January 30, 2006

Announcing "The Andrew Sullivan Award"

Over on Surfeited with Dainties, Michael Brendan Dougherty is collecting nominees:

This award will go to commentary that is overwhelmed by a tangential trip into the personal obsessions of the writer. This is a tricky category as some commentators specialize in certain subjects and therefore give their "take" on a story. One must distinguish carefully between an author's specialty where their expertise obliges them - and their obsessions.

In case anybody doesn't get the joke, I immediately nominated Andrew Sullivan for the Andrew Sullivan Award:

It would be hard to pick anybody for the initial Andrew Sullivan award other than Andrew and his obsession with the topic of torture. It's similar to the late Michel Foucault's obsession with prisons and bondage. Still, I think that an argument could be made that Sullivan has been turning his fascination with torture toward good ends, just as boys who are obsessed with fires, and have arsonist tendencies, often become firemen and make a noble career out of putting out fires.

So maybe there should two Andrew Sullivan Awards, one for sublimating personal obsessions toward good ends (as with Andrew and torture), and another for where self-absorption just overwhelms rational thought, as with Andrew and most other topics that are even remotely related to his gayness.

If you haven't seen it yet, I wrote a long profile called "Sullivan's Travails" for VDARE.com in the summer of 2001 that explains the interaction between Sullivan's writing, his personality, and his prescription testosterone intake.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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