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The Most Metaest Blogging Experience That Ever Metaed

8:27 PM:  If the universe collapses in on itself in the next two hours, it's our fault:  I'm firmly within the Beltway as part of a PBS documentary about Alexander Hamilton and his function as a "dead tree blogger" of his era.  The filmmaker wanted to tape writers in the act of liveblogging the debate.  This means that I will be blogging about blogging and trying not to create a wormhole in the process.  I have already forgotten the name of our hostess, but she brought me some wine, so I like her immensely.

(Your Author Is Blonde UPDATE:  It's Lynette Long of CaucusAnalysis.org. Thanks, other, far more competent bloggers!  BTW, the previous link is to Charlie Banks, who runs Witsnapper.  He quotes me a couple times in that there post.  As we all know, that means he's swell.)

The documentary will be hosted by Rick Brookhiser, and he's totally here, and wearing some absofrickin'lutely outstanding cowboy boots.  He's an amazing historian who bowls directly down my Founding Fathers alley.  It's difficult for me to look directly at him, as he's Rick Brookhiser, and this afternoon he was interviewing Justice Anthony Scalia, and now... me.  I cannot imagine the gargantuan scale of this letdown.  It must be like coming back from walking on the Moon and then dropping a quarter into one of those kiddie airplane rides in front of the grocery store.

8:40:  The TV, over which I have no control, is tuned to CNN and I am initially terrified by the loss of C-SPAN's Special Occasion SuperClock, but the network has thrown one onto the screen as well.  Oh.  Whew.  I know where I am now.

8:51:  Josh The Pilot sees the glass of wine in my hand and suggests that I preemptively visit The Little Blogger's Room before showtime.  I am loathe to, because things are way too interesting down here.  It's like dealing with Jim The Small Child Nephew:  "Do you have to go potty?"  "No."  "Are you sure?"  "Yes." "I think you need to."  "NO!"  "No discussion of the effect of Enlightenment concepts on the current partisan political process until you go potty!"  "Okay."

8:58:  BLOGGER DOWN.  Quin Hillyer of the American Spectator lost his Internet connection.  Somebody rushes out a bottle of Gatorade, a cell phone line to tech support, and a motorized cart to wheel him off the playing field.  I repeat: BLOGGER DOWN.

9 PM:  Wolf Blitzer, I like your tie, young man.  He announces that "People have sent in emails from the Internet," as opposed to those who sent them via Pony Express.  Maybe I should email him my Bill Ayers 'n' Me picture:  "Do you know... THIS WOMAN?  No?  Good."

9:02:  Across the bottom of the screen, CNN scrolls a tracking poll measuring the reactions of undecided voters from Ohio.  O homestate, don't embarrass me like you did last time, when I drove past the Neil Armstrong Museum in Wapakoneta, and saw a guy standing on the side of the interstate in a spacesuit, waving.

9:03:  Dude... John, is that the same outfit?

9:06:  John McCain walks off the stage to mosh pit with the question-asker.  I remember Clinton using this step-out technique in 1996, only his tie didn't look quite so much like a Murray's Brothers cinnamon stick.

9:08:  Obama, not to be out-moshed, steps out as well.  I have no idea what he said.  I'm too distracted by watching the pretty scrolling lines, which lazily cross and drop and double up and flatline for minutes on end.  If this were a heart monitor line, somebody needs a new prescription of nitro.

9:17:  "I warned the fastest and the best!"  "No, I warned the fastest and the best!"

9:18: A question from Citizen Teresa Finch:   "How can we trust either party with our money when you BOTH SUCK?"  I'm voting for Teresa.

9:22:  TYPE!  TYPE!  TYPE!  TYPE!  See, there are actual journalists in the room with me here, and they are very diligently hitting the keyboards as the film crew circles quietly and respectfully around us.  Me, I just missed the whole entire last question because I was vainly trying to find some kind of link to a Murray Brothers cinnamon stick, which for some reason, in the great wide world of the Internet, does not exist.  All I'm turning up are pictures from Caddyshack.  There is no excuse for this, Internet!  Just know that the cinnamon stick in question is strawberry stripey, sugar-bright, and delicious.

9:27:  Poor Quin Hillyer is reduced to taking notes with this thing called... paper?  And a "pen?"  We keep stealing petrified, pitying glances at him like he's been forced to compete at Daytona in a horse-drawn surrey, complete with fringe.  He writes on, valiant soul.

9:28:  Tom Brokaw keeps yelling at both Presidential candidate debaters to shut up and stop talking so much, here in this Presidential candidate debate.

9:31:  Cinnamon stick UPDATE:  They kind of look like this.  Only, fatter.  And not wrapped.  And with grainier sugar.  I want to be very clear on this matter.

9:33:  Backup computer arrives for Quin Hillyer.  Scattered applause, all rise from cross-legged position on the floor.

9:35:  The crowd in the debate studio looks absolutely hostage-esque.  I haven't seen this many terrified people on risers since the fourth quarter of the 2002 Notre Dame-Michigan game.

9:37:  Tom:  "Senator Obama, we have another question from the Internet."  Oh please let it be "According to reports, if you have five dollars and Chuck Norris has five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you.  What might be the effects of this on the bailout plan?"

9:43:  The documentary crew is filming Rick Brookhiser doing an introduction to this segment.  So far, we're on the seventh or so take.  He has to say essentially the same thing every single time, and it still has more variety than what the candidates keep spitting.

9:47:  The most cogent pronouncement of the night comes from Quinn Hillyer:  "Shut up, Tom."

9:49:  They're both still wearing their Battle of the Dead Soldier Bracelets.  Bold choice.

9:51:  Rick Brookhiser self-mocks after a sotto voice take--one meant to indicate he was trying not to disturb our very important Google Image search work-- by acting as though he's narrating a wildlife documentary.  False, sir, I say:  Animals actually get outside every now and then.

9:53:  I've just looked over the Senators' heads and noticed the return of Enormous Terrifying Bearing-Down Eagle.  Bold choice.

They couldn't afford site-specific signs?  Some good tailgate-quality canvas banners?  Come on, show Office Depot some love.

10:01:  The candidates are both looking pissy and in general need of a snack.

10:05:  Cheetos for the Senators.  Yes.  Cheetos, and perhaps a Ho-Ho.

10:08:  Rick Brookheiser has circuited the room, asking each of us when we started blogging and why.  I mentioned that although sometimes journalistic bloggers might get information incorrect, the mainstream media gets its facts wrong as well.  Rick:  "Really?"  Me, to the camera:  "Naaaah!"  We're the new Regis and Kelly!  Next up, Rick Brookheiser will sing, and I shall share hilarious footage of me of me attempting to navigate the streets of Manhattan on a Segway.

10:11:  I'm completely in the path of one of the crew lights and it's like a thousand degrees here in the depths of the leather couch as I balance a madly whirring laptop on my legs.  I should have taken up one of the crew's offers of face powder, if only to then be able to tell people, "Well, after I got out of makeup..."  As I type this very second, there's a camera in my face, and I'm pretty much just sitting here mashing keys to make it look like I'm doing something.

Already, this isn't accurate reporting:  I took a shower today, and put on shoes.

10:12:  Some sort of whiny slapfight over a stick, and follow ups, and equal time, and who gets to sit by the window.  Tom:  "I'm just the hired help here." Obama:  "You're doing a great job, Tom!"  DO IT, Obama.  Fist bump him.  DO IT.

10:14:  McCain does this thing with his wireless mike when he's done with a question-- he drops it lightly down through his hand and swings it down towards the floor and stalks back to his fey little director's chair like, "THERE, BIATCH!"  Is this a Navy thing?  Because I don't remember this happening very much in the one Air Force ROTC class I took.

10:20:  Dreamy, special effecty glow from the green and red light timekeeping box as the camera follows the candidates.  Obey, and be glad.

10:25:  Double debate foul!  McCain just touched one of the questioners-- on the shoulder, and for a handshake.  But he can do that, 'cus the questioner is a Chief Petty Officer and Captain (Ret.) McCain outranks him by a factor of nine.  Obama's pretty much going to have to ask for a slow dance to out-gladhand this.

10:27:  Obama goes for a "We honor your service," and, wisely, leaves it at that.

10:28: Obama is wearing the same really narrow lapel pin he did at the first debate.  I still can't tell what it is.  If it's an American flag, it's the widescreen version.  I demand an immediate full Senate investigation.

10:30:  Question from the Party for the Legalization of LSD and Grape-Flavored Rainbow Unicorns:  "What don't you know, and how will you learn it?"

10:31:  CNN just put the question up on a banner beneath the candidates, and it's absolutely the most surreal, hilarious thing I've seen in this entire campaign since the Moment of Sinbad.  The green line for the women on the tracking scroll is through the roof on both of them at various points with this. I'm so embarrassed to have ovaries right now.

10:38:  Post-debate wrapup.  We clearly missed the most important part, because nobody mentioned whether or not McCain left Obama hangin' during the Official Second Debate Handshake, or vice versa, or what.  Aw, man, this is what happens when you watch and blog.  The most vital issues of the nation just whiz right on by.

Instead, we discuss several political and historical issues, and I use the word "metamorphosis."  Also, "protocol."  Then I announce: "My readers know my bra size."  I have a feeling I know which comment is going to make it into the final cut.

10:40:  Rick Brookhiser and I talk my Founding Father boyfriend, John Adams, and he brings up the Adams quote in which he referred to Hamilton as "the bastard brat of a Scotch peddler."  I hereby declare this debate officially AWESOME.

rolling at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

tip the bartender

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Reader Comments (13)

Thanks, MB! My teacher-neighbor (in the classroom next door) had it on her classroom tv this evening (remember--we're three hours behind you, and yes we were still at school working after 6pm). I couldn't watch. Every question and every answer made me want to scream at the television. I enjoyed your commentary so much more!!!!!

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWiserlemmingAZ

Well, heya, luv!

(Thanks a gazillion for the link and the sweet-as-a-Murray-Bros.-stick comment, by the way.)

Oh, by another way, quick tip: if in the throes of liveblogging, go back over and put the links in afterward. You miss a lot less that way. Remember, friends don't let friends link and live(blog)...

Don't let the typing speed get you down; you were the only one who picked up on Rick's slammin' boots. Besides, what good does typing do me? I STILL can't find the post with your bra size on it. :::he said, stewing:::

Will send you an email with my contact on it. Awesome seeing you there...later!

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Oh, jeez, almost forgot the most important part...here's that hilarious video I was telling you about:


Hee hee!


October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Thank you so much. I watched this last night and came away with a great headache. I knew your post would put it all in perspective.

Ahh... I can begin my day now.

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Bell

Thanks for the debate update. I always know I can count on you for the important info on the debates.

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKell Belle

You were just named on National Review's web site:


Impressive! Now when you do a bio, you can truthfully say you've been featured at National Review Online.

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTony

EEEEEEEEEEEEE, I need to go drink and pound Red Bull and drink some more after learning that. Thanks for the headsup, Tony!

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

It was great meeting you last night, Mary Beth. I love your blog!

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Carbone

MB that was really awesome!!

You live like, a total dream life. Seriously. You get to talk to really important Catholic peeps, you get to have your own radio show, you get to wear PJs to work and now you even get to be on TV!

Hope you had fun!

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCollegeGal

Great job, MB. I seriously guffawed out loud at your 9:18 comment!

October 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKris

Hey! so when is this PBS documentary coming out? Luckily PBS has a pretty good website with loads of free content ;-)

October 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

I think I heard one of the crew say it would be out this time next year.

October 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

[...] I was liveblogging The Most Metaest Blogging Experience that Ever Metaed, one of my fellow writers mentioned that she was “tweeting” the debate, which sounded [...]

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