November 11, 2005

What do you think I'm not talking about?

Yesterday, in the comments to my post on "The Apprentice," one of my regular commenters raised -- in three long comments -- a subject he thought I should be addressing. That brought these sensible remarks from another reader:
[P]erhaps you're not familiar with the concept, but there's this thing called "etiquette". The way it works is, this is Ann's blog, and she writes about what she wants to write about. So that there is some organization, she might choose to - say - talk about a silly TV show in one thread, and talk about Supreme Court nominations and the law in another. This makes it easy for the rest of us to be able to read the things we like to read, while skipping the rest.

If you have a discussion topic you'd like to propose to Ann, there's this other thing called "e-mail" that you can use. It's handy - it lets you have a private conversation without the rest of the world listening in. For example, you could suggest that she write about something that you'd like her to write about.

I suppose it is possible that you are acquainted with both of these concepts, and are simply ignoring them because you have something which you feel is so important that it must reach the Internet at once. In that case, there is an admirably simple solution: you can get yourself what is called a "blog", and write about whatever topics you wish, and people who share your interests or who find your writing interesting may join you there.

It's really a very lovely set of concepts.
He's right! But it occurs to me that some readers don't want to reveal their email addresses to me, and I don't mind taking requests, though you can't expect me to address every topic. I can't explain every point of law you want explained, and there are some topics where I don't see myself adding any value. That doesn't mean I don't think they're important. It's an attitude I'm most likely to take about things that are especially important.

Anyway, I thought it might be a good idea to put up a post where it is on-topic to raise new topics. What do you wish I would blog about or blog more about -- or podcast about?

IN THE COMMENTS: My favorite suggestion so far is from SaysMeow:
I'm hoping for a compendium post on "The Althouse Man"--you keep tantalizing us with tidbits but don't give us the full-scale doodle. So far we've learned that:

He joyfully dons his Andy Warhol wig--
Yet he does not look like a Stooge (strange, I thought Moe's haircut was quite a lot like Andy's)--
His facial hair, if any, does NOT resemble the Creepy Guy from "Joy of Sex"--
He doesn't cry in public--
He does not wear shorts, no never--
He's pro-Hadley, anti-Baxendale...or is it the other way around?

But there's so much more we want to know!
Maybe all you readers could also help me out by reminding me of various "Althouse man" elements from bygone posts.


tomas said...

Evolution vs intelligent design.

Mark said...

I'd be interested to learn about your views on separation of church and state, especially in the context of religious symbols in public sphere. It seems that with O'Connor's retirement a lot of the Establishment Clause jurisprudence is up in the air, particularly given that Alito thinks that the Court has gone too far in separation of church and state.
Case in point: the Kentucky school board which has lost 10 commandments case in the Supreme Court on preliminary injunction level, has now decided to proceed with the trial, given that O'Connor is retiring.

Icepick said...

Your damn banner quotes!


That's just a joke!

Troy said...

How about evolution AND ID. They don't have to be mutually exlusive.

Ann wrote: "But it occurs to me that some readers don't want to reveal their email addresses to me...."

For the record to other readers... I've e-mailed Ann 2 or 3 times and it's safe. No stalking, no automatic forwards of jokes, prayers, or recipes and no spam.

Ron said...

Honestly, Ann, I don't know if I want to suggest any topics, ideas, etc. I like knowing that I'm reading what you are interested in, even if you write about specific topics where I have no interest. When I see one of those topics, I move on, or sometimes take a stab at it, on the principle that someone whose writing I like and respect is choosing to discuss something I, up to this point, have had no interest in. You get me into threads where normally My Eyes Would Glaze Over, and what greater sign of respect can I show?

Ron said...

Wait, I correct myself slightly. More acorn bombardment during the podcasts would be nice...

Pete said...

Troy said...

". . .I've e-mailed Ann 2 or 3 times and it's safe. . . .No recipes . . ."

Mmmm. Ann Althouse recipes.

StrangerInTheseParts said...

I'd be interested to see you directly mix 2 of your main ingredients: Law and personal stuff.

Have you had any run-ins with the law? Not necessarily the police, maybe a contract thing, or a real estate thing. Needn't be too personal or contentious. Could be amusing or interesting on other levels.

Sort of like doctors writing about being patients. Law profs needing legal counsel.

StrangerInTheseParts said...

Maybe something from your Pre-Law School life. How did you perceive/deal with the law then and how does it seem to you now, reflecting back?

wildaboutharrie said...

How nice of you to ask!

Have you covered torture and moral relativism?

On a completely different note, nostalgia is fun.

jimbino furioso said...

A debate on Evolution vs Creationism would be non-productive, since nowadays no intelligent scientist will participate by design.

I would welcome debates on the following topics, which I've never seen discussed:

1. Why there are almost no black, brown or red faces among the visitors to our national parks and forests, including, for example, Mesa Verde, which sits smack dab in Navajo territory at the juncture of 4 states with heavy hispanic heritage? Should we introduce busing?

2. Ralph Nader put out a book some 30 years ago that examined the insurance industry. I can't find any current books that treat the subject as well. My personal research has shown insurance of any stripe (and Social Security) to be systems based on fear and insecurity that no reasonable person would ever voluntarily participate in.

3. More comprehensively, Social Security and the National Park/Forest/Monument systems, as well our public university system, are just three examples of American institutions that effectively tax the poorest and darkest Americans for the benefit of the richest and whitest. For example, the average Black American man will work hard for up to 45 years and die at 67, the very year he is entitled to draw Social Security benefits. The benefits lost to him often go to the White widow who will live to 87 and who may never have worked, and to her White kids that she can send through the White Public University on SSI benefits derived from the Black man's sweat & blood.

Dogtown said...

I was thinking of emailing you about this topic anyhow, but being a professor, can you write openly about "Diversity" professors/programs in the universities, and particularly how students should respond in these courses? More specifically,if students disagree with the professor(s) beliefs or assumptions, should these students challenge them intellectually, or play along even if it means going against their own beliefs? Would challenging them likely result in sacrificing their GPA? Is this as prevalent in other programs as they are thought to be in the Diversity programs?

My older daughter is going to be entering one of these courses next year, and I want to advise her beforehand, but I don't want to dump myths on her either.

Other than this, I enjoy the mix of posts.

stoqboy said...

I like the "best of" lists that you link to. Maybe you can do some lists of your own like best squirrel neutralizers, or 2 best cars I ever owned. That reminds me, the best car I ever owned was a Toyota Celica, and the worst car I ever owned was a Toyota Camry, but my favorite car was a 1964 Rambler Ambassador.

Dave said...

I don't think this would fit within the scope of a blog--it's more of a book-length project--but I would like to see a lawprof or lawyer write about how we laymen can apply legal thinking to our own lives.

If doctors can dispense medical advice (don't eat too much sugar, etc.) then surely lawyers can help the laymen think cogently about the law (i.e., your First Amendment rights are not violated if your employer curtails acceptable speech.)

As I say, that is a very broad topic, likely beyond the scope of a blog. But it would be interest, and, dare I say, useful.

Adam said...

Congressional efforts to bring Internet political activity under the McCain-Feingold rules?

David said...


For all of us who have ended up someplace else.

And how about some pictures of Old Music Hall and the URPL folks - after all, Land Use Planners are folks who want to practice law without the degree.

Patrick Byrne said...

I'd like to know your thoughts about the impact of the cultural revolution of the 60s & 70s. People my age weren't around to enjoy it but we're the ones who must deal with the consequences.
Great time for music though, right up there with the '50s and '90s.

Gerry said...

"Evolution vs intelligent design."

Dear God, I pray you were being sarcastic. Not for our sakes, since I think the chances of that becoming a theme are slim, but for your own (you don't really want that, do you?).

I think you should add "House" to your TiVo blogging.

SteveR said...

Please no ID vs evolution.

I'd like Ann to offer a POV on U2. I don't recall there being a debate on that topic.

I like the Apprentice and Amidol (the show not the drug- heh) posts.

If it turned out to be unwise for Ann to see my email address (which she has many times), my faith in humanity would suffer a great deal. Not kidding.

LarryK said...

I second the motion to talk more about diversity, and especially the need for racial/gender diversity vs. intellectual diversity at American universities.

Also, since Ann is ultimately an artist with a a law degree, how about more posts about art? There is a lot of talk here about music but, except for Ann's old sketchbook, little about art itself. A good place to start (which I've suggested to the Divine Miss Althouse via e-mail) could be the John Lennon exhibit last week at the UW-Madison's Red Gym.

SippicanCottage said...

Boy Scout Walk yourself over to that keyboard right now, young lady, and get busy:

Squirrels. 24/7

Ruth Anne Adams said...

More drawings.
More bickering with RLC.
More news about the sons.
More photo-blogging of dinners with Nina.
More DVD reviews [since you don't see many movies in theaters]

Donna B. said...

I come here to read because I never know for sure what the subject will be. Whatever catches your eye is fine. Sometimes I'll be fascinated, other times not.

I'd be honored if you wanted to change this into "whatever Donna wants to read" blog, but I'd probably end up be bored!

Ruth Anne Adams said...

One more thing: How to celebrate/commemmorate the 3 millionth hit on the blog. Quit being modest. You're reaching a goal you set. How is that any diffent than 1200 words by 3 p.m.?

Is there a counter on the podcast? We'll celebrate that, too!

Troy said...

I like the movie and music postings.

Someone earlier said (and I'm paraphrasing) that whatever interests you interests us -- broadly speaking that's true.

Write whatever the hell you want to write about and we'll keep coming around -- skipping those things we're not interested in and commenting on those we are and lurking about on those we don't know enough about to commewnt on.

Your eclecticism is one of your main draws.

P. Froward said...

How about girlie pictures?

37383938393839383938383 said...

I second that, P. Forward.

Faithful Progressive said...

I would like to see how you rationalize Judge Alito's backing away from a written promise to Congress, as set forth in the following quote:

"Explain how you will resolve any potential conflict of interest, including the procedure you will follow in determining these areas of concern. Identify the categories of litigation and financial arrangements that are likely to present potential conflicts-of-interest during your initial service in the position to which you have been nominated.

I do not believe that conflicts of interest relating to my financial interests are likely to arise. I would, however, disqualify myself from any cases involving the Vanguard companies, the brokerage firm of Smith Barney, or the First Federal Savings & Loan of Rochester, New York.

I would disqualify myself from any case involving my sister's law firm, Carpenter, Bennett & Morrissey, of Newark, New Jersey..."

I would also like to see you address why we should believe anything he says to Congress during his confirmation hearing--if he did not do what he said he was going to do last time around.

SaysMeow said...

I'm hoping for a compendium post on "The Althouse Man"--you keep tantalizing us with tidbits but don't give us the full-scale doodle. So far we've learned that:

He joyfully dons his Andy Warhol wig--
Yet he does not look like a Stooge (strange, I thought Moe's haircut was quite a lot like Andy's)--
His facial hair, if any, does NOT resemble the Creepy Guy from "Joy of Sex"--
He doesn't cry in public--
He does not wear shorts, no never--
He's pro-Hadley, anti-Baxendale...or is it the other way around?

But there's so much more we want to know!

Robert said...

Ann Althouse called my comment "sensible".


EddieP said...

Continue to write about your interests, not mine or someone elses. Talk about what you know. When it's opinion, tell us that, but don't be Wikipedia Althouse. Please don't crash Silvio, just for a topic, but it was very interesting to follow your thought processes on replacing that lime green thing.
If you have to take a break from blogging to attend to mysterious acorn pieces, sign off and tell us when you'll be back. Just don't be gone very long!

P. Froward said...

Faithful Progressive's on the right track up there. Some more questions:

Please explain how you rationalize the fact that you are always wrong.

Why doesn't it bother you to be wrong all the time?

Why do you not admit that you are a war criminal? Repeating the denial simply proves that you are in denial about your denial itself; please explain how you rationalize this meta-denial.

Why are you still beating your wife? Give three examples.

Ann Althouse said...

Eddie: That was cosmic green.

enidv said...

I agree with Gerry - Tivo blog "House", I think THE best medical shows ever.

I also agree with others that say blog what you want, we'll read or pass over. I love the diversity in your posts, and I always seem to learn something.

Keep up the good work.

APF said...

I noticed you didn't address the end of the "beef" between Nas and Jay-Z; are you afraid to report on "good news" coming out of the Hip Hop community? Why do you hate Rap people?

Also, you haven't reported on the recent news that Nintendo's "Revolution" console won't support HD resolutions. Afraid to mention something that would cast The House of Mario in a poor light? We all knew you had an obvious pro-Nintendo bias, despite your ridiculous claims that you're a video-game "moderate."


[note: not the same Adam as above]

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Althouse man: --never picnics
--can install screens/storm windowns with little effort
--probably good with the NYTimes crossword puzzle
--won't eat cold eggs [unless you pay him]
--loves coffee
--loves art
--is not under-educated
--is a "he" [is that heteronormative?]
--drives a great car, but not too great
--would never leave a pregnant woman in a van full of smoking Episcopalians

MrsWhatsit said...

Althouse Man --
-- is not alarmed by squirrels
-- can sleep through hails of acorns

Eddie said...

What I really want to know about the Althouse man is:
1. Is he bald?
2. Can he recite the pledge of allegiance backwards while intoxicated?
3. Has he ever been arrested for a crime he didn't do?
4. Is his sense of style similar to mine? For example, does he wear the same outdated clothes for years after their prime?
5. Does he ever troll your blog and leave comments with the blog name, "Foo-foo, jo-jo?"

me said...

Unfortunately for Ann, I think the Ann Althouse man got married a few years back.

John Roberts!

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Althouse man:--strong on foreign affairs [and brush-clearing]
--smart like Russ Feingold
--is a boomer, but doesn't always think the world revolves around him
--doesn't have bumper stickers on his oh-so-fine vehicle
--appreciates obscure posts and Necco wafers

knoxgirl said...

Some guy commented a while back about how attractive you look in your photo up top... he's paying VERY CLOSE attention to this thread!

gj said...

I would like to see you discuss the substance of the constitutional issues that you see facing the country with the current changes in the Supreme Court. And no, I don't mean Roe v Wade, I mean the broader issues of Federalism, States Rights, Sovereign Immunity, etc. You are a frequent critic of what you call liberal hyperbole on these issues. As someone who truly wants to understand, I would like to hear more than "it's not that."

For example, in your post about the term Constitution in Exile I followed all the links and did the "required reading" and all I got was a criticism of the term, not a discussion of how one side or the other sees the issues and would like to see the law in our country.

Perhaps this is too big a topic for a blog. Or maybe it's impossible to understand this stuff without having a law degree. Or perhaps you studiously avoid this stuff in your blog because there are things you don't want to reveal a public opinion on. But I'd like to think that you could help educate your readers a bit. You are one of the few sites I visit that apears to have readers from across the political spectrum (although slanting right). That's a compliment, and something you could use to further the public debate on these difficult and too often divisive subjects.

Ron said...

Ann, I think most the commenters in this thread are a'fixin' to git you hitched again!

Is there a 'Yenta' HTML tag?

Ann Althouse said...

Ron: I thought the concept of the "Althouse Man" was something like the "Gibson Girl," not a personal match for me (a subject I actually never write about).

knoxgirl said...

"I thought the concept of the "Althouse Man" was something like the "Gibson Girl," not a personal match for me (a subject I actually never write about)"

indulge us (hee!)

Ron said...

Ann: You may perceive the Althouse Man as being like the Gibson Girl, but I don't think that's the tenor of the commenters! I could be reading this wrong of course, but knoxgirl's (hee!) may be giving the game away! A world full of busybodies!

Or perhaps both are true?

Just guessing!

XWL said...

because I'm greedy, and an admirer of Letterman, here's my top ten topics which I think Prof. Althouse hasn't talked about but should:

10. Terrell Owens (seriously, should he have been essentially fired for stupidity?)

9. What is the female equivalent of The Three Stooges (what comics/actors do women find hilarious that leave men cold?)

8. The size of Simon Cowell's head (you've AI blogged, but avoided this important topic)

7. Lesbian Cheerleaders!!!!!!!!!

6. Your feelings about Dr. Mitsugu Shuga's claim that you can type a woman's personality by her breast size and shape

5. Which fictional character would make a great president?

4. Term limits for newspaper columnist, pro or con?

3. Squirrels; Furry terrorists, suburban plague carriers, or tools of a secret cabal of nefarious no-good doers out to disrupt the good Professor's sleep and peace of mind?

2. Cotton Candy

1. Stake your claim and mine the golden nuggets of insight while fighting off claim jumpers regarding your position on the extended use of outdated metaphors.

XWL said...

adendum to the above list:

(replace No. 2, cotton candy with the following)

2. After this week's South Park, it's clear that Cartman will one day be President and his politics could not matter less to him, should he govern as a Liberal, Moderate, or Conservative?

(now that I think about it, I do want to know your opinion on cotton candy, so ignore the lesbian cheerleaders instead, they are getting plenty of coverage anyway)

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, I forgot to watch "South Park" this week!

I'm really glad this comments thread isn't loaded with heavy political topics! I like the affirmation about my method, which is: whatever catches my attention.

PatCA said...

Keep on keeping on.

Visiting here is like hanging out with the regulars at the local coffee shop or having My Dinner with Andre.

Finn Kristiansen said...

I like the person above who wanted discussion of lesbian cheerleaders. That is a topic that touches the very fabric of American society and stability.

Or, what is it with the Coors marketing department and the usage of sexy twins?

Aren't they really endorsing incest? After all, you put attractive women in ads to make guys think about sex, and if you put two women in the advert, the guy is thinking about a threesome, and put two women who are twins, well...? Hello? What is that?

And why twins? Is implied sex with twins somehow okay, but normal sisters not? Does looking identical mean it's the same person and not really incest?

What's up with that Ann? And do women see the ads the same way, and do they worry about men trying to get them into bed with sexy relatives?

That's what Ann should talk about. That, and, what is the cutest or best corporate mascot or character(like the Pillsbury doughboy or the miniature Chuck Wagon). Or what commercials moved you over the years.

Troy said...

Althouse Man... Is that like Piltdown Man (except real and not a hoax)? sounds like someone they'll dig up in 50,000 years next to a dead squirrel in the glacier (Sciurus Madisonius).

And you should talk about Mr. Sulu coming out. I'm sure we can never get too much of gay Star Trek.

Lesbian cheerleaders might be fun -- unless you're waiting to use the bathroom in a Tampa, FLA bar.

XWL said...

After googling "anti squirrel" it's clear that you aren't doing enough squirrel blogging as you aren't even in the top ten.

This site was first.
And this site was next.

Ann Althouse said...

Troy: An old guy coming out in this day and age? Too lame to talk about!