Commenting on a Monoblogue

I love MovableType, the blogging/content management software that is used on Deckchairs and many other blogs. Before I deployed MT, I was a bit of an early devotee of Blogger, which had a very simple interface and the ability to control only limited amounts of content. But one thing I really liked about Blogger, at the time, was that it did not have an inherent capacity to allow other people to comment.
I fancied writing Deckchairs as a monologue, or rather, a monoblogue.
And I did. I felt that visitors commenting on my silly charades of posts was an insult to them and a useless exercise of vanity.
Then I moved the weblog to MT and, well, I allowed comments to occur on most of the posts. I somewhat regret it for two reasons: First, because I’m still creating silly charades of posts. But second, comment spam has become a major issue. I probably spend about 5 minutes of every day just killing off comments that have automatically been generated on my weblog. These spam posts are invariably poorly written links to non-existent or porn sites. Comments spam is an evil form of using Google to get your site recognized because more links = better site. For all of its brilliance, Google plays into the dirty hands of those who use “majority rules” to gain in the search engine optimization race.
I’m tired of it, and I thought about killing all of the comments on the site in order to save it.
I’m still not sure I’m going to do it, and I know it doesn’t matter a whole lot. I’m putting together a list of comment spam resources which I’ll post sometime soon.
Postscript: This is not to discount the many generous contributions many commentors (commentators?) have made to this site. Whether Deckchairs on the Titanic is a monoblogue, as it was originally stated, and whether comment spam is worth my while is at issue.

Is Bush Wired (for Speech)?

My buddy, V., sent me this weblog cum report called Is Bush Wired?. At first it looked like utter nonsense but, if you visit this site, take a good look at the photographs — be sure to scroll down.
Granted, it could be doctored but it seems plausible that the President was repeating back words that had been spoken to him through a (ostensibly encrypted) wire. Of course, the logic of his poor performance last Thursday may be that the repeater was somehow turned off and he was left without a feed. I don’t know. But if this turns out to be a real lead, it could upset the election.


I finished the “scummy little book” (termed by Leon Wiesltier in this review of it in the New York Times), Checkpoint, by essayist and novelist Nicholson Baker and what can I say but that it’s kind of scummy.
The United States is going through waves of nauseau at the country’s prospects under either presidential candidate and authors like Nicholson Baker just add more fried food to the stomach mix. In the book, Baker depicts two middle-aged men, one of whom is discussing offing the current President. The scene takes place in a hotel in Washington, D.C. around the Spring of this year. The men speak in well-rounded, interesting sentences and one character attempts to convince the other not to go ahead with the assasination. I won’t give away the ending, but suffice it to say that it contains no moral, aesthetic, or intellectual transformations and one comes away from the book feeling cheap and tawdry, as if one just spent the night in a cheap hotel talking about killing the President.
Whether this was exactly Baker’s intention, I don’t know, but Baker is a great writer who appears to have simply cashed in on the phenomonon of hating the present Administration, deserved as it may be.


I went to a relative’s bar mitzvah today and found myself mildly fascinated by the totality of the event. While I did not stay for the reception/dinner, I was at the service, held at a Jewish Community Center in New Jersey.
What was found?

  • Being around adults and a small kid all the time, thirteen-year old boys and girls look, to me, a bit like weird eight-year olds. They all have that funny, estranged look of angst and cynicism on their faces but their bodies themselves are essentially twigs with sticks coming out where their extremities shoud be.
  • For some reason, the boys all sat in the same row and the girls all sat in another row. There seemed to be little if any contact between the two rows. When I was thirteen, we did this, too. Little did I know that at this age, I probably would have had more luck with the ladies than three short years later when I actually wanted “luck.”
  • The bar mitzvah boy did a stellar job of reading from the Torah. However, back in the day, I had to read about three or four times that amount of text. I don’t know if this is a measure of current attention spans, the time of day (5:30 p.m.), or a new custom – but he got off easy.
  • I was impressed that the Hebrew school he had attended required all students there to work with a community organization as part of their learning process. He chose to work with a group that helps physically challenged kids play sports and will continue to work with them throughout this year.
  • The bar mitzvah itself was a kind of non-event. And yet, in America, it does truly mark one’s mild transition to adulthood and adult responsibility. I found it odd that a one-hour service could have the stature of major transformation. And then I remembered that marriage, childbirth, and going to a funeral can all take place within a matter of one solitary hour.