Monday, April 12, 2010

Open Link in New Tab, or: How It Took Me Two Hours to Read a Two Word Blog Post

I used to hate clicking on links because they took me further and further from where I began, and sometimes the internet gremlins ate all the breadcrumbs I needed to find my way back. Then I met Open Link in New Tab. On a PC, right click on the link for the option, or with Mac, Ctrl + click. The other day I took O.L.I.N.T. out for a test spin.

9:37am: It started with the shortest post ever: Here. Go ahead and OLINT, just this once, and you'll see two tabs up top, below your toolbar. You can close the right-most one by clicking the x on the tab, or open up a blank page by clicking the plus sign. You can have lots of pages open at once, and get to them by clicking on the tabs. Are you back? Now, as for the post itself: Maybe you know who Kaus and Wolcott are but I don't, and I am not good at knowing what I don't know. I excel at not knowing what I don't know; I'm fine with the vast depth and breadth of my ignorant ignorance. But knowing what I don't know is unendurable and must be remedied. So dammit, I'm finding out why Wolcott can't resist Kaus.

9:37:10am: Wolcott's at Vanity Fair, where he gives Kaus an amusingly hard time, and subjects me to three more links, one of which has me wasting away again. He also sent me to Ezra Klein's tweet, and escorted me into the mouth of The Daily Beast. Wolcott makes an obscure reference to Jukt Electronics that I couldn't let slide, and calls Ezra Klein "the Zac Efron of blogging." I found video of Efron in his high school musical, and boy, his school must have had a lot of bake sales to pull that production off.

10:12am: Lloyd Grove, The Daily Beast writer, is merciful with links and obscure references. He sends me to Kaus's campaign website. and his book, The End of Equality, on Amazon, where there are 5 reviews, mostly negative, and only two copies left in stock! Order now! Did Amazon only stock 7 copies of The End of Equality? What I have learned so far is that Kaus is primarying Barbara Boxer, and that he has a very large head, literally and metaphorically.

10:33: Here's what Lloyd's Daily Beast piece has left me with, tabwise: Gawker, The Sacramento Bee, and a column from The New York Times Magazine. I take a peek at Gawker.

10:33:05: Gawker doesn't care for Kaus much either. It sends me to a place called bloggingheads where two bloggers, Kaus and Robert Wright, are having a lengthy video-talk called a diavlog, which sounds evil, and probably should be called a blovialog anyway. Kaus is trying to convince Wright that Ann Coulter is not an idiot. This is like arguing about whether Kaus' head is the size and shape of a six month old baby, but they are taking it seriously. Kaus says that once you get to know her...and Wright interrupts: “What, she quits saying stupid things?” This is fun.

10:53: The Gawker article only has 18 comments, so I yield to temptation and read them. A feisty but unproductive debate, where Kaus defenders are accused of being from Alabama. Not nice. They should be accused of being from The Planet of the Big-heads. I move on, resisting the "You might also like..." articles, one of which is about the romantic dinners Bill Clinton and Martha Stewart have been having. (Billartha? Marble?)

11:09am: Gawker linked me to Kaus's blog on Slate but I don't feel the need to read the guy I'm reading about. Kaus has been blogging since 1947 and he definitely has the hang of it; short posts covering a lot of ground, unlike some that go on and on and on...

11:23am: I get a little thrill when I realize that one of my new tabs acquired from Gawker is an Andrew Sullivan post from three years ago, taking me back to the blog where I started. Here, Sullivan quotes from an old Kaus article in which Kaus laments that his favorite bar was forced to take down a sign that said “Fagots stay out.” Kaus doesn't like unions or immigrants, but bigotry's cool with him. Oh, and Kaus takes a swipe at Wolcott in this article! I guess they've been complaining about each other for a few years now.

11:26am: I'm closing tabs on Ezra and Zac, now that I understand the analogy. Like Zac, Ezra is young, cute, telegenic, and probably can't sing either. Ezra's tweet was a 140 character snark about how Kaus snarked at him in the NY Times.

11:26:10am: The Sacramento Bee article contains seven links, demoralizing me. Most are easy: just taking you to pages on their site that reference the people in the article: Barbara Boxer, Mickey Kaus, the Democratic Party, and Al Franken. I'm okay with closing those right back up like a surgeon who's been met with something that he can do nothing about. But I am now saddled with a Huffington Post article by Kaus himself, announcing his candidacy, with 287 comments. Also something called The Wrap on CalBuzz and the New York Times article that's been referenced by everything so far, and will, I promise, be the end of my linking road.

11:40am The answer to the burning question posed by Wolcott: What did Kaus say in the New York Times to annoy Ezra? He said: “Ezra Klein gets under my skin.” This got under Ezra Klein's skin.

11:42am The last question in the NY Times article has to do with the image of pajama clad bloggers. I look down at myself. I better get dressed.

11:45am I close up all tabs except for Andrew Sullivan's, my starting point. Since I've been gone, he's posted 5 more things I'm dying to read.

With this experiment, I learned two things: 1)Open Link In New Tab is the greatest thing ever invented if you never have to be anywhere again in your life. And 2) Political bloggers are pre-teen girls.

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