In doing so she confirms what I always suspected about her. She looks just like supermodel Carol Alt.
Unless she was trying to hint she looks just like George Harrison.
Trish Wilson is refusing to pose for the Women of Blogging calendar. She's trying to maintain her mystique.
If I posted a picture of myself it would put to rest the rumor mill that says I probably wear studded leather, thigh-high-boots, and crack a cat-o-nine-tails. Can't have that now, can I?
Not if she poses in just the boots and cracking the whip, I told her.
She hasn't replied to that yet.
She has offered to take part in Amanda's suggested jello wrestling contest. But only if strawberry jello is used for her bouts. "I look good in red," she says.
But seriously, folks, he says like the MC at a burlesque house suddenly trying to change the subject to world hunger, the question of how to attract more readers to the writers' blogs, all the writers, not just the women writers', is a tough one.
We can't rely on the wonks.
We shouldn't rely on the wonks.
It would nice to have some help, but the fact is that the wonks and the writers are both selling different products, and in some ways expecting them to drum up business for us is like expecting Thomas Frank or George Lakoff to devote a chapter in their next books to the best novels and poems they've been reading.
In some ways.
First, I have to keep in mind, there are plenty of female bloggers who are wonks, at least part of the time. Just as there are many male bloggers who are always writers. And most of the top dog wonks write well.
Then there's Digby, who writes almost exclusively about politics, but is one of the best writers going. And Jeanne D'arc approaches politics as a moralist not a wonk and the result is usually some lovely writing coupled with penetrating and original analysis.
I can't write about politics---I don't dare write about politics---without reading the wonks. I depend on them for facts, analysis, and insight. I need them.
It's debatable whether or not they need me.
And I'm going to debate the point.
I admire these guys no end. When I started this blog, which was during the election, I had them categorized on my blog roll as Good People At Work Saving the Republic. I meant it. I changed the category name to Partisans, but that's just marketing.
But I meant what I said in my last post. The top dogs can be dumb and they can be dull.
It's not just specialization that hurts them. It's creeping professionalism.
The wonks are always on the verge of turning into mere editorialists. They already sound too much like op-ed writers, courtly, careful, formulaic, "reasonable."
Atrios is never one to write the op-ed writer's version of "If I may be so bold as to interrupt for a moment" when "Fuck that shit" will do the trick. But Yglesias, Drum, and Josh Marshall write as if the writer they most admire is Michael Kinsley, who is, whatever you think of his style, and I think it's a little on the precious side, no Mark Twain.
Twain wrote with a pen warmed up in Hell. Kinsley writes as if with a keyboard that's been kept in a temperature-controlled room in a cloister, dusted off daily by nuns, and then handed to him when he calls for it, in a polite whisper of course, by the youngest and most innocent novice wearing white gloves.
He's the Jane Austen of editorial writers, which is a backhanded compliment, but still a compliment, because Austen was tremendous and if she'd chosen to write polemics instead of novels she'd have brought down the King.
Still. A front line of bloggers all writing like Michael Kinsley is not going to set the world on fire.
The top dogs seem to spend too much time reading each other, the New York Times, the news magazines, and, when they're in the mood for a walk on the wild side, the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal.
Busy as they are, I think they should make some time to broaden their reading. They think they don't have anything to learn about politics from us, a big mistake, but even if it was true, they can learn from us how to write better, with more fire, more focus, and more snap.
A badly-phrased idea is a bad idea.
Another good they can do themselves by linking more to the writers is the advantage gained from the persuasive power of pure entertainment.
The top dog liberal bloggers get a lot of traffic from conservatives. Not many of them are there to be persuaded. They're there just to get mad or to learn more about what they're already mad at so they get even madder. No single post on Social Security, the filibuster, what to do about Iraq, the Downing Street memo, or whatever the issue of the day happens to be is going convert them to the Liberal cause.
A hundred posts won't do it.
But a regular dunking in Liberal culture just might.
The advantage Liberalism has over Conservativism is that it is smarter about life. Not because Liberals are smarter. I'm dumb and I can prove it. It's because Liberalism is by definition open-minded. It is experimental, reckless, and undogmatic. Although there are Liberals who will try to tell you what a Liberal is supposed to think about given issues, Liberalism itself does not have a doctrine. That's why I always groan when some nitwit pundit, blogging or writing for a fishwrap, says that the Republicans are the party of ideas. They aren't. They're the party of doctrines. They have a long list of things you are supposed to believe.
The list cannot be edited or updated by the rank and file.
Liberals don't have to believe much of anything.
I think this makes us smarter on political issues. But I know it makes us smarter about art, pop culture, music, books, science, and even sports.
Makes us better and funnier writers too.
Conservative, and Independent and undecided, readers get tired of hearing yet another reason why Bush's plan for destroying Social Security is in fact a plan for destroying Social Security and sick of following links to other likeminded and, frankly, imitative posts also explaining why Bush's plan for destorying Social Security is really a plan for destroying Social Security.
But if from time to time the top dogs spiced things up with links to Neddie Jingo or Nancy Nall, Maud Newton, Our Girl in Chicago and Terry Teachout (yeah, he's conservative. So what? He's a fine writer and critic and usually keeps his politics to himself), cinetrix, the Alley Notebooks, and Tom Watson; if they linked to not just what Majikthise has to say about political questions but also to what she has to say about Johnny Cash, and to what Jason Chervokas thinks about comic books versus the movies and Trish Wilson has in the oven and Ken MacLeod's ruminating about Jurassic marine crocodiles, it would not only help make the wonks' own blogs livelier it would go a long way toward showing their non-Liberal readers that there's more to being a Liberal than just hating on George Bush.
Better than that, it would help show that that great, wide, enjoyable, completely non-partisan more, that is, well, life, is in itself a good argument for hating on George Bush.
And of course all of these bloggers write often on politics and they do it well. They are all intelligent, thoughtful, and well-read, and the wonks can get ideas from them.
I need to finish this off. Before I do, I have to say that I don't believe anybody is required to link to anybody. And I sure don't think that bloggers should add people to their blog roll or link to their posts just to meet a quota.
The top dogs don't have any obligation to pimp for the rest of us. (James Wolcott believes he has a responsibility to spread the wealth, as it were, and that makes him a great and generous guy. But if he decided some day that he needed to eliminate his blog roll and never link to another blogger again, that would be his business and, if his reason for doing it was that it would improve his blog somehow, then it would be his obligation to himself to do it.) As for their often seeming to link to the same set of blogs over and over again, well, we all do that. We all have our small circles of friends, allies, and special favorites we keep coming back to.
My own blog roll is only half as long as it should be and I don't read some of the blogs on it or link to them anywheres near as much as they deserve.
The top dogs are busy guys. They can't be expected to read every blog out there. Frankly, I don't know how some of them do what they do at all.
Nope. We shouldn't expect them to take care of us. We've got to do more to make our own way.
That's why I like my calendars idea.
What do you say?
We could make a bundle!
Just like those ladies in the movie.
Or the Australian Women's Soccer Team!
See, a good writer always brings the subject back around to the point he started with.