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    The big time, finally: Got a mention from the Romenesko media empire. This is because the Rough Draft column this week was about the blog. I try to stay away from reading Romenesko, because it sucks you in, and three hours later you look up and realize you forgot to eat lunch. We like to read about ourselves. Bloggers love to read about blogs. The most brilliant invention of all time was the mirror. Eventually all blogs will have links to all other blogs. "Joel's Favorites" will have more than 10 million blogs listed, so that it will take roughly 13 days just to scroll down to Antonia Zerbiasis.

   The top of my column:

    I constantly tell myself: Ignore the blog. Do your work. You are an enormous literary figure and cultural icon, not a mere "blogger." You must produce high-end journalism with grand themes and huge groaning multi-syllabic words like "eschatological," and you can't be dribbling away all your ideas on the blog. Be strong! Resist the blog!

   And then . . . I hear it yowling.

   The blog is hungry. The blog will not be ignored. It is an insatiable little beast, a creature still unclassified by science -- hairy, warty, slobbering, with its own fiendish agenda. I often fantasize about killing the blog, but I worry that it will respond just like the crazed computer in "2001: A Space Odyssey": It will try to kill me first.

  [Note: I am still on the road and may blog later but need to work for a while. I have had no time to read the comments lately other than to ascertain that the Kaboodlers have collectively turned into the Kanoodlers.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 22, 2005; 3:11 PM ET
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OK, checking the comments I see people griping about my alleged slackerness. Here's a comment from "dr": "Joel, the kaboodle would not have to take over if you kitted more." And Karen Bertocci is even more blunt: "The kaboodle really fell apart today. I think we got too "meta" starting last week. When the kaboodle is all about itself, it's bound to get stale. Joel didn't help this problem by publishing the blog column yesterday."
I readily concede that I didn't help the matter with this latest column, but I daresay the compulsive Kanoodling Kaboodlers are fundamentally to blame for the descent into metadom.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 22, 2005 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Washington gossip maven Wonkette also quoted and linked to that Rough Draft column. So just writing about the blog is now considered newsworthy in some circles.

Posted by: mka | August 22, 2005 3:42 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of coming off as a bootlick, I liked the Sunday column, and I'm glad it's getting exposure via blogging circles. I'm frankly too dense to comprehend the metadom syndrome. Granted, the Boodle entries tend to get trite and chatty when the Master is away, but, hey, we're getting along. We play nice. Isnt' that worth something?

Posted by: CowTown | August 22, 2005 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow - I now know the first name of kbertocci! This is big! Cowtown - I'm ready to follow you - lead-on. I assume we're heading west?

Posted by: bostonreader | August 22, 2005 4:06 PM | Report abuse


Well, now that Joel's back (kind of), we've postponed our little "expedition." We'll just see...

Posted by: CowTown | August 22, 2005 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Everyone wants to go where everybody knows their name.

Sheesh. Did I really say that out loud?

Re. Blog links, I seem to remember referring to the Blogosphere as "Ouroborosian".

At least you won't have to worry about lunch.


Posted by: bc | August 22, 2005 4:18 PM | Report abuse

So, my husband has been asking me to go buy batteries for our bathroom scale for a few days now, and I finally do some research on-line to figure out where they're sold (Ritz camera was the spot) and go buy them - and when I get home there's a message on the phone from him saying that he bought the batteries at lunchtime today. I've have just returned from returning the batteries I bought. I guess my productivity quotient for the day went from +1 back to 0.

Posted by: bostonreader | August 22, 2005 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"I've have"? Productivity quotient continues to plummet.

Posted by: bostonreader | August 22, 2005 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Compulsive? That's a fine how-do-you-do! I had to quit boodling cold turkey last week, and it wasn't so hard. Sad, but I survived.

Or maybe it's "compulsive canoodling" - meaning we feel a need to be charming, loving. Nah, not lately.

bc, you lost me with "Ouroborosian" - what the heck does that mean?

CowTown, feel free to lead us somewhere fun.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 22, 2005 4:52 PM | Report abuse

bostonreader, that's one of those coincidence things, no? Could be fodder for the Kaboodle, which would bring your productivity to -10 - woops...

Posted by: Caged Rabbit | August 22, 2005 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't read the comments...they all make my head hurt.

Dreamer: your predictions about tomorrow may be correct. even now, forces are working to ensure it does not happen.

Posted by: jw | August 22, 2005 5:00 PM | Report abuse

jw - say it aint so!!! what forces are they?? let me at 'em! *grrrr*

Posted by: mo | August 22, 2005 5:03 PM | Report abuse

jw, you're frightening me. Why does reading the comments make your head hurt? Is it because of the "forces" at work against your outing tomorrow? Don't stress. If the Gene thing falls through, you can just enjoy Boodle Porching Hour anyway. It's all good.

Posted by: bostonreader | August 22, 2005 5:07 PM | Report abuse

jw - the comments from the previous boodle made my head hurt as well - it'll all sort itself out tomorrow at the BPH...

Posted by: mo | August 22, 2005 5:10 PM | Report abuse

jw, you're not stuck in Boston, are you? I had a feeling this might happen...those cosmic forces are powerful...

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 22, 2005 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I have been shamed. To have publicly held the master to task, and then been pointed out. Mea Culpa.

Fundamental thing to know about kaboodlers: In our Achenaddict world we have an attention span of less than than a 2 year old. It is a sad state and in the two-sides-of-the-coin world humans exist in, maybe this is a place we need to do better too. I would try to do better, but then I would have to face the pile of work on my desk. If I did that, my employer would likely not understand how valuable I am to this enterprise (see previous posting on lack of arithmetic skill and current postition). He may actually realize that any idiot could do my job, and I would have to go back to the fast food joint from whence I came.

No more whining, jsut an abject plea. Input, I need input.

Posted by: dr | August 22, 2005 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The other thing to know about this kaboodler, I cannot spell.

Just. Please correct all other misspellings as you go.

Posted by: dr | August 22, 2005 5:19 PM | Report abuse

dr, I linked to that Antonia Z blog that Joel mentioned - can you expound on the CBC lockout? I get one Canadian channel and have seen references to this, but I don't really understand what's happening. BTW, I love my Canadian channel (CBUT). Wish we got more.

And dr, don't be ashamed. You only spoke the truth.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 22, 2005 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I usually check in on the blog and then go away when I see Joel hasn't posted. Then on Friday I looked down and thought,
"How in the name of the Lord are there 311 comments?" And then I started reading them and I was like, "Oh."

Well, since we are talking metadom, I am here to introduce myself as a blog archetype, as yet unnamed, the guy who shows up late and uninvited, misses the jokes and proceeds to tell you that you are all idiots. Idiots. I will use the phrase "methinks" with an ironic lack of irony. I will declare my grammar and spelling flawless. And did I mention you are all idiots?

Seriously, I probably won't post again. Takes too much time. And actually you guys are pretty funny, but, 311 (or whatever) comments?

A note for Joel, for whom I feel some pity regarding the ravenous, bloodthirsty appetite of the blog: MORE BLOG! MORE BLOG! MORE BLOG! MORE BLOG!

Posted by: non-kaboodler | August 22, 2005 5:42 PM | Report abuse


Thank you so much for your comments. Have a pleasant day.

Posted by: CowTown | August 22, 2005 5:46 PM | Report abuse

These forces mean business, that's for sure. But I think that the obsticles can be overcome. The game may be delayed a day though.

I just got the new Apple mouse, and it is AWESOME. I don't think mouses (mice?) are supposed to be this fun, but it is.

Posted by: jw | August 22, 2005 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about kanoodling, but canoodling is when people, particularly couples, are starting to get frisky. Yes, that kind of frisky.

So I'll pass on the online canoodling, if not the kanoodling or kaboodling.

Posted by: Bayou Self | August 22, 2005 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Also, as to the Kit, Joel says he fears many blogs may be taken over by machines. "Kit" was the name of the special car in the "Knight Rider" TV series.

Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: Bayou Self | August 22, 2005 6:41 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking: look up "Ouroboros" on Wikipedia.

IIRC, Knight Rider's K.I.T.T. was not spelled "Kit". I do not know whether this is a "coincidence".

If slacking work is blogworthy, is blogging workworthy?

Looking forward to Porching Hour,

Posted by: bc | August 22, 2005 7:10 PM | Report abuse

CBUT must be THE best television station call letters anywhere.

CBC is a crown corporation, supported and funded finacially by Canadain taxpayers. This particular crown corp falls into the special category of really high functioning crown corporations. It is unique in the broadcasitng world, with only the BBC coming close to its historical interest. Our last governor-general (appointed Head of State ie Queens representative in Canada) and our new not sworn-in one have backgrounds as broadcasters at CBC.

Anyway with respect to the labour dispute, CBC technicians seem to go on strike every few years, but usually don't get a lot of support from the public. On air, you can normally tell very little difference in the quality of the product. Two years ago the unions of on air personnel, and technicians joined and became one. With the strike going on as we speak, there is nothing but management manning technical positions and on air positions. There are no news people gathering news and no production people on any programs. All facets of the CBC are affected except possibly Quebec's French language service. I cannot tell that apart from the regular CBC French service.

At stake is what they call a job security issue. Previously if you got a job at the CBC you were there for life if you wanted. Management is now proposing to hire more people on a project by project basis, and a program by program basis and the union has serious issues with that. There is no doubt money at stake as well.

On my way to work I pass by a CBC locale, though not a station as such. You can see that peoplepicket the entrance to the locale as there are chairs and stuff all over but at 6:30 in the morning there are no picketers and when I go home after 5 p.m. there are again no picketers. They obviously keep 'bankers hours'.

Editiorials in several newpapers are pointing out that not a whole lot of people are noticing that the CBC is on strike. Its viewership outside of its superior sports broadcasting is not all that high. It occasionally does some outstanding series like the now defunct 'North of 60' a really solid Canadian look at aboriginal life in the north(mine, not yours), and the radio and televison news, while very liberal biased, is still very good with superior foreign correspondents. Hope this helps.

I am, as ever glad to assist in anyone's understanding, with a western bias, of my very convoluted nation.

Posted by: dr | August 22, 2005 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, dr. I love North of 60 - also Davinci's Inquest. And the comedy programs - and the sports. Although I really don't get the obsession with hockey and curling. Their coverage of the Olympics is so much better. They actually show the athletes (from all nations!) competing.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 22, 2005 8:01 PM | Report abuse

yes, bc, you are correct, sir. We are Ouroborosian on so many levels. Nope, no lunch required - sure could use one of those mojitos, though.

Or as Tom fan would say: We are weird.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 22, 2005 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Methinks some stalwarts on this bulletin board have thin skins. Some are too much in awe of their leader, blessed be he, and often refer to him as their "master" or similar terms. He's a masterful humorist, but not a master.

The "master"--and follower--problem may drive away worthy bloggers. Research suggests it already has. Remember awe is where the sense of "awful" comes from. We're all Blog's children (Blog is Golb spelled backwards, you know.)

Engage in chit chat, as well as deep intellectual discourse. It doesn't matter. Let's not take ourselves so seriously. I'd much rather read about buying batteries than some other things.

Let's make the blog hum with the humdrum of our daily toils, hopes and fears, and subjects we can't discuss elsewhere.

Unchain yourselves! The word blog is only one letter off from flog (which is golf spelled backwards), which has the same root as flagellate.

Having completed this impressive oration, I promise not to darken your doorstep again in this manner. But I will be lurking.

Posted by: Observer | August 22, 2005 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Don't read political blogs. They've gone to seed. The best blogs are about life. The best blogs are about apartment buildings that are failing, the ex who musters the courage to attend a wedding, a person pulled over by the cops for driving a moving van near the White House, a relationship gone sour, news about an illness, a, job change .... people who write about authentic life experience aren't bored with their blogs. I find wonderful blogs everyday for dcblogs.

Posted by: KOB | August 22, 2005 10:12 PM | Report abuse

For some reason the other day I pulled out an edition of The Federalist Papers that has been staring at me from my bookshelf for years. I guess maybe the whole Iraq constitution thing got me thinking about learning more about the creation of our own. So far perhaps the most surprising thing to me has been how much it is emphasized by all 3 writers - Hamilton, Jay and Madison - that the fundamental work of government is "the happiness of the people". I'm re-experiencing the emotions I felt when I read John Adams by McCullough - how much we owe to the founders, what incredible statesmen they were, and what a truly amazing experiment America was.

Posted by: bostonreader | August 23, 2005 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Dave Barry let his commenters take over his blog and it was a riot. It also allowed him to retire, so, there's an upside for him...not so much for his hilarious commentors.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! | August 23, 2005 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Dear Joan,

Your name alone was worth coming to this blog today. Keep that humor.

Posted by: Observer | August 23, 2005 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Joan of Argghh! would be a good name for a rock band.

Posted by: Bayou Self | August 23, 2005 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down.

Posted by: speakingofdeath | August 23, 2005 11:03 AM | Report abuse

hurry up! I'M NOT DEAD YET!!!

Posted by: omnigood | August 23, 2005 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I second that!

Posted by: omnigoof | August 23, 2005 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Is there some reason that the about the last two hours have been deleted? Who could have done such a thing?

Posted by: Observer | August 23, 2005 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Your blog inspired my current blogpost, so that means you have meta-stasized the whole blogosphere. There are a lot of blogs about nothing but blogs and some of then gaze into the navel pretty deeply.
My blog:
if that's not against the rules.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 23, 2005 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Okay campers! Cinetrivia time. In his previous Kit, Joel made reference to the 1939 film "Wizard of Oz". This film was directed by Victor Fleming. As he was finishing up the production, Fleming was pulled away to work on another film project that was in trouble. What was that film?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 23, 2005 4:37 PM | Report abuse

gone with the wind

Posted by: Anonymous | August 24, 2005 11:14 AM | Report abuse

We're still wondering why Karl Rove isn't blogging.

Posted by: PR Machine | August 27, 2005 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I noticed this morning that you were the example quote in today's "Word of the Day" e-mail from Merriam-Webster. You know you've made it when you've made it into the dictionary:

The Word of the Day for November 7 is:

detritus \dih-TRYE-tus\ noun
1 : loose material (as rock fragments or organic particles) that results directly from disintegration
2 a : a product of disintegration, destruction, or wearing away : debris *b : miscellaneous remnants : odds and ends

Example sentence:
"The blog originated ... as a catch basin for mental detritus, for the kind of stuff not good enough for print, but too good to waste on casual conversation." (Joel Achenbach, _The Washington Post_, August 21, 2005)

Posted by: alykat | November 7, 2005 6:44 PM | Report abuse

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