You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

April 29, 2009

So Old

This blurn recently turned five years old. During that time there have been 2940 posts as well as 28222 comments, of which only 83% have been arguments about Zionism.

Looking back, I'm pleased to report the site has kept up the same commitment to getting it right the first time we've had from the very beginning.

Looking forward, as has been previously threatened, every post for the next five years will be about either tomatoes or portobello mushrooms or both.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at April 29, 2009 07:10 AM

my vote, which is meaningless in the totalitarian word-ocracy that is ATR, would be for both.

Posted by: almostinfamous at April 29, 2009 07:39 AM

Congrats and keep up the good work! And please add kidney beans.

Posted by: Rosemary Molloy at April 29, 2009 08:21 AM

I really like portobello mushrooms. With melted stilton or rocquefort. And garlic. A little minced shallots.


Posted by: NomadUK at April 29, 2009 09:40 AM

That's 'And', not 'A'. Meh.

Posted by: NomadUK at April 29, 2009 09:41 AM

Required reading for today:

Posted by: Pepito at April 29, 2009 10:51 AM

Aww, congratulations on five years. That's how old I am!!! You must be really really old.

This is my favorite website and I evangelize for it frequently. So far I've only successfully converted one person, but I keep trying.

I dislike both tomatoes and mushrooms, but if I have to choose (and have a choice) I'll go with tomatoes.

Posted by: ethan at April 29, 2009 01:24 PM

Portobellos.... eeeuw!

Happy birthday.

Posted by: Nell at April 29, 2009 01:27 PM


I'm only sorry that I didn't discover this wonderful blog full of you crazy, left-wing loons until a couple of months ago.

All you people here (except that Seth character of course) represent the best of what is American: dissent, moral courage, irreverence, a great sense of humour, intelligence, and of course, most importantly, humanism, which current Western liberalism has strayed far from or perhaps always was in tension with, as Richard Seymour so thoroughly and scathingly documented in his book about the long history and tendency of racist Western/American liberals and intellectuals to suckle on the state's teat and time and time again, and to provide moral and intellectual justification for violent and barbaric exercises of state power in service of European colonialism in the past, and in more recent history, Western and American imperialism and aggression.

The right-wing has of course almost completely redendered the "anti-American" label as meaningless because they use it to silence any legitimate criticism of the aggressive imperial American state. But there are times when the label "anti-American" is valid, such as the tendency of the left in the rest of the West, such as Europe and in my case, Canada, to lay the blame entirely on America without examining the function that their own countries and governments play in enabling the primary goal of the American empire, which is to maintain the global power-structure in its favour fist and foremost of course, and to a secondary extent, in favour of the West. Pax-American, i.e., "benevolent" American imposed world-order, has not been particularly "benevolent" for most of the Global South and the Third World, and there are millions of bodies of dead, brown people to prove that from Indo-China to Latin America to the Middle-East, but it has been quite beneficial for America, Europe, and the rest of the West. Hence the servility and boot-licking by European and Western political, media, and intellectual elites to the American empire.

Anyway, all I'm trying to say is that dissenters and people with moral courage to oppose their state's and governments' immoral actions have always been in the minority in their country and societies. So it's always going to be an uphill battle for you people. But at least when I survey the landscape of American dissent, I see a healthy, vigorous, vibrant and highly-informed group, of which this site is such a great example, and this is a good sign. Perhaps that is a testement to the American spirit of dissent, to the strength and vigour of American democracy, and to the long history and ability of Americans to overcome the very worst tendencies of their state and of their fellow American citizens. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about my country, Canada, for example, which for some bizarre reason has the reputation of a "leftist", liberal paradise. Perhaps it was arguably the case once upon a time, but we are pretty much an American colony for all intents and purposes now, with American economic and imperial doctrines serving as the dominant ideology, which our sycophantic political, media and intellectual class happily disseminate. I see a population of mostly conformists (except those crazy lefty Quebecers, bless them), many of them really ill-informed and apathetic, and a culture that seems to be missing that strong, fierce, American revolutionary culture of dissent that this site represents. This probably goes back to the history of our countries, and how you Americans did the right thing by revolting and kicking out those damn Brits, while us Canadians stuck with them.

This probably explains why we are so happy to be your colony now. I mean for fuck's sake, our Liberal Party just rewarded Michael "Mr. Torture" Ignatieff with the leadership position. This is of course the same liberal intellectual "superstar" from Harvard, who has spent most of his life outside of Canada, and who, like many Western liberal intellectuals, was a vocal supporter of the Iraq war and even more unforgivably, of torture. That should tell you right there and there about the moral and ideological bankruptcy of Western liberalism, or at least, the liberalism of the elite class, and about the pathetic, anemic level of dissent and democratic vigour in our country. It would be equivalent to you Americans rewarding Thomas "Suck-On This" Friedman with political and state power (what a horrific thought), except even worse because because unlike Michael Ignatieff here in Canada, at least Thomas Friedman has has the good manners to be a sycophant and buffoon in his own country. So before anyone in my country points fingers at the US, they need to take a long, hard look at our own pathetic state of democracy, our conformist attitude, our own gallery of sycophantic, corrupt, political and moral degenerates who dominate the political, media and elite establishment here.

Anyway.. don't mean to go on and on and go off-topic. I'm just trying to say you folks here (except for Seth of course :P) are good ambassadors of your country, and like ethan above, I try to evangelize for it when I have the chance. Happy Birthday again.. and hope your next 5 years are just as good as the last 5 years.

Posted by: hv at April 29, 2009 02:45 PM


Posted by: karen marie at April 29, 2009 03:07 PM

Happy Blogiversary!

Posted by: Agi at April 29, 2009 03:45 PM

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Will there be cake and icecream?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 29, 2009 04:27 PM

Congrats on anniversarizing your addiction, but aren't mushrooms tref? Or is that only if you leave the schmuck on?

Posted by: Mark Gisleson at April 29, 2009 04:30 PM

I made you a cake! It sole ingredient is Zionist blood....

Posted by: alec at April 29, 2009 04:38 PM

I made you a cake! It sole ingredient is Zionist blood....

Posted by: alec at April 29, 2009 04:39 PM

Happy birthday, ATR! Somebody get a cupcake with five candles.

Thanks, on behalf of... our culture, hv? (I can say that, right?) I'd recommend (at least) the following other American blog offerings to read along with Small Dead Animals. :)

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at April 29, 2009 05:53 PM

I'm think I'll take tomatoes over crummy fungi anyday. And I'll also take whacked out non seqs over whatever Zionism is. Sounds creepy.

Anyway, peace my internet homies and congrats on 5 years.

Posted by: tim at April 29, 2009 07:20 PM

And Oocytes you savage, you should learn to use anchor tags for heaven and

And make sure you preview dammit!


Posted by: tim at April 29, 2009 07:30 PM

I'll join in: Happy Anniversary.

Posted by: cemmcs at April 29, 2009 10:29 PM

Congrats Jon and Bernard, and Happy Birthday ATR.

Posted by: Glenn Condell at April 29, 2009 11:12 PM

And to think that only 8200 of those 28,000 comments were imploring us to call Nancy Pelosi. Let's try to do better over the next five years.

And some day, I really will buy that damn book over on the left hand side of my screen. I hear the guy who wrote Monkeybone thinks it's hilarious.

Posted by: SteveB at April 29, 2009 11:33 PM

So any bloody tomato but only portobello mushrooms (which, according to my grasp of Italian, means "beautiful door"... unless it's "portable beauty")?!!??

Just what the world needs - another fungi snob.

Happy blogday!

Posted by: RobWeaver at April 30, 2009 12:12 AM

SteveB: Did YOU ever call? I call every business day. Strangely, on Monday AND Tuesday, for the FIRST time since I've been calling (1-1/2 years now), the lines were so busy it took me several tries to get in. I asked when I FINALLY got in if all the traffic was over the flu outbreak. The answer was NO. All the traffic was over STOPPING HEALTH CARE REFORM. I'm guessing the Republicans are deciding to try the same method to stop any progress toward that end. Crazy, eh.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 30, 2009 12:26 AM

Happy Birthday!

I saw on Good Morning America today that, if you sang "Happy Birthday to You" all the way through, that's about the right amount of time to wash your hands thoroughly as a flu prevention measure.

And speaking of influenza -

I read quite a bit about influenza during the bird flu "boom" a few years ago. We didn't get a bird flu pandemic, but I'm sure we will get a flu pandemic eventually. Is this it? We'll see.

But we do know some things now. As President Obama said in his press conference, if you cough, cough into your elbow, not into the open air or your hand. Wash or sanitize (with Purell or equivalent) your hands frequently. Stay home from work or school or crowds or traveling in mass transit if you're sick.

Other things you could do now:

Accumulate food and water at home in case supplies are interrupted.

While antivirals and antibiotics require prescriptions, CDC says over-the-counter cold and flu medications will give symptomatic relief (but don't give them to children under the age of two; don't give aspirin-containing drugs to teenagers or younger). You might check that you have some of these on hand, just in case. Aches and fever can be helped with acetaminophen (Tylenol®), ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, Nuprin®), and naproxen (Aleve).

Download and print out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's home care advice (just as the stores might be empty if this hits hard, the hospitals will definitely be full) - it's at the CDC site, or search for the terms "swine influenza" "taking care of a sick person in your home"

And finally, here's a doctor's advice about dealing with being sick without help - based on going through it herself:

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at April 30, 2009 02:23 PM

Huzzah! Congratulations!

Posted by: Batocchio at April 30, 2009 04:16 PM

Happy birthday to this blag and its various writers!

Posted by: Krinn at April 30, 2009 04:42 PM

Great posts, interesting, informative and lively comments ( most of the times)....that is ATR. Thank you Mr Schwarz and Prof Chazelle.

Happy Anniversary and many happy returns!

Posted by: Rupa Shah at May 2, 2009 09:43 PM