Today, we're thrilled to have one of the hottest bloggers ... and an occasional contributer here ... Don Surber...
We have a panel with questions lined up and ready to go...
Now, the first question...
We appreciated your recent riff on Kipling's "If." What other works of literature would you be willing to rewrite to help educate our liberal friends?
Something by Robert Louis Stevenson. My Shadow. The Swing. Maybe John Greenleaf Whittier's Barefoot Boy. I grew up reading MAD magazine in the 1960s so I dig parodies.
Well, this is one pretty much writes itself....
What was your best day blogging?
Easy. The day I got an Instalanche and my site meter broke. I laughed my ass off on that one. About that time I decided emailining Glenn and Malkin was pretty stupid and I began checking out the self-linking thing. We all saw how that turned out.
What was your worst day blogging?
Hasn't happened. I was TBogged (libs kept asking why my sons hadn't signed up for Iraq. Dummies) but that was OK. And we had that imbroglio with NZ Bear over self-linking. That was not so bad. I dunno. I have yet to lose a limb blogging, so how bad can it be?
(TBogg is a blogger who mocks conservative bloggers and sends his minions over to try to screw with your head.)
When was the last time a Mustang beat a Camero?
What's a Camaro? You mean those shitty Chevys that are GTOs in drag? I can respect the Charger (pre 1975) and Trans Ams are good for strippers and night duty nurses. But no one ever got laid driving a Camaro, so race all you want. I got a hotter car.
If you were asked to join Pajamas Media tomorrow - would you?
Me? Sell out to The Man? Where do I sign up?
Now, we have journalism students from Finland that have sent in questions...
Hi, I'm a journalist student from Finland. I'm studying in the capital of Finland, in Helia University of Business and Applied Sciences. We had an assignment from our English teacher to do an interview via email.
So I'm asking some questions related to the Danish cartoon which related Muhammed to a terrorist bomber. If you have kindly time to answer these I would be really appreciative.
What were your first thoughts about the cartoon?
First, get out of journalism. It is a lousy profession that pays less than schoolteachers make. Anyone can do it. That is why there are 29 million blogs. Get into a real profession that can actually help society, say automobile design.
Yes, redesign the Camaro into something a decent person would drive.
My first thought about the cartoons was there is more here than meets the eye.
It came out already in September 2005 and the representations didn't start until January 2006. Why do you think it took so long time to react?
The cartoons are an excuse to demonstrate against the West. The nations leading the protest are authoratarian and under state control. Their rulers are scared witless that democracy will get them next, hence the timing -- right after the Iraqi vote. The democratization of Iraq is a threat not to allah but to these dictators. Sic Semper Tyrannis
What should Denmark now do if they want to calm the situation down?
The newspaper apologized. They are dealing with unreasonable people. The best thing to do is to treat the violent protests as crimes and to ignore the boycott.
What will be happening in the future?
I ain't Nostradamus. I am thinking this is a civil war within the Muslim faith. Osama bin Laden's target is the House of Saud and has been all along; he believes it is too Western. He wants to push fundamentalism among Muslims. He has many allies particularly among the dictatorships: anti-Westernism shifts blame from a totalitarian government; Castro has been doing this for 46 years.
Is this cartoon reaction speaking behalf of a bigger issues? If so, what would they be?
Like I said, it ain't the cartoons (which are awful and crude and really, not worth running), it is about fear of Westernization and democracy in the totalitarian states of the Muslim world.
Now, the second student...
Hi! I am a 21-year-old journalism student from Finland (Scandinavia, Europe).
I'm interested in your opinion about the situation in Denmark where a newspaper published some drawn pictures about the prophet Mohammed. The Islamic countries have reacted pretty strongly to the pictures and they want the Jyllands-Posten's editor-in-chief to apologize them.
In Jyllands-Posten they think they have done nothing wrong. For those who draw those "funny" pictures the situation pretty bad. They may have to hide from the possible terrorist attacks for the rest of their lives.
So, I would like to know what do you think about this situation :
How much the current situation in Denmark has been on the news in US?
First, get in another line of work. Journalism sucks. But I repeat what I told the earlier student.
Second, the cartoons were terrible and should never have been run. The editors were ignorant of the Muslim prohibition on all depictions of Mohammed and that is unacceptable.
Third, I will defend unto death their right to publish this trash. OK?
Fourth, the US news reported it for a while until it became the same old, same old. Then the press went on to some other subject. That is how it works.
Have you discussed with anyone about it?
I have. And I blogged about it. I showed the toons for a while, but after I realized I was being sacriligeous for no reason at all, I pulled them down. No need to offend people unintentionally. Waste of good energy.Only piss off people you intend to piss off.
What is your opinion about the situation in Denmark right now?
No offense but Europe always seems to come off as a continent of pussycats in American eyes. Europe needs testosterone. The Danes should have been toughter after the Theo Van Gogh murder.
Do you think the newspaper does the right thing by not apologizing? After all, in Denmark there is a wide freedom of the press, as there is in every democratic country.
The newspaper apologized. That was the right thing since the cartoons insulted 1 billion people unnecessarily.
But a free press requires people to defend it. Most Americans remember that Europe needed the United States to defend it from 1940 to 1990, so really, it is hard to take the continent serious -- particularly Western Europe (Britain excepted because she stood and fought the damned Nazis). Finland, of course, was honorable fighting off both the Soviets and Nazis without our aid. Hail Finland, but many Americans look at Europe in general with great disdain. It is like grandpa, always lecturing you and talking tough, but who has to change his diapers at night? NATO was really the US will protect Europeans from the Soviet Union. (Not Finland, of course. Good country.) That Europeans now act superior is a hoot.
Is Denmark a safe place to be right now? Do you think there is going to be a terrorist attack?
Every country will have its 9/11. How it reacts will tell a lot about teh nature of the country.
What do you think should be done to prevent a misunderstanding like this from happening in the future?
Until Muslims accept such concepts as free press, free religion and free speech, ain't gonna happen. Considering it is a religion of submission, I ain't holding my breath waiting for understanding.
What's your favorite newspaper comic strip?
It changes. GRAND AVENUE and DAY BY DAY rock. You know my least favorite: Doonesbury. If I could draw, I would be an editorial cartoonist.
How long have you been writing professionally?
Since the Army sent me to Fort Stewart in April 1974. Worked on the post newspaper until my boss got rid of me by shipping me off to Germany. He hated me. I pissed him off by landing a reporting job on the Stars and Stripes.
If you couldn't write, what would you do?
Draw. Actually, I couldn't draw so I write.
You work for a newspaper? Doesn't getting up early every morning get old and don't your arms get tired from all the constant repetitive throwing motion?
LOL. I work for an afternoon newspaper so I really do get up early in the morning. So nyah.
Or are you the guy that takes the pictures?
I have the shakiest hands in the west. No way I could take pictures
Bakers bake. Bricklayers lay bricks. How exactly does one surb?
You get out your Surb Board and look for a wave.
True story, one of my best friends in the Army was Chief Petty Officer Brad Durfee. He said he joined the Navy to ride the WAVES.
His wife hated that joke.
She was an ex-WAVE.
Now that the Civil War is over, should the state of West Virginia rejoin Virginia and retire Senators Byrd and Rockafeller?
Screw Virginia. We would rather take over South Carolina. Not the whole state. Just Myrtle Beach -- the city with the most West Virginians from May to September. Like Russia, West Virginia seeks a seaport so we can take our annual bath in that big swimming hole
Do you ever find yourself looking for new blogging talent to read or do you stick with the veterans?
I read anything. As a kid, I loved reading cereal boxes and encyclopedias. You got a blog, I got the time, you be read.
Original CSI or one of the offshoots?
I prefer The FBI. Efram Zimbalist Jr.
I was hoping for a a Ginger or Mary Ann question so I could answer "Mrs. Howell." I'm like the J Giels Band: First I look at the purse.
Have you blogrolled yourself recently?
Oh hell yea. You know I do. I link so much that they call me Mr. Lincoln.
What's the best thing Robert Byrd has done as a U.S. Senator?
Moved the FBI Fingerprinting Center to Clarksburg, WV. Improved the service for the FBI and boosted the local economy. The lab could not attract good people who would stay when it was in DC. It does now
What's the worst thing Robert Byrd has done as a U.S. Senator?
Gotten re-elected seven times.
No, that is the fault of the people.
Voting against Clarence Thomas and Condoleezza Rice. It is hard to forget the Exalted Cyclops thing when he does crap like that.
I feel sorry for him. He no longer fiddles and what else has he going for him?
Thanks, Don, for agreeing to the interview. We really appreciate your taking the time to do this for us.
Tomorrow, it's Groovyvic of Fiddle Dee Dee.