Re: I'm shocked

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But Stanley, the point is that they're populist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:46 PM
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So, wait, these people are better educated than the general public?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:48 PM
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the general public

The bar is low.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:49 PM
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So, wait, these people are better educated than the general public?

Wealthier means better educated.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:51 PM
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Some of them probably went to Harverd or Yail.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:53 PM
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They're wealthier and better-educated because they deserve it. If poor people deserved it, they'd be in the same boat, mais non.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:53 PM
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Wealthier means better educated.

I think more well-educated means better educated.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:58 PM
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If Those People would just work hard and stay in school, they could become President just the same as regular Americans. And then we'd go stark raving bonkers.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 4:59 PM
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It didn't surprise me, but I bet it would surprise a lot of people.

I've always thought that the main factor behind the misconception of republicans/rightwingers (and also highly religious people) as working class isn't republican attempts at populism or even media narratives, but an expression of classism in middles class democrats, intertwined with regionalist prejudice.


Posted by: David | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:05 PM
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Are people sick of hearing about the Tea Party people? I think I might have an unusually high threshold for news stories about them. I find them absolutely fascinating. They're like narwhals or something. I. Just. Can't. Look. Away.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:07 PM
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It's a shame the hilarious early "teabaggers" moniker didn't stick. They must've got wise to it.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:08 PM
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They're like narwhals or something.

Racist.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:09 PM
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11: They did get wise. Awhile back, I was listening to some NPR-ish call-in show, and one of the panelists kept using the "teabagger" term (not with malice, as far as I could tell), and a caller admonished the show's host for allowing the guest to use the epithet. The host was really confused. It was hilarious.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:15 PM
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Countless denunciations have been written of republicans politicians who pretend to be common people, but they just want to be thought of as folksy, salt-of-the-earth millionaires!

But coastal liberals code everything culturally alien as lower class.


Posted by: David | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:17 PM
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But coastal liberals code everything culturally alien as lower class.

False!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:21 PM
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I code everything culturally alien as Jewish, for instance.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:22 PM
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(But then Canada doesn't have "coastal" liberals. We Do Things Differently.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:22 PM
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We Do Things Differently High


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:24 PM
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Yes, that didn't come out right, it's really late here. They code everything "red state" as working class.


Posted by: David | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:28 PM
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17: Just wait until climate change turns the Arctic coastline into a California-like magnet for elitist DFHs. Baffin Island will be like the new Marin, only way bigger.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:41 PM
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Related-ish, I hadn't caught that Rush Limbaugh backed out of his promise to leave the country. Lame sauce.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 5:46 PM
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20: And brave hippies they will be, since by that time the blackflies will be the size of owls.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 6:00 PM
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Owl-sized flies will be a delicacy in the future.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 6:02 PM
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2: Do not mistake those calling themselves supporters of Tea Party Patriots in polls with those who actually play the part in public. The former are white-collar asswipes, some of whom I work with.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 6:21 PM
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||

Oh, by the way, DS, I did eventually reply in the other thread.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 6:28 PM
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The whole article is about as close as the NYT is going to come to saying that this is a movement of racist loons.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 6:36 PM
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25: Oh, sweet. Thanks, I will check in.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 6:39 PM
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I code everything culturally alien as Jewish, for instance.

I code everything culturally alien as Mexican. Because I'm a feminist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:06 PM
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I code burritos as delicious, because I wish I were Mexican.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:09 PM
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I code feminists as Mexican, because I'm easily confused.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:16 PM
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I code Mexicans as Jewish, because really, who cares?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:17 PM
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I thought Jews were from Puerto Rico.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:21 PM
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Vince: Sheldon, it was unbelievable. I saw things...They have tsetse flies down there the size of eagles. Really.

In the evening, I would stand in front of my hut and watch in horror as these giant flies would pick children off the ground and carry them away.

Oh, it was an incredible sight. Peasants screaming...chasing these flies down the road, waving brooms. You can imagine the pathetic quality of this. Waving these crudely fashioned brooms at these enormous flies...as they carried their children off to almost certain death.

Sheldon: Oh, my, that is just the most horrible thing. You're sure these are flies you're talking about?

Vince: Flies. Natives had a name for them. "José Grecos de Muertos."

"Flamenco dancers of death."

The enormous flies flapping slowly away into the sunset. Small brown babies clutched in their beaks.

Sheldon: Beaks? Flies with beaks?

Vince: A sight I'll never forget. I was stunned. Appalled.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:23 PM
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Sorry about that.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:25 PM
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10: Are people sick of hearing about the Tea Party people? I think I might have an unusually high threshold for news stories about them. I find them absolutely fascinating. They're like narwhals or something. I. Just. Can't. Look. Away.

I'm the same way. Fascinating.

24: Do not mistake those calling themselves supporters of Tea Party Patriots in polls with those who actually play the part in public.

This is a good point.

Maybe I should read the linked NYT article.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:26 PM
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34: Good to know there's someone else who remembers that scene by heart.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:54 PM
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From the article: Nearly 9 in 10 disapprove of the job Mr. Obama is doing over all

The 10% of tea parties who approve of the overall job Obama is doing must be a fascinating demographic. I bet those people are very lonely, politically.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 7:57 PM
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37: Spouses of true believers?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:00 PM
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33, 36: I don't think I've ever seen that film. I take it I should.

37: Rumo(u)r has it that there are some liberal Tea Partiers.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:02 PM
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And poor Ms. Jodine White. Wow. I'm speechless.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:03 PM
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39: what rumor? I haven't heard that one. It sounds... oxymoronic.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:04 PM
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41: Don't remember where I'd seen that reported -- more than one place -- but yeah. I think the idea is that both Republican and Democratic parties suck and that we need to reintroduce the popular voice (in the form of a third party?). Not sure what this means. Are they libertarians identifying as liberals? I don't recall that these reports distinguished between fiscal and social liberalism, but I'd assume these are culturally liberal people who rather dislike progressive taxation and so on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:11 PM
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37, later: You'll get 10% for nearly anything. Add-up all the confused people and all the assholes, you'd probably get 5% for people who believe the Genesis story of creation is literally true and who are agnostic/atheist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:16 PM
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I think the idea is that both Republican and Democratic parties suck and that we need to reintroduce the popular voice (in the form of a third party?).

That's the logic, but the liberal tea partier remains a strictly theoretical construct.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:18 PM
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5% for people who believe the Genesis story of creation is literally true and who are agnostic/atheist

Another fascinating demographic.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:18 PM
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44: I'm sure there are some. Confusion is not limited to responding to surveys.

45: Just in case it wasn't clear, I just made-up that figure. Not that I have not seen similar things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:20 PM
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46.2: yeah, that was clear, and of course, in 10% of 18% of the population you can find all sorts of crazy. Maybe it's just me, but I'd still like to pick their brains a little, to hear what exactly they're thinking. In a disappointing number of cases I know the answer would be "not much at all"--see poor Ms. Jodine White again for an example. But you know at least a few of them must have firm convictions, which I'd love to hear explained.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:30 PM
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But you know at least a few of them must have firm convictions, which I'd love to hear explained.

You won't see it in the newspaper. It would take a great deal of time to find them and too much space to explain what they think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:37 PM
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And it would very likely be incoherent anyway.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:38 PM
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49: I'm not one to throw stones at that particular piece of glass.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:39 PM
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I'm not made of glass when I'm stoned, either! What?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:40 PM
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Brock, did you read the Barstow story here?

That's admittedly about avowed activists rather than mere supporters. There are a bunch of links in that piece to the websites popular among the crowd, which I confess I have not looked at.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:46 PM
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50: I'm reasonably confident that the fringes of the teabag movement attain levels of incoherence that would leave any of us weeping in envy.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 8:58 PM
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My roommate is mildly sympathetic with the Tea People, but she's not exactly lefty as much as she's some sort of weirdo libertarian, survivalist, anarchist combination.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:03 PM
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54: libervivachist?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:04 PM
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Analibervivalist


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:08 PM
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I should say by "mildly sympathetic" I mean she makes statements along the lines of, "Well, they've clearly got some racist shit going on, but I'm not surprised they're pissed off. I think we should audit the Fed, too."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:08 PM
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56: Heh. You said "anal".


Posted by: Fifteen-Year-Old Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:09 PM
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57: I agree with the 'audit the Fed' thing. I have no idea if it makes sense, but I know audits suck and I'm mad at the Fed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:11 PM
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58: no he didn't--I did. That was my entire joke.


Posted by: Fifteen-Year-Old Brock | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:11 PM
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Whoa--60 is bizarre. And shouldn't that be 13, anyway?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:12 PM
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13: no he didn't--I did. That was my entire joke.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:14 PM
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(That was completely unclear--I think it's time for bed. By, "60 is bizarre", I mean that I thought 58 was to 55. By "13", I mean year-old, as opposed to 15.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:14 PM
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57: Thanks for the clarification. I was trying not to say anything bad about your roommate.

What's weird is how much rope people seem willing to give the Tea Partiers when they never seemed to be willing to giving the hippies much credit for having any kind of point.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:15 PM
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I mean that I thought 58 was to 55

It was initially and by accident. You've caught me trying to fix a minor mistake on the back end before anyone read the comment. Too slow for Brock plus totally cheating! I'm so shamed.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:16 PM
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In a tea party world, contrarianism has to get a little crazier to keep up.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:17 PM
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15: I think you meant "year-old".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:18 PM
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What's weird is how much rope people seem willing to give the Tea Partiers when they never seemed to be willing to giving the hippies much credit for having any kind of point.

That's because reactionary middle-aged white Christian men are the default human being, unlike whatever weird demographic the hippies come from.


Posted by: The media | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:18 PM
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whatever weird demographic the hippies come from

Children of middle-aged white Christian men.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:19 PM
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What's weird is how much rope people seem willing to give the Tea Partiers when they never seemed to be willing to giving the hippies much credit for having any kind of point.

I agree there is injustice there. Our side doesn't have the message discipline or the pliant partisan media organs to gin antipathy. The silver lining will come when the GOP campaigns on the assumption that the teabaggers are numerous enough and reliable enough to build an electoral strategy around -- a mistake that the Dems were never in danger of making with the DFH's.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:20 PM
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middle-aged white Christian men

I actually had a hard time convincing said roommate that this particular demographic was disproportionately represented in the Tea Party crowd vs. the general public. It was a surreal conversation, and my initial reaction to her pushback was something like, "Huh? Of course they are."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:21 PM
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If anybody knows, feel free to tell me if auditing the Fed makes any sense at all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:22 PM
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No.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:23 PM
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71: What did she think the demographics of the movement looked like?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:24 PM
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71: certainly middle aged (and elderly), white and Christian. I thought I'd read that the movement was fairly evenly divided between the sexes, with women perhaps comprising the majority.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:25 PM
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73: Would it at least let me see some "finance guy flop sweat" on the TV?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:26 PM
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70: Our side doesn't have the message discipline or the pliant partisan media organs to gin antipathy

s/b "to gin sympathy" (to gin up sympathy)?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:27 PM
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I thought I'd read that the movement was fairly evenly divided between the sexes, with women perhaps comprising the majority.

The NYT poll says 59% male.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:27 PM
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70: "hone in on sympathy"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:29 PM
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s/b "gin up antipathy" (toward the teabaggers; the way Fox News made MoveOn and Daily Kos out to be Stalinists or something).


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:29 PM
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Rumo(u)r has it that there are some liberal Tea Partiers.

Oh those crazy "liberal" Tea Party Patriots, aren't they wacky, why can't the elitist black dude in the White House see what he is doing to the country? Here is what the fucking fuckpigs of multiple fucking iniquities at fucking CNN headlined as "Disgruntled Democrats join the Tea Party".

To be sure, the number of Democrats in the Tea Party movement is small. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows that while 96 percent of Tea Party activists identify themselves as either Republican or Independent, only 4 percent say they are Democrats.

But they are the most *important 4% evah!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:29 PM
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79 to 77:


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:29 PM
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71: What did she think the demographics of the movement looked like?

I just asked, and it was kind of a confused answer. Basically, she thinks of the Tea people as a Ron Paul (she supports Paul, whatever that means, and does disavow Paul's position on abortion) sub-movement with a legitimate gripe that got hijacked by crazy people in the GOP (whom she hates) and Glenn Beck (whom she also hates).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:31 PM
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78: yeah, I don't know what I was reading. This says 55% male. (But reasonably demographically normal, on a quick skim.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:31 PM
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70.2: The silver lining will come when the GOP campaigns on the assumption that the teabaggers are numerous enough and reliable enough to build an electoral strategy around

There's a difference, though, between the age of the Tea Partier and the age of the hippie, namely voter activism. I'm feeling my way here a bit, but all it takes for a frankly minority sentiment to hold sway now is electoral enthusiasm on their part and apathy on the part of the apparent majority -- which is the center/center-left. The right seems to be doing fairly well on this front. I'm not sure the GOP will prove to be entirely wrong in building their (at least mid-term) electoral strategy around that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:34 PM
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Further to 83: So, I guess she thinks the Paul people are less white and less male and less Christian and younger than the Tea thing became, but, like I say, it was a confusing answer, and I didn't want to press her on it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:34 PM
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83: So she's surprised that a movement influenced primarily by some mix of Ron Paul, Glenn Beck and the Republican Party is composed largely of middle-aged white men? Yeah, I don't even know where to start with that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:35 PM
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I guess she thinks the Paul people are less white and less male and less Christian and younger than the Tea thing became

They probably are, but that's still a hell of a lot more white, male, Christian, and old than the general population.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:37 PM
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Speaking of fuckpigs and CNN, a right-wing colleague (and a guy I am friendly with, to be fair) recently tried to make a stupid joke in front of several even more conservative colleagues about how I must like CNN rather than Fox because I was a liberal. So I head-butted him. politely said I did not like CNN, and refused to explain why.

And then he gave me five dollars.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:37 PM
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88: That goes for lots of political things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:38 PM
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Taxes finished and filed, Stanley you punk. One day early--I'm pretty sure that is an all-time record for me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:39 PM
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88: I'd guess more well-off, too, and I suspect some of what's going on with the roommate is a sort of, "Well that can't be true; I identified with that sub-movement in the early days and I'm none of those things."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:39 PM
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They should put a $1 Tea Party support check box on the 1040. For like bipartisanship.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:40 PM
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I'm glad that I'm the target of your tax-related frustration, Stormcrow. It makes me feel like I have a purpose in this crazy world.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:40 PM
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92: Did they ask which % actually went out with signs and guns and costumes and whatnot? That's who she sees, not the boring, disgruntled white dudes answering the survey.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:42 PM
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80: Ah. Just a misreading: I'd taken it as "to gin up sympathy [for our side]" rather than as the intended "to gin up antipathy [against their side]"


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:45 PM
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94: And it worked... I guess it was just seeing TAX stuff featured in one of the places I go to avoid doing stuff like taxes that set me off a bit (friendly like and all, of course). I am a child. And the Pens stunk it up.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 9:47 PM
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I also need to mow my lawn, Stormcrow. It's getting pretty desperate. If you're in the same boat, I can post about that until I've finally done the deed.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:09 PM
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If we had a boat
We'd go out on the ocean
And if we both had lawns
We'd mow them on our boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Mowing both our lawns upon our boat


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:38 PM
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Kobe!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 10:39 PM
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I just can't see the fascination with teabaggers: ignorant, racist white folk freaking out about stupid shit surely is a dime a dozen in the US?


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-14-10 11:51 PM
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ignorant, racist white folk freaking out about stupid shit surely is a dime a dozen in the US?

It's a whole new flavor with the teabagging crowd. Or, at least they seem to conceive of themselves as something that's sui generis.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 12:03 AM
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These days some of them are Senators and Congresspersons who don't even appear to be in danger of losing their seats. That may be why it seems worthier of notice. One of the reasons it becomes as much fascinating as pathetic or contemptible is that it's very hard to tell whether they believe the absurd distortions that come out of their mouths. They're swaying the public with them in the meantime.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 12:10 AM
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It's a whole new flavor with the teabagging crowd.

The delicate scent of oil of Bergamot, as prepared for the Earls Grey for 200 years?

What this seems to be saying is that there are a bunch of self seeking middle class wazzocks who are getting their knickers in a twist because the government is perceived to be giving a few breaks to the have nots instead of the haves. Fuck 'em. Acquaint their heads with the pavement, as Lev Bronstein would say.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 1:37 AM
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There's a difference, though, between the age of the Tea Partier and the age of the hippie, namely voter activism.

I wasn't referring to the literal hippies, but the proverbial DFH's (e.g. MoveOn and Daily Kos), who were very much politically engaged voters in the early Aughts. Frankly I think it was a mistake for the Dem establishment to run and hide from association with them in the '02 and '04 cycles. But equally I think it would have been a mistake to rely on them for an electoral majority.

I don't have any prediction for the outcome of the November midterm, but I boldly predict that the teabagger movement will be irrelevant as an independent political force within 12 months. How do you sustain a movement built on inchoate rage? What possible electoral program can they agree on, beyond meaningless symbolism and "throw the bums out"? It's the whole Richard Hofstadter "sting once and die" thing, like with Ross Perot, only less coherent.

I can imagine a lot of different paths to the demise of the teabagger movement, but none to its survival. Here are some of the death scenarios:

1. Becomes fully co-opted by the existing institutions of the GOP and the conservative movement.

2. Starts to be perceived as a threat by the existing institutions of the conservative movement, which proceeds to stomp it down. (Imagine the GOP wins the midterms, and then the true believers in the tea party try to hold their feet to the fire on deficit reduction.) And if you think the GOP establishment can't stomp down this spontaneous outpouring of grassroots passion, ask yourself how relevant the tea 'baggers would be if Fox News stopped covering them, or started covering them derisively.

3a. A couple of leaders of the movement emerge (say, some guys who win upset election victories in local races somewhere). Rivalries among them escalate and splinter the movement.

3b. Same scenario, only the leaders turn out to be total flakes and wilt under the media spotlight, becoming figures of derision.

4. No leaders of the movement emerge; factional fighting tears the movement apart.

5. An outrageous act of provocation and/or violence is commited in the name of the tea party; the brand becomes poison.

6. As the economy improves, fact-free assertions that the country is going to hell in a handbasket begin to sound more and more unhinged. Media coverage becomes more and more derisive, all but the most fanatical supporters abandon the movement.

What's the scenario in which the tea parties endure as an indepedent political force (i.e. something more than a sub-brand in the pocket of the GOP establishment)?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 5:46 AM
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[Finally reads NYT infographic.]

105: We're a sad, sick nation, aren't we?

m, secession seems a reasonable solution to that level of confusion


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 6:47 AM
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105.last: They switch to liquor and get a shitload of pitchforks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 6:47 AM
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||

Quite pleased by the Biblical nature of the suspension of flights over northern Europe.

>


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:08 AM
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If my flight to Europe gets delayed because of a volcano you can bet I'm going to look for a supervillain to blame.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:10 AM
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105: The actual tea party movement may come a cropper, but given the odd way in which political debate is framed* in this country their spirit will live on in the mainstream discourse.

*Wouldn't be nice if there were a shorthand term for this concept.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:18 AM
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89
Speaking of fuckpigs and CNN, a right-wing colleague (and a guy I am friendly with, to be fair)

This always get me annoyed at myself. I don't have any right-wing friends or acquaintances. One roommate who might be a Paultard but has some definite left-leaning opinions and mostly just seems incoherent, a college friend who I've seen once in five years and probably still has some ideologically consistent disagreements with the overall movement, and that's it. I suppose this is lucky for me, but I always wonder if I'm a kneejerk partisan and good at hiding it from myself.

104
wazzocks

Is this a Britishism, or did you make it up sui generis?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:22 AM
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I thought 105.1 was already more or less a fait accompli.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:24 AM
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To "wazz" means to piss, while the "bollocks" are the testes. So "wazzocks" would be apocryphal bollocks which generate wazz rather than spunk.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:29 AM
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re: 111

Wazzock is an English word, yeah. I always associate it with the 'north' of England [by which I mean the middle bit].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:30 AM
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110. Isn't the most likely fate of the tea party to linger on as a diminishing feature of the lunatic fringe until its members die of old age, like the Poujadists in France.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:37 AM
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I thought that this cartoon summed it up nicely.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:48 AM
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The Tea Party is not a separate entity from the Republican Party. If it were, Fox News wouldn't be giving it the amount of free advertising that it does.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:50 AM
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I join those who are baffled by the desire of non-Republicans to give free publicity to extremist Republicans and conduct long, searching investigations of why extremist Republicans should be taken seriously and how they reached their fascinating beliefs.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:01 AM
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105
I boldly predict that the teabagger movement will be irrelevant as an independent political force within 12 months.

I boldly state that the teabagger movement has been irrelevant as an independent political force for the past 12 months. Multiply pwned, I know, but it still bears repeating. If the teabagger movement didn't start out as a "not really racist/plutocrat/religious nut, this time we swear" rebranding of the Republican Party, it had been co-opted as such by the time of Rick Santelli's speech.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:10 AM
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give free publicity to extremist Republicans and conduct long, searching investigations of why extremist Republicans should be taken seriously and how they reached their fascinating beliefs

If you're talking about the NYT, I don't think they're giving the tea parties "free publicity" here--the idea that any publicity is good publicity has a lot of truth for marginal groups, but the tea party already gets enough publicity (from Fox et al.) that just pretending it doesn't exist makes no sense. (That would be true even if the NYT were, say, trying to advance a liberal agenda, which isn't really the organization's core mission.) This article is not at all flattering, and I don't think there's anything in it that even approaches a "searching investigation of why [tea partiers] should be taken seriously". It probably doesn't push hard enough in the direction of "no one in his right mind should take them seriously", but it does highlight their hypocrisy and their incoherence.

As for "how they reached their fascinating beliefs", which I think was directed toward me, rather than the NYT (and this is a response to 48 as well, which made the same point): I wasn't suggesting the NYT should have included more if that in their article. I was just saying that it's personally interesting, to me (not just w/r/t tea partiers, but how all sorts of crazy people form their crazy beliefs).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:12 AM
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If you're talking about the NYT, I don't think they're giving the tea parties "free publicity" here--the idea that any publicity is good publicity has a lot of truth for marginal groups, but the tea party already gets enough publicity (from Fox et al.) that just pretending it doesn't exist makes no sense. (That would be true even if the NYT were, say, trying to advance a liberal agenda, which isn't really the organization's core mission.)

True...liberal equivalents of the tea party get no publicity, so it makes sense for the NYT to pretend they don't exist.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:14 AM
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120: Hey, 48 was me. I agree that it is personally interesting, but I've spent too much time looking at survey data to react with too much wonder when I see opinions that don't mesh with each other.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:15 AM
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122 was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:16 AM
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120.last: Same here. I'm also fascinated by the militia movement (it's not dead, it's shagged out after a good squawk) and all manner of other fringe stuff. The Tea Party folks are less fringe than most of the other weirdos I follow, which makes understanding them all the more important.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:17 AM
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121: Liberal equivalents do get less publicity, true, but what they really get less of is big-name politicians openly courting them, speaking at their events, and generally positioning themselves alongside them.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:19 AM
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I'd have thought that more or less by definition there _are_ no liberal equivalents to the Tea Party movement?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:26 AM
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126. Remember that in the US "liberal" means anything left of Enoch Powell, and they have more than their fair share of Maoists, who I'd back behave in tea party like ways under some conditions. Not 18% of the electorate though.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:29 AM
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I guess it depends on what you mean by "equivalent". I thought ned just meant generally groups whose members were drawn from the leftmost 10-15% of the population.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:30 AM
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re: 127

Yeah, I know there's that weird terminological error.* The contradictions become almost unbridgeable when you end up referring to Maoist splinter groups as 'liberal' though.

* like the red/blue madness ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:37 AM
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127: What is our fair share of Maoists?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:47 AM
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I thought ned just meant generally groups whose members were drawn from the leftmost 10-15% of the population.

Most universities are examples of this. Certainly faculty at Heebie U are probably in the left-most 5% of the surrounding area.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:47 AM
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It's like 'downtown'. Most cities, 'downtown' is a location -- the central business district. In Manhattan, OTOH, 'downtown' is much less a location -- half the island is plausibly 'downtown' if we're thinking of it as a location -- and more a direction: south along the axis of the island.

To non-Americans, 'liberal' means a particular set of political beliefs. To Americans (other than those with an unusual amount of political engagement), it means a leftward direction: 'liberal' by itself just means left of the American center, and 'more liberal' means further left of any reference point.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:50 AM
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131: Tilted geography and roller-skate wearing faculty will give you that effect.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:51 AM
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133: the planes have to land somehow, Moby.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:52 AM
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I didn't realize the incongruity between 'liberal' meaning a particular set of political beliefs and 'liberal' meaning generically left of center was an Americanism.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:56 AM
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re: 135

Only Americans use liberal to mean generically left of centre.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:57 AM
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I mean that I thought the term had been butchered around the globe, not just in America.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:57 AM
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134: Planes land on plains, at least in Texas.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:57 AM
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136: right, I got that from 132. News to me. Interesting.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:58 AM
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132: The downtown thing was very confusing to me when I first moved to Chicago -- no, Hyde Park is not "downtown."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 8:58 AM
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Most cities, 'downtown' is a location -- the central business district. In Manhattan, OTOH, 'downtown' is much less a location -- half the island is plausibly 'downtown' if we're thinking of it as a location -- and more a direction: south along the axis of the island.

But I'm under the impression, possibly false, that the generic term "downtown" acquired the meaning "central business district" from Manhattan, from back in the days when lower Manhattan really was the central business district of NYC.

(Also, I'm a little confused by the idea that downtown isn't a location in Manhattan. I thought "downtown" very much was a location, just not a location that corresponded to in any way to the idea of a "central business district" (at least not anymore, although it did historically--see my prior paragraph). Doesn't "downtown" mean, essentially, wall street and lower Manhattan?)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:04 AM
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139: Yeah, a lot of relatively cultured conservatives, and a lot of libertarians smart enough to get out of the movement before it got to its current state, call themselves "classical liberals". Andrew Sullivan maybe, Radley Balko definitely. That's using "liberal" in the same sense as the rest of the world, what we'd call moderate libertarians, as I understand it - in favor of less financial regulation and less social engineering, but not actually trying to abolish the IRS completely and not particularly in favor of federalism for its own sake.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:05 AM
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129; Yes, but for many of the Tea-Partiers the only difference between Obama and a Maoist splinter group, is that Obama hides his Little Red Book and pictures of Mao.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:05 AM
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Jesus Christ I hope no one is paying me to write anything today, professionally. Why are all my comments today so convoluted?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:06 AM
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142: yes, I'm very famililar with of all that, I just didn't realize the terminology was an American peculiarity.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:08 AM
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141.last/144: I think LB is saying that downtown New York City is so big that half or more of the island of Manhattan could plausibly be called "downtown" if you're going by the definition used anywhere else, so in NYC the word "downtown" is more often used to mean a direction - in the direction of the oldest part of the business district or the most important part or whatever.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:12 AM
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Yeah, Wall Street is the Financial District, or if you want to include everything below Canal or so Lower Manhattan. Midtown is a place (maybe 34th to 59th, not too far east or west?), that corresponds pretty well to 'Downtown' in most cities, but you wouldn't call it downtown. You can say 'Downtown Manhattan', but it doesn't really name a neighborhood -- more, anyplace south of Central Park where you'd be in the middle of a bunch of office buildings.

I couldn't tell you about the origins of downtown -- maybe it did come from NYC, back when it was small enough that there was a neighborhood that could be coherently referred to as 'downtown'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:20 AM
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The term downtown does appear to have originated in New York, was originally equivalent to "downriver", and did seem to mean the central business district, which is what the southern end of the island was at the time. So that explains... possibly nothing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:20 AM
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I am a bit gratified today that the following AP headline is popping up in a lot of generic news places, "American Taxes Lower, Despite Anti-Tax Rhetoric". The article leaves a lot to be desired*, but no one reads articles like that when it shows up in a pane of their AOL homepage.

*Richest is the Orrin Hatch ending quote, "We know the tax man cometh, and over the next few years, boy, will he be coming with a vengeance," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. The same Orrinoid who said this in December, Six years ago, "it was standard practice not to pay for things," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:21 AM
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146: Let's rereate the history, more clearly:

NYC develops as an early, important city in North America. Its central business district is the southern part of Manhattan, so when people talk about going to the central business district in NYC, they talk about going "downtown". That usage then spreads everywhere else in North America (I'm virtually certain this is a North Americanism, right?), so everyone calls their central business districts "downtown", whether they're to the South or not. Meanwhile, NYC grows so big that its central business district no longer corresponds to southern Manhattan (although that remains a very important commerical area), but instead covers half the island. So New Yorkers still use "downtown" to refer to wall street and the surrounding parts of southern Manhattan, not generically to their central business district.

Is any part of that history wrong?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:21 AM
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150.last: yes, you poor pwned bastard. Check out the wikipedia page for subtleties in the way "downtown" now gets used in NYC.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:23 AM
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Er, the wikipedia page linked in 148.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:23 AM
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151: thanks. Pwned, yes, but I think I was right, not wrong--that link basically confirms the history I thought I knew. (And if wikipedia says it, it must be true.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:26 AM
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The last sentence is wrong, IME, or at least the usage is ambiguous -- I would only refer to the Financial District as 'downtown' in a relative sense, as opposed to being a place named 'Downtown'. Like, I might have said that I work "in Midtown", back when I did. I wouldn't say I work "in Downtown", now. But if someone asked "Do you work in Midtown?" I might plausibly answer "No, downtown." I'd mean it in the directional sense, but someone listening could take it the other way.

But I bet the Financial District was, historically, "Downtown". It just isn't anymore.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:26 AM
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I wouldn't say I work "in Downtown", now. But if someone asked "Do you work in Midtown?" I might plausibly answer "No, downtown."

This isn't any different than the way I'd respond, and I'm not in NYC. I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone say they worked "in Downtown."


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:28 AM
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But I bet the Financial District was, historically, "Downtown". It just isn't anymore.

No, it absolutely still is! Just not with a capital "d". That's where we're missing each other.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:30 AM
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153: yeah, I think it pretty much confirms what you said.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:30 AM
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157 amended: er, except that it is true that "downtown" is primarily used as a cardinal direction in new york, except for a couple of small exceptions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:31 AM
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If you were going to New Jersey from Midtown, would you say you were going "downtown to NJ"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:32 AM
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OK, do we have that side of the analogy well-defined enough to start abusing it?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:33 AM
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And if you were going from park slope to the financial district, would you say you were going "uptown"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:34 AM
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159: No (barring some particular conversation about how you were going to take the PATH to Hoboken or drive there via the Holland Tunnel and wanted to stress that you were passing through downtown). Also, the trains to NJ are "westbound" trains and trains to NYC from NJ are "eastbound" -- even for the stretches that are largely north/south.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:38 AM
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And if you were going from park slope to the financial district, would you say you were going "uptown"

Even more pointedly, if you were going from park slope to the financial district, wouldn't you in fact say you were going "downtown"?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:40 AM
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In one cripplingly horrible effect of this discussion, I now have that fucking Billy Joel song stuck in my head. Damn it, Manhattan.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:40 AM
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Confusion is why I never go east of Johnstown.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:42 AM
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165: you mean upjohn.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:43 AM
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156: Well, the ambiguity comes from the fact that there's no place further downtown than the Financial District. There is no place from which the Financial District is uptown, so it's always 'downtown', regardless of where you're starting from. ('uptown' and 'downtown' as directions don't cross water, so Staten Island isn't 'downtown' of Wall street).

But any well formed sentence I can make is either clearly using "downtown" as a direction, or could be. Anything that unambiguously uses "downtown" as a placename corresponding to "the Financial District" or "Lower Manhattan" sounds wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:44 AM
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163: No, or at least not IME. If you said that, people would look at you funny, and you'd probably need to explain. (Actually, from Park Slope they'd think you meant "Downtown Brooklyn", which is a place rather than a direction.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:45 AM
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people would look at you funny

Yet another reason I don't like to go east of Johnstown.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:48 AM
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I'm curious what you think about the section of the wikipedia page on "downtown" as a cardinal direction, LB. If you were standing on Cherry St., and somebody asked which way was downtown, what would you say?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:48 AM
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(Actually, from Park Slope they'd think you meant "Downtown Brooklyn", which is a place rather than a direction.)

Fair enough, but that's a technicality. If I'm in Park Slope and I ask someone how to get to downtown Manhattan, do you think they wouldn't understand the question? Do you think they'd give me directions to somewhere other than the financial district?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:49 AM
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164: I have Petula Clark. Not so bad.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:50 AM
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172: Do restraining orders mean nothing to you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:52 AM
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I saw that, and honestly I don't know -- it's perfectly possible that I've never stood on Cherry Street. That part of the Lower East Side/Chinatown mess is a bit of a maze, and plausibly there's no way to walk south without running into obstacles -- I could see west becoming 'downtown', because you'd need to walk west to get south.

But I've never actually heard of that usage -- not saying it doesn't exist, but it's news to me. (The fact that this interests anyone is also mindboggling. I'm even boring myself.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:52 AM
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171: The may well tell you to get on an L train, which would put you in the East Village.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:52 AM
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171: I think it is rare for a New Yorker to refer to it that way conversationally. In things like newspaper articles, yes; but informally, no.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:53 AM
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Yeah, look at Cherry Street. West on Cherry is parallel to the East River, in the direction that would be south for most of the length of Manhattan's coastline. I'd spontaneously call that downtown, if I were standing there, because I'd believe that the river was north-south.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:56 AM
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These certainly appear to be New Yorkers referring to lower Manhattan as "downtown".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:56 AM
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170: in my experience, further down island you are the less likely you are to refer to it as "downtown" in any way shape of form. Just non that useful.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:56 AM
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171: I think they'd ask where you wanted to get to, because the usage would mark you as not-from-around-here, and they'd need to make sure whether you meant the Financial District or Midtown.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:57 AM
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177: Google Maps shows the "Downtown Manhattan Heliport" at the very southern extremis of Manhattan. So there you have it!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 9:58 AM
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Okay, so I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that "downtown" as a cardinal direction originally meant "in the direction of Manhattan's historical business district", but since that business district was on the southern tip of the island, it is 100% interchangeable with "south" except in very limited circumstances, but those limited circumstances are informative about the historical etymology of the word. How's that grab people?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:01 AM
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How's that grab people?

As pwned by 150?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:01 AM
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We may, somewhat unexpectedly, be way, way off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:02 AM
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178: But look at this page: Who We Are:

The mission of the Alliance for Downtown New York is to be the principal organization that provides Lower Manhattan's historic financial district with a premier physical and economic environment...

The Downtown Alliance is striving to make Lower Manhattan a wonderful place to live, work and play by creating a vibrant multi-use neighborhood where businesses can prosper and the residential community can flourish.

To call that part of NY 'Downtown', they have to define it in terms of the neighborhood names that are really used. The "Upper West Side Alliance", if there were one, would just refer to the UWS. Might define boundaries, but wouldn't need to define the term.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:02 AM
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183: well, not really, because LB is correct that it refers to a direction rather than a place. Just as you wouldn't say "how do I get to south?", you wouldn't say "how do I get to downtown?". However, the island of Manhattan being incompletely Euclidean, the correspondence between "downtown" and the actual cardinal direction "south" is both partial and, apparently, land-locked.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:04 AM
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185: I'm not saying they aren't being a bit retro.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:05 AM
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LB, several of your comments (including 185) seem to suggest that you're confused about the extent to which "downtown" refers to a concrete neighborhood in most cities. It's not a capital "d" term.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:05 AM
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Well, at least we aren't bringing undue attention to the Tea Party Patriots.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:07 AM
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187: And it's not terribly wrong -- "Downtown Manhattan", if you accompany it with any kind of disambiguating clue that you're talking specifically about Lower Manhattan, doesn't sound wrong, exactly. It's just ambiguous unless something else narrows it down.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:08 AM
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you wouldn't say "how do I get to downtown?"

No, I wouldn't, and I don't live in NYC. I'd say "how do I get downtown?" (Even though I mean "how do I get to the central business district", which likely isn't to the south of me.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:08 AM
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My friends who live in Harlem call the Upper West Side Fairway the "downtown Fairway."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:09 AM
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I agree with LizardBreath on the downtown usage in Manhattan for the most part, except I would say that the usage of downtown as a descriptive term for an area rather than just a direction is a bit more common than her experience indicates. Maybe it's newcomers like me messing up a once-clear usage by natives such as she.

177 makes sense on Cherry Street. I think the general rule is quite simple--whatever direction you would walk to get to the Staten Island ferry terminal is downtown.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:09 AM
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It's just ambiguous unless something else narrows it down.

The East River kind of bends and makes it pointy at that end.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:09 AM
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I once asked a policeman "How do I get downtown?" while standing in the World Trade Center. The cop asked me, "What does that even mean? *Where* do you want to go?" and this was very mindblowing, because I had eaten a bunch of acid.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:11 AM
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188: Most cities (and this is a request for information, I could be confused), couldn't you coherently ask if a particular address were in 'downtown [City]', and get a yes or no answer? It's not a proper noun, but for most cities I thought downtown was a neighborhood that could be circled on a map. My point is that for Manhattan, you'd need some additional information before you knew if 'downtown' meant Lower Manhattan or 'everything south of the park', and it wouldn't be natural to talk about it as an area that you could circle on a map.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:11 AM
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195 is great.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:12 AM
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IME it's seldom productive to have conversations with cops when you've eaten a bunch of acid.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:13 AM
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it wouldn't be natural to talk about it as an area that you could circle on a map

Huh, okay--now I understand. I definitely thought it was an area you could circle (lower manhattan), just not one that corresponded to the central business district (south of the park).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:14 AM
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re: 196

Petula Clark not-withstanding, I don't think 'downtown' would be a common usage here, so people would just look at you oddly.

People quite often ask me, when in Oxford, where 'Oxford' is; because they are standing in some industrial looking bit, or are surrounded by modern buildings rather than moss-covered colleges, with pretty girls cycling in summer dresses, and men strolling in black gowns, and the like.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:15 AM
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196: Yes, in Pittsburgh "Downtown" is one of our 432 official neighborhood with formal boundaries and all. Well, officially, it is called the central business district, but nobody uses that. People who like to make bad urine jokes or believe in the power of language to delude travelers and investors sometimes call it the "golden triangle."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:16 AM
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132: The downtown thing was very confusing to me when I first moved to Chicago -- no, Hyde Park is not "downtown."

I had a grumpy Manhattanite roommate one year in Chicago who would complain every time someone talked about going downtown. "That's not downtown! It's north of us! How the hell is that downtown?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:17 AM
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LB is right.

I like this write-up:

Cardinal directions in Manhattan
The terms "Lower Manhattan" and "Downtown" are often roughly synonymous when used as a place name, referring to the same geographic area.
"Downtown Manhattan" may have different meanings to different people, especially depending on what part of New York City they live in. Generally speaking, it refers, like "Lower Manhattan," to the area of Manhattan south of Canal Street. With this understanding, it would refer to the neighborhoods of the Financial District, Battery Park City, TriBeCa, and most of Chinatown. However, many people (especially when talking about business matters) would use the term "Downtown Manhattan" to refer only to the Financial District and the businesses located there. This area is also the earliest settled (by Europeans) area of New York City, and is one of the few areas of Manhattan that does not have its streets arranged in a strict grid pattern. The area of the World Trade Center is also within Downtown Manhattan.
The terms downtown and uptown can also refer to cardinal directions. If somebody says, "We're going to take the subway downtown," the term refers to traveling in the geographic direction of south. If one is standing on 121st Street and walks ten blocks south, they have walked ten blocks downtown. Conversely, the term uptown is used to refer to the cardinal direction north.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:17 AM
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199: And I'm overstating a little -- if you look at Sifu's link, the "Downtown Alliance" does refer to the area you think it does, and if someone referred to the financial district as 'downtown', where I could get the referent from context, it wouldn't sound terrible. It's just not natural for me, and I don't think it's unambiguous for anyone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:18 AM
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Wait, 203 reads to me like I'm right, not LB.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:19 AM
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People quite often ask me, when in Oxford, where 'Oxford' is; because they are standing in some industrial looking bit

I wouldn't have thought you'd get many tourists out in Cowley.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:20 AM
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Should 203 have come with a link?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:20 AM
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205: The point is that those "many people" are WRONG. (And seriously, that people using it like that do, as a matter of practice, have to disambiguate. You can't drop 'downtown' into a conversation to mean 'the financial district' without making it clear what you're talking about, or you'll confuse people.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:22 AM
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re: 206

You get people around the train station, or people who leave the station and walk the wrong way and are on Botley Road. I work down that way, so sometimes come across them. I also used to catch the bus in from the Park and Ride, and the bus would often have tourists on it, confused at what they were seeing out of the window.

It can also be surprisingly hard to spot touristy looking buildings even in the centre of town, e.g. if you are on, say, George Street.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:22 AM
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And of course it is very important to keep in mind that (per the archives somewhere) Manhattan is not true north-south but tilted towards the northeast by a significant bit. Western end of the George Washington Bridge is east of the eastern end of the Brooklyn Bridge.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:24 AM
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Just to further muddy the waters.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:24 AM
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209: I can't remember where I read it, but I've seen a description of exactly that happening -- some book with an American getting off a train, swinging his duffle over his shoulder, and walking off to find the 'towery city and branchy between towers' he's always read about, and getting tireder and tireder, and more and more confused as he gets lost in an industrial wasteland.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:25 AM
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I managed to get lost in an unfamiliar city the other day by arbitrarily deciding a vaguely west-northwest direction was "north", which was useful for orienting myself until I later forgot it was an arbitrary choice and looked to see where the sun was to help figure out where I was going. See my comment somewhere in the archives about local vs global coordinate systems.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:26 AM
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210: That blew my mind. Once you look at a map, sure, but I was very surprised when I read it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:26 AM
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205: Brock, it read that way to me, too, but I think you have to accept that LB is almost heebie-like in her always-rightness. There's no point in arguing.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:27 AM
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205, 207: Here. And overall i think it supports LB's position and the ambiguity of "downtown" in the New York City context..

208: The sentence I assume you are referring to is: However, many people (especially when talking about business matters) would use the term "Downtown Manhattan" (emphasis added) to refer only to the Financial District and the businesses located there. Still consistent with the term not being in common conversational usage, just that when they do read it or write it that is what it refers to.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:29 AM
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I think Brock has said this, but the more I think about it, "downtown" is a fairly ambiguous definition in many cities. I couldn't draw a circle around downtown Boston on a map -- you probably don't count the North End, you definitely count the financial district, do you count the leather district? Chinatown? Fort Point? (No.) Downtown Crossing? (I guess you'd have to, but then what about Back Bay? The theater district?) Downtown San Francisco is similarly puzzling. LA has a pretty well-defined downtown.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:29 AM
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208: no, the point is that all those people are using the word to refer to a specific place you could circle on a map. Not everyone would circle exactly the same boundaries, but that's true in most cities--'downtown' is usually a fairly amorphous term. (Pittsburgh is an exception, I guess. I'm sure there are others.) You're acting as if people in NY use the word purely directionally, and there's a lot of evidence in this thread that that's false.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:30 AM
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208: The point is that those "many people" are WRONG.

You are RIGHT. But this is WRONG.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:31 AM
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208: Backing LB up, if you asked someone where they lived in Manhattan, they might plausibly answer, "Downtown" and then elaborate further with any number of neighborhoods (Union Sq, East Village, West Village, Meatpacking District, Chinatown, Lower East Side, Soho, Tribeca, Battery Park, etc.), but there is pretty much no one (in NY at least) who would understand "the Financial District" from "Downtown," in fact -- and here we are getting more into connotations -- if you asked someone where they lived and they answered "Downtown" and you pressed them further and they said "Battery Park," you just might think they were being a little slick and trying to make their neighborhood sound "cooler" than it is. (I have a friend who moved from the UES to the East 20s. She now says she lives "Downtown," and she is definitely trying to make people think she lives somewhere she doesn't.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:32 AM
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In Brock's current city, I feel fairly confident about where to delineate the north, east, and south edges of "downtown". I'm a little fuzzier on the west.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:32 AM
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218: Pittsburgh is an exception, I guess.

Geography probably helped. Basically, downtown is a triangle defined by two rivers and a hill.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:33 AM
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More mud:

Downtown Manhattan Attractions

Downtown Manhattan, defined as the area below 16th Street, offers visitors a wealth of attractions and sites to visit. Among the best that downtown Manhattan has to offer are Union Square Park, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Statue of Liberty.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:33 AM
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The final paragraph in 223 should have been blockquoted as well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:34 AM
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I think we can all agree that saying the Statue of Liberty is in downtown Manhattan is WRONG.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:34 AM
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Got to run, I've muddied it enough. I think ST's 211 link supports the added ambiguity of the term in the context of New York City. I've muddied enough water.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:36 AM
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223: Note that this is only because you can get a boat from Downtown to the Statue of Liberty. The Statue isn't part of Downtown.

And I'm just noticing that the Statue of Liberty abbreviates to SoL.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:36 AM
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219: Upon further reflection I may have overstated. How 'bot them teabaggers?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:37 AM
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I also used to catch the bus in from the Park and Ride, and the bus would often have tourists on it, confused at what they were seeing out of the window.

To be fair, even in most of the "historic" bits, Oxford is one of those cities that looks better from the air than the ground. Those shopfronts on the High Street and Carfax look pretty damn ugly.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:37 AM
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re: 281

I do not think anyone is claiming that downtown is used purely directionally. However, it has both meanings and the directional one is the only one that is unambiguous.

In Manhattan, if someone says that they are going downtown, it is clear that they are headed toward the southern end of the island. However, it is ambiguous, without more, whether they are headed to the Financial District or just someplace down-island from where they happen to be (Morningside Heights to the Upper West Side is downtown, even though the destination is still north of midtown.)

And, of course, if you are in a different borough it could be very unclear what you meant by downtown.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:39 AM
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218: How's this. Most cities, 'downtown' names a destination, and doesn't name a direction at all. "I'm headed downtown" means "I'm going to the central business district." What you mean by the central business district might be fuzzy, but you're still talking about a destination.

In Manhattan, 'downtown' primarily names a direction, and while it can be used as part of a neighborhood name ("Downtown Manhattan"), that's a secondary usage (and it's not the primary name for any neighborhood -- someone talking about "Downtown Manhattan" is talking about one or more neighborhoods that have more commonly used names). In any sentence where you use 'downtown', listeners are going to interpret it as a direction, 'south of some Manhattan location', unless you make it abundantly clear that you're using the word to refer to a location.

So the NYC usage is different from the usage most places. Is that both clear and compatible with all the linked references?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:40 AM
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Do what, John?
Do what, John?
Come again, do what?

LB would greatly benefit from two constructions: 'fixin' to', and 'goin' towards/headed towards'.

As in: 'We're fixin' to go downtown.'

As in: 'We're headed towards downtown, what direction are you goin'?'

m, 'That direction sounds lost to me. You might be goin' in that direction, son, but WE ain't goin' that way.'


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:41 AM
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231.last: *I* think it is.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:48 AM
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231 is completely clear, but I find myself hoping Brock doesn't think so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:48 AM
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Backing LB up

220 seems to be badly undermining LB, not backing her up.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:48 AM
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Hooray!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:50 AM
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234, 235: And your wish is granted!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:50 AM
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223: I hadn't noticed this, but 16th St?!??!!! Who draws any kind of line at 16th Street? That's just messed up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:51 AM
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235: Add to 220: and -- of course -- names a direction and in no way shape or form is synonymous with Financial District and those "many people" quoted in 203 are super wrong. If someone said they worked Downtown, I would think that they most definitely did not work in the Financial District, otherwise they would have said "Wall Street" or something.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:54 AM
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238: Dept. of Public Works street-line painters?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:54 AM
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231: I also think the specific phrase "Lower Manhattan" is much more in the resident's vernacular than "Downtown Manhattan" (also 3x in Google).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:54 AM
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238: If you think of 16th as the top of Union Sq that makes sense.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:55 AM
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The final paragraph in 223 should have been blockquoted as well.

What? Those aren't Sify's own observations and opinions?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:56 AM
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231 is clear and compatible with the links, and is also more or less what I've been saying all along. If that's what you've been saying all along as well, then I guess we were misunderstanding one another.

*The only quibble I have is with "In any sentence where you use 'downtown', listeners are going to interpret it as a direction, 'south of some Manhattan location', unless you make it abundantly clear that you're using the word to refer to a location." I'd suggest both that "any sentence" is an overstatement, and that making it "abundantly clear" that you're referring to a location instead of a direction is less difficult than your phrasing would imply. But in general, it's close enough for comity.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:56 AM
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238: Do you accept the 14th Street proposal for "Lower Manhattan" per the wiki article that Sifu linked upthread?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:56 AM
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I think we can all agree that saying the Statue of Liberty is in downtown Manhattan is WRONG.

Yes, but Governor's Island is just downtown of the Downtown Manhattan Heliport. Downtown of that is Red Hook.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 10:58 AM
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239: That depends on who you're talking to. If I were talking to someone who was plausibly artsy and/or cool, I'd read 'downtown', used locationally, as 'someplace cool south of 14th street', which would exclude the Financial District (and Battery Park City, with your sneaky friend) because they're uncool. If I were talking to someone in a suit like me, I'd be a little puzzled, but if they were trying to use it to refer to the Financial District I'd follow them without getting too confused.

(Question for the other New Yorkers: say I'm a dull person in a suit, talking to someone who's not from NY, and they ask where my office is located. Would 'It's right in downtown Manhattan, on 54th and 3d,' sound acceptable to you? I think I might use 'downtown Manhattan' to mean 'any part of NY with office buildings south of the park', if I were talking to an out-of-towner, but after this conversation I'm not sure I'm right.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:00 AM
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245: 14th Street is certainly a boundary, but not where I'd start "Lower Manhattan". Maybe Houston, more likely Canal, but not 14th.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:02 AM
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244: Close enough for comity, and if you ever find yourself spending much time in NYC, you can form your own opinion on the subtleties of usage.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:04 AM
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but after this conversation I'm not sure I'm right

Our work is done.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:04 AM
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Huh. I think of Wall Street/the financial district as "downtown" (along with the LES, Chinatown, what's left of Little Italy, and SoHo) and what's now NYs main business district as "midtown.". Maybe this is a result of not actually living in NY (now, I have in the past) and having a dad who grew up there in the 50s. But even in the 1980s, didn't Downtown refer to a place, not merely a direction?

In LA, dowtown is one of several business districts, but it's the one that corresponds most closely to the center of the original city. It's not "down" from anything.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:05 AM
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I think I might use 'downtown Manhattan' to mean 'any part of NY with office buildings south of the park', if I were talking to an out-of-towner, but after this conversation I'm not sure I'm right.

NYC is the one city in North America in which this is definitely not right. I thought only transplants talked that way.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:05 AM
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239: and those "many people" quoted in 203 are super wrong.If someone said they worked Downtown.

Yes, they would be super wrong if that is what they had said. But to use the construction in that article it would be that they worked "in Downtown Manhattan" (which no one really *says*). In the context of Manhattan, "Downtown" in isolation retains some of the ambiguity of its general use as a cardinal direction; "Downtown Manhattan" does not--and it is really an appellation for use by non-residents (and people writing for same) and boosters.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:06 AM
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Oh, I missed that 247 was only a question for other New-Yorkers. I trust they'll back me up.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:07 AM
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251: Oh, Midtown is in fact called 'Midtown'. Come to think of it, the conversation I described only works for me if I think of myself as trying to communicate with someone not from NYC, who might be confused by neighborhood names, and get across to them that I was working in the part with all the tall buildings.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:08 AM
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248: Yeah, "Lower Manhattan" is below Canal, I think. One could plausibly begin "Downtown" at 14th (or 16th if you start at the top of Union Sq).

As to using "downtown Manhattan" in out-of-town vernacular, you'd mean "Midtown," right?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:08 AM
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255: but is there an out-of-towner anywhere who would plausibly be confused if you said you worked "in midtown Manhattan, on 54th and 3d"?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:10 AM
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257: I don't know. You people seem easily confused.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:11 AM
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Come to think of it, I distinctly remember a conversation with my New Yorker grandfather in probably around 1983, in which he was explaining how mad he was that law firms and banks had moved out of "downtown.". My theory: downtown used to refer to the financial district, but stopped doing so when so much business moved into midtown.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:11 AM
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257 (cont.): And if so, shouldn't you be using this opportunity to educate them, rather than to further cement their ignorance?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:11 AM
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260: It's apparently a difficult process, maybe not well suited for light conversation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:12 AM
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In LA, dowtown is one of several business districts, but it's the one that corresponds most closely to the center of the original city. It's not "down" from anything.

Unless we assume that money has its own gravity, capable of warping spacetime, which seems logical.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:12 AM
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260: Welcome to the internet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:12 AM
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259 is right, per the wikipedia page, and tells us who we can blame for all this confusion: the builders of the Empire State Building! Doubt-sewing would-be oligarchs messing with our language.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:15 AM
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'It's right in downtown Manhattan, on 54th and 3d,' sound acceptable to you

Yikes! I would never say that. Midtown. How will the visitors learn if you use the wrong words?


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:16 AM
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'It's right in downtown Manhattan, on 54th and 3d,'

If you, native New Yorker who presumably knows what you're talking about, said that to me, occassional visitor with a tenuous grasp of NYC geography, I would react with a puzzled face, and something along the lines of "54th and 3rd is downtown?" I would mean "downtown" geographically rather than directionally. From this thread, I understand that if we happened to be uptown at the time, you would answer "yes". Otherwise, you would answer "no". In neither case would I then have a good understanding of what you meant, or of where you worked (other than at 54th and 3rd, which is actually fairly self-explanatory).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:24 AM
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Downtown is a direction in Manhattan because the streets have numbers. You're going downtown if the street numbers are getting lower. If the street numbers are getting higher, you're going uptown. The usage used to appear on subway signs and buses; not sure if it still does. So you take the downtown bus from 130th to 120th street, without getting anywhere close to Downtown.

No Downtown here in Philadelphia. we keep our Central Business District in Center City, as God intended.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:26 AM
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Another question: do actually-existing New Yorkers still refer to the "IRT"? I grew up doing this on family visits, but when I lived briefly in NY as a grownup in the early 00s it seemed like a ridiculous affectation for a non-native, so I didn't. I don't think I heard it in the wild while living there.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:28 AM
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If you think of 16th as the top of Union Sq that makes sense.

Except that 17th Street is the top of Union Square.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:29 AM
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Downtown is a direction in Manhattan because the streets have numbers.

Not "Downtown" they don't. My office is on Broadway between Morris and Beaver.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:31 AM
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268: Funny, I wouldn't have spontaneously thought of that as archaic, but come to think I haven't heard anyone say IRT in quite a while.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:33 AM
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I once asked a policeman "How do I get downtown?" while standing in the World Trade Center. The cop asked me, "What does that even mean? *Where* do you want to go?" and this was very mindblowing, because I had eaten a bunch of acid.

I wasn't giving you enough credit, I suppose.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:37 AM
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272 is impressive linkage. It's been obvious for a while that you bookmark all your comments for future reference. Now I'm wondering if you also periodically review all the bookmarks, just to keep them all fresh in your head.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 11:51 AM
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273: Your surmise is incorrect. I don't have any of my comments bookmarked. I have to search for them as the need arises, which means I am frequently frustrated by the lacunae in google.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 12:03 PM
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I wasn't being serious.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 12:06 PM
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Now that "Downtown" is done, can somebody explain Williamsburg to me? Why is it a thing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 12:48 PM
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You can watch .


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 12:56 PM
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You can watch people wearing funny clothes doing odd things


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 12:56 PM
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.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 12:57 PM
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278: See, I'm so far out of the loop, I'd never even heard the hipsters were into colonial times.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 1:07 PM
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You can watch
You can watch people
You can watch people wearing funny
Watch people wearing funny clothes
You can watch people
People wearing funny clothes
You can watch
You can watch people wearing funny clothes
Wearing funny clothes doing odd things
You can watch people wearing funny clothes doing odd things
People wearing funny clothes doing odd things
Funny clothes doing odd things
You can watch
Odd things
.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 1:10 PM
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276: You can daydream about living in a time when you could be truly free.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 1:10 PM
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I <3 281.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 1:25 PM
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I'm willing to grant Manhattan, and NYC more broadly, special dispensation on having its own special meaning(s) for the term "downtown", but to me, the reflexive meaning is "where the seat of local government is". Hence, downtown where I live? Where City Hall is. Even in Brooklyn, as mentioned and to give a NYC-specific example, it's where Borough Hall is.

This usage is further reinforced by the image of coppers in the 1930s saying things like, "Take him downtown, boys, and book him!" which is, like, scientific proof and shit.

Moreover, taking "downtown" to mean, more or less, where city hall is, is further proof of my liberal facism.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 1:47 PM
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I'm so liberally fascist, I insist on spelling it all crazy!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 1:48 PM
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I have not read the thread, but I had heard that some of the ones showing up to the protests were unemployed, and they wouldn't have nay time for this once they got jobs.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 3:42 PM
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I didn't even know that New York had a Midtown, so when I saw that Noah's Bagels had a variety of coffee called "Midtown", I thought they had done an artful job of local branding for their Sacramento location.

I live in Midtown myself.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:00 PM
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Residents of my little burg, which so desperately yearns to think of itself as in the same class of city as New York (which is pretty goddamn ridiculous, I mean, really), have taken to calling a several-blocks-long strip of Main Street "Midtown". It's laughably stupid. See here if you'd like to laugh along.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:08 PM
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Midtown here has been universally called Midtown for a long time, long enough that I don't think we're pretending to be New York.

But, a bunch of merchants just paid some branding experts to tell them to start calling a few blocks of Midtown "the Panhandle." The panhandle?! There's no historical antecedant; they aren't reviving a lost local name. It doesn't look like a handle of anything. There is a panhandle in SF, but poor insecure Sacramento shouldn't be trying to be another SF, and besides, I don't even think of the panhandle in SF as being a restaurant district. I mock the branding effort every chance I get.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:14 PM
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Besides, Midtown (here) is a pretty lively neighborhood. Why pick another name when the one they've got has been doing well for at least a decade?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:16 PM
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290: Didn't I once confuse you when I was saying I was in Oakland and you took that to be the city in California, not the Pittsburgh neighborhood? (Admittedly, in that case, your's was possibly the more common usage.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:19 PM
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Yes. In my limited defense, I never pretend to be anything but parochial.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:22 PM
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I assume Pittsburgh's use of "Uptown" to denote a decaying and hopeless slum which happens to be adjacent to "Downtown" is not representative of "Uptown"s everywhere?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:26 PM
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I guess me picking on my town for going with "Midtown" seems mildly hypocritical, as I often mistakenly refer to a local neighborhood called Fifeville as "Fishtown". But that's not so much about aspiring to be in Philly as it is me mixing up my F-name neighborhoods.

In other fascinating local neighborhood news, my subsection of the burg is called "Garrett" which led to a large block of nearby Section 8 housing to be labeled "Garrett Square". However, when "Garrett Square" came to be synonymous with "a lot of crime", the owners of the apartments changed the name to overly cheerful "Friendship Court", which, as you might imagine, fixed everything.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:31 PM
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I have a different question for the internet, and I don't have the courage to ask it in the Crooked Timber thread, because people might give me long answers and I'll feel obligated to read them.

How come when libertarians talk about nobody bossing them around ever and no one taking their shit, the conversation is always about property rights? Holbo did all that explaining, which i can't be bothered to read. But why use property rights as the reference? Isn't sovereignty what they really want? How come they want to own themselves instead of ruling themselves?

My theory is that if they think in terms of property, they might get to own themselves and other things, but if they think in terms of sovereignty, they'd have to respect other things, which are also sovereign. But maybe there are real reasons.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:36 PM
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"Friendship Court", which, as you might imagine, fixed everything.

How could it not?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 4:36 PM
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294: Not far from me in a then-downtrodden neighborhood, there used to be a group home called Succeeding House, so-called because it was on Failing Street (named after this guy).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 5:51 PM
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292: In my defense, I was being deliberately parochial because at some point earlier that week or month, JRoth had referred to anything Pittsburgh-y as "local" and got mocked for it.

294: I don't read the whole of anything at CT either. Probably the property rights thing comes from John Locke, who wrote of "Life, Liberty, and Property."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:31 PM
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Probably the property rights thing comes from John Locke, who wrote of "Life, Liberty, and Property."

Which was changed by the founding fathers to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happines" because they didn't really care about owning anything except certain types of other people.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:35 PM
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Actually, most of the ones who owned people were very concerned about owning land.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-15-10 7:40 PM
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The scene in the elevator this morning:

[Three white, middle-aged men enter]

Man 1: "Did you hear [local politician's] speech last night? She was still complaining about all the tea partiers using the 'n-word' at their rally." [Ed: this was in reference to a local event, not relating to the allegations of similar behavior last month in D.C. preceding the passage of HCR.]

Man 2: [laughs heartily]

Man 1: "But she called the 'tea-baggers'!"

Man 3: [a look of disgust] "Are you serious??"

Man 1: [incredulous tone] "How are you going to complain about a little name-calling when you turn around and use sexual slurs against people?"

Man 3: [shaking head dismissively] "Liberals..."

[The three men exit together on the 21st floor]

----------

The oddest part of this whole scene is that I got off the elevator thinking this asshole, despite being a grade-A asshole, had something of a point.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 6:58 AM
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The oddest part of this whole scene is that I got off the elevator thinking this asshole, despite being a grade-A asshole, had something of a point.

Racist.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 7:15 AM
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Assist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 7:16 AM
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I've heard that through a combination of hard work, prayer, and counseling, people can be cured of teabagging.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 7:17 AM
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303: That's a cry for help if I've ever heard one.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 7:17 AM
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There was a tea party rally on our town square yesterday. "What are you drinking, tea or KOOLAID???" one sign asked.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 7:20 AM
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You know that failed Unfogged attempt of yore to substitute "ghey" for "gay" as used derogatively (as in "that's so gay")?

I think "that's so teabag" has a nice ring to it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 7:21 AM
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That is a good idea.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 7:25 AM
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So I was at this restaurant, and the baggy waiter was trying the hard sell on bottled water...


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 7:32 AM
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"What are you drinking, tea or KOOLAID???"

I'm big on exercising my 21st Amendment rights at such events.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 7:35 AM
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Right now it's like there's a pep rally shouting contest going on in the sidebar:

Seniors: "I'M SHOCKED!"

Juniors: "UNFORTUNATELY NOT SHOCKING!!!"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 7:39 AM
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||

Baby steps?

|>

(I would argue this is partly on topic, as demonstrating how ignoring the fuckwits might marginalise them)


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 8:04 AM
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311: Crescendoing to the surprise guest appearance.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-16-10 8:11 AM
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