Insult to Injury


Hello, beautiful people. June has been a busy month for your Uncle mistermix, so I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. But don’t worry, it’s not the kind of well-deserved, involuntary, permanent hiatus that babykiller Jenny McCarthy got this week.

I snapped this picture of a sign in one of the many airports I passed through this month. I guess if you wanted to find a company best suited to take a crappy experience like your average airport and turn it into something even more unpleasant, the company that ruined American radio is the one to pick. When I saw that sign, I thought it explained a lot about the glorified bus stop that is Chicago Midway.

Here’s a Saturday morning open thread.

Truly Late Night Open Thread: Invincible Youth

Ruth Margalit, in the New Yorker:

Four teen-agers huddle together, striking a severe pose like a boy band. In the background, just overhead, a sign looms: “Arbeit Macht Frei.” A girl kneels down next to some austere-looking, moss-ridden stairs. Wearing a black beanie and red lipstick, she makes a duck face and an inverse peace sign as the camera snaps. Two girlfriends draped in Israeli flags stand side by side, smiling, in a snow-topped forest. The caption reads, “#Trablinka #poland #jewish.” Underneath, a single comment: “Oh my god, beauties!!!”

The Instagram era has now brought us the selfie in a concentration camp. Or, as the phenomenon was identified in the title of a new Israeli Facebook page (translated here loosely), With My Besties in Auschwitz. The page, taken down on Wednesday, culled from real-life photos—most of them also taken down recently—that had been posted on social-media sites by Israeli kids on school trips to Poland. From the self-absorbed faux seriousness of some (meditating on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau!) to the jarring jokiness of others (hitching a ride by the train tracks!), the pictures have fed a perception of today’s youth as a bunch of technology-obsessed, self-indulgent narcissists…

Or then again: For all that you tried to wipe us out, we are still here!

Late Night Open Thread

This is awesome. Seriously, if someone did this to my house I would probably leave it:



Friday Evening Open Thread: Grifting as ‘Performance Art’

Pop-cult critic Alyssa Rosenberg, at the Washington Post:

I want to take a moment to acknowledge an area where conservatives have show particular talent and dedication: performance art.

By this I am thinking less of black box theaters and slam poetry and more of the latest provocation from Ann Coulter, who with impeccable timing and flair has declared that “Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.”…

David Roth, at SB Nation:

The good thing about getting older, which is so good that it just about evens out the newly excruciating hangovers and the noisy joints and various existential conundrums, is that you no longer care quite so much about being swaddled in the right signifiers. We still notice, because we’ve been taught to notice, but eventually it begins to matter less, and then even less than that. It starts to seem like a sort of imprisonment to hide yourself away inside various branded costumes, to be reduced to the sum of your consumer preferences…

It’s different, in mostly sad ways, for those public people who are strident for a living. It is their job to be neater, louder, not-quite-themselves versions of themselves. This pays well, in many cases, but all this relentless playing to type seems awfully heavy, and awfully limiting, and awfully awful. To always be one way tends to kind of hollow out and robotize a person; pundits that have done their jobs for too long can seem to have more in common with a defective Teddy Ruxpin than with other humans.

I want to stress, here, that I am not asking you to feel any sympathy for Ann Coulter. But consider for a moment Ann Coulter’s job. It is to find the most rightmost public position on whatever is trending on Google News and then to declaim, through progressively smaller megaphones and in increasingly desperate tones, a position slightly to the right of that. Naturally, she’d need to write a column about the World Cup…

The game is to tell a bullied readership what they can and cannot like, buy and be, and then to sell them things that prove those allegiances. This is dreary work, this process of turning every aspect of public life into a campaign-style wedge issue. Still, it’s hard to argue with its success; the wary smugness and hair-trigger desperation of our popular culture is a testament to how well it works…

This is a lousy way to be, mostly, and one that seems sillier and sadder still amid these great games and all this cheering. All that self-conscious signifying that I Am Not Like Those People is, generally, a petty and self-thwarting thing. But here and now, in the middle of this brilliant, batshit World Cup, it just seems like such a waste, like a good time missed for bad and badly understood reasons…

Apart from looking forward to enjoying what we enjoy, fashionable or not, what’s on the agenda for the start of the weekend?

Friday open thread and jobs thread

Lots of stuff for you all to talk about today.  I’m going to SoonerCon this weekend. I can’t go to Comic Con in San Diego this year, although SoonerSon is going.  SoonerDaughter is working a summer job at the NATO School at Oberammergau, Germany, and living with her aunt.  I haven’t been posting for the simple reason that I haven’t really had anything to say.

We haven’t had a jobs thread in a long time, so let’s also do one of those.  If you need work, let us know your region and skillset.  If you know of openings, let us know that. You never know, you might find your dream job or dream employee.  And as always, the US Government is hiring thousands of people in thousands of career fields all the time.

UPDATE: OK GOP Primary candidate refuses to concede to Congressman Frank Lucas (R) because he believes that Congressman Lucas has been dead for two years and that apparently the DoD replaced him with a clone or surgically altered double.  I SHIT YOU NOT.