When all they do is parrot Republican party economic talking points?
Go Fug Yourself is one of my favorite websites that is not this one, so I was tickled to find that Anne Helen Petersen at The Hairpin had done an interview with founders/ proprietors Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan:
AHP: Can we go back a little? I want to talk just briefly about how you two started your blog, and what the dynamics were then. What kind of blogging software did you use? Did you pay for image rights? Who was your intended audience?
Jessica: Heather and I were friends who’d known each other for a long time—we’d met originally working at Television Without Pity—and we started GFY as, essentially, an in-joke between the two of us. And because we never intended for it to be a business, we didn’t really think any of that out. The only audience we expected to get was our friends, really. We were on Blogger for a while, because it was free, but we moved fairly quickly over to Typepad because it was a more reliable platform. We were using watermarked Getty Images photos for a while, out of ignorance. It was 2004, and we sincerely thought that because the watermark was on the photo, we were okay to use them. They disabused us of that notion, and we’ve paid for image rights ever since.
Heather: Our first banner was a dinky little cursive thing I did on Photoshop. If we posted once or twice a day, we felt like it was a success. Blogs hadn’t really proliferated yet. Defamer and Nick Denton’s whole media empire were just getting off the ground, so the concept of posting as often as we do now—much less as often as most blogs do now, which is a lot more than we do—wasn’t really established. We didn’t feel like a business; we felt like an after-school activity, or something. I guess you could say the audience was ourselves. So people like us, with similar senses of humor, are the people who helped it grow through word of mouth, and the resulting readership I think probably has a very similar core of what makes everyone laugh even if all of us as people are wildly different….
How do you deal with the assumption that your job is easy or silly?
Jessica: Luckily, I don’t think anyone who actually knows me thinks my job is easy, per se, in the sense that I think they all know that it requires a lot of hours of work. But when it comes right down to it, compared to so many other people, my job does not truly require that much heavy lifting. We get emails sometimes from readers who are like, “I’m in Afghanistan and your website helps me not to feel too homesick,” or oncologists who read us on their lunch break to cheer themselves up, and we always say that our job is to create procrastination material for those people—the people with actually hard jobs. I think that’s important, and I’m proud of what we do, but I can’t get too worked up about it if people decide to be dismissive about it. No pun intended.
Heather: I tend to get a little prickly if I’m being treated like I don’t have a real job. Like I am sitting around on my couch twiddling my thumbs all day, with endless time at my disposal, just because I don’t go to an office. We are a two-person show, so blog-plus-book-plus-columns for New York magazine’s web site… that’s a lot, and then you add my kids’ needs, and it’s not simple to juggle. I certainly do not complain about the fact that those are my jobs—I love them all—but when people give me a look like, “Seriously, you can’t go out day-drinking,” or “REALLY, you don’t just go to the movies all week?”—yeah, I get a little crusty about it. But I agree that we definitely can’t get defensive about the importance of what we do. I mean, we’re not saving lives; we’re blogging about dresses…
Okay, so here are my picks. As usual, there’s more homerism than analysis here: I picked Oklahoma in solidarity with Soonergrunt. Vegas has Duke losing by nearly 30 points to FSU, but I selected the Blue Devils because 1) I hate Florida State with the radiating heat of 30K supernovae, and 2) they haven’t played a tough opponent this year (Little Sisters of the Poor could have whupped my Gators, and Miami sucks too), so we don’t know what they’ve got.
Although I used to be neutral toward OSU, now I ferociously want them to lose for several reasons: 1) their finicky insistence on using the definite article before the school name; 2) all my OSU friends became more rabid Gator-haters than any Georgia fan just because we whipped their ass twice for the national title, so fuck them; and 3) I don’t want them to finish undefeated because they don’t deserve a shot at a national title. If they lose, a more deserving SEC team, which is any of the top three, might have a shot. So Go Spartans.
As for Auburn and Missouri, I’m torn on this one, but Missouri is a solid as hell team and a welcome new asset to the mighty SEC. So I’m sort of leaning toward them, but mostly I’m hoping for a good game. And for FSU or OSU to crash and burn so that the SEC champ gets a shot; I am 100% confident either Missouri or Auburn could defeat either FSU or OSU. Like I said, I’m a homer.
What are you watching, whom are you rooting for and what are you cooking this weekend? I’ve got a brisket smoking on the Brinkman; it should be ready around 7 PM.
I was out on a business trip and I’m still catching up. Reading Soonergrunt’s post about his daughter reminded me of how I felt the day Obamacare passed. I was relieved because I knew that my daughter, who has a serious, lifelong pre-existing condition, will always be able to get insurance. Obamacare saved her, my wife and me thousands of dollars and years of worry.
My dad is a lifelong Democrat because his family felt that Roosevelt and the Democrats gave a shit about their kids during the Depresssion. I’m a Democrat because it’s clear who gives a shit about my kid, and none of them have an R after their name.
They don’t give a shit that hating gays leads to teen suicide.
They don’t give a shit if kids go hungry because food stamps were cut.
They don’t give a shit if teenagers can’t get birth control.
And they certainly don’t give a shit that a kid who has epilepsy, or Crohn’s, will be saddled with a life of worry over whether she’ll be able to buy insurance.
After all the noise over the website dies down, after the Republicans try to shut down the government three more times and vote to repeal another dozen times, this is what’s going to be left for thousands of American families: a man and a party that gave enough of a shit about them to endure a five year temper tantrum from a party that clearly has a broken give-a-shitter when it comes to children.
I didn’t have the same reaction that many of you did to Schumer’s claim that he went after Scott Brown only because Brown wouldn’t vote the way Schumer wanted on a bill. Yes, it makes Schumer look like a self-serving jerk, but that’s kind of the point: he’d like to be seen as the kind of jerk who’s built to last, you fuck with him, he puts his foot in your ass. And I like that kind of politics.
Anyway, there’s no doubt that Schumer’s style of politics — aggressive, unbelievably hard-working, shameless in its pursuit of campaign funds — has been a winning style. He will probably never be seriously challenged in a general election. As my friends in the city always say, he is probably too Brooklyn to ever be president.
But Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s very much in the same mold, could become the first female president if Hillary doesn’t do it first. There’s a great NYT article about her today:
If there were a chutzpah caucus in the United States Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York would be its natural leader.[….]
Her other tactics include cornering colleagues on the Senate floor and refusing to stop talking, and popping out a news release picking apart a senator’s competing legislation as it is being announced.[….]
An outside player in her caucus, the New York Democrat is nonetheless admired for her ample fund-raising, especially by women; she has raised nearly $30 million since being appointed in 2009, a tally that has scared away potential challengers from both parties and turned her into a mentor for female candidates around the country.[….]
Seemingly always working — she has a book out next September — Ms. Gillibrand nonetheless leaves the office promptly at 5 every night to pick up her children from school. If there is a vote at that hour, she has developed a system to signal her aye or nay from a doorway off the Senate floor — where children are not permitted — so she can hold onto her 5-year-old’s hand. “She is ubiquitous,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, “and I mean that as a compliment. I don’t know how she does it.”
I’m generally pretty skeptical about how northeastern politics plays nationally. People up here are more confrontational than in the midwest and south, and the overt no-shit-taking style of Christie, Giuliani, Schumer, and Cuomo II is a natural fit. My guess is that Christie flames out a la Giuliani and that Cuomo II will never go anywhere nationally. But Gillibrand has real national potential.
5:40 AM. We had about four inches of snow on top of the “wintery mix” as they call snow, freezing rain, and sleet here on Thursday. I got home from work on Thursday and got out my electric snow thrower that my wife bought me for Christmas two years ago after a snowfall. She couldn’t figure out what to get me, and then it snowed and I was out there cursing up a storm trying to shovel off my driveway, and she got the idea. Then it didn’t snow again the rest of that winter or at all last winter. So I got out the snow thrower and cleared off the driveway and sidewalk in about 20 minutes. It was awesome. So then I got up on Friday morning to the four inches of new snow and cleared off the driveway and sidewalk and the neighbor’s driveway and sidewalk all in about 35 minutes. Our neighbor is a widow with 12- and 10-year-old daughters. I did it because I could and because people looked after my wife and kids whenever I was deployed so I try to pay it forward, and lastly (and probably the real reason if I’m honest with myself) I was just having too much fun with my toy to stop. We’re supposed to get more snow here this afternoon and evening, so I’ll get another chance to play tomorrow morning!
Soonerdaughter is on a liquid diet for three months that started Thursday, per her gastroenterologist. She’s had significant relief from her symptoms with the budesonide, but she’s not in remission yet, and the doctor wants to get her there and thinks this may be the trick that does it. She had a rough time over Thanksgiving. She’s not happy at all, thinking about all the toffee and fudge and sugar cookies and 7-layer bars and so on and so forth and such like that she won’t be able to partake. My family are huge Christmas candy eaters. She’s not normally grumpy, but she’s been in a pretty foul mood the last couple of days. Well, I would be, too, so we’re just going to let her feel what she feels and express what she needs to. She’s missed a lot of school recently, but my sister (her favorite aunt) teaches at her high school and her teachers love her so she’s been able to stay current with their help. We got together with the school, and she can attend classes by remote when she needs to. The teachers at our high school all have iPads on a wireless network, so she just clicks a link on her laptop, and she’s in class. I didn’t really want to have any Apple devices in my home environment, primarily because I’m more experienced with Android and Windows, but she’s getting an iPad Air for Christmas. That should make things even easier for her. My work has been very supportive of taking time off when I need to for her, so that’s been good as well.
Speaking of all of this, I am an Obamacare success story, even though I haven’t had to get my insurance from the exchange. The changes that the law requires to our insurance, Federal Employees BCBS, are going to save us a significant amount of money next year over this year, and I have the additional peace of mind of knowing my child will be able to get health insurance of her own in the future. The Out Of Pocket cap of $6,350 would have saved us about $5,000 this year.
Here is a link to an article at the Brookings Institution that would be very useful for talking to non-crazy people about PPACA. The only failure of the article is that it doesn’t say that one of the primary motivators for Republicans to repeal the law is that they are afraid people will like it and reward the Democrats with electoral victories as they did with Medicare and Social Security.
“Produced by the Students and Faculty of the Digital Video Program at University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona”
I do my best to be tolerant of other peoples’ hobbies, but I never could grok the Star Warts. Just a failure of the imagination, I’m afraid.