Woke up at 11 a.m. today. Believe me: I’m incapable of oversleeping. This is a special day. In celebration, for the next three days this blog is going dark. But first.

Yesterday on Tom Ricks’ blog, CNAS’s Christine Parthemore pwned me in an audacious, daring surprise attack. Reacting to a throwaway line in my Primetime Roger Carstens post about CNAS next devising a population-centric plan to cleave rappers from their overreliance on Auto-Tune, Parthemore accused me of being overly focused on platforms at the expense of strategy:

While we do not take institutional positions, I can affirm after a healthy debate that many of my colleagues agree that while the over-use of Auto-Tune should be walked back to a status of minimal but strategic, calculated use, a sweeping call for its death represents just the kind of un-nuanced policy which we attempt in all our work to counterbalance.  Do we call for the mass destruction of guitars because of Daughtry? No, we don’t. Certainly Jamie Foxx et al.’s performance at this week’s BET Awards argues for a measured approach to this issue.

Let me concede up front that I am defeated. Much like al-Qaeda in Iraq, any effort on my part to rejoinder will fail to affect the strategic picture that Parthemore has decisively influenced. Accordingly, that doesn’t mean I can’t cause a measure of self-indulgent damage.

Parthemore proceeds from a false premise: that I called for the death of Auto-Tune. In truth, I suggested that were CNAS to propose an anti-Auto-Tune strategy, its approach might focus on removing the demand for Auto-Tune amongst rappers and singers. My post was agnostic on the normative question of killing Auto-Tune, which is in line with my documented history of tolerance for Auto-Tune. My substantive Auto-Tune position isn’t far from Parthemore’s. She’s needlessly antagonizing a reconcilable element here. 

But all this is so much after-action-report rationalization. Parthemore’s attack has succeeded. The rationale strategic move is to seek the terms of a further alliance most favorable to a defeated party. And so I go on vacation. Happy 4th to everyone, crack open a few beers too many, and please spare some time to think about the Marines in Helmand Province. I leave you with Joe Budden’s "D.O.A." freestyle.

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman