Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blogging the Stimulus

Steve Coll is "blogging the stimulus package" in his "Think Tank" blog at Blogging the Stimulus: March 2009: Think Tank: Online Only: The New Yorker. Here's how he began his project on March 2:
The great David Plotz coaxed me off the fence about blogging when he launched his “Blogging the Bible” feature on Slate, about three years ago. He proved over months that by blogging he could write something very worthwhile and even lasting in a way that could not be done as successfully in any other format. The fruits of his adventure will be published tomorrow in extended book form: “Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible.”

No inspired achievement of this kind will long go un-imitated. This morning, full of new-Monday vim, I printed out all 407 pages of the stimulus bill, thinking that I should commit an act of think-tank citizenship and read it. I was planning just to skim through it, educate myself, and find a blog post or two in it. Then I remembered Plotz. Actually, it was the Old Testament type face on the first page that reminded me of his earlier work.

I particularly like the turn from the setting to the main title: “Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the sixth day of January, two thousand and nine…An Act.” It’s all very grand—and a long way from the aesthetics of Fox News or MSNBC, which is how we usually encounter this material, in a summary of a summary.

And so, herewith launches an irregular series about the stimulus bill. I will read all of it, carefully, so that you don’t have to, and every so often I will stop and try to write something useful. It seems doubtful that the full law will prove either as funny or as morally edifying as the Old Testament, but I will do what I can.

No comments: