Daily Office:



Denver: We can’t say what the most interesting thing about the Democratic Conventional will have been, but we can expect that it might have something to do with the media and the unmediated. On Friday, the MSM scooped (and thereby foiled) Barack Obama’s attempt to name his running mate directly to supporters’ cell phones.


Safe Conduct: Anna Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, offers sensible rules of order at The Etiquette Effect, in collaboration with Hyatt Place hotels. On “Using Technology Appropriately”:

Just because you can bring your phone with you wherever you go, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to use it. Don’t walk into a meeting or building while still on the phone and don’t bring your cell phone into a business meeting unless you are expecting an urgent call. If a client starts using their PDA during a meeting, you may choose to ignore it. A riskier proposition would be to confront him and say, “Bill, should we reschedule? This doesn’t seem to be a good time for you.” But this is the best way to send the message that you’re not going to tolerate this breach of manners.


Teach: David Olivier (that’s Slimbo to you) has embarked on a truly heroic adventure: teaching math to middle-schoolers in New Orleans. The (first) Week in Review.

Morning, cont’d

§ Denver. Having somehow survived the Olympics, we now face the political conventions. I am dismayed by the degree to which these stage-managed events attract attention. Hasn’t everyone seen Wall-E by now?

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in the past four years, it’s that I’m not long on political acuity — not in the short term, anyway. If Joe Biden turns out to be a winner, that’ll be great, but I can’t say that I found the news of his candidacy as anything but dispiriting. I have nothing against the man; it’s just that he’s been around forever, a perennial also-ran. Which may be exactly why Mr Obama chose him to share the ticket. I wouldn’t know.

Noon, cont’d

§ Safe Conduct. I’d be happier with tidier language (“their PDA … confront him”), but even so I’m thinking of having little Moo cards printed up with the URL of this site, to hand out to thoughtless people who turn the wide world into their own dinky warrens by chatting away in pseudo-private.

Night, cont’d

§ Teach. Put Slimbolala on your blog roster, or at least subscribe to RSS feeds. It reads like the heartwarming happy ending to a gruelling story, except it keeps going. As a tale of early-midlife career change, David’s would be interesting no matter where it took place, but a little downpour called Katrina gives it some very pumped-up chiaroscuro.