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March 09, 2006

Klein Awards

Koufax awards are up and you guys should all go vote and do your thing. I want to use the opportunity, though, to hand out a couple awards of my own and give you guys an opportunity to add some terrific new links to your list. And I even kept the list short so you'd actually use it:

Most Deserving of Wider Recognition: Liberalism Without Cynicism. Reading Laura tends to be the most infuriating moment of my day. I've been blogging longer than her, I'm a professional writer -- and yet her stuff is orders of magnitude better than mine. Smarter, more gracefully composed, more genially put. I hate her. But, through the red mists of my rage, I can recognize that she's the shiniest hidden gem in the blogosphere, and if you're not reading her regularly and obsessively, you're making a huge mistake.

Best New Blog: Battlepanda. Angelica is my favorite kind of blogger, the amateur wonk. Since she's not yet gone pro and been co-opted by an organization or specialization, her curiosity ranges wide and she approaches a stunningly broad array of issues both honestly and substantively. That she's a lively, energetic writer just completes the package.

Best Writer: Lance Mannion. Easily the finest prose stylist you're likely to read in a day. The blogs boast a couple of professional word crafter (who are a different breed than the more workmanlike professional pundits), but for my money, none match Mannion. If you want to know why, read his post on curmudgeons. It's a classic.

March 9, 2006 | Permalink

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» The Verbs of King James from Rubicon
The blogosphere is full of excellent writers and clear thinkers, and one of them is Ezra Klein, the Wonk with a Wink. Today Ezra named three of his favorite writers, with especially warm words for Lance Mannion, whom he praises as "easily the finest pr... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 10, 2006 3:40:56 AM

Comments

Hmm. Not familiar with Mannion, but the linked post seems to suffer badly from sentences-seem-profound-if-they-get-their-own-paragraph-itis.

Posted by: anonymous coward | Mar 9, 2006 12:14:18 PM

The Koufax Awards are such a meat parade.

Posted by: Iron Lungfish | Mar 9, 2006 12:16:32 PM

I've been blogging longer than her, I'm a professional writer -- and yet her stuff is orders of magnitude better than mine. Smarter, more gracefully composed, more genially put. I hate her. But, through the red mists of my rage, I can recognize that she's the shiniest hidden gem in the blogosphere, and if you're not reading her regularly and obsessively, you're making a huge mistake.
No worries Ezra. Your Wonk Factor is at Maximum. You've got your spot. :)

Posted by: Sandals | Mar 9, 2006 12:27:15 PM

Laura's Blog is boring, convoluted and bogged down with sentences longer than anything Henry James ever dredged up.

Posted by: Rob | Mar 9, 2006 1:17:30 PM

Thanks, Ezra. I'm embarrassed. And thanks, too, Rob. I'd be upset if too many people liked me.

Posted by: Laura | Mar 9, 2006 1:58:26 PM

Thanks Ezra...I think this is the first award I've won since middle school, so I wrote an acceptance speech to mark the occasion. Yes, yes. I am gauche.

Posted by: battlepanda | Mar 9, 2006 2:07:31 PM

"Klein Awards"? Not snappy enough.

You should call them "the Ezzies."

Posted by: Brock | Mar 9, 2006 3:25:36 PM

I haven't been reading Ezra very long, but I gather he goes in for hyperbolic praise of others. There was something the other day about the TNR writers being some of the "best on the planet" or something like that.

Personally, I don't care for hyperbolic praise much more than for hyperbolic criticism. I suppose it's better to be unduly nice than unduly nasty, but it would be OK to bring things back to earth.

Posted by: tom | Mar 9, 2006 3:58:58 PM

But I do appreciate the recommendations.

Posted by: tom | Mar 9, 2006 4:00:24 PM

And yet I stand by every word here -- literally. Maybe I'm just more generous in my evaluations than others are.

Posted by: Ezra | Mar 9, 2006 4:06:13 PM

"And yet I stand by every word here -- literally."

You literally hate Laura just because she's a good writer?

Posted by: Iron Lungfish | Mar 9, 2006 5:53:04 PM

Now Ezra is using the word "literally" figuratively. Strange tic for such a wonky guy. No, I don't think Ezra literally "hates" Laura. Or maybe he does. Oh, who cares.

Posted by: tom | Mar 9, 2006 6:27:14 PM

Unco-opted "amateur wonk" - that really is the best kind of blogger.

Posted by: AF | Mar 9, 2006 6:36:42 PM

Agreed on all counts. I'm glad LWC in particular is getting more recognition...

Posted by: Scott Lemieux | Mar 9, 2006 7:31:29 PM

"You literally hate Laura just because she's a good writer?"

Sometimes ;-). But really I meant that I stand by every positive word. I do think Mannion is the best writer I read in an average day, Laura an unreal talent, and Angelica a helluva wonk. I think they're all fantastic, and I've never seen a reason to rein back my esteem for folks. Sorry you don't like the effusive praise, skip to the health wonkery below.

Posted by: Ezra | Mar 9, 2006 8:15:18 PM

130 feeds, and I have already given up sleeping.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Mar 9, 2006 8:32:20 PM

I've nothing against Lance Mannion, and have enjoyed his site from time to time. But damn, if a "shorter" watch isn't appropriate in his case, I don't know where else it might be.

Posted by: JL | Mar 9, 2006 10:39:03 PM

You know, considering Jane Austen, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fiztgerald, and James Joyce all used "literally" as an intensifier, people who get steamed about this usage tend to look awfully silly.

Posted by: Thad | Mar 10, 2006 12:13:56 PM

The Lance Manion blog is a favorite - actually, it might just be my favorite blog. The writing and mix of topics is outstanding and I enjoy reading the comments Lance's writing inspires.

Posted by: cali | Mar 10, 2006 1:20:54 PM

considering Jane Austen, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fiztgerald, and James Joyce all used "literally" as an intensifier, people who get steamed about this usage tend to look awfully silly.

So do people who rely on arguments from authority. If we adopted every linguistic tic endorsed by James Joyce, we'd be speaking half in gibberish and half in elaborate multi-punned allusions to Greek myth. Entertaining as that might be, it's not the picture of clarity, either - much like when we give words like "literally" a second meaning that's more or less the opposite of its original.

Posted by: Iron Lungfish | Mar 10, 2006 1:54:25 PM

People who get steamed about any word usage that's not morally offensive are apt to look silly. That's why I contented myself with a mere comment. I'm no Orwell, you know. And I can live with looking silly now and then.

Posted by: tom | Mar 10, 2006 3:03:01 PM

I literally figure the literalists will figure this all out,if only to prefigure what they cannot follow. Literally.

Posted by: The Heretik | Mar 10, 2006 5:41:59 PM

So do people who rely on arguments from authority.

Actually, you're the one arguing against common usage here. But yes, when we're talking language, I admit I do consider the likes of Mark Twain to be more of an authority than, say, a gasbag prescriptivist like Bill Safire.

And as far as Joyce goes, did you even read the example quoted in the piece?

"the acme of first class music as such, literally knocking everything else into a cocked hat."

Wait, you're right, that sentence is impossible to understand... I'm so confused... I yearn for a picturesque Safarian clarity...

Posted by: Thad | Mar 11, 2006 2:02:59 AM

mannion does have a way with words. i like that way.

wolcott also has a way with words.

but while mannion's is solid and and written in a more-in-sorrow-than-in-ager style, wolcott's is like being pierced by an antique silver rapier which you admire for its craftsmanship and its sharpness.

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Posted by: peterwei | Oct 22, 2007 7:15:28 AM

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