know that I am a proud, card-carrying Republican. In fact, it was your "review" of 100 People Who Are Ruining America that made me realize what a moron you really are. You aren't even smart enough to judge a book by it's cover -- you judge it by it's title. You helped the left by giving the book 1 star when if you would have just looked at the cover or read even one sentence from the book description or had even a clue as to who Bernard Goldberg is, you would have realized that he is a conservative Republican commentator blaming left leaning Hollywood types for America's cultural problems.

Your other book reviews are also just based on the title and you clearly don't even take 2 minutes to research anything you say (which is clear in your belief that Osama bin Laden was already dead -- even Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Jay Leno all talk about the fact that he is still very much alive). For example, in Maureen Dowd's Are Men Necessary, if you had just listened to a single interview she gave on the book you would realize that she ultimately concludes that men ARE necessary.

Even better is your retarded review of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. If you knew what politically incorrect meant (which you clearly don't) you would realize that the book isn't giving incorrect facts but a "politically incorrect" view of history. In fact, your one star review was another boon for the left as this book is actually written by a conservative Republican trying to point out the historic flaws of liberals in America and how they hide those facts.

I could go on and on about how stupid you really are, but I doubt that you'd understand the majority of the words since you can't understand irony, metaphor and you judge things literally by their title. Do you even have a junior high school education?!?!?

And for the record, to say that the media is biased and that you get your news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Jay Leno just shows how incomprehensible your stupidity really is -- don't you realize that all three of those that you mentioned ARE THE MEDIA??? And, with the exception of Jay Leno who skewers both right and left because he's after the laugh, that they are just as biased to the right as other organizations are to the left???

And to not read or listen to an opinion because it differs from yours just shows closed-mindedness and an ignorance of history.

Will you even have the courage to go back and change your Amazon reviews of the fine conservative works that you skewered because you weren't smart enough to read beyond the titles?

I hope not -- the less exposure you have to the rest of the world, the better. Moron.

Occasionally, when I write a hard-hitting post about a powerful special interest, I receive some very passionate responses such as these comments on my post "No Amnesty for Old People":
Angrysenior said...

You're surely a 30-something pseudo-intellectual TWIT who has NO CLUE what it's like to be 67 and forced to decide on a STUPID prescription plan designed by beaurocratic IDIOTS!!

You say...

...before the deadline and would just reward aging slackers...

...they should just be happy they have health care at all...

...It's not as if old people have a lot of other pressing appointments...

...It just seems that old people like to complain...

...It's about deeply sympathizing with peoples' problems and sincerely hoping that private enterprise will be able to do something about them...

WHAT VICIOUS CONTEMPT FOR THE ELDERLY!! Did your mother beat you, or lock you in the coal hole?!?! You're a pathetic insult to Jonathan Swift, a perceptive political critic, not a POMPOUS ASSHOLE!!!

I'm among the minority of seniors who analyzed Part D and CONCLUSIVELY found it to be CRAP!! I would spend $550 a year MORE for it than paying for my Diovan an Lipitor IN CASH!!

GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!

BenMerc said...

Now you've done it...

Even Angrier Senior!!!1! said...

Get off my lawn, Swift!!!1! I catch you drinkin' outta my garden hose and leaving it running again, so help me! I'm gonna...


My blog has also inspired other bloggers to write about me and even moved one blogger, my dear friend Figo, whom I hope is doing well in a very troubled part of the world, to translate some of my posts into Hebrew, which is quite an honor. Here are just a few links to some of the reviews my blog has received from my esteemed colleagues in the blogosphere:

Terra Extraneus
Rogel's View
Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying
Reid Report
Medulla Noodle
Poised at the Starting Line
Travels with Shiloh
Bad Attitudes
What I Meant To Say Was…
Bloggy Award

Finally, I want to extend a special thanks to some of my frequent commenters, correspondents and friends, who have been especially supportive of this blog, though it is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list, as I deeply appreciate everyone who has taken the time to write me an email, comment, blogroll me or just read what I have written and lurked in silence. I am especially grateful to Pierre Tristam, Polimom, Mash, BenMerc (my second-most frequent commenter), ZenYenta, Joe Gandelman, Mike Finn, Kevin Hayden, Tom Watson, Andrew Sullivan, Jeremiah Erby, outofcontext, MistahCharley, Shaun Mullen, The Truffle, g1lgam3sh, BlondeSenseLiz, Blue Girl, the wonderful folks at Bad Attitudes and Anonymous, who seems to be my most frequent commenter of all--and my harshest critic. Please be sure to visit the blogs mentioned here, as well as the other blogs on my blogroll, and give them your support as well.

, , , , , , , Comedian Jenée: People are Idiots OTA 18, Carnival of Trackbacks LXXVIII, Samantha Burns OTA Weekend, Case Notes from the Artsy Asylum Open Trackbacks, Party Blog Open Trackbacks


Jaesoreal said...

Congratulations on your 100,000th visitor! I am still searching for number 100! HA HA HA! I love to pull up my chair to my laptop, get a cup of coffee, and open your comments to your blogs to start my day! Those old people sure were upset! It's like as you get older you get the choice to either be upset or senile. I'll choose senile so at least others around me can get a kick out of my company! Ah well, thanks for the shout-out! Nevermind my last name not having that H, but maybe it was suppose to! Who am I to disagree with such a legend! I'm just happy to be here!

OutOfContext said...

100,000? Who did the counting? I guess there are a lot of former Arthur Andersen employees available. As always, I guess I will have to take your word for it and congratulate you. Now how about celebrating by getting a haircut, hippie.

Jon Swift said...

My humble apologies, Jae. I always assumed the H was silent as in the French. Anyway, I've just gone ahead and corrected it because it's very easy to cover up your mistakes on Internet as long as Google hasn't cached you yet and I don't think anyone actually reads these comments anyway. I think we can all just pretend it never happened.

Anyway, thanks for the good wishes. And I think I will take your suggestion, outofcontext, and write to the people at Sitemeter about hiring some of these former employees of Arthur Andersen to verify their data. Sadly, creative people just aren't very appreciated in our day and age, especially creative accountants.

Jaesoreal said...

A million thank yous!

Anonymous said...

I have not actually read this blog but I agree that 100,000 is a number worth counting. I wonder if Jon Swift will ever learn that a bit of irony goes a long way?

Anonymous said...

Sir...or is it Madam...(methinks I am starting to detect a little feminine delicacy of blade placement here, course I could just be ASSuming).

Either/Or, I find your touch for irony and your command of vocabulary very refreshing.

Indeed I will refresh, frequently and of course will blogwhore you to other cunning linguists.

Regards and thanks.

benmerc said...

A well deserved milestone.

Ray Bridges said...

You are a very clever young man. I stumbled by a couple of days ago and found myself fascinated enough to linger and come back several times. If I say more it'll come across as gratuitous flattery -- not that there's anything wrong with a little gratuity now and then. Maybe later when we know each other better. Meanwhile, a hearty, congratulatory Right On!

Zachary Drake said...

Now that you have hit 100,000 readers, my dear fellow conservative, I feel I must warn you that you will soon attract the attention of the dreaded Kos, and his array of of orange orbital mind-control lasers of blogofacisim. May you resist the dreaded hordes the great evil Kos has at his beck and call, and stand true to your august and righteous priniciples.

Patricia said...

Congratulations to the most reasonable conservative on the web. And thanks for the mention. I look forward to your posts immensely. They are a bright spot in a somewhat blighted era. It's got to be hard work to be a satirist in a time when reality is over the top. You do it better than almost anyone. Maybe anyone.

Anonymous said...

Jon... Happy anniversary and thank you for the recognition, though you deserve every link--and I should let you know more often here how much I love your laser wit and the very entertaining, if occasionally sad, responses it triggers. My favorite today: "I wonder if Jon Swift will ever learn that a bit of irony goes a long way?" Priceless. Unless of course modest proposal is herself giving irony its due (doubtful). Literalism is our bane these days of power and gore, making you Jon one of its most satisfying antidotes.

Anonymous said...

It is my belief that at about the time when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize, our planet came to the attention of space aliens who subsist on irony. Our planet has been their breadbasket ever since.

My question is, were you a product of an alien selective breeding program or any other sort of genetic modification? Alternately, are you interested in assisting a Nigerian millionaire get his money out to that country?

Anonymous said...

On those days when the news is full of nothing but terrible stories of war (luckily we don't have much of that going on in the world right now); when it seems as if our elected leaders are... um... not actually sure they represent real people (thank goodness there are very few of these); when tales of crime, murder, and mayhem threaten to overwhelm (I'm told there are places like this) -- those are the times, Jon, when reading your sound principles and modestly direct prose soothe my heart.

It's probably just as well those dire days so rarely occur. Otherwise, we'd be flocking in droves seeking relief...

fish said...

I think offering naked pictures of Lindsay Lohan only to instead provide conservative musings (no matter how well thought out) does embrace the conservative principles of free market and appears to be an effective way to lure individuals to your website. Well played.

The Humanity Critic said...

Congrats on your 100,ooth visitor!! Heres to many more.

L said...

I LOVE this blog (accidentally found it when someone did a blog search on "Rapture" to get to mine, and I saw yours included in the result set too).

"Your use of political blogging is comparable to giving a monkey a gun." That is so hilarious. I think "Monkey With a Gun" would be a great blog headline

Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

100,000! Hooooooo Aggggghhhhhh!

Anonymous said...

You need to read more books. I want to know which books I should read, and your reviews are the only thing that allow me to know which book is indeed worthy.

Anonymous said...

Buck Batard here from Bad Attitudes. Mr. Swift, I am disappointed with you. I know this may be off the topic at hand, but one thing I want to know is why you haven't got on the xeno bandwagon.

Israel is going about fifty miles, give or less, into Lebanon to create a "buffer zone". What I want to know is why George Bush isn't doing the same thing. Don't we have a right to go 50 miles into Mexico to create an American buffer zone to stop all those terrorist Mexicans from coming into the US? Bring 'em on-the National Guard I mean. Invading Tijuana would be the right thing to do, and besides, our soldiers could have a lot of fun in the process.

There is a lot of hypocrisy here. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. I really think you should cover this subject in a new post if you really are a true conservative.

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