Fugue Wan

There is nothing quite as hysterical as the need for conservatives to try to mold (hammer, chisel and bludgeon) pop culture to adhere to their 17th century beliefs:

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Up next, how “Why Him?” explains the founder’s position on Presidential successsion.






174 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Next up — “How baby groot confirms the principle of states’ rights.”

  2. 2
    Mathguy says:

    The stupid is strong in this one.

  3. 3
    jeffreyw says:

    Shit. It’s either that or go blind and we may need witnesses.

  4. 4
    🌷 Martin says:

    The Long-Term Jobs Killer Is Not China. It’s Automation.

    Another analysis, from Ball State University, attributed roughly 13 percent of manufacturing job losses to trade and the rest to enhanced productivity because of automation. Apparel making was hit hardest by trade, it said, and computer and electronics manufacturing was hit hardest by technological advances.

    Over time, automation has generally had a happy ending: As it has displaced jobs, it has created new ones. But some experts are beginning to worry that this time could be different. Even as the economy has improved, jobs and wages for a large segment of workers — particularly men without college degrees doing manual labor — have not recovered.

    Even in the best case, automation leaves the first generation of workers it displaces in a lurch because they usually don’t have the skills to do new and more complex tasks, Mr. Acemoglu found in a paper published in May.

    Dennis Kriebel’s last job was as a supervisor at an aluminum extrusion factory, where he had spent a decade punching out parts for cars and tractors. Then, about five years ago, he lost it to a robot.

    “Everything we did, you could program a robot to do it,” said Mr. Kriebel, who is 55 and lives in Youngstown, Ohio, the town about which Bruce Springsteen sang, “Seven hundred tons of metal a day/Now sir you tell me the world’s changed.”

    Since then, Mr. Kriebel has barely been scraping by doing odd jobs. Many of the new jobs at factories require technical skills, but he doesn’t own a computer and doesn’t want to.

    Things will never improve if we keep misdiagnosing the cause. A trade war with China will only make things worse.

  5. 5

    I remember a while back there was a well-circulated list of top n conservative movies and they were pretty much all complete misreadings of the actual film; or 300 which is always on their lists for some reason; or Lord of the Rings, which is debatable; or Atlas Shrugged.

    Mostly the first one there though.

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    300 which is always on their lists for some reason

    Cynics would say that the reason has to do with all those bare-chested well-oiled Spartans.

  7. 7
    Chip Daniels says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    The original Birth of A Nation didn’t make their list?

    Odd.

  8. 8

    @dmsilev: You know, that movie never did it for me.

  9. 9
    Yarrow says:

    @dmsilev: I don’t think one has to be a cynic to figure that out. Just observant. The Republican party’s closet is so big.

  10. 10
    The Pale Scot says:

    A place I volunteer at helps people get ID and birth certificates. Today a woman came in with her daughter to get a birth certificate. She was in a wheel chair and seemed mentally disabled or suffering from onset dementia. Among the papers she brought in to do this were court papers that notified her she was being arraigned on felony charges.

    Afterward I’m in my boss’s office and I ask her “how does someone with a room temperature IQ and stuck in a wheelchair commit a felony?”. She rolled her eyes and started laughing “I was thinking the same exact thing”

    People are amazing

  11. 11
  12. 12

    @Major Major Major Major:

    300 which is always on their lists for some reason

    FWIW, 300– or at least the graphic novel on which it was based- was written by a right-wing nutjob, so they may be getting the intended message better than you.

  13. 13
    Mathguy says:

    @🌷 Martin: The real irony is that the greatest impact of automation will be on jobs in China.

  14. 14
    Chip Daniels says:

    @dmsilev:

    Cynics would say that the reason has to do with all those bare-chested well-oiled Spartans

    No, there is a valid ideological reason.
    It references a time when the military wasn’t comprised of a mix of hetero and homosexuals.

  15. 15
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Ya, selling her scripts maybe

  16. 16
    LAO says:

    @The Pale Scot: Not to get technical, but she’s accused of committing a felony. An arraignment is not evidence of wrongdoing.

  17. 17
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Chip Daniels: Huh, Spartans?

    They’re rooting for everyone being homosexual?

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    Huh.

    And here I thought Rogue One was a film that tried to be both serious war drama and rollicking popcorn flick and didn’t quite succeed at either.

  19. 19
    Cacti says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    They’re rooting for everyone being homosexual?

    In the film 300, the Spartans are modern, homophobic he-men rather than the pederasts they actually were.

  20. 20
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Cacti: Magical thinking, it’s how they roll.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    It does kind of amuse me how many right-wing Star Wars fans seem to have missed the whole part where the Empire is the bad guys.

    Obligatory link to the classic Mitchell & Webb sketch.

  22. 22
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The LOTR trilogy is certainly well-made and watchable, but there’s no doubt in my mind that if Leni Riefenstahl ever saw it (well, the first two movies, anyway), she was green with envy.

  23. 23
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    Didn’t someone have a theory that Spartan wedding rituals (like shaving the bride’s head) were all designed to ease young Spartan men into the idea of having sex with women for a change?

  24. 24

    @Roger Moore: Perhaps. That certainly makes more sense than every single conservative male being in the closet.

  25. 25
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Didn’t someone have a theory that Spartan wedding rituals (like shaving the bride’s head) were all designed to ease young Spartan men into the idea of having sex with women for a change?

    I have heard that before, but I don’t know where.

  26. 26
    SatanicPanic says:

    Spoiler?

    That scene where that one guy was saying “I am one with the force, the force is with me” was so heavy. I don’t think any Star Wars scene moved me that much. I admit that if I’m ever in trouble of some kind or in need of extraordinary bravery, there’s a decent chance I’ll start repeating that to myself.

  27. 27
    raven says:

    Mr Bohdi has been diagnosed with a problem cervical vertebrae that may be causing his front paw limp. Looks like 6 weeks in the crate and laser therapy. Now we’ll see if the doggie health insurance was worth it.

  28. 28

    @hellslittlestangel: Again, I can see the argument that they’re ‘conservative’ stories in a traditional sense, and certainly both they and Hitler’s stories are heavily steeped in Wagner and other Germanic philology; but they aren’t particularly Republican.

  29. 29

    @raven: I need to get health insurance for my kittehs too. What company do you use?

  30. 30
  31. 31
    MomSense says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    I know that I sound like a broken record on this but our focus should be on increasing wages for service jobs which will lead to increased wages for everyone.

  32. 32
    Manyakitty says:

    @raven: Oh no! Hope he has a speedy and complete recovery!

  33. 33
    RSR says:

    Ha–due to some non-balloon juice internetting, I was served an ad for custom, high quality lightsabers (some cosplay type stuff, but they do look pretty cool) next to this post. #nerds

  34. 34
    Mayur says:

    @LAO: @hellslittlestangel: They are odes to the power of nature, learning, and the simple life opposed to a violent, industrial, exploitative and power-hungry enemy. Tolkien may have been a small-c “conservative” but the films (especially) felt like straight anti-Republican messaging when I saw them at the height of my Bush era despondency. The voiceover by Saruman at the beginning of The Two Towers sounded to me like it could have been taken verbatim from Cheney. (“The old world will burn in the fires of industry. The forests will fall. A new order arise.”)

  35. 35

    @RSR: I keep getting ads for Skyrim.

    Incidentally, I just got a download code for the Skyrim HD remake for Christmas.

  36. 36
    hovercraft says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    300 is the tale Europeans stand against Persians. Iran has been the enemy since 1979, so the parallels with the Alamo are right up their alley. They feel that both stories are analogous to the situation they are in. Real America is under attack from gay people, black and brown people, liberal, godless, pop culture, these forces have banded together and placed them under siege them and their way of life.

    Plus the oiled up half naked guys.

  37. 37
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Major Major Major Major: No, not Republican, but Aryan. Fair-skinned, good-hearted noblemen versus the subhumans.

  38. 38
    debbie says:

    There was something on my FB feed this morning about Trump supporters boycotting Rogue One. They seem to be convinced there were last-minute rewrites to make the story more anti-Trump.

    I’m hoping this boycott is as successful as that Starbucks campaign where they bought $8 lattes in the name of their hero.

  39. 39
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Mayur: It’s an ode to those who are good — by virtue of their lineage — conquering those who are evil — also by virtue of their lineage. All the stuff about nature and the simple life is just window-dressing, just as it was for the Nazis.

  40. 40
    MomSense says:

    @raven:

    Poor Bohdi. I hope he recovers quickly.

  41. 41
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Cacti:

    In the film 300, the Spartans are modern, homophobic he-men rather than the pederasts they actually were.

    Yes, hilariously they harp in the Thespains about and ignore that taking up the south end from an older guy was expected by a teenage Spartan.

    I can see the Right’s obsession over Star Wars, it really is society dumb down to the silly with the heroes and villains being color coded and magic is the cause of everything so no need for thinking. For the conservative Rebel fan there is the Jedi; are good, end of discussion because of space magic, their intentions or the results of their actions are unimportant. For the conservative Empire fan it’s a non stop neo-nazi wet dream down the fight leather uniforms. And of course, everyone is white. And like in the real world, if someone figured out how to off both the Jedi and the Sith the galaxy would be a much happier place.

  42. 42
    ThresherK says:

    @Mnemosyne: Great stuff! I’ll have to look up more of them.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ThresherK:

    They are hilarious, and occasionally heart-wrenching — the adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar (a delusional alcoholic) sometimes take a very dark turn.

  44. 44
    crawdad says:

    @The Pale Scot: It’s most likely a case of identity theft. Someone used her identity to commit fraud.

  45. 45
  46. 46

    @hellslittlestangel:
    The books, at least, were not like that. Evil in Tolkien’s world was about what you did, not who you were. None of the elves went directly to the dark side, but at least in the first age they betrayed and killed each other over the Silmarils. There were plenty of evil humans working for the bad guys, including ones like Grima Wormtongue who came from virtuous lineages. There were even hobbits who collaborated with Saruman when he took over the Shire. ISTR that Tolkien even said that one of his regrets about the books was not including a good orc or two to show that even those from evil backgrounds weren’t destined to evil.

    That said, this is one area where I really liked the Harry Potter books. Yes, Harry is more or less destined to be the good guy, but even that is ultimately a choice (“Not Slytherin! Not Slytherin!). Elsewhere, there are plenty of people from evil backgrounds who choose the right side, like Sirius, Hagrid, and Lupin, and some people from good backgrounds who choose the wrong side, like Barty Crouch Jr. There are even ones like the Malfoys and Regulus Black, who realize they’re on the wrong side and try to switch. Even Voldemort was given opportunities to be good instead of evil but chose not to take them.

  47. 47
    Schlemazel says:

    @raven:
    sorry to hear that, poor pooch, hope its not too painful on him

  48. 48
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    After driving madame to work, I saw this*.

    *Apologies, taken with my cellphone camera.

  49. 49
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Mayur: Oh Tolkien was very much the anti-industrialist. LOTR is just full of the horrors of the factory system and War. The Hobits are as about ordinary guys in over their heads as one could get. While he’s big on genetically special elites he certainly is no modern American conservative. Heck, the end of the books in that wierd epilog of Tolkien’s the entire Hobbit community rises up and lynches a factory owner.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Schlemazel says:

    @debbie:
    The wingnuts were calling for a boycott because they felt there was a feminist message in the film.

    Poor little dears, the movie took in $155MM on its opening weekend (right what it was projected at) so they are running around now claiming victory because the Farce Awakens did better.

  52. 52
    Betty Cracker says:

    @🌷 Martin: Your hypothesis. Tested it will be!

  53. 53
    raven says:

    @Schlemazel: He’s a trooper but doesn’t take to the vet, medical care or being crated like Lil Bit does. The thing is that they sleep almost all the time anyway so I think he’ll adjust. He’s getting lots of goo-goo from the one-armed bandit!

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: Poor fella! Hope he recovers quickly. 🐶

  56. 56
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Roger Moore: I recall the books as being very focused on skin tone as a signifier of morality. Tolkien’s is certainly not the only mythology in which some from the good side go bad (some mythologies refer to them as “race traitors”), but none from the evil side turn to good (it’s just not in their inferior nature) — he just managed to make his less glaringly offensive.

  57. 57

    @hellslittlestangel: That’s why I like the Mahabharata, it has no heroes or villains. There is plenty of blame to go around. Even Krishna is not above it all. Its as complex as human beings really are. We are all capable of great evil or great goodness, is the message I take away from it.

    ETA: LOTR seemed a bit too simplistic to me.

  58. 58
    pluky says:

    @Chip Daniels: then they’re not very informed about sexual mores in classical hellas.

  59. 59
    ruemara says:

    Well, I have more fun news. My script for my directorial debut has made it to the quarterfinals of the first time TV screenwriters competition. I’m pleasantly surprised.

  60. 60
    Chris says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I remember a while back there was a well-circulated list of top n conservative movies and they were pretty much all complete misreadings of the actual film; or 300 which is always on their lists for some reason; or Lord of the Rings, which is debatable; or Atlas Shrugged.

    Is it time to have The Incredibles argument again?

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Oh Tolkien was very much the anti-industrialist. LOTR is just full of the horrors of the factory system and War. The Hobits are as about ordinary guys in over their heads as one could get. While he’s big on genetically special elites he certainly is no modern American conservative. Heck, the end of the books in that wierd epilog of Tolkien’s the entire Hobbit community rises up and lynches a factory owner.

    As near as I recall, Tolkien was old school conservative, the kind whose ideal society was agrarian and pre-industrial (and aristocratic and Catholic, as well). From that point of view, capitalism was the modern and unwanted innovation intruding on the proper order of how things ought to be. It’s a kind of conservatism that has stronger roots in Europe than in the U.S, partly because there’s a much longer pre-industrial history to go on.

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    @Cacti:

    In the film 300, the Spartans are modern, homophobic he-men rather than the pederasts they actually were.

    What’s a pederast, Walter?

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Mayur says:

    @hellslittlestangel: Not really so much. And I think you’re missing the point, which is that the heroes of the books are not the Mighty, but the humble and generally ignored Hobbits.

    Yes, Tolkien uses the word “Black” to describe evil things, but that’s kind of a generic problem with modern colloquial English. The Black Numenoreans look just like Aragorn. The Men under Saruman’s command look (and are) just like the people of Rohan. And the only actual non-white humans who feature prominently in the books are the Woses, who are good guys (albeit embarrassingly caricatured). Likewise, the Orcs are corrupted Elves, and basically factory product demons. By the standard of anything written by an Oxford-educated white guy back in the day, it’s pretty enlightened.

    There are absolutely problems with LoTR but it’s not straight racialized fantasy. Honestly, a lot of the Tolkien ripoff material published between the 70s and today is much more explicitly bad about race.

  64. 64
    JMG says:

    @Chris: Tolkien was very much part of the English reaction to WW1 and the Depression that sought refuge in considering pre-1914 England rural life and aristocracy as an ideal time now gone. Writers as varied as Wodehouse, Dorothy Sayers and Evelyn Waugh all have elements of that sentiment.

  65. 65
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: Poor Mr Bodhi! How’s he going to handle the crate for that long? Will he get an extra treat for Christmas?

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Cacti says:

    @Chris:

    What’s a pederast, Walter?

    8-year olds, Dude.

  68. 68
    Yarrow says:

    @ruemara: That’s awesome! Congrats. When do you find out if you’ve advanced further? Is there a prize?

  69. 69

    @ruemara: Congratulations! Don’t forget us when you become famous.

  70. 70
    chris says:

    @RSR: I just got an ad for Kellie Leitch. For you non-Canadians she’s using the Trump playbook to run for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. CPOC under Stephen Harper ran the country for 9 of the last 10 years. It will take years to undo the damage. Sadly, Kellie is leading the pack right now, dog help us.

  71. 71
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It does kind of amuse me how many right-wing Star Wars fans seem to have missed the whole part where the Empire is the bad guys.

    Doubly so because, if you’re sticking to the original movies at least (and Rogue One), it’s the most generic Freedom vs. Fascism story imaginable. You really have to be a literal, self-confessed and out-of-the-closet fascist to identify with the Empire.

  72. 72
    Schlemazel says:

    @raven:
    Hope the goo-goo makes up for being created. That would be tough to take

  73. 73

    @Chris: @chris: We have a degeneracy of chrises!

  74. 74
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Sounds interesting, but I have to admit the internet has nearly killed my ability to read anything very lengthy.

  75. 75
    Chris says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    That scene where that one guy was saying “I am one with the force, the force is with me” was so heavy. I don’t think any Star Wars scene moved me that much. I admit that if I’m ever in trouble of some kind or in need of extraordinary bravery, there’s a decent chance I’ll start repeating that to myself.

    I have Catholic prayers that serve that purpose for me and probably will my entire life no matter how badly I break with church doctrine and even my own feelings on the divine and all things supernatural. Some habits are just too hard to break.

    “Hom dom Shiva” from Temple Of Doom also comes to mind in such moments, though.

  76. 76
    Yarrow says:

    @Chris:

    You really have to be a literal, self-confessed and out-of-the-closet fascist to identify with the Empire.

    Yeah, well, you have to be a fascist to vote for Trump, so…. People may not recognize that they are fascists or supporting fascists, but that’s what it is.

  77. 77
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Yeah, Harry Potter’s probably my favorite of these kinds of popular fantasy stories in terms of handling the good/evil thing.

  78. 78
    gene108 says:

    I just thought, when the Empire was threatening you and/or your family, you try to protect those closest to you.

    I guess it does dovetail with the Founders views on slavery: you better pick that cotton or something bad is going to happen to you or your kids or your woman and like the Empire, the Founders had the full force of government behind them to force coercion.

  79. 79
    chris says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Many years ago I made a typo. It stuck.

  80. 80
    Chris says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    If one is good, two is better. Don’t let the good be the enemy of the better.

  81. 81
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Mayur: The hobbits struck me as an extremely patronizing caricature of those beneath the upper class: laborers, shopkeepers, foot-soldiers. Capable of surprising feats of bravery when they’re not busy providing comic relief. Isn’t Gandalf having to constantly reminded the normal-sized people not to underestimate the doughty little Hobbits?

  82. 82
    Schlemazel says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I always wanted to write a story of a young boy who grew up on Tatooien enamored by his older brother. The conceit is that the TV is on in the background at all times & the news is full of stories about a bunch of radical religious nutbags who are trying to take down the benevolent government. The older brother joins the military to defend his government but dies when in what looks like a suicide attack against the governments super weapon. So the boy joins to get revenge for his brothers death.

  83. 83
    Schlemazel says:

    @Chris:
    WAIT! Which is good & which is better?

  84. 84
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    (From dying thread below)

    Just saw breaking news that NC lege has failed to repeal the “bathroom bill.”

    This fucking country.

  85. 85

    @hellslittlestangel: It has many stories woven into one another. The climax is a war between cousins on battlefield of Kurukshetra, outside modern Delhi.
    Historic sidenote: The battles of Panipat (modern Kurukshetra) have been pivotal in the pre-British Indian history (before the 19th century)

  86. 86
    Larime says:

    @Roger Moore: A RWNJ that voted for Hillary.

  87. 87
    Woodrowfan says:

    @The Pale Scot: they didn;t hinder her from committing a felony, just from getting away with it.

  88. 88
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Mnemosyne: never seen that, love it, thanks!

  89. 89
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @raven:

    Oh, the poor Bohdi!! I hope he isn’t too frustrated with his time in the crate (I know you will reassure him that he is NOT being punished!) and that the laser therapy isn’t too onerous.

    Oh yes, and of course I hope you find that those vet insurance premiums were worth every cent! May the Bohdi have a long, worry-free life. Scritches to him.

  90. 90
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Chris: Try the undeservedly obscure His Dark Materials trilogy for a thoughtful handling of good and evil.

  91. 91

    @SiubhanDuinne: I am shocked that the fine upstanding and not at all bitter gentlepeople of the NC legislature would consider such an undemocratic thing!

    @hellslittlestangel: I agree that they’re very good but you’re going to end up in the “obscure” bin if you write YA fantasy in which the heroes literally kill god.

  92. 92
    Emma says:

    @hellslittlestangel: Actually, time to rise to defend Tolkien a bit. It is very clear that the Hobbits are wildly underestimated by most races because of their looks. Gandalf is the only one who sees their potential. It’s not patronizing at all. I still maintain that the true hero of LofR is Master Samwise, the ultimate British yeoman.

  93. 93

    @Emma: The second book in the trilogy was super boring. YMMV.

  94. 94

    @Schlemazel: You can’t have too many Chrises for Christmas!

  95. 95
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    Try the undeservedly obscure His Dark Materials trilogy for a thoughtful handling of good and evil.

    Yes! Love Pullman! (Although I detested the filmed version of Golden Compass — I wish someone would just start from scratch and do the entire trilogy and not miscast a bleached Nicole Kidman as the nasty.) But the books are great, and, as you say, thoughtful.

  96. 96
    dmsilev says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I think “failed” is the wrong word. That suggests that they wanted to succeed and couldn’t. “Lied about their intention to repeal the law” is probably more accurate.

  97. 97
    mai naem mobile says:

    I walked into an appliance store today. It’s actually a place I’ve driven by a million times and I had a few minutes waiting for somebody so I figured I would go in to see if they had any deals on stoves. Anyhow, I am telling the guy what I am looking for etc. He didn’t have what I wanted in stock. He follows up with ‘Well,those used to be $500 five years ago, but they’re $700 now. You can’t get much for Obama bucks nowadays.’ Keep in mind I didn’t complain about the price. I was just browsing. I hadn’t gotten a model number to look up reviews etc. Why the fuck would you say that to somebody who you have no idea about their political beliefs? I just told him I was shopping and left. I wish I had told him good luck with Trumpkin Dollars. Enjoy going out of business under Lumpy.

  98. 98

    @Chris: I know what you mean, for me it is the Sanskrit prayers memorized as a child that I did not even understand until much later.

  99. 99
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Hmm, did you think so? It’s been a while since I read the entire trilogy straight through, but I don’t recall any particular tedium in The Subtle Knife.

  100. 100
    rikyrah says:

    Some people have too much time on their hands.

    Sigh about Rogue One.

  101. 101
    dmsilev says:

    @Emma:

    I still maintain that the true hero of LofR is Master Samwise, the ultimate British yeoman.

    Definitely. Frodo, after all, failed in his mission, succumbing to the Ring at the moment of climax.

  102. 102
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dmsilev:

    Yes, probably. I was using CNN’s word. Never a good idea.

  103. 103

    @dmsilev: of course Samwise is the real hero! Why do you think I named Samwise Samwise?

  104. 104
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I’d have thought that would have made the books notorious. Perhaps that the death of god is such a fleeting, inconsequential scene in the midst of a huge battle was so insulting to fundamentalists they were compelled to ignore it.

  105. 105
    Temporarily Max McGee (Until Death!) says:

    @crawdad:

    Holy Jebus, new troll, it’s even worse than described.

    The fatal flaw in the author’s argument the Founding Fathers/Constitutional Framers is that there is no evidence that the Founding Fathers/Constitutional Framers foresaw the cotton gin and industrialized textile mill coming. Had the southern economy stayed closely tied to tobacco, rice, and indigo (the sugar cane states not even being in US territory at the time the Constitution was written), there would be little need for slaves. The cotton gin changed the entire equation.

  106. 106

    @SiubhanDuinne: I thought we were discussing LOTR.

  107. 107

    According to my news alert app:
    Sources say the trump transition team is floating the possibility of using executive action to impose import tariffs

  108. 108
  109. 109
    Schlemazel says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    I have all the crises I can handle

  110. 110

    @hellslittlestangel:

    The hobbits struck me as an extremely patronizing caricature of those beneath the upper class: laborers, shopkeepers, foot-soldiers.

    They aren’t just a bunch of shopkeepers and laborers; they have their own aristocracy of Tooks and Brandybucks, to whom both Bilbo and Frodo are related. They’re mostly peaceable and insular, but they’re surprisingly fierce when defending their own. I think they’re supposed to represent the good side of Englishmen.

  111. 111
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I thought the movie was a lot of fun, and was deeply disappointed that there were no sequels. About Nicole Kidman — well, opinions of her range widely, that’s for sure. I think she’s a great actor.

  112. 112

    @Roger Moore: Englishmen had a good side? Millions of Indians, Irish and other minions of theirs through the 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries would beg to differ.

  113. 113
    Emma says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I loved it all at one remove. It is THE world-building exercise of all times.

  114. 114

    @hellslittlestangel:

    undeservedly obscure His Dark Materials trilogy

    When your series is optioned for a Hollywood blockbuster trilogy, it’s hard to call it obscure.

  115. 115
    Schlemazel says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I am reminded of the scene from “Hunt For Red October” where they realized the torpedo they sent is about to hit them.
    “You ass! You have killed US!”

  116. 116
    Timurid says:

    @Chris:

    Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?

  117. 117
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Roger Moore: Yes, it’s almost as if Tolkien is approvingly depicting some sort of a complex class system or something.

  118. 118
    Schlemazel says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    And there is the reason I like my story of how propaganda, written by the victors, dictate who we we see as the bad guy

  119. 119

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Englishmen had a good side?

    The side that stayed home and didn’t go around subjugating the rest of the world.

  120. 120
    dopey-0 says:

    @Cacti:

    @Chris:

    What’s a pederast, Walter?

    8-year olds, Dude.

    Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?

  121. 121
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Those tariffs would get slapped down by the courts in no time.

  122. 122
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Has Michele Bachmann been named to a Cabinet position yet?

  123. 123
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Roger Moore: The criminal class?

  124. 124

    @BillinGlendaleCA: yeah isn’t there something in the constitution?

    Not soon enough to prevent major retaliatory damage though.

  125. 125
    Miss Bianca says:

    @hellslittlestangel: “thoughtful handling of good and evil”? Shit, I’m an atheist and I felt insulted by how heavy-handed and cartoonish Pullman’s anti-Christianism is. He made CS Lewis start to look good to me in retrospect, and that’s bad. I can’t remember ever being so disappointed by a book series in my life. I thought the first book was absolutely terrific, the second took a descent into suck that went from gradual to steep, and by the third the descent into suckage took a plunge like an elevator cable severing. Yuck.

  126. 126
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Roger Moore: Lots of things get optioned, the vast majority of which no one ever hears.

  127. 127
    Mike J says:

    @Major Major Major Major: And in retaliation the rest of the world will slap tariffs on products from Washington and California, reliably blue states that manage to export goods, unlike Alabama or Mississippi.

  128. 128

    @Roger Moore: In India at least, they exacerbated the divisions that already existed and profited from them. Combo of Ferengi principles with Romulan wiliness.

    ETA: They didn’t really have the numbers to do what they did in more sparsely populated areas.

  129. 129
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I think we also fought a war about that, “Taxation without Representation” or something like that.

  130. 130
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    They are hilarious, and occasionally heart-wrenching — the adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar (a delusional alcoholic) sometimes take a very dark turn.

    The moment David Mitchell became my favorite actor-comedian (to my own astonishment) was the “Sherlock Holmes has dementia” skit which had me shaking my head and muttering about how offensive and tasteless it was … right up until the moment it took my breath away and left me as speechless as Dr. Watson.

  131. 131

    @hellslittlestangel: Not yet but Hoot-Smalley tariffs was what made the stock market slump into a global depression, among other things.

  132. 132
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Well, there was also a tight monetary and fiscal policy.

  133. 133

    @BillinGlendaleCA: was that before or after the war about owning people?

  134. 134
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Right, but before Michele Bachmann they were known as the Smoot-Hawley tariffs.

  135. 135
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Chris:

    You really have to be a literal, self-confessed and out-of-the-closet fascist to identify with the Empire.

    IIRC, the Expanded Universe stuff actually presented a plausible case for the Emperor being a misunderstood antihero. The theory was that Palpatine knew somehow that the Yuzan Vhong were coming, and he took steps to unify the galaxy and create planet-killer weapons because that was the only viable defense against an enemy that actually terriformed entire planets into weapons and ships. Pretty much thrown out entirely nowadays, but for a while …

  136. 136
  137. 137
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Schlemazel:

    I once ran a tabletop RPG about military soldiers suffering from short term amnesia assigned to investigate the terrorist attack that injured them and caused them to lose those memories. It was, of course, A New Hope played from the perspective of the Stormtroopers who got mind-whammied by Obi-Wan at Mos Eisley. The players figured it out pretty early and played along, deliberately misinterpreting events from Star Wars canon in a way that made the Empire look good and the “heroes” look bad.

  138. 138
    Jinchi says:

    @Chris:

    You really have to be a literal, self-confessed and out-of-the-closet fascist to identify with the Empire.

    So very true:
    https://twitter.com/BillKristol/status/806489549111234560

  139. 139
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    About Nicole Kidman — well, opinions of her range widely, that’s for sure. I think she’s a great actor.

    No argument about her talent, I just thought she was horribly miscast as Mrs. Coulter.

    (Coulter … hmmmmm.)

  140. 140
    Schlemazel says:

    @Citizen Alan:
    Cool!

    I had written much of the news and military recruiting ads for the story. It was rather easy given a religious sect that took children away from their families to be trained. Imagine how the average person would feel about a group of people who have the ability to ‘cloud’ your mind against your will.

  141. 141
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Oh, sorry! I thought we were discussing His Dark Materials! I must have responded to the wrong person, or the wrong comment.

  142. 142
    Eric NNY says:

    @dmsilev: that’s always my excuse, no matter the question.

  143. 143
    Another Scott says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Thanks for the pointer. The Kindle version is 27,474 “locations” in the free version at Amazon. It might take a while!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  144. 144
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @ruemara:

    Congratulations!

  145. 145
    Honus says:

    @dmsilev: I’ve never seen 300 but my history tells me that the Persians won and literally “molon labe”

  146. 146

    @efgoldman: I suspect the existence of the attempt might be sufficient.

  147. 147
    Honus says:

    @hovercraft: but the Persians won.

  148. 148
    Chris says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    I don’t actually buy it, though. The first time it’s mentioned that Palps & co. know anything about the Yuuzhan Vong is, IIRC, “Outbound Flight” which is halfway between Episode I and Episode II. In other words, when Palpatine’s plans were already well underway. And at that point, the Vong were still nothing but an unconfirmed rumor – that book is the first time they get a reliable report of someone having met them at all. It’s pretty clear that he meant to start the Clone Wars and create his totalitarian state no matter what, and that he started his plans with no idea about the Vong.

    I do think as the universe expands beyond the original trilogy, you get a little more sympathy for the Empire, if not the Emperor. The prequel era especially shows that the Republic is this decentralized, incredibly weak-ass government with private armies run by corporate overlords running amok and nobody able to stop them, ultimately culminating in total civil war. The prequel galaxy comes off looking like China or Afghanistan during their warlord phase, with the Empire being the local Maoist/Taliban regime that steps in and restores order. Of course people would love and welcome them. At first.

  149. 149

    @Another Scott: Even the secondary stories of Mahabharata are interesting, like Yayati and his quest for eternal youth, for example. In the end almost no one gets a happy ending. Even Krishna is killed by a stray arrow meant for a deer.

  150. 150
    Another Scott says:

    @dmsilev: Yup, EBT said in the previous thread that it was messed with, so the repeal failure was probably a blessing at the moment.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  151. 151
    Chris says:

    @Schlemazel:

    Imagine how the average person would feel about a group of people who have the ability to ‘cloud’ your mind against your will.

    One of the things I like about Jessica Jones was that it went so deep into just what a horrifying concept the Jedi Mind Trick would be in real life, as opposed to playing it for laughs and/or plot convenience like Star Wars or X-Men.

  152. 152
    J R in WV says:

    @crawdad:

    Well, I’ve read it now, from end to end. It is the drivel I thought it was from the short glance I gave it when it first showed up.

    Makes one wonder how the writer managed to win entry into a graduate program. Don’t you have to write an essay for those?

  153. 153
    Suzanne says:

    @mai naem mobile: Was it Spencer’s? I had a bad, bad experience there.

  154. 154
    J R in WV says:

    @Schlemazel:

    ” Imagine how the average person would feel about a group of people who have the ability to ‘cloud’ your mind against your will.”
    \
    According to the situation you describe, they would love them, and cherish them, like the Trumpets love Trump!

  155. 155
    Glidwrith says:

    @ruemara: Hot damn! Congrats Ruemara!

  156. 156
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Suzanne: no, it was a dumpy place at 1 17 and Indian School on the access road. It was one of those disorganized messy places with a tons of dust where you have to be careful walking around because you’ll end up with a bunch of dust on your clothes.I am just going to go back to Arizona Wholesale. They had an outlet store there which had some good quality stuff with decent prices.

  157. 157
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Miss Bianca: What pissed me off about Pullman is that he claims he’s providing the atheist answer to Lewis. He’s not going to indoctrinate kids about God! He’s going to tell them The TRVTH!

    Then he writes a story with flying witches, cute little ambulatory, external souls and LITERAL FUCKING ANGELS, but he gets to front like he’s the hero of materialism because God is senile and some of the angels are gay.

  158. 158
    NotMax says:

    @Honus

    Sometimes difficult to tell the different Persian-speakers apart without a program: one man’s Mede is another man’s Persian.

    :)

  159. 159
    Temporarily Max McGee (Until Death!) says:

    @efgoldman:

    If you buy anything from Searas that’s tagged as one of their brands, it doesn’t come with a user’s manual any longer. They charge you for that- even as a download. That’s one of myriad reasons I won’t shop there. The c.e.o. is quite purposely trying to crash the corporation.

    http://www.businessinsider.com.....eet-2016-3

  160. 160
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    Not too obscure. They made a movie, The Golden Compass (2007), out of the first book, and, coincidentally, it will be on Syfy at 9:30 a.m. EST on Christmas Eve.

  161. 161
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Does this not apply to Englishmen?

    There is plenty of blame to go around. Even Krishna is not above it all. It’s as complex as human beings really are. We are all capable of great evil or great goodness [. . .].

  162. 162
    Temporarily Max McGee (Until Death!) says:

    @efgoldman:

    A new Kenmoor might only last a couple of years though, no matter how good the old Kenmoor is. It isn’t as if Sears is spending money to make sure that they’re selling you anything of quality. If you can find slightly damaged goods elsewhere (say, maybe, Best Buy)for twice the price, it’s the better risk.

  163. 163
    Seth Owen says:

    @mai naem mobile: This is the casual racism of white people. He just assumed you were part of his tribe.

  164. 164
    sherparick1 says:

    @🌷 Martin: Unfortunately, when it comes to the trade and “Free Trade” agreements, the NY Times, even some of its best writers, are coming from an ideologically loaded position. When reading at Times Story on economics and why “Free Trade” packs are great and they really don’t cost much in jobs, one should always go to see what Dean Baker says about it.

    “There seems to be a great effort to convince people that the displacement due to the trade deficit over the last fifteen years didn’t really happen. The NYT contributed to this effort with a piece telling readers that over the long-run job loss has been primarily due to automation not trade.

    While the impact of automation over a long enough period of time certainly swamps the impact of trade, over the last 20 years there is little doubt that the impact of the exploding trade deficit has had more of an impact on employment. To make this one as simple as possible, we currently have a trade deficit of roughly $460 billion (@ 2.6 percent of GDP). Suppose we had balanced trade instead, making up this gap with increased manufacturing output.

    Does the NYT want to tell us that we could increase our output of manufactured goods by $460 billion, or just under 30 percent, without employing more workers in manufacturing? That would be pretty impressive. We currently employ more than 12 million workers in manufacturing, if moving to balanced trade increase employment by just 15 percent we would be talking about 1.8 million jobs. That is not trivial….” http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the.....ge-degrees

    The problem we have will have with the short-fingered one and his gang of plutocrats ruling the country is he may start a trade war with China and Mexico and slap a 35% tariff on imported goods, but that effect will be swamped by the appreciation of the dollar that will result from high U.S. interest rates over the next 2 years. If anything, China has been keeping the value of its currency up against the dollar for the last two years, hurting it with other trade partners from Japan to Germany who have allowed their currencies to float (and since Germany now runs the Eurozone, the Euro is the German currency). See http://acrossthecurve.com/?p=28084 and http://acrossthecurve.com/?p=28084

    Next year would have seen an expanding trade deficit and the beginning of a recession in manufacturing under either a President Clinton or President Smuck. But President Smuck’s and Speaker Granny Starver’s policies are likely to make it worse because they will put gold bugs on the Fed and practice and weird form of Plutocratic and War Keynesian economics over the next 2 years. So Trump will no more be able to bring down the trade deficit (in fact it is likely to explode next summer) then King Canute was able to command the tide not to come in.

  165. 165
    sherparick1 says:

    @Mayur: Tolkein had the faults of time and place. He was very nostaglic for pre-industrial England (as was William Blake a century earlier from a left-wing perspective). He also grew up in a world that took white supremacy as a given (Tolkein born in 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa). His family returned to England permanently after his father died in 1896, and he grew up in rural villages near Birmingham and then went to Oxford when it was still just a town and unversity with no industrialization. Then WW1 and the way I have come to really enjoy LOTR is a part of the only good thing that came out that awful war, its English poetry and fiction from (See the late Paul Fussell’s “The Great War and Modern Memory.”) When Tolkein came back from WW1 and resumed his studies and eventually became a professor, it saddened to see how industry and suburbia had spread through Oxford (one of the first big British automobile factories was built near Oxford) and his family relations villages near Birmingham. His feelings about this, and industrialization in general, are quite clear from both his description of what Saruman does to Isengard and again in the Scouring of the Shire. But, although I don’t think it was a huge part of the LOTR, the racism is there. I think it is better to recognize these flaws, just like the antisemitism in “The Merchant of Venice,” and subject them to criticism then pretend they are not there.

  166. 166
    sherparick1 says:

    @sherparick1: The Times routinely neglects the geographic impact of the trade disruption by saying things like a 1 million jobs really is not a lot in an economy with 140 million jobs, but where the job losses are concentrated, such as the destruction of furniture and apparel industries in Southern Appalachia or the machine tool and auto industry in Southeast Wisconsin or the steel and rubber industry in Warren and Youngstown, Ohio, while the new jobs are on the coasts or Texas. It then engages in a lot of hand waving about “retraining” and “assistance.”

  167. 167
    Forked Tongue says:

    “They named it after its score on a gayness scale of 1 to 10.” — Sarah Silverman on 300.

  168. 168

    @Steeplejack (tablet): Yes it does apply to individuals but not to the British state which was exploitative and ruthless and profoundly undemocratic with respect to its Empire.

  169. 169
    sherparick1 says:

    @Chip Daniels: Except of course the Greek armies were a mix of Gay, Straight, and Bi men. At least, the Thebans, who destroyed the Spartan military machine and liberated the Helots were famous in antiquity for this feature in their elite forces. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Band_of_Thebes

  170. 170
    JAFD says:

    @sherparick1: Old Pennsylvania riddle:
    “Why is Marriage like The Tariff ?

    They’re both ways to
    Protect the Domestic Enterprise, and
    Support the Infant Industry.”

  171. 171
    DesertFriar says:

    If we are talking about movies that that the right should adore, the top of the list is “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”. Perfectly describes what it will be like living under Trump and in a Libertarian Society.

    When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. This has been the Republican modus operandi for decades. With “Drain the Swamp”; the legend is get the elites out of politics when the fact is it is just the opposite.

    The movie is great, but the critics got it wrong. They said the movie was about “Jimmy Stewart as Ransom Stoddard brings law to the wild west.”

    Bullshit.

    The movie is about the pettiness of the a town that elects incompetent officials who will not enforce the law (we learn early in the movie that Linc Applegate was elected by the town again and again) and won’t pay for a crumbling infrastructure (we learn this when Linc states that there is no money to fix the broken locks on all the cells).

    We have; in the movie, Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) who flys off the handle at any little perceived indiscretion no matter how small. Retribution is swift against anyone who isn’t submissive to what Liberty wants (wonder who that could be in now).

    The townspeople were all good little libertarians/Republicans. When Stoddard is left for dead for objecting to Valance stealing an heirloom, the stagecoach goes into town, the people learn about the whipping and do nothing about it. It’s only through chance that Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) happens to pass Stoddard that he is brought into town to get medical attention.

    The townspeople only look to enforcing the law to the extent that they can get statehood for the territory which will bring the businesses more money.

    But we see even with statehood, the townspeople haven’t changed.

    The town is still the same as before statehood (except with more money). The funeral director steals Doniphon’s boots when he puts him in the casket.

    The press? The reporter who first sees Stoddard doesn’t even know he is the Senator of the state. When the press does find out who he is, they aren’t asking about legislation or politics, it’s stated that they have a “right” to know why he is here for a funeral of a nobody.

    Yep, this should be the Republicans favorite movie.

  172. 172
    Miss Bianca says:

    @NotMax: If no one else is going to congratulate you on trotting that pun out, let me be the first to offer you a laurel, and hearty handshake!

  173. 173
    Julie says:

    @Miss Bianca: I came here to say exactly this. I loved the first book, and was disappointed by the other two. And I have a whole boatload of issues with religion in general and Christianity in particular.

  174. 174
    Tehanu says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    The hobbits struck me as an extremely patronizing caricature of those beneath the upper class: laborers, shopkeepers, foot-soldiers.

    Patronizing maybe; caricature, there you’re quite wrong. Tolkien’s first real contact with the lower classes (as fellow humans, not servants) was in WWI, and he famously observed that it was a revelation to him to discover that the people he’d been taught to look down on were, both practically and morally, superior to himself.

    @Emma:

    It’s pretty standard among Tolkien mavens that Sam is, indeed, the real hero of Lord of the Rings; he literally has the last word in the book. But it’s not because Frodo “failed” in his mission; it was Frodo’s mercy to Gollum that left Gollum alive to grab the Ring and then fall into the lava, thus achieving the quest. Sam — who also spared Gollum — is the hero because he is the one who carries the memory of the “high” heroic deeds into the living future, while Frodo is so damaged and crushed by his ordeal that he has to leave Middle-Earth.

    @Miss Bianca:

    I thought the first book was absolutely terrific, the second took a descent into suck that went from gradual to steep, and by the third the descent into suckage took a plunge like an elevator cable severing.

    Miss B, you took the words right offa my keyboard! Glad to find I’m not the only one.

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