Hog is dead--long live Hog!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Why Hog?

Naming a blog is like naming a band. What would have happened if REM had called themselves Stink Dog? Would Wonkette draw 50k readers if it was called "Ana's Place"?

I pondered this question for some minutes. Rejected: Bush is a Rat Bastard (time limited); Prophet Jeff (show, don't tell); Eschaton (oh, come on). After a half cup of coffee, I arrived at Low on the Hog. Yes, it is subtle and nuanced, intellectually and poetically satisfying, but that's not why I chose it.

The phrase first came into rotation in my vocabulary in 1992, in or around New Delhi, India. I was traveling throughout Asia with friends, and we were trying to stretch our dollar. Rather than describe our mode of travel as "cheap" or "dangerous," we chose the elegance of "low on the hog." It was not a mode particularly distinct from our way of living back home either, as it happened.

Class, that ugly unspoken concept Americans have forever tried to transcend--or, for the ultra-inherited rich, ignore. Thanks to the last 25 years, the GOP have managed to transfer most of the nation's new wealth to the already-wealthy, leaving the rest of us to tread water or lose ground. Where under the great Democratic governments of mid-century we actually did pretty good at compressing class differences, under the GOP since Reagan, we've managed to create a nice little two-tier system old France would have been proud of.

For the top few percent of Americans, the last twenty-five years have been sweet indeed. They have been living, for that generation, high on the hog. The rest of us? Ah ... not so much. And that's why I resolved, after lo those 12 minutes, to call the site Low on the Hog.

(And for those of you who revel in nuance and complexity, there's trough enough to root around in for you. The trough for example, at which the wealthy feed. There's pork in the name, and pork in politics. Hogs wallow in mire, and we here at Hog HQ do a fair amount of wallowing ourselves. And finally, a blog called hog is ever so nice. More entendres? Do tell.)

Hope you enjoy it.


Anonymous Sandra said...

I'm high on Low on the Hog!

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Sandra said...

and, by the way, I have this great life insurance policy for sale...

what's up with the spammy comments?

3:28 PM  
Blogger eRobin said...

I'm so glad you're back solo. Cute pig.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, ok. But if we have to have Friday Hog Blogging, let people post cats and butterflies too.

ye olde serial catowner

6:10 AM  
Anonymous Absent Mindful said...

You know, hogs are just extremely large pigs (I think they're 120+ lbs.) so even if you're low on the hog, you're probably a bit higher than the common swine.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Jeff Alworth said...

Spam is the way of the future blogs, apparently. So still a few bugs to work out...

7:27 AM  
Anonymous iggi said...

the Hog is sweet...keep at it. that "Blue" experiment was half-assed.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Absent Mindful said...

Hey iggi, maybe we should register "HighOnSpam.com" for our next blog.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Absent Mindful said...

My band STINK DOG will be playing in Jeff's backyard next Tuesday. Our big hit is a cover of "Plate In My Head", but we're really an REM Tribute Band.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

I have never heard you use the expression "low on the Hog"
But hey, call it what ever you like, I'm just glad you're back!

5:12 PM  
Blogger Mick said...

You know, I fancy myself something of an expert in American colloquialisms, but 'high on the hog' is a new one on me. Is it a regionalism peculiar to the west? I take it it means 'living large', or being flush, or something like that. Odd, but then most collies are.

Is Blogger any more stable than it was last year? Hope so, for your sake.

Anyway, glad you're back on a daily basis. You've been missed.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"High on the hog" is a quaint Canadian expression dating back many years. It takes meaning from the fact that people who eat well, using the cuts from high on the hog, are usually those with cash. The political hogs also take the upper cuts and leave the lower bits for the rest of us. Get it?

4:27 PM  

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