Home / Robert Farley / Navel Gazing

Navel Gazing


An update, a question, and a prompt walked into a blog…

First, I have updated the LGM “Who Are We?” page to include (in one convenient place!) much of what’s available on the sidebars and on the drop down menus. A link to this page also shows up at the top of the mobile site, for your convenience. Over time we’ll make additional updates, including hopefully providing bios for the rest of the contributors (nudge nudge).

Second, Erik and I have given some thought to starting a weekly or semi-weekly podcast.  Is there any interest in this, and if so is there any format or subjects that people would specifically like to have covered? Along similar lines, would there be any interest in something like a monthly Google Hangout with elements of the LGM collective? And while we’re at it, are there any other features that readers would like to see?

Finally, let me be clear; if you don’t buy something from the LGM store this holiday season, you’ll never forgive yourself.  Your family will never forgive you.  Whatever God or gods you worship will hold you in contempt.  It’s just that important; I already have my new hat.  On the other hand, if you’d prefer to express your gratitude directly rather than through the medium of overpriced stuff, just donate (button is on the near right sidebar). If you feel a deep personal connection with one of the authors of LGM and want to make that connection manifest in material objects, we can also make that happen; take a look at the Who Are We page or the drop down menus for links to Amazon Wishlists.

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  • MPAVictoria

    I would LOVE a weekly LGM podcast. Sign me up!

    • Yeah, I often listen to the Bloggingheads/Foreign Entanglements stuff and would listen to more.

    • Linnaeus

      I’d certainly give an LGM podcast a listen. I like the breadth of topics the blog covers.

  • arguingwithsignposts

    Second, Erik and I have given some thought to starting a weekly or semi-weekly podcast. Is there any interest in this,

    If you do a podcast, I would like to suggest that a transcript of said podcast be made available as well. I am not in proximity of enough places where I have extended time to listen to podcasts at present, and I end up missing out because I don’t have that much time for a linear format, when I could at least read through a transcript.

    I have the same problem with some of the vidcast stuff. I realize it’s not all about me, but it’s a thought.

    • arguingwithsignposts

      Or at least a good summary.

    • SEK

      The deaf guy in me approves of this idea in principle, but the journalism teacher in me knows how tedious transcriptions are to produce. So I’m torn. Volunteers?

      • arguingwithsignposts

        Yeah, that’s where my initial hemming about a really good summary comes in. I’ve been producing a podcast myself and I’ve been searching for some decent way to get machine transcription to work. Youtube’s video MT (for closed captioning, I just take out timecodes to make a transcript) works okay, but it has to be cleaned up. Dragon has some product that they say does a pretty good job, but they won’t provide a demo. Other than that, there’s the MTURK transcription services, but those cost $.

        I’d be down for volunteering to help *clean up* a transcript, but the actual transcribing part I couldn’t do.

      • The Dark Avenger

        E-mail me, and I’d be glad to volunteer to make such transcripts for the podcasts in question, as a member of the hearing-impaired community(99% loss in my right ear) I realize how important transcribing and close-captioning is these days.

        The Hearing-Impared Association of North America.

        Our Motto: “What did you say?”

        • Hogan

          The Harvard Memory Disorder Clinic was founded in 1958, in 1971, and for the first time in 1984.

  • So what you’re saying is, yet again you refuse to call out the Obama administration.

  • rea

    Speaking of navel gazing, the blog needs more battleships.

    • Nathan of Perth

      I did think it said Naval Gazing at first. Then I was disappointed.

    • de stijl

      And when you gaze long into a navel the navel also gazes into you.

  • I’d love to see an LGM podcast!

    • Grant

      Hear it, you mean.

    • Sean

      Me too!

  • Rob

    The lack of an official LGM pancake mix seems to be a real missed opportunity.

    • rea

      I want an official LGM fan.

      Or maybe I don’t, on second thought.

      • spencer

        + harrumph.

  • witless chum

    Podcast away. There’s an Opinionated-shaped hole in my regular podcast listening since Amanda and Samhita stopped doing that. You guys probably won’t talk about dance music as much, but we all do what we can.

    • Might get some Ray Price talk in though. Much cooler than dance music.

  • jeer9

    I still think a tee-shirt with the LGM logo and the phrase: Nader makes me ejaculate – and not in a good way! is all win.

  • McKingford

    Would it be possible for you to list the email addresses of the individual bloggers (at the Who Are We link)?

    • Scott Lemieux

      If it can be done without too much spam, sure.

    • I’ve completely given up on the idea of privacy, so I’m fine with it.

  • Actually buying me something off my Amazon wishlist could give one influence in requesting podcast topics.

    • Anonymous

      The problem with your wishlist (and Farley’s) is that I would have to buy two of items, with one for myself.

      • There’s some good values on there. I believe you can do it!

    • Juli

      I tried to get you something from your wishlist, and because you don’t have an associated shipping address, I couldn’t have it sent to you.

    • Patrick

      One suggestion would be for an Amazon ‘listmania’ recommended reading as well. I just added a few interesting books from the wishlists to my own to do list but those are obviously books you haven’t read – I’d love to know what the crew’s top picks are in their areas of expertise.

  • Lurker

    Is anyone else having difficulty with the PayPal link? I get an error message when I tried to donate. FIX THIS PLZ THX

    • Robert Farley

      I’m having trouble putting it into a post; try the button on the right sidebar, which seems to work fine.

  • Jon H

    How about the Naval Tactics For Labor Struggles Podcast?

    • Don’t give anti-union forces any ideas.

      • Jon H

        “This pocket battleship kills Pinkertons”

    • elm

      Surely Erik and Rob could talk a lot about the Kronstadt Rebellion, which is close enough, right?

      • witless chum

        Or the German fleet around the same time.

  • SEK

    Also, the LGM crew’s meetings ought to be recorded and preserved for history, as they’re damn funny, even if we do spend a good deal of time talking shit about some of you.

    • SEK

      (Slinks off to write about who he is…)

      • Dave Brockington

        good idea (the writing about who i am, not the Nixonian taping of meetings scheme)

        • Jameson Quinn

          Speaking for the lesser lights of the comment section, we’d love to hear you talking shit about us. It would at least show you notice us.

          • Yeah! I love it when people talk shit about me behind my back.

  • Barry Freed

    I would regularly listen to a regularly produced LGM podcast. So get crackin’ gentlemen.

  • I spent most of my waking hours listening to some podcast to keep me working, so I’m a yes vote.

  • Typed material is better than off the cuff talking/babbling, & who has the time to listen to babble & blather in the first place?

    • I’ve wondered this myself, but people listen to podcasts all the time. Not to mention bloggingheads, which I totally don’t understand at all.

      • scott g

        In fairness, it’s much easier to get something out of a show that has some thinking put into it, and which has gone thru some engineering and even production. Most of which = time and money you boys ain’t got. But your thinking is already way ahead. And good conversations really are compelling in a way that words on the page have to work harder to achieve. So do it!

        Plus, it’s hard to read a blog while weedwhacking or fixing a porch. Podcasts give me a chance to keep thinking with smarter people than me while doing stuff that needs hands but not-all-of-the-brain.

        • Uncle Ebeneezer

          This. There’s something really nice about hearing intelligent and informed people discussing issues in a more casual manner than your usual prepared tv/radio segment or lecture/debate. That was one of the things that got me hooked on Bloggingheads back when I used to listen regularly. The tangents and asides were often interesting and fun, and it always felt like there was more room for real intellectual honesty (sometimes people would actually admit that their opponent makes a good point, or that the point was something they hadn’t considered before and they need to think more about) than you usually hear in political debate.

      • Sean

        I listen to podcasts all the time, when performing the following tasks:

        Grocery shopping

        Scrubbing the toilet sucks, but scrubbing the toilet while listening to Robert Farley discuss the future of American foreign policy with some other informed-seeming dude sucks a great deal less.

        • witless chum

          Add doing mindless tasks at work to that.

  • SEK

    We could also play “Scott Roulette” with the podcasts, so you’d never know whether you’re getting me trying to talk about the Supreme Court or Lemieux disquistioning about Doctor Who. Wait, never you mind, that’s a terrible idea.

    • scott g

      I’d vote to require a Scott on every ‘cast. In case of emergency you could always deputize … well, no, not Erik. Hmm. Throw a plaid on DJW?

      • It’s an Association of Several Scotts?

      • Bill Murray

        no that would make him a Scot, not a Scott

  • Molly

    I’m a big podcast listener and would love a LGM pod. Perhaps a format like Slate’s Political Gabfest, but shorter? Just a round table discussion on a particular topic.

    If it was gonna be a 20 min pod once a week or something, I’d be willing to help with the transcription.

  • bradP

    Along similar lines, would there be any interest in something like a monthly Google Hangout with elements of the LGM collective?

    Alright, when I got married I kinda bailed on the whole social media thing. I know I have a google plus account, but I don’t have a clue what a Google Hangout is. Can anyone explain?

    Also, your shirts all just carry that LGM logo. I’m not wild about that logo, and even if I was, the logo isn’t prominent enough on your site to merit 100% saturation on the store.

    I suggest including some of your taglines or maybe inside jokes on your shirts. Get creative for gosh sakes.

    • Omg, BRADP doesn’t like the logo! Whatever shall we do?!!!!

      • spencer

        I actually agree with BradP – the logo is underwhelming.

        And any shirt that bears a witty reference to expansive readings of the commerce clause is a surefire hit, in my opinion.

        • The thread where everyone trashed the logo was awhile back.

          Are we doing it all over again? Goody!

          Anyway, yeah, it sucks. Totes.

          • Sherm

            Why do you care, Dr. Kenneth Noisewater? Wasn’t that the fault of some former commenter known as vacuumslayer, who hasn’t been heard from in weeks?

            And the logo is perfectly fine btw.

            • Doesn’t everyone know Dr. N is I? I thought the avatar made it pretty obvious. Plus, I announced it awhile back.

              Anyway Dr. N = vacuumslayer. I’d had “vacuumslayer” for loooooooong time. I was ready for a change.

              • Sherm

                I was kidding, and I figured that my compliment of the logo would give that away. Sorry for the confusion.

                • Well, I’m feeling under the weather today so I’m a little slow on the uptake.

                  Thanks for the kind words, Sherm.

                • Sherm

                  No problem. But one more thing — as a commenter here, wouldn’t a nickname for a left nut be more appropriate than a nickname for a right nut?

              • Ha! Yes. But I just didn’t think “James Westfal” was as funny. Plus, if I can’t be a doctor meatspace, I can at least play one on the Internet.

          • spencer

            The thread where everyone trashed the logo was awhile back.

            Sorry I missed it. Jesus.

        • Robert Farley

          Gotcha; we’ve been slow to add because coming up with the images to apply is, like, work and stuff.

          • Brandon C.

            If you added the one about liking pigs because they treat us as equals I would buy it in a heartbeat.

          • spencer

            Oh I know, which is exactly why I never said anything before. I figured the Magic of the Free Market would make my point for me. But since I saw a rare opportunity to agree with bradP on something, I figured I would go ahead and mention it.

            Though I certainly didn’t mean to annoy anyone.

      • bradP

        And now I don’t like you either, so there.

      • witless chum

        I could live with the logo, but agree with Brad that t-shirts featuring LGM catch phrases would be much more fun.

        Or one commemorating the fallen of the 6-day war with Crooked Timber, perhaps?

      • We could shoot ourselves if only we could find guns.

    • Although, to be fair, I do like the idea of a “keep fucking that walrus t-shirt.”

      • Cody

        I prefer shirts proclaiming how superior Gin is to Vodka, or how real martinis have Gin in them.

        • I will take that only if I cannot get a t-shirt saying I’m not friends with Black Friday shoppers.

        • Malaclypse

          I’m trying to remember the slogan to Lidless Eye’s cellular plan. Hell, I’m trying to remember how that thread started…

        • I want one that says the toilet paper must always come off OVER the roll.

          • Malaclypse

            That should go without saying.

          • Hogan

            My wife and I almost broke up when we discovered we both agree with this. Now what stupid shit are we going to fight about?

  • Jeffrey Beaumont

    LGM wooden wall clock? That’s the weirdest item in the store I think.

  • Book

    I will gladly subscribe to the podcast on the condition that you postprocess so the 2012-quality is not in fact worse than the transmissions from Apollo 11.

    So many people don’t give a toss about this, and I just do not want to spend time on productions where people do not seem to care about what their listeners have to suffer through.

    I’m sure people hard of hearing in particular can relate.

    If I can make an editorial suggestion, either plan the talking points in advance, or preface your podcast with an introduction of what you will talk about, after it has been recorded. Add an index with some time stamps for each topic in the blog posts for each episode, too.

    • witless chum

      I’m one of the people who doesn’t give that much of a shit about sound quality, but I agree that the last paragraph is filled with good suggestions. I’m pretty tolerant of the rambling podcast if I like the people involved.

      Topic suggestion: Erik’s written about his hometown occasionally before and I think Farley has, too. Maybe some hometown profile shows, like a more concise, less-stoned version of Kevin Smith’s Highlands: A Peephole History, which were the best podcasts in his vast audio output by far.

      Another topic, is Kevin Smith making money on that weird podcasting empire he’s building? If so, how? Okay probably not that.

  • Will Scott L. also be podcasting?

    • Scott Lemieux

      If the audience demands it!

      • This small segment would certainly enjoy it.

        • Scott Lemieux

          I will make inquires! The rumor is that if a sufficient volume of goods are purchased from my wish list, then there will be no choice but to include me. (Interestingly, people who don’t want me on the podcast can ensure this by buying stuff from my wishlist too — it’s a powerful tool!)

  • Also, have y’all decided which one of you is The Cute One, The Quiet One, and which is The One Who Likes to Play Quidditch?

  • joejoejoe

    1) I like the Google Hangout idea. Another blog favorite of mine, First-Draft, has chats that are a lot of fun. Conversation can be a lot more revealing than blog comments.

    2) I would like to see a series on major advances in naval technology that transformed naval operations. I think basic concepts like range and capability can be illustrated nicely that way. Nuclear carrier groups have a huge range and massive capability but it took 3,000 years to get there. It’s one thing to send a ship halfway around the world to another country, another to have it be worth a damn when it gets there.

  • I would quite enjoy a podcast/Google Hangout.

  • Uncle Ebeneezer

    If we’re talking wish lists here, I think an LGM meet-up/micro-brew shootout in some major city (or perhaps a tour) would be awesome. Winners chosen by pure Democracy.

  • JAtheist

    I wouldn’t mind a weekly free-for-all post allowing for general chat but also as a forum for certain users (me) to ask questions about something they don’t understand.

    • JAtheist

      I’d like to note that I have asked questions before when a relevant thread existed–it feels a little weird to jack a thread with a question that was completely unrelated, which is why I have to wait for the right moment to strike!

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