Wednesday, April 20, 2005


THOTS 3.0 (4.0?)

This is my third time creating an ongoing writing project called “Ragged Thots.” The first was about seven years ago, at a moment when I was drifting toward being between jobs. It became just a handful of “columns” that I distributed to close friends and associates by e-mail (yes, boys and girls, this was before everyone had a web-site of their own – really!). Surprisingly enough, these mild stabs at “columns” still exist, courtesy of an old high school friend (Sacramento, California portion), David Kensiski.

David and I had somehow re-connected after nearly twenty years (He lives in the San Jose environs, but was in the Baltimore-Washington area for a conference). Anyway, he nicely posted my meager output on his web-space. David had gone into the computer programming business in a big way. Even as freshmen at Jesuit Prep, he was one of the prototype computer geeks. Ah, if only I had paid more attention to him and our friend Steve’s poking around with those old machines!

Anyway, David never took his old site down, so you can find some of my early efforts at the bottom of the Archive section, classified as RAGGED 1.0. It’s about time I checked in with David. His kids are growing so fast.

You will also find a fairly comprehensive collection of my National Review Online column that ran for most of 2000 and a fair bit of 2001. That too, for a while, was called “Ragged Thots.” So you can see that the name has stuck with me for some time. Back in the day when I was writing three columns a week, gosh, did I ever reach for some topics. But, then again, if you can’t be inspired during a presidential election year, when can you? Anyway, that stuff is listed as RAGGED 2.0.

Anyway, feel free to poke around in RAG’s early work – especially the NRO stuff. As I stumble across the Internet and a few other “classic” works of mine pop up, I will add them here, so there will always be some “new” and “new to you” stuff. (Oh, and speaking of that, this piece originally ran in the late, lamented site, Intellectual, and subsequently re-printed on NRO.)

Looking back, I can see that even despite the horrors of 9/11 and the nation’s recovery from it, 2000 was almost as strange a year -- the election, Elian Gonzalez, Rudy Giuliani’s marital breakdown, etc. That was also the year that Florida became the new California – the state where every bizarre political, legal and human-nature drama got played out to the highest (or lowest) level.

Which, alas, is proven by the recently-concluded(?) Terri Schiavo tragedy.

Well, with any luck and the help of those of you out there, this attempt at RAGGED THOTS won't end prematurely.

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