One thing I talk about frequently here on TFB is the lack of accountability writers and pundits have for the various predictions and analyses they offer on television and in print. People, it should come as no surprise, say a lot of dumb things, and even experts in a particular field are often way, way off the mark. Yet they're rarely held to what they say. Same here - obviously there's no board of standards on the blog, just me and the people who tell me I'm wrong. Thus, in the interest of fairness, I thought I'd take a look back at some of the previous writings on the blog and see what I got wrong. This time, it's 2008. These articles are quite time-consuming, but I want to get things as "right" as I can.
I wrote that John Edwards has a good message and seems like a highly competent and hardworking fellow, which looks horrible in retrospect, but I also closed with the redeeming comment that I can't really trust anything he says.
I angrily demanded that the previous resident of my apartment GET A FORWARDING ORDER so I stopped getting her mail (I got it for years afterwards). However, when I finally moved, I didn't get a forwarding order. I've managed to shield myself from a lot of solicitous mail that way. Sorry, Claire.
I got a lot of flak for an article I wrote about how I wanted to rent instead of buy upon moving to Cleveland, even being called "lazy" by one commenter. This isn't a mistake - I want to point out here that it was absolutely the right decision for me. I'm so happy I'm not stuck with an underwater condo downtown right now.
In a Grammy/Oscar post, I criticized Cate Blanchett for portraying Bob Dylan (I don't like the idea, but it's unfair since I haven't seen the movie) and ripped Justice for their album + which I haven't heard (though I still don't like the idea of a Latin Cross as an album title).
I wrote that A Perfect Circle's Thirteenth Step "will certainly stay in my collection," but I threw it out a couple years later. Oops. Mer de Noms was still good.
I really enjoy Frank's Red Hot sauce. It's only a matter of time before I start putting it on inappropriate things like oatmeal and oranges. I did not do this.
I wrote that, if you don't believe in the theory of evolution by natural selection, then you are a stupid person. This was a bit intemperate of me. A better phrasing would be that you are being stupid in that particular instance, not necessarily that you are on the balance stupid. You might be, though.
The good news: everyone's getting $300 back from the government, so you can forget all that talk about the recession! Seriously, what a lame idea. Somehow, TFB is skeptical that any rebate will be arriving soon. It was $400, and it was indeed received by taxpayers across the nation
I replaced Dr Dre with Q-Tip on my "Mount Rapmore," joining Jay-Z, Chuck D., and Eminem.
The most interesting thing [Fareed Zakaria] writes, quoting author David Frum, is that “most Americans no longer pay very much income tax.” This is something a lot of people may not recognize or easily accept, considering how easy and popular it is to complain about taxation, but it’s absolutely true.
It's not, and I'm embarrassed to have written this. It should read "Federal income tax." I've more than rectified this since, pointing out the range of taxes lower-income Americans pay, but still. No wonder this myth persists - I was even a left-leaning volunteer tax preparer and messed it up.
In writing that "Liberals complain about a conservative media bias and conservatives complain about a liberal media bias," I implied that the two do so equally, which is of course not the case.
I said that, if you don't like "Groove Is in the Heart," I think there's something seriously wrong with you. Sorry, Nena :)
I picked the Lakers in 6 in the NBA Finals. It was Celtics in 6. That right there is more accountability than most professional sportswriters have in a lifetime.
Would you ever read a book titled: The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)? Me neither. I actually ended up reading this, and hated it. So I was sort-of right.
I called drone airplanes "neat technology." Probably not a particularly delicate way to phrase it, especially since we mostly use it to kill people.
4 stars was a tad high for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
I wrote, "salad without dressing is really unpleasant. Remind me not to do that again." That was dumb.
I ripped Fox Sports for not taking my suggestion to change the font of the on-screen display of the score during CaVs games. They did indeed change it the following season, though I'm not sure if it had anything to do with my note.
The [Supreme] court ruled that Guantanamo Bay detainees indeed have access to federal courts. Over a hysterical reactions from dissenter Antonin Scalia and a more measured response from Chief Justice John Roberts, this could spell the end of our little prison camp down south. Um...
I quibbled with Entertainment Weekly picking Tecmo Super Bowl over Tecmo Bowl on their "New Classics" list, but apparently this is a pretty widely-held view so I'll retract my criticism. I do not take back my disagreement with them ranking Amy Winehouse's record at #9 of the past 25 years. Come on.
I ripped the Ohio DMV for making me show retroactive proof of insurance, and was too harsh in calling them "stupid." It was an annoyance, but not an unreasonable thing of them to ask, and I overreacted.
Ugh, I can't believe I defended John Edwards for his sex scandal. Granted, I didn't have all the facts, and I still think an extramarital affair aren't in and of themselves reason to completely discredit someone (though it's not a positive), but the subsequent revelations make this look very naive and misguided on my part.
I wrote that, "you can get me to do mostly anything if I get a free shirt out of it." Since then, I've given away enough free t-shirts to open my own Goodwill.
I wrote that, "To me, Death Magnetic sounds tremendous." Eh. The sound is overly compressed, one of the major victims of the Loudness Wars. It's not tinny like ...And Justice for All, but its recording levels are not right.
I hinted sarcastically that the upcoming Presidential elections would feature voting irregularities and shenanigans...which never really materialized. I'm happy to have been wrong there.
Also, I asked, One writer describes the problem for Democrats in elections as American being a "center-right country." This seems logically false to me; doesn't it, on average, have to be a "center country"? Doesn't an average of everyone's views define the center? This now seems overly America-centric; compared to other world democracies, the "center-right" claim is accurate. However, later, I corrected this and noted that a different author was in fact saying that America was center-right within just the context of its own politics, which I don't get.
Cialis is still using that goddamned stupid tub logo.
In writing that, Going further, I don't think that people who don't live in the US should vote in our elections, whether you're a citizen or not. You want to vote here, come live here then, I was being too absolute. I'm not even sure why I thought expatriates (or military personnel) who are citizens and live in other nations shouldn't vote here. Odd thing to write.
"Solid debut from Brady Quinn. I think he’ll be a very good quarterback." Nope.
I came down too hard on Ford CEO Alan Mulally, whose firm actually outperformed the other members of the Big Three. He was a bit arrogant during his visit to DC, but I should have recognized him for his management efforts.
I also opined that, "Interesting that Michelle Obama got the cover before, I don't know, Joe Biden, but I suppose she's probably a more interesting story than the VP." Nah, gotta give that "interesting" nod to Diamond Joe.
Damn, three missteps in one article. "We're going to need to use nuclear power sooner rather than later, and people are just going to have to get over their irrational fears of meltdowns and three-armed mutants." I definitely understated the risks of nuclear, though I can still see us moving in that direction eventually, out of need.
I declared Step Brothers to be "not that great" - this was not entirely my fault, as the airline showed a heavily edited version that really wasn't that great. The original version is terrific.
I declared a fall on ice "a Festivus miracle" because my knee temporarily stopped locking up ... as we all know, within a few months, I wasn't doing too many feats of strength.
In my review of the great Jingle All the Way I sadly had not seen Arnold's final, greatest reaction shot, after the credits where his wife asks him what he got for her. Needless to say, I was giddy when I finally happened across this gem.
I issued a "standing recommendation" for Robert Samuelson's economics columns. Hey, sorry, I didn't know about Paul Krugman at the time. In an earlier post, I applauded a dumb line of his about the size of government. In that same piece I took a swipe at the United Auto Workers that now seems hasty and ill-thought-out.
Two mistakes here in an article about coaching changes, including mocking the OKC Thunder hiring a then-unknown Scott Brooks and questioning the Raiders having fired Lane Kiffin. I did at least pick on Herm Edwards and Romeo Crennel.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013