Long Read: “Tupac and Murray Kempton”

One of the weirder byways of the Sixties, from Michael Daly at the Daily Beast:

Tupac Shakur was still in his mother’s womb when she served as her own lawyer against charges that she and a dozen fellow Black Panthers had conspired to conduct a series of bombings in New York.

And as she did so, nobody admired Afeni Shakur more than the supremely insightful and devoutly decent newspaper columnist Murray Kempton. “No man who saw Afeni Shakur in those days could fail to be half in love with her,” Kempton later wrote….

Kempton lost touch with her as she fell deep into drugs. Two decades had passed when he encountered her in another Manhattan courtroom, this time as the mother of a defendant. The son she had fought so gloriously to keep from being born in prison now faced being sent there. Tupac was charged with weapons possession as well as sodomizing and sexually abusing a 19-year-old fan who had come to his hotel room and ended up being set upon by some of his entourage.

The Mouse King had become a rap star. Kempton noted that Tupac had told another journalist, “My mother was a revolutionary Black Panther and all that. But I also saw my mother as a crack addict. So I answer to no one. I follow my heart.”

Kempton now suggested in purest Kempton-esque terms, “The child is well-advised to distrust any heart that instructs him to answer to no one.” Tupac, he went on to say, “has the privilege, if scarcely the right, to improve his image as one born to be a thug with the myth of a crack addict mother.”…

Kempton had proven so right in so many ways that he should not have been surprised when Afeni asked him to begin visiting her son in prison and assume a role that struck him as dauntingly improbable…

97 replies
  1. 1
    srv says:

    Speaking of bombs, seems we have to depend on Assad to defend America’s honor:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials said Syria launched airstrikes into western Iraq on Tuesday in an attempt to slow the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency fighting both the Syrian and Iraqi governments.

    Officials said Wednesday the strikes were the work of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, which is locked in a bloody civil war with opposition groups. The target of the attacks was the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has been fighting along with the rebels opposed to Assad and since has moved swiftly across the border into Iraq.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    @srv:

    We are all Syrians now.

  3. 3
    David Koch says:

    Lincenum throwing No-hitter in the 9th!

  4. 4
    Tommy says:

    @Baud: LOL. Look this is my problem. Multiple nations in the region have air forces. One using the same planes we’d use. So I don’t get why it has to fall to us to do something like this. Plus and I understand the religious and ethnic differences run deep, but still seems to me it is better for a Muslim nation to bomb another and not the US. But what do I know.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Morzer says:

    I’d have enjoyed the piece Anne Laurie quoted more if it had actually talked about Kempton and Tupac’s conversations in prison in real detail and spent less time on Kempton’s romanticization of Afeni Shakur. How much time does an article need to spend on Kempton’s lyrical outpourings on the theme of “Afeni is wonderful” before you get the general idea? Failing that, if the article is going to be focused on Afeni Shakur, then at least give us some idea of how she came to be a Black Panther, why she fell back into drugs – you know, that sort of significant material. As it is, the article reads like a coy record of Kempton’s crush on her with her famous son thrown in to draw eyeballs and clicks.

  7. 7
    Tommy says:

    @David Koch: Cool. He did it. I don’t normally pimp apps. But after seeing your comment I started up MLB.com At Bat app and am listening to the San Fran radio feed. I flat out love the app. I think I paid $24.95 for the entire season of news, audio, and stats. IMHO money well spent.

  8. 8
    Morzer says:

    incidentally, the GOP in Virginia are getting even crazier and more desperate than they were before:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....rs-office/

    The Virginia Speaker of the House has recently used a series of gimmicks and unusual tricks — including having Capitol Police enter the governor’s unoccupied office, and refusing to recognize line-item vetoes — to push through a budget that blocks expanded health care for the poor.

    After being sworn into office earlier this year, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe pledged to fight to use the funds provided by President Barack Obama’s health care reform law to expand Medicaid. Virginia Republicans, however, eventually convinced a Democratic state senator to resign, giving them the ability to pass a budget that included two amendments that blocked federal dollars for expanding Medicaid, and required the governor to get express permission from the Legislature before attempting any type of expansion.

    According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the House had told McAuliffe’s administration to be prepared to receive the budget no sooner than the Monday after Father’s Day. But the House pushed it through earlier than expected, and House Speaker William J. Howell ordered his clerk to have Capitol Police enter the governor’s office to deliver it, even though the executive suite was unoccupied during the holiday.

    The timing of the delivery is important because McAuliffe only has seven days to read the budget, sign it, issue vetoes or take other actions after it’s delivered.

    I have a feeling this will not end well.

  9. 9
    TG Chicago says:

    Have you seen the latest Lois Lerner/IRS outrage? It goes like this:

    *Some fundraiser sends an email to Chuck Grassley inviting him to an event and offering to pay for Grassley’s wife to come.

    *Somehow, the email got mistakenly sent to Lerner.

    *Lerner thinks this might be fishy, so she sends it on to someone else asking if any action needed to be taken.

    *The person writes back saying that it’s legal for the fundraiser to pay for Grassley’s wife.

    That’s it. And yet that’s THE IRS BEING USED TO TARGET POLITICAL ENEMIES.

    I mean, from what little I’ve read, I do find it a bit fishy that all those emails got lost. But this one is a nothingburger with a side of zilchfries.

  10. 10
    Schlemizel says:

    @Baud:
    That comment right there, that one you just made, that comment is why we need like buttons!

  11. 11
    Tommy says:

    @Morzer: How is that remotely legal? That is like having the Capital Hill police in DC enter the Oval Office just because John Boehner told them to.

  12. 12
    Aimai says:

    @Morzer: horrible, sentimental, claptrap. Especially the unforgiveable dismissal of the rape victim.

  13. 13
    TG Chicago says:

    @TG Chicago: (comment editor wouldn’t work for me)

    I goofed on one point — the original correspondence was a snail mail invitation. Grassley and Lerner were both invited, but their invitations got put in the wrong envelopes.

    Here’s the email thread about this. You can tell by the tone that they were gunning full bore to nail Grassley to the wall. :-P

    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/.....assley.pdf

  14. 14
    Morzer says:

    @Aimai:

    It is a strange, unpleasant piece all round – and you are right, it seems to regard the rape victim as more of a narrative inconvenience than worth taking seriously.

  15. 15
    muddy says:

    @Aimai: She only exists to give him the opportunity to have a meaningful experience in prison.

  16. 16
    Morzer says:

    @muddy:

    Which, the piece suggests, he failed to have, despite the heroic and noble Kempton.

  17. 17
    muddy says:

    @Morzer: Well, he had it briefly, but then he had an easy out. He didn’t live long enough to see if he would have grown out of it.

  18. 18
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Tommy:
    It isn’t okay if the nation being bombed isn’t happy about it. It’s an act of war, after all, regardless of who the target is, and the region could all too easily wind up with another shooting match.

  19. 19
    Tommy says:

    @muddy: I don’t listen to much if any rap. My brother does. Or did. Tupac was his favorite. I’ve read some lyrics from the popular rappers and my gosh it is raw, powerful music. And you learn about their history and it usually is pretty darn tough. A world I have no reference for. When some get mad about the lyrics I often want to say they are rapping about what they know. How they grew up. If you don’t like the lyrics maybe change the country we live in.

    BTW: I am a huge Johnny Cash fan. Read his lyrics and they are I’d argue just as raw and powerful as many rappers. Nobody on the far right seems to complain about them.

  20. 20
    El Caganer says:

    Maybe Murray Kempton was supremely insightful and devoutly decent in some context, but in this piece he comes across as an insufferably pompous gasbag whose moralizing seems to be tailored to how well it matches what he considers high points in his prose. The assault victim is reduced to the role of a rhetorical device. Ick.

  21. 21
    Morzer says:

    @muddy:

    @Aimai:

    I’ve been thinking about the piece some more and it reminds me of an ongoing debate I wandered into on various blogs and gamer sites, about how some computer game companies are starting to realize that women are gamers as well and it might just be that they’ve been failing to make games with characters that women might want to play for a long time now. (And, of course, missing out on money as a result!) Reading over the comments on those sites, it’s apparent that there are a lot of very frightened and angry men out there who insist that you just can’t have games where even semi-realistic women are the heroes because (and you can take your pick of the silly ideas they come up with, ranging from the difficulties of representing women graphically to don’t fix what ain’t broken to men are the real audience for games, not chicks etc etc). For me this piece reads like one of the games where a white man (Kempton) is the real hero and the other characters are just brought in as exotic foils or romantic interests for him.

  22. 22
    srv says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The United States government and a senior Iraqi military official confirmed that Syrian warplanes bombed militants’ positions Tuesday in and near the border crossing in the town of Qaim…

    American officials said the target was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Sunni extremist group that has seized large swathes of Iraq and seeks to carve out a purist Islamic enclave across both sides of the Syria-Iraq border.

    “We’ve made it clear to everyone in the region that we don’t need anything to take place that might exacerbate the sectarian divisions that are already at a heightened level of tension,” Kerry said, speaking in Brussels at a meeting of diplomats from NATO nations. “It’s already important that nothing take place that contributes to the extremism or could act as a flash point with respect to the sectarian divide.”

    We must maintain safe zones for the ISIL goodwill tour.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Tommy: Aren’t you rather conceding the point that some bombing should happen? What good would accomplished by any bombing of anyone right now? One doesn’t just bomb people because they are doing something one doesn’t like.

  24. 24
    muddy says:

    @Morzer: I think you’re right.

  25. 25
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    One doesn’t just bomb people because they are doing something one doesn’t like.

    I agree with you, but there are times when the GOP makes it damnably hard not to think that an occasional exception to the rule would be defensible.

  26. 26
    David Koch says:

    @TG Chicago: I don’t think it’s fishy. from what I’ve read the lost emails are related to a failed harddrive. I’ve had 3 hard drives fail on me in the past 10 years. I’ve also had 2 motherboards and video card fail on me.

  27. 27
    Morzer says:

    @David Koch:

    And the life lesson from all of this is:

    Back up your data because you never know when the teabagger conspiracy theorists are going to come knocking on your door.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Morzer: I think one could make a good case that just war theory supports nuking the GOP from orbit.

  29. 29
    Tommy says:

    @Morzer: I am a pretty big gamer. From Pong to my PS3 (not gotten the PS4 yet). I had most major gaming systems. I have a PS2, PS3, N64, and Sega Dreamcast running in my house right now.

    I’ve read on this topic a lot. About 45% of gamers are women. Heck the average age is 43. So clearly almost half of gamers are 40+ and women. I bet that will be stunning to many people who might think gamers are younger people, men, living in their parents basement. Just not the case.

    Last week or so Ubisoft said they couldn’t put a female character in the next Assassin’s Creed game, one of the most popular gaming franchise, cause it would cost too much money. They said twice as much.

    If I made video games I’d focus on adult women. Assume that might be one of the only markets that isn’t being mined.

  30. 30
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Oh praise the Lord – a bipartisan consensus! Which proves that it must be a good and just and .. oh never mind, let’s just try it and see how things are a Friedman unit or so later.

  31. 31
    Tommy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I guess in a way I am. But somebody was going to bomb them. I am just happy it wasn’t us. Do I wish it didn’t happen. Of course. But this is just an ugly situation all the way around. Not sure if there are any good “actors” on the stage.

  32. 32
    Morzer says:

    @Tommy:

    I remember that point about how the game couldn’t be changed coming up in the debates I read – and much harumphing from male gamers and designers about how games just wouldn’t work right with women as heroes. The real prize moment in the comments was the male graphic designer who said it was impossible to create an anatomically realistic woman because either her breasts would be too small or too large and so no-one would want to play her.

    I think you are absolutely right about how clueless many male gamers and game designers are about the number of women who game. Mind you, women are also the biggest audience for fiction by some way – and a lot of fantasy geeks don’t seem to grasp that either.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Tommy: My point is that there are other ways of dealing with foreign policy crises besides bombing. Further, if one is going conduct foreign policy by looking for and only dealing with “‘good’ actors,” one isn’t going to get very far.

  34. 34
    muddy says:

    @Morzer: It’s silly, they always have a cloak and stuff. The hood right down in the face. The walk is fine for women too, I have sometimes amused myself walking like the Assassin character while walking the dog.

  35. 35
    muddy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I have a friend who was all wound up about Syria. We were going to have a war in Syria! I told her that Obama was not going to have a war with Syria. He has to do it, the Republicans in the House can’t just do it. It doesn’t matter what bullshit they spout. I think I finally convinced her back then, she hasn’t expressed any fear about Iraq.

  36. 36
    Morzer says:

    @muddy:

    I bet the dog is pretty surprised as well!

    I think the frightened male game geek claim about clothing and body shape is a pretty silly one. They could always let people design their own characters. Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes (a 4X game that I play and enjoy) lets you choose an appearance and skills and so forth – and it works just fine. Yes, it might require a bit more effort to do it for real-time action games – but it’s not as if it would be impossible by any means.

    I do get the impression that a lot of computer game companies have very little in the way of management skills.

  37. 37
    Tommy says:

    @Morzer: I am a dude clearly. When I am at my five year old nieces house and playing her Wii my profile is actually a women. Doesn’t make me feel less of a man :). I have a marketing background. I look for where there is a market and where there is a demand that isn’t being served. Tons of FPS. Fantasy. Sports. Kids games. I am not sure I can think of a single women focused game. I am sure there are a few, but I don’t know what they are and I read the sites, membership at Gamestop, and well I play my fair share of games.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @muddy: People on this blog were convinced that we were going to have a war with Syria.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    The underlying issue is that ISIS going into Iraq was a symptom of the Syrian Civil War spreading. There was no reason to expect that the Assad government was going to sit still and not chase them. It’s one of the basic problems with the idea that we hate both sides and should just let them kill each other. Apart from the innocent bystanders whose lives are ruined, there’s always the risk that the war will spread.

  40. 40
    Tommy says:

    @muddy: LOL. I am looking at my games. 100+. I think only the Final Fantasy games have a strong female character.

  41. 41
    Morzer says:

    @Tommy:

    That goes to my point about these game companies – they are notorious for time and cost overruns and I get the impression that they don’t think too much about their marketing either. I know a lot of people get frustrated by the need to pay for “bonus content” or DLCs that aren’t really worth the money. I have been wondering for a year or so now whether a game company that hired mainly female programmers and designers might be able to make a real killing with games that take women seriously.

    One of my long-term projects is to set up a company like that, although I don’t yet have the money or knowledge I would need to do it well enough.

  42. 42
    srv says:

    @Roger Moore: Estimated 450 ISIL Jihadi’s are British citizens.

    It’s OK for Obama to drone Afghani or Yemini wedding parties, but god forbid we target any folks who could pass muster at Harrods next week.

  43. 43
    TG Chicago says:

    @David Koch: Sure, hard drives fail. But how can an organization like the IRS not be backing up their data?

  44. 44
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Tommy: I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die

  45. 45
    Tommy says:

    @Morzer: When 45% of a market is female and I can’t think of a single game with a female main character. Much less a franchise. It seems pretty simple somebody ought to try it.

  46. 46
    Morzer says:

    @Tommy:

    Well, I plan to. There are things I don’t yet know that I am going to learn, and I need to find some more money, but I reckon it might as well be me as anyone else.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @srv: The US droned the fuck out of al-Awlaki, so I don’t really think that is the issue.

  48. 48

    @Just One More Canuck: I just clawed a man in Reno just to watch him cry
    -Written by A Kitteh named Tunch

  49. 49
    muddy says:

    @Morzer: The dog doesn’t even notice, that’s how natural it is! I thought of it because the hood of my raincoat comes down in front like that hood in the game.

  50. 50
    muddy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Genuine LOL!!!

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @TG Chicago: What percentage of the requested documents were lost?

  52. 52
    Roger Moore says:

    @Tommy:
    My suspicion is that people are focusing on one part of the gaming market rather than looking at the big picture. There’s a huge focus on games where the player takes on the role of an identifiable protagonist, which are big with hard-core gamers and are where a lot of the charges of sexism are focused. But that’s only one corner of the market. The overall picture is much bigger. Sports games are a huge market. Strategy isn’t as big as it used to be, but it’s still out there, as are puzzle games. And there are a huge number of casual games for people who aren’t hard-core gamers but want something to do on their smart phone when they have to wait for a few minutes. I’ve never heard about complaints of sexism in Candy Crush or Tetris.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    @srv:
    Some British Muslims are white, of course, but as I understand the majority of them are of Indian or Pakistani or other non-white ancestry.

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    @Tommy:

    I can’t think of a single game with a female main character. Much less a franchise.

    Tomb Raider. Not that Lara Croft was necessarily the female character that most women would want to play; she seems more like a man’s fantasy of what a female character should be like.

  55. 55
    Anoniminous says:

    @Morzer:

    Last I looked the going rate for a top quality game is $20 to $100 million. Angry Birds cost less (~2 million euros IIRC) but they hit the right market at the right time with the right product with minimal competition, i.e., Rovio got lucky.

  56. 56
    Morzer says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Mostly Pakistani, IIRC.

  57. 57
    Morzer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Lara Croft gets cited by male gamers in the debates about games as evidence that women like playing female characters created by men, although much of the evidence seems to be “Well I’ve never heard a woman say she wouldn’t play Lara Croft.”

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Amir Khalid: And why wouldn’t a British Muslim of Pakistani heritage pass muster at Harrods?

  59. 59

    @Amir Khalid: On my flight back from India to London, there were a fair number of Muslim ( they were wearing their traditional skull caps) British citizens (maroon passports) of Indian origin.

    ETA: Just from my observations, many of the British citizens of Indian/Pakistani origin are from Punjab. Asylum seekers after the Partition would be my guess.

  60. 60
    MikeJ says:

    @Roger Moore: How about Resident Evil?

  61. 61
    muddy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I know. I thought it was silly.

  62. 62
    PurpleGirl says:

    WRT Designing realistic women in a game. Oh give me a break. Women who read SF, fantasy, anime, and graphic novels are used to seeing buxom blondes in very little clothing. It’s a staple of genre art. They may complain about it but they will play the game anyway, just as the read the books and graphic novels.

    So it takes a little more time to develop the game and do the drawing, big deal. The game makers have been making games more and more realistic for years. And eating memory space in the process.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    Shorter version: She got a bad rap.

    Kempton deserves better than wan second-rate hagiography.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    June 24, 2014, 06:30 am
    Romney wants Hillary’s ‘Three F Plan’

    By John LeBoutillier, contributor
    Here is the dirty little secret of the GOP donor class, i.e. the rich establishment bundlers who funded the recent presidential campaigns of the Bushes, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.): They are actively trying to recruit Romney to run again in 2016 — and Mitt is indeed interested.

    Their first choice coming out of the 2012 election debacle was Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), but his candidacy has virtually crashed and burned — despite his desperate self-denial. Other than his uber-patron, Ken Langone, the donors have moved on.

    Many of these professional donors have hopes that former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) will replace Christie as their guy, but there is one major problem: Jeb doesn’t appear to have the fire in the belly and there is substantial doubt that he will, in the end, actually run. At least that was the word sweeping through emails and conference calls heading into mid-June’s exclusive Romney-sponsored GOP ideas summit out in Utah.

    The truth is that the entire Utah event was actually aimed at beginning the process of having Romney again be the candidate of this Establishment Money Machine — only with some severe, but reachable, caveats.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundi.....z35hNMwHIb

  65. 65

    @muddy: Thanks, I can’t claim the entire credit, I may have seen a variation of that line, that inspired me.

  66. 66
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    People on this blog were convinced that we were going to have a war with Syria.

    At least some people on this blog subscribe to the theory it’s better to protest in advance than to whine after the fact that The Leadership has failed to read one’s mind.

    (Not that I think anyone in power actually reads Balloon Juice, but if I didn’t like having my opinions on the record, why would I be hear?)

  67. 67
    Tommy says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Oh give me a break. Women who read SF, fantasy, anime, and graphic novels are used to seeing buxom blondes in very little clothing. It’s a staple of genre art.

    I almost mentioned that but glad a women did instead.

  68. 68
    Morzer says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Yes, but I wonder how much of that is down to managerial incompetence. Sure, quality costs money, but most game companies don’t seem exactly paradigms of efficiency or planning.

    This seemed like a pretty interesting story:

    http://www.theguardian.com/tec.....white-wolf

    For the video game industry, Monday 14 April 2014 was just another day of layoffs and wasted creative energy.

    The massively multiplayer online game World of Darkness had spent nine years in development but was being cancelled, and its production studio CCP Atlanta slashed to a sliver of its former size. Fifty-six people lost their jobs.

    Insiders could barely muster a collective shrug. A few wondered if anything could be done about the increasingly sorry state of the business, about developers like Irrational and 38 Studios closing and constant downsizing, but not many questioned how it had all happened this time. This was a project with a promising pedigree – based around one of the most popular table-top gaming franchises since Dungeons and Dragons.

    How did it fall apart after almost a decade of work?

  69. 69
    Roger Moore says:

    @Anoniminous:
    I think you’re getting into the issue of what constitutes a top quality game. People who talk about the gaming industry tend to focus on the blockbuster titles (Halo, GTA, WoW, Madden 2K14, etc.) in much the same way people focused on the movie industry do. In reality, there’s a lot of room for more modest games that are targeting smaller markets. I doubt that there are any games designed primarily for mobile platforms that cost anywhere close to the cost of one of those blockbusters. But people don’t think of Farmville or Candy Crush when they’re talking about computer games.

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    When wingnuts do it, we call it making shit up.

  71. 71
    rikyrah says:

    tired of the GOP Clown car, but if they want to nominate Willard in 2016 – knock yourself out

  72. 72
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah:

    That’s going to get thrown out of court before Boehner can finish his Scotch.

  73. 73
    NotMax says:

    @Tommy

    Ms Pac-Man?

  74. 74
    Steeplejack says:

    @Morzer:

    [. . .] the difficulties of representing women graphically [. . .].

    LOL. “New Video Game Technology Finally Allows Rendering of Smaller Breasts”:

    LAS VEGAS — The buzz at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show was all about a new breakthrough in the field of high-resolution 3-D graphics that has made it possible to render average-sized breasts on female video game characters. “For too long, game designers have been creatively stymied by a mammary-imaging technology only capable of rendering one type of breast—a heaving pair of massive, gravity-defying, torpedo-shaped bosoms,” said Warren Hood, developer of the new Vex9 graphics card, which has finally enabled video game wire-frame artists to digitally sculpt breasts as small as B-cups. “At long last, we can give die-hard gamers the level of realism they’ve been looking for.”

  75. 75
    Roger Moore says:

    @Baud:

    When wingnuts do it, we call it making shit up.

    It seems perfectly reasonable to believe that the President asking Congress for permission to bomb a country is a precursor to war. I don’t think liberal protests were the reason we didn’t, but I don’t think they hurt.

  76. 76
    Morzer says:

    @Baud:

    What will the end-product be if Mitt Romney’s ego continues to expand as a result of all this ridiculous fapping about 2016 and his chance to make it right? What happens if a white dwarf goes nova in the car elevator in La Jolla?

  77. 77
    Roger Moore says:

    @Baud:

    That’s going to get thrown out of court before Boehner can finish his Scotch.

    I don’t believe you. Boehner can finish his Scotch faster than the judge can clear his throat.

  78. 78
    Morzer says:

    @Steeplejack:

    *chuckle* Yes indeedy!

  79. 79
    Tommy says:

    @Roger Moore:

    But people don’t think of Farmville or Candy Crush when they’re talking about computer games.

    I do. Since I moved to really nice mobile devices the last few years I find my time on a console being drastically decreased. My five year old niece turned me onto my favorite series of games. Cut the Rope.

    Most times with gaming I just want to play for 30 minutes to an hour outside of like Civilization. Maybe 15 minutes. Just a little diversion. I find the mobile games are perfect for this.

  80. 80
    Botsplainer says:

    We’ll never have true class, gender, creative and racial equality until Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Kobain, Tupac and Amy Winehouse get lionized and their histories whitewashed like Stephen Foster in Bardstown KY.

    Going on the tour, you’d never know that he was an upper class thieving hack of a mooching drunk whose wife took the child and ditched his sorry ass to let him die broke and alone in a shitty garret long before his 40th birthday.

    His legacy enrages me.

  81. 81
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Tommy: While not gamer myself, I’ve been reading SF/fantasy since my early teens and attending SF conventions for a number of years beginning in college. There are some things we might not have liked but, goddess, that’s what was out there and what we saw. Not to mention women in metal bras and dangling jewelry.

  82. 82
    Morzer says:

    Speaking of white dwarfs, this is kinda cool:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....61581.html

    Astronomers have identified what might be one of the strangest stars in our galaxy: an incredibly cold, ancient and faint white dwarf that has crystallized into a diamond the size of Earth.

    I guess diamonds are a world’s best end.

  83. 83
    Anoniminous says:

    @rikyrah:

    Introducing the RomBot2016? Yeah. That will work.

    In the last Marist Poll Clinton lead Romney by 9 points. Both of them are known and people have made-up their minds, so there’s no room for Romney closing the gap there. Clinton would get an addition 1 to 2 percent of women voters plus an unknowable spike from the under 30 female crowd. Romney cannot expand the voter pool. Some of his 2012 support has died and more will die. Meanwhile Clinton’s support-possibility is growing.

    But … HEY! If they want to waste another billion or so — no sweat off my nose.

  84. 84
    Baud says:

    @Roger Moore:

    But that’s not what happens in reality. What happens is that some of us assume the worst and then never back off from that assumption. Like when ammosexuals cling to “Obama’s coming for our guns.”

  85. 85

    @PurpleGirl:Agreed. And its not just SF and gamers who are obsessed with buxom women are they? Men have been obsessed with boobage before the time baby Jeebus roamed the earth with his pet dinosaur. My friend and I were commenting on a Tamil temple sculpture once of a woman with huge boobs and a tiny waist, no way a woman that top heavy and skinny otherwise could have even existed in IRL.

  86. 86
    NotMax says:

    @Morzer

    Dunno whether the staff includes a dwarf (of any shade) as an auto valet, but can speculate with some assurance that there is no way Romney would stoop to allowing a Nova into his stable of vehicles.

  87. 87
    Morzer says:

    @NotMax:

    I now have visions of Tyrion Lannister shooting Mitt Romney in the privy.

    Thanks, I think.

  88. 88
    Tommy says:

    @PurpleGirl: I read a fair amount of SF/fantasy as well. Some erotica. The cover art. The characters. Often large breasts. I don’t think female gamers would be upset if a character in a game had large breasts.

  89. 89
    jake the antisoshul soshulizt says:

    @David Koch: POS Dell box?
    Several years ago my employer had about 30 Dell PCs on the shop floor. All had the same crap motherboard. It drove IT crazy trying to keep up as they died one after another.

  90. 90
    Tommy says:

    @jake the antisoshul soshulizt: I am a Dell guy. My whole family is and my brother a Cisco engineer buys all Dell for his company and customers. We’ve never had a problem. I just ordered a $2,400 CPU from them, top-of-the-line with no monitor. Honestly my only complaint with Dell is I ordered that PC a week ago and it won’t be here until July 3rd. How does it take them two weeks to build me a computer?

  91. 91
    NotMax says:

    @Tommy

    Just as an aside, the Wendy half of Wendy & Richard Pini (creators of the marvelous and now classic original ElfQuest series) was renowned among comic book fans for her appearances at convention costume parades gotten up as Red Sonja.

    Skip to about 9:25 in this video from 1977.

  92. 92
    Morzer says:

    @Tommy:

    I get the impression that the large-breasted fantasy cover girl phase of fantasy book art (as opposed to fantasy games) is pretty much over – if anything, it looks dated now – the sort of cheesy thing you expect from the second-rate artists and bad Frazetta imitators. Likewise in fantasy literature, it seems to me to mark a derivative outdated writer as much as anything else.

    I can’t speak for the novelizations of roleplaying games/gaming worlds, but I am hard-pressed to think of a big-time current fantasy writer who writes the old-fashioned damsels in distress with big breasts waiting for barbarian heroes to both save and ravish them.

    I might be wildly wrong about this, but I think that fantasy computer gamers and game designers are a bit behind the times compared to fantasy writers.

  93. 93
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Morzer:

    I guess diamonds are a world’s best end.

    Bravo.

  94. 94
    Anoniminous says:

    @Morzer:

    The entire Computer Tech sector is managed by ignorant incompetents. Why we’re still running around using a computer interface designed in 1948 and programmed in 1975.

    @Roger Moore:

    Competition in the mobile gaming market is ferocious. Most games, like most products in the Entertainment industry, lose money because the producers do not have the money or savvy to be able to cut through the advertising clutter, thus they don’t get noticed.

  95. 95
    Morzer says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I was rather pleased with that one. Thank you for noticing it!

  96. 96
    TG Chicago says:

    @Morzer: That was very good!

  97. 97
    Cervantes says:

    @El Caganer:

    Maybe Murray Kempton was supremely insightful and devoutly decent in some context, but in this piece he comes across as an insufferably pompous gasbag whose moralizing seems to be tailored to how well it matches what he considers high points in his prose. The assault victim is reduced to the role of a rhetorical device. Ick.

    Here is an excerpt from David Remnick’s eulogy (1997):

    Fortunately, no columnist I know of has tried to mimic Kempton, for it would be impossible and a terrible embarrassment to the imitator. His is the syntax of someone who has absorbed with equal passion Proust, Mencken, the Earl of Clarendon, and the Book of Common Prayer. He could write about the Mafia with such brilliance because he knew his Machiavelli and Dante as well as he did the collected wiretaps of Simone Rizzo DeCavalcante. He knew his way to the library as well as to the Ravenite Social Club. He could write about Jimmy Hoffa because he began life as an organizer for the ILGWU and as a labor reporter at the New York Post alongside Victor Riesel. His book on the Thirties, Part of Our Time, is a classic not least because of his own experiences as a young man with the Communist Party. In his late seventies, he could write about the world of rap and Tupac Shakur not least because he had known Tupac’s mother, Afeni, a lifetime ago when she stood accused of robbing banks with the Panthers.

    […]

    He could do what only a few writers of any age can do. He could change your life.

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