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#pizzagate

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.05.16

So is there a primer on the content of the #pizzagate conspiracy? All I know is that they said "pizza" in the hacked emails so many times that obviously, statistically, it had to be a codeword for pedophilia.



 

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New York Review of Fascism

Posted by Ben
on 12.05.16

Mossy Character sent in a link to this Umberto Eco article from 1995 that's been going around; more recently, of course ("of course"), there have been a couple of good article (I thought more actually) by Masha Gessen. And, on the "prescience" tip, presumably we've seen the bit from Rorty's Achieving Our Country, but perhaps fewer have seen this bit, which comes from On Democracy by noted NCGOP donor Joshua Cohen.

(Speaking of NC, is there cause for hope that McCrory's coup will be prevented? Anyone know wtf is happening there?)



 

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Guest Post: NickS/Trevor Noah/Some Shithead

Posted by Ben
on 12.04.16

NICKS WROTE TO ME ME WONDERFUL ME as follows:

When I heard last week that Trevor Noah had invited a conservative pundit on his show I had no idea who Tomi Lahren was, and had no interest. But today I saw this article which got me to watch the interview.

I think the article is correct in highlighting the ways that Noah did a very good job and yet I found the entire conversation painful and depressing. Noah tried very hard to make the conversation interesting, productive, or informative and, to my eye, he just barely succeeded. There are moments in which he is able to provide perspective and highlight the meaning of what Lahren is saying. But, overall, I feel like, as Noah said early in the interview, "sorry, my brain . . ."

The AV Club headline captures the dynamic fairly well, "Trevor Noah has his best interview yet with living Facebook screed Tomi Lahren"

But, after mulling over my depression about the conversation I thought about the Jonathan Chait's column about David Brooks which Brad DeLong posted about Brooks' unwillingness to acknowledge as a moderate figure:

The effect of all this commentary was not to empower the moderate ideas Brooks favored, but to disempower them. Brooks was emblematic of the way the entire bipartisan centrist industry conducted itself throughout the Obama years. It was neither possible for Obama to co-opt the center, nor for Republicans to abandon it, because official centrists would simply relocate themselves to the midpoint of wherever the parties happened to stand.

If that was supposed to be a conversation between Conservative Tomi Lahren and Liberal Trevor Noah, it makes me feel like "Conservative" and "Liberal" as labels are completely disconnected from reality, they are just positional statements.

Help me out, should I be happier about the dynamic which Caroline Framke describes as,

Noah badly wanted to find some semblance of reason within Lahren's blanket aggression toward all things liberal, but he went about it in the exact same way he proposed some should approach Trump. Yes, he expressed his opinions and challenged her on views he found confusing at best and offensive at worst. But he also just kept asking for clarity, for more information on why, exactly, Lahren thinks the way she does.

I have not got it in me to watch what I'm sure is a stomach-turning interview but I did read the vox article and I guess good job Trevor Noah? But obviously "conservative" especially has no meaning in itself;* and one suspects moreover that "liberal" just means "not those guys". But that's been the case for a long time.

* let's keep the structuralist etc. blather to a minimum, please



 

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Entertainment

Posted by Ogged
on 12.04.16

In some piece I was reading recently, Jimmy Stewart had just come back from WWII, suffering from PTSD and feeling like everything was insignificant compared to the war. Someone said to him, so you think it's more important to bomb people than entertain them? A striking line, and it helped Stewart move forward. Which is all by way of saying, this is a good tweetstorm series of tweets.



 

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Guest post: The miracle of life

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.02.16

Witt writes: What, you've never dropped a 200-pound baby out of your body as casually as lifting a leg? This elephant mom has. (The birth happens about 13 seconds in; keep watching to get a better view of the baby).

And this guy is clearly in the exact right career for him. Never seen anyone so excited to talk about two orphaned manatees. (I have to admit it was pretty cool to see how they get transported.)

For the next four years (or longer), you can get your baby animal fix here: Zooborns.com.

Heebie's take: Awwwwwwwww.

I have a Soothing Things to Look At board on pinterest which I've found myself visiting a lot lately. It's mostly art and nature, but not shlocky, and I find it meditative to scroll through it.



 

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All Lives Matter

Posted by Ogged
on 12.01.16

One of the interesting things about my commute--train, walk--is the thought of all these other people's secret lives, particularly when some surprise or incongruity presents itself. I was walking about twenty feet behind one of my co-workers a few weeks ago (he works in another city, but is often here) and he's a tall, skinny twenty-five year old, and his pants were too short, and he was barefoot in pointy dress shoes, carrying a big backpack, and if anyone had cared to look, he was looking a little comical. But I know that he's a whiz kid, a "software architect" who has basically the entire site that we dozens of developers are working on, in his head.

Today I was walking alongside a slightly frumpy middle-aged woman who I hadn't really noticed, and an enormous guy who was walking by said to her, "Hi, judge" and proceeded to be deferentially schmoozy.

What else are these anonymous faces up to!



 

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