Re: A place for all your colonial what-ifs.

1

I'm pretty sure that the one who catches the Golden Snitch wins.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:20 AM
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After all, the last time there was a comparable power-sharing agreement ..., the whole thing went in the can within six months or so.

This. Brit pols aren't used to coalitions like other European countries, although they're getting to learn about them in Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland. I imagine that if the Lib Dems hold the balance of power they'll trade anything on earth for a PR reform which would basically guarantee them some place in government for ever. They will presumably also demand the Treasury, as it's generally accepted that their treasury bloke is the only one of the three who could balance a cheque book.

But whatever, the next parliament will have a short life but an interesting one. And the queen is completely irrelevant.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:26 AM
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2: So I did okay? Yay, US media getting it right!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:28 AM
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Yeah, pretty good. But you people have to stop obsessing about the queen. She has less influence than the Lieutenant Governer of Iowa.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:30 AM
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Mostly right; I'm impressed. There are some fun details you missed out, like David Cameron being followed by a car on his cycle to work.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:31 AM
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Yeah, pretty good. But you people have to stop obsessing about the queen. She has less influence than the Lieutenant Governer of Iowa.

She can suspend the parliament of Canada, why not the parliament of Britain?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:33 AM
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What could be more exciting, I ask you?

I don't know what it would be called, but it seems to me that the 'I ask you' is functioning just like any words that introduce a quote. What else could it be, she asks?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:33 AM
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7: In the actual example, which I'm guessing is a similar, uh, thing-that-I-don't-know-what-to-call, the little introductory type phrase was "it must be added". As in: "Blume is an outstanding contributor to this blog, it must be added."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:37 AM
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She has less influence than the Lieutenant Governer of Iowa.

Quite a bit more disposable income, though. Also, there is a certain resemblance.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:38 AM
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She can suspend the parliament of Canada, why not the parliament of Britain?

This is why.

In general that's pretty accurate - though it's very unlikely that the Lib Dems could win a plurality, even if they get more votes than the other two.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:40 AM
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less influence than the Lieutenant Governer of Iowa.

There's no chance that this is a very obscure Doonesbury reference, is there?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:42 AM
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She can suspend the parliament of Canada, why not the parliament of Britain?

She can, but only when instructed to do so by the Prime Minister. I'm not sure the British PM would get away with it. In Australia the Governor General once unilaterally fired the PM and it was a huge crisis. Won't happen again.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:42 AM
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11. Good spot, there!


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:43 AM
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Also, if there is a big friggin' armada off the coast, the Queen is empowered to go kick its ass, personally.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:52 AM
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Seems to me it's one of those things where what's technically correct is, uh, dumb-looking and in no important way clearer or better than what you've written, and I think your interlocutor's correction gets it equally wrong, which is to say unimportantly wrong.

These aren't two independent statements. "I ask you" positions "What could be more exciting?" as a quotation, so I'm pretty sure you'd want to satisfy your very picky friend by typing

"What could be more exciting?" I ask you.

But it looks dumb. My prescritivism: it dies a little every day. (And now I'm afraid I've just misused a colon, as the saying is.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:53 AM
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Absolutely. But given that she's 84, she has a dispensation for Prince William to pick her up and thrown her at it instead.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:54 AM
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16: "Though I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, I have the heart and stomach of a concrete elephant".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:04 AM
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The Queen can still veto bills. Sure, the last time she did it was 1708, but that just means she's overdue, like a dormant volcano.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:06 AM
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I'd call it an interjection and use a comma, for what it's worth. That's not based on any actual knowledge of grammar "rules" or "definitions", mind you. It just feels right that way, for what it's worth.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:07 AM
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15: What about free indirect discourse?


Posted by: jsligh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:07 AM
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What could be more exciting, eh?
What could be more exciting, n'est-ce pas?
What could be more exciting, right?

It seems to me like this race is basically between the party of Bill Clinton and the finance industry, and the party of Lincoln Chafee (aristocratic Republican kicked out of the Republican Party five years ago for not being a nihilist bent on the destruction of America) and the finance industry. I don't see what's at stake. Ergo, I would vote Lib Dem no matter what their chances of winning are.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:10 AM
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13 -- Really? 1970s Doonsebury was that popular in the UK? I would have bet my 1972 Electroglide Buick that that wasn't the case.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:11 AM
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Free, free, free indirect discourse!


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:12 AM
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I had a question, OFE, that seems more appropriate here. You think the problem with Brown is that he's a bully? Is that unusual in a PM?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:13 AM
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22. I'm not sure Doonesbury was even published in Britain at that date, but some of us were living with Americans who bought the compilations.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:14 AM
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What could be more exciting, butt?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:20 AM
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24. As far as I know it's par for the course for the PM to be a bully - the only exceptions I know of in my lifetime were Heath and Major, and I'm not sure about them. Eden and Churchill were known as bullies but nobody cared back then. Wilson was a whiner with a nasty temper. Callaghan and Thatcher both had reputations as monsters to work for.

My point was that it made him a horrible human being. Most PMs are. Also, it's generally considered good manners not to flaunt your bullying.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:20 AM
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Yeah, it's more or less accurate, but it's "Lib Dems", not Liberal Dems, and there's also the issue of the various far right splinter groups (BNP, UKIP, Christian Party etc) that are nibbling away at the Tory vote as Cameron tries to present a more moderate face.

Also, I don't think it's inevitable that there'll be no outright majority, although it's looking increasingly unlikely. I wouldn't be surprised to see a big Tory swing closer to the election date.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:21 AM
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24: My own contacts inside the Treasury indicate that this was not the case when he was Chancellor. Apparently he was really very nice.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:36 AM
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Apparently he was really very nice.

Interesting. But when he was at the Treasury he was winning. Also, he was a wonk among wonks there.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:39 AM
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Based on just glancing at the internet, I honestly can't figure out why this "bigot" incident is a scandal -- it looks to me like people just hate Gordon Brown and are using this as an excuse to justify disliking him. Otherwise, wasn't he totally right -- his staffer shouldn't have let him waste time with an old bigot.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:42 AM
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it looks to me like people just hate Gordon Brown and are using this as an excuse to justify disliking him

That's true with most election "scandals", no? cf Kerry's cheesesteaks etc.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:45 AM
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31: Being right isn't a good excuse for a politician.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:45 AM
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A lot of people I know are complaining that Brown apologised. I think it has won him some votes.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:49 AM
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The "bigot" clip is just about the only thing I know about the whole election. But it seems to me that it could have been the occasion for a speech about how he's terribly sorry to say that to any particular person, but here are the reasons that the bigot attitude is pernicious and something for England to overcome. Pres. Obama is good at that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:00 AM
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The story I read about the "bigot" gaffe could have been a treatment of an episode of "The Thick of It." Delightful.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:02 AM
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32, 33 -- You're right. I could never figure out why people hated Kerry so much, either.

I'm kind of hoping this turns into a Doonsebury thread. Weren't there a couple other people here who have read all the old 1970s books? Maybe LB.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:03 AM
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I'd probably have a better chance of steering the thread in that direction if I could spell Doonesbury.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:06 AM
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Weren't there a couple other people here who have read all the old 1970s books?

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:08 AM
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Doonsebury is the Dutch analog, if I'm not mistaken.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:08 AM
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37: Me! My older brothers had them.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:12 AM
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Here's another international politics question:

Are the Thai red shirts a noble populist uprising against the elites that have held them down for generations, or a bunch of ignorant rednecks in the thrall of a demagogue?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:16 AM
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What could be more fucking exciting, clown?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:18 AM
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37: People hated Kerry because he reeked of East Coast Old Money. He also has a bit of Al Gore's "let me explain it to you" affect.

Another factor that I think is important is that his Vietnam service was a direct affront to preconceived notions of liberals as effete cowards, which is why it had to be attacked so viciously.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:20 AM
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37: Me too.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:21 AM
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I watched the very enjoyable Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 the other night, which features the real person on whom BD is modeled, and the real person on whom Mike might be modeled.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:23 AM
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46: and boy did the whole football players vs. geeky cartoonists dynamic still come through after 40 years.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:26 AM
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42: both.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:30 AM
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Weren't there a couple other people here who have read all the old 1970s books?

"Of course, there are still a few bugs in the system."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:33 AM
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"If only he'd knock over a bank or something. Then we'd have him!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:34 AM
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42: also, when are they going to get eaten and/or dessicated by the monster of the week?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:35 AM
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Hypothesis: The three best minor characters are the three most racist stereotypes, namely Clyde, Phred, and MacArthur.

And everyone knows that the best story arc was Duke's reign in American Samoa. We're all agreed on that, right?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:35 AM
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"Look, rice paddies!"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:36 AM
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though it's very unlikely that the Lib Dems could win a plurality, even if they get more votes than the other two.

Could someone tease this one out a bit for me?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:37 AM
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The three best minor characters are the three most racist stereotypes, namely Clyde, Phred, and MacArthur.

Totally with you on Phred (whose reincarnations through the years are one of my favorite continuities), but you have to give due consideration to Honey, especially in the early years.

Also, Congresswoman Lacey Davenport, who I suppose could be described as a racial stereotype of a sort.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:41 AM
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4 is just wrong in this context: the only remaining place where the Queen retains autonomous power is when there is no clear majority in the House of Commons. See what happened recently with the Governor of Tasmania (who is as it were the Acting Queen). There are few clear rules (there are lots of people who will go on Newsnight and claim that there are clear rules, though), not a lot of precedent, much of the precedent is contradictory, and the primary constraint is what-can-be-gotten-away-with.

Not that there's that much to worry about with stolid old Liz; now she's 84 there is I guess a risk that Charles will be in charge sometime soon, and I hesitate to think what a mess he could make of it.


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:43 AM
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54: the lib dem vote is relatively evenly spread around the country. As it increases from say 20 to 30%, the greater part of the increase involves the libdems losing by less in most constituencies - coming second rather than third, say. It depends on exactly how the other two parties' votes go, but somewhere in the high 30s percent, the lib dem vote suddenly starts winning seats, lots and lots of seats, and they would probably have a massive majority if they got say 40% of the vote.


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:46 AM
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37: Because it felt like he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. I'm not as politically astute as many here, but my impression (colored, obviously, by the rage and frustration of the four years preceding) was that it was a lazy, tin-eared campaign from start to finish. I hated him because it felt like he delivered us four more years of W.

It's possible you were just asking why republicans hated him so much, in which case disregard.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:46 AM
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though it's very unlikely that the Lib Dems could win a plurality, even if they get more votes than the other two.

Could someone tease this one out a bit for me?

Very unlikely that they'd win a plurality of seats in the house of commons, even if they win a plurality of the votes.


Posted by: Tim O'Keefe | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:48 AM
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"It is indeed a Great Wall."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:52 AM
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re: 56

She does come from a family of famously short-lived women, after all.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:53 AM
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Though famously short statured. Who can forget the talking hat that Dubya hosted?


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:55 AM
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60: "No, some factory worker. We had a contest."


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:56 AM
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I guess a risk that Charles will be in charge sometime soon

Not Charles In Charge!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:01 AM
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64: Of our days and our knights?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:06 AM
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61: Mary of Teck only made it to 85, you know. There's a risk.

64: well quite. It's the setting for a hilarious sitcom.


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:08 AM
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The men don't last nearly as long. Alan Bennett had an idea for a very short skit set at the grave of the Queen Mother, just after her funeral: from next door comes a voice "You've t-t-t-taken your b-bloody time."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:19 AM
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32, 37,58: but my impression (colored, obviously, by the rage and frustration of the four years preceding) was that it was a lazy, tin-eared campaign from start to finish

Possibly, but see "narrative, media". But I guess charming the neocon, neo-feudalist dickwads in the MSM is part of any campaign. Not to say Kerry was not verbally clumsy, for instance the botched dog-whistle "lesbian" debate reference was a disastrously awkward gaffe by any standard.

But the "'Whiz wit" debacle is particularly galling and was completely a media invention. Foser at Media Matters:

But Bush was apparently lying. A less credulous reporter than those employed by the Times -- Kathleen Carey of the Delaware County Daily Times -- did some investigative reporting and found that Bush actually orders his cheesesteaks not with Cheez Whiz, but with American cheese.
...
So: John Kerry commits the utterly insignificant act of ordering a sandwich with Swiss cheese. The media pounce, declaring it an example of his supposed elitism and mocking him for years. George W. Bush, during the same campaign, lies about the cheese he prefers on his sandwich in order to pander to voters. The media not only don't mention the lie, they don't portray it as an illustrative anecdote that reveals his dishonesty or undermines his carefully crafted "authentic" image. Instead, The New York Times plays up the contrast between Bush's purported preference and Kerry's "mistake."
Sorry for the long comment, but that one is hot button of mine--two decades of media malfeasance tightly rolled up into one little ball of excrement.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:27 AM
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68: It's interesting Obama's arugula thing never really much gained traction, when compared with the Kerry-Whiz thing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:34 AM
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It all depends on who the media likes. We were very lucky to find someone the media liked better than John McCain, which I for one had thought was impossible.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:42 AM
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67 is utterly marvelous.

69. Didn't they try to roll Obama for ordering orange juice instead of coffee on a rest stop at some point? It's weird, who cares what politicians eat? And why do American voters like being told that their leaders assume they prefer to eat shit?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:45 AM
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70: Yeah, but McCain had to become balls-out demented before he lost them (and not all of them).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:47 AM
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Instead, The New York Times plays up the contrast between Bush's purported preference and Kerry's "mistake."

But Kerry did make a mistake, because he did something that could be used to further his negative portrayal. By contrast what Bush did (I mean what he said) was right on, because it fit with the media's positive portrayal of him. See? It was the right thing to say.

What he actually ate is of no moment. The only question is how well are they playing the game.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:47 AM
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And why do American voters like being told that their leaders assume they prefer to eat shit?

Why should they prefer to eat anything better than the rest of us?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:48 AM
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Didn't they try to roll Obama for ordering orange juice instead of coffee on a rest stop at some point?

Yep, which was really bizarre because I find the coded difference between orange juice and coffee absolutely opaque. Like, they're both components of the standard American breakfast; how could one be snobbier or more tonedeaf than the other?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:50 AM
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I'm trying to remember where I read a recent treatment of Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. The tone was very "well he treats us like a bunch of todlers—but can you blame him?! Ha!" Anyone else read a piece that like recently? I vaguely recall Ari Fleischer getting similarly fawning coverage early on.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:54 AM
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I didn't recall 71.2, but I completely share 75's reaction. Who was making something of this, and what exactly were the charges? (Certainly not "snobbery" like the arugula thing, right?)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:54 AM
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75: too health-conscious, maybe?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:54 AM
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55: The thing about Phred--surely he was initially intended to be an anti--stereotype, to the extent that he was intended to have any depth at all.

To me, the best story arc is the Joanie-from-day-care-worker-to-lawyer one--that's really a place in the strip where you can see the characters gaining depth and where the strip really perfectly balances lighthearted social critique and plot.

I stopped reading Doonesbury back in the early nineties. It seemed to get so mean-spirited and misogynist (not unlike Bloom County in the late eighties), so skeptical of any form of liberal/leftism that wasn't rooted in the author's own college experience. My perhaps-unjustified take on the decline of both strips was simply that hippie semi-radicalism looked pretty good to Breathed and Trudeau when it was all "I get to sleep with hot feminist chicks and be a special white guy!" but stopped looking good once it required actually ceding some leadership/centrality to people of color and women.

But oh, the drawing in the early-mid-period of both strips was just so nice.

My take: you people in the UK are actually more fucked than Americans. No matter who you elect, you will elect someone even worse than our lot. This astonishes and depresses me and is not at all in line with what I believed about the UK growing up.

When I think of the UK, I think of all parties actually cheerleading for huge, insane cuts to social services in order to bail out the banks; the absolute surveillance-mania that seems to be even worse than our own; the fact that real politicians seriously debate the BNP and they're allowed on national TV as a legitimate party, as if the Democrats were to debate Aryan Nation thugs; the way the police and the BNP have colluded to beat up anti-racist demonstrators...also, I am not impressed by what I know of your urban apartment rental schemes.

I reiterate that this is not any kind of apologia for Amerikkka, but merely my astonishment that people could actually be worse.

Now I'm going to lunch!


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:56 AM
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the best story arc was Duke's reign in American Samoa.

The VA disability ones were excellent.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:57 AM
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Link. Bizarre. For the record, the accusation wasn't about the relative-Americanness of OJ vs. coffee, but for "asking for a substitute on the menu" (which wasn't in any way a true criticism, as far as I can tell).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:58 AM
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To me, the best story arc is the Joanie-from-day-care-worker-to-lawyer one--that's really a place in the strip where you can see the characters gaining depth and where the strip really perfectly balances lighthearted social critique and plot.

The little boy at the day care center: "Ms Caucus, when I grow up I want to be a tennis player, just like Billie Jean King."

"Howie, breakthrough!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:59 AM
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73 is correct. Play into the negative elements of the narrative being constructed about you and you're fucked. Play to the positive and you have a chance. Truth is just another opinion in politics.

It's impossible to understand the media without starting from the fact that you, the viewer/reader/listener, are not the customer. You are the product, or more accurately, your attention is the product, a product which is sold to the real customer, advertisers. The reporter's job, bullshit about the fourth estate notwithstanding, is to get your attention. Challenging people's biases is a good way to get them to switch to another source of information. Telling people what they want to hear, reinforcing their biases and self-image, and doing so in a way that gives the impression that they are savvy consumers of objective facts is a proven way for reporters to put food on their families. Individual reporters may be interested in getting the facts to the public, but their efforts are filtered through editors whose job it is to fill the news hole with something that keeps people coming back. Editors who fail at this get fired.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:01 AM
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And I don't think this was Phred, just a couple of Phred-esque Cambodian peasants talking about the secret bombing of Cambodia.

"That wasn't secret. I remember when it happened I said 'Look, Martha, here come the bombs.'"

"That's right, that's just what you said."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:01 AM
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82: "my mommy said something about a pedastal that I liked very much."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:04 AM
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The VA disability ones were excellent.

Just as long as you understand, will, that "VA" here doesn't stand for Virginia.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:07 AM
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79.6 on True, but those wouldn't be my main concerns.

I don't know what's happened to Breathed, but it seems to me that Trudeau has got a new lease of life since the Iraq invasion.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:09 AM
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68 is absolutely right; 73 and 83 are wrong, and 81 is, IMO, pretty solid proof that thinking there's anything you can do to avoid "playing into the negative elements of the narrative being constructed about you" is just bullshit. (68 should have been solid proof of this all by itself, but 73 is certainly helpful support.) The media will go with whatever narrative they want.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:10 AM
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Mmm. The military/VA strips are at least good soap opera. It's funny what following a comic strip your whole life will do -- I was genuinely affected when BD lost his leg.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:12 AM
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"You invited GUESTS??!!"


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:12 AM
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88 is right, except that I believe that 73 is heavy sarcasm, and 83's taking it straight was mistaken.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:13 AM
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I didn't mean in 73 to suggest that any of the parties could control how things went.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:13 AM
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To me, the best story arc is the Joanie-from-day-care-worker-to-lawyer one--that's really a place in the strip where you can see the characters gaining depth and where the strip really perfectly balances lighthearted social critique and plot.

Thinking about it, this may be where 6yo me first encountered explicit feminism in print. "I want a wife when I grow up, too!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:13 AM
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92: So Kerry "made a mistake" that was completely outside of his control? I don't usually see that word used that way.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:16 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:18 AM
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The final irony of the Kerry Cheez-Whiz thing is that what he ordered, provolone, is exactly the "correct" thing to order at an "authentic" working class Italian sub shop in Massachusetts (and perhaps Rhode Island, too). A media that was assessing these things with actual knowledge of salt-of-the-earth practices, as opposed to ignorantly consuming Rovian spin, would have known this. That is to say, the "Kerry's cheesesteak order proves he's a clueless elitist" smear was wrong even on its own terms.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:18 AM
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88: The orange juice thing had no traction at all because it didn't play into the negative elements of the narrative - Matthews just cooked up a "no substitutions" rule out of thin air, but everybody and their cat knows that substitutions are perfectly fine in the overwhelming majority of cases. Dijongate, on the other hand, did get traction because lots of people have no idea that spicy mustard/brown mustard has an alternative name that sounds suspiciously French.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:18 AM
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92 reflects a bizarre passivity. Just because everything you say is going to be spun by the media doesn't mean you don't police what you say.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:22 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:23 AM
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98: It does mean that perfect policing of what you say won't prevent the construction of damaging narratives. Bush and Kerry ordered equally offbeat versions of the cheesesteak. Bush was praised, Kerry derided. The narrative had nothing to do with Kerry's failure to police himself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:24 AM
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Kerry did not have the foresight to have one or more campaign staffers whose full-time duties would be to extensively research the locally-correct menu choices at every restaurant in the United States and advise him accordingly; therefore, he wanted the terrorists to win. Or something like that.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:26 AM
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George W. Bush, during the same campaign, lies about the cheese he prefers on his sandwich in order to pander to voters

I never did understand why claiming to eat cheese from a can would be a successful pander.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:26 AM
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102: many Americans can point to an ancestor who was a Cheez-Whiz princess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:28 AM
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100: According to Knecht's 96, Kerry's provolone order was not offbeat, but that's not important to your point.

The fact that perfect policing doesn't completely prevent the construction of damaging narratives does not mean that no policing is in order, or that policing can offer no protection whatsoever.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:34 AM
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It all depends on who the media likes. We were very lucky to find someone the media liked better than John McCain, which I for one had thought was impossible.

Couple of points. First, we shouldn't underestimate the extent to which Obama's race shielded him from unfair media narratives. Yes, I know, his race was a double-edged sword, and he inherited his share of unfair media narratives because of his race. But he was immune to the most damaging kind of press treatment, which is the snowballing contempt that both Gore and Kerry got. Why? Because Gore and Kerry's stereotypes (know-it-alls, rich elitists) are safe to be irrationally contemptuous of. Black people not so. Same as simple-minded country bumpkins, which was the shield GWB hid behind.

Second, we shouldn't forget the impact of the evolving electoral demographics. Someone did a study showing that Gore and even Mike Dukakis would have won the presidency, based on their margin among various demographics, if they had enjoyed Obama's electorate. To be sure, the growth of minority turnout was in part Obama's own doing, but he also benefited from the browning of the population.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:35 AM
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The orange juice thing had no traction at all because it didn't play into the negative elements of the narrative - Matthews just cooked up a "no substitutions" rule out of thin air, but everybody and their cat knows that substitutions are perfectly fine in the overwhelming majority of cases.

I suppose this is meant to be a contrast to Kerry's ordering of provolone, which everone and their cat knows is a ridiculous thing to order on a cheesesteak?

Because that's crazy.

Candidates can influence, but can't control, what the stories the media will push, and the media can influence, but can't control, what stories will gain traction with the public.

If you're suggesting that Kerry was being downright irresponsible with his image--paying no heed to the ways in which his actions could be spun, or even paying any less heed than Bush did to that sort of thing--I'd say you're insane.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:36 AM
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I realize 101 is satirical, but ditch the last 11 words and it's essentially correct. In today's media climate having a person specifically tasked with that sort of stupid crap is an obvious step. There are already teams of advance people, advisers specializing in clothing, media specialists, pollsters, and so forth. A local color specialist would be a logical and sensible addition to the team.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:37 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:38 AM
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When I think back on it, Obama really should have been doomed, when he turned out to be such a horrible bowler. His victory proves that it is all fixed.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:38 AM
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If you're suggesting that Kerry was being downright irresponsible with his image--paying no heed to the ways in which his actions could be spun, or even paying any less heed than Bush did to that sort of thing--I'd say you're insane.

Yes -- that would mean you think that he just happened to enjoy going hunting in the midwest in the fall.



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:41 AM
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107: Great idea. I'm sure there wouldn't be any Republican attacks at all aimed at how Kerry the rich coastal elitists needed to hire a special full-time advisor just to tell him how to relate to the ordinary folk in various communities.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:41 AM
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the fact that real politicians seriously debate the BNP and they're allowed on national TV as a legitimate party, as if the Democrats were to debate Aryan Nation thugs;

Well, they didn't really take Griffin seriously on Question Time, and given the BBC's charter, it couldn't really justify totally excluding the BNP from its political coverage, however distasteful it was. Also, when Brits look at the US and see the likes of Tom Coburn or Mike Pence or Jeff Sessions not being the leader of some fringe party with no representation in parliament but rather as senior members of one of the two main parties, it strikes them as pretty scary too.

There's no doubt that in some ways the UK body politic is in worse shape than the US, but I don't think the mainstreaming of extremism is one of them.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:46 AM
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LB has my back!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:49 AM
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I never did understand why claiming to eat cheese from a can would be a successful pander.

74 to 102.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:51 AM
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74 to 102

But haven't we established that "the rest of us" don't put cheese from a can on our cheesesteaks?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:54 AM
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111: As long as the attacks are just words they'll be a lot less damaging than a single image or video clip of him fucking up some simple thing. A picture is worth a hell of a lot more than a thousand words when it comes to convincing people. A clip will be played over and over, and even if the talking heads are accurately putting it in context the image will stick while the words do not.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:57 AM
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I never did understand why claiming to eat cheese from a can would be a successful pander.

Seriously, this. I never heard of Whizgate before this, but what the hell kind of bona fide American has cheez whiz on their cheesesteak? Four year olds? It's insane that he lied and insane that he chose cheez whiz to lie about.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:57 AM
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I miss having this argument with Ogged.

When I try to sum up what's wrong with tying anything from this kind of media narrative back to the candidate, it's that doing that is relying on the idea that "Where there's smoke, there's fire." If there's a fuss about something, there logically has to be something at the root of it, that the candidate could have done differently to keep the fuss from happening, and so that the existence of the fuss necessarily means that the candidate is flawed or incompetent somehow.

And that's just not true. I got into this kind of thing with the "Gore is a big liar" narrative back in 2000, and that was all fantasy -- there's nothing Gore could have done differently to stop it. You can't start from mud thrown by liars, and theorize about what the target could have done better to keep the liars from starting to throw the mud. It's not about the target.

Sometimes, candidates really do screw up, but you can't deduce a screwup from the existence of a fuss.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:59 AM
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115, 117: Apparently Cheez Whiz is normal on a Philly cheesesteak if you're in Philadelphia. Neither provolone, which Kerry ordered, nor American, which Bush ordered, is weird at all, but Cheez Whiz is the dead standard normal basic cheesesteak cheese.

I don't know why. I'm not from Philly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:00 PM
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Michael Kinsley wrote an essay back in his TNR days that I didn't like much at the time, but can now better appreciate, the essence of which was that the only acceptable form of snobbery on the contemporary U.S. is reverse snobbery. His example was something like "I've never heard anyone brag about going to Harvard, but I've heard lots of people brag about going to state schools."

Similarly, any reporter would have immediately recognized it as ridiculous if the Kerry spinners had pushed, say, a story about Bush using the wrong fork to eat his appetizer.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:03 PM
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117: Seriously? What the hell kind of bona fide American has cheez whiz on their nachos?

To the extent that there's a right answer to the preferred-cheese question, I'd have guessed that American cheese is the way to go, because yo, everybody's heard of it. I guarantee you some people have never heard of provolone (or it will get you a "oo, la di da!" response from quite a few people). The deal for Democrats is to speak to the lowest common denominator, because the UMC won't hold it against you if you're the common man -- that would be snobbish -- while the LMC will hold it against you if you're uncommon.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:05 PM
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Michael Kinsley wrote an essay back in his TNR days that I didn't like much at the time, but can now better appreciate, the essence of which was that the only acceptable form of snobbery on the contemporary U.S. is reverse snobbery.

Of course, this only applies to reverse snobbery against Democrats. Otherwise it's "class war".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:06 PM
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119 to 121. Cheez Whiz isn't exactly about reverse snobbery, it wasn't important that it's the lowest class cheese. It was a combination of low-class and local knowledge; a Philadelphian would have known to order Cheez Whiz.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:08 PM
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Similarly, any reporter would have immediately recognized it as ridiculous if the Kerry spinners had pushed, say, a story about Bush using the wrong fork to eat his appetizer.

But it's much worse than that -- it even worked in Bush's favor in 2000 that he didn't know the names of many world leaders.

But...more and more I'm moving to the poli sci prof type position that elections are almost entirely determined by the economy.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:08 PM
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123: So Bush's local color man did a good job, at least enough to get him to lie after the fact, then.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:10 PM
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"I've never heard anyone brag about going to Harvard,

He might be using an unsually cramped definition of "brag", here. "Bragging", in the traditional sense, about going to an ivy, is seen (rightly) as relatively obnoxious, but if he's never heard anyone name-drop "Harvard" rather liberally, I'd suggest the only possible reason is that he hasn't spent much time with Harvard alumni.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:11 PM
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What every news opinion show needs is somebody standing behind the panel with an airhorn, ready to blast it in the ear of anybody who brings up stupid shit like what kind of cheese a candidate orders on a sandwich. Subsequent violations of the no dumbassery rule would receive, in order: 1) a hard slap to the back of the head, 2) 3-second taser blast to the base of the neck, 3) fork-stabbing between the shoulders.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:12 PM
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123: The fact that we are still discussing this six years later is proof that our brains have been sucked out by aliens.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:14 PM
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105: First, we shouldn't underestimate the extent to which Obama's race shielded him from unfair media narratives. [I'd quote the rest, but nothing after this makes any more sense]

... what?

Seriously. Seriously?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:15 PM
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Everyone has cheez whiz on nachos. That's what "nachos" means if you order them at a ballgame or even most restaurants. A cup of cheez whiz type stuff. You can make nachos with real cheese at home if you want.

As for cheese steaks I would say that the use of cheez whiz is specific to the Philadelphia cheese steak tourist traps, and most non-Philly restaurants do not even have it as a usual option. It's all provolone, american or swiss. And the Kerry cheesesteak situation is one that the media made up and he had absolutely no control over. "LOL look at this guy pretending to want cheez whiz. Just admit it! You want provolone! What a flip-flopper". He couldn't win.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:16 PM
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129: Seems obvious to me. What's wrong with that statement?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:16 PM
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96: Wait, Kerry ordered provolone? That's even worse. I thought it was Swiss, which would be unusual. Provolone is completely normal on a cheesesteak. Hell, I've had provolone on a cheesesteak, and I am the living stereotype of the Philadelphia diet. Which is why I won't live to see 50, but it was worth it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:16 PM
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if he's never heard anyone name-drop "Harvard" rather liberally, I'd suggest the only possible reason is that he hasn't spent much time with Harvard alumni.

He doesn't experience the name-dropping with Harvard alums because he just does the secret handshake.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:18 PM
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Wait, Kerry ordered provolone?

Now I'm starting to wonder whether I've put misinformation into the world. My memory said provolone, but I could be mistaken. In which case the whole premise of 96 and subsequent comments is mistaken. Oh, God, I'm so ashamed!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:21 PM
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134: Lying, just like that liberal hero, Al Gore.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:22 PM
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Google confirms that it was Swiss.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:23 PM
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118.last: but you can't deduce a screwup from the existence of a fuss

In an ideal world, agreed. In this world, in which the media must be played, the terms are different. Unfortunately. I myself don't blame Kerry particularly much for anything, but it seems undeniable that his spin-machine wasn't up to what was needed from it.

I blame the media, of course, as well as the dumbing of America.

This is the single smartest thing said in this thread:

It's impossible to understand the media without starting from the fact that you, the viewer/reader/listener, are not the customer. You are the product

and continued, from Togolosh's 83. Americans have acceded to their status as products, consumers of media and advertising narratives. They want to be right, but they're not entirely sure what's right: feed them a narrative that supports their intuitions, magnify it (provolone is totally gay), and guide the public to support the candidate of your choosing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:23 PM
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117: Sadly, Cheez Whiz is an authentic topping for a Philly cheesesteak. Ned's probably right that you're more likely to get it at the tourist traps, but you'll see it at other places. For example, it's an option at Steve's Price of Steaks, which being cheesesteak royalty means it's gotta be pretty authentic.

121: You would not get an "oo, la di da!" reaction to provolone in Philly.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:23 PM
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...aaaand google says swiss cheese is correct. I hope my credibility can recover from this disastrous setback.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:24 PM
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133: He doesn't experience the name-dropping because they all know to just say "I went to school in Cambridge [alternatively, in/near/outside Boston]."

||

I will be in Chicago next Wednesday (the 5th). Drinks, anyone?

|>


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:24 PM
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I was in Philly at the time. Cheese Whiz, American, or provolone are standard choices on cheesesteaks. Kerry ordered Swiss, I believe, which is not generally available at such places. It is iimpossible for me to imagine that any voter could conceivably care. Kerry nonetheless carried Philly with something like 85% of the vote, did better than previous democrats in the surroiunding counties, and won with comfortable margins all three swing states in the Philly media market (PA, NJ, and DE), so the whole thing was irrelevant to voters. It was just a media thing.

Kerry also got some mockery from the media for the situations where his advisors were too careful about his image, e.g. when he refused to wear a Red Socks hat or shirt before the end of the World Series, even though he was a genuine lifelong fan, because the team might have lost and he would look like a loser. I doubt any of this stuff made any differnece to voters.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:27 PM
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I lose track of who's in Chicago these days. Di, of course. M Leblanc isn't, I haven't seen I Don't Pay around in ages... who am I missing?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:28 PM
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68: No apologies for long comment. Indeed, thanks for taking the time. I don't cherish my sometimes half-assed understanding of things political and am glad that folks here seem inclined to offer gentle corrections (why does it sound like I'm talking about laxatives) rather than standard-issue internetoise flameage.

71: Wasn't there some thing about mustard as well? I'd swear there was some hamburger order (maybe at Ray's in DC) that revealed a hitherto unkonwn semantics of condiments.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:29 PM
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133: He doesn't experience the name-dropping because they all know to just say "I went to school in Cambridge [alternatively, in/near/outside Boston]."

Any fool knows what that means.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:29 PM
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134: You've betrayed everyone. Though it makes a better media narrative about the evils of the media, so I declare it the New Truth. The stupid thing is what percentage of the vote did Kerry actually get in Philadelphia? 75%? 85%?

Swiss wouldn't make a good topping just because it's on the softer side, so it would melt too much. You want a harder cheese like American or Provolone. Or Whiz, which is probably plastic in a colloidal solution, so can't be said to "melt".


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:29 PM
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Yes, I am pretty sure it was Swiss. So, totally ghey.

Also, Whiz Wit. I hate, hate what local "authentic" cuisine narratives of this sort have become, (cough) Primanti's (cough).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:30 PM
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131: The fact that bizarre media narratives manifestly did develop around Obama would seem to be a problem, for starters. (Different types of bizarre narratives, sure, but his race certainly didn't "shield" him from press cupidity in any absolute sense.)

I sort of disagree with LizardBreath in that while I think Gore and Kerry did nothing specific to warrant the narratives that developed around them, the fact that those narratives took hold was a manifestation of the customary incompetence and disorganization of their version of the Democratic party in dealing with the press. The conservative movement figured out forty years ago how to organize aggressively to influence the media and counteract messages they didn't want. It took liberals that span of time to figure out they needed to do something similar... and the one who actually harnessed that to a campaign turned out to be Obama*. That's the difference.

(* Who is still engaged in squandering it on the old "centrism" bullshit, which will probably take another ten or fifteen years to unlearn.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:30 PM
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I think Po-Mo Polymath is in Chicago, but he's not around much.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:30 PM
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What was really out-of touch was Kerry ordering in Spanish at Geno's. I mean, Christ, there's a sign and everything!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:31 PM
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Different types of bizarre narratives, sure, but his race certainly didn't "shield" him from press cupidity in any absolute sense.)

Press cupidity?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:32 PM
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To me, the best story arc is the Joanie-from-day-care-worker-to-lawyer one--that's really a place in the strip where you can see the characters gaining depth and where the strip really perfectly balances lighthearted social critique and plot.

Let me put in my vote as well for this being not only the best Doonesbury story, but one of the best story arcs in any comic strip ever.

That said, the BD in Vietnam story, while shorter, had some great moments. I liked when Zonker came as a reporter for the school paper.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:34 PM
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150: Uhhh, no, that's not the word... did I mention I don't actually speak English?

Mendacity, not cupidity. Dunno how that happened...


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:34 PM
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I sort of disagree with LizardBreath in that while I think Gore and Kerry did nothing specific to warrant the narratives that developed around them, the fact that those narratives took hold was a manifestation of the customary incompetence and disorganization of their version of the Democratic party in dealing with the press.

Mmmaybe. Probably. Yeah, I guess I can't argue with this. But thinking of those narratives as diagnostic of anything but poor management of a hostile press is overreaching.

And on the 'Obama was shielded by his race' thing -- I sort of get both KR's claim, and your reaction to it. You're absolutely right the Obama got his fair share of unfair press treatment. But I think his race at least put the press off balance enough that the sort of seamlessly accepted narratives, like Gore's lying or Kerry's elitism, that hurt Gore and Kerry so badly didn't take off in the same way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:43 PM
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Cupidity is surprisingly apt.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:43 PM
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Thank Almighty God that this thread that started out about elections just around the corner in a major western democracy turned into poorly reasoned and misinformed discussion of something that happened six years ago in the only country that matters. USA! USA! USA!

Of course, this being Unfogged, it was all actually a sly attempt on the part of the local lodge of the Illuminati to turn this into a food thread. Those bastards!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:45 PM
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Steve's Price of Steaks

That's really a restaurant name? It sounds more like some indie band.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:46 PM
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All conversations eventually turn to cheese.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:47 PM
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147: the fact that those narratives took hold was a manifestation of the customary incompetence and disorganization of their version of the Democratic party in dealing with the press.

Right. Obama's team's genius -- not that this should take genius to figure out -- was in taking the offensive, or simply standing ground, rather than remaining defensive. (I'd hat-tip Howard Dean here, by the way.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:47 PM
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(I'd hat-tip Howard Dean here, by the way.)

YEEEEEEEEEEARRRRRRG, THANKS PARSION!!!!!11!


Posted by: OPINIONATED HOWARD DEAN | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:49 PM
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^ M


Posted by: humbled howard dean | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:51 PM
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By the way, what is "Swiss cheese"? Emmental? Gruyere? Something else?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:52 PM
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Dear Howard,

You've done good work as chair of the DNC. Thanks.

parsimon


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:53 PM
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Something else?

Yes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:53 PM
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118: Any idea he would have said to be the real concern at the root of, say, getting barbecued for pronouncing Missouri as it is said in 49 states instead of as it is pronounced by some number of residents of the one it's in? That was a fun one. Perhaps next time around, candidates will be expected to pronounce Chicago as it is pronounced in Chicago when in Chicago, as it is pronounced in the rest of Illinois beginning at the Chicago suburbs when in the rest of Illinois beginning at the Chicago suburbs, and as it is pronounced elsewhere, elsewhere.

To me, the idea seems to be that you will act against someone's interests if you don't seem to have gone to elementary school with them. I don't think there's always fire.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:53 PM
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you will act against someone's interests if you don't seem to have gone to elementary school with them

Exactly. So you're ready to run for public office, right?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:57 PM
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161: It's like blander Emmentaler. Or just mediocre Emmentaler. It's got holes in it and is slightly harder than, say, sliced cheddar.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:58 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:04 PM
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159: Another beautiful execution of media narrative. Also see the treatment of his wife's decision to not join him on the campaign trail.

But enough of this, let's have a well-reasoned and informed discussion about the British elections.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:04 PM
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165: I can't do that Boston word-final "r" very convincingly so I must decline.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:04 PM
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I know this is terribly elitist, but in my experience the quality of cheese used on deli sandwiches or cheese steaks is so low that I can't really tell the difference between the different standard cheeses. Maybe "cheddar" feels a bit drier on the tongue is all. And Cheese Whiz would no doubt be something different, albeit disgusting. But "Swiss" vs. "provolone"? Give me a break.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:06 PM
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The fact that bizarre media narratives manifestly did develop around Obama would seem to be a problem, for starters. (Different types of bizarre narratives, sure, but his race certainly didn't "shield" him from press cupidity in any absolute sense.)

...a concession that I was careful to make at the outset. The point is not that his race was an absolute shield, but that it protected him from the types of media narratives that proved so damning for Gore and Kerry. Mind you, if he had been a little less post-racial, some of the more straightforwardly racist narratives (Angry Black Man) might have done real damage, rendering his race a net negative w/r/t media treatment. As it was, few people bought into the racist narratives who weren't already so predisposed, and the press (apart from Fox, obvs) was notably cautious about fanning them. So I stand by the statement that Obama's race protected him to an appreciable extent from media nonsense.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:08 PM
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I remember something about a bicycle

"Then I got to 'Thou shalt not commit adultery', and I remember where I left it."

I wish I remember where I left mine. I think it was stolen, but I'm half-convinced that I'm dumb enough to have locked it somewhere then forgotten I had it and walked home.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:10 PM
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let's have a well-reasoned and informed discussion about the British elections.

If you go to the Beeb news site in 10 minutes you can see an ill-informed and uninformed discussion featuring Daveybloke, the Cleggster and El Gordo in person.

I shall have an early night.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:10 PM
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||
Oh, annoying. Has gmail gone out for everyone or just me?
|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:10 PM
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171: You know, I was with you a bit on this one, but of course the Obama campaign really did handle this stuff better than either Gore or Kerry. I've got a post in the archives somewhere cooing with delight over the forthright way they told the media to quit lying about the 'madrassa'. So while his race may have helped some from keeping the narratives from forming, the failure of the narratives to form may have been more about campaigning skill.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:11 PM
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174. Works for me.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:12 PM
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158: Obama's team's genius was also in running in 2008. As non-ideal as Kerry was, he was running against a still-reasonably-albeit-inexplicably-popular incumbent, in a still-growing economy, and lost by only 2.5%.

Agreed on deli cheese. It's pretty much an aesthetic choice as to what color you think looks best in your sandwich.

||

Yes, that was as much of a Chicago list as I could come up with, and none of them is posting right now, but I figured I'd throw it out there.

|>


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:16 PM
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176: Thanks.

I posted this picture in another thread, but it really does make me want to punch Cameron in the face. Very Spandau Ballet. (Not to mention Boris, who just looks like a fucking Bond villain.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:16 PM
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I used to bicycle to the library and read the Doonesbury collections. Bloom County and Doonesbury filled out my contemporary-history vocabulary more than any other sources.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:18 PM
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178: I think ttaM mentioned in another thread wanting to see those folks (or others very much like them) do the Spandau ballet. OK, a variant, but close enough.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:21 PM
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The got bacteria that make Jarlsberg came from Iowa State University.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:21 PM
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Didn't this blog use to have a huge Chicago contingent? What happened to all of them. Di is there.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:23 PM
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182: There was i don't pay, and silvana, and ogged and neb had lived there (plus probably bob and unf too?). And Kotsko? Also, seems like there was at least one other. Pomo Polymath maybe? But yeah, there did used to be more Chicago action back in the day.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:26 PM
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Obama's team's genius was also in running in 2008. As non-ideal as Kerry was, he was running against a still-reasonably-albeit-inexplicably-popular incumbent, in a still-growing economy, and lost by only 2.5%.

I think this is the truer story of the 2 elections, not the supposed contrast between the genius of the Obama campaign and the incompetence of the Kerry campaign.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:26 PM
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178 -- Is that Boris Johnson in there, too?

I saw Boris Johnson on Top Gear (best show ever) and was like, wow, I cannot fucking believe that this guy is a politician. He had literally none of the robo-politician mannerisms and instead seemed barely capable of putting on his pants. I'm sure he's a reprehensible Tory, but it kind of made me love England -- the place where a bloated, possibly drunk fop/buffoon can be mayor of a major city.

Note that pretty much all of my knowledge of England comes from 19th century novels, WWII books, Top Gear, and this blog.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:28 PM
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m. leblanc moved (and doesn't often post here); kotsko moved (and doesn't often post here); po-mo polymath doesn't often post here. I think part of it is that a lot of folks grew up (ogged) or otherwise spent a lot of time there (me, LB, neb, helpy-chalk, molly) and thus could talk semi-intelligently about it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:28 PM
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170: I had a lamentable period of eating lunch at Subway a lot and it's true of their cheeziform products for sure. Reminiscent of those popsicles in the log bags that you squoosh out: grape=purple thing that tastes like sugar. Lime=green thing that tastes like sugar.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:29 PM
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text used to be in Chicago.

Also, "otter pops". Did not used to be in Chicago. Used to be squooshed out and et.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:31 PM
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Yes, ordering a sandwich at Subway is good training for living in a liberal democracy.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:32 PM
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You're all welcome to hang out with my grandparents in Chicago. My one grandma's probably your best bet. She loves (1) playing Scrabble and (2) cursing like a sailor.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:32 PM
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Obama's team's genius was also in running in 2008.

I fear that this is very close to the trueth, rather than the genius of Team Obama. Or, on preview, what peep said above.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:33 PM
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Trueth being a deeper more truthy truth than simple truth.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:33 PM
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Somehow I don't think that a black man running for president in *any* circumstances was a brilliant idea in the absence of extraordinary campaigning skills, a crack media-management team, and so on. I feel the need to give Team Obama more credit for direct action than for the indirect benefit of running for office as a Democrat in 2008.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:38 PM
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She loves (1) playing Scrabble and (2) cursing like a sailor.

"Um, sorry, but &*$#&$# isn't in the official Scrabble dictionary, gram."


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:39 PM
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seemed barely capable of putting on his pants

Like that's so easy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:47 PM
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Leaders' Debate is live on C-SPAN 3 right now. Kinda fascinating so far. A question from the little old lady in the audience!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:58 PM
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But yeah, there did used to be more Chicago action back in the day.

Tell me about it...

Seriously, though, late afternoon/early evening May 5th may well be a possibility. (As in I'll either need to be on the 6:50 train or in my car on the highway by 7 in order to pick Rory up on time.) Just as long as you are forewarned that I am hopelessly uncool and really don't have great insight into the cool places to hang out, what with the being hopelessly uncool...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:00 PM
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It's just like our debates! Small businesses are the future! Green tech is the future!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:03 PM
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198: Ugh! And preening chest-thumping questions asking, "Why don't you remember that you are there to serve us?!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:07 PM
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198: At least they haven't picked up the lamentable convention of ending their public statements with "God bless the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:09 PM
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200: Didn't they used to have some sort of vaguely similar line that they used a lot?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:11 PM
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not to mention riding a bike to work--did I get that part right?

Reminds me of a vicious (and IIRC subsequently retracted) assessment of then-Governor Michael Dukakis by someone (Barney Frank, maybe?): "The best thing about Mike is that he takes the T to work. The worst thing about him is that he gets off at the State House."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:18 PM
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202: You redeemed yourself, Knecht! That's almost exactly accurate.

Barney Frank, then in the State Legislature, seethed. ''The good thing about Michael is that he takes the T to work,'' said Frank, referring to Boston's subway. ''The bad thing is that he gets off at the State House.''

http://www.nytimes.com/1988/05/08/magazine/dukakis.html?pagewanted=4


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:23 PM
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203: Did everybody follow my link to the old NYT story about Dukakis and then die of boredom?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:44 PM
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204: No, everyone's finally getting around to watching that hour-long boat-ride video I posted the other night.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:46 PM
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205: Well, that's a relief.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:47 PM
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We're working on our reasoning skills and becoming better informed about the upcoming British election.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:47 PM
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202: the Duke was not well-loved in his first term.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:48 PM
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204: Nah, I just went back to looking at histograms and making notes about said 'grams in a separate terminal window.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:50 PM
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207: I watched the debate briefly with the sound off. All three candidates looked very articulate.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:51 PM
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But were they clean?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:52 PM
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Filthy buggers though, the lot of them.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:52 PM
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212: Yeah, the Brits are like that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:54 PM
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211: Yes, actually they all looked squeaky clean, like they been freshly scrubbed. You Brits have a hard choice between those three!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 2:59 PM
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they all looked squeaky clean

Though, obviously, peep can't attest to whether any of them *actually* squeak, what with having the sound turned down.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 3:18 PM
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My barely informed, half-paying-attention, gonna-go-reheat-some-lentils-and-quinoa take:

1. Clegg made the Lib Dems sound most appealing of the three, policywise. I bet some of the pensioners in the audience who were worried about people on the dole thought that he lacked gravitas, though. Also, he seemed to be not addressing some of the questions as directly.
2. I have of course heard many times that Labour had shifted to the right in recently the years, but it was nonetheless surprising how indistinguishable Cameron's and Brown's answers were at times.
3. The immigration portion of the debate was quite distinct from what you'd hear here. There was nothing like the "nation of immigrants"/"acknowledge the important role of immigrants in our society" boilerplate we usually have. It was all about who was doing/would do the most to limit the number of new people coming in. Also, none of the "what we really need to worry about is illegal immigration" talk that we get.
4. Cameron's rhetoric is the sort that wins elections over here. He kept using locutions along the lines of "13 years of Labour government and [bad thing X abides]". Repetition works.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 3:21 PM
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There was nothing like the "nation of immigrants"/"acknowledge the important role of immigrants in our society" boilerplate we usually have.

Even though the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century CE and the French in the 11th century CE were very important in British history! And that's not even mentioning the Glorious Revolution!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 3:31 PM
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It's true! And furthermore, let us not forget that this Windsor stuff is a farce and the Queen herself is really of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 3:37 PM
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I'm sure he's a reprehensible Tory, but it kind of made me love England -- the place where a bloated, possibly drunk fop/buffoon can be mayor of a major city.

Speaking as a Londoner, this is one of the things that makes me dislike England.

There was nothing like the "nation of immigrants"/"acknowledge the important role of immigrants in our society" boilerplate we usually have. It was all about who was doing/would do the most to limit the number of new people coming in. Also, none of the "what we really need to worry about is illegal immigration" talk that we get.

Yeah, this election is shaping up to be pretty ugly on the immigration front. Last time around, Howard made immigration his big campaign topic, so in order to put some disance between the parties Labour mostly pushed back against that and labelled him as an extremist (which he was, to be fair). That dynamic's not there this time, so everyone seems to be racing to the bottom on immigration.

Some things to bear in mind though. Because the UK is an island(s) nation, the number of illegal immigrants is pretty low (certainly compared to the US), despite the bleatings of the Express and Mail. Conversely, as a member of the EU and the Commonwealth, there's a pretty large number of legal immigrants, and in recent years there has been (by the UK's standards) a big influx of legal immigrants from the EU accession countries in Eastern Europe. The Polish-born population has risen from about 80k at the start of the decade to around 500k in 2009, although some of the recent immigrants have since left because of the real estate crash. I think it's still a net inflow, though.

Finally, some of the immigration rhetoric from voters is actually cover for anti-Muslim sentiment. I suspect one of the reasons that New Labour has been so keen to pass religious protection laws is that it allows them to keep a hard line on immigration without losing the Asian vote, which has traditionally been predominantly Labour but increasingly turning to the Lib Dems and small parties like Respect.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 3:51 PM
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219

I lived in the Washington DC area when Marion Barry was mayor, so I know how you feel about having a buffoon on drugs in charge of your city.

I recently attended a wedding where the cake was described as marionberry flavored. I was hoping it would say "Bitch set me up" on it. Alas, no.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 4:16 PM
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I still don't understand how Boris got to run London. It seemed safe to have him in charge of Henley, but London?

Tell you what, I fucking hate Ed Balls.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 4:38 PM
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My kids are really interested in it all (Kid A could vote in the next election!), and are looking forward to staying up and seeing the results come in. Took Kid B to local hustings on Tuesday.

Kid A came home from school the other day and said, rather solemnly that she and her friend L had had an argument. "Oh dear, what about?" "The House of Lords."


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 4:46 PM
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Since bully-gate and bigot-gate, Brown is no longer strictly speaking "boring" the way he was (salad of all the Bs): and i suspect this humanisation ("he's a dick! just like me!") will do him good as well as harm... britons are unpredictable the way they respond to flaws, and the underdog factor can kick in in weird ways.

(Boris won London by very effectively orchestrating votes from the peripheral boroughs about stuff like the congestion charge which was good for people in the centre -- I have one friend (black) from the southern fringe of London who voted for him entirely based on the fact her access to the centre had gone up so much in price... she took it as a personal affront.)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 5:03 PM
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220: I lived there (and worked for CNN) that summer! It was nuts. DC -- which does brisker business in topical sidewalk-sold tshirts than any other city I've lived in -- was covered in "Got Damn Bitch Set Him Up" tshirts. I have no idea why God was spelled "Got" (piety?) but it always was. Black Bart was big that summer, too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 5:23 PM
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Did CNN have something to do with Marion Barry?

The odd, fact-checking, thing about him is that he was among the key figures in SNCC -- which was pivotal in the Civil Rights movement. I can't give him too much crap, in the end, because of this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 5:34 PM
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It was funny to see Marion Barry in the news when I moved down to DC in 2008. He was busted when I was 10 years old and I obviously wasn't paying much attention to the news at that age, and I think that was the last time he was in national news so for all I knew he was just another quasi-historical figure like any other 1960s celebrity or activist who faded away rather than dying spectacularly. Then I get down here and, hey, he's being quoted on routine city government stuff, and he's in the celebrity news color section of the paper too, and people care what he thinks about gay marriage? Weird. Like a local celebrity, but unlike a whole bunch of local celebrities he's also a national celebrity, but here it's like he still is a national celebrity, but...


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 5:41 PM
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which does brisker business in topical sidewalk-sold tshirts than any other city I've lived in

Man, the shirts at the inauguration were so amazing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 5:42 PM
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The day after Michael Jackson died, a hawker was selling memorial t-shirts outside DC's NGA.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 5:48 PM
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227: My faves remain remain the Clinton/Gore daisy-dukes-wearing hot gay couple.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 5:49 PM
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My favorite was Obama's face photoshopped into this picture, with the slogan "Don't Hate the player, hate the game" spelled out in sequins.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 5:52 PM
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230: Wow, that is awesome.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 5:55 PM
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A Clinton/Gore hot gay couple tee-shirt at Obama's inauguration would be something. It gets confusing, these inaugurations.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 5:57 PM
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"The day after Michael Jackson died, a hawker was selling memorial t-shirts outside DC's NGA."

The news of Jacko's death reached us at about 10pm during the Glastonbury festival, and they were selling T-shirts the next day at the festival.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:00 PM
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I was driving home with my wife when the news came on the radio. She sold me a T-shirt at the next red light.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:12 PM
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The design was nice, but the quality was off. After two washes, it started to fade.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:13 PM
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Even though the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century CE and the French in the 11th century CE were very important in British history! And that's not even mentioning the Glorious Revolution!


well, noone mentions "and then teh proto-alconquin peoples migrated to the area around the ozarks in 700CE" either


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:14 PM
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I was at that stop light! No tee-shirt, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:17 PM
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When Jackson died, I was wearing a Hypercolor t-shirt that revealed a memorial design after I immediately touched it with my hand.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:19 PM
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235: and by then you were almost home.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:22 PM
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I recently attended a wedding where the cake was described as marionberry flavored. I was hoping it would say "Bitch set me up" on it. Alas, no.

When we lived in Takoma Park, friends returned from a honeymoon in Seattle with gifts of jars of marionberry jam that they had amended to say just that. We were all very pleased.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:23 PM
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I miss DC.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:24 PM
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Also "Crack smoking mayor" at the top.

CRACK SMOKING MAYOR marionberry jam "THE BITCH SET ME UP"
Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:27 PM
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It's really too hot in DC, though, in the summer. So.

I miss New England.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:27 PM
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I was at that stop light! No tee-shirt, though.

Fruit that low-hanging may be biologically speaking a tuber.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:27 PM
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It is my belief that botanically speaking no fruit is a tuber.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:30 PM
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What about the pomme de terre?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:35 PM
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Marionberry would be the official state berry of Oregon, if not for Larry Duyck.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:37 PM
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No more a fruit than road apples are.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:37 PM
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Sadly. Botanically speaking that was low-hanging fruit. The image of a fruitlike tuber was freaking me out, Knecht! What's the point of that, a fruit buried in the earth, I ask you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:39 PM
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Well, it could be eaten by creatures that burrow under the earth, and then spread to new locations when they shit out the seeds. What's the use of fruit up in the air?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:41 PM
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Peanuts are seeds, but wouldn't the pods count as fruit, botanically? And if there's one, there must be more.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:43 PM
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Peanuts are subterranean fruits. What's the point of that, I ask you.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:46 PM
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Also, I love peanuts.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:46 PM
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Do fruits of any sort really need a point? Can they not just be?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:50 PM
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Farts are made by fools that toot,
But only God can make a fruit.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:51 PM
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252: Cool. Fruits are terrifically excellent, not just for you and me but for the birds and the bees and the deer, and whomever might be interested in eating the subterranean peanuts.

(Peanuts are fruit! Whoa. While my botanical knowledge is pathetically rudimentary, I generally think that where there's fruit, there are flowers. I didn't know peanuts were a flowering plant. Thanks.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:57 PM
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I am interested in eating the subterranean peanuts!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:02 PM
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If peanuts are fruit, why aren't sweet potatoes? You can even make pie with them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:06 PM
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Angiosperms, parsimon, angiosperms. They sort of took over the plant kingdom many millions years back. The majority (is that true? I know they're the largest group) of plants have flowers now.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:07 PM
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258: Fruit requires flower. I believe that sweet potatoes do not propagate via flower. Zucchini do! But it's not that hard to see that they're a fruit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:10 PM
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259: It looks like I have to educate myself on all of this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:12 PM
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260: There is a sweet potato flower. It's pretty, for the flower of something you eat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:13 PM
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Mandatory reading. Fruits contain seeds.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:13 PM
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probably most plants. they really took over.

what are non-flowering edible plants? pine nuts are the only ones i can think of.

oh and seaweed/vat food.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:13 PM
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261: You should find yourself a nice man with botanical books full of lovely etchings!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:14 PM
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Sweet potatoes aren't the fruit of the sweet potato plant, but like any other flowering plant it has a fruit, you just don't eat that bit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:14 PM
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(Um, that was not to suggest that you weren't perfectly capable of educating yourself.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:14 PM
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264: Ferns? People eat fiddleheads.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:16 PM
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you know what really annoys me? people say 'peanuts aren't nuts' or bullshit like taht.

botanists took over some words, and they don't even really use them: they have latin for when they're being srs.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:16 PM
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263: So, despite similar function, the eyes of a potato do not count?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:16 PM
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hm, good one. those are carcinogenic and look like tentacles.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:17 PM
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266: Not after the first time, I don't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:17 PM
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and 270 was me. Sorry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:18 PM
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267: Thanks. While I understood the reference, I did do a double-take.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:18 PM
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oh and speaking of british things, how about MIA and that ginger video


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:20 PM
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274: Yeah, I was just imagining some lovely seduction scene involving learning all about new things and a nice man to boot. Twas only later that I realized that might not have come across that way.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:21 PM
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276: Wait. You thought 265 might have been inappropriate, so you tried to soften it by making a masturbation joke in 267?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:28 PM
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Yeah, I was just imagining some lovely seduction scene involving learning all about new things and a nice man to boot.

How would you like to come up and see my etchings, Paren?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:29 PM
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Give Parenthetical a break. I accept and welcome the lovely seduction scene she sketches in 276. Who wouldn't? The best relationships are those involving mutual teaching.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:34 PM
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The eyes of a potato aren't seeds.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:40 PM
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Low hanging fruit, I plant it. In the ground. As though they were the eyes of potatoes.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:42 PM
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280: I know, but leaves spring out of both.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:44 PM
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And spring leaves both out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:45 PM
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Being annoyed that I cannot find a good explanation as to why the peanut uniquely among legumes (although actually apparently any plant in its genus, arachis) plunges its fruit* into the ground. Just the advantage of "self-planting" with a nice store of nutrients, or is it ever spread by rooting animals like pigs? Probably a demonstration of why one should not look to hard for "Just So" stories in species development (and if it were a more universally good strategy you might expect more).

*It seems that the "fruit" of the peanut is the shell, while the "nut" is the cotyledon(s).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:47 PM
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Probably a demonstration of why one should not look to hard for "Just So" stories in species development

This, quite possibly. It's an interesting approach in any case, and not stupid, obviously. Celebrate diversity. Maybe the groundhogs are pleased?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:55 PM
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Maybe the groundhogs are pleased?

I thought the mice were to be pleased?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:56 PM
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Mice? Moles.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:01 PM
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284: And since peanuts are native to South America, stupid of me to even suggest "pigs".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:08 PM
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The majority (is that true? I know they're the largest group) of plants have flowers now.

Almost all seed bearing plants (by species count) are angiosperms these days. The only gymnosperms left really are conifers, cycads (they look like a cross between a palm and a conifer) and the ginko. There's some very cool literature on the co-evolution of insects and angiosperms.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:08 PM
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284: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peccary


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:13 PM
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er, 288 i mean.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:14 PM
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cycads (they look like a cross between a palm and a conifer)

Yeah, my great uncle used to have a garden with massive and very old cycads in San Diego. Really neat plants.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:16 PM
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conifers

Fuckin' A.

Woo!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:20 PM
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290: From that article: People often confuse peccaries, which are found in the Americas, with pigs which originated in Afro-Eurasia,. Also, peccaries only got to South America when the Isthmus of Panama was formed a few million years back. Likely that the plunging habits of peanuts predate that event, although I guess they might not.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:22 PM
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290: On view at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum outside Tucson. They have an enclosure where they hide and then spontaneously rampage after you watch them for a while. One more reason to head to AZ after the stupid law gets thrown out.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:23 PM
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295: My mom LOVES that museum. Seriously, I told her a friend was going to Tucson and she spent an hour telling me about the museum. (It was a good conversation.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:24 PM
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That's a great museum.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:30 PM
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Exposure is a great album.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:31 PM
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Huh, the word for underground fruit is geocarpy


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:32 PM
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Hysterocarpy, eh? Sounds like some of those old threads.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:36 PM
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299: Thanks. And apparently peanuts are not intended to be dispersed:

Atelechory, the dispersal over a very limited distance only, represents a waste-avoiding, defensive "strategy" that functions in further exploitation of an already occupied, favourable site. ... also, by geocarpy, which is either the production of fruits underground, as in the arum lilies Stylochiton and Biarum, in which the flowers are already subterranean, or the active burying of fruits by the mother plant, as in the peanut, Arachis hypogaea.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:52 PM
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And apparently peanuts are not intended to be dispersed

Yet another way in which airlines offend against nature.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:02 PM
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302: Nice one again, Mobihikku (jobless son, t-shirt etc.). And highlights that "intended" is a misleading and lazy shortcut word to use in th]at manner.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:08 PM
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OT: I wonder how many donuts you have to take into the woods before the game commission starts to think you aren't just taking a snack with you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:08 PM
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Fuck you, flowers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:09 PM
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302: Even worse are the pretzels. Does anyone like pretzels all that much? I mean, I like the soft puffy kind a fair bit (though they are often dispensed oversalted), but the crunchy hard kind they used to hand out are just pointless. Cost-cutting measures that seem to have rid most airlines of free shitty pretzels, I welcome thee!

And then there's the fact that the pretzels were often dispensed without even asking the passengers whether they wanted them; they sure didn't hand you a drink without asking what you wanted, but those pretzels—they had to be actively refused. Yet even when I refused them, the flight attendant would be often so used to mindlessly handing out pretzels that he or she had to be told more than once of my lack of interest before snapping out of his or her fugue state and retracting the arm that was trying to force the pretzels on me.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:10 PM
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304: when he attempted to register a 707-pound bear that would have been the biggest taken during the state's three-day bear hunting season had it been killed legally.

Do these donuts make my ass look big?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:12 PM
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289:

Don't forget that gingko nuts are edible also, strictly speaking. They cause seizures in children, and poison-ivy-like symptoms if you handle them, and they have an unspeakable aroma like rotting flesh, but they're considered a delicacy in some parts of the world.

Speaking for myself, if I were starving, I think I'd resort to cannibalism first.


Posted by: Ace-K | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:16 PM
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303: You are perhaps over-estimating the amount of thought I put into that comment. While I realize evolution proceeds without intention, I don't think that the usage is misleading in any meaningful way until you get into evolutionary psychology.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:17 PM
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I like those pretzels way more than the peanuts they used to dispense. At any rate, I think the powder that pretzels give off after repeated mutilation by airline employees is more appetizing than the peanut-based powder.

Maybe you'd prefer if airlines gave out gingko nuts?


Posted by: Ace-K | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:19 PM
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Pretzels propagate by noducarpy?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:21 PM
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I was on a flight where gave us peanuts. About twenty minutes after I'd gotten mine, they made an announcement that somebody on the flight was allergic to peanuts and we shouldn't open the bag that everybody had already opened long ago. About ten minutes later, they asked for a doctor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:23 PM
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"Most people wouldn't dare try to eat anything with an aroma this foul. But in the name of local, seasonal eating, I braved the stench."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:24 PM
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312: "This is Captain Renault speaking, 'I'm shocked, shocked to find that peanuts are being served on this plane!'"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:33 PM
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"For us," he said over the clangy, jovial din of his kitchen, "it all comes down to taste, so if it tastes good, if there's a reason to cook with it, we'd already be using it

What an idiot.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:36 PM
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I rendered duck fat today. It worked okay, but the cracklings didn't come out crispy. Not sure how to do that. Maybe more geocarpy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:38 PM
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speaking of rendering, i made some bacon yesterday.

I really hate how most people make it.

i put it in a pan on low and flip it every ten minutes.

after about an hour, its done.

i've never rendered duck, but maybe its like bacon.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:18 PM
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There is some indication that the regular consumption of starch derived from cycads is a factor in the development of Lytico-Bodig disease, a neurological disease with symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease and ALS. Lytico-Bodic and its potential connection to cycasin ingestion is one of the subjects explored in Oliver Sacks' 1997 book Island of the Colourblind. Cattle that graze in pastures containing cycads may ingest the leaves and fruits and develop the neurologic syndrome of cycad toxicosis known as Zamia staggers.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:19 PM
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I like the Trader Joe's pretzel thins a whole lot. The chocolate covered ones are made from crack. In that format, I guess I like hard pretzels.

(Nice to see you around, Otto.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:39 PM
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If you took some bacon and performed the rendering process on it (in an effort to reduce the calorie count, say), then used the cracklings in a certain salad, would you be rendering unto Caesar? Inquiring minds want to know.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:58 PM
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I see only now, under the harsh light of too much Diet Mountain Dew (consumed to make the drive home from a gig in Richmond), that I spelled the Labour Party's name wrong in the OP. How utterly mortifying.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 12:15 AM
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I suppose there's no point in wondering if there will be a Bay Area meet-up this summer. (The Chicago discussion earlier in the thread made me think of it.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 12:18 AM
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I suppose there's no point in wondering if there will be a Bay Area meet-up this summer.

Be the change you want to see.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 1:03 AM
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323: Yeah, e-mail nosflow. He's the most likely candidate to organize (uh, if he'll be in town this summer). Oh, look, I'm still awake. Fucking Diet Mountain Dew.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 1:37 AM
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I thought peanuts were technically a weird type of bean.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 2:05 AM
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No, it's a not very funny comic. You're clearly confused. Go read Calvin and that Hobbes fellow for elation.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 2:24 AM
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Now that I'm settled in the Great Wen, any London based people who fancy a pint ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 3:15 AM
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nattarGcM, I will take you up on that!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 5:11 AM
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Excellent! My email address will be linked from my pseud on this comment.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 5:24 AM
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325: Yes, they are a legume that happens to have this geocarpy thing going.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 6:27 AM
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It's way too late in the thread for this, but I won't be around Chicago on the 5th. Incidentally, I'll be in London (so you're in the big city now, ttaM?).

Yeah, I definitely do miss this place. With the new job, there's no time at work, and now everyone I knew from school and other lives before has moved to Chicago, so there's no time outside work. Especially now that I spend about 1-2 weeks a month in London and other European cities on work.

So, umm... I won't say it's a hard life, but I do miss this place.

(Also, the shift to an open plan office instead of cubicles sure as hell didn't help)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 6:33 AM
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(Also, the shift to an open plan office instead of cubicles sure as hell didn't help)

It took me two years, but I have a private office with a door, a big desk made of glued tree-shreddings, and a climate control system maintained by a mean drunk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 6:39 AM
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but the crunchy hard kind they used to hand out are just pointless.

I'm not abnormally sensitive to the disgustingness of artificial flavors, but the fake butter flavor of airline pretzels is truly horrible.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 7:02 AM
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ttaM, I'd be up for a London meetup. Would rather not put my real email where spambots can find it, though. Any chance of organising on this thread?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 9:29 AM
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I don't see why not. Tierce has emailed, and so far we've settled on a couple of days this week and next that are no good, but not made any further plans than that.

Evenings this weekend are out [prob. too short notice anyway], as are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of next week.

We should maybe gather names of interested parties and take it from there?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 9:35 AM
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Possible on that too, depending on the date...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 9:40 AM
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So that's 4 possibles, so far.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 9:59 AM
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If you guys manage to reconvene in July, I should be in London then with the family.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 10:00 AM
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I can't do any Thursdays - it's press night. Next Wednesday works for me.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 10:01 AM
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I can probably do next Wednesday, although I won't be back in London till 7pm, so it couldn't be too early in the day. If that suits?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 10:07 AM
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I generally will be around from the 5th through the 18th. Evenings are more or less open for me at the moment, though new plans and dinners I have to attend are certain to get scheduled as the days approach.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 10:08 AM
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Do we have takers for next Wednesday, the 5th?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 10:39 AM
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I suppose there's no point in wondering if there will be a Bay Area meet-up this summer.

I should be around all summer and would be down for meeting up. What the heck is your email address, though?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 10:52 AM
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I think the London meetup should include a poorly reasoned and misinformed discussion about some aspect of past US politics.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 10:55 AM
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Can't do Wednesdays, I'm afraid. Pity, because I'm good at poorly reasoned and misinformed discussions.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 3:52 PM
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5th is good for me! So is poorly reasoned and misinformed! Indeed I am quite drunk as I type! HURRAH!!!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 4:49 PM
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I'm pretty flexible re: days. 5th is good, but if ajay can't make then and another day suits other people, too, then that's fine also.

I am also quite drunk as a type.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 5:16 PM
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drunk as a type

I take it that's one of those wonderfully quaint Britishisms?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 5:31 PM
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Er, no. More a demonstration of the state.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 5:33 PM
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I suppose there's no point in wondering if there will be a Bay Area meet-up this summer.

When does "summer" begin? I am possibly up for a Bay Area meetup in a week or two or three, though my exact schedule and how much free time I'll have is a little fuzzy right now.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 5:41 PM
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I will be in the Bay Area starting tomorrow afternoon, but the weekend of May 8th won't work for me. Two or three weeks is probably ok.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 11:38 PM
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"1970s Doonsebury was that popular in the UK?" (sic)

I certainly remember reading it in the back of the old broadsheet Guardian in the seventies - can't seem to find out exactly which year the paper started running it, though.

A lovely summation of the election so far, btw, Stanley, and certainly more accurate than BBC2's Newsnight-commissioned, animated 'Made in Taiwan' version.


Posted by: palau | Link to this comment | 05- 1-10 4:15 AM
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352.2: Thanks. I was flattered to see, upon clicking through, that you linked to this post at your amusingly subtitled weblog.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 1-10 8:34 AM
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I have to be at cocktails with the Archbishop of Westminster on the evening of the fifth but would really love to drink with more respectable people later.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 2:41 AM
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Everything my daughter knows about American politics she learned from our old bound doonesburies.

And, LB, we will obviously organise a huge reception for you if you reach London.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 2:43 AM
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I'm in for the 5th? Or we could put it off one night and make it an election special.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 5:35 AM
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I think tierce de L can't make the Thursday, and Thursday's generally aren't the best days for me, either, although I could probably make it at a push.

I vote the 5th if nworb can make it after cocktails with the Archbishop?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 1:21 PM
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Anyone any suggestions for a venue? Somewhere not full of loud braying types, with seats, and fairly central? Ideally with a beer garden where I can slope off for a fly ciggie.*

* officially a non-smoker who sometimes can't resist once beer's been drunk.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 1:23 PM
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Somewhere not full of loud braying types

But you're meeting in London?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 1:28 PM
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I recommend and endorse the Sir Richard Steele in Haverstock Hill, the Griffin in Shoreditch, and many other hostelries. But those two particularly.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 1:30 PM
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A quick look at Beerintheevening suggests the Richard Steele might be a better bet than the Griffin, but I'm fairly easy. Both of those are 45 min or so from Ealing, but I'd imagine most places are.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 1:55 PM
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thursday i am booked for an in-home election special sadly; wed am very very free and easy

Shoreditch is 10 mins from my manor, so v handy; but not great as a no-dick zone -- how abt the Pakenham?

http://www.fancyapint.com/pubs/pub303.php

not at all far from king's cross; table outside for smoking, largely customed by postmen tho less so midweek, well off the frenzied midtown track


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 2:01 PM
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to help swing Alex's vote maybe

disclaimer -- I am vaguely drunk again...


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 2:06 PM
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I would suggest the Lamb in Lamb's conduit street, http://www.fancyapint.com/pubs/pub77.php which won't have screens. Also, erm, not actually a whole bunch of good pubs round king's cross at all. So the Lamb would be my suggestion, since obviously no one wants to go south of the river.

I'll cadge a fag off you, Matt


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 2:29 PM
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my email is pretty easy to work out from my name (at) a well-known custodial newspaper


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 2:31 PM
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The Pakenham Arms looks like a very nice walking distance from my hotel, so that's a plus. Seems like a pleasant place from Google's aggregated reviews, and I generally like that neighborhood.

The Sir Richard Steele also looks quite nice, I'd be happy to make the trek.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 2:31 PM
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I am fine for Lamb's Conduit Street, tho my own experience of the Lamb is that it is often crowded. Haverstock Hill is quite hard for me to get to.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 2:35 PM
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Lemme know if you guys are gathering in the Bay Area. Be fun to see you.

Does honey-lemon rhubarb pie sound good to anyone else? Or too sour?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 2:36 PM
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Try It and See.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 2:42 PM
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The Lamb, and the Pakenham Arms are both within easier travelling distnace, for me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 2:58 PM
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I Think I Will.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 3:02 PM
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The Lamb is often crowded, so I am easy with the pakenham, if that's were people would prefer


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 3:55 PM
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So here's the deal.

I don't think the honey-lemon rhubarb is enough to fill the pie crust (I like a heaping pie), but if I use more rhubarb, I won't have any for the strawberry rhubarb pie.

Then I thought, what if the bottom of the lemon-rhubarb pie were filled with something? A lemon-ricotta type baked something, and then the rhubarb mixture went on top of that.

I didn't really want to make that fancy a pie, but in drastic situations, one must find solutions. The fruit portion could be more tart if the base were there to mellow it out.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 3:59 PM
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Suggestions? Anything else I could do?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 3:59 PM
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Get more rhubarb.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 4:08 PM
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Or a smaller pie plate.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 4:08 PM
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Let's make it the Pakenham then! It is somewhat larger than the Lamb and there is a useable outside for smokers and etc.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 4:15 PM
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Sounds good to me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 4:30 PM
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I'm back from the store, where I got ricotta. I feel committed to this course of action now.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 4:32 PM
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Pakenham on Wednesday sounds good to me as well. What time would work? 7ish? 8ish?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 5:13 PM
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I couldn't be there much before eight. But any time from then on is fine.

The next problems is how we recognize each other.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 6:05 PM
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This is a solved problem.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 6:09 PM
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382 is, of course, correct, but another idea, considering the date, is for everyone to wear this shirt.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 6:19 PM
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I would like you all to know that this Lancaster cheese I am eating is truly the business.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 7:06 PM
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The lemon-rhubarb pie was a success. Can strongly recommend a lemon-ricotta base, with an inch of honey-lemon-rhubarb filling on top.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 10:08 PM
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I may be looking respectable, in which case I will stand out at the Pakenham. Otherwise I will be distinguishable from all the other balding middle aged men by a lime-green crumpler laptop bag.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 2-10 10:34 PM
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So shall we say from about 8pm, the Pakenham, Wednesday?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 12:34 AM
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I am "working from home" on Wednesday --- hence will be bored by midday 5 and there by 7 doubtless. Here I am with some beer: in the black T-shirt.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 1:02 AM
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No permission to view that photo.

I look like this [only with a heavier beard]:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2372/124/106/36820665/n36820665_38628762_1758042.jpg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs193.snc1/6494_668982027859_36820665_39852028_1898778_n.jpg

I'll probably carry some ancient looking camera or something, for identification purposes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 1:15 AM
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Bah my friends take photos of me they don't let the world see. ARE THEY ASHAMED? Oh well, I have a small beard too, greying sticky-up hair and glasses.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 1:25 AM
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If you link directly to the jpeg rather than the flickr link it usually works. It bypasses flickr's authentication/permissions process.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 1:46 AM
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Like this?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 2:24 AM
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OK, Pakenham, 7-8, Wednesday?

Shall I ask one of the front-page posters to put an announcement up, or something?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 2:46 PM
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I'll try to head over later if I can on Wed - if you're still there and conscious, keep the laptop bag on display


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 2:54 PM
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If you don't see nworb's laptop bag, I'll probably bring an old camera with me, as I usually carry one, and I'll leave it on the table. [Assuming I don't forget]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 3:53 PM
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If a front-pager is willing, it would certainly help other Londoners spot this.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 4:02 PM
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396: Sure, I'm on it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 4:25 PM
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Excellent, thanks!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 4:30 PM
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Count me in. For identification purposes, I'm ginger. Also, I may well be wearing an Oxford United related shirt, given our (non)league triumph.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 4:45 PM
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http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_10516.html#1176367


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 6:07 PM
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400: Was that link supposed to go in the Wen and Where thread, ttam?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 3-10 6:15 PM
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No, I was linking back to the comment re: laptop bag, etc but I think that was redundant/pointless.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 4-10 12:28 AM
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Posted by: tk9988 | Link to this comment | 05- 4-10 2:25 AM
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Fuck me! ToS has learned Chinese!


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 4-10 2:27 AM
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well, I can report success. No one got punched for asking the wrong stranger if they wanted to sex mutombo.

i left the others drinking round my glasses because i had to catch a train.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 5-10 3:29 PM
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I definitely want to read a bit more soon. By the way, rather nice design you have at this site, but don't you think it should be changed from time to time?

Chloe Funweather


Posted by: latin escorts | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:36 PM
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