Open Thread

Not much going on today, so here’s some music and an open thread. These two sound like Emmylou Harris’ and June Carter Cash’s granddaughters, but they grew up in Stockholm. And they can make Patti Smith cry.






60 replies
  1. 1
    Napoleon says:

    I saw Lincoln this weekend and highly recommend it.

  2. 2
    Lolis says:

    No way, I just saw this band in Austin. It was a great show, go see them while the prices are still cheap, people.

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Napoleon: I saw Life of Pi this weekend. Also highly recommended.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Schlemizel says:

    Here is something to consider when you drop a coin in that red pot:
    Salvation Army Official: Gays Deserve Death
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com.....ath/53885/

    Merry F’in Xmas

  6. 6

    I heard an interview with these girls on Radio Sweden on the World Radio Network on XM. How on earth did mistermix hear of them?

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    When you’ve even lost Tom Ricks.

    http://mediadecoder.blogs.nyti.....d=tw-share

    Thomas E. Ricks, the veteran defense reporter and author, said he expected his Monday morning appearance on Fox News to last about three minutes. It ended, in fact, after 90 seconds — his last sentence was a description of the network as “a wing of the Republican Party.”
    __
    After the interview, a Fox News staffer told Mr. Ricks that he had been rude.
    __
    The strange and unusually short interview segment quickly gained the attention of media critics, because criticism of Fox News is rarely aired on Fox News. Mr. Ricks said in an e-mail message afterward that he did not think he was being rude. “I thought I was being honest,” he said. “They asked my opinion, and I gave it.”
    __
    The topic was the attack on the United States’s diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Before being thanked and sent on his way, Mr. Ricks said he thought the controversy around the attack was “hyped, by this network especially.”

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    Back from the beach!

  9. 9
    mistermix says:

    @Lolis: Way

    @Southern Beale: Via carrier pigeon to my fortress of solitude.

  10. 10
    trollhattan says:

    @Southern Beale:
    I know of them through the All Songs Considered podcast, which is my main connection to twenty-first century music (me, being decrepit and all).

  11. 11
    Jay S says:

    Here is a sad tail from a few days ago of liars and trolls on the internet afflicting cancer patients. It’s from The Stranger, so the language and ads are NSFW.

  12. 12
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: A lot of buzz going down about Zero Dark Thirty. Apparently it’s very unflinching in its depictions of enhanced interrogation techniques. Cause we don’t torture dontchaknow.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    James Gary says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Noted hipster/music critic Paul Krugman posted a link on his blog a few days ago.

  15. 15
    Barney says:

    Note to video editors: don’t allow clocks into “live” videos. Or you’ll get continuity errors such as most of the video showing the studio clock around 14:40, but one shot with it reading 13:37 (about 0:45 on youTube) (that, or you’ll really have to film it in one take).

    Great song, though.

  16. 16
    Chris says:

    @Napoleon:

    Me too.

    Thaddeus Stevens stole the show. Being played by Tommy Lee Jones didn’t hurt, but having looked him up on Wikipedia, and damn, his actual resume’s even better! “He defended and supported Native Americans, Seventh-day Adventists, Mormons, Jews, Chinese, and women. However, the defense of runaway or fugitive slaves gradually began to consume the greatest amount of his time, until the abolition of slavery became his primary political and personal focus. He was actively involved in the Underground Railroad, assisting runaway slaves in getting to Canada. An Underground Railroad site has been discovered under his office in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.” Apparently also not a fan of big banks. Damn, where have the history books been hiding this guy?

    But yeah, otherwise loved the movie – among other things, motivating me to learn even more about the political history of the era. (Question – the movie portrays the Republicans as split between Stevens’ Radicals and a Blue Dog-ish Conservative faction more sympathetic to slavery. Would I be right in assuming that the Conservative faction was the one that took control of the party in the Gilded Age, with all the 1%er unpleasantness that implied – not to mention eventually giving the South back to the old Confederacy on a platter – or were the Radicals part of the problem too?)

  17. 17
    Yutsano says:

    @Schlemizel: Loverly. He should go collect coins in Uganda, they’re about to agree with him.

  18. 18
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Damn, I missed them in town last month. They’ll probably be back next time, though.

  19. 19

    @Schlemizel: I hector the bell ringers every year with that. My wife always points out that I’m taking this out on the wrong people, but many of them are surprised when I point this out.

  20. 20
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @trollhattan: Just saw that on Martin Bashir’s show. Good on Ricks! Love how the Faux Noise reporter cut the interview short. Ha!

  21. 21
    gogol's wife says:

    @trollhattan:

    That is a hilarious video. Good for him. Another Fox anchor with his mouth hanging open. There’s no prettier sight.

  22. 22

    As of this morning, Romney’s percentage of the popular vote is down to 47.49%, which rounds down to 47%!

  23. 23

    @General Stuck: Great article. I think the trade-off of extending the Bush tax cuts for the stimulus measures like the payroll tax holiday was probably worth it, although spending like that can’t go on forever.

  24. 24

    @trollhattan: Even though they cut him off, I am glad he got the point across. He said it very well.

  25. 25
    Haydnseek says:

    @Schlemizel: This is why I have never given the Starvation Army a dime and never will. I stay away from their thrift stores as well, and for me this isn’t easy. I do give to Goodwill Industries. The company I used to work for employed a dozen or so disabled people through Goodwill, and has a very productive long-standing relationship with them. As always, it’s an individual choice. I’ve made mine.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Chris: Me three! I was wondering about the same things, are there any historians on BJ who can answer these questions?

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay S:

    Well, that was depressing. Not entirely a new thing, though — Armistead Maupin wrote a novel about a similar thing that happened to him in the pre-internet days. (And the movie version with Robin Williams is supposed to be pretty good, too.)

    ETA: Here’s a link to the Wikipedia article about the original “Anthony Godby Johnson” hoax that inspired Maupin’s novel.

  29. 29
    kc says:

    Wow, that was cool.

  30. 30
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Jay S: I find it beyond astonishing that anyone would take anything posted by anyone on the internet at face value.

  31. 31
    Napoleon says:

    @Chris:

    I like how they managed to get so close to the look of the actual people being portrayed. Friday before seeing the movie I paged through a book I have of Civil War photos and just from seeing the trailer I instently knew from looking at the photos that they were in the movie. Especially google the CSA’s VP for a pic – or Seward – or —

  32. 32
    Brachiator says:

    I was catching up on the November 20 episode of the Rachel Maddow show, and found the clip of Aung San Suu Kyi warmly embracing Secretary of State Clinton, briefly holding her hand, to be charming and engaging.

    I cannot imagine Republicans like Romney or Ryan being able to engage foreign leaders and dignitaries with anything remotely close to this natural warmth and affection.

    An alternate clip of this moment hopefully can still be found here: Historic visit to Myanmar by US President.

  33. 33
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Suggestion can we have an thread about the movie Lincoln? I find the history and the parallels of those times to the present situation fascinating. Also, noticing how far we have come and how much farther we need to go.

  34. 34
    Maude says:

    Always check other sources when using Wikipedia. It isn’t always accurate. Sometimes the entries are a bit fouled up.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Linnaeus says:

    @Chris:

    Question – the movie portrays the Republicans as split between Stevens’ Radicals and a Blue Dog-ish Conservative faction more sympathetic to slavery. Would I be right in assuming that the Conservative faction was the one that took control of the party in the Gilded Age, with all the 1%er unpleasantness that implied – not to mention eventually giving the South back to the old Confederacy on a platter – or were the Radicals part of the problem too?

    Interestingly, the more conservative Republican faction that you’re referring to called themselves the Liberal Republicans during Reconstruction. They did get the upper hand in the Republican Party by 1876 or so – the Radicals were getting advanced in age and the enthusiasm for Reconstruction had waned in the North – folks wanted to get back to business, figuratively and literally.

  37. 37
    Linnaeus says:

    Furthermore, the Radicals were hurt politically by the scandals of the Grant administration – he supported the Radical program of Reconstruction and so they came to be associated with him.

  38. 38
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Linnaeus: How did the losers of the war seize the narrative of the war? Isn’t it winners who are supposed to write the history?

    ETA: The conventional wisdom on the Civil War,
    1. It was not about slavery
    2. Southern States were noble if somewhat misguided, and so on.

  39. 39
    Chris says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Interestingly, the more conservative Republican faction that you’re referring to called themselves the Liberal Republicans during Reconstruction.

    I think “liberal,” in the nineteenth century, was a word associated with the bourgeoisie – e.g. the kind of urban capitalists who were impatient with more traditional, rural and feudal elites (like the slave owners) and wanted to supplant them at the top of the food chain.

    I can see how that faction would be on board with a crusade to break the slave owners, but after that was done, would tire of the Radicals’ do-gooder routine and want everything to get back to normal. (“Get back to business,” as you say).

  40. 40
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    ETA: The conventional wisdom on the Civil War,
    1. It was not about slavery
    2. Southern States were noble if somewhat misguided, and so on.

    I read an interesting CNN poll some time ago (here it is http://politicalticker.blogs.c.....americans/). I say interesting because contrary to my expectations – “When asked the reason behind the Civil War, whether it was fought over slavery or states’ rights, 52 percent of all Americans said the leaders of the Confederacy seceded to keep slavery legal in their state, but a sizeable 42 percent minority said slavery was not the main reason why those states seceded.”

    Even more interesting, on another topic: “In the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released Tuesday, roughly one in four Americans said they sympathize more with the Confederacy than the Union, a figure that rises to nearly four in ten among white Southerners.”

    Only 40% of white Southerners sympathize with the Rebs more than the Yanks? DAMN; I’d say the question of which side was the right one (regardless of what caused the war) is pretty well settled.

  41. 41
    Linnaeus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It’s complicated, but one important reason was the influence of the Dunning School of interpretation of Reconstruction (and to some degree, of the Civil War that preceded it) in the early 20th century. The Dunning School was very critical of Reconstruction, and its interpretations were in US History textbooks for decades. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the Dunning School faced a serious revisionist challenge.

    @Chris:

    Yes, I’d agree that “liberal” would have carried that connotation in the 19th century. The Liberal Republicans were very friendly to big business and saw opportunities to expand Northern business interests into the South and they saw Reconstruction as hindering that.

  42. 42

    @mistermix:

    They played Nashville back in October, I missed the gig unfortunately. They’re really good, tho.

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    @Chris:

    Thaddeus Stevens stole the show. Being played by Tommy Lee Jones didn’t hurt, but having looked him up on Wikipedia, and damn, his actual resume’s even better! “He defended and supported Native Americans, Seventh-day Adventists, Mormons, Jews, Chinese, and women.

    It’s funny. In looking up stuff about Stevens, I ran across an almost humorously myopic blog on the InterTubes that blasted him because he was supposedly anti-Mason.

  44. 44

    @Chris:

    We saw Lincoln over the weekend. I wasn’t wild about it. It was good, for what it was. But I felt like every time Daniel Day Lewis was on screen it was accompanied by all of these “NOW IS HIS BIG OSCAR MOMENT” bells and whistles. There just seemed something … I dunno, staged or phony about the whole thing? It was not my favorite movie of the year so far, I have to say.

    Flame away, I’m sure it will win all sorts of Oscars and I’m the only person who feels this way …

  45. 45
    Linnaeus says:

    By the way, for those interested in Reconstruction history, I’d recommend Eric Foner’s work. It’s probably the best out there still.

  46. 46
    Chris says:

    @Linnaeus:

    I feel like as far as the public consciousness goes, Hollywood’s love affair with the Lost Cause thing probably did at least as much as anything academic – then again, maybe they got it from Dunning believers in the first place.

    @Brachiator:

    I did catch that he was an anti-Mason. That one point I do hold against him. Pretty impressive resume in other points, though.

  47. 47
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Southern Beale: I have to disagree, I thought Day-Lewis was phenomenal in the role, he is perhaps one of the greatest actors alive. He was great as Hawkeye, dashing and handsome as well as the wimpy Cecil in A Room with a View and who can forget his Newland Archer in The Age of Innocence. Of course YMMV.

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Suggestion can we have an thread about the movie Lincoln? I find the history and the parallels of those times to the present situation fascinating.

    Yep. Funny thing, though. I think that ideological purists would find “Lincoln” as toxic as garlic to a vampire running away from Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.

    I was not expecting the movie to be more a political drama than a conventional cinematic biography. My sister, her husband and my mother all enjoyed the film when they went to see it this weekend. Sadly, many teens find the movie to be stuffy and tedious, and can’t relate to all them dudes with funny beards.

  49. 49
    Linnaeus says:

    @Chris:

    Right; it wasn’t just the Dunning School, but also popular literature, film, theater, etc. that promulgated similar ideas, e.g., Birth of a Nation.

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    @Southern Beale:

    We saw Lincoln over the weekend. I wasn’t wild about it. It was good, for what it was. But I felt like every time Daniel Day Lewis was on screen it was accompanied by all of these “NOW IS HIS BIG OSCAR MOMENT” bells and whistles.

    I don’t blame Day-Lewis for this. Spielberg could not resist portraying Lincoln as a secular saint. For me, Day-Lewis worked hard to show you the canny politician as well as the statesman.

    So, I agree that the movie was very uneven, but I loved the political machinations and the way the stakes of Lincoln’s actions were clearly laid out.

  51. 51
    Chris says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Yeah, my main question is how it managed to become so dominant in the popular imagination, regardless of academics or the truth.

    I mean, if I’d been a non-Southern soldier (or relative of a soldier) who’d just spent four years risking life and limb to preserve the Republic from a bunch of traitors, I’d think I’d be pissed off as hell to see politicians in Washington coddling them. Did they have to wait until a new generation had popped up before that belief really took? (The Dunning article does place that school of thought as being early 20th century, not late 19th).

  52. 52
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Napoleon:
    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Heh. My carpool passenger saw Lincoln and Life of Pi, and highly recommended them both.

  53. 53
    Linnaeus says:

    @Chris:

    I mean, if I’d been a non-Southern soldier (or relative of a soldier) who’d just spent four years risking life and limb to preserve the Republic from a bunch of traitors, I’d think I’d be pissed off as hell to see politicians in Washington coddling them. Did they have to wait until a new generation had popped up before that belief really took? (The Dunning article does place that school of thought as being early 20th century, not late 19th).

    I think that as first-hand memories of the Civil War began to fade in the late 19th & early 20th centuries, there was definitely an opening for popular and academic interpretations that were more sympathetic to the white South. In the few decades immediately following the war, Americans could be very selective about how they chose to remember the war. Republicans were not shy about invoking the Civil War to get votes (this tactic was called “waving the bloody shirt”) and organizations like the Grand Army of the Republic could exercise a fair amount of political influence. At the same time, Americans were exhausted by the war and wanted to turn their attention elsewhere (especially to the trans-Mississippi west) and on rebuilding the nation’s economy. Northern Americans were less interested in what was going on in the South. Race certainly had something to do with that – northern whites didn’t have the same verve for protecting the rights of African-Americans in the South (or even in their own states) that they did for keeping the South in the Union.

  54. 54
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Great idea, but I know I’m not going to be able to see it until next Sunday at the earliest. Could we hold off a week or so, to give everyone who wants to see it maximum opportunity to do so?

    (Of course, we all know how it ends, so I guess “spoilers” isn’t a big issue.)

  55. 55
    Chris says:

    @Linnaeus:

    northern whites didn’t have the same verve for protecting the rights of African-Americans in the South (or even in their own states) that they did for keeping the South in the Union.

    And I suppose black people and the abolitionists who wanted to free them were the perfect scapegoats for both sides to bash during reconciliation.

    The portrayal of abolitionists for about a hundred years after the Civil War reminds me a lot of the loathing for DFHs in our culture. People don’t actually disagree with their basic cause(s), not most of them anyway, but all agree to portray them as dangerous radicals who nearly destroyed the nation.

  56. 56
    marcopolo says:

    Saw First Aid Kit live in St Louis in September and they were AMAZING! The younger sister has the voice of an angel crossed with Janis Joplin. If you get a chance to see them go go go. And support them by buying their stuff too!

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris:

    Yeah, my main question is how it managed to become so dominant in the popular imagination, regardless of academics or the truth.

    Short version: racism

    Longer version: Eugenics has been so discredited at this point that I think people vastly underestimate how much influence it had as “science” in the late 19th century and up until the middle of the 20th century. I have a really interesting book called Evil Sisters that fails to successfully support its main thesis but has a ton of examples of just how pervasive eugenics and “race science” were in American popular culture, and how thoroughly we’ve forgotten about it as a culture. It shows up as plot points in Hemmingway and Faulkner, but now we look at it as manifestations of those authors’ personalities instead of the truth, which was that they were putting bits of pop science into their novels.

    From that link above, it looks as though the Dunning School of examining the Reconstruction was very much in the mainstream with its casual racism, which is what gave it so much authority.

  58. 58
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I have a really interesting book called Evil Sisters that fails to successfully support its main thesis but has a ton of examples of just how pervasive eugenics and “race science” were in American popular culture, and how thoroughly we’ve forgotten about it as a culture. It shows up as plot points in Hemmingway and Faulkner, but now we look at it as manifestations of those authors’ personalities instead of the truth, which was that they were putting bits of pop science into their novels.

    I’ve thought similar things while reading Ian Fleming’s James Bond. I don’t actually like the books much (as opposed to the movies), but I find them fascinating as a look into the world pre-1960s, before what the wingnuts call “political correctness” and the rest of us call frowning upon racism, sexism and homophobia when it’s expressed publicly. The fact that it’s considered more pedestrian and pop-culture-ish than Hemingway only makes it that much more revealing.

    I didn’t think of it in terms of “putting bits of pop science into their novels,” but I thought it was pretty revealing of the state of mind that was considered acceptable in these days.

  59. 59
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Chris: Can’t really disagree with any of the thoughtful answers to your question about how the South got to spin the narrative of the Civil War. But we shouldn’t underestimate the influence of Gone With the Wind specifically, as a single artifact from which a huge number of Americans got their “knowledge” about that war, its causes, and its aftermath.

  60. 60
    debbie says:

    @trollhatten:

    Your Ricks story has brightened my morning. Someone should set up a site that collects examples of conservative loss of self-awareness. I would add Ann Coulter’s complaint to Glenn Beck that Obama had been “horribly rude” to Romney in the second debate.

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