Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Rainbow Room

It’s heerrrrre…Pajamas Media has morphed into OSM: Open Source Media. Even as I write, they are gathered in New York City, making plans for a world take-over new venture, one which will change the baby face of blogging into something more mature, let’s say an adolescent with an occasional need to shave. But OSM will grow and mature, and it’s great fun to be in on the ground floor even if we couldn’t get to the wedding.

Unable to attend, we nonetheless offer our hearty endorsement of Pajamas Media OSM (this is going to be hard to change. Kind of like when the new bride takes on her husband’s name. She may be Leticia Lesueur now, but to those who knew her when she was running around in rompers, she’s still little Tittie McFadden. So we practice saying her new name and try to look serious about it).

Meanwhile, the founders, Roger Simon and Charles Johnson — with input from many others — have announced our mission statement:
     OSM’s mission is to expand the influence of weblogs by finding and promoting the best of them, providing bloggers with a forum to meet and share resources, and the chance to join a for-profit network that will give them additional leverage to pursue knowledge wherever they may find it. From academics, professionals and decorated experts, to ordinary citizens sitting around the house opining in their pajamas, our community of bloggers are among the most widely read and influential citizen journalists out there, and our roster of will be expanding daily. We also plan to provide a bridge between old media and new, bringing bloggers and mainstream journalists—more and more of whom have started to blog—together in a debate-friendly forum.
Sounds exciting to me. It means we still get to bicker and exchange ideas only the medium will be a bit more coherent and easier to access. Another temporary battle won in the war on entropy.

In case you had any doubt at all, we are not the decorated experts mentioned above. Nor are we — Deo gratias, as the Irish used to say before they all became Euro atheists — academics. We are the ones sitting around in our pajamas, underwear, and nightgowns (or out here in the country, our birthday suits because who’ll ever know?). We have nothing to offer you but our opinions, but we have at least one of those on any topic within the purview of Gates of Vienna.*

And while I am vaguely feeling left out and envious of the celebratory doings in New York City, my karma (in the form of a leg injury in September) is keeping me glued to the chair in Virginia. Meanwhile, to get the flavor of the thing, here’s a small version of Charles Johnson’s view from the Rainbow Room. The real picture is on Little Green Footballs.

View from the Rainbow RoomThe last time I was in the Rainbow Room I went dancing in a plum colored dress from Saks Fifth Avenue and had Grand Marnier soufflé. But that was long before the blogosphere was born, back when the ethernet was just beginning to spread its ganglia into the universe. We talked about Teilhard de Chardin and I danced with an older and stately man who had worked in the French Underground in World War II and taught ballroom dancing to Nazi officers. He was an excellent dancing teacher too: the first man who could show me how not to lead. As the Baron can tell you, that's no mean feat.

Another world. Another time. And yet de Chardin’s ideas (despite his other sins) about a “world wide web” have come to be.

Goodbye, Pajamas. Hello Open Source.

* All the other, overflowing and off-topic opinions are here, in The Neighborhood of God. Everything from appellations to zucchini.


Wally Ballou said...

a4g -

We were just discussing the Baron's memorable appearance in drag - many ,many years ago (it was Halloween, I hasten to add) - believe me, the old french-underground-nazi-dance-instructor would have danced with him.

Wally Ballou said...

Whoops - got my blogs mixed (what a putz) - Opsimath comment moved to NOG.

I'm not an Opsimath - just a CRS sufferer.

Dymphna said...


But that would take the suspense out of it, if you knew right off...

yeah, the Baron sure did look cute that Halloween...except for his very square chin. And he had to shave his moustache off...

with those brown eyes, it creeped out Wally B, that's for sure. But all the women enjoyed dressing him up and putting on his make-up so *he* had fun.

Makes you realize how much of our identity is tied up in gender. Guess that's why it's the first question when a baby is born (or it used to be): "is it a boy or a girl." Only then do you check for fingers and toes.

Anyway, a4g, I've been told I "write like a man" sometimes. Not sure what that means, exactly. But I'll try to swoon more in the opening sentence from now on.

And the older man was long before the Baron. He knew all my heroes, like Gabriel Marcel, etc. He loathed Sartre; thought he was all ego and obsfucation...

Wally Ballou said...

The proper comeback to "you write like a man" is "Which man?"

Thomas von der Trave said...

Lady D.,

The last time I went to the Rainbow Room, it was in the company of two young Russian women (have I mentioned I have a thing for Eastern European ladies?), and we got there just in time to see the sun setting "like a red rubber ball" over New Jersey.

Then the lights of New York come up, in a rush, till you feel like you're looking up into the night sky instead of down to earth.

Mmmph. The martinis were about $18 dollars apiece, and my companions protested at my picking up the whole tab, but I said I'd pay that much just for the elevator ride and the view, which were free.

Happy daze.

Except for the notable gap in the downtown skyline. That made me sad and angry like it was 2001 all over again.

Dymphna said...

Old Cato--

No, I didn't remember that you liked Eastern European women...was just reading Isaak Dinesen describing a beautiful Prussian woman in one of her short stories. They must be like that, no? Gorgeous and stately and firmly planted on the ground?

For myself, I like the Eastern European adoption of the flat tax. They're way ahead of us...

As for the NY skyline, 'twas indeed beautiful. It was in the ages before I even thought about Muslims; wouldn't have known a burqa if I fell over it. Now, being the opsimath that I am, I've learned. I wonder if I ever wrote about the trip the Baron and I made to Ground Zero in December, 2001? I'll have to do a search. Thank God for google since my mind is swiss cheese.

As for 18.00 martinis--wow! I hope they didn't descrate them with vermouth.

For some reason, gin is a summer drink to me. Must be my association with New Orleans on Friday nights, when we could get out of the dorm by signing out to Shabbat services. After the service and a chat with the rabbi, we'd go have gin-and-tonic in the Quarter and then ride our bikes back to school.

Being a cheap...umm, I mean inexpensive...Irish date, I got a bit tipsy on the Grand Marinier souffle. Hell, I got tipsy on the idea of dancing with someone who was friends with Camus...though I felt jejune when I compared his life and mine. So I quit doing it and let him teach me not to lead. Darn, that's difficult.

Dymphna said...

Wally B--

What a great comeback! The next time someone says I write like a man, I'll ask casually, "like who? You were thinking Shakespeare, maybe?"

Actually, the first time I heard it was from Sister Camillus and she meant it as a compliment. And I took it that way, too. Boy, those were the uncomplicated days.

Of course, she said that before she graded my chemistry paper.

Thomas von der Trave said...

Dymphna, I love the word opsimath! Not only does it include everyone, or should, those few exceptions - the Wunderkinder, infants terribles, prodigies, encyclopedic toddlers, "gifted" second-graders - tend to burn themselves out and become regular people, and rather sad ones at that, by the time they're thirty. It's the rare intellectual wonder-child who ends up adding much to the store in adulthood.

Yes, Eastern European women are usually well-grounded. Of course the exceptions are as mad as their males counterparts, though thankfully not often equally alcoholized. One good thing about people who grew up in the Workers' and Peasants' Paradise, of whatever stripe - they usually don't retain their youthful moonbattery much past the age of twelve. It saves some surprises when getting to know them.