Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Election Reflections

It’s been a while since I discussed politics, but Rolling Stone has posted an article titled “The Aftermath” where “Jon Stewart, Al Franken and Tom Wolfe reflect on the race for the White House.” This is very similar to what I did on the site, by giving some people space to look back and write about how they feel about what happened on November 2. I’d like to think that Rolling Stone got the idea from me, but I doubt it. Go read the whole thing, each reflection is very short. Here are some excerpts for your reading pleasure:

Jon Stewart

Now I will confess that as a Jewish man living in a city — New York — where eighty percent of the people voted for the loser, I could feel a touch disenfranchised, perhaps. But at what point did Jewish people from New York ever feel overrepresented? So I don’t feel angry. Oddly, there seems to be more anger and disenfranchisement in the enfranchised. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a time when the party that controlled the Senate, the House, the White House and the Supreme Court was so out of sorts about how little respect they get. At a certain point you want to say, “OK, Goliath. Stop pretending.”

Al Franken

There’s a lot of comfort we can take in what we accomplished. We did very well in a lot of state legislatures. That’s no small thing — it’s building a farm team. In Minnesota, for example, the Republicans had a twenty-eight-seat margin in the House, and it’s now only a two-seat margin. We created a base of activists. We created a fund-raising base. We’re a lot further along than we were two years ago. Now we have to keep going and apply our energies toward the midterm elections in two years.

Tom Wolfe

Not that many people in America who are registered to vote want to be lectured to by Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi and P. Diddy. If you’re living in southern Ohio, and you’re against gay marriage because you’re religious, these guys make you feel like you’re being treating like an idiot . . . worse, like a primitive. Bush, on the other hand, is very good at feeding the impression that “I’m one of you. I can hunker down with you anywhere you want.” He’s acquired a kind of rural accent. But Kerry is incapable of doing that. Simply as a public speaker, he badly needed a change-of-pace voice, as do all speakers. Even Muhammad Ali, who was a very funny guy, was not funny for fifteen minutes in a row, because he had no change of pace, and the same is true of Kerry.

December 8, 2004