The Satin Pajamas were a real hoot for me, frankly. Had the 1st Annual European Weblog Awards been submitted to a jury of ?experts,? there?s a general feeling among us Euros in the Fistful that a well-known site like Crooked Timber would have won. And frankly, that would have been boring as hell.
Instead, the vote went the way it should have: It became a popularity contest, and an occasionally crass one at that, amidst a miniature orgy of backbiting and recriminations (?snaggle-toothed, accordion-playing hillbillies? was my personal favorite). This ? sorry to say it folks ? is one of the reasons I love Europe.
Owing in part to a furious round of vote-grubbing on the part of both Slovenia?s The Glory of Carniola and Hungary?s Pestiside (let?s not forget, Pestiside started it!), Carniola was propelled to victory, not only in the category that started the fracas in the first place (Best Weblog Focused On A Single Country Or Region) but in the Grand Prix ?Best Weblog? category itself.
Michael Manske of Carniola, rooting for Petite Anglaise in the top slot, asked AFoE to withdraw Carniola from the Best Weblog category, even before the polls closed, citing “religious reasons.” We do not accept his non-acceptance. The Grand Prix Satin Pajama goes to Carniola, whether he wants it or not. We congratulate him: It?s an excellent site, and it won fair and square.
Well? Yes, careful readers may have noticed that, according to Manske himself, “an enthusiastic Carniola reader voted more than once from different computers.” This “confession” came via his comments bin. The matter has been submitted to the members of this blog for adjudication.
A Fistful of Euros decrees: Yeah, and?
Look ? and here?s my personal viewpoint ? this being Europe, I suspect there was a gentlemanly amount of cheating on all sides. Everybody who isn?t self-employed had a chance to vote at least twice (once at the office, once at home). There were Slovene partisans who accused the Pestisiders of cheating, based on its disproportionate votes-to-traffic ratio. Independently, a few excited Pestiside readers accused their neighbors of the same, claiming to have noticed sudden jumps in Carniola?s numbers. Frankly, we have no way of verifying any of this, nor can we know if disqualifying multiple votes would have changed the results. We can?t even vouch for the validity of so-called ?Carniola confession.? And that?s just limiting the discussion to the Hungary-Slovenia flap.
And come now ? ?cheating? is a strong word, no? It implies breaking the rules. And never, to my knowledge, did we post any rules! Yes, for the record, if there’d been anything seriously screwy, like a mass transmission of votes by automated script (can you imagine anything more lame?) we would have noticed it and disqualified the benefactor. That didn?t happen. The results stand.
So, Pestiside wins ?Best New Weblog? and is able to get further mileage out of the bizarre notion of beleaguered Magyars getting stabbed in the back, yet again, by the treacherous Slovenes. And (the deserving, in my view) Carniola gets not one, but two prizes. Everybody?s a winner, it seems.
Now for the upshot of this contest: I, for one, am an extremely conservative blog surfer. I usually stick to the blogs I know and those that know me. (Embarassingly, much of AFOE?s own blogroll is virtually unknown to me.) Yet thanks to Satin Pajamas, I?ve been exposed, with pleasure and edification, to excellent sites such Northern Ireland?s Slugger O?Toole (winner of the Best Political Weblog prize). I?ll leave the comments section open to further namedropping along the lines of, ?Golly, I had no idea such-and-such guy/gal/group even existed.?
If I may do so on behalf of AFOE, I?d like to close the first annual Satin Pajamas with the following good-natured message to the European People(s): Chill out!