November 20, 2011

“I love Madison. It’s a ‘real’ place. It has a sense of itself... It is what it is, and it’s fun to watch.”

That's a quote from me in an article about me at WPRI—Wisconsin's Free Market Think Tank, written by Sunny Schubert, whom I talked to over coffee for about an hour.
But [Althouse] gets irked by the insistence of so many residents that “this is a town for the left and if you don’t think like us, you don’t belong here.”

Ironically, she says, “These are people who like to think of themselves as so kind and gentle.” She is amused by the “self-love involved when you think your policies are so right, nobody could possibly disagree with you.”

64 comments:

edutcher said...

The line, "self-love involved when you think your policies are so right, nobody could possibly disagree with you.", really is at the core of a lot of the discussions here.

Very good piece on you, Madame; glad to see you walk the walk on free speech at work as well as the blogosphere; I think there are some who don't quite get that.

PS Love the freckles and a very nice pic of Meadhouse; clearly, you two really do feel that way about each other.

AllenS said...

I love Madison. It’s a ‘real’ place. It has a sense of itself... It is what it is, and it’s fun to watch.

Sesame Street is also a real place, I guess.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

WTF?

No mention of wine boxes?

And, what about that "incident" that reportedly included crying and going nuts during a discussion?

Puff piece.


P.S. Is Meade wearing a sleeveless shirt?

Rob said...

Kind and gentle to everyone who agrees with all of the other kind and gentle people. Duh.

TWM said...

That was a good read. I have to disagree on Madison having a sense of itself though, as it seems quite schizophrenic at times. But it's definitely is fun to watch.

Jason said...

I can pretty much guarantee that tens of thousands of people who live outside of Madison and Dane County will disagree that Madison is "fun to watch".

Ann Althouse said...

"P.S. Is Meade wearing a sleeveless shirt?"

LOL. That's my arm. You will know it by its freckles.

bagoh20 said...

Ideas like a city having "a sense of itself" are just ideas in the emoter's head.

chuck b. said...

Sunny Schubert--another great NPR name.

chuck b. said...

(Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson's is my favorite tho')

Titus said...

Madison is so not fab.

Last night went to dindin and the incredibly hot waiter was from Bulgaria.

You wouldn't get that in Madison.

Look at Allens pic, that is fucking scary.

ndspinelli said...

Schubert is sharp and intellectually honest. Good choice on granting her an interview.

Didn't know you were a freckle face.

Titus said...

I didn't know anything about Bulgaria but after seeing the waiter I immersed myself and all things Bulgaria.

He actually looked Italian. He was absolutely beautiful. I wanted to see his Bulgarian cock.

Who knew Bulgarian's were so hot.

Being hot is so hot. It's powerful. They own the world.

Chip Ahoy said...

Irony fail.

It is mis-selfperception. It is annoying to behold. It is simply wrong. It is a way to justify meanness, but it is not ironic.

Writers, ask yourself when tempted to use the word ironic, will this sentence work in an Alanis Morissette song about ironic things? If yes, then it definitely is not irony.

Titus said...

I found out the really hot Bulgarian waiter was straight but willing to go gay for pay.

How hot is that?

You would never find that in Madison, so I left.

Petunia said...

Nice article, but I have to disagree with your comment about Prosser's finding his hands around Bradley's neck. The only one who said that, and after she earlier said otherwise, was Bradley. Even Abrahamson didn't say Prosser had his hands around Bradley's neck.

The most fun thing about Madison is, as you said, the bizarre self-righteousness of so many who live here. It's especially fun to watch their tantrums now that they're realizing that the rest of the state is finally, finally on to them.

Carol_Herman said...

What's not to like?

Since you're a professor, you moved to be near the university. Turns out you get to own a nice house. Have nice nieghbors. No nearby ghettos ... (For instance, like living near Columbia.)

And, with the Internet, you can live anywhere!

Then, you've added pictures.

Madison sits on a lake! The university's grounds "abutt" the lake. And, there are people in Madison, year round.

You're not just locked into a "college town" ... You live in a real city.

It's also NOT Happy Valley! Which was run by a goon squad called a "football team" ... And, where a DA could get killed witout notice.

You've also got a governor you like. And, the drawback that Tubbs is incompetent. Is that a big deal in a small town?

pm317 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

I have lived in Madison and in the D.C. metroplex. Althouse made a good choice by remaining in the Mad City.

America's Politico said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
America's Politico said...

My hope is that one blogger to get a Pulitzer for an exemplarly blog would be Prof. Althouse. She has always welcomed every view. This is an incredibly hard thing to do. People (i.e., other bloggers) talk, but she walks it, everyday.

In any event, POTUS Obama defeats the GOP in all states. The K-street super-consultants are very sure. The bet is how big the victory will be next Nov. The bet now is 20% margin or GOP will have less than 100 electrol college votes. Whatever, GOP is finished.

AJ Lynch said...

I suspect WPR's "Free Market Think Tank" is anything but.


wv = gibly

Beth said...

Great article. Glad I stopped by today and read it.

Alex said...

Ironically, she says, “These are people who like to think of themselves as so kind and gentle.”

yeah right. Garage is really gentle. As gentle is a fist in the mouth.

traditionalguy said...

Tolerance is the other side of the coin of freedom from oppression by a political cabal or a Church cabal.

That chance at freedom brought the young people lead by Cambridge educated men across the ocean to nowhere with nothing except a confidence from scripture summed up in the motto In God We Trust.

That makes Madison's assertions of tyranny over heretics a juvenile Baby Boomer clusterfuck.

roesch/voltaire said...

I agree and it is a fun place, and I enjoy interacting with my Pro-Walker neighbors who are as much a part of the neighborhood as the anti-Walker neighbors. We all have to rake leaves-- endlessly this fall.

Pogo said...

Wow; nice article, great photos.

I have come to terms with my pasty-white-boy being refused a UW Madison education. He and I were both irked by the pervasiveness of lefty politics, which reached into every conceivable venue.

But I do regret never having the opportunity to meet Althouse and Meade. I blame the left for that, too, natch. ; )

CachorroQuente said...

"She has always welcomed every view."

I'm not so sure. I once attempted to post a comment which gratuitously insulted Brian Leiter. NTTAWWT. It didn't get through moderation.

Speaking of gratuitious insults and Brian Leiter.

Canuck said...

Very Interesting. I refused to recycle for years because I was annoyed by foodie "ethical boycotts" and moralistic pressure to conform.

Afterwards I lived in a very different type of place and was less annoyed by such things. I don't react well to uniform political sentiment.

I wonder how your reactions might have changed if you had attended U of M five years earlier. Perhaps you would have hung around with the beatniks.

Or I wonder if you lived in a very conservative town if you might be reacting differently?

Strong ideologues and one-party political towns tend to be annoying, but each in their own special way.

ricpic said...

The problem with living in a lefty town - I live in Ithaca, NY: Madison on steroids - is that the minute you out yourself as a non-lefty you become an unperson. In other words the mindset is totalitarian: our way or the highway. Conservatives are more live and let live by a factor of 1000%.

ricpic said...

The Yenta said...

...a nice house...nice neighbors...no nearby ghettos...

So how's Althouse gonna get to celebrate diversity? Talk about deprivation!

Chip S. said...

@chuck b & AJ: Despite what its initials imply, WPRI has nothing to do with public radio.

Canuck said...

"Conservatives are more live and let live by a factor of 1000%."

Depends. I've run into people who aren't ok with you if you aren't in the club 100%.

I don't think mainstream party identification determines tolerance as much as personalty type.

And, on all sides, you can find institutions and groups that insist on conformity.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ideas like a city having "a sense of itself" are just ideas in the emoter's head.

Mysticism (Not Just For Bobby Kennedy's Killer Anymore)

cubanbob said...

Very nice article indeed. As for Ann's political perspective it appears to me that she roughly a liberal-libertarian. Not a bad place to be in my opinion (for whatever it's worth).

Alex said...

Crack - wanna bet New Age-ism is rampant in Madison?

Alex said...

So given Obama's deliberate attempt to wreck this economy and his foreign policy bunglings, his egging on OWS - you know Althouse will find some excuse to vote for the bastard. She'll cite Newt's infidelity or Romney's Mormonism or whatever. You heard it here first.

michaele said...

Very enjoyable read. The biggest surprise was the freckles. I don't recall other photos of you showing them.

Tim Wohlford said...

All I know is that while I lived in Madison the Rush Limbaugh show seemed to sell out its sponsor spots, and Air America went broke. In other words, Madison isn't what those 47 square miles think it is once they re-enter the reality that is the rest of the town.

The Crack Emcee said...

Alex,

Crack - wanna bet New Age-ism is rampant in Madison?

No, because I don't think Madison would be Madison without it. I'll betcha Ann never mentions it, though, as part of her critiques of the place. Specifically, I mean. They'll keep dancing around the subject, but without exploring it:

That's how it stays alive,...

Kit said...

Conservatives are more live and let live by a factor of 1000%.

Waukesha County, not so much.

great unknown said...

I get the impression of a Jane Goodall living among the chimps...

Which, given some of the behaviors seen in the documentation on this site, is, in my kind and gentle opinion, insulting chimpanzees.

Freeman Hunt said...

Nice article. Nice pictures.

Big Mike said...

Madison may be a real place. Its denizens, not so much.

Big Mike said...

Good to hear from you, Beth. Stop by more often, please.

ignatzk said...

Madison is evil disguised as quirky.

DADvocate said...

Good article. Great line - “self-love involved when you think your policies are so right, nobody could possibly disagree with you.”

Of course, the corollary to that is that anyone who disagrees with you is evil, stupid, mean, brutish, Cromagnon and worse.

CachorroQuente's link to Leiter gives a perfect example of this attitude. No logic or rationality, just personal attacks on people smarter than he.

EDH said...

Winston Churchill famously called Russia “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Those words also apply to University of Wisconsin-Madison law professor Ann Althouse.

I prefer to think of Althouse as a scallop wrapped in bacon.

Meade in that picture looks like Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick.

AJ Lynch said...

That lady is a very good writer btw.

But tell us about this new and improved contract UW must have given you to stay put. Do you have an agent yet?

MadisonMan said...

Nice article. Sunny is fun to talk to as well, it would have been a fun conversation to eavesdrop on.

The Crack Emcee said...

ignatzk said:

Madison is evil disguised as quirky.

I rest my case,...totally NewAge.

gemma said...

What if the whole state were Madison? Where would we go? Do you think that's how people felt in Germany?

Browndog said...

Wondering....

If the City of Madison has a "Christmas tree" this year-

Or, is it a holiday tree, or a Winter tree, or an #occupy tree, or just a lighted tree in which to sign up to oust Walker tree-

Serious question.

Bender said...

"It has a sense of itself."
_________________

So does Ann Arbor. I don't know if Madison is the same, having never been there, but Ann Arbor has a sense of itself, a sense that it is the center of the universe.

Similarly, much of Michigan suffers under the delusion that the rest of the country is pretty much like it is there. Thus, they don't realize just exactly how bad it is compared to how it could or should be, with the areas around Detroit being no better than a Third World hell-hole.

Ann Arbor isn't a hell-hole, but it does collectively have its head up a hole with its narcisstic self-regard for itself when, in fact, in ain't all that.

Folks were deluding themselves, just absolutely certain that Jim Harbaugh would want to come back "home" to Ann Arbor to coach Michigan. Are you kidding me? Harbaugh escaped Michigan and has lived in some places that really are nice. He was NEVER going to go back to Ann Arbor. It ain't that great.

Paco Wové said...

"CachorroQuente's link to Leiter gives a perfect example of this attitude"

Yuck. What a nasty, puny little man Brian Leiter must be.

MadisonMan said...

If the City of Madison has a "Christmas tree" this year-

There's one in the Capitol. Wouldn't a separate one for the city be redundant?

Calypso Facto said...

Browndog, Wisconsin does indeed have a Christmas tree in Madison again for the first time since 1984, but it is predictably scorned by soft-headed undergrads (though I give this particular writer kudos for coming at his argument from a small-government perspective).

Psychedelic George said...

Laid down last night.
Could not take my rest.
My mind was wandering
Like the wild geese in the west.

I wish I was a headlight
On a northbound train.
I'd shine my light
Through the cool Colorado rain.

The sun's going to shine
In my back door someday.
March wind's going to blow
All my troubles away.


Furthur
Madison, Wisconsin
November 19, 2011

Petunia said...

We do have a Christmas tree this year! Predictably, the usual suspects like Annie Laurie Gaylor pitched a fit.

Oddly enough, though, no one really said anything when Milwaukee put up their "Christmas tree". Of course, Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Chris Abele are Democrats.

Robert said...

So, the Bush administration spent too much money and McCain might not be conservative enough, I think I'll vote for the socialist?

They're buying that excuse at that rag?

marylynn said...

Very nice article Ann.
You know what i always think about when i think of Madison? How they rent horribly run down,disgusting fire hazard old houses to UW students for exorbitant sums of money, while at the same time congratulating themselves for being so much smarter and better than those of us not from Madison. Not a nice place.

WV: sobled : they so bled the students for rent that they would never ever pay their loans off

Moose said...

I don't think anyone would ever write an article about me, particularly a nice one like that, however - doesn't it feel at least slightly weird to publish something written about you? Sort of dirty?

Phil 3:14 said...

Professor;
Are most of your conservative friends "virtual" and most of your progressive friends "real"?

Moose said...

..and I've never been to Madison, however it can only be better than Ann Arbor. A2 is so full of itself that it reeks. And the restaurants are pathetic.