Hysteria Lane

Recently, I had a rather long back-and-forth email exchange with one of those infamous “big male bloggers who doesn’t link to women enough,” and one of the things he asked me was why Ezra’s got a good rep on women when others don’t. (I don’t know if he’s got a good rep with “women” or not; all I know is that he’s got a good rep with me, because he invites women guest bloggers—not just me—and takes his lumps when I tease him about using me to get his estrogen Boy Scout badge.) My response was that it seemed Ezra made an effort to seek out women bloggers without the otherwise perfunctory saying-something-insulting-to-women-and-having-10,000-of-them-(rightfully)-scream-bloody-murder scenario, which seems to be the only impetus to pay the remotest attention to women bloggers for most of his cohorts.

But the truth is, it is something more than that—Ezra’s just not as sexist. To wit: recently, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer celebrated the reopening of the infamous M&M bar, the revelry for which yielded some great images of the unpretentious governor.

Ezra and Kos both ran the image and their assessments of Schweitzer—Ezra a few days ago, and Kos today. Ezra:
Over at Sirota's place, we get this excellent pic of [Montana Gov.] Brian Schweitzer publicly downing a shot of scotch in celebration of a reopening bar. Looks like fun, not to mention great PR. I've never understood the politician's obsession with ribbon-cutting ceremonies and Rotary Club dinners. It's not that these things shouldn't be attended, but so far as the visibility they bring, headline-hungry congresscritters can really do better. After all, post-Reagan, post-Bush, post-Clinton, post-television, there's no doubt that Americans like their politicians possessing a high "jes' folks" factor, as in that guy's "jes' folks". Speechifying at a brand new grocery store doesn't really play into that. Downing scotch at bar openings does. Some pols understand this, with Guiliani top among them, and Clinton not far behind. Most don't. Not sure why that is though, not only isn't it tough to divine (act like a movie star), but it seems like a hell of a lot more fun.
When I read this the other day, I thought it was a nice little post. And I agreed with it. Politicians who have fun with their constituents are a rare, but often wonderful, breed. (In fact, public figures of any sort enjoy the same appreciation for mixing with “regular people. Princess Di was revered for her common touch more than anything else—that she was the most beloved royal and the first one to touch an AIDS patient is not a coincidence; Andy Kaufman is remembered still for having taken an entire Carnegie Hall audience out for milk and cookies.) Ezra hit that point well—and without making it gender-specific. Contrast that with Kos’ post today, which left me cross and offended. Kos:
Sure, I spend a lot of time talking about a first-term governor of Montana, but I think there's lots of lessons to be learned from this corner of the country. And the guy is entertaining, no doubt about it.


Over the top? No doubt. But man, that's some great images of a real guy being a real guy. A genuine version of Bush's fake ranch.

For the more intellectually nuanced amongst us, there's something here for you too -- this bar was declared the "ideal bar" by Jack Kerouac.
A real guy being a real guy? As opposed to what? A girlie man? Or worse—an actual woman?! Come on. How does Kos write this stuff without thinking that it’s going to be offensive? I expect this kind of nonsense from the other side, from Governor Gropenator and Bill O’Reilly. I don’t want to hear it from the biggest lefty blogger, who would no doubt dismiss me as just another hysterical women who reads too much into everything.

But what if I downed a shot of Scotch for a photo-op? Would that make my opinions worth hearing?

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