seitan tastes like sheitan

4/8/08

Rampant cursing, messianic self-pity, the maniacal destruction of inanimate objects, decades of revenge fantasies… I’m a treasure trove of things I can teach the Lulubeans to avoid. One to add to the archives: when to stop being defensive and just admit that your critics are not always completely deranged. And so it is with the environmentalism on this blog; I’m going to completely let it go.

It’s true that I fly a lot, more than the average person, and while I’m not convinced my personal travel behavior has any real meaning, I also have to come to grips with another, worse truism: nothing I do has any real environmental meaning. None of the hybrid car-driving, none of the offsets, none of the solar power, none of my habits put the slightest dent in the problem.

Barring a completely new energy source, we’re only rearranging deck chairs. In his devastating article last year in the NYT, Thomas L. Friedman showed how two cities exploding with people – one in Qatar and one in China – renders everything we do irrelevant:

Hey, I’m really glad you switched to long-lasting compact fluorescent light bulbs in your house. But the growth in Doha and Dalian ate all your energy savings for breakfast. I’m glad you bought a hybrid car. But Doha and Dalian devoured that before noon. I am glad that the U.S. Congress is debating whether to bring U.S. auto mileage requirements up to European levels by 2020. Doha and Dalian will have those gains for lunch…

I drive my car and plan my little projects in the vain hope that I have some control over the world, but it’s an illusion than can best be described as “cute,” especially by Americans who might read this 20 years from now. And that’s where I made one of the biggest mistakes on this blog: I pretended my illusion was real, and argued accordingly.

All it really did was set me up for attacks, laying open wide avenues of hypocrisy, and leading to more cases of the Lindsay Doctrine in action. So here’s the deal: I don’t care anymore. Remember when I asked you to do “one thing” to help with climate change? I rescind my plea, and honestly, please do anything you want. Recycle if you want to, burn endangered yak fat in a pit in your backyard if you want to, I’m walking away from the charade. I’ll still do all my enviro-stuff because old delusions die hard and it’s our little way of giving Dick Cheney the finger, but I’m through kidding myself.

Part of this is because I’m tired of subconsciously – and consciously – editing myself on the blog. If I’m going to keep doing this, I can’t second-guess everything I write, and I was intentionally leaving out entire trips I was taking, cool shit I was buying, and rants that were percolating, because I didn’t want to have to hear about my conspicuous consumption, my flying, and my bourgeois tastes. I am tired of putting “for work” as a modifier to my plans, because, quite frankly, some of these things end up as stories for the career, and others end up as stories for experience.

I’ve decided I can no longer care, even a little bit, what someone thinks about my lifestyle. As such, I’m acquiescing the environmental argument. If I write about going to Scotland to taste a rare barrel at Bruichladdich, and you think my airplane is a blight on the troposphere, I’m not going to fight you. If I buy another piece of electronic equipment from the Apple Store, and you think I spend too much money on crap, I bow my head and tip my cap.

Despite the squibbling over the last few days, there is one Basic Tenet of XTCIAN, and I’d forgotten it: “At all times, you must know exactly how stupid you look.” When I got married, and some cranky old acquaintances on another message board commented that I looked “goofy” and that “Tessa was too pretty for me” and that we were “two yuppies in love… BARF!” my comment back was “NO FUCKING DUH, SHERLOCK.”

I get it, the “three houses”, the leftist claptrap, how I’m “hopelessly out of touch”, the not having a real job, the “not understanding how this country really works”, the big words, the Hollywood name-dropping, the religion-bashing, I get it, I get it. But I lost self-awareness on the environmental stuff, and I’m relieved to let it go, so I can get back to the business of being an effortless prick with a clean conscience.

0 thoughts on “seitan tastes like sheitan

  1. Neva

    I will be away all day but felt I must get a comment in before I leave…
    Ian, you put yourself out there for us every day. You make us laugh (a lot), think, argue and communicate in innumerable ways. I am grateful for that opportunity in my life.
    But, by putting yourself out there you are making yourself vulnerable to criticism. It must be tough to take at times. You are honest with your passions, opinions and feelings in a way that I can’t really imagine being in front of so many people and I appreciate that. None of us can act entirely congruent with those things all the time. I want people to have excellent, accessible medical care – do I go and provide it for free at the shelter every day? no. We can only do the best we can to make people aware of what matters to us and live true to ourselves. I for one appreciate your honesty and forthrightness and do not expect you to be the shining example of perfection every day. You are human after all, I think. So continue to be the change you want to see in the world in any way that you can and as long as you sleep well at night, that’s what matters.

    Reply
  2. ken

    Ian, if it makes you feel any better, I consider myself a ‘green’ person as well but probably have a bigger carbon footprint that about a dozen of your readers combined. You see, I fly in an airplane or helicopter for 2-3 hours EVERY WEEKDAY! We’re talking either 100LL fuel (The LL stands for low lead, yes, aviation fuel still has trace amounts of lead!!) or Jet A fuel, a refined version of kerosene, so the emissions are ridiculous. The primary difference is, while I have a blog too, I do not lay claim to being anything resembling an environmentalist, so no one calls me a hypocrite. Throw in a 64 mile roundtrip commute (albeit in a car that gets 38-40 Hwy MPG) and I am Al Gore’s worst nightmare.
    I do however recycle anything and everything I can, use compact flourescents when possible, drive a highly fuel effieicent car, use public transit whever possible, buy high efficiency appliances and do whatever else I can to offset as much as I can. I know it will never equal out the carbon I generate daily but I do what I can.
    So, know there’s someone else who puts out a lot more carbon than you but I still sleep pretty well at night because I know my job allows many others to more efficiently use their fossil fuels which more than offsets my usage. And I vote for politicians who try and make better use of our energy consumption and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

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  3. LFMD

    This is f&*^ing b^&*%#$t! I read this blog every day because I like the way you write, I like you, and you have an interesting life. I want to read about the cool stuff you buy, the places you go, and the people you know.
    If you start self-editing again, I am going to have to kick your ass.
    Love, LFMD

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  4. Martha

    Hooray! I love hearing about the cool crap you buy, bring it on! As for your environmentalism, if you get your many readers thinking about what they can do it WILL make a difference. It gets frustrating to see how little impact what each individual does has, but collectively we CAN move the needle. What’s more important in the long run is simply promoting awareness which eventually causes the vox populi to push our government to adopt what we want. That is my hope anyway…

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  5. jersey

    Ian-
    Long-time listener, first-time caller.
    Loved this post. Keep up the great work.
    Cheers,
    jersey
    PS – Where do I send my application for the “Matt is a Dick” club?

    Reply
  6. dana

    if you ever come to baltimore, go to the one world cafe across from hopkins stadium and get the seitan rueben sandwich…it might change your mind about the taste of seitan. it’s delicious. AND, UNC is playing lacrosse at 1pm this saturday in b-more if you want to fly across the country for another sporting event!

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  7. Lindsay

    But, but… the Lindsay Doctrine is a tool for good, not for evil. Other commenters summed it up yesterday by talking about political and religious figures and their basic humanity. No code worth aspiring to live up to is actually /possible/ to live up to. And any argument that tries to puncture someone’s moral philosophy with no evidence other than the speaker’s human frailty is worthless. Because the person making the argument is a dick.
    The Lindsay Doctrine frees you from all that. Whitman: “Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes. And you’re a dick, Matt.)”
    I truly think that you are Whitmanesque in your honest attempts at self-examination and public revelation of what you find, but especially in your big-heartedness. You’re my friend and I am proud of you, as much as I bitch sometimes.
    So, don’t change a thing. Except show more that you are hiding, both the good and the bad. That’s what makes this blog compelling: The intensity with which you feel things. I could give a shit about the product placements, though. But throw ’em in, too. Leave nothing out.*
    YITB,
    Lindsay
    ——————-
    *Except bad things about me. Even neutral things.

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  8. CM

    I echo what Neva said, and anyway…
    WHAT YOU DO MATTERS.
    WHAT YOU DO MATTERS.
    WHAT YOU DO MATTERS.
    THERE ARE RIPPLE EFFECTS OF EVERYTHING.
    I’ve had this argument with people a lot. For example, if I give a homeless guy a dollar, it doesn’t save his life or force him to take his medicine or stop him from his possible addictions, and it sure as hell doesn’t stop homelessness. But it eases his pain for a little while or gets him a coffee. And maybe it keeps him off the street for a few minutes. Or maybe shows him that someone actually cares. Or maybe someone sees it and feels a little better about humanity, and does something else kind.
    I’ve argued about this with friends who say that such a small act of kindness won’t change anything on the large scale – but who cares? It’s a mindset that doing something is better than doing nothing, and it may extend some day to larger things.
    Driving an environmentally friendly car, consuming less of this or that, raising your kid to be conscious of her affect on the world…IT ALL MATTERS.
    And yes, you are not perfect, which means, don’t necessarily scold others…but you can keep showing us the right things to do…and maybe collectively, we can make a difference in various ways (maybe just not electing idiots). So keep fighting the good fight, because dammit, what’s the harm?

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  9. mom

    Just for the record. When I switched to compact fluorescent bulbs, my ConEd bill went down some. Since I started walking everywhere I’ve lost about fifteen pounds without dieting, and improved my general health. When I moved to NY where they allow you to recycle (some cities I’ve lived in do not) I stopped thinking about the monster trash heaps my discarded plastic and paper were adding to. And so on. And it may not make a difference in the long run, with those faraway cities cheerfully destroying the planet. But it’s like walking my dog. Some people who take their dogs to Astoria Park leave the poop lying around for others to step in. I ALWAYS clean up. I can’t clean up the whole park, but I’ll be damned if I’ll be part of the problem.

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  10. Matt

    I’ve been reading Ian’s blog for 4 or 5 years now – I enjoy the writing, but usually only comment on political topics since that’s where I disagree – and during that time I’ve seen passers-by hurl all kinds of abuse and insults at him, which he usually brushes off with a flick of his wrist. Only in extreme cases of repeated abuses has he reluctantly resorted to banning someone from his blog.
    On Monday, I noted how his air travel didn’t comport with his dire warnings to the rest of us. Aside from some relatively mild needling, I used no swearing, name-calling, vulgarity, or otherwise cross a line, except for perhaps with my timing. In response, commenters leveled profanity-laced tirades, vicious personal invective, vulgar references to their genitalia, death wishes and called for me to be banned. All the while marveling how uncivil I was. It’s not that I was necessarily wrong, some now say, but that I was a total jerk for saying it and even more of one to insist I was right. Maybe so.
    Of all the responses that might’ve occurred, the one I was hoping for was that Ian would realize he was sitting atop an awfully high horse; that he might pause the next time he looks down on other people’s choices and perhaps rethink his calls for fascistic government controls for the greater good. He joked that next time he’d clear his travel plans with the Department of Genuinely Crucial Travel, oblivious to the possibility that such measures might someday be implemented to meet carbon reduction goals should the global warming alarmists have their way. Giving up SUVs and incandescent light bulbs are easy for Ian. Basketball trips, not so much. Instead, he has decided to stop caring altogether and give up trying to make a difference for the environment. His critics have crushed his spirit with all their harping and negativity. Oh, how we’ll feel sorry for what we did.

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  11. Salem

    Say… that reminds me, the wedding is right around the corner. Did you think the poached spotted owl eggs or the snail darter canapes would be best next to the seared snow leopard?
    Love ya,
    Salem

    Reply
  12. D

    The thing about the air travel is that, barring amazing technological breakthroughs or the discovery of vast new oil deposits, it’s really not going to be an affordable option for that much longer anyway. So you might as well buy the Terrapass and enjoy it while it lasts.
    Likewise, climate change is probably going to put a pretty serious dent in the production of Islay malts, so best to taste them now before they’re gone for good.
    Consumption and ownership are part of modern life. The most you can do is to be thoughtful about it where possible, and avoid the people who cry “hypocrite” in order to justify their own decisions.

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  13. kent

    Matt, the problem with your position on climate change is, to quote Elf, you’re sitting on a throne of lies.
    Sure you can find articles on line to support your position, but the last time I vetted one of your lists, you were appealing more to editorials than actual scientific work. And those editorials all came from a small group of people handsomely paid by polluting industries to have those opinions. And if you read through their screeds, you find out that they depend on citing each other to bolster their credibility.
    Then there’s the ‘scientists’ that supposedly provide the foundation of climate change skepticism, who are either cranks working outside their area of expertise, or, again, people who got doctorates and then went to work for industry-supported think tanks rather than do substantive research.
    Meanwhile the Antarctic ice shelf slides into the sea, polar bears are facing extinction, and there’s a real possibility of open water at the North Pole in the next ten years. Rain forests are shrinking, habitats are going away, frog species are going extinct, etc etc etc.
    The root fact of the matter is this: Even if there were a substantive debate over the eventual consequences of human activity — which there isn’t — there are plenty of good reasons to change behavior personally, nationally, and globally. It makes sense in the most blindingly obvious way that using less fossil fuels is sensible, starting with your electric bill and filling your gas tank.
    Hell, I hate changing lightbulbs, so I’ve been replacing every incandescent bulb in our house, just so I don’t have to do that as often. If I take the bus instead of driving, I save money. If I seek out locally grown food, it’s better quality and at least in Iowa, you end up saving money in the bargain.
    The plain fact of the matter is that doing everything possible to curtail and eliminate using fossil fuels will be a net win for everybody. Everybody except the polluting industries who spend lavishly to raise some fog of uncertainty about climate change.
    I honestly don’t care what people do individually, because it’s all a fart in a hurricane, if there’s no large scale consensus on how to change things for the better. It would be great if there was a global initiative for a more efficient, less polluting industrial base, top to bottom, because in the end it would be a positive transformation.
    It’s nice you know your own mind Matt. Too bad you’re so full of shit.

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  14. jif

    Speaking of seitan (satan, hehe) – Matt’s initial comments remind me of when I was a strict vegetarian. (bear with me…) I stopped eating meat for a number of reasons including (and just briefly as this is not the main point) environmental destruction caused by mass farming, health resaons, treatment of animals, etc, but above all, I objected to the lack of consciousness that went with the massive consumption of meat. I mean, if I had to walk into a grocery store, pick out the cut I wanted for dinner that night, and then butcher the animal myself, could I do it? My answer was, no. At least, not unless I was dying of starvation and there were no other options – but I had a zillion other options. And I decided that if I couldn’t or didn’t need to slaughter the animal myself, then I had no right to be eating it’s flesh.
    Being veg was a personal choice and meant that I decided to make certain changes in my life because I needed a personal philosophy that i could live by. My mission was not to free all of the beefy cows from the Dude Ranches of Texas, liberate mealy chickens from their cages or spare geese their livers. I didn’t get up in peoples faces and make gagging noises when they ordered a burger. But if someone asked me what was ‘up with the no meat thing’ – I would explain my choice and my reasons behind it.
    Of course, you always had people who, despite the fact that all I did was order a veggie burger, got up in my face about being a vegetarian – how i was a hypocrite because, wasn’t my wallet made of leather? didn’t i order CHHHEEEEEEESE on my veggie burger? and of course, gummy bears have ground up pigs bones in them. My choice, though I wasn’t forcing it on them, made them uncomfortable. They had to mock and try to debunk my reasoning because, um, it made their steak taste better? I don’t know. But I feel like I encountered soooo many of these people – who were threatened or shamed or something by my choice – dispite the fact that all I did was live my life the way I chose to.
    I am not a vegetarian any more. I started eating meat again in Kabul when it was culturally incomprehensible and offensive to turn down meat offered in a meal. And I continue to eat meat now, especially as I am eating for 3 and somewhat anemic, though I try to limit my consumption, choose organic meat and be conscious about it.
    I think its about making responsible, conscious and REALISTIC choices. And anyone who gets up in your face about your choices – has probably less of a bone to pick with you, than they do with themselves.

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  15. PrincessJasmine

    don’t worry Matt
    Al Gore did the same thing when we exposed his carbon-loving ways and his huge mansion and his lies, he started shouting that the “debate was over with” and then he went off and scheduled a huge concert series called LiveEarth, which had the effect of shuttling tons of Hollywood lib stars to different concert venues around the world in private jets and created more carbon emissions than a person could ever dream of. Ian doesn’t care about the environment, not an idiot alive who cares about the environment would get on an airplane and fly across the country to see a basketball game.
    This lightbulb thing is just a strawman argument for Ian, it is a way for him to fly all around the world in a jet but then if you ask him about it, he can fall back on his little strawman that he changed the lightbulb in one of his many residences so therefore he is Going Green.
    Don’t get mad at Ian, just laugh at him, because not even he buys the climate-fear and BS that he spews.
    I got a great laugh out of Ian’s latest lib logic, if a plane is going somewhere, then it doesn’t matter if you are on that plane or not. Using that logic, a traveler can never emit any carbon in his entire lifetime, because the planes and boats are going to the destination anyways, so the traveler is just filling an empty seat. So Ian has forged a whole new opening for his carbing-loving lifestyle, which makes me wonder why he buys carbon credits then. If the airplane is going to a destination – regardless if Ian is on it or not, then Ian says he is not responsible for outputting any carbon… but then why is Ian buying carbon credits to offset his flight? I guess the faulty libtard logic fails again.

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  16. Lindsay

    Ah, the reasonable man speaks.
    “Some now say?” It’s what everybody then said. And my point–which you seem almost to grasp–that your seemingly measured arguments are more or equally uncivil than vulgarity or personal invective, still stands. Your goal was to show Ian how high his horse is as a response to a baketball post? Do you realize what a unhealthy way to spend your day off that is? Your arguments, both in sneering tone and fallacious reasoning might as well have a little naked invective. They would be more honest, at least. And yes, your graceless persistance is a part of what makes you objectionable. There’s more to life than Gotcha Club.
    Now, please get back to your document review for the DoD or Exxon or whoever. As a citizen and a stockholder, I am becoming unamaused.

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  17. jif

    Salem!! Getting excited!! Also getting nervous! Getting freaked out!! Getting backaches!! hugs and kisses xxx

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  18. Jody

    Down at the base level: If you’ve raised your children to the point of self sufficiency and do not work in the helping professions that assist others in doing the same, you’re done. You are now a consumer or producer of consumables, only.
    I’m with D, this is a unique moment in history to live a certain way before the new paradigm, I think the verdict is in on this current crop of humans… as long as you can throw away the guilt.

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  19. LFMD

    CONGRATULATIONS TO JIF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    When is your due date? Boy or girl?
    Where are you living these days? I try to keep track of you via your occasional comments and Ian’s travel posts, but you are quite the International Woman of Mystery!

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  20. Sean

    See, this is what makes you a dick, Matt. Ian said, “You know what? I can’t really argue the point. I’m doing the best I can, but I’m drawing the line at a certain point, and I have to admit that if I ask you to draw a line as well, those lines will be compared. So, I’ll let it go…”
    And you come back with “boo hoo, I guess I’m supposed to feel *BAD*.”
    First of all, you have no information, you have op-eds written by angry sociopaths that you cling to like a child’s favorite blankey, and you attack only to provoke, not to inform or cajole.
    Secondly, you have no class, no decorum. It’s impossible for you to accept either defeat or success without being a child about it, sniping at the most inopportune moments and snarling even when one agrees with you.
    But lastly, you are a dick, plain and simple. And this isn’t your blog, this isn’t your forum, it’s Ian’s. Yeah, I disagree with Ian politically. A LOT. There are things he says that make me very upset, logical leaps that I feel are unjustified.
    But you know what? He isn’t a dick. He’s just not. He’s really very, very nice, and to tell the truth, I feel kind of bad about calling him out on opening himself up to attack. You make me feel gross for backing you up because, quite simply, you’re such an unbelievable DICK.
    If you, Matt, were a mature and kind person, you could have responded to today’s post with grace or even an apology for your unfortunate timing. If you were trying to elicit thought or further research, then you had an opening here.
    Instead, you’re a dick, and in the light of the other dicks who apparently troll sites like this just to hijack and attack them, you have set yourself up in bed with the utter cretinous. Comment on and savage this blog all you want, you’re not actually making a difference and you aren’t actually doing any good.

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  21. Sean

    Ian, sorry about constantly using “dick”. I’ve been trying to cut down on language like that. I went back and took out all the “f-ing” before “dick” if that counts for anything…

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  22. Lindsay

    Yeah, congrats Jiffer!
    You look great, by the way. Doesn’t she look great, everyone? (Every pregnant woman has a common law right to hear this many times a day. And I’m positive that the sentiment is true in her case, even without checking.)

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  23. craighill

    carbon schmarbon! rearranging deck chairs indeed. we need more fun places to go. keep the travelogue rollin’ please.

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  24. CM

    Pricess Jasmine, regardless of Ian’s stances and responses, Global Warming is a real threat, and like many threats, by the time it really hurts us, it may be too late to do anything about it
    …ignore the partisan politics and please think rationally about this. Or go north and interview a polar bear.
    JIF, twins?!?!? Congrats!! And boy, yeah, you do look great.

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  25. Jack

    I’ve been reading Ian Williams since his very first Wednesday’s Child column. I don’t know him, or maybe any of you, personally. But I come here every day because I respect and marvel at the remarkable community that he has made for all of us. I’ve come to believe that it thrives in large part because of Ian’s capacity for empathy and self-awareness in roughly equal measure. This week may not be xtcian’s finest hour, but it reflects some of this blog’s (and, I gather, his) best qualities – intelligence, loyalty, blunt and sometimes uncomfortable truth – as well as other, less fortifying features.
    “I pretended my illusion was real, and argued accordingly. All it really did was set me up for attacks, laying open wide avenues of hypocrisy . . . .” In or out of context, that’s a bracing insight, no? For all of us.
    Keep it up, Ian.

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  26. Lindsay

    You must get your hat handed to you in litigation or negotiations a lot. You’re pretty bad at arguing.
    He had to turn on Ian, just to get some real competition.

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  27. GFWD

    I’ve long held the belief that when you hang a lantern on your problem or deficiencies, you effectively neutralize that issue as a point of attack from your enemies. You do a pretty good job of relentlessly stating, “Dude, I hit the jackpot and grabbed the golden ring, but here are some things that I’ve seen and some things you might want to consider.” That’s the proverbial lantern.
    The subsequent attacks should either roll off your back or enlighten you to reasoned opposing points. They should not bring you down.
    Don’t sweat the haters. And give us an update on cool new gadgets.
    Since you are pretty naked in your statements, you should mandate that anyone sparring with you be similarly forthcoming.

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  28. Paul G

    Funny thing is I only read today (and caught up on this shit storm (thanks, Matt)) b/c I was coming to defend the honor of my beloved seitan. I’m a veg w/ vegan tendencies. Interesting how closely the argument of “how vegetarian are you” mirrors the “how environmental are you” argument.
    That said, don’t mess with seitan, Ian! :-)
    I really wanted to post right now b/c this blog entry saddened me. I don’t know you very well personally, Ian, but I’ve always appreciated and enjoyed your blog personality (well… that, and Tessa’s always been incredible to me). Reading about SUVs and how I should buy energy-saving light bulbs (which I did) is fun and educational reading, which is all I’m looking for.
    Can we stop the end of the world? Probably not. Can we try to come up with better ideas, save money, and have fun doing it? I’d sure like to try. And that’s what your blog gives me on certain days.
    For us to hold you to politician or celebrity-like scrutiny is unfathomable. We shouldn’t even be able to hold politicians and celebrities to that. None of us measure up. We’re only human. But that doesn’t mean I (we) don’t like having lofty goals placed in front of us and hear about better ways of doing things.
    Please don’t abandon the person you want to be or stop telling us about the world we all want to live in b/c you can’t deal with not being perfect. We’ve got to keep moving towards tomorrow. And I’m sorry, but you have to help.
    Sorry you were in the Alamodome. Our Heels will be back though.
    P.S. You all should read the Desiderata, http://www.fleurdelis.com/desiderata.htm

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  29. janet

    we can all have those days ! moments ! i’ts sort of life stuff……it’s enlightening to have “stuff” (unless its sage and onion with a bit of pork and herbs and stuff) other than that “you can’t touch me , ba ba be do, be do, be do…you can’t touch me”

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  30. Greg T

    Flip-flopper!
    BTW, thanks for your recommendations on CFLs. I have been planning to switch but hadn’t done the research to find the king that don’t have the annoying delay. Last night I finally placed an order and will relace all my incandescent bulbs when the new CFLs arrive.
    I guess this makes me a Libtard (then again, if the Birkenstock fits…) but I don’t think I’m saving the world so much as I think I’ll cut my monthly electric bill and stop changing light bulbs as often.
    Please keep up the great posts. You rock.
    Congrats, Jif!
    Matt, please just drop it, you really are coming off as a dick. It undermines your other arguments which are, at times, somewhat thought provoking. You may have thought the vitreol spewed your direction was unwarranted but trust me, you are coming off as an ass.

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  31. Greg T.

    Even if you’re not keeping it alive – and it’s hard to argue that you aren’t given that you seem to live in the comments section now – you should just let it be and stop responding to anything on this topic.
    BTW, go Caps. Despite my liberal tendencies, my Tarheel roots & my enthusiastic support for Ian, I am a defense contractor, a Caps fan and a Nats fan. I asked about whether you work for DoJ because you sound exactly like friends (yes, friends) of mine and I wanted to figure out whether I needed to call you on the cell to ask you to stop. Again, most of your political arguments are OK, but it’s time to recognize that there is a time to go watch sportscenter or read a novel and just let the comments sectio be.

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  32. Brian from the Spanish House

    What Jack and Paul G said.
    Ian, we only met once or twice when I found myself at the Lodge, but I was a big fan of Wednesday’s Child and I’m a big fan of this blog. Don’t let the negativity get you down. Anyone who cannot find some hypocrisy in their life hasn’t dug deeply enough. The eco sermons are often great. Sometimes I think you’re wrong, but you’re never complacent. That’s the inspiration you provide to us. I even became a regular bicycle commuter in part because of the kick in the arse this blog gives me.

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  33. Annie

    I love the way Matt in his third comment of the day (that would account for close to 10% of all comments–the first of which was flagrantly provocative and positively drenched in the spirit of the sore loser) denies that he’s “keeping it alive.”

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  34. jif

    thanks lindsay and LFMD and greg and CM and everyone! twins it is – we know they are fraternal but i prefer not to find out the sex beforehand. due mid-july, though twins come earlier so early july is more likely. and at the rate i am growing, i cannot fathom they will possibly be able to stay in there til the end. and hearing “you look great!” (whether you can see me or not) is SO much nicer than what i hear from my mother in law – “you are HUGE” – which i know she is directing at the belly, still does any woman want to be called ‘huge’? No.

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  35. Matt

    Annie,
    I commented on the issue only once yesterday, which didn’t seem too much seeing as how it was the subject of the day’s entry. The other two were brief, single line responses to others. The vast majority of provocative comments directed at me I ignored. Tuesday, I commented on the matter twice, both in response to other people and then only because one of them called me out for NOT addressing Ian’s entry of that day. Monday is the day that I argued with everyone, including you, who insisted I was out of my mind for believing I had a point. Yeah, I should’ve let it go. I don’t know if my work made me this argumentative or if I chose my work because I was already this way, but, whatever. Nobody’s perfect.
    So why don’t we all move on?

    Reply
  36. Annie

    I neglected to note that Matt’s second comment, though “only a single line,” was also snarky and mean spirited. And not funny.
    I did not insist that Matt was out of his mind for believing he had a point. I claimed (and included evidence to support my claim) that his manner of expressing himself was alienating, offputting, and unconvincing.

    Reply
  37. Terri

    With all due respect, this is such a punk ass way to go out re: the environmentalism issue on the blog. Someone who I’m assuming you don’t depend on for health, wealth, or happiness voiced an opinion on your blog about your travel behavior, and you respond like this??? Who the %#&* is Matt to you? Apparently, his opinions about a particular aspect of your life had a far greater impact on you than Thomas Friedman’s article, because that wasn’t enough to make you completely give up on environmentalism on the blog. WTF???
    I am a person of faith and, as such, you have said many, many, MANY things on this blog regarding certain people of faith that I just don’t agree with and even find offensive. (Sometimes, quite honestly, you may as well have been Matt in your tone.) I hear you, and I respect your right to say what you say, and I even get some of what makes you feel the way you do, but absolutely nothing you have said has negatively impacted my faith, caused me not to read this blog (which I enjoy), caused me to lose a bit of sleep, or otherwise alter my life in any way. Why? Because I have never had so much as a cup of coffee with you, and I certainly don’t depend on you for anything that I simply can’t be without. So, at the end of the day, my opinion of the things that you have said on the topic of faith, and the way in which you say them, is that they’re really nothing but noise. Why can’t you, why won’t you, regard Matt, or whoever else happens to piss you off in these posts, in the same friggin’ way???
    What I’m basically trying to say is, MAN THE %^$* UP!!!! Don’t be the guy who, after getting dissed on the court, takes his (environmental) ball home. Just don’t.

    Reply
  38. Matt

    Annie wrote:
    “I described exactly how you were, to me, unpersuasive in making your point today.”
    “Is anyone being convinced by Matt’s arguments?”
    Others wrote more subtly, “You’re not right, Matt.”
    What Terri said is basically what I meant with my first comment above. Yes, I could’ve been nicer about it, but if we’re grading on a curve around here….
    Sorry Greg.

    Reply
  39. Claudia

    Wow, Jif, congratulations!!! As a fellow multiples mom, I can tell you that you’re in for the happiest time of your life. :)

    Reply

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