Birth of a ‘Lardass’

Posted in Uncategorized by Sean Holton on September 5, 2009

lardassLots of friends and family members tell me they love reading every single one of the comments that follow my posts on this blog, but many have asked me why some of the commentors who stop in refer to me as “Lard” or “LL” or some variation of that nickname. Here’s the story:

Something that happened on the evening of Jan 31, 2006 drove me to become a commentor on an Internet blog for the first time in my life. On most of those blogs, people go by screen names. I couldn’t really think of anything clever right off the bat. But when I joined the discussion on my buddy Craig Crawford’s “Trailmix” politics blog, I had to come up with something. So off the top of my head, I just created the screen name “Lardass Liberal.”

I went to Trailmix that night because I was extremely agitated that then-President George W. Bush had just delivered a lengthy State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress and had barely bothered to mention more than a few words about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Hearing about our nation’s response to Katrina was the main reason I had tuned into the speech. It was one of the worst natural and humanitarian disasters in American history and it had transpired just four months earlier. Yet the subject was relegated to just a couple of paragraphs near the end of the speech, amid a long laundry list of standard boilerplate items that get mentioned in every State of the Union Address.

I find that astonishing and shameful to this day. And if you think back on it yourself, I’d be willing to bet you’ll find it outrageous too. I don’t think it matters if you are a Democrat or a Republican. This goes way beyond partisan politics. Imagine what the backlash would have been in January 2002 if the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 had rated such scant treatment in such a major address. In the case of Katrina, a major metropolitan area and a big chunk of the Mississippi Gulf Coast had basically been washed off the map of the United States. Tens of thousands of Americans had either been killed or displaced from their homes. A huge rebuilding effort was underway. But somehow, the disaster didn’t qualify even as a major theme — let alone the centerpiece — of the most important presidential address of that year. Meanwhile, a full four years after 9/11, the ramifications of that horrible event and the wars that grew out of it were still being pounded into our collective consciousness year after year by the Bush Administration. The subject of terrorism and war even dominated the 2006 speech. Go back and scroll through the transcript today, and you’ll feel as if we all must have been living in some foggy alternate universe back then. Here’s a link:

After the speech, I expected the TV pundits to jump all over Bush’s glaring Katrina omission during the endless follow-up analysis.  But I was surprised to hear barely anyone in the media point out that Katrina had been ignored. I heard only NBC’s Brian Williams mention the clear fumble by Bush and his policy and speechwriting team. The failure of our supposed “watchdogs” angered me almost as much as the original omission, itself. So I turned to the Trailmix blog to vent my anger and to hear what others had to say. And so that’s how “Lardass Liberal” was born.

The Trailmix crew is a great gang. There are Republicans as well as Democrats on the blog, but some of the fiercest flame fights last year were intramural affairs between the Hillary Dems and the Obama Dems. Still, I’ve met some great people over there on that site — and as you can see from their comments on this site, they’re a pretty damn smart and funny and accomplished group with lots of diverse experiences to bring to the discussion. You’ll spot their comments under these names: Jamie, Patsi, Chloe, Flatus, Sturgeone, PatD, EdVB, Rebellious Renee, MaxTrue, Harborwoman, ColoradoBob, WhiskeyJack, TonyB, LordBloggington, Barbara Hill Bissonette, Katherine Graham Cracker, among others. And every once in awhile, Craig jumps in here to say something too. I love the fact that my Trailmix pals have come over here to support me at this time. I hope to be able to visit them in their backyard again someday fairly soon.

So please welcome them, and don’t think it’s weird just because they all call me Lard. Now you know why.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: I apologize for changing the blog’s subject with this post, but I”m trying to keep Labor Day Weekend “cancer free” so I can enjoy the holiday. I’ll get back to having brain cancer on Tuesday.


14 Responses

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  1. Ann Hellmuth said, on September 5, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Did you read last Sunday’s NYT Sunday Magazine story on Katrina? It was like reading a Holocaust story.

  2. bluedevil said, on September 5, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Bucket, I agree with your take on Katrina. Not given much to non-fiction, as you know, since I’ve made a living at it for 40 years, I recommend The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke, one of my all-time favorites writers and one of the best at creating and maintaining long-term characters in American fiction. Take a look at Katrina through Dave Robicheaux’s world.
    Miss you, brother.

  3. fish said, on September 5, 2009 at 10:31 am

    have a great weekend Sean! (and ditto on Tin Rof Blowdown!)

  4. Kelly J Fent said, on September 5, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Brian Williams – Bless his heart and God love him. Most excellent successor to Tom Brokaw.

    Have a super weekend, Sean. I’ll eat a Santa-Cali-Gon corn dog in your honor.

    Love, Kelly

  5. Pookie said, on September 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Every tumor and tumoree deserve a Holiday.

  6. ct, Carol said, on September 6, 2009 at 7:05 am

    And sometimes Lard, I think it is worrying about all this politics that can give you a brain tumor. Need happy thoughts and very few of them are happy. My mental and physical well being improved when I backed off from it some. I started a blog to go to for a break. It’s called Carol’s Southern Spice.

  7. RebelliousRenee said, on September 6, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Lard!…. I’ve been calling you by your name, Sean, on this place… I forgot how nice it sounds to address you by your “real” name…

    I started reading Craig’s blog in whatever carnation it started out as from the very beginning. He replaced a vacationing Ron Reagan on a show on MSNBC (long gone) called Coast to Coast for 2 weeks. I fell in love with his sense of humor. On his last day, Monica Crowley, the other host… asked Craig what he planned to do next. He said he was starting a blog to get the man on the street’s opinions. I lurked the first 3-4 months and then finally decided to answer a question asked by ColoradoBob. And the rest… as they say… is history.

    We eagerly await your return.

  8. Maxtrue said, on September 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks Sean for explaining that.

    Between the persona and the person, there is ususally considerable distance. Not so with you LL. Humility and independent thinking merges your two together into an honest whole. “Lardass Liberal” has about the same lampoonish color as “Maxtrue”. I’ll tell you that story after you return to TM where your centrist sensibilities have been sorely missed.

    In the meantime, Carol is right. Enjoy the holiday and beautiful weather. May the coming season restore all your energy for the long road ahead.


  9. harborwoman said, on September 6, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    …and this Trailmixer wants to know why some of your posters call you Buket. I love that name, too!

  10. Flatus said, on September 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Lard, I love that Entenmann’s truck! Goodness knows it would really fit in here in Columbia, lard capital of the United States. Here, on the first of September, as in every other year, summer fell to autumn virtually overnight. It’s a welcome change.

    In St Pete we’d have the AC on almost every day until Thanksgiving. Here, we have a semblance of four seasons. It makes me think of Labor Day in Ohio when I was a kid. It was a really nice holiday with perhaps 120 relatives showing up at the farm for a giant potluck picnic. We had our own family newspaper, The Ohlfahrt Doings, or something like that, that talked about the events in people’s lives over the past year.

    It was a very special day. And, sure as the sun rises in the east, it was followed by the start of school the next day.

    And, so, Happy Labor Day to you, Lard, and to all the others out there who believe this is a special hangout!

  11. Dudemaster said, on September 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks for the LB shout-out, brother. I feel included… so I got that going for me… which is nice. Blog’s lookin’ good.

  12. Jamie said, on September 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    The real reason all the trailmixers are here is because we miss you there. Now you need to explain the origins of Lord Tallowbottom and your elevation to a well deserved nobility.

    Hope you holiday is a nice respite from all of the serious stuff.

  13. Tonyb said, on September 6, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    I’m glad you shared that.Ha,outrage brought us both to TM.I was outraged at the MSM for their anti-Clinton nonsense..I heard Craig on Olberman(KO) and he was so fair and level headed that I decided to give it a go..I dumped MSM cable for TM and its been a nice fit..Miss you there,come back soon..I’m pissed at Obama for not being a fighter,come talk me out of it..

  14. patd said, on September 7, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    lard, bucket, lord tallowbottom, sean, you’re a rose by any other name. loved your description of the dog park inhabitants. hope you don’t mind if i post it on the trail.

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