Late Night Chewtoy Open Thread: Twirling Towards FREEDOM!!!


Remember, it’s not stealing if these kids offer you their money.

58 replies
  1. 1
    jl says:

    Twitter needs to shut down these absurd hoaxes.

  2. 2
    Feebog says:

    There isn’t enough Himalayan pink salt in the world…

  3. 3


    A McArdle op-ed is like Star Wars because it’s not particularly well-written, hews 100% to a formula stolen from somebody else, borrows from philosophies at random to arrive at a foregone conclusion, and gets a lot of hype.

    I colored in my drawing of an MMO character.

  4. 4
    sukabi says:

    @Major Major Major Major: not to mention, if it’s following the “formula” for Attack of the Clones the all actual substance is left on the cutting room floor to make way for explosions / action / special effects.

  5. 5
    Fair Economist says:

    @sukabi: The only explosions in a McArdle piece is from her bombing. Which I concede is frequent.

  6. 6

    @sukabi: And they’re also both occasionally casually racist.

  7. 7
    ted mills says:

    “The course is pajamas”

  8. 8

    @ted mills:

    The DeWitt Wallace Center offers over 20 undergraduate and graduate courses designed to give students a thorough understanding of the role of the news media in modern society. In the Duke registration system, DeWitt Wallace Center courses are listed under the PJMS subject code.

  9. 9
    Mnemosyne says:

    Tomorrow I need to go to the brand-new REI store and buy a hat that has a chin strap so I can wear it on my upcoming sailing excursion. It’s not a real activity unless it requires a minor purchase. 😂

  10. 10
    sukabi says:

    @Major Major Major Major: they seriously need to rethink their course coding…the first thing I thought was pajamas media as well… Had to look it up…Policy Journalism and Media Studies …

    Also pretty sure they need to rethink who they’re hiring for their course work, McArgle writes stuff, but it isn’t close to being actual journalism.

  11. 11

    @sukabi: Ahhh. I didn’t get as far as the acronym.

    Of course it’s Duke, too.

  12. 12
    clay says:

    She’s a fuckin’ chair?!?!? What the hell, Duke?

  13. 13
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Isn’t David Anderson at Duke? He can audit and let us know what’s going on. And then we can make fun.

  14. 14
    Redshift says:

    Does it include training in mathematical illiteracy? If not, you’re really not getting your money’s worth from McMegan.

  15. 15
    Ninedragonspot says:

    @clay: she’s not the chair of any department, just occupying a lecture chair reserved for visiting professors/lecturers named after some Egans.

  16. 16
    piratedan says:

    someone get a hold of burnsy, so he can call the alumni office :-) I’m sure he’s happy to know his donations to the school are helping to pay that dipshit’s salary.

  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    If you need formal training over and above your regular education to write columns and op-ed pieces, you’re probably not mentally equipped to write them anyway.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Also, the science is just a lot of gibberish not intended to be literally true.

  20. 20

    @hellslittlestangel: technically false but collectively meaningful!

  21. 21
    fuckwit says:

    Gastritis broke her calculator, and now she is teaching a class on how to make excuses for being ignorant?

  22. 22
    opiejeanne says:




  23. 23

    @opiejeanne: that’s probably the best retcon ever though.

  24. 24
    ThresherK says:

    @Redshift: Thinking they’re getting their $$’s worth demonstrates all the mathematical illiteracy she has to teach them. Her work on that front is done.

  25. 25
    gene108 says:

    Holy shit*, that’s not a joke…I feel like I am doing life wrong, if a nitwit like McMegan can make a good living from being a nitwit…

    * When I entered “shit” autocorrect suggested “shitgibbon”, which I guess is some sort of cosmic progress.

  26. 26
    Amir Khalid says:

    Star Wars is actually not science fiction but space opera. The same is true of Dune.

  27. 27
    LaNonna says:

    For once the OT and I are awake at the same time. Just finished harvesting our almond crop for this year, the nuts are spread on the back veranda to dry for a few days, then off to the professional nutcracker. Pugliese almonds much smaller and thicker shelled than California type. Topped off 3 mornings of hard hot work with a long swim in the Adriatic, and later today a frittura mista seafood lunch, plenty of local rosato to go with. Thank dog for this blog, plus the guardian and WaPo, keeps me up with what’s happening. Buona domenica, jackals.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Fair Economist says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Doctor Who varies, as you’d expect with something produced over 50 years. The Tardis and the backstory are science fantasy, but the individual serials are often science fiction. Some earlier episodes were even pretty straight historical fiction.

  30. 30

    @Fair Economist:

    the individual serials are often science fiction

    But the unifying thread is best understood as the adventures of a mad wizard in a magic box.

  31. 31
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Where is this course located – Trump University?

  32. 32
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Amir Khalid: I can’t decide whether to argue that space opera is a type of science fiction or that science fiction is whatever science fiction fans say it is.

    But I will say that Megan McArdle writes science fiction if she says so — really dumb, bad science fiction with no science in it, but extra fiction.

  33. 33

    @hellslittlestangel: this is all why people came up with the term speculative fiction, ya know.

  34. 34
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Major Major Major Major: A vague and clunky term that never caught on. I mean, all fiction is speculative.

  35. 35

    I wonder if the actual point of this class is to have a reference to impress the dumbasses in media who think McArdle is worth printing?

  36. 36
    J R in WV says:

    If this wasn’t an open thread, this would be off topic, but it is, so it isn’t. [McArdle style lit-pop to help keep it on topic!]

    Here’s a short video from twitter. It shows what happens when a fat wanna-be white superior man physically attacks a black guy who is actually the superior man.

    The better man wins a brief standing wrestling match, leaving the aggressive wanna-be superior white man semi-unconscious laying on the gas-station pavement, where a friend tries to help him stand on his own two feet once again.

    A perfect example of what happens when an inferior physical individual meets a guy who may have been a collegiate wrestler and starts a fight he has no hope of winning.

  37. 37
    Betsy says:

    Duke students are often horrible people, so this totally fits.

  38. 38
    Betsy says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: ding

    Now “Egan Chair for journalism” goes on the vitae

  39. 39
    Quinerly says:

    Glad someone said it. They are.

  40. 40
    efgoldman says:

    Dunno’ which is worse; that anyone takes the arithmetically illiterate Mcmegan Arglebargle seriously as an opinion writer, or the likes of Althouse and her really awful arguments holding down a faculty position at a major law school.

  41. 41
    David Anderson says:

    @jl: I have better used for my time like picking the lint from between my toes

  42. 42

    McArdle is a silly person.

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:


    .. ..But I will say that Megan McArdle writes science fiction if she says so — really dumb, bad science fiction with no science in it, but extra fiction.


  44. 44
    NorthLeft12 says:

    When you are using a plug from the execrable Mr. Brooks as a professional reference, then you must be in trouble.

  45. 45
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Well, now we learn that being wrong all the time is a taught skill.

  46. 46
    NorthLeft12 says:

    To Mr. Weinstein; the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people in the US every year due to governmental inaction in health care, labour safety, the environment, prescription drug use, gun deaths, etc are absolutely proof that the US of A is the freest society in the world. No nanny state here…..or down there from my point of view.

  47. 47
    NorthLeft12 says:

    Annie, are students in the class supplied with tin foil hats or are they expected to bring their own?

  48. 48
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I used to hang out at the old rec.arts.sf.written, back in the glory days of USENET. (For kids who are too young to know what that was, imagine a blog comment thread with no pictures and no ads, where everything was displayed in 12 point Courier font.). The question of what was and was not “real” science fiction was always a good topic for a thread of several hundred posts.

    You had your purists, who insisted that it wasn’t Science fiction unless everything in the story agreed with the laws of science as currently understood. You had your cafeteria purists, who usually had some threshold: Well, OK, they have FTL drive, but EVERYTHING ELSE better be right. You had those (this is mostly where I fell) who were happy to accept any bullshit pseudoscience, made up science or technobabble, as long as the bullshit had consistent rules and obeyed internally consistent laws. At the far extreme was the position that science fiction was entirely a matter of tropes: if it has things like spaceships, rayguns, aliens, time travel, etc, it’s science fiction, full stop.

    And then you had those few wise persons who basically said, “I know it when I see it”, which is probably the best answer but much less likely to lead to an entertaining flame war.

  49. 49
    Gator90 says:

    @J R in WV: In Florida, the inferior white man who provoked the fight would be packing heat, and would, as soon as the fight started going poorly for him, shoot the black man dead. And become a hero to a non-trivial number of right-wingers.

  50. 50
    father pussbucket says:

    half-credit half-assed
    Damn you, autocorrect!

  51. 51
    danielx says:

    I feel I’m being trolled by Duke.

  52. 52
    But her emails!!! says:

    @David Anderson:

    Your university feels that it’s worthy of student’s time, 1/2 x whatever they charge per credit hour and likely compensating McMegan at a higher rate than you when broken down to an hourly basis.

  53. 53
    Geeno says:

    @NorthLeft12: They make them as a project during the class.

  54. 54

    Flipping the coin over for a moment, and depending on how many other people there are in the class, if I could put a price tag on having forthright contact with McMegan and the opportunity to taunt her mercilessly for seven Wednesday afternoons. In a friendly, professional setting.

    Or you could set $500 on fire, punch yourself in the groin & write an op-ed on how people dying in need of health care is the system working

    Yeah, that, too.

  55. 55
    WaterGirl says:

    @BruceFromOhio: I would go in for $25 with 19 other people in order to send one person to that class who would taunt her mercilessly for seven Wednesday afternoons. In a friendly, professional setting. Presuming they would write up their experience for each of the 7 days. That would be great fun!

  56. 56

    @Lurking Canadian: That medium was excellent for concentrating all the types you’ve listed into common threads. What fun it was when someone new showed up and said, “I’m not really familiar with scifi, but have some time to read at the beach this week. What’s a couple of good, solid reads, or perhaps a trilogy?” And the floodgates open.

  57. 57
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Or possibly the worst. Ugh.

  58. 58
    Mel says:

    @Mnemosyne: I found a nice, fairly stylish summer straw sunhat at Costco a few weeks ago. It’s casual and comfortable enough to wear outside puttering around in the backyard, but nice enough to wear for a day outing. It’s wide enough brimmed to provide some good sun protection for face and shoulders, but it’s definitely not 1970’s suntan oil commercial and douche commercial sunhat size. (I can still remember the weirdness of those summer hats that were so big that they looked like flying saucers had landed on the models’ heads while the women in question leapt through meadows or hung out on a fabulous St. Tropez beach with champagne flutes in their hands. My friend and I used to count down, always hoping for a reality check: “Sand fleas biting in… 3…2…1… Nope. Foiled again.”)

    Anyway, I love the new hat. It’s practical but pretty, has a cute black ribbon band, and a very comfortable adjustable fabric chin strap (with a cute slider bead that you can pull up or down the two small fabric straps to choose what’s comfortable for you.

    Also, the straw is UV rated. And the hat is a good bargain. I paid around 12 dollars for it, I think.

    If that sounds like what you’re looking for, let me know and I’ll see if I can find a link for you. 🚤

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