Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Johnny Con


I feel it's time to wrap up everything I do here in one neat package and tie a bow around it. So I'm going to sign off for now by announcing "The Johnny Con." This con will be huge--more outlandishly over-the-top--than any other con you've ever experienced.

Planning for the event begins immediately--but in a sense, I've been working on the Con ever since I launched the blog. What can you do to help? I need volunteers. I need donations for ARAVOSISblog 2.0--the backbone of the Con. I need you to keep buying t-shirts and
starting user sessions every hour. The Johnny Con will be big--but ONLY if you all support it.

I will reveal more details when I'm back in DC--but before I head east I'm hopping a flight to Seattle to relax at Friday Harbor. The response to my big orca adventure donation drive has been overwhelming. The donor list is a Who's Who list of DC Politics: Mainstreamers, bloggers, Democrats, Republicans--everyone wants to send Johnny A-List to swim with killer whales.

I won't be available to prioritize the important issues of the day, so I ask you all to remember what America is up against. Stay strong. Keep your eyes on the ball. Make no apologies. Show NO WEAKNESS. (Do NOT act like girls.)

Most importantly, consider setting up a recurring monthly donation to support ARAVOSISblog 2.0 and The Johnny Con, because... for just the price of a latte per day... you can help my blog save America.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday Orca Blogging



Ah, orcas. Noble orcas.... so very.... orca-like...

Nope. Not doing the trick. I need my own conference, that's all there is to it.

Reflections on YearlyKos

Check this out. Markos is going to be on "Meet the Press." Wow, somebody must think he's pretty cool.

No, I'm just joking around. Of course, Markos deserves all the press he's getting, he's the best... but wow--it's like he finishes up one interview and BAM, somebody else wants one. Television interviews. And you should see the T-Shirts he's been moving at this thing. Un-frigging-believable. With such a limited selection, too! (You call THIS an online store??)

But seriously, he's a great guy, a GREAT guy. Everybody says so. Everybody knows who he is, too. Which reminds me, you wouldn't believe the number of people here who act like they don't know who I am. I guess they're all just nervous. Or maybe they're all about the Kos. Whenever I get on stage, it's like Kos is a deity hovering above the room and I'm just some random blogger. I've been on fire during these panels--I should be killing, but does anyone every really notice Johnny? No! It's always "Markos, Markos, Markos!"

Get this: Markos got my blog's name wrong on his blogroll. Yeah. Look for yourself--it's right there, second from the top. (Guess what, Mr. I'mGonnaBeOnMeetThePress--there's no space in it and the first word is in all CAPS. Would you want people writing dAiLyKoS? No, you wouldn't. Why not? Because it's not fucking right, that's why.)

Ha! Just kidding around some more! Just having a little stream of consciousness posting fun here, that's all. I'm not upset--no, this conference is GREAT, I'm having a GREAT TIME. I'm REALLY LOOKING FORWARD to the next session. FUCKING AWESOME.

-JOHNNY

More T-Shirt Ideas and YearlyKos Update

Okay, HA HA, very funny, Max1Million. As if ANYONE would buy a T-shirt like this. And please, you saw my body in the last Politics TV--I wore a tight, ratty T-shirt so that everyone could see the rugged physique of a lean, mean, manly blogging machine. Yes, I am in a lifelong struggle to control my appetite and waistline, but NO, I am NOT CURRENTLY FAT.

YearlyKos has been great, but... well... I can't figure out why they haven't asked me to lead more sessions, or maybe act as a roaming expert so that all attendees can learn from Johnny A-List. I plan to ask Markos next time we cross paths. (Wherever I go, people tell me I just missed him.)

I mean, look at all the things Markos has screwed up. With my great ideas for ARAVOSISblog 2.0, it's a waste for me to spend ANY time just sitting in the audience. Nobody here has a clue about writing a well-thought out post, or how to properly frame progressive issues, or maintaining blog discipline--I mean, I met two fresh-faced young bloggers yesterday who had NEVER BANNED ANYONE. Never! Spare the rod, spoil the commenter, I always say.

Anyway, being forced to listen, listen, listen all day is REALLY taking it out of me. My orca vacation is calling right now.

-JOHNNY

ps. There are mountains in Nevada! Who knew?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

T-Shirt Ideas...


"NEW JOHNNY A-LIST BLOGWEAR! SUPPORT AMERICABLOG 2.0!
Only 400 dollars - 5 bucks goes directly to Johnny A-list BLOG 2.0!
DON'T BE A GIRL! BUY ONE TODAY. ONLY 120 Lattes!"

Well, this shirt and sales pitch come from a banned commenter, Pinko Punko... but I do like the aggressive pricing and the helpful latte conversion (everything seems cheaper in lattes!) so I will accept the entry. If Pinko wins, I will not grant him amnesty, but rather a gradual path to ARAVOSISblog citizenship, involving fines and suggested back-donations.

(Excellent use of the number "1" on a ball player's jersey. Even banned readers recognize that I am America's #1 Ball Watcher.)

I'm in Las Vegas you guys! It's great so far, except the time zones are KILLING me. The first event starts at 8:15 a.m.--that's 11:15 a.m. by my body clock!--UGGHHH!! Johnny needs his beauty sleep!

T-Shirt Contest! (What Would YOUR Johnny A-List T-Shirt Say?)



Send jpegs or gifs to aravosisblog@gmail.com, or just leave an idea in the comments!

As most of you know, I am not only a world-class blogger, activist, and blogger-activist--I'm also a professional graphic designer! And when I combine my superior design talent with my razor sharp wit, do you know what I get? That's right! ARAVOSISblog T-shirts!

Kicking back in my free time and personally designing T-shirts for you to buy (OR for your loved ones and colleagues and co-workers to buy) (either for themselves OR as gifts for the loved ones, colleagues, co-workers, or random acquaintances in THEIR lives to buy) is one of my great joys. It's just the right thing for unwinding after a long day of important blog activism.

But since I still have my hands full right now attending conferences, sorting through my friends' resumes, banning people, planning my orca vacation, and otherwise keeping my eye on the ball, I've decided to let YOU, my loyal followers, come up with my next T-shirt idea. That's right--you, a mere commenter, have a chance to have your design or slogan considered by me, the blogger, Johnny A-List!
I'll post the entries here and we can discuss them. The winner will receive 5 Get-Out-of-Deletion Free vouchers. (E-mail voucher along with deleted comment to the ARAVOSISblog Comment Review Committee, and we will re-post your comment with only minor edits.) GOOD LUCK!

- JOHNNY

P.S. I forgot something: DON'T BE INTIMIDATED! No one expects your ideas to be as good as mine are--not many people are blessed with my penetrating political wisdom, keen eye for design, and ability to turn a phrase.
P.P.S. Also, most of you aren't professional writers like I am, so your attempts at witty slogans will lack pithiness, as in, it will take you too many words to say what you are trying to say, meaning that your overall word count will reach a level that is far, far too high, when what you were trying to say could have been conveyed in less than half the time--perhaps even one-third of the time--and people reading your words may lose interest in what the shirt says before they're even half way through reading it--or even one-third of the way through--when if you'd simply stopped and thought about the topic you were thinking about for just a few seconds more, the reader would have stood a chance at understanding what the main point of your T-shirt was, but as it is, they are shit outta luck.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Off to the airport

Vegas bound for the YearlyKos conference. Perhaps I'll see Atrios at Midway and put my boot directly up his dirty, no-good, spying, content-stealing ass.

Johnny A-List: America's #1 Ball Watcher!

No one keeps his eyes on the ball like me, Johnny A-List. That's why ARAVOSISblog now proudly presents new ball-watching gear and schwag!



Get the gear that says: "I know the most important thing to be talking about right now, because Johnny A-List just told me!!!"

All purchases go to support me, Johnny A-List, and my dream site, which is SO CLOSE to completion I can barely contain myself! Durable banner-sized versions (suitable for display on large city buildings or buses) are available by special order in sets of 10 for only $349.99. (That's just THREE MONTHS WORTH OF DAILY LATTES!!) Order today!

666 Day - Revenge of the Gays!

It's Day Three of Happy Sodomy Day!! I want to again call attention to this, because it's beautiful example of how to frame our issues so that they get the maximum traction. Yesterday was June 6, 2006 - better known as 666 - and as I said yesterday, I can't think of a better day for the revenge of the gays!

You see, lots of far-right conservatives don't like evil things, like "The Devil" and devilish symbols, like 666. (Heck, a lot of semi-, moderate and on-the-fence conservatives hate The Devil, too.) And what's the other thing conservatives don't like? That's right! The Gays! What better way to get the attention of ALL conservatives and really move our agenda forward, than to frame ourselves as devilish and evil! That'll sure get noticed!

You see, this is the kind of insight you will only find here at ARAVOSISblog--and why progressives are so lucky to have me, Johnny A-List, on their side! (By the way, not that it's even important enough to warrant a mention, but June is Gay Pride Month if anyone's interested.) But damn, it's a SHAME 666 DAY won't ever come around again, because it was that was the BEST AND HAPPIEST SODOMY DAY, EVER!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Did you see me on TV?

Sometimes I feel guilty that I got so much and others so little. Have you seen the latest Politics TV? Is it fair that someone with my writing ability should also be so good on camera? You know that bouncy lilt to my voice? You love it, right? I know!! I had to work on it 'til I got it just right. (I do it to keep you engaged as the words flow effortlessly, almost hypnotically, from my mouth.) Fortunately, thanks to your donations, the extra bandwidth we're getting with ARAVOSISblog 2.0 will allow me even more face time on your screen and in your homes. As I reach the pinnacle of the blogging world, I must find new mountains to conquer, and this blogger-activist is destined to be a household FACE as well as a household NAME. A great nation deserves more Johnny A-List!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday Orca Blogging... and an Apology

Thank you for your concern. I cannot disclose to you my whereabouts over the past two days, but I can tell you that I'm fine, and that America will be stronger for the things I have done.

Still, there is never a valid excuse for denying you my talents for so long. I know that when I fail to highlight the latest TPM Muckraker articles or post inspirational orca photographs in a timely manner, your lives are the poorer for it. More importantly, America is the poorer for it. America... the name of this great nation might as well be synonymous with that of my blog, the fates of the two being so intertwined...

I must confess, I am sobbing as I type this. I am so, so, sorry. I will never leave you, America, without warning, ever again. A great nation deserves Johnny A-List.

Oh powerful orca,
Oh splendid prince of the sea,
As you are to a wounded seal,
So may I be to the targets of my blogger activism.
Enduring the hunger of the hunt,
Relishing the sweet panic of the chase,
Striking without mercy...
Help me to be America's Orca.
When we meet, someday soon,
Will we recognize?
Will you see?
Will I? WiLL I? "{will} EyE?
Oh, Orca,
WiLL?


Friday, June 02, 2006

open thread

Site's all screwed up. My brilliant tech guy should have it fixed in no time, though. Johnny A-List will be offline for most of the rest of the day taking care of important blogger-activist biz. Keep your eyes on the ball while I'm gone.

Q&A with Johnny A-List! (#3 - Johnny After Hours)

A reader asks:

Johnny, does ARAVOSISblog.com help your love life? - Ray
Well, of course! When I want to make a subtle first move, I'll post a cute guy's picture and say he's "even cuter in person" ... or I can go direct and tell a cute guy that I'm about to post his pic on "one of the top lefty political blogs"--and then ask the rest of my fans to e-mail him the link.

But most of the time I don't have to do anything at all!

Let me try to put this so that a non-A-List blogger might understand... you always try to put your best foot forward in these situations, right? Well, it just so happens that my "best foot" is this blog, and it remains forward, fully-extended, 24 hours a day, constantly showing off my penetrating political wisdom, keen insight, and enormous body of policy knowledge.

With this blog manifestation of myself permanently on display for all to see, people are gonna be impressed--there's just no stopping it. I'm already steeling myself for the new onslaught of advances when my ARAVOSISblog 2.0 launches--it's looking unbeLIEVable thanks to your donations!! (I will have to start making sure people are throwing themselves at me for the right reasons...)

But back to your question, yes. The majority of A-List bloggers seem to avoid mixing the personal with the politics, but in my case, it's completely appropriate because--like the saying goes--"If it's good for Johnny A-List, it's good for America!"

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Associated Press Won't Know What Hit It

For those of you that haven't been paying attention recently, it's okay: Johnny A-List has his eyes on the ball. The big news in American politics is NOT the House/Senate negotiations on immigration, NOT today's Rolling Stone election fraud piece (sorry eRobin), NOT the upcoming Senate vote on Estate Tax repeal, and NOT the Army Corps of Engineers report released today detailing crucial failures....

The REALLY big news is that an Associated Press (AP) reporter just wrote a couple of bad stories, so today we're preparing to challenge AP's entire business and livelihood. We are going to really GET these guys. And if AP isn't scared, then they don't know JOHNNY A-LIST.

By the way, I am truly sorry if you've enjoyed their articles in the past, but the Associated Press is now the enemy. I know it's weird--a couple of minutes ago A.P. was kool and the gang, but things can change on a dime these days--that's why it's a good thing you have Johnny A-List on the case!

(A tough case it is, though--for not only must we fight A.P., we must contend with the wingnuts who can't stop accusing AP of liberal bias. (Although... wait a minute... if we get conservatives to boycott along with us, that'll REALLY stick it to A.P....)) Whatever, I'll figure it out. Just sit tight.

AND REMEMBER: TalkingPointsMemo may have tracked down the story, but Blogger-Activist Johnny A-List organized the protest! (Direct all media inquiries to Johnny A-List at aravosisblog@gmail.com.)

Damn it, we're really gonna make some NOISE on this one, just like we did with Chris Matthews. And if AP isn't worried? if they think they can just ignore this? that it will all just fade away? ... THEN THEY DON'T KNOW WHO THEY'RE DEALING WITH.

(Johnny A-List!!!)

-JOHNNY
America's #1 Ball Watcher

PS. AP really puts the 'AP' in "CRAP," wouldn't you say? HA HA. Associated MESS, more like it! Are you with me?!? WHO'S WITH ME!!?!?

Screw You Atrios--This Is War

"THE EVIDENCE"

MY blog:




NEFARIOUS SPYING ATRIOS' blog, three hours before:



From the entire World Wide Web, we choose to link to the same two articles. Adjacent to each other. On his site three full hours before mine. Oh sure, he changed stuff around a little bit to hide his lack of originality--NICE TRY, you lousy, no-good, spying, and evidently-mind-reading ASS WIPE.

Damn it, if this keeps up, my readers will start checking his site just to see what will be on my site three hours later. This is a blatant attempt to leech off my blog and steal eyeballs from my blog and it will not be tolerated. The gloves are coming off Mr. Eschaton--and I'm warning you, I do NOT fight like a girl.

-JOHNNY A-LIST

Q&A w/ Johnny A-List! (#2 "Censorship")

Banned Commenter Mindy writes:


I am a student at California State University Los Angeles. I posted a comment against John Aravosis about the big girl comment. Now every internet link to my school John Aravosis has banned. We have over 20,000 students. I wonder if I should submit an article to our University Times regarding Aravosis and censorship?
Mindy, thanks for your question (which I will answer publicly due to the high frequency with which I hear it).

Guess what? No. No, you should NOT write an article about John Aravosis and "censorship," because as my loyal followers will tell you, this is MY blog and I can do whatever I want with it. And what I want is to keep my eyes on the ball. And if you don't want to be a ball-watcher like me, then you can get the hell off my blog. And if your 20,000 friends are anything like you, then they are BANNED for good reason. (Frankly, I'm surprised you had the guts to even ask that question--you seem like nothing more than a big girl yourself.)

NOTE to loyal followers: As previously stated, the much-anticipated ARAVOSISblog 2.0 will allow precision-banning. I will also be able to close entire threads--not just delete threads or delete comments one-by-one. So please bear with me just a few weeks more until that happy day arrives.

Hope that answers your question, Mindy! Everyone, send questions for Johnny A-List to aravosisblog@gmail.com! New T-Shirt coming VERY SOON--PERFECT FOR FATHER'S DAY! And don't forget to DONATE to "Send Johnny to Swim with the Orcas!!!"

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Want To Steal Someone's Schtick? Just Do It!

More media outlets spying on Johnny A-List, I'm afraid. For my new Politics TV rant, I used a "Nike: Just Do It" theme to explain how Republicans operate. Well get this: Jack Cafferty did the same "Republicans 'Just Do It'" bit OVER SIX MONTHS AGO. (Wolf Blitzer even says "'Just Do It,' like a Nike commercial.") Why, if you were looking at these clips side by side and you didn't know better, you'd think that I stole THEIR idea. What the crap is going on here? Does every major media news outlet have my apartment bugged?

Wednesday Evening Open Thread

So I coined a metaphor about Iraq in the comments today:

"To coin a metaphor: Terri's brain is half-gone, it's time to pull the plug."
Cute, right? Snappy, edgy--the perfect way to convince anybody who's still on the fence that we need to Bring Our Boys Home Now. "Terri's brain is half-gone, it's time to pull the plug! "Terri's brain is half-gone, it's time to pull the plug!" You see, that is why I'm such a good spokesperson for our side--Johnny A-List could teach ol' George Lakoff a thing or two about message-framing. (You can use my metaphor if you want--I coined it, but you can use it.)

Now, without any further ado, I, Johnny A-List, declare this thread .... OPEN!!

UPDATE: Yes, I said "bring our boys home," but yes, I'm aware that there are girls over there, and yes, we need to bring them home, too. (....hopefully they aren't over there acting like big girls, though, or we're REALLY fucked, LOL.)

Atrios is Bugging My Apartment

This is bad. I wasn't going to say anything, but it keeps happening. This morning I posted a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial about Rick Santorum with no commentary, just a link and a quote.

Now a loyal commenter tells me that Atrios posted the same editorial FIVE DAYS ago - ALSO with no commentary, and with THE SAME PULL QUOTE. How the hell does Atrios know so far in advance exactly what's going to be posted on my blog? I've long stated that Eschaton is a little too good, just a little TOO on the money--do you know what I mean? And now we know why. NSA = Now Spying on Americans = Nefarious Snooping Atrios.

I will simply have to confront him at YearlyKos. This is no way to treat a fellow A-Lister.

I Need a Vacation - Swimming with Orcas

Guys, I'm tired. Really tired. The comments are totally out of control... the friggin' ARAVOSISblog Comment Review Committee isn't pulling its weight... Rob, Joe and Chris won't shut up about getting paid. ("When are the checks starting, when are the checks starting." I'm like, guys, chill. It'll happen. Remember back when you thought it was just cool that hundreds of thousands of people were reading your posts?) Bunch of prima donnas.

I'm trying to hold out for ARAVOSISblog 2.0, but until then I can only threaten people with "banned for life" -- I can't follow through! It's totally draining me and taking away my ability to provide you with the thoughtful and insightful commentary you've come to expect. Anyway, what I'm saying is, my Amsterdam vacay seems like it was eons ago, and I think it's time for ol' Johnny A-List to recharge the batts.

As you all know, what really helps me relax is getting back to nature and spending time observing beautiful orcas. I've long wanted to do something like this Orca Killer Whale Safari in Lapland--"For the more adventurous there is even an opportunity to swim with Killer Whales." !!!

Anyone know somebody on the Finnish board of tourism? Here's how it works: they organize a "trip of bloggers" and fly me over, I stick their ad on the blog for a while, and then you guys get to read about my trip to Finland for a week. It's a win-win-win situation! Thing is, they'll probably float me the ticket, but I may be responsible for meals and day-to-day expenses. Now, I know we just had fundraising week, but that revenue stream has already been allocated to salaries, overhead, and the state of the art banning software for ARAVOSISblog 2.0.

I don't want to ask too much from you guys, but as you know, this blog is my only source of income and I would reeeeeeeeeeeeally like to do this. Would you guys be willing to kick in a few more bucks to help Johnny go swim with killer whales?

Remember, what reinvigorates Johnny reinvigorates America!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Open Thread

(OR: "What would you blog about if you were an A-list blogger?")

Net Neutrality? I'm Still Neutral...

Unlike most bloggers, I'm still making up my mind on this net neutrality thing. I was uncertain a few weeks ago and, as you can tell from my subsequent silence, I'm still torn.

Sure, right now I'm getting 100,000 visits per day, but what about once I'm a media giant--just like the so-called "villains" in today's scenario? What then? Will America's tiny, weak, shrill and easily-distracted voices really deserve the same platform/access as ARAVOSISblog 4.0? Shouldn't there be a few big "deciders" who shape the national dialogue, making sure all eyes are on the ball? There are many questions, grasshoppers...

Anyway, I know things are happening in Congress as we speak, but one can't rush genius: I will let you know of my further thoughts on this subject as I have them. This is why you pay me the big bucks.

-JOHNNY

PS - By the way, I've mentioned this in the comments several times, but in case you haven't heard: with the dawn of ARAVOSISblog 2.0, I will have the power to CLOSE THREADS--not just the mass-delete and blanket-banning power I have now, but the ability to permanently end discussion on whatever topic I choose! Isn't that great? Believe you me, there have been several times recently when I needed that power, and soon I'll have it! I think I'm only one or two fundraising drives away!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Q&A with Johnny A-List! (#1: Johnny vs. Atrios)

You might be surprised at the amount of fan mail I get--let's face it, more than just a blogger now, I'm an internet celebrity. But I get a lot of repeat questions, and the time I spend replying to fans is time NOT spent engaging in important blog activism--so for the good of the country, I must begin replying publicly. (If you have a question for Johnny A-List, send it to aravosisblog@gmail.com.) First question:

Johnny, I heard Atrios stopped asking for donations because his "ad rates/sales are high enough that [he doesn't] need to". And now he's raising money for candidates, and even other bloggers. Is your financial strategy so different because your voice is more important than Atrios'--or is it because Atrios lacks your ability to make a difference for America? Hope you're having the record-setting-est fundraiser ever! All the best! - Megan in Ontario
Megan--excellent question. For whatever reason, Atrios is satisfied where he is--just being a full-time blogger, making a good living on ad revenue and sales, having his words reach millions of people, and having no blog overhead costs. That's no knock on Atrios--for most A-List bloggers that would be enough--but a blogger-activist of my stature and capabilities requires more.

Even when ARAVOSISblog was just a moderately succesful "boutique blog," I knew I would someday lead a massive, online community. Sure, my words alone change the world every day, but what if I, Johnny A-List, were the conduit for the words of millions? With my ability to keep my eye on the ball, my knack for fostering community by always saying the right thing, the way I take complex issues and turn them into simple "Us vs. Them" stories that everyone can understand, my stamina for going through countless threads, deleting and banning, deleting and banning, until the dialogue is perfect--well, the sky would be the limit.

Then Jeff Gannon came along and I started getting a LOT more eyeballs. I made sure I owned that incredibly important story, and then I started cranking out even more T-shirts, and doubled my fundraising pleas--and it was all worth it because now I'm only months away from ARAVOSISblog 2.0! (You will not believe the bells and whistles I'm packing into ARAVOSISblog 2.0! I showed Rob the latest proto-type and he nearly shit his pants. I'm not kidding--he couldn't stop telling me how awesome I am!)

Anyway--back to your question. Atrios simply doesn't have that kind of ambition to make a difference for America. He doesn't want bells and whistles. He doesn't want to employ a team of junior assistant blog activists. I mean, he only has like six things in his online store. I don't have time to count right now, but I'm pretty sure I have over a thousand. If THAT doesn't tell you everything you need to know about our relative priorities, I'm not sure what will.

-JOHNNY

Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Orca Blogging

(Taken by Stefan Jacobs while on a team at the EARTHWATCH Orca Project. Buy the poster here--benefits go towards ongoing killer whale research at the Center for Whale Research, Friday Harbor, USA.)

Almost forgot. It's hard to get perspective from this (beautiful) photo, but this appears to be a rather large Orcinus Orca. The fin can be up to six feet tall.

I've always felt a strange kinship with these massive, misunderstood creatures, these magnificent kings of the ocean.

Enjoy.

Happy Holiday Weekend to You--But No Rest for Johnny A-List

I hope you all have a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I will be working like a dog (as usual), but not writing for the blog, unfortunately. You know how all my good buddies post on ARAVOSISblog? Well, now that I'm using your donations to put all my friends on salary, I suddenly have a WHOLE BUNCH MORE FRIENDS! I'm not kidding, I have a shitload of e-mails in my Inbox. I really hope I can get everyone on board--and it's looking like I can because donations are still pouring in!

By the way, some folks are asking why I don't announce actual job openings and then hire the "most qualified" candidate -- whether they be young, old, gay, straight, boy, girl -- more or less the way Josh Marshall at TalkingPointsMemo.com does it. The answer? Johnny A-List needs people who he feels comfortable with. Because, let's be honest, what's really the most important part of everyone's job here?

Helping Johnny A-List be Johnny A-List, that's what.

Happy Memorial Day!

Clarification: Nancy Pelosi Has No Backbone, and I Have NOT Been Threatened by the Congressional Black Caucus

Lots of you are worring about Johnny A-List's safety, so I need to clear this up. Stay with me, because this is confusing and I know not everyone is blessed with my penetrating political wisdom.

A couple of days ago I mocked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for joining Repuglican Dennis Hastert in condemning the FBI raid on William Jefferson's office, saying Pelosi was probably doing it because she had been threatened by black people in Congress:

It reeks of someone having gotten to Pelosi and threatened her. First suspect, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), an institution that doesn't have a lot of respect in the Democratic circles [in which] I hang. In fact, the word "corrupt" gets thrown around a lot. Did the CBC put pressure on Pelosi to denounce the raid as pennance for asking Jefferson to step down? Sounds likely.
Then late last night (after most of you were sleeping) I made a quick and hurried post called "I really hate it when Newt Gingrich is right," in which, yes, I also landed on Dennis Hastert's side of the argument:

...my friend Paul once told me "even a broken clock is right twice a day" (or maybe I told him). This is Gingrich's take on where things staff [sic] after Bush's Justice Dept. raided the Congress:

The House is now faced with a reality of power," says former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich..."Either they do things that involve appropriations or oversight that are real, or they earn the contempt with which they are being treated."

A lot of people are asking me: "Johnny A-List, you're now saying what Nancy Pelosi was saying two full days ago. This looks somewhat suspicious. Have you also been threatened by the Congressional Black Caucus?"

I cannot BELIEVE you all would ask such a question. YES, I do spread rumors that the Congressional Black Caucus is "corrupt as hell," but NO, they have not threatened me! Ha! Let me explain...

When someone like a Nancy Pelosi takes a stance on an issue, it is clearly because she has no backbone and is caving to threats from corrupt groups (the obvious "first suspect" being the Congressional Black Caucus.) When Johnny A-List takes a stance--even if it is the same stance--I do not do so in a cowardly or girly manner; it is a manly stance with plenty of backbone.

I hope that clears things up! Don't forget, it's ARAVOSISblog Fundraising Week! You will not find this kind of quality, fast-breaking, hard-hitting news and commentary anywhere else, so please, if you want the ARAVOSISblog empire to grow and grow and grow, remember to set up a regular donation to give and give and give!

-JOHNNY A-LIST

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Someone Is Complaining About ARAVOSISblog

Two days ago, someone--I have no idea who--filed a complaint with Blogger.com about this blog. There is an accusation on the table that what we do here might be confused with another blog out there--which is hard to believe, because no one else is performing the vital service we provide here at ARAVOSISblog. I took immediate additional steps to make the mission of this site crystal clear, and I replied to Blogger.com to ask if we now fall within their guidelines--because I DO want to comply--but I have not heard back yet.

The original message from Blogger.com stated that if corrective action were not taken, they would delete ARAVOSISblog on Friday (tomorrow). As I'm sure you know, this would be a tragedy beyond all proportions. I don't think they'd delete ARAVOSISblog without first replying to my e-mail, but I wanted to warn my loyal readers so that if Johnny goes bye-bye with no warning, you'll know what happened.

UPDATE: Thank you all for your concern. I think we'll be fine--surely they know that I'm an A-list blogger, right? But on the off chance that some hypocrite convinces Blogger/Google to act like communists, I will reappear again somewhere else. I'll be nowhere and everywhere, Tom Joad-style. (But you can always find me here.)

-JOHNNY

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I Hate to Criticize Another A-list Blogger, But...

I know it's strictly verboten to criticize co-members of the Upper-Echelon A-List Liberal Blog Club... but I have no choice. Apparently Markos Moulitsas (of DailyKos) has a history of taking his eyes off the ball. A few short months ago, Kos responded to an uproar over a television ad by saying:

I won't sit there and judge pop culture... I certainly won't let the sanctimonious women's studies set play that role on this site.

THEN, after readers questioned his word choice, he said THIS:

Hmm, after considering the early feedback, it seems most people... had a huge problem with my sweeping generalization of the "women's studies set". It's a fair critique... Sorry about that, [emph added] but not sorry about my broader point -- that being sanctimonious about this ad is no different than the sanctimony we decry from people like Lieberman, Dobson, and the Family Values Coalition.

"Sorry about that?" Well, well, well. It would seem that Mr. Kos still has a lot left to learn about running a big, successful Web community. Did you see what happened there? Sure, he nipped a so-called "controversy" in the bud, but while he was apologizing like a little girl, he was taking his eyes off the ball.

Sure, it's just one moment, but EVERY SECOND COUNTS for important A-list blogger activists like Markos Moulitsas and me. I need to talk to him about this--perhaps I will prepare a lecture on it for YearlyKos:

"A-list Bloggers Should DEMAND Apologies, NOT Give Them."

And if you disagree, you can get the hell off of this blog. Right now. I'm serious.

Look, It's None of Your Business How Much I Pay Myself

Guys, this is important: If I thought it were important to elaborate on how I allocate your financial contributions within the growing ARAVOSISblog empire, I would have told you already.

JaneofTheUrbanJungle left a comment last night saying she'd like to contribute, but wanted to know how much I pay myself in salary from the contributions. She thought that this was a "fair question." Actually, it was the "wrong" question. So I helped her out by stating the question she should actually be asking. Rather than allow my brilliant response to stay buried in the comments, I thought it best to repost it here, front and center, so that everyone can benefit:

Jane, the question actually is how much this product is worth to you.

You don't ask reporters how much they make before buying the New York Times. And you don't ask Nestle how much they earn before buying a candy bar. You pay what they ask based on whether you think the product is worth it...

If the writing and activism and community experience we've created is worth a latte a day to you, then that's what it's worth. If it's not worth anything to you, then don't give.
Is this clear, everyone? All I expect is to be treated like the New York Times, nothing more, nothing less. And a latte per day is NOTHING. What, $3 for a latte, times 30 days in month, times 12 months per year equals... $1080 per year. The service we provide here at ARAVOSISblog is cheap at any price, but particularly cheap at $1080 per year.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to keeping my eye on the ball.

Courage.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"If There Were No ARAVOSISblog"

As you all know, I never stop thinking about ways to improve and expand ARAVOSISblog. But during this particular ARAVOSISblog Fundraising Week, I've found myself doing even more reflecting than usual on just how far I've come over the past two years, the possibilities for my new site, and the important role that I play in all of your lives. Anyway, I wrote a poem while sitting on the toilet just now, and I would like to share it with you:

"If There Were No ARAVOSISblog"
by Johnny A.

If there were no ARAVOSISblog,
where would you get all your news?
If there were no ARAVOSISblog,
who'd help you shape all your views?
If there were no ARAVOSISblog,
who would announce all the boycotts?
If there were no ARAVOSISblog,
how would Re-thugs get annoyed lots?

As tech guys deliver my prototypes,
and new ARAVOSISblog mock-ups,
I feel like it's already Fitz-mastime,
And K-Ro's already in lock-up.

The dawn of the new ARAVOSISblog,
Will usher us into an age,
Where strict message discipline rules our lips
As we bravely sing from the same page.

And when you pass on to your grandkids,
The full lifetime's worth of your wisdom,
You'll tell them the very best thing that you did,
Was to finance my blog activism.

I don't want to live in a world without
aRAVOSISblog
aRAVOSISblog
aRaVoSiSblog.blogspot.COM.

I decided to get a little e.e.cummings there at the end. Did you like it? I'm thinking of designing the whole thing onto a brand new T-shirt with my poem on the back, "Keeping My Eye On the Ball: the ARAVOSISblog Story" on the front, and my face on the shirt pocket.

Why Look Back? Admitting Mistakes is for Girls


"Right about one thing..."

Man, waiting three years for the Chimp-in-Chief's term to end is not going to be easy. Every single moment of every single day passes so sllllllllllllowly.... it's like waiting for a watched-pot to boil... or waiting for the prototype of my new Dream Site to load... but in order to help the time pass during these moments, I try to look on the bright side. President George W. Bush has his faults, to be sure, but at least he is totally right about one thing:

It is never a good idea to admit to even a single mistake, no matter how small the error, no matter how many people call you on it, no matter what the additional consequences may be. Regrets? He has none. "Constructive" criticism? He deletes it from his mind. Some might call that stubborness or ego. Johnny A. calls it keeping your eye on the ball.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Things That Make You Go "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"

I was hoping to let this die... but I wrote something REALLY BRILLIANT in the comments, and I want to post it here so that we all can benefit from my superior fence-mending skills. Here's what I said:

[T]he phrase "big girl" is gay male slang for "big fag." Several folks... erupted and said that was ridiculous, they'd never heard of it, etc. - as if I was just making it up... The fact remains that the phrase "big girl" (often written "big grrrrl") IS gay male slang. That fact doesn't change because someone hasn't heard of it. Now, some folks don't like it, I get that, some find it sexist, I get that too. I don't happen to agree with them, even if I understand their concern.
Now do you see? I understand your concern, but I don't agree with it!

I want to address one thing head on: A surprising number of fellow members of the gay community have made observations similar to this one:

"Everyone — EVERYONE, gay or straight — knows exactly what he meant. He was calling Roberts a PUSSY. We GOT it. It’s an ASSHOLE thing to say... John is correct to say that he was using a gay expression, and he was still being a misogynist prick. Not everything in gay culture is all rainbow flags and glowsticks."
Well, sorry to burst your bubble there, Mr. I Think I Speak for Everyone in the Gay Community, but you are clearly not immersed in gay slang or gay culture to the same extent that I am. Maybe if you'd been hanging out with me and Sen. Ted Stevens and the gang in the mid-90s, well, maybe then you'd have the relationship with gay culture that I do. (Crazy times. Crazy times...)

By the way, dear readers, the reason why I was forced to change the title of the original post from "GOP Senator Pat Roberts is a big girl" to "GOP Senator Pat Roberts is a big grrrrl" was for linguistic accuracy: As mentioned above, the term is more often written "big grrrl"! I did not change the title (or delete those hundreds of comments) simply because I'm "incapable of admitting when I'm wrong" or because I wanted to "hide my hissy fit" as some of you charged. (I mean, seriously, what kind of sorry excuse for a blogger would make a tiny, almost imperceptible change to a post title--breaking links all across the blogosphere--just to hide something that made him look bad?) No, I simply realized that the original post title could be made more linguistically accurate from a gay standpoint, and so I had to change it immediately!

(NOTE: I didn't change "girl" to "grrrrl" throughout the post itself because, as all top bloggers such as myself are aware, linguistic accuracy is mainly important in post titles.)

Anyway! I hope that was enough of a mea culpa for all you PC freaks out there--because it's all you're going to get. I'll say it one more time: I understand your concern. I feel your pain, even. (Though, as I've previously indicated, I think your pain, and your accusations of misogynya-nya-nya are one big load of hot, steaming bullshit.)

And now, for the benefit of my extremely well-behaved regulars (who have been somewhat unnerved by this whole affair) I think that we should end this and move on, so I am officially requesting that you consider this matter closed. Any further comments on the issue will be DELETED.

-JOHNNY


Update:
Apparently, some of you are Googling "big grrrl," "big grrl," "big grrrl," and "big grrrrrrrrl," and you're not finding much in the big fag context, although you do report "some inspiring tales of empowered young women (grrrrl power, etc.)" and "a couple of women in weight-loss programs." I find that hard to believe. Just keep looking. The fag stuff will be there. Do you really think that I, Johnny A, would risk my credibility as a top-ranked liberal blogger on something as stupid as this?

Amidst the rudeness, some e-mails of support

Just a note to thank all my non-shrill and non-hysterical readers for their e-mails of support. Here's one from a guy who really gets it:

From: Big Daddy, Esq. <[redacted]@gmail.com>
Date: May 22, 2006 12:49 PM
To: aravosisblog@gmail.com

[Subject:] Hope that last post works...

...but I doubt it will. From all I can tell, trying to explain yourself is just poking the beehive. It's turned into one of those self-sustaining little shitstorms. Good luck with it. Just know that there are plenty of us out here that thought it was a pretty funny comment you made and don't quite know whatall the fuss is about.

Dan
Thank you, Dan. And thanks to all of my brothers in blog who, like Dan, understand that they don't have to put up with shitstorms of high-pitched clamoring. This is not just about me or my blog anymore: It's about the right of ALL Americans to refer to the cowards in their lives as "girls" or "girly" or as "acting like girls."

Furthermore, I don't have to remind you that there is a war on our freedoms going on, and this War Blogger will be DAMNED if he is going to be side-tracked by PC baloney from people who would rather cry (like a bunch of girls) than address the serious issues of the day, as prioritized by me, Johnny A.

-Johnny A.

ps. Remember to make a donation, everyone, because it's fundraising week here at Aravosisblog! You guys are not going to believe how awesome the new site is going to be. I just saw one of the first mock-ups, and it's gotten me so excited that I'm having a hard time concentrating on the deleting and banning.

Note: If I delete your comment and ban you and you don't think you deserved it, simply send a note with the comment in question to aravosisblog@gmail.com and we will try to get to it at the next Aravosisblog Comment Review Committee (ACRC) bi-hourly meeting.

(Yes, unfortunately, the deleting and banning has kept me so busy that I've had to hire help. Now, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that professional deleters and banners don't work for free--our brand of stellar quality control doesn't come cheap!--so remember, give what you can during Aravosisblog fundraising week!!)

I'm a War Blogger.

Enough e-mails already. Look, if I thought I had anything to apologize for, or even to simply say "My bad" for, don't you think I would have done so by now?

I will say this one more time for you idiots, and it will be the last time that I say it. I am not only a member of the exclusive top-trafficked liberal blogger community--I am also a member of the gay community, and as a member of the gay community, when I accuse a cowardly Republican politician of acting like "nothing more than a BIG GIRL," it means something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than when you breeders say it.

People, there are way more important things for us to be discussing. In fact, there is a war going on--a war against our freedoms. Do you know what that makes me? That's right: A War Blogger. A war is hard work. If you can't keep your eyes on the ball, and view every issue that comes up through the context of this war (in which I am a General) then you are not welcome here. If all you are interested in is speaking out against the use of the word "girl" as a pejorative, then get the hell off this blog. There is no time for dissent at this moment on Aravosisblog. I'm serious. Get out. Johnny A. doesn't need you here.

WE ARE NOW OFFICIALLY MOVING ON.

(New T-shirts coming soon!)

More Republicans Acting Like Big Girls...

For all the yammering that Republicans do about Democrats having a pre-9/11 mindset, it is actually the Republican party that seems to have forgotten that our country was attacked:

Two key Democrats on the House committee that oversees the Department of Homeland Security criticized the agency last week for not releasing to Congress reports on 118 security plans for mass transit, rail, aviation, ports and borders.

Many of the reports were due in 2003. [emph added.]

THREE YEARS LATE? If they want us to surrender of our freedoms to them like a bunch of girls, shouldn't they at least DO THEIR JOBS? Are they just a bunch of cowards in dresses, afwaid that if they finish up their weports the tewwowists might get mad?

Why aren't more than two House Democrats speaking out on this? Where's Nancy Pelosi? I'm sorry, folks, but if you think a Nancy Pelosi will deliver the Democratic party from the weak, cowardly state it's in, you have got another thing coming. It's going to take someone a little more forceful, brave and manly.

You know, I wish I could do it myself sometimes, but the blog activism we do here at Aravosisblog is simply too important.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sorry about the light posting today--I kind of have my hands full "behind the scenes"

Sorry about the light posting today, guys. It's not easy keeping up with all the posters who want to leave comments about TABOO TOPICS, which I have warned them will be DELETED. I already made it clear to them that I was ready to move on, but these folks aren't the brightest bulbs in the box if you know what I mean.

It's fundraising week here at ARAVOSISblog!

Hi all, it's that time of the month again! (No, not that time, you stupid little girl--LOL.) I mean it's Fundraising Time! Okay, here's how it works. I have a LOT of stuff in the works. A huge redesign on the way. There will be a plethora of new features and capabilities on my side of things, and I'm even adding some stuff for you guys, too! (Clearly, based on recent events, I have some thinking to do about exactly how much I'll let you make this site "your own.") But no matter what I eventually decide, the point is that you should think of me as the new DailyKos, only subtract the Kos, and add the me! Johnny A!

Let me now quote something that I said during another recent fundraising week here at Aravosisblog:

If you like our reporting, if you like our commentary, if you like our activism, or simply like our attitude, donate, please. Consider us your favorite magazine, newspaper and advocacy group all wrapped in one.

Wow, that quote is really something, and it really it hit the nail on the head if I do say so myself: Our reporting, commentary, activism, and most importantly, our ATTITUDE. I can't stress that enough. If there's one thing I've learned in my countless months as an upper-tier liberal blogger with one of the highest-trafficked blogs on the World Wide Web, it is this:

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.

How can you expect people to keep starting new user sessions, making donations and buying multiple funny t-shirts and mugs and mouse pads if you don't have the right attitude? You can't, that's how.

But it's not only about our humble and pleasing attitude here at Aravosisblog. It's also reporting, commentary and activism on such topics as Jeff Gannon, Ford, and cell phone privacy. I mean, I've been working on this blog full-time for quite a while now, so we have lots of big wins racked up. I could go on and on about our big victories like Jeff Gannon, Ford and cell phone privacy... but I won't. (But I could.)

But I digress. The real point, and the one thing you really need to keep in mind, is that by making a donation to help me achieve my dream Web site, YOU will become a part of it! (Again, maybe not a very big part. After all, there's still a reason why they call me the blogger, and you the commenter!) But still, it'll probably be a bigger part than most of you even deserve, based on your relative abilities to focus and keep your eyes on the ball! So it seems like a win-win situation to me!

Happy Aravosisblog Fundraising Week to each and every one of you!


Update: NOTE: I want to stress this: Do not give if you can't afford to. Sure, I'm asking for donations, but I don't expect everyone to give because I know everyone can't afford it. PLEASE: only give if you can afford to give.


Update: Sometimes after I post that caveat, I get e-mails like this one: "Johnny, if I couldn't afford to give you money, why the fuck would I give you money? How stupid do you think we are?" Well, reader, I don't know. Sometimes people are just so overwhelmed with the desire to help me achieve my goals for this blog that they want to give me the shirts off of their kids' backs and the Kraft Mac n' Cheese off the table. I could tell you stories of misplaced generosity that make me want to vomit--I can almost guarantee that they would make you want to vomit as well.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

You Can Come Back Now--I Banned All the Girls

Dear reader,

Johnny here. I'd like to take a step back for a moment and thank you for coming to this blog. I hope you continue to enjoy yourself here--and I'm sure you will because I am one of the most dedicated and engaging activists I know. As always, I encourage you to leave comments--I definitely want this to seem like a place where open discussion is encouraged! The ONLY thing I ask is that you follow the one ground rule, which is very simple. Don't be rude. There's nothing worse than people getting overly passionate about things they care about and crossing the line into rudeness. I will tolerate a lot of things, but not rudeness.

As long as you're not rude, you can come back all the time--in fact, I hope you come back VERY often, for a lot of reasons! For one thing, that's how I make money--more traffic to the ads on the site means more money in Johnny's pocket. I know, I hate to even bring it up, but those are the facts of life. Everybody needs money to get by and as you may have realized by now, it's extra important that I'm able to get by because my thoughts on the issues of the day are so vitally important. NOTE: PLEASE don't take that the wrong way--I'm sure you think your thoughts are important too, but I just happen to be better than most people at keeping my eye on the ball, and knowing at all times what the most important thing to be discussing is. (After all, that's why I'M the blogger and YOU'RE the commenter!)

But I digress. My point is, please continue to come back here repeatedly to begin fresh user sessions and to make yourself at home. You can even load the page in the middle of the night--I've got a dude in France who posts crap all night long so there's always something for you to look at! (FRESH CONTENT is the name of the blogging game, my friends, or my name isn't Johnny A.)

Now, you may be wondering--where have all the other posts gone? You're probably saying, Johnny A., haven't you been blogging for several years now with steadily rising traffic numbers and to widespread acclaim? Why is this the only post here on Aravosisblog.com? And the site's format is all off, too. What's up?

If you are asking yourself that, then it is clear that you weren't a visitor to my site, Aravosisblog.com, late last night. I'm sorry to say it got kind of unpleasant around here yesterday evening. I don't want to get back into it now, but let's just say some of my readers (if they even WERE my readers--they seemed an awful lot like REPUBLICAN TROLLS to me) were having a little bit of trouble keeping their eyes on the ball. They took the discussion in a direction I didn't even want it to go. (I KNOW!) So I was forced to delete a few comments. Actually, it was around a thousand or so. Two threads worth. And then I cherry-picked a few from some other threads, too. Oh, and then I banned a whole bunch of people.

Wow. Looking at it written down like that, it seems kind of harsh. I admit, it was a drastic step, and I thought long and hard about it, but what could I do? Of the thousand comments, there were a good 15 or 16 that were downright rude. You know my rule. That's right. NO RUDENESS.

To tell you the truth, though, the deleting wasn't so hard once I got going, because some of these comments didn't paint me in a very flattering light. Don't get me wrong--I'm totally fine with that normally... but if comments are going to be rude (or if they're going to be next to other comments that are rude)--well they simply have to be deleted. It's like I always say: Johnny A. doesn't like to delete comments, but if Johnny A. doesn't rule Aravosisblog.com with an iron fist, who will?

Fortunately though, now that I've banned the lot of them, they seem to be staying away. That's right--they gave up! Just like the bunch of BIG GIRLS they are (wink, wink). Which only goes to prove that I was right all along: Those people were not here for the right reasons. They were not here for what Aravosisblog.com is all about. (Know what that is? Sure you do! I don't even have to say it.)

(Johnny A!)

But back to why all the old posts are gone. After deleting the comments I didn't like, I started looking at other old threads and, I'm devastated to report, I found several instances of rudeness. (And I'm even sorrier to report, I also found more instances of comments that weren't painting me in a very flattering light.) So I decided to delete EVERYTHING for the time being until I can rework it and rebuild it so it's perfect. I've begun the process of reviewing every post and comment with a fine-toothed comb, as it were. It may take a while, but it will all be worth it because after I'm done, Aravosisblog.com will be as pure and pristine as it deserves to be, consisting only of what keeps bringing you guys back every day: Me! (Johnny A.)

Now, you may asking, Johnny, isn't there more important stuff you could be doing with your time than going through a bunch of posts and looking for rude comments (and comments which happen to be next to rude comments) and banning people? As a world-class blogger and activist, don't you have better things to be doing?

Here's a straight answer for you, friend: No! What could be more important than this? The country is having an important dialogue right now. As one of the very highest trafficked liberal bloggers, I play an important part in shaping and controlling that dialogue. If I let the discussion on my site veer off into nonsense about, say, I don't know... degrading a group of people that throughout history has had to fight for equality under the law and equality in the eyes of their fellow human beings... or.... my willingness or unwillingness to admit when I'm wrong--well! You get the point. We can't have that.

So don't worry, I should have the old stuff sorted and culled sometime in 2007. Meanwhile, sit back, relax, and most importantly: keep coming back to the site every hour and we'll have a new post for you--even if there's nothing really important going on. We'll get you all riled up every hour on the hour, or my name isn't... well, you know! ;)

Your favorite blogger,

Johnny


ps. Keep your eyes on the ball!!

pps. Don't act like a girl!

ppps. Visit the online store!