Tuesday Evening Open Thread

ballard separation anxiety(Ballard Street via GoComics.com)
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Back in the 1980s, Stan Mack had a “Real Life Funnies” cartoon explaining the Asshole Truck. I wish that strip was availabe on his website, because nothing so well expresses the day I’ve had.

So… what’s it like in your neighborhood tonight?






200 replies
  1. 1
    PsiFighter37 says:

    About to exercise. Done so every day since New Year’s…need to get back in shape after slacking off at the end of the year. I do P90X…so please do not hate me. I started doing it before I had any idea Paul Ryan did so.

  2. 2
    Walker says:

    Just finished A Memory of Light. Now The pressure is all on GRRM.

  3. 3
    Mnemosyne says:

    I got through a full day of work after flying back from Phoenix last night. Later tonight, I get to discuss the details of my dad’s will and financial situation with my brother. Fun! G already has a hard cider on ice for me.

  4. 4
    efgoldman says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    About to exercise.

    Since I came home from the hospital and rehab from my stroke, a year ago December (2011), I’ve gotten up on the treadmill twice a day, every day. Last March or April I got up to two twenty-minute sessions a day, 1/2 mile each session. Most exercise I’ve done since basic training, in 1968. Don’t like it, but I do it. Gives me time to watch Sports Center and yell at the TV. They never pay attention.

  5. 5
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    still dealing with fallout from major admin clusterfuck in my dept. All I want to do is drink. At least the bushfires are mostly extinguished.

    @Walker: I really really really tried to love Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. I enjoyed Elantris (even if it ended too quickly) but I just could not get into Mist Born at all. I know people love him. I don’t get it. Insight?

  6. 6
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Oh, and I’m about 100 pages into Ender’s Game. Not supremely impressed yet…will wait to see how the rest of the book plays out before passing judgment, but I am a bit disappointed given the good things I had heard about the book.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    I think it’s one of those books that was really amazing at the time, but has been imitated and improved on so much since it was published that it doesn’t entirely hold up. Sort of like how Godard’s Breathless doesn’t look as revolutionary today as it did at the time because everyone else started imitating it.

  8. 8
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    Spent the day being a lazy hump since I was off work. Am now in the process of trying to procure some TF2 items so I can work the awful, terrible magic that is crafting.

  9. 9
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Trying to figure out how to prove that there are an infinite number of primes of the form 6n+1. It’s actually a lot easier to prove there are an infinite number of primes of the form 6n+5 (6n-1).

  10. 10
    dr. bloor says:

    Stan Mack = Brilliant. I still have a stack of yellowed strips from the Village Voice c. 80’s in my files.

  11. 11
    efgoldman says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Trying to figure out how to prove that there are an infinite number of primes of the form 6n+1.

    Aaargh! The Maths! The Maths!! Run away, run away!

  12. 12
    Keith G says:

    As some of you have learned, I work with a nonprofit hospice that serves those afflicted by HIV/AIDS. Its a wonderful place and we do important work.

    This year’s Houston Marathon may choose us to receive some of the proceeds. What “may” happen will be determined by votes tallied at the marathon’s blog site.

    Should you wish to help, just visit here and scroll down to “Bering Omega Community Services” and vote.

    Of course if you see causes on the list that you are affiliated with or care about, give them your support. There’s a bunch of good groups on that list.

    Here is more info about the good folks with whom I work.

  13. 13
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Only a few days until NHL hockey picks up again. I have mixed feelings.

  14. 14

    Oh yeah the asshole truck. The one that Scott Brown drives and brags about.

  15. 15
    efgoldman says:

    Some important polling information, courtesy PPP (h/t Kilgore, Political Animal)

    Our newest national poll finds that Congress only has a 9% favorability rating with 85% of voters viewing it in a negative light. We’ve seen poll after poll after poll over the last year talking about how unpopular Congress is but really, what’s the difference between an 11% or a 9% or a 7% favorability rating? So we decided to take a different approach and test Congress’ popularity against 26 different things. And what we found is that Congress is less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams, and even Nickelback.

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.....steem.html

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    @efgoldman:

    I think I need a t-shirt that says “Congress — Less Popular than Nickelback”

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: This, of course, raises the important question: What is less popular, cockroaches or Nickelback?

  18. 18
    aangus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ding, ding, ding!

  19. 19
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    What is less popular, cockroaches or Nickelback?

    It may be true that everyone hates Nickelback, but apparently everyone hates Congress even more: Nickelback 39 Congress 32…
    Cockroaches are a pretty good reason to call the exterminator but voters might be even more concerned if their homes were infested with members of Congress: Cockroaches 45 Congress 43

    Draw your own conclusion.

  20. 20
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I would love to be as rich unpopular as Nickelback.

  21. 21
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Cockroaches have a place in the ecosystem.

  22. 22
    efgoldman says:

    @Pinkamena Panic:

    Cockroaches have a place in the ecosystem.

    And they’ll be around aeons after Congress is gone.

  23. 23

    My DH has decided that he must get down to 160lbs, he is at 190lbs right now, he works out three time a week, 3 hours a work out, I am not sure how I can cut his diet to get him to where he wants to be short of murdering him. Although thinking about it if I can stop him whining about him not being 160lbs then murdering him might be worth it.

  24. 24
    the Conster says:

    After watching 4 seasons in a row – basically 50+ episodes – of Breaking Bad, I think my favorite line so far is Walt’s statement to Hank that “I’m done justifying my life to anybody”. As big a monster as Walt has become, that simple declarative statement has burrowed into my cerebral cortex and has become my own personal mantra at the age of 57.

  25. 25
    MonkeyBoy says:

    That Ballard Street by Jerry Van Amerongen pretty much rips-off pays homage to George Booth’s concept of dogs.

  26. 26
    Luna Sea says:

    I don’t ever post here (well, really rarely), and don’t mean to bring down the thread with sadness, but my brother died yesterday, after over 26 years living with HIV/AIDS. We were always really close, and I took care of him through every illness, every new drug, every side effect. He was at the brink of death so often, always made it through. We had the support of our sisters and parents, but it was still the two of us against the world. Then his personality began to change, maybe due to meds, maybe just life, and after a series of fights I couldn’t handle it anymore. He moved away, then my parents died, there was more fighting, and we stopped talking to each other. We hadn’t talked for 9 years. I hope he understood I still loved him, I just couldn’t carry the both of us anymore.

    I miss his sense of humor, the kindness he could show at times, even though he sometimes balanced it with amazing cruelty. I miss the man he was. I miss my big brother.

    Sorry, everybody, I just needed to put this out there somewhere, and this is the only community I know.

  27. 27
    Comrade Jake says:

    It would seem that Obama might need to borrow those binders Romney’s holding onto.

    Who knew the President was such a misogynistic pig? #sarcasm

  28. 28
    redshirt says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: A single 3 hour workout sounds extreme, and maybe counter-productive. Better to have 3 1 hour sessions than 1 3 hour.

  29. 29
    JGabriel says:

    Daily Kos had an article on PPP polling the popularity of Congress, compared to various things like Donald Trump and cockroaches — Congress less popular than both, by the way.

    However, I suspect the methodology may have been flawed. For the life of me, I can’t understand how Congress, particularly the House GOP, could possibly be more popular than Gonorrhea.

    It just makes no damn sense.

    .

  30. 30
    efgoldman says:

    So, as we all know, last night the Confederate semi-pro team thrashed the Pope’s semi-pro team in the game of the century, or millennium, or epoch, or something. And, yeah, I hung around that thread much longer than is healthy.

    Here’s another point-of-view on the winners.

    When Coach Nick Saban was first hired by Alabama for $4 million a year, that salary seemed outrageous. Now? He’s getting well more than $5 million; I say, give that man a raise.
    And there’s a point to that. If you want the very best — and Saban is the very best, in this era, for sure, and maybe in any — you have to pay for it.
    That the University of Alabama understands that and acts on it, at least for its football program, should be a lesson for the State of Alabama.
    Alabama has some of the nation’s best education programs — the Alabama Reading Initiative, the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative and First Class prekindergarten — but we have traditionally so poorly funded them that they don’t have the impact they could have.
    Alabama goes cheap on most services, usually providing the bare minimum it takes to get by. And it shows, in practically every quality-of-life survey there is. We rank near the bottom in the nation in such vital categories as education, child well-being, mental health care, elderly care and fitness. And our politicians act as if they’re proud to be cheap, that cheap is some badge of honor.

    http://blog.al.com/jkennedy/20.....alaba.html

  31. 31
    MaryJane says:

    Tonight’s meeting ends my four-year stint as Secretary for our local Democratic Club. Due to a change in my work schedule necessitated by husband’s health problems, I can’t commit to the duties this year. It’s bittersweet; I’ll miss the fired-up feeling I always leave with, but tired of the same old ideas and grand ambitions that never play out. But for a small club, we did do a great job at voter registration last year. I’m proud of that.

  32. 32
    22over7 says:

    I just finished reading 300+ entries in the comment thread over at Politico, concerning the Alex Jones appearance on Piers Morgan’s show.

    I learned so much. I learned that the KKK and the New Black Panthers are in cahoots with the Democratic Party, and that only 300 or so people died of gunfire in 2011. One fellow had a little trouble writing, and when he was castigated for it, responded that it was petty to insult his punctuality.

    As Saint Molly once said, it’s like opening your refrigerator and finding Fidel Castro in it. You just don’t know what to think.

  33. 33
    MonkeyBoy says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Oh, and I’m about 100 pages into Ender’s Game.

    That book and the related ones are rather monarchist/randian/social-darwinist. The hero and his family are superior because they were born that way with the bestest blood/genes.

  34. 34
    Comrade Jake says:

    @22over7:

    I just finished reading 300+ entries in the comment thread over at Politico, concerning the Alex Jones appearance on Piers Morgan’s show.

    Heh – I did some of the same this morning. Really not much better than your typical comments at a CNN political ticker post. Lotta nutjobs out there.

  35. 35
    efgoldman says:

    @22over7:

    As Saint Molly once said, it’s like opening your refrigerator and finding Fidel Castro in it. You just don’t know what to think.

    Maybe Fidel engaged the same cryogenic outfit that Ted Williams’ family did.

  36. 36
    Pooh says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: have you tried Paleo? Have him try eating basically just meat and veg for a month. Ymmv, but I dropped about 20 lbs in 6 weeks combining that with a heavy workout regimen, though I’m a bit bigger than he is (190 is my idealish weight).

  37. 37
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): hmm. Have you thought about statistical sampling? Or demanding the formula shut the fuck up? That solves a lot of problems, especially if your the type of formula who likes to avoid conflict and won’t bring it up again.

  38. 38
    Walker says:

    @TheMightyTrowel:

    Mistborn is okay, but I am not a fan. Way of Kings, on the other hand, is awesome.

  39. 39
    cckids says:

    @TheMightyTrowel:

    Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. I enjoyed Elantris (even if it ended too quickly) but I just could not get into Mist Born at all. I know people love him. I don’t get it. Insight?

    I’m reading it now, at the urging of my daughter, who loved it. It took some getting into, I agree. I just finished the second book, and I enjoyed seeing the (semi) realistic problems the rebels had in setting up an actual working society, one that had been led by a tyrant for thousands of years. The end of The Well of Ascension (2nd book) is wonderful, hair-raising & touching. Really makes me want to finish the trilogy.

    Give Mistborn some time, the characters may grow on you, they did for me. But I’m a character-driven reader, so there’s that. Love Sazed, in particular.

  40. 40
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @MonkeyBoy: And yet they still had to put the youngest through the toughest training regimen ever, and had to worry about him being a psychopath.

    Superman had pretty good genes, and Batman had a pretty nice trust fund. Do you find those flawed as well? And just think of all of the mutants in Marvel.

  41. 41
    Felinious Wench says:

    Discovered The Dresden Files series over the holiday. Digging into Book 6 and trying not to think about information security requirements for Level 2 government data centers.

    FW +2

  42. 42
    Maude says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I hope things settle soon and my condolences.
    Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf Was far more startling that Breathless. Breathless was artsy fartsy. And dull.
    In Woolf there’s a scene where you hear her yelling from inside of the house. It is chilling.

  43. 43
    mainmati says:

    @Mnemosyne: Agreed “Enders Game” is a classic but is now dated, in some ways. Modern SciFi, (cyber punk and more deeply psychological scifi genres) are (or can be) more compelling.

  44. 44
    Mandalay says:

    The latest in phone technology.

    Does the world really need a phone that you can submerge in two feet of water for half an hour? Or will we soon be whining that what we actually need is a phone that can be submerged in thirty feet of boiling oil for a week?

  45. 45
    handsmile says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Re Breathless
    Perhaps not as evidently revolutionary for the reasons you describe, but it’s still one of the greatest films of the past 50 years. A work that changed narrative cinema. Sight and Sound‘s recent “Critics’ Top 250 Films” poll ranked it at #13, surpassed by only 2001: A Space Odyssey (#6) and 8-1/2 (#10) in that time period.

    http://explore.bfi.org.uk/sightandsoundpolls/2012

    (I seem to recall this is a subject on which we have disagreed before.) :)

  46. 46
    MikeJ says:

    @TheMightyTrowel:

    At least the bushfires are mostly extinguished.

    Literal or figurative?

  47. 47
    Hob says:

    @MonkeyBoy: I can’t tell if you’re objecting to the idea that several child prodigies could come from one family, or to the idea that child prodigies are “better” people. Card really doesn’t propose the latter, since Ender’s brother isn’t a good person at all, and Ender himself only becomes a good person (as opposed to just a sheltered, naïve one) after he decides to atone for a horrible crime. And once he gets out of school, Ender is never in a leadership position— although people see him as sort of a spiritual leader, but that’s based on his philosophical writing about empathy, which is about as un-Randian as you can get.

    I have lots of problems with Card’s world view, but belief in a natural aristocracy just isn’t something I see in his writing– at least up through the mid-’90s which is when I stopped reading all his stuff.

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    The first question for ambitions like that should always be: has he ever been 160, or is this a number in his head that he’s always wanted to get to? I want to get back to 130, but I’ve been there before and know I can do it and that it’s realistic for me. Sometimes people have numbers in their heads that they want to see on the scale that are unsustainable.

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I think most superhero stories are Randian by nature. People accused The Incredibles of it even though there were really, really big hints at the theme (say “Nomanisan Island” out loud).

  49. 49
    nellcote says:

    @MaryJane:

    Tonight’s meeting ends my four-year stint as Secretary for our local Democratic Club.

    thank you for your service.

    sincerely.

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    @handsmile:

    Yes, it’s true — I do not like the French New Wave, and most of it bores me to tears.

    I do tend to like Truffaut’s films, but Godard’s mostly make me want to punch him in the throat for being a pompous ass who’s not nearly as clever as he thinks he is.

  51. 51
    Yutsano says:

    @MikeJ: Hopefully the answer is yes.

  52. 52
    mainmati says:

    @redshirt: Agreed. Reps at lower power levels matter more than one big endurance session. It’s all about gradually building fitness and tone.

  53. 53
    amk says:

    @efgoldman: These ‘polls’ are meaningless since the voters keep sending the same assholes back year after year.

  54. 54
    Maude says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    #49 You said better than me. thx.

  55. 55
    Hob says:

    @Mnemosyne: Most superhero stories either ignore the existence of non-super people (i.e. they’re just about super people beating each other up in increasingly impossible ways), or propose that the supers have a sacred duty to serve and protect the non-supers, even at the risk of being misunderstood and unappreciated. Rand would say that the non-supers are worth nothing except to the degree that they kiss the supers’ asses, and that civilization prior to the advent of superheroes did not exist.

  56. 56
    Walker says:

    @cckids:

    I’m reading it now, at the urging of my daughter, who loved it.

    Sanderson has a lot a female fans because he is a bit of a rarity: a male fantasy writer that writes female characters well.

  57. 57
    MikeJ says:

    @Yutsano: Too hot in Oz to use iphones today.

    http://www.wired.com/design/20.....ature-map/

    In Sydney, temperatures reached 108ºF (42ºC) yesterday. According to Apple, that’s too hot to safely use your iPhone (they want you to keep it under 95ºF or 35ºC) and edging into being too hot to own an iPhone (113ºF or 45ºC).

  58. 58
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Mnemosyne: Do you think Jesus is Randian? One of the things I find interesting about a lot of the modern superhero stories is the reconciliation of their power with responsibility to society. I particularly enjoyed Marvel’s clash of mutants with the rest of humanity. The Elementals was also another good series dealing with the concept if unrequested power.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Maude:

    My pompous film school graduate answer is that I prefer Samuel Fuller, who people like Godard were imitating to more critical acclaim.
    :-)

    The Big Red One was his big budget “respectable” film, but I prefer the unrespectable ones like Shock Corridor or Underworld USA. There’s also a great documentary about him called The Typewriter, The Rifle & the Gun that includes a scene with Quentin Tarantino going through Fuller’s garage with him and looking at the props he saved.

  60. 60
    Cassidy says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: The paleo is a good suggestion or vegetarian will work as well. I’m assuming he’s lifting weights as well as a substantial cardio. I would suggest, move the cardio to his off days, if time permits, and decrease the weight and start doing a modified 5×5 of low weights/ hi reps, probably in the vicinity of 5 sets of 25 reps. Or, he can ditch the resistance altogether and do bodyweight tabata.

  61. 61
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mandalay:

    Does the world really need a phone that you can submerge in two feet of water for half an hour?

    The number of cell phones that go through the washing machine or get dropped in sinks and toilets, pools, puddles, flood damage – is in the ballpark of 2 million per year.

    Put another way, we sell about 150 million smartphones annually, at an average price of $250 each. Two million damaged phones is (potentially) $500M in economic losses. If you can waterproof the phone for about $3.00, economically, the world breaks even. If you can do it for $25, you can easily get consumers to buy it as insurance against a potential loss of 10x that value.

    So yeah, we legitimately need that. One of the few things at CES we probably do need.

  62. 62
    redshirt says:

    The Mutants should totally take over. Magneto is right. If you’ve got all these super powers and YET you are being persecuted and discriminated against, why wouldn’t you fight back if you could?

    Or even, aiding and abetting your people’s persecutors?! X-Men are fascist tools. MUTANT POWER!

  63. 63
    efgoldman says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    My pompous film school graduate answer…..

    Hah. My kid got her master’s in film study, with the intent, even then (2005) of writing about video games, which she does. She had some trouble, though, because the department chair (since removed because a couple of women – properly – reported him for inappropriate behavior) said, clearly and loudly, that blockbuster movies and franchises were way outside the study of “serious film.” i.e., if its entertaining and makes lots of money, its not worth his time or anyone else’s.
    She didn’t believe it then, and doesn’t believe it now.

  64. 64
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @MonkeyBoy: I probably need to read more, since the only thing I know about the family at this point is that Ender’s older brother is an asshole, and he cares the most about his sister. His parents basically seem like placeholders at this point for parental units.

  65. 65
    Cassidy says:

    @redshirt: They’re outnumbered and most aren’t bulletproof. And Sentinels.

  66. 66
    👽 Martin says:

    @redshirt:

    Magneto is right. If you’ve got all these super powers and YET you are being persecuted and discriminated against, why wouldn’t you fight back if you could?

    IOW, Magneto would make a fucking monster of a platinum coin and not look back.

  67. 67
    Linnaeus says:

    Rain and wind (another day in the great Pacific Northwest) and I’m making pasta with red clam sauce.

  68. 68
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    How did I not know until today that Elvis and Nixon had the same birthday?

  69. 69
    sharl says:

    FYI, for those of us without a TV but an intertoobz connection, there is a Twitter chat that started around 10pm for tonight’s Frontline show on education “reform”, featuring Michelle Rhee [see earlier posts by Kay (today) and Anne Laurie (last night)].

    link for hash tag #Frontline
    link for hash tag #EdChat

    Just started following them myself, so cannot speak as to the value of the feeds.

    ETA: Ooh, there’s also a #rheechat.

  70. 70
    Suzanne says:

    I am trying to relax after a stressful couple of days. I am currently designing a new geropsych unit for a hospital, and the deadlines are, shall we say, aggressive. This is the first time I’ve run a design/construction project myself and it is an experience.

    AND. While reviewing my daughter’s homework tonight, I saw that the worksheet her teacher provided contained this racial slur. GOOD LORD.

  71. 71
    JoyfulA says:

    I took my first father-in-law a stromboli for lunch for his birthday (a tradition), came home and worked enough to stay on schedule to pay the bills, and am now taking my meds from India out of the foil pockets they come in and into pill bottles before going to bed and reading about Greenland in Diamond’s Collapse.

  72. 72
    Pooh says:

    @Mnemosyne: good point.

  73. 73
    Pooh says:

    @Cassidy: invoking tabata makes me want to punch someone in the face.

  74. 74
    Schlemizel says:

    @efgoldman:

    But how about they ask “Do you like YOUR congressperson?”

    I bet you a dime that a very large majority love their own rep. Its all those other slugs that are the problem.

    The popularity of “Congress” is totally irrelevant. As long as the morans luvs them some wingnut we will have to suffer with the asshole running the body. There is a joke about that but its longish and I’m not feeling funny about this mess.

  75. 75
    JoyfulA says:

    And I just sold my third used book this evening, which will make a heavy bag for the post office. Today I sold only one.

  76. 76
    Punchy says:

    @MikeJ: Its damn hot if it’s melting a goddamn iPhone. Also too, reason #294 why the Sammy Gal Trey is a better callbox

  77. 77
    Allen says:

    Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I hit my normal 8:00 P.M. bedtime a little early only to hear my Tunch sized cat (Kitzel, the Shy.) laying kitty puke land mines for me when I get up at Oh dark hundred next morning. She (the cat) has decided the best way she can have me find these little treasures is to place them where I am most likely to find them, my morning path to the bathroom. Yes, it works well on barefoot morning jaunts in the dark. Oh joy, what fun.

  78. 78
    RedKitten says:

    @Suzanne: Holy shit. Seriously.

  79. 79
    MonkeyBoy says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent), @Hob, @Mnemosyne

    Yes, I’m objecting to the very large cannon of stories where superior people turn out to be superior because because they have magic blood and are expected to act importantly and be leaders and kings, and kings by definition are naturally superior because of their superior inheritance.

    Those are some of the earliest stories recorded and have been encouraged by kings to promote their natural right to rule. Fairy tales are full of this theme. In particular you can find the story of the baby royal who is sent to be raised by peasants but because of his royal blood rises to take his “natural” place – examples include “The Ugly Duckling” and “Star Wars”.

    Too much of modern science fiction and fantasy is based on the fairy tale model and its emphasis of magic blood. Any fantasy of the future that involves Kings or Emperors depends on this trope. Hell, the recent super popular sub-genres of vampires and zombies are based on the magic blood idea but with the twist that normal people can be infected with the blood magic.

    Blood magic is a monarchist/social-Darwinist/randian superiority trope and I would prefer to read fiction that doesn’t indoctrinate me in it.

  80. 80
    ruemara says:

    I’m beat. My plan is to cobble together a passable article, visit azeroth and sleep enough so I am highly functioning for work tomorrow. A question for the more internationally traveled amoungst us. Did you ever move a pet? How did that work out?

  81. 81
    sharl says:

    Five Questions for John Merrow, longtime PBS Newshour education reporter and also behind tonight’s Frontline show.

  82. 82
    👽 Martin says:

    @Punchy:

    Also too, reason #294 why the Sammy Gal Trey is a better callbox

    GSIII has the same operating temperature range. Samsung just doesn’t bother telling you that except in the fine print of the operating manual.

  83. 83
    RedKitten says:

    I’m just playing the waiting game now. 38 weeks pregnant, and waddling around like Danny DeVito’s depiction of The Penguin. Once the baby’s born and I’m settled into the new routine, I’m going to seriously start exercising. Experiencing so much exhaustion and limited mobility (and diabetes) while pregnant has given me a rather frightening sneak preview of what my every day will be like in 10 years (or fewer) if I don’t start being more active and eating more healthfully. Scary shit. Plus, when your bff dies at age 37, you realize that life is pretty fucking short, so why shortchange it by being too fat and tired to go and do stuff?

  84. 84
    MikeJ says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Mnemosyne:

    My pompous film school graduate answer is that I prefer Samuel Fuller, who people like Godard were imitating to more critical acclaim.

    Goddard knew he was imitating, and neither he nor Truffaut thought they were making more than entertaining movies (at least some of the time). I don’t like everything he ever did, but Two or Three Things, Band of Outsiders, Alphaville.

    Truffaut was always entertaining, and Godard was when he wasn’t trying to be important. Hell, I even like a lot of them where he was trying (La Chinoise), but I can see how they aren’t for everybody.

    Speaking of someone who wants to make entertainment and knows everything about the people he’s imitating, I finally got a chance to see Django Unchained today. Wish I hadn’t waited so long.

  85. 85
    Allen says:

    @👽 Martin: One year, while going on a rafting trip in a remote part of Idaho, I decided that it would be a good idea to take my cell phone (the only one on the trip who had one, at the time. Figured that at least one of us would be able to hike to a ridge line and get a cell site. Well, one morning while packing for the next days journey I spilt a cup of coffee on the cell phone, which killed it. The beginning of a long struggle with AT&T to buy a replacement phone without signing a new contract.

  86. 86
    sharl says:

    FRONTLINE show is available online: The Education of Michelle Rhee.

  87. 87
    Suzanne says:

    @RedKitten: Is that not TOTALLY ludicrous and horrible?! I wrote her teacher an email about it, and was like, “I wanted to let you know that there was a racist term in the homework tonight, I’m sure this was an oversight…” blah blah blah. I really like her teacher, so I really hope this was an accident.

    Hang in there. You and Tom Petty both know that the waiting is the hardest part. And hatching the second one is easier, so yay.

  88. 88
    sharl says:

    Nancy Blair ‏@blairteach
    __
    There will be a special #edchat Wed. at 7 p.m. EST to discuss the Rhee show & sch reform. @John_Merrow will join us. #frontline #rheechat

  89. 89
    Roger Moore says:

    @efgoldman:
    I said it earlier; if they keep that shit up, they need to spin off a branch as Public Policy Trolling, because that’s what they’re doing.

  90. 90
    MattR says:

    @Roger Moore: I do think its funny that of all the options polled (hair lice, Genghis Khan, the Kardashians, Nickelback, North Korea, ebola, root canals, etc) the thing that Congress does the best against is “meth labs”. People favor Congress over meth labs by 39 points, 60-21.

  91. 91
    Yutsano says:

    @Allen: I will say this one slightly good thing about AT & T: when you shell out for the insurance the replacement is cheap plus it doesn’t extend your contract. Which iss fine because I’m about to dump them like a hot mess.

  92. 92
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Song of the evening: “Homecoming” by Green Day, from “American Idiot”. Both it and its sister 9-minute, multi-part song “Jesus of Suburbia”, are overlooked parts of that album.

    I do also like “Whatshername”, mainly because I am a sucker for depressing songs like that. It’s a perfect way of ending what has probably been one of the most complete and listenable albums for me this century.

    And with that, I’m off to sleep. 3 days to the weekend!

  93. 93
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suzanne:

    Um. Wow. Since the picture with it is some kind of Viking, I’m assuming it was written by someone who is not familiar with American idiomatic English (like, say, India or another English-familiar but not American English-familiar country). I would definitely bring it to the teacher’s attention.

    @MonkeyBoy:

    In particular you can find the story of the baby royal who is sent to be raised by peasants but because of his royal blood rises to take his “natural” place – examples include “The Ugly Duckling” and “Star Wars”.

    Though, frankly, the “royal blood” theme in the Star Wars universe is something that George Lucas retconned into it later to universal disdain from fans. Say “midichlorians” to any fan who saw the original film before they saw The Phantom Menace and you will risk their spraining an eyeball. You could maybe argue that Luke was sort of like a secret aristocrat in the original trilogy, but it’s more like he was someone with secret musical talent who didn’t know his father was a musician.

    Also, read some commentary about “The Ugly Duckling” — it’s actually the opposite of what you’re saying. Andersen was responding to critics who disdained him because he wasn’t an aristocrat and the story was meant to show that there could be beauty even in someone whose background was not noble. You can disagree about whether Andersen was successful, but that was what he meant to write. (See some of Maria Tatar’s commentary about the story in her books.)

  94. 94
    sharl says:

    Grand Dame of education policy Diane Ravitch commented on tonight’s PBS Rhee special – link. Some excerpts:

    I was invited by Frontline to offer reactions to the documentary about Michelle Rhee. I was disappointed that the documentary did not mention that Rhee is now working on behalf of a far-right agenda of privatization; that Washington Teachers Union President George Parker now works for StudentsFirst; that Rhee’s “miraculous gains” as a teacher in Baltimore have been discredited. But I had space limitations. So this was my commentary:
    __ …__
    Rhee assumes that better test scores equal better education. She never once mentions literature or history or science or civics or foreign languages; she doesn’t talk about curriculum or instruction. She never calls out a teacher for poor instruction or a principal for a weak curriculum; she is interested only in the bottom line, and that is the scores.
    __ …__
    The only logical conclusion from this documentary is that states and districts should not do what Michelle Rhee did. It didn’t work. It failed. Rhee, however, remains unfazed. She’s taken her reform agenda to the national stage and is now urging states to follow her lead.
    __
    True educational leadership involves a commitment to children and to education (not just test scores), a dedication to improving curriculum and instruction, and the ability to recruit and develop a strongstaff. That is the kind of leadership I saw when I visited Finland, a nation whose students never take standardized tests yet do very well on international assessments.

  95. 95
    👽 Martin says:

    @Suzanne:

    I really like her teacher, so I really hope this was an accident.

    She didn’t write the handout. It came from the publisher. My kids’ are chosen by a curriculum group – all the teachers from one grade use the same handouts – so it might have been some other teacher that chose it.

    My daughter got one a few weeks about that mentioned the population of the Soviet Union. It was printed in 1981. The teachers got a good laugh out of that.

  96. 96
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Goddamn midichlorians. That, along with JJ Binks, really makes the movie intolerable. And since he also votes to give Palpatine unlimited powers in AOTC, it really does end up being all his fault, too.

  97. 97

    @MonkeyBoy:

    Thank you. I don’t object enough to keep from reading any of these kinds of books, but this is the reason that I did not enjoy Tolkien as much as nearly everyone I know did.

  98. 98
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mandalay:

    Does the world really need a phone that you can submerge in two feet of water for half an hour?

    I’d like a phone that can survive being dropped in water, because accidents happen. If it can survive for half an hour in two feet of water, then being dropped in a puddle should be no problem.

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    @👽 Martin:

    GSIII has the same operating temperature range.

    I’d bet it’s the battery that they’re worried about. Lithium batteries store a ton of energy, and have been known to burst into flame when abused. Operating them causes them to heat up, and doing it when they’re already hot from the environment may be a really bad idea.

  100. 100
    JCT says:

    @Suzanne: Holy crap. I guess it could be worse – any of Sheriff Joe’s posse of criminal “defenders” patrolling your schools? Down here in Tucson, on the 2-year Anniversary of the shooting we had dueling gun buy-backs. One was legit and the other run by some wing nut asshole who was buying them back to increase his own collection. Sigh.

  101. 101
    Roger Moore says:

    @MattR:
    I was a bit surprised that colonoscopies did so well, though I guess they’re doing some good. When I mentioned the poll to a coworker, I got an interesting story about a medical technician encountering a patient who loudly enjoyed hers.

  102. 102
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    Chris Kluwe, the Minnesota Vikings punter was on Colbert just now. He looked like a hipster doofus with his knit cap and sandals, but he was pretty funny. He was a good voice for the NFL this year.

  103. 103
    BAtFFP says:

    @Luna Sea: This made me very sad to hear. Even if you can’t live with them, it’s very hard to lose someone you are so close to in spirit. I hope the week treats you gently.

  104. 104
    👽 Martin says:

    @Roger Moore: Batteries are a big part of it. Screens fail at both high and low temperatures. Some of the sensors are also sensitive to temperature.

    Most lithium ion batteries cannot safely charge below freezing – particularly the pouch type that are used in cell phones. If they get too hot – a high ambient temperature and then add the heat from discharging plus the internal heat generated from the components in an enclosed space and that can trigger a kind of thermal runaway reaction that ends with the battery rupturing.

  105. 105
    👽 Martin says:

    @JCT:

    some wing nut asshole

    That was one of your city councilmen, btw.

  106. 106
    sharl says:

    Another post at Diane Ravitch’s blog:

    Mercedes Schneider, who has been writing up terrific statistical analyses of Louisiana’s fudging of school data, read the New York Times account of Rhee’s report card on education reforms and makes a great observation:

    “The ratings, which focused purely on state laws and policies, did not take into account student test scores.” Ironic, ain’t it?

    Rhee wants teachers to be evaluated and fired by test scores; she wants schools to be closed by test scores. But when she ranked the states, she didn’t look at test scores! If she had, her number one state–Louisiana–would have been at the bottom of her rankings.

  107. 107
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @PsiFighter37: It takes a while to pick up, and some of the stuff about the book infuriated me, but overall I think it does kick ass.

  108. 108
    thedean says:

    @Luna Sea: Deepest condolences, Luna Sea, sounds like a difficult situation, which doesn’t make the loss of a loved one any easier.

  109. 109

    One galtian overlord is throwing a fit and taking it out on food servers 20%15%10% at a time. http://early-onset-of-night.tu.....hose#notes

  110. 110
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Luna Sea: {{{Luna Sea}}}

  111. 111
  112. 112
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @efgoldman: And our politicians act as if they’re proud to be cheap, that cheap is some badge of honor.

    Wasn’t Alabama the state that when the schools were legally segregated, proudly set the state budget for Negro education at $0?

  113. 113

    @Luna Sea: sorry for your loss. There aren’t words to make this better right now but we will listen whenever you need to vent.
    Also, what another halocene human said @ 106 hugs.

  114. 114
    Roger Moore says:

    @MonkeyBoy:

    Fairy tales are full of this theme.

    Really? Because I’ve just finished re-reading the Brothers Grimm, and that is not a major theme in their fairy tails. If anything, they seem to go in for the clever and/or virtuous peasant who succeeds in winning the princess when the princes have failed.

  115. 115
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MaryJane: Are you dealing with inside-Democratic-party problems, or not finding enough community allies for your initiatives

    cause if it’s intranecine, I got nothin’

  116. 116
    Another Halocene Human says:

    wait wait wait, I got moderated for commending on Ender’s Game but blogwhoring is all blogwhore away?

    FYWP

    FYWP

    FYWP

  117. 117
    handsmile says:

    @Mnemosyne:, @MikeJ:

    Just now returning to this thread, and it’s late and you’ve both likely moved on to other matters, and this is probably futile, but I’d still like to write a brief defense of the French New Wave. As i know you to be a serious student of film, Mnemosyne, it’s all the more puzzling how you can state categorically “I do not like [it]'”

    Those directors identified with this term (Godard, Truffaut, Rohmer, Rivette, Resnais et al) were deliberate iconoclasts who self-consciously brought aesthetic modernism to film-making. They employed innovative film techniques and experimented with narrative forms rarely seen previously in conventional cinema. Each advocated a distinctly personal style in their individual bodies of work (auteur theory).

    While writing for Cahiers du cinema, they championed directors like Fuller, Hitchcock and Nicholas Ray whom they regarded as stylistic predecessors or as artists able to realize personal visions in spite of low budgets or provocative subject matter.

    As filmmakers they did far more than imitate and their interest in “entertainment” was no more or less than other serious modernist artists working in other media.

    Reading this over before submitting, I realize you are well aware of these points. I do have a keen interest nevertheless in supporting Godard in particular, because I believe him to be one of the most important artists of the second half of the 20th-century.

    And MikeJ, it’s good to know someone else who has a kind word for La Chinoise. On the other hand, my contempt for Tarantino will have to wait for another occasion.

    Here endeth the lesson. :)

    ETA: A lesson that could perhaps be reduced to YMMV.

  118. 118
    Violet says:

    @Keith G: I clicked on the link to vote but it said voting is closed. Good luck. I hope your organization gets some of the financial support.

  119. 119
    red dog says:

    @👽 Martin: This is so you can drop it in the toilet or bath and no damage will occur…maybe

  120. 120
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MonkeyBoy: That book and the related ones are rather monarchist/randian/social-darwinist Mormon. The hero and his family are superior because is a 1/10,000 chance they were born that way who nearly wasn’t born with the bestest blood/genes because teh ebbil federal gubmint’s one child rule argle bargle.

    It’s lucky his parents were a Mormon-Catholic couple, or that spirit baby would have been born on another world and Earth would have perished. THIS IS WHY ABORTION IS WRONG, SHEEPLE!

  121. 121
    Yutsano says:

    @Luna Sea: Oh man that’s rough. I hope you find some peace with him as he moves on to the next level of his existence.

  122. 122
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Pooh: How did you do it? I got massive muscle cramps, headaches, and insomnia. I think mainly because I wasn’t getting enough Mg on that diet. And yes, I do eat greens and carrots. And chocolate.

  123. 123
    Roger Moore says:

    @ranchandsyrup:
    I’ve got a tip for the asshole who left that message: don’t eat in the same restaurant twice; you might not like some of the extras that come with your food (ETA:) the second time.

  124. 124
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Hob: Well, I guess it totally depends what superhero stories you read. Some of the Randian notions have been explored, especially on indie imprints. For example, JMS’ RISING STARS has characters expressing these kind of Nazi-ish ideas, although to be fair to the Nazis, and Rand, these kinds of notions belong to any group of bozos bonobos given sufficient power:

    Neo-cons, the French aristocracy, Athenian citizens (even if they sometimes pretended otherwise), Junkers, the Dutch East India Company, the brothers Koch, Sylvia Brown, Pat Robertson…

  125. 125
    Luna Sea says:

    @Yutsano: you know, as crazy as this sounds, we’ve already had a long talk in my dreams since he died. Whether that’s my own mind trying to find some peace, or some kind of connection, I don’t know, don’t much care. Just know he was smiling, and it’s unlocking memories of better times, so that’s a comfort.

    @Another Halocene Human and @ranchandsyrup: thank you so much for the much needed hugs. Getting kind of numb. Doesn’t seem real.

  126. 126
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Cassidy: ya, lifting isn’t really going to make you lose weight

    unless you go on the holocaust diet

    potato peel soup

    water

    potato peel soup

    get dysentery

  127. 127
    Hob says:

    @MonkeyBoy: That’s all well and good, but what does it have to do with Ender’s Game? Ender doesn’t have “magic blood.” He’s a very precocious kid whose two siblings are also very precocious; such people do exist. He doesn’t have any other unusually smart relatives. He’s “expected to act importantly” by the military school because he did well on their tests and they think he can do a particular job; he only gets good at it because they train him really hard. He doesn’t become any kind of political leader.

    It’s fine if you don’t like the book, but what you’re describing is not that book.

    @Another Halocene Human: Well yeah, of course there have been some comics like that; it’s a pretty natural idea for someone to want to play with. But the claim was that most superhero comics are “Randian by nature.”

  128. 128
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @redshirt: I thought X-Men First Class was a nicely nuanced take on this.

    Look, even Napoleon was able to take over the world most of Europe but he wasn’t exactly able to keep it, was he?

  129. 129
    AA+ Bonds says:

    FUCKIN POST OF THE YEAR, RIGHT HERE

    And while they can turn off their Wii and Xbox machines and remember they are really in dens and playrooms on side streets and in triple deckers around America, that is after their hearts have raced and heads have swelled with false pride for “being” something they are not.

    their Wii and Xbox machines

    Xbox machines

    All the while, these adolescents, teens and young adults are watching a Congress that can’t control its manic, euphoric, narcissistic spending, a president that can’t see his way through to applauding genuine and extraordinary achievements in business

    AHAHAHAHAHA OH SWEET LORD I CAN DIE HAPPY…. Teens! They’re cuckoo for CONGRESS.

  130. 130
    MonkeyBoy says:

    @James E. Powell:

    this is the reason that I did not enjoy Tolkien as much as nearly everyone I know did.

    Yes, Tolkien was fairly right-wing/monarchist/religious. His conflicts involved a disruption of the “natural order” which had inherently wise kings at the top and happy peasants proud to be subjects at the bottom. – Pure top down propaganda.

    I don’t know if Tolkien would have become so popular in the 1960s and 70s if a large part of his audience weren’t pot smokers who non-discriminatorily enjoyed fantasies.

  131. 131
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @sharl: rhee is not getting a good grade

  132. 132
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Suzanne: I’m going to choose to file that under the category of Joker’s boners.

  133. 133
    Yutsano says:

    @Luna Sea: If you believe (as I do) that death is just moving on to another phase of existence, then what you’re describing is not all that unusual. I swear on occasion I will hear my grandmother’s voice in a store yet she’s been departed for over three years now.

  134. 134
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Allen: Cats: too bitey to love, too stringy to eat.

  135. 135

    @Roger Moore: The word asshole gets tossed around casually but that guy is a true gaping asshole. Ingesting excrement is far too easy on him.

  136. 136
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MonkeyBoy: Fairy tales are full of this theme. In particular you can find the story of the baby royal who is sent to be raised by peasants but because of his royal blood rises to take his “natural” place – examples include “The Ugly Duckling” and “Star Wars”.

    Wait wait wait–seriously? SERIOUSLY?

    Star Wars? Yes. A thousand times yes. The UGLY DUCKLING?!

    It’s a 19th century children’s story (not a fairy tale, which were folk tales collected by ethnographers) written by a GAY MAN about a child who is mocked and misunderstood his whole life but finds his REAL FAMILY as an adult WOW I WONDER WHAT THAT’S SUPPOSED TO MEAN.

  137. 137
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Luna Sea:
    My condolences on the loss of your brother.

  138. 138
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @MonkeyBoy:

    Yes, I’m objecting to the very large cannon of stories where superior people turn out to be superior because because they have magic blood and are expected to act importantly and be leaders and kings, and kings by definition are naturally superior because of their superior inheritance

    It’s pretty much un-American to think otherwise than you do IMO; Americans who are not basically disturbed by blood inheritance are questionable as democrats

  139. 139
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MonkeyBoy: Hell, the recent super popular sub-genres of vampires and zombies are based on the magic blood idea but with the twist that normal people can be infected with the blood magic.

    Most zombie stuff looks like nihilist/anarchist fantasies to me, but YMMV.

    Of course, the only zombie movie I really liked was Sean of the Dead, and there’s certainly nothing special about Sean.

    I mean, besides being played by Simon Pegg.

    HOT FUZZ was sooooo fucking funny.

  140. 140
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I also agree that the Ugly Duckling is a fucked up story to tell a kid not only for that reason but for its fascist celebration of physical beauty as virtue

  141. 141
    Hob says:

    @MonkeyBoy: Oh great, it’s this David Brin shit again. Tolkien is in favor of good kings in a fantasy world, therefore the point of the whole story must be to convince you that kings are good, and the conflict can only be about that aspect of “the natural order.” Brin– like everyone else who rehashes this argument as if it’s a major revelation that Tolkien was conservative– talks as if the defining feature of Sauron is that he’s anti-monarchy (and therefore maybe a misunderstood revolutionary!), leaving out the minor detail that his goals are to either kill or enslave everyone and to rule the world personally forever.

    And if Tolkien’s intent was to write “top-down propaganda,” then he sure fucked up by telling everyone over and over again that his work was not supposed to be an allegory for anything in the real world.

  142. 142
    Another Halocene Human says:

    MonkeyBoy, if you want to get outraged about something, instead of wasting your ammo on mischosen targets, like The Ugly Duckling and zombies, get pissed off about JK Rowling who hypocritically attacks the idea of a hereditary overlordship in Harry Potter while riding the idea of special people with special powers being our natural elite (Tom Riddle vs. The Boy Who Lived) all the way to $$millions in book and movie deals.

    Why? I guess audiences like to identify with Harry and imagine they’re special, too. Harry’s picked on in school and generally dumped on in life (he’s like a Dahl protagonist, one more author Rowling ripped off), but like Superman, he sekritly has sooperdooper powers and could totally cream all those bullies asses. You just wait.

    Now to be fair to JKR, the first two books are pretty ripping adventure yarns, skipping past the premise for a moment. I had to stop at book 5, though, too turgid (==editors had backed off because the public demanded moar Potter).

  143. 143
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Agreed, Harry Potter is also fascist shit, also Orson Scott Card (big surprise there) and yes, a lot of Superman is too, especially after WWII

    Kids should be allowed to read this stuff but responsible parents will let them know what’s wrong with it

  144. 144
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mnemosyne: Uh, yeah, sure. That’s what it’s about. ;-)

    Of course, it could be about anyone who marches to the beat of a different drummer, who grows up different from the people around them. Especially the much of the (breeders’) barnyard. Like an … aesthetic person. You know, someone who appreciates the arts … light in the loafers… elegant.

  145. 145
    Luna Sea says:

    @Yutsano: I have trouble figuring out exactly what I believe at times, some tough years have taken a toll on my philosophy. But I would like to think there is some transition to some other experience. I’ve had that sort dream visit with everyone close to me that has died, whether it’s a one-time good-bye, or a continuation of the relationship, of sorts. I was much more certain of my beliefs when I was much younger. But I’ve always liked contemplating the possibilities. Even if it’s just “we are star dust”, that’s still kind of magical to me.

  146. 146
    Luna Sea says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Thank you.

  147. 147
    sharl says:

    OK, a (longish) wrap-up on the Michelle Rhee stuff…

    A gathering of some other responses to the PBS FRONTLINE show on Michelle Rhee and her brand of “education reform” –

    There was this (bolding is mine):

    Before becoming chancellor of the Washington, D.C. public schools system, Michelle Rhee was a newly minted teacher in one of Baltimore’s roughest neighborhoods. Her school was one of the lowest performing in the city, and as a new teacher, Rhee often struggled to win the attention of her students.

    That is, until the day a bee flew into her classroom window, causing panic among her unruly second graders. When the bee finally landed, Rhee smacked it with her lesson plan, killing it immediately. Her next move still causes Denise Hall, a former student, to shudder to this day: Rhee flicked the bee into her hand, popped it into her mouth, and ate it.

    “It freaks me out, just talking about it, the bee story,” Hall recalls in the above clip from The Education of Michelle Rhee, which premieres tonight on FRONTLINE.

    The move paid off. As Rhee put it, “You can ask my kids, they’ll tell you, ‘She was strict; she was mean.’ But in the end, they all knew the reason why I was doing everything was because I believed in them and I cared about them.”

    @mikeyfranklin is concerned that this item will draw undue attention from the more worthy parts of the FRONTLINE episode.

    @EWAEmily retweets the following:
    If you mute show 1 thing clear: U.S. schools are segregated. Are we okay with that America?

    Several tweets from well known education commenter Jersey Jazzman (@jerseyjazzman) – some slight editing for clarity:
    Clear that #frontline is taking the line the story is cheating. The cheating is ONE story, not the WHOLE story.
    _ _ and _ _
    So, #Frontline is going after #rhee for DC test cheating scandal. But nothing about her Baltimore test fiasco.
    _ _ and on the matter of Rhee’s current organization, Students First:
    Merrow won’t ask #rhee about who funds StudentsFirst?!? Seriously?!

    @AleckWilliams reminds all what matters most:
    It’s not about Michelle Rhee. DCPS (Washington, DC Public Schools) was and still is a broken system. She used DCPS to help further her career. I feel sorry for the kids

    And finally, here’s @ZaidJilani:
    Michelle Rhee charges as much for one speech as a Louisiana teacher makes in a year http://goo.gl/l2ezM – Rhee pulls down $30K per speech, according to at least one account;
    –and in response, kimsoutherngirl notes:
    The sad part about Michelle Rhee is she came into power through the Democrat (sic) Party. Arne Duncan (Pres. Obama) have praised her.

  148. 148
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Roger Moore: Trudat. Sen to Chihiro covered similar themes–a pure heart and perseverance vs. greed, gluttony.

    Some folk tales just take the piss out of society in general, like the German story “Hans im Glueck” about the fool who trades away a cow for items of lesser and lesser value but is very happy with himself in the end, or the Irish tales of Leprechauns who harass the English landlords but never get caught.

  149. 149
    Debbie(Aussie) says:

    @Luna Sea:
    So very, very sorry for your loss. Take care, Deb

  150. 150
    300baud says:

    @Hob:

    What’s your point? That it’s illegitimate to critique authors for the worlds they create and the political implications thereof? Or just that you disagree with a crude version of this particular critique?

    For a lot of people, it is a major realization that Tolkein was conservative. It wasn’t Nixon supporters printing “Gandalf for President” buttons; it was the hippies. The stories are still huge among liberal nerds. But for whatever reason, quite a lot of those people overlook all sorts of questionable things in Tolkein’s work.

    I don’t mind if people recognize and are ok with the conflict; I enjoy reading Tolkein’s stuff myself. But I do mind that people try to pretend the conflict doesn’t exist. And I think is sad that your first reaction is to try to shut down mention of it via scorn against what is mainly a straw-man version of the critique.

  151. 151
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @handsmile: And MikeJ, it’s good to know someone else who has a kind word for La Chinoise. On the other hand, my contempt for Tarantino will have to wait for another occasion.

    Why contempt? I mean sure, he’s lazy, for certain values of [lazy].

    Like, Django I guess could have been a different movie, one which disgusted and outraged the audience in exactly the way they needed to be skewered. Instead, it’s a commercial piece of shit that pays homage to old movies exactly like Red Tails was trying to be but failed on almost every level at. And at least Tarantino didn’t run around the Black media and Oprah all but whipping it out and masturbating himself on camera au Lucas.

    That’s contemptible.

    Django doesn’t make my blood boil, it makes me reach for the popcorn. Actually, the movie was surprisingly historically accurate on a number of points and I hope it twists the fragile little minds of those little boys sneaking to watch it underage (on der innert00bs shhhh don’t tell) and maybe inspires some of them to read real slave narratives one day.

    It also was fun to watch and was highly competent overall. I mean, I enjoyed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer on the level it was intended, but a lot of the movie looked like shit, the pacing was weird, shots were fuzooozled, etc. Django is the same kind of jingoistic revenge garbage (maybe with an even dumber plot… also, the book AL:VK was based on was highly researched, just thought I’d throw that in there), but it is realized more competently and maybe with some more stuff in there that makes you think or has a deeper history.

    Although for all I know AB:VK has obscure visual references to Russian genre cinema that I will never get. It’s hard to get past the smokey CGI horse stampede, though. Ugh.

  152. 152
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Roger Moore: Hm, they keep at it and restaurants might start getting reluctant to serve old white anger bears with NoBama stickers on their trucks.

    They… they… might have to sue Denny’s.

  153. 153
    cckids says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I also agree that the Ugly Duckling is a fucked up story to tell a kid not only for that reason but for its fascist celebration of physical beauty as virtue

    I dislike it too, for that as well as for the barely hidden theme that an adopted family isn’t “real”. The Disney short film of it always used to make my son cry, and the “happy” ending didn’t really help.

  154. 154
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @AA+ Bonds: What the fuck was that argle bargle, I don’t read Dutch and Googlefish is on the fritz, my good man. Now have a good brandy and settle down, [as] you seem rather overexcited.

  155. 155
    300baud says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    MonkeyBoy, if you want to get outraged about something, instead of wasting your ammo on mischosen targets, like The Ugly Duckling and zombies, get pissed off about JK Rowling who hypocritically attacks the idea of a hereditary overlordship in Harry Potter while riding the idea of special people with special powers being our natural elite (Tom Riddle vs. The Boy Who Lived) all the way to $$millions in book and movie deals.

    I think there’s a lot to grumble about with the Harry Potter series (and your comment on editing is spot on), but I don’t think this claim of hypocrisy is fair. Rowling makes clear that The Boy Who Lived thing is situational; it could have been somebody else. Potter’s not a particularly great wizard. And after he does his bit, getting rid of the guy who’s been trying to kill him all his life, he ends up taking a government job and spending a couple of decades working his way up to running his department. That’s pretty far Potter being any sort of natural elite.

  156. 156
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MonkeyBoy: I don’t know if Tolkien would have become so popular in the 1960s and 70s if a large part of his audience weren’t pot smokers who non-discriminatorily enjoyed fantasies.

    I’m not sure he wasn’t just popular with raging nerds who had never read anything like it before.

    He created a new genre–even if you can see antecedents like IVANHOE and all that medieval costume drama romance jazz. Those were basically love stories straight up with a studly hero and nerds sometimes have trouble relating to that. Frodo’s like the little guy everyone overlooks but he destroys evil forever. Plus Dernhelm. For all those she-nerds out there.

  157. 157
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Human centipede?

    Too late?

  158. 158
    different-church-lady says:

    Tonight my neighborhood is Tampa, and I’ve been to Ciro’s Speakeasy enjoying some finely crafted cocktails with my TV crew.

  159. 159
    Yutsano says:

    @Another Halocene Human: My wingnut translator is on the fritz, so I’ll just call it the ramblings of an old man in search of a cloud.

  160. 160
    Dead Ernest says:

    @Luna Sea: I’m sorry to hear of your loss and I’m glad you reached out here. I think you did the right thing.
    I’m sure that you already know that our feelings of loss and the grief that loss brings becomes more gentle over time.
    But it’s also true that when the pain of that loss first comes over us, that knowledge can seem unreal, or feel like it can’t become true for us.
    Of course though, it is still true. The pain and sadness will lessen. The memories of his kindness, the happy events you shared, the trust and the love he certainly felt for you, these things are still as true as in those moments they occurred. The painful feelings will meld into those happier ones – and that’s the way it is. The way it has to be for all real love. The price of admission I suppose.
    Right now, do grieve. You both deserve that. It’s honorable and its right.
    But don’t worry. Do take care of yourself. Don’t humor any of the little weasels of recriminations that may intrude.
    It’s also right, and good, that your pain will become more gentle. It will. You’ll be okay.
    It’s okay if you don’t feel okay now.
    Peace.

  161. 161
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @300baud: Actually, by the end of the story, of course you’re right. I mean not to SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER but it’s a team effort. However, through much of the series one might be forgiven for arriving at the impression that such is so.

    Potter has the SPESHULL sticker stuck on him in so many ways as soon as he arrives in wizard-land, after being the four-eyed step child in the real world. It’s a transparent sucker-in maneuver, and it’s not clear till much, much later what’s really going on. So I’m going to stand by the statement that she made $$MILLIONS$$ off this notion as the books turned into a sensation while all the while disavowing it.

    I’m also bitter about the way she depicts house-elves and mocks Hermione for objecting to their treatment. //real reason comes out

  162. 162
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @AA+ Bonds: you need to stop huffing sterno or glue or whatever it is you’re using.

  163. 163
    dead existentialist says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Maybe your diet helps explain your propensity to make multiple comments on numerous threads about nearly everything. I dunno. Maybe cut out the carrots and you’ll be fine.

  164. 164
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @AA+ Bonds: It’s pretty much un-American to think otherwise

    I thought so, too, but then I found out about Confederate cosplay, and about the actual antebellum Southerners who were into Ivanhoe cosplay, and about Northerners who fell in love with Gone With The Wind, and people in the bdsm community who claim they are doms who can perform “sex magic” because they’re descended from European royalty (it’s a descended from royalty thing, you wouldn’t understand), and woke up and smelled the coffee about how obsessed Americans are with the British royal family (and the Grimaldis, but oddly not really any other)….

    I like our “royalty” in the US being tv, movie, music celebrities. They’re so stinking liberal (well, some of them) because so many of them come from working class and rural poor backgrounds. (Probably why so many of them have shitty money management skills, too.) They have a union too, without which history shows they would be up shit creek without a paddle. They’re employees, rather than management, and they say stuff that pisses off all the right people.

    But then you have ding-dongs who worship Getty.

  165. 165
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @AA+ Bonds: I took it that the Ugly Duckling was called “ugly” because he didn’t look like a duckling. They picked on him because he was different. They didn’t know the magnificent swan he would become. They didn’t realize that looking like that was normal for him.

    Rather than celebrating physical beauty, it’s challenging you not to prejudge someone just because they don’t fit in.

  166. 166
    Luna Sea says:

    @Debbie(Aussie): Thank you so much.

    @Dead Ernest: Wow, thank you for that. I thought somehow the grief would be less since our separation, that I’d mourned then. I can’t say it’s less, but it’s different. There was anger involved then, now it’s sadness, but with a bit of celebration of his life as well. And much more love than I thought possible.

    Really, thank you to everybody who has responded tonight, it really helps.

  167. 167
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @dead existentialist: I’m pretty sure that’s my neurological problems/mood disorder, but thanks for your concern.

  168. 168
    Rome Again says:

    I’m trying to locate onlymike so I can try to help him out of his predicament. If anyone sees him posting, can you ask him to check his email? Someone from here emailed me and forwarded his address and email contact to me. I’ve sent him a message but so far I haven’t had any contact with him from either my post on here last night or from the email I sent him.

    The person who contacted me (I’m not sure who it is, their email name is not familiar and when I search for that name on here it doesn’t match) suggested that we try to take up a collection fund. I’m not sure if anyone is interested in doing that. To be honest, I remember seeing onlymike’s name but don’t have much recollection of having any interaction with him, but since he’s a local Juicer, I want to help him out if I can. Would anyone want to take up a collection?

    There are apartments out here that are a lot cheaper than where he was living (I know this because I used to live in the same place he just got evicted from – the person who contacted me forwarded the address of the apartment he was in and I used to live there myself.) I know of places that he can get into for about $400 a month or not much more. Many places here have utilities paid. Does anyone want to help out a Juicer besides me?

  169. 169
    Mnemosyne says:

    @handsmile:

    As i know you to be a serious student of film, Mnemosyne, it’s all the more puzzling how you can state categorically “I do not like [it]‘”

    Ironically, it’s because I’ve seen enough New Wave films that I can say that. Because it was a specific movement, there are enough similarities between filmmakers that I usually know whether or not I will like filmmakers who are similar to one another. To me, there’s something fundamentally cold and deterministic about New Wave films, as though something was lost in translation between the Hollywood films they admired and the films the New Wave filmmakers ended up creating.

    Fuller’s films leap off the screen, grab you by the throat, and don’t let go until the end credits roll. Godard’s films try to create a similar effect, but it’s cool and intellectual. He clearly thought out every motion, which to me removes the soul from it.

    Take a look at the Fuller documentary I referenced above. He says something along the lines of, “If the opening scene doesn’t give you a hard-on, you shouldn’t be making the movie.” I’ve never felt that passion from Godard, just ironic detachment.

    I also don’t like most of Stanley Kubrick’s films, FWIW, though I can admire him. Again, the pose of intellectual detachment puts me off. 2001 literally put me to sleep. And yet Kubrick and I share a favorite filmmaker — Max Ophuls. If anyone can watch the end of The Earrings of Madame de … when Danielle Darrieux desperately strains to hear a second shot and not burst into tears, there’s something wrong with them.

  170. 170
    Dead Ernest says:

    Holy cow!
    I meant what I said.
    I didn’t think it needed to be repeated, and repeated, and repeated though.
    My apologies to all for causing all the scrolling it takes to get past me, and me, and Oh Look, Me again!
    Don’t know if its FYWP, or FYiPhone but it wasn’t intended. Poop.

  171. 171
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Back in the Sixties and Seventies I was reading William Burroughs and Thomas Pynchon. Someone gave me a copy The Hobbit, but at the time is just seemed a bit silly. I did finish it some years later and then went on to the trilogy. They remained books that I only read when I was seated in the smallest room in the house.

  172. 172
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @300baud: I don’t mind if people recognize and are ok with the conflict; I enjoy reading Tolkein’s stuff myself. But I do mind that people try to pretend the conflict doesn’t exist.

    I wonder if the conflict’s in the book itself? I mean, I start reading about these bawdy, earthy Hobbits and somewhere around book two I find out that Strider is really an ancient hereditary king from a race of king-supermen and I nearly threw down the book in disgust. However, I had the flu, so I didn’t really have anything better to do but to finish it. I also wanted to get to the part about Minas Morgul.

    Which, like the movie, was a big let-down.

    I wanted to explore Minas Morgul.

    I dunno if that makes me weird, or something. I just thought it was cool.

  173. 173
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Luna Sea:

    I don’t know if it helps, but I’ve had that same dream experience with several people who have died. My father died last Thursday, and I’m fully expecting to have a last conversation with him in a week or two when I’m not so frantic with grief. I sometimes try to be super-rational and convince myself that they’re “just dreams,” but I really don’t believe that.

  174. 174
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    I’m also bitter about the way she depicts house-elves and mocks Hermione for objecting to their treatment.
    //real reason comes out

    Yeah, I can tell you didn’t read to the end of the series.

    I’ll just say, that was an authorial trick that she used to distract your attention so she could rip your heart from your chest in the last book. It’s been years since I burst into tears while reading a book, but Rowling managed it.

  175. 175
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: “There are more things in Heav’n and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy Horatio…”

  176. 176
    sharl says:

    @Luna Sea: My condolences for the loss of your brother; that is a nice tribute to him you wrote upthread (@26). And my apologies for missing it until now, due to excessive self-absorption (or maybe Rhee-absorption?).

    Dead Ernest @176: Heh, no worries, that’s just FYWP’s (or Tunch’s?) way of saying “Howdy! And just remember who’s really in charge here!”

    ETA: @Mnem: Oh wow, just saw this – my condolences to you as well. The last time I saw you post on your dad, it was some time ago, and IIRC, he had been discharged from the hospital for recuperation at home (do I remember that correctly?). Sorry to hear this.

  177. 177
    dead existentialist says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Well I’m glad to know it’s not carrots.

    Whatever your mood/neurological condition* may be, you certainly liven up the place.

    *Coke? Ah shit, you tootin‘?

  178. 178
    Radio One says:

    Trolling on the internet has really deteriorated in the past few years. Yeah, let’s call the Ugly Duckling story and Harry Potter fascist propaganda, that will totally stick it to the people who take things too seriously on the internet! Just stop, or at least show some effort.

  179. 179
    Luna Sea says:

    @Mnemosyne: So sorry about your father. I hope when he does appear in your dreams, you have a good, long conversation and find comfort and peace.

  180. 180
    Luna Sea says:

    @sharl: Thank you, I really do appreciate that. And your Rhee-absorption is certainly justified.

  181. 181
    Mnemosyne says:

    @sharl:

    Thank you — it happened pretty suddenly. He was released home for Christmas Eve and ended up back in the hospital on New Year’s Eve. He was a tough guy, but eventually the combination of COPD/emphysema, kidney failure, and multiple organ cancer (lung, liver, and I think kidney) was just too much for his body.

    We’ve been joking that he deliberately held out until after the New Year so we wouldn’t be stuck with complicated taxes for 2012, but we’re only half-joking, because it’s what he would have been thinking.

  182. 182
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Sad to hear of your loss. My parents died within a few months of each other when I was thirty. Doesn’t matter how old you are, the loss hurts like hell.

  183. 183
    Rome Again says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Sorry to hear of this news. :(

  184. 184
    Hob says:

    @300baud:

    What’s your point? That it’s illegitimate to critique authors for the worlds they create and the political implications thereof?

    If I had meant to say such a ridiculous thing, I would’ve said it. I said I disagreed with Monkeyboy’s idea that The Lord of the Rings is “top-down propaganda,” based entirely on the notion that it’s all about “a disruption of the ‘natural order’ which had inherently wise kings at the top and happy peasants proud to be subjects at the bottom”– which I think is a hilariously inaccurate description of the theme(s) of the books– and on the fact that Tolkien was reactionary in many ways, which is interesting, but saying so isn’t a substitute for critiquing the work.

    I mentioned David Brin because he’s made an identical argument many times, and I don’t find it convincing. It’s certainly possible that someone could write a more insightful critique along those lines.

    For a lot of people, it is a major realization that Tolkein was conservative. It wasn’t Nixon supporters printing “Gandalf for President” buttons; it was the hippies. The stories are still huge among liberal nerds. But for whatever reason, quite a lot of those people overlook all sorts of questionable things in Tolkein’s work.

    It could be that hippies and “liberal nerds” just don’t know the shocking secret of Tolkien’s politics, and would think twice about Gandalf if they did. Or it could be that they find value in an entertaining story with memorable characters and imagery, and don’t see why they should give a crap that it– like the mythology it obviously references– has heroes who are kings, as well as a villain who’s a king. And it’s widely known that Tolkien vehemently insisted the books weren’t meant to be political commentary.

    And I think is sad that your first reaction is to try to shut down mention of it via scorn against what is mainly a straw-man version of the critique.

    I didn’t try to shut down shit. I expressed my opinion of what I read. No sadness required; carry on.

  185. 185
    Hob says:

    Luna Sea and Mnemosyne: I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, both of you. Please pardon my filling up this page with silly arguments.

  186. 186
    Yutsano says:

    @Hob: What would Balloon Juice be without silly arguments and endless flame wars?

    (I’m not accusing you of indulging in either, honestly. I’m actually enjoying the back and forth here.)

  187. 187
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Very sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. Good that you got to spend time with him over the holidays. Do think there’s something to holding on for holidays, and for special dates.

    @Luna Sea: Glad that you are here, and do stick around. Very sorry about your brother’s loss.

  188. 188
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @MikeJ: literal. fucking australia.

  189. 189
    Keith G says:

    @Luna Sea: You posted after my very early bed time, so I hope you check back in to accept my kind thoughts and admiration and a “Well done!”

    I tested positive in 91 and I feel so lucky that except for a few turns, my body has withstood the fight and so fortunate that I have been around supportive folks. Your love and support extended your brother’s life. While I am saddened by your pain, I am cheered by the love and happiness you brought to his life. No medication regime can be effective without those supports. All of us fighting this (or any other mortal) disease know this at the molecular level.

  190. 190
    JoyfulA says:

    @MonkeyBoy: “The Princess and the Pea.” She’s royalty because she can’t tolerate the least bit of discomfort. (Huh?)

  191. 191
    Cassidy says:

    @Pooh: How can you hate on tabata? Tabata Burpees?

  192. 192
    thedean says:

    @Rome Again: I would be up for donating to help out onlymike. My understanding is that he only has sporadic email access now, but I believe he is going to check it this afternoon.

  193. 193
    Barry says:

    @Pooh:

    “@Litlebritdifrnt: have you tried Paleo? Have him try eating basically just meat and veg for a month. Ymmv, but I dropped about 20 lbs in 6 weeks combining that with a heavy workout regimen, though I’m a bit bigger than he is (190 is my idealish weight). ”

    When somebody is doing three-hour workouts, I’d say that a consultation with a sports nutritionist is called for. For one thing, one will need a lot more carbs than the average person.

  194. 194
    Pooh says:

    @Another Halocene Human: you probably weren’t eating enough – not a lot of calorically dense stuff in there and it was a daily struggle for me to get enough good calories. Eating 2 lbs or so of meat a day is actually pretty difficult…

  195. 195
    Pooh says:

    @Cassidy: it’s just my least favorite kind of workout (he says while leaving for the gym). And yeah burpees suck balls. But so do box jumps or ring dips or overhead lunges or…

  196. 196
    MaryJane says:

    @nellcote: Thank you. I appreciate that.

    @Another Halocene Human: It’s some of both. The thread is dead so I won’t get into details. I’m optimistic, though. Regionally, I see a bluer electorate emerging.

  197. 197
    Luna Sea says:

    @Keith G: So sorry you have to battle this disease, but so glad you’re in that 20+ year survival club. And glad I checked back in to find your comment, thank you. It takes so much hard work, and luck, and you’re right, love and support to manage all the challenges that come on every level, lots of scary times. May you have continued success, and a long, full, happy life. If it helps to have support from a stranger, you’ve certainly got it from me. Keep up the fight!

    @Elizabelle: Thank you. Finally slept a bit last night, after all the great support from people here. I’d seen that in action before, but never experienced it for myself. Pretty amazing.

  198. 198
    Rome Again says:

    @thedean:

    Thanks for the offer of help.

    I am not an admin of this site, so I don’t think I should be the one to decide if this can be done. I’ll contact Anne Laurie and see if she’s interested (and she’s so good at that sort of thing, whereas, I’m NOT!)

    Thanks again.

  199. 199
    smedley says:

    @Mnemosyne: I suspect our right, but I took the White caricature of the spear hurler to be a rather famous Valkyrie from a Wagnerian opera by a composer with his own set of bigotries . Ironic?

  200. 200
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Mandalay: I just need a phone that can be submerged in toilet water for 15 seconds after a small child drops it in.

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