H L Mencken would have been a natural blogger. He was a prolific writer and a relentless controversalist over a huge range of issues from literary criticism to current affairs.
He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians, pseudo-experts, temperance and uplifters. A keen cheer-leader of scientific progress, he was very skeptical of economic theories and particularly critical of anti-intellectualism, bigotry, populism, Christian fundamentalism, climate science, creationism, organized religion, the existence of God and osteopathic/chiropractic medicine medicine.
To perpetuate his memory I have decided to follow the Bertrand Russell award with an award to remind people of the existence and achievements of this hyperactive gadfly of letters. Two people created blogs which to my mind epitomise (at their best) the spirit of eclectic and informed controversialism which was the hallmark of Mencken’s contribution. Hence the recognition of Ken Parish of Club Troppo and Jason Soon of Catallaxy.
Jason deserves special mention for recruiting me to the blogosphere and I am grateful for this even if some people have become less enthusiastic about my contribution since the climate debate became a divisive factor in the intellectual community. Accute observers may have noticed some difference of opinion betweeen myself and Ken and Jason on this topic. Such is life.
A nice comment on the Cat.
The Cat is colourful, prolific, often very funny and actually (given the laissez faire mod policy) one of the few places where comment threads regularly offer a diversity of perspectives – though you’d wonder at the possibility of masochistic tendencies in some of the lefty regulars.— Geoff Honnor