Re: As long as she doesn't think that I'm worried that she'll think I'm racist

1

single-use lockers

You use the locker once, then throw it away?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:33 AM
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You go to the gym once and leave your stuff there, and then you're like, fuck it, what's on TV?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:34 AM
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You use the locker once, then throw it away?

Yes. You pick a combination and it works for one use.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:35 AM
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I was a champion over-thinker of racial interactions when I was in high school and college, so maybe the story is only so funny to me because it would have sent me into a major tizzy a decade ago

Well, you clearly haven't overthought this! Only 5 paragraphs!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:37 AM
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But now I'm at peace with my overthinking of racial interactions.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:40 AM
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5: That's good. The "Oh my god, I'm overthinking this! Oh, my god, I'm overthinking this even more! Oh my god, I'm still overthinking this!" recursion can take up years of your life and when you snap out of it, you realize that you're old and you can't feel anything.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:55 AM
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I think I've mentioned this before, but one time I didn't challenge a guy I saw walking out of our office with a laptop because I wasn't sure if I would have suspected the laptop was stolen if he was a white guy. So, instead of saying anything, I checked to see if a laptop was missing and called the cops then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:57 AM
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Yeah, I calmed down a lot on this sort of issue when I gave myself permission to overthink. (That is, the bad bit for me was the realization "Oh my god, I'm overthinking this. That means I'm tense about racial issues, which means I'm a bad person!" Once I decided I wasn't going to beat myself up for being tense, life got easier.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:58 AM
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If I'm reading you right, your non-accusatory 'Hey, I think that's my locker' wouldn't have seemed like quite as big a deal if it had been a young, white, seemingly UMC person there?

My gym, a pretty run-down YMCA, seems to attract lots of people who are not quite normal: people puttering about the locker room for long (LONG) periods of time, carrying gym bags full of every kind of thing imaginable, striking up nonsensical conversations with everyone who crosses their paths. If I found one of these people trying to get into my locker, I would definitely feel a little awkward saying something.

So it sounds like a potentially awkward interaction in any instance where you feel there is some sort of distance between you and the person you're addressing. The question then is whether it's problematic that you automatically feel this distance between you and a black person. (Ditto for me and the people I perceive as weirdo-Cambridge-ladies.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:01 AM
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When I'm overthinking things, I comfort myself by remembering that most people dramatically underthink things.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:02 AM
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Also, this "distance between you and the person you're addressing" could be an age difference as well. I can definitely imagine a very polite teenage girl being really embarrassed at something like this, not being able to shrug it off as the not-a-big-deal it actually is.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:05 AM
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your non-accusatory 'Hey, I think that's my locker' wouldn't have seemed like quite as big a deal if it had been a young, white, seemingly UMC person there?

She was most likely UMC herself. And (at this age) I didn't actually find the interaction stressful. But it was mostly that Young Heebie would have stressed out over the possibility that she felt obligated to perform Unthreatening Black Person for me. Or something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:06 AM
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10 When I'm overthinking things, I comfort myself by remembering that most people dramatically underthink things.

And then I think "but self, that's not being very charitable, given your lack of information on others' internal lives," and then I think "but is it not possible to infer this based on their externally-visible behaviors?" and then I think....


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:07 AM
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Off to the dentist!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:08 AM
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So she was trying to break into the locker, right?


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:08 AM
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So, the guy who stole the laptop from my office was spared being yelled. Instead, he was arrested ten minutes later and charged with a felony that was sufficient for the DA to try to get him sent away as a habitual offender. (I don't know the final outcome.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:17 AM
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re: 13

You're making the baby Gilbert Ryle cry ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:21 AM
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the possibility that she felt obligated to perform Unthreatening Black Person for me

A couple weeks ago, walking home with groceries, a couple 10-year-old-ish black kids were coming towards me on the sidewalk, one on a bicycle, both eating popsicles. I gave them a fairly wide berth because I was carrying bulky bags and the kid on the bike was a little wobbly (riding one-handed, and slowly, to keep pace with his friend). The kid on foot dramatically puts his hands up and says to me, "it's okay sir, we're harmless, nothing to worry about," as if my stepping out of the way was somehow accusatory. Really threw me for a loop, and depressed me, that they read me that way.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:21 AM
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A supposedly street-wise* friend of mine has been robbed several times. A big part of that is, I'm fairly sure, that questioning people, or worrying about whether he might get mugged, or making sure that the people coming in to your party aren't smacked up thugs are all things he thinks of as ... unhip, something that a genuinely cool streetwise dude wouldn't do. End result, he gets robbed more often than even the dumbest and least streetwise person I know.

* self-identified, in fact.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:24 AM
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What's wrong with me that when I read this thread I feel the need to pick the low-hanging fruit and make a racist joke?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:29 AM
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19: I had a bit of a thing like that, when I lived in DC. It had nothing to do with being streetwise, though, so much as not wanting to seem . . . dunno . . . classist? I had a walk straight up to Capital Hill along Mass. Ave. and realized that, of the few folks I passed along the way, I was only smiling at/acknowledging in some way* the folks who were vaguely "like me," insofar as they looked more-or-less employed and non-homeless. So, I sought to counter this. I smiled at and/or said hello to every person I passed (not too many). This led to any number of strange happenings, like the park full of homeless men who greeted me each day as "Brooke Shields" and the crazy dude who hissed "Jewess!" at me ("Shalom to you, too" said I.)

*Hee. I realize many find this incomprehensible.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:34 AM
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Brooke Shields? That seems like a really odd celebrity resemblance to come up with, for a petite woman.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:37 AM
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I make eye contact and acknowledge everybody I notice, which is likely why I have many odd street interactions.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:40 AM
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This must be what it feels like to be a Republican.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:41 AM
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Crisis of the soul, Eggplant?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:43 AM
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24: Feels good, doesn't it? Sometimes when I feel a little down, I head down to the local drum circle and punch a hippie. Better than Prozac.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:43 AM
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Just a sudden awareness that I have no idea why I think it's funny to be an asshole in certain situations.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:45 AM
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22: Yep. I am like a foot shorter. I did have waist-length dark brown hair though. That's all I can think of.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:45 AM
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Well, when it is funny, that excuses everything.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:46 AM
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28: Do most people keep a mental note of Brooke Shields's height?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:46 AM
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She's 5'11".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:52 AM
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Everyone knows that Brooke Shields is 6 foot 8 and weighs a fucking ton.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:52 AM
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6'0" according to her website.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:52 AM
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I figured if you have a clear enough sense of Shields to nickname strangers after her, it's not unreasonable to expect that you'd know she's unusually tall. But apparently I'm wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:53 AM
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she's unusually tall

And how.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:57 AM
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What an odd photostream.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:58 AM
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29: From now on, any time I attempt a joke I'm going to imagine running it by my mom.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:59 AM
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Racist.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:05 AM
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I heard that Brooke Shields has like thirty goddamn feet.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:06 AM
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38 to Eggplant or heebie or all of us?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:06 AM
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36: Libero knows what he likes.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:07 AM
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40: Probably to me: my mom is a snow monkey, you see.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:10 AM
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18: Have I mentioned that I like the name potchkeh? My mother pronounces it potchky but I imagine it's the same word. I had never heard it from anyone else. There are a number of Yiddish words like that, i.e. I wondered if my family had made them up until I heard someone else use them.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:12 AM
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41: "Me too, son. Me too."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:16 AM
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For a while I performed my race anxiety by, when I needed to ask someone for directions, choosing someone non-white. I mean I didn't think it was going to save the world or get us a black president or anything.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:20 AM
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21: I like to be all friendly-like on the street, which has led to many annoying interactions (which I invited, obvs.) with men of various colors, classes, and housing. Then I learned to do the (silent) "how ya doing" nod. Problem largely solved!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:21 AM
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I like to be all friendly-like on the street

I don't, particularly, or didn't used to, but I always think about the guy from that New Yorker piece about people who committed suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, the one who left a note saying that if anyone smiled at him on the way there he wouldn't jump. Projecting friendliness doesn't come naturally to me, though, so I have to make an effort.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:32 AM
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48

I like to save my misanthropy for people I know.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:41 AM
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My mother pronounces it potchky but I imagine it's the same word. I had never heard it from anyone else.

Yes, my mother (and her parents) pronounced it that way too, as in "stop potchkying around!", which is about the only context I can think of hearing it myself.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:49 AM
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31, others: So, excepting the homeless, I'm the only one who didn't know Brooke Shields was tall.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:56 AM
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I'm reasonably friendly in my public interactions; in the offering-people-a-seat, helping carry buggies, being friendly to shopkeepers sort of way. But I do try to avoid conversations with crazy and/or drunk people if at all possible.

London is noticeably less friendly than Glasgow, of course.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:05 AM
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My gym, a pretty run-down YMCA, seems to attract lots of people who are not quite normal

I've never been to the Central Sq Y, so I'm not 100%, but I'm confident the downtown Berkeley YMCA has Cambridge beat for crazy. I was lucky if I could use a bathroom that didn't have anybody masturbating in it. This was when bluetooth first came out, making identification of the sane even more difficult.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:07 AM
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50: I did not either. In trying to figure how that may have been, I discovered somewhat more astonishingly that I don't believe I've ever seen any of the movies in which she has had a significant role.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:07 AM
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I was lucky if I could use a bathroom that didn't have anybody masturbating in it.

Is there a sign for the 'no masturbating' bathroom?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:14 AM
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52: I was lucky if I could use a bathroom that didn't have anybody masturbating in it.

Did you give a little fist pump of celebration when you found one?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:15 AM
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The NAACP/ Tea Party racist kerfuffle is somewhat mirrored by Heebie's overthinking the locker mishap. Has the accusation of racism lost it's sting?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:17 AM
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54 was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:17 AM
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52: That could very well be! Do they have a dormitory at the Berkeley one? Because that definitely brings people who wouldn't otherwise be living in that area and/or using the gym. At least the rail thin Nick-Nolte-mugshot lookalike who hangs out in front of the building has stopped trying to tell me about his novel as I lock and unlock my bike.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:18 AM
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In what way are they mirrored, TLL?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:19 AM
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My girlfriend takes pretty careful notice of what's a safe neighborhood and what isn't and pays a fair amount of attention to the homeless people who frequently hang out at a city block between the nearest metro stop and her apartment. At first this bugged me a little bit. Not that I thought she was significantly racist (at least, not consciously, but who knows, right?), just that it came across as kind of elitist or, worse, paranoid and overly cautious like my mother. After a couple of months, though, something else occurred to me, which I took as a relief: she continues to use walk that route. Another one would be no longer, just a different way along the grid, and safer, because it's a block closer to a police station and a block further from a homeless shelter, but she doesn't like to go that way because it's a steeper walk. So: aware of her surroundings, but treating unpleasant encounters as if they're a smaller problem than unpleasant hikes. Seems like a healthy perspective to me.

47
I don't, particularly, or didn't used to, but I always think about the guy from that New Yorker piece about people who committed suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, the one who left a note saying that if anyone smiled at him on the way there he wouldn't jump.

If I somehow knew someone had left such a note, it would dissuade me from smiling. They don't belong in the gene pool.

Actually, now that I Google the story and find out it's more or less true, that joke of mine is in horrible taste. No offense intended to Mr. Hines; he didn't deserve to go through what he was going through, and I'm glad he got help in the end. My real antipathy is aimed at people telling trite stories like that as if they are true and have some deep meaning when more often than not they are missing a detail that inverts the meaning, if they aren't simply, completely fabricated. For example. If the story in 47 wasn't sortakindamaybe true, I'd feel sorry for JMQ for having fallen for it.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:19 AM
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59. In broad terms the NAACP accused the "Tea Party" of being racist, or more specifically not calling out the racist elements that have poked up. "Tea Party" leaders, such as they are, did a quick internal check and determined"am not racist, so there". Much like our Heeb.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:22 AM
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58: No dorm in that building, but that part of Berkeley is more or less an open-air residential treatment facility anyway, so you get a similar vibe.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:27 AM
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49: That is the word's single usage. It exists in only one sentence, I think.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:28 AM
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47/60: I think about that story a lot too when I'm out on the street. Not that I am not a scowly, grumpy person, in general, but that thought does tend to attenuate my natural scowliness. The way I think about it though, it's not just people on the verge of suicide that need smiles. This civilization grinds and grinds and grinds until there's nothing left. One weapon we have is ridiculing the powerful. Another is our love and solidarity for each other. What better way to express that than yelling "Who wants to sex Mutuombo?!" offering a smile to the strangers you pass every day?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:30 AM
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64.last: Offering five dollars?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:33 AM
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In broad terms the NAACP accused the "Tea Party" of being racist, or more specifically not calling out the racist elements that have poked up. "Tea Party" leaders, such as they are, did a quick internal check and determined"am not racist, so there". Much like our Heeb.

So M/tch is the NAACP in your strained analogy?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:35 AM
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I started enjoying life a lot more when I began irrationally assuming that everyone around me was doing the best they can. It really only works if you're not interacting with them at all or only minimally, but for the thousands of strangers I pass in a day, I now think, "I bet she's a really good mom!" or "I bet he's just reading that shitty popfic book to take a break from all the heavy-duty stuff he reads at home!" Sometimes these fantasies are sort of elaborate.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:35 AM
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66: If we're playing pretend organizations, can I be the Trilateral Commission? I've always wanted to run the world.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:37 AM
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67: "I bet Dick Cheney is going to die before I do." It works, I feel better already.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:38 AM
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I look forward to heebie's screed about how the real racists are the black people who think every locker is theirs.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:38 AM
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Actually the shitty popfic thing comes from a real interaction I had on a plane on my way to a conference. A woman in my field and I were sat one seat apart from one another, and were chatting over a young black woman in a T-shirt reading some trashy pop book. My colleague started asking her, sort of condescendingly, about the book in a "good for you--you're a reader!" way. Turns out the young woman was a PhD in Astronomy from S. Africa who gets sent all over the world to make observations and is clearly a genius. Also, I read shit in my spare time, too; it's just old shit.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:40 AM
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71 me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:40 AM
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67: My trick is to assume that anytime someone inconveniences or irritates me there is a very good reason for their actions of which I am not aware. But it's a damn good reason, I assure you. This attitude takes the edge off a lot of little annoyances. When I can sustain it, that is.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:41 AM
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69: That only works if you add "and I'll get to shit on his headstone."


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:42 AM
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Also, I read shit in my spare time, too; it's just old shit.

Not really. It's like tea leaves or sheet entrails. You can see the future.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:42 AM
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"sheet" or "sheep", whichever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:42 AM
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67: "He only mugged me because it was the only to get the money to pay for his mom's hospital bills. In a couple of years he'll go to great lengths to track me down to apologize and give me back my money with interest."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:43 AM
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68: As long as I get to be a Beautiful Building.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:43 AM
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Time to do the laundry, Moby.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:44 AM
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I read pretty trashy urban fantasy, AWB, if you need another example of an overeducated someone reading trash in public.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:44 AM
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43 - what, like "spatula"?

70 - well, they do all look the same. (Apart from the ones with stars on their bellies stickers.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:45 AM
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I have yet to be mugged. I have, however, been accosted at 4am by strangers on the street who thought it would be a good time to, say, grab a girl's arm from behind and say hi. In this case, smiling and saying a pleasant "no thanks" seems to do well.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:46 AM
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82: "I'm sure he didn't mean to do it. He just couldn't help himself because I'm so completely irresistible."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:48 AM
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I thought analogies were "banned"? My point was more does an accusation of racism, even if in internal monologue, become neutralized if one determines "nope, not me". And not in a "some of my best friends are..." kind of way.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:48 AM
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The last two books I read in public before the current one were this and this, which tended either to make people talk to me or scooch subtly away.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:50 AM
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||
I'm on a phone call with my co-workers, who are creating a digest/aggregator of climate change news specifically for water in CA. They are proposing all sorts of added editorial value, including bonus posts written by people in the office, and completely discounting the time this will take to run. They're proposing that it be someone's additional task, not job description.

I've mentioned twice that the good ones that already exist are someone's full time job, but they will not hear. Also, people who aren't interested in blogging do not write suddenly write good posts. Worst, they refer to a one-off post as a "blog", which I feel all snobby about.
|>


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:50 AM
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83: More like "It's such a lovely night. I hope everyone had as nice of a time as I did this evening. Oh hi, neighbor, also out at this fine quiet hour!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:52 AM
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And not in a "some of my best friends are..." kind of way.

The Tea Partier's deniers are exactly in a "some of my best friends" way.

And yes, analogies are banned. I'm still going to respond to an insulting analogy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:53 AM
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Also, people who aren't interested in blogging do not write suddenly write good posts.

Mouseover text?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:54 AM
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I read pretty trashy urban fantasy

Is there any other kind? I mean, other than Little, Big.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:54 AM
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85: Are they as good as they sound from the blurbs?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:55 AM
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Speaking of racism, this Shirley Sherrod NAACP story is just depressing the hell out of me today. Our political dialogue is so screwed and the administration response certainly is not necessarily helping.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:57 AM
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This really doesn't have anything to do with racism, because everybody involved was white, but gender clearly matters in street interactions. Once my wife was behind me a few yards, putting our then-toddler into a stroller. A rough looking guy walked right past me and then asked my wife for bus fare. I think he figured a woman alone with a baby would be very likely to give him money out of fear without him having to cross the line into "mugging."

Anyway, I don't think the guy realized we were together and I know he didn't realize that I had turned around and was right behind him. He ran away as soon as I asked him if he needed something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:59 AM
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The Tea Partier's deniers are exactly in a "some of my best friends" way.

More of a "black people are the *real* racists" way, at least in the most recent dust-up.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:00 PM
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91: The Sorrows of Satan was, when it came out, the most popular novel ever written, and DW Griffith even made a movie of it. It's spectacular and marvelously shitty all at the same time. Oscar Wilde was a fan of hers. It's an evangelical gothic satire on the publishing industry. I taught it recently and my students were divided between thinking it was the shittiest book they'd ever read or the best book they'd ever read. It has its charms.

The Blood of the Vampire is complete crap, and probably one of the most racist things I've ever read. But if you're into shitty pre-Dracula vampire stories, you could do worse.

The hard thing about gothic novels is pretty much all of them are racist, misogynistic, and, from a certain perspective, terribly written, but they're addictive anyway, in an OMG-no-she-didn't way.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:01 PM
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/em


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:02 PM
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The Tea Partier's deniers are exactly in a "some of my best friends" way

Sez you. While I am sure there are people who attend the tea party rallies who harbor uncertainties about race, it seems to me more about uncontrolled government spending, an that neither political party has demonstrated the necessary fiscal restraint while in power. If you want to make the argument that "fiscal restraint" is code for "not spending money on darkies", be my guest, but I think there was more agitation at the Wall Street bailout, a place not exactly known for color.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:02 PM
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"Tea Party" leaders, such as they are, did a quick internal check and determined"am not racist, so there"

Actually, they did a quick check, and announced that the NAACP has made more money off of racism than any slave trader, and that colored people don't really like freedom because then they have to work for real.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:05 PM
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uncertainties about race

Did you read the Mark Williams letter?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:09 PM
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who harbor uncertainties about race

I don't think this guy's much uncertain.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:10 PM
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If you want to make the argument that "fiscal restraint" is code for "not spending money on darkies", be my guest

The current dust-up involved a prominent Tea Partier who came up with the following gem (in the form of a mock letter from a "colored" person to Abraham Lincoln):

Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government "stop raising our taxes." That is outrageous! How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?

Admittedly, not so much with the subtleties of coding here.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:13 PM
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To be fair, there's probably also a lot of studied ignorance of the racism of one's fellow Party-goers.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:15 PM
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Just about everybody in the U.S. is racist. Some people are just more introspective about it. Some people resist it more than others. And some people are definitely "more racist" than others, meaning they have greater depth of their racist feeling - but to find a truly non-racist person, you're going to have to find someone who grew up in a backwoods far, far away... from the oppressive racist stories we're all taught about each other.

What I'd like to know is, if you're sitting around worrying about whether you might be a racist (like Heeb) what race are you likely to be? If you're living in the race-relationally dysfunctional U.S., I will wager that the relationship between your race and your likelihood for stewing on this is nonrandom. That's because even the dialog about racism in this country is racist.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:15 PM
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OK, I may not be expressing myself well here, because you all want to talk about whether the "Tea Party" is racist. My point is that while obviously this Williams guy has some issues, and has since been "kicked out", does it even matter if the rest don't see themselves as racist. At the rick of another bad analogy, I see this as kind of a "good Germans" question.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:18 PM
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I see this as kind of a "good Germans" question.

I was very happy to learn that the guy who just moved onto my street is Danish. I'd thought he was German.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:23 PM
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Some of my best friends are Germans.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:24 PM
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Some of my casual offensive statements mock Germans.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:25 PM
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The Germans did not go on a casual offensive, Moby. It was Blitzkrieg.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:29 PM
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it seems to me more about uncontrolled government spending, an that neither political party has demonstrated the necessary fiscal restraint while in power.

So where were the Tea Partiers between 2000 and 2008? Why weren't they outraged and holding demonstrations then?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:29 PM
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I don't even see Germany.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:29 PM
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A rough looking guy walked right past me and then asked my wife for bus fare. I think he figured a woman alone with a baby would be very likely to give him money out of fear without him having to cross the line into "mugging."

Man do I detest aggressive panhandling, particularly in areas where people are a captive audience. People should be able to ride mass transit and such without getting hassled.

With regard to the OP, I've had some moments where I totally wonder to myself if my perception of someone I've stopped is influenced by race. AFAICT, I haven't actually done this though. Briefly had the thought on a stop just a few weeks ago but that turned into "suspended DL plus multiple aliases with felony warrants for agg assault and forgery, and oh hai here's the crack you stuffed under the seat as I was pulling you over."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:30 PM
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113.1: We were just on the sidewalk, getting out of the car.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:32 PM
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112 to 111.1:


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:32 PM
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"...suspended DL plus multiple aliases with felony warrants for agg assault and forgery, and oh hai here's the crack you stuffed under the seat as I was pulling you over."

You're allowed to search the car without a warrant?



Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:33 PM
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"suspended DL plus multiple aliases with felony warrants for agg assault and forgery, and oh hai here's the crack you stuffed under the seat as I was pulling you over."

Yeah, but I'm white, so we're cool, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:33 PM
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suspended DL plus multiple aliases with felony warrants for agg assault and forgery

First read that as "egg assault."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:33 PM
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So where were the Tea Partiers between 2000 and 2008?

Same place they'll be as soon as the Republican Party regains power.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:33 PM
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95: I'm pretty sure there's an allusion to The Sorrows of Satan in Ulysses. That's what I've been trying to read on the bus lately. Talk about embarrassing.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:36 PM
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So where were the Tea Partiers between 2000 and 2008? Why weren't they outraged and holding demonstrations then?

Slowly waking up to the fact that the Republicans that they had elected were no better if not worse than the Democrats. If it were just partisan bickering about control, there wouldn't be the need for a "new" party.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:36 PM
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Same place they'll be as soon as the Republican Party regains power.

I believe you are wrong about this, but I have been wrong before and will be again. So you're probably pretty safe.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:38 PM
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119: And yet paler and perhaps coincidentally also less enraging.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:38 PM
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And yet paler and perhaps coincidentally also less enraging

True, but extremely frustrating to disagree with a certain President's policies and be labeled racist. What, I can't disagree now? How does that show respect?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:41 PM
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You're allowed to search the car without a warrant?

Arizona v. Gant has made this a bit touchier, but there was a couple ways to get into that car. He was the only occupant and doesn't have a valid DL. So during the impound you can look through the car for an inventory prior to impound.

Driving on a suspended DL, not having your DL in your possession, etc. are misdemeanors. So he can be arrested and searched on that alone. However, the Gant case states I can't search the car incident to arrest on that type of violation. There's no way further evidence of a traffic crime is going to be located in that search. But, initial search found a crack pipe on his person. Search incident to arrest of the vehicle for further drug evidence is kosher.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:42 PM
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118: I believe this is true. Pretty much everyone read it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:43 PM
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119: At least part of them must have been upset enough to stay home or switch parties, give how the 2008 elections happened. I thought the bailout was what doomed McCain, not that he had a great chance before.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:46 PM
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124: Like Dan Brown?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:46 PM
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126: I disagree. My sense is that nearly all the Tea Partiers voted for McCain. There just aren't that many of them.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:49 PM
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127: More so, because she was read by most intelligent people, too. The reviews are vicious, but the Queen loved her books, the fashionable set loved her books, the general public loved her books, women, men... there's something for everyone, except Jews. She's anti-Semitic, sort of like Wilde or Stoker.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:50 PM
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I wouldn't read Ulysses in a public place as my pretentiousness meters would blow a fuse. I wouldn't read Ulysses in a private place because I'm not smart enough.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:53 PM
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The other thing is that Williams isn't just one random Tea Party dude. The Tea Party Express was a very visible organizing platform. It still may be one in the future. I don't know what Williams is going to do now, but I don't think he's going to slink away from politics.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:54 PM
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128: That would depend on the definition of "Tea Partier," I suppose. There are definitely Republicans who were concerned about government spending before 2008, not that this group didn't have its own problems (see Paul, Ron).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:56 PM
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nearly all the Tea Partiers voted for McCain. There just aren't that many of them.

Exactly. And nearly all of the Tea Partiers will vote for the Republican nominee in 2012 and 2016.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:56 PM
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True, but extremely frustrating to disagree with a certain President's policies and be labeled racist.

The point is that it seems to be "a certain President" that has the Tea Partiers so motivated, not the actual policies, since they weren't vocal and organized about the exact same issues when Bush was in office.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:56 PM
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I felt that way the first time I read Paradise Lost in public, though now I don't mind it. I still won't read the Bible in public, and I think with Ulysses I broke the spine so it wasn't all "I'm reading Ulysses on the train."

Nowadays I only take extra care to cover the front of my book if I think someone might try to talk to me about it. Nabokov provokes comments. Zizek does not.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 12:57 PM
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I have a copy of Ulysses on the back of my toilet as a little joke. Um, but it's also there because I'm just fucking never going to read it.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:03 PM
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The number got all messed up, so responding in general. As Emerson, pbuh, constantly pointed out there hadn't been a Republican administration that had shown fiscal restraint since Eisenhower. But that doesn't mean that individual Republican party members didn't think that fiscal restraint was unimportant. Pork is not something new, nor is it a case of not having"your" guy (or gal) being the one doling it out. It may be that the deficits and trade imbalances just look scarier now because of the absolute numbers, when a case can be made that as a percentage of GDP they are not that bad.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:04 PM
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133: You think it would be different if Hillary won?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:05 PM
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135: I used to keep old anthologies of Letterman's Top 10 lists on the back of the toilet. Then, I got married.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:08 PM
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129: I actually feel almost exactly like that.

But for some reason I've always assumed that someday I would read Ulysses, and I'm not getting any younger, so I resolved to do it this year.
For the first 5 months of the year I just read it at home, and was reading other books on the bus and at lunch. By June, I realized I was not quite up to page 100 of Ulysses and so I decided if I was going to do this I had to take it out in public.

I have made quite a bit more progress, but I'm also falling asleep a lot on the bus.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:10 PM
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135: Replace with Tristram Shandy. Better toilet reading, shorter chapters, no plot, more fun, instant joy. You'll look forward to shitting even more than usual.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:10 PM
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137: Some of the signs would be different, certainly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:10 PM
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When I was a kid, my mum parked near a shop in town and ran in to get something. While she was there a completely other woman got into the car and tried to start it, not noticing me (I was 9 or 10?) at in the back. After a short while* gazing at the back of her head** I said "Excuse me, this isn't your car." She started violently, glanced back at me -- and ran out of the car without saying anything.*** When my mum got back, I didn't tell her what had happened. Then or ever.****

*Presumably only a few seconds though it seemed an absurdly long time. I think I was thinking "Something must be going on here that I don't understand, because this is a grown-up and I'm not. Grown-ups don't make mistakes like this."
**I always sat in the back. I was playing celebrity and chauffeur or something.
***Maybe she said something. But I don't remember if she did.
****I often don't tell people about strange stuff. I wasn't alarmed; it just seemed pointless alarming her.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:11 PM
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140: Yeah, but Ulyssees doesn't have a plot either, does it?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:12 PM
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Some of the signs would be different, certainly

"Iron my shirt"?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:12 PM
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You'll look forward to shitting even more than usual.

That just isn't possible.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:14 PM
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143: Kidney, funeral, jerking off, getting drunk, not getting laid. Something about shitting, something about singing, something about personals ads and a pen pal. It's a takeoff on Tristram Shandy's pointlessness, but it's much more beholden to the unities of time, place, and action than TS.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:16 PM
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I'm going to Dublin next week so I guess I'd better start pretending to like Joyce.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:17 PM
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147: Hey, maybe I am understanding it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:21 PM
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145: I was thinking of saying the exact opposite. I always try to remember who it was, a dying novelist or poet I think, who was interviewed by the New Yorker near the end and his response to the encroaching darkness was "at least I'll never have to take another shit." And he probably didn't even have Ulysses sneering at him from the back of the john.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:21 PM
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148 to 146.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:22 PM
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149: He probably didn't get enough fiber or got too much fiber. Or had really ugly tile in the bathroom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:24 PM
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Or ugly piles in the "back room."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:26 PM
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I dated a Joyce scholar for a few years who really hated it when I talked about Ulysses being "about" what happens in it, because it's "about" the history of the English language and culture and blah blah blah. But for an 18c-ist, reading for plot is the point. It's funny to me when modern/postmodern types pick up Tristram Shandy and see it somehow as postmodern already, reading with clean, detached, ironic humor or whatever. To an 18c-ist, Tristram Shandy isn't "about" language; it's about love and death and desire for meaning and connection and all that sentimental stuff.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:29 PM
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Back on topic, kind of in response to 103: I think endless introspection on the theme of "Am I a racist?!" is unproductive, but I do wonder this: was it better to have no thoughts anyone would label racist, to speak of, back when I lived in places where I mostly interacted with people who looked more or less like me?* Or to live now where I interact with a much broader range of people and, because people are often a drag and because some instinct in my rotten brain wants to blame it on something, have some unbidden racist thoughts that I feel bad about, and to be aware of these and try to be diligent about not making them the basis of decisions and actions? Obviously from my verbal handsprings I feel the latter is preferable but also mortifying.

*ok usually taller


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:31 PM
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I'm going to Dublin next week so I guess I'd better start pretending to like Joyce.
Did your friend succeed in not being deported? and any interest in meeting up for a drink?
I have yet to read Ulysses, except bits of the first chapter. I should just bring it on holidays and read for entertainment.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:38 PM
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back when I lived in places where I mostly interacted with people who looked more or less like me

Tribalism is a pretty strong feeling, with a long history. In some ways I feel we have come further in the United States because "race" issues were the original sin of our creation, so we have dealing with it since day one. Not much fun being a Korean in Japan, or even an ethnic Okinawan to this day.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:39 PM
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Obviously from my verbal handsprings I feel the latter is preferable but also mortifying.

Am I right in remembering that back in the primaries, Obama did better among white voters in states where the minority population was tiny? That is, it seemed as if the absence of day-to-day racist thoughts coming from not being around anyone of a different race, turned into an increased willingness to vote for a black candidate.

Not sure where to go with this, but I found it interesting at the time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:40 PM
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But for an 18c-ist, reading for plot is the point.

But you said that Tristram Shandy doesn't have a plot. But, then you also said it was pointless.

I think I'm confused.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:40 PM
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155: Yes, let's! My friend's job decided to get him a green card, so he's not being deported. I'll be in town from July 30 to the morning of August 4.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:41 PM
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I wouldn't read Ulysses in a public place as my pretentiousness meters would blow a fuse.

I was reading it one summer when I was in school, and had it with me on a flight back here. I had a momentary panic on the cab ride from the airport when I thought that I'd left it sitting on the curb, but the cab driver pointed to it in the back seat and said, "I wouldn't leave Ulysses." Portland, you know.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:45 PM
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I actually tried to read Clarissa a few months ago when I found a cheap copy on remainder. Could not get past page 20, let alone to page one zillion. On this basis I have concluded that all 18th C English Literature except Tom Jones sucks it big time, but that's probably unfair.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:46 PM
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158: Sorry, that was confusing. What TS is doing by refusing to have a plot or a point is forcing a sort of psychological analysis of the process by which love, longing, fear, and narrative itself happens. That is, I think it's in earnest about those things, and intends to be genuinely moving, but by coming at all those problems from the inside out. When 20c-oriented readers pick it up, they tend to assume it's all gimmick, and a joke at the expense of sentiment. Anyone who's read A Sentimental Journey or any of Sterne's sermons knows this is completely absurd.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:47 PM
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The place of Ulysses in popular culture ( "Time was when Ulysses rejoiced in the reputation of being the world's filthiest book") has fascinated me since at some point as a kid I figured out that the lines from Allan Sherman's "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" (And the head coach wants no sissies, So he reads to us from something called "Ulysses") did not refer to the Homeric Ulysses.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:47 PM
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Slowly waking up to the fact that the Republicans that they had elected were no better if not worse than the Democrats. If it were just partisan bickering about control, there wouldn't be the need for a "new" party.

A new Republican party, consisting of Republicans who want Republicans to be in charge of everything, and led by leaders of the Republican party! Truly exciting.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:51 PM
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I actually tried to read Clarissa a few months ago when I found a cheap copy on remainder. Could not get past page 20, let alone to page one zillion. On this basis I have concluded that all 18th C English Literature except Tom Jones sucks it big time, but that's probably unfair.

Comity!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:53 PM
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162: But he was trying to be funny, right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 1:55 PM
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When will you be in London AWB? Can we have a AWB European meet-ups post?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:03 PM
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137: 133: You think it would be different if Hillary won?

Well, I do. I recall how, during the primaries, it was all about Hill getting the white vote, and all the white people complaining about Obama. I'm certain the Republicans would have lost their minds over having a woman in the White House, but I don't think they would have lost it nearly as badly and not at all in the same way as they've lost it over having a black guy in the White House.

For one thing, we wouldn't be hearing about welfare cheats and the like.

max
['We also wouldn't be hearing about the NAACP all the time either.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:05 PM
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Man do I detest aggressive panhandling, particularly in areas where people are a captive audience. People should be able to ride mass transit and such without getting hassled.

Hmmm. Hassled. Hassles. Hasslass. Hourglass. I've known a man or two. Or three. Ask money for me, take money for me. In a suit, on the street, what else would you want it to be?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:12 PM
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166: Sure! Back then you could be funny and not despise humanity. I guess there's something really boring to me about the kind of reader who says, "Oh, it's just a joke," as in something being funny can't also care, even in a literal sense, about the object of the joke.

167: July 27-30th! I know it's a short window. When is best for the Londoners?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:13 PM
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For one thing, we wouldn't be hearing about welfare cheats and the like.

I'm hearing a great deal less about welfare cheats than any other time in my life. I suspect it is because nearly everybody now knows somebody getting food stamps or unemployment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:15 PM
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I know it's a short window.

Brook Shields will need to use the door.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:16 PM
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171 gets it right. The various appeals to racism being used by national conservative leaders now are more blatant now than they were 20 years ago.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:17 PM
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The various appeals to racism being used by national conservative leaders now are more blatant now than they were 20 years ago.

I'm afraid I don't agree. But maybe you see something I don't.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:22 PM
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172 When god opens a door, he shoves Brooke Shields through a too small window, isn't that what they say? Or was it "when life hands you Brooke Shields, make enough lemonade for a really tall person?"


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:23 PM
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Just in! This seems like the perfect FOX news exclusive for a discussion of racism and the Teabagging right. It has everything. Big, illegal, Mexican women who roll around in Jello are aiding coulda-be terrorists on American soil! Oh, FOX. You're like a Weekly World News written by Birchers and owned by the rich and powerful.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:24 PM
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I, too, am hearing a great deal less about welfare cheats than any other time in my life, but that's because I am trying my utmost to become Pauline Kael.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:34 PM
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176: If you're going to tease an actual news story using "women who roll around in Jello," you need to take some steps to avoid crushing disappointment for those clicking on the story. A simple "No good photos" or something would be nice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:37 PM
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I'm afraid I don't agree.

Twenty years ago, the local Senate powers were Jesse helms and Strom Thurmond, whose seats are now occupied by Kay Hagan and Lindsey Graham. So it seems less blatant now to me, but then I had one of the best seats in the house for watching open racism.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:40 PM
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178: crushing disappointment for those clicking on the story

Pervert.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:40 PM
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28 (Wed) and 30 (Fri) less good for me, tho neither is impossible. 27, 29 fine. Shall we move to a less tense thread to wrangle this? (Hint hint to Unf'd upper godlayer...)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:41 PM
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one of the best seats in the house for watching open racism

Exactly. Far be it from me to declare racism dead, but more blatant than twenty years ago? Umm, no.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:42 PM
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I agree with 179 and 182. I'm not sure how 173 came from 171.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:46 PM
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I'll be in Dublin by the evening of the 30th. I'd stay in London longer, but it's my old bandmate's birthday.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:47 PM
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Big, illegal, Mexican women who roll around in Jello are aiding coulda-be terrorists on American soil!

I wonder who the genius was who decided to bring these guys to the land of the big PX? They couldn't team them English a little closer to home?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:51 PM
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I have no wish to get into the racism conversation, although the anonymous vaguely trolly comment far upthread about how even the conversations about race in the US are racist is absolutely correct. (Which doesn't mean, as you know, Bob, that racism occurs because we are bad people but rather because of structures, etc etc...)

I just want to say that I have read The Sorrows of Satan! Actually, just after I bought it along with a couple of other used books, one of the hipster graduate students I used to know got all excited and said (I thought) that she'd really been wanting to read it. I was enthused, but then it turned out that she was pointing to Nightwood which I'd also purchased, is far more hipster-y and which I still have not read.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:53 PM
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171: I'm hearing a great deal less about welfare cheats than any other time in my life.

In reference to welfare cheats being black is what I should have said. I'm hearing a constant litany of complaints (in news sources online) about blacks getting handouts.

max
['Like that guy in SC complaining about animals.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:57 PM
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Defoe is great, and Fielding's less famous work is nice as well.

Gibbon, maybe Hazlitt-- not fiction, but better than anything the airport bookstore has.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 2:58 PM
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In reference to welfare cheats being black

They're having to share the spotlight with all those Spanish-speaking welfare cheats now, I gather.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:02 PM
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You act as if it would be wrong to use your welfare money at the strip club


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:07 PM
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190: Where else is the velocity of money faster?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:13 PM
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I'm not saying there are no articles about welfare cheats now. Just that we've been through Reagan's cuts and welfare reform. The current climate is not adverse to welfare by recent standards.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:15 PM
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I am childfree on Tuesday 27th - trying to persuade C to come out with us, but if he says no, then I'm going to stay at home for an early night IYKWIMAITYD. Thursday 29th is fine.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:16 PM
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Do you mean dress-up games, Asilon?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:24 PM
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Last time I tried out the Harry Potter Dementor costume. I'm not sure it was a complete success. I thought I might go for the pantomime horse next week.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:31 PM
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Don't you need another for the panto horse? Aren't you a feminist?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:34 PM
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Oooh, C says interviews with architects are Tuesday morning not Wednesday as he thought, so he's free to come out to play on Tuesday evening (27th) - so let's make it then, if that works for others?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:41 PM
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Thursday works for me!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:45 PM
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No, Tuesday!!! (Or Thursday.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:51 PM
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198 -> 197?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:51 PM
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Oh shit sorry I'm illiterate. Yes, Tuesday should be fine! I'll try to get a nap in during the day so I'll be slightly fun.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:53 PM
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I haven't checked yet, but I'm pretty sure I'm free on the 27th.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 3:57 PM
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You'll be fine AWB, you'll be wanting to stay up all night.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 4:06 PM
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You'll definitely want to stay up until the pantomime horse part.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 4:15 PM
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Horses don't really have a part. The mane is more of a comb-over.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 4:18 PM
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188:Doesn't anybody read poetry anymore? 18c British poetry has slightly alien sentiments, but it flows so clearly.

My little tastes of Goldsmith and Johnson in the last year were wonderful. I have also read some Keats and metaphysicals. Rochester, of course. Modernists don't count. HD.

But Digby on Shirley Sherrod is more on topic.

I once asked a young black female neighbor if she knew anything about my stolen stereo. I'm still ashamed.

Is this be the only admitted confessed act or thought of racism in this entire thread of white Americans? I am so unworthy of y'all.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 4:54 PM
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Bob, did you ever read E.P.Thompson's book on Blake? ("Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law") -- I think it would appeal to you enormously.

(Everyone else should read it also.)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 5:03 PM
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Though I'm not so intrepid as Bob, I will admit to being alone in a friend's Brooklyn apartment about five years ago and hesitating to open the door for the black neighbors out of residual (implicitly racialized) New York paranoia.


Posted by: President Jefferson | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 5:11 PM
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Horses don't really have a part

Oh, the males do. Emphatically.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 5:12 PM
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OT: My health insurance company has just sent me a courteous letter informing me that the terms of my contract have changed: they now reserve the right to increase my premium at any point during the course of the contract.

I am without words.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 5:34 PM
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Another DC story! An absolutely sketchy-looking (none too clean, super shabby clothes) black guy came to my door and demanded I open it. Nope! I said. Me: What do you want? He: I need to get through to the backyard. Um, not going to happen, I said. Finally, and he made his disgust and frustration known, he pulled out his badge. Undercover cop there to bust my drug dealer neighbor!
(True Fact: I am morally certain I would not have acceded to any stranger's request to "cut through" my apartment.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 5:46 PM
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210: I am moved to remark "That can't be legal!" but my naiveté shocks even me.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 5:47 PM
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212: Same here. I really don't understand.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 5:53 PM
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213: www.mdinsurance.state.md.us is the insurance regulating agency. I would talk to them. There may not be any point, but still.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 5:58 PM
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I saw that Mark Williams letter on CNN yesterday afternoon. I was on line at my bank in Bed-Stuy, where I was the only white person. So, so embarrassing. What do you do? (I went with a worried head-shake.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:01 PM
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214: Hm. In my current state of spluttering "What? What??" I'd immediately thought along those lines. This is freakin' Blue Cross (of MD). Dunno whether to talk to the regulatory agency or my insurance broker or what. Methinks the company is expecting that everyone will meekly fold.

Thanks, oud. Let me get my ducks in a row, and think. I'm not in a position to switch insurance plans.

I imagine we might be seeing more of this kind of thing. Shocking, right?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:13 PM
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210: they now reserve the right to increase my premium at any point during the course of the contract.

Yay. Just getting in ahead of the ACA insurance regulations. Lovely.

216: Shocking, right?

Unbelievable.

max
['It would be a shame if something happened to your free market, wouldn't it?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:26 PM
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217: Hi, babe. Yeah. I'd have thought that Blue Cross would be a little less craven, or less blatant, anyway. It's difficult to know whether this is a straightforward case of sneaking in under the wire, or whether it's a function of the fact that I myself have actually been using my insurance lately; I have what's essentially individual coverage (technically a small-group plan, but I'm the only one in the group). Motherfuckers, I must say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:33 PM
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I was on line at my bank in Bed-Stuy,

That clause makes me feel unsophisticated. First, "on line" instead of "in line" is so continental. Second, to indicate that he might be crazy, Billy Joel had only to let us know that he walked through Bed-Stuy alone. It is apparently as insane as riding a motorcycle in the rain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:45 PM
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Bed-Stuy has changed a lot in the last ten years. It's still predominantly black, though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:51 PM
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First, "on line" instead of "in line" is so continental New York City.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:55 PM
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I guess I could rule out Billy Joel as a futurist except that Allentown is still in trouble.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:55 PM
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"Continental"? I have no idea what that would mean in this context.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:56 PM
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221: Is it really? I guess I associated it with England, but I have spent much more time in England than NYC. Of course, England isn't exactly continental either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:57 PM
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224 was written before 223. Yes, I fucked that one up. I should have just said "English" or "British."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:59 PM
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224: It might be more broadly New England, but I've only ever heard it in NYC or from New Yorkers. Somewhere in the archives is an extensive comment thread about this issue.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 6:59 PM
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Here's one.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:02 PM
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In my little bit of ingrained racism slash natural urban fear, I was once walking home from the subway in the late nineties around two in the morning. A young black guy came out right behind me, followed, made both turns, stopped with me at my door and caught the building door as I walked in. At that point, as he followed me up the stairs, I was feeling rather scared. He stopped next to me as I got to my apartment door... and knocked on my next door neighbours one to be greeted as a friend. On the other hand, in Poland, whenever I saw non-whites on a night bus I'd sit close to them. Drunk Polish young men, particularly with shaved or very close cut heads were to be avoided.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:03 PM
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206, do not be ashamed. Those people know music and can advise you on an upgrade-replacement unit.


Posted by: S. Silverman. | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:04 PM
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I think of "on line" as a localism: just as you say "on [rather than in] Long Island" or "on Nantucket". Of course those are both islands; therefore one is "on" them.

"On line" in this case is a continentalism a New York thing. Possibly people should begin to say "on queue." Just to mess things up.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:06 PM
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227: It's like all the same people. Weird.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:08 PM
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More Shirley Sherrod a wonderful heroic woman, father killed by KKK but she is without bitterness or prejudice, and today ratfucked by Obama persons unknown infused with a particularly interesting management ethos...FDL thread posted for the wise and objective comments

Jeremiah Wright, Van Jones, Acorn, Shirley Sherrod. Are there more? All black, all thrown under the bus with trivial and unjust excuses under pressure. There is a pattern emerging.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:25 PM
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226: I certainly hope you aren't implying that New York is part of New England, Stanley.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:26 PM
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233: We were politely ignoring that, Tweety.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:28 PM
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233: I don't even see regions.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:29 PM
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Although, there is a colorable argument that New York is conceptually a part of New England. Where is York? England. So where is New York? Duh, New England.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:33 PM
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New York is Mid-Atlantic, no? Which makes Pittsburgh part of the same region as NYC. Except that it isn't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:33 PM
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Any definition that puts NYC and the rest of the state of New York in the same region is clearly wrong.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:35 PM
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236: yes, yes, and Charlottesville gets fucked by Georgetown.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:36 PM
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'towns and 'villes can't mate, Tweety. Don't be ridiculous.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:37 PM
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New York is Mid-Atlantic, no?

? No.

I observe that Stanley is practicing his legal terms: a colorable argument, indeed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:40 PM
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In that case, what region is New York in? Colorably or not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:41 PM
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New Holland.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:42 PM
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NYC and Philadelphia belong to a region known as "Greater New Jersey".

The rest of the states of NY and PA belong to a region known as "Appalachia".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:43 PM
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242: the Rhineland.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:43 PM
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Unreal America. We're a figment of your imagination.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:43 PM
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Wiki says I'm right, not that 244 doesn't seem more correct.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:44 PM
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244: Everything's greater than New Jersey.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:44 PM
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218: It's difficult to know whether this is a straightforward case of sneaking in under the wire, or whether it's a function of the fact that I myself have actually been using my insurance lately; I have what's essentially individual coverage (technically a small-group plan, but I'm the only one in the group). Motherfuckers, I must say.

Pure profiteering, I imagine. There must be something in the law about not changing contracts after the ACA goes into effect so they're changing the contracts now to get maximum flexibility. Plus: you used your insurance you bad girl you. Bad parsimon! Insurance isn't meant to be used, it's meant to insure.

max
['The Good Wife is almost on.']


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:46 PM
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I'm inordinately amused by totallylookslike.com tonight. I also have a splitting headache. I'm not sure if these things are correlated.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:47 PM
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237: it's not like Waterbury, Connecticut and Presque Isle, Maine have all that much to do with each other. (Presque Isle obviously being the Pittsburgh of New England.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:48 PM
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I had brunch in Stamford, CT once. Other than that, I've never been to New England.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:49 PM
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Know where there's another Presque Isle?

In Wisconsin.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:49 PM
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'The Good Wife is almost on.'

I love that show (even if it is wrong about Chicago in nearly every particular).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 7:51 PM
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If pressed, I'd put Philadelphia with the mid-Atlantic, principally for architectural similarities: it *looks* and feels somewhat the same as Baltimore and DC, at least in terms of rowhouses. Climate similar, roughly; racial makeup similar.

Things get strange once you get closer to the Mason-Dixon line. Still, Philly? Mid-Atlantic, not New York environs.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:00 PM
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I'm still unclear on where you think NY fits in, parsimon.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:04 PM
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New York is part of New Jersey. Southern parts of Connecticut are also part of this. (Or, NY is sui generis.)

Seriously, though, I'm going quite a bit by climate and topography, I realize. There's a point at which, when driving north through CT, you've crossed a line: you're into New England now. There are more and different trees, there are more hills, the land is rockier, the air is cooler, and things are more mellow. You have arrived.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:10 PM
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You have arrived

NOW GET OUT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SWAMP YANKEE | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:17 PM
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257: Moving west from the Midwest into the west-west you get more of a transition zone than a line. Or maybe that is just me as I was raised near where the line must be if there is a line.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:20 PM
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254: I love that show (even if it is wrong about Chicago in nearly every particular).

It's turning into one of my favorites. But it should be wrong about Chicago since the show is filmed in New York. >!<

max
['They got a goodie tonight.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:21 PM
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||

On the recently discussed topic of Rudolf "Fucking Looney Toon" Steiner.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:30 PM
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NOW GET OUT.

Hey. I belong, Yankee. New Englanders aren't unfriendly -- that's a myth. You just have to, you know, get it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:31 PM
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261: If driving around in a truck with a freshly severed bovine head that you are going to use for some kind of gardening homeopathy is loony, then I don't want to be sane.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:40 PM
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I don't think that's how homeopathy works. Homeopathy would be fertilizing your garden with 1 part in a trillion of cow shit.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:43 PM
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264: one part in a million of cow head, but yeah, that's pretty much the gist of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:45 PM
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253: In Wisconsin.

Also Pennsylvania and Michigan. Climbed the lighthouse at the latter on my childhood nostalgia vacation last year. (It was so windy at the top that it blew my camera case off the narrow walkway. Later on the grounds I found fiv my camera case.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:47 PM
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I'm hearing a great deal less about welfare cheats than any other time in my life.

Moby, are you sure you live in PA?

(This is mostly a joke, as the story is not about welfare per se; the link goes to series of news stories about Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett's claim that people are choosing to stay on unemployment rather than take jobs offered to them. The irony is that I actually know three real-life examples of this phenomenon, and I still think Corbett is pandering, trolling, bigoted, and overall wrong.)

Anyway, I didn't know how tall Brooke Shields was either. I probably would have said short/average (5'4" ish) unless I stopped to think and remembered that she was a model.

On the OP, I stopped today at a bookstore I adore, an oasis of opinionated literature in the wilderness of central PA, and got a copy of The Fire Next Time. I read half of it on the train on the way home. It's amazing how well the classics hold up -- and enraging how relevant this one remains.

Oh, and the letter in 210 stinks, parsimon. So sorry to hear it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:47 PM
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264: I thought most homeopathic remedies were 1 part in a trillion of whatever caused the condition you are trying to cure. So, maybe herbicide.

(Fun game: Become confused about the difference between an homeopath and an osteopath around either of them.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:48 PM
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Don't do the game in 268.2 if you are sick and seeing an osteopath. They can cure you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:50 PM
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Oh shit, you're right. I didn't properly learn my lesson from the Crooked Timber thread about xkcd the other day.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:50 PM
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I still think Corbett is pandering, trolling, bigoted, and overall wrong.

I know too much about Onorato to be enthused.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:51 PM
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269: I practice don't ask don't tell with doctors.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:51 PM
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270: That's what I was thinking of. I was about to put in a link, but it is late and I'm tired.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:52 PM
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Which makes Pittsburgh part of the same region as NYC

Pittsburgh, as we all know, is Rust Belt or Midwest, not Mid-Atlantic.

NYC and Philadelphia belong to a region known as "Greater New Jersey".

I beg your pardon?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:54 PM
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Someone who was interviewing for a job at [place I work] told me that someone who was trying to sell them on the job mentioned "all the great people to work with in the greater New Jersey area: you know, there are excellent groups at Rutgers, U. Penn, Columbia, NYU..."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:57 PM
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I know too much about Onorato to be enthused.

In all seriousness, do you think he's worse than Corbett, though? My entire data point about him is one two-hour debate back in April, so I don't have strong feelings about it.

I'm mostly worried about the legislature, to be honest. Rendell has spent mmph years tap-dancing around structural budget problems so I think we're up the creek either way. And that $&@^$(!$#! $850 million in FMAP funding is still nowhere in sight.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 8:58 PM
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140: I moved Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth into the room and I can now report that it works perfectly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:02 PM
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Moving west from the Midwest into the west-west you get more of a transition zone than a line. Or maybe that is just me as I was raised near where the line must be if there is a line.

I always thought that was pretty stark -- it's when the water runs out and everything looks dry and barren. I agree that Kansas and Nebraska are big transition zones that take forever to drive through.

I kind of hate New England, but I think I could get into Presque Isle, Maine.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:04 PM
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I think I could get into Presque Isle, Maine.

Do you like growing weed? Well, you're in luck!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:07 PM
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276.1: No, but I'm really happy to see legislators go to jail and Corbett did that. If Corbett was less partisan about it (i.e. indicted a Republican), it might be different. Also, Onorato's biggest unfairness, dicking with the property tax system to the advantage of those with nicer houses, is something I feel a bit guilty about because we benefited greatly.

276.2: Yes, we're fucked either way, but at least the next governor will be from my part of the state and we're still more solvent than New Jersey.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:08 PM
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I always thought that was pretty stark -- it's when the water runs out and everything looks dry and barren.

Right, but where the water runs out varies every year.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:10 PM
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I believe that rather than 1 in a trillion, the homeopathic dilution is typically 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

I do buy and enjoy a fair number of biodynamic wines, not because the cow heads do anything, but because these people pay close attention to their vineyards even while believing in ridiculous zodiac nonsense.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:26 PM
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I love it when the numbers get so small that further "diluting" it with distilled water is likely to actually make the stuff less dilute just because of random contaminants.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:42 PM
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283: They should probably clean the still from time to time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:51 PM
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More seriously, that can't possibly be correct unless, for some reason, they switch the water they are using to dilute.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:53 PM
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Oh shit, you're right. I didn't properly learn my lesson from the Crooked Timber thread about xkcd the other day.

You mean that xkcd is the homeopathic remedy for lack of humor?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:59 PM
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I mean, you can reach the point where the water for dilution is less pure than the molar count of the original dose of whatever, but you've been adding water with trace impurities all along so you get to the point where all of your original "medicine" is gone, but you're never dropping below the level of trace impurities.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 9:59 PM
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287: That was supposed to be my point, but I phrased it badly.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:01 PM
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You phrased it badly? I took three comments to try to make my point. And I have no idea if I used "molar" correctly as it hasn't really been a going word in my vocabular since the 80s.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:04 PM
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You're talking about teeth, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:05 PM
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The 6.2-something x 10 to the twenty-somethingth power one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:07 PM
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I don't like Avogadros on my sandwiches.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:08 PM
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What I remember from chemistry in high school.

1. the mole
2. the time when the teacher asked a question and one guy answered "nanometer" and the guy next to him sang it like the Muppets do that horn thing.
3. the only, "I saw a guy pee on an electric fence" story that I've ever heard verified by two independent witnesses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:11 PM
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I wrote a song about Mole Day, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:13 PM
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Obligatory archives link.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:14 PM
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All I remember from high school chemistry is sleeping through it. And the teacher taking photographs of me sleeping.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:20 PM
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And the day the cute artsy girl who sat next to me went on this long rambling speech about how we're all, like, made of energy, and when we die, that energy is conserved, so that's kind of like a soul that survives, you know? And the girl to her left shouting "oh that's so cool I never thought of it like that!", and me shaking my head in disbelief, and the teacher being really amused.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:22 PM
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I got in trouble for sleeping through physics. Lots of people slept through physics, but my teacher thought I was squandering potential, which is insulting. Maybe I am just not great at physics! (I was totally great at it though.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:22 PM
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297: This, essear, is why you have to come with me and Bave to the Baths in NYC someday. About 1/10 of the people there are talking shit about "energy" and the rest of us are groaning about it joyfully.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:23 PM
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I remember the AP Bio teacher making fun of AP-approved lab exercises. I don't remember what he said about them, except that we shouldn't expect them to work very well with the equipment we had.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:24 PM
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Our AP bio was one semester of memorizing shit like the Krebs cycle, and another semester of dissecting cats. Our exam was 500 pin-tags in cat muscles or bones, to be identified from memory, plus some biochem questions. I was talking to Bave about this tonight and discovering this is not how AP Bio goes in other places. We were required to interview with the teacher to get a place in the class. I think it's because it was Kansas public school and people would assume we were really dumb if we didn't have serious cred.

I had two years as a biochem lab tech under my belt before college, and I was not alone. I think they were paranoid about having good bio students.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:29 PM
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I slept through a lot of classes in high school. Silly system, asking kids to be awake at 7 in the morning. Chemistry was unusual in that the teacher was very open about not caring whether I slept or not, even going so far as to say it was probably the best use of my time. Nice guy.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:30 PM
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Our class was basically all out of the textbook with the quaking aspen on the cover, with some supplementary material. I remember a particularly amusing photograph of some animal around page 484.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:31 PM
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Oh, and there wasn't really an advanced/honors/AP physics class. The teacher who had taught it a few times was so widely recommended against among students that no one signed up. Plus, since it wasn't BC, everyone who was going to need it for a major was just going to have take the intro physics sequence in college no matter what, so there was no incentive.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:34 PM
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Hey, speaking of, uh, science, this guy is not very good a capturing spiders.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:37 PM
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Campbell? We also used that book, although the class wasn't AP, despite being in a science magnet program. I think we supplemented it with other genetics-related stuff. There was no organismal bio whatsoever in my high school, at least for organisms much more complex than bacteria. I think this is because our teacher was fine with teaching evolution as long as it was limited to tiny things, but uncomfortable with it for people.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:38 PM
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My high school had no advanced/honors/AP anything. There were maybe eight of us in chemistry. My physics class, including the teacher, could fit in a Civic and still leave room for a couple of hitchhikers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:38 PM
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everyone who was going to need it for a major was just going to have take the intro physics sequence in college no matter what

At some colleges this is true regardless of how much physics one knows going in. Not that I'm bitter or anything.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:39 PM
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I've only fallen asleep once in a class. It was a freshman seminar where researchers came in and talked about their astrophysics research. After lunch, warm room, comfortable chairs, and a guy droning on and on about how something needed to be cooled to absolute zero is a recipe for zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:39 PM
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Now I'm hungry and homesick.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:40 PM
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Yes, Campbell. I have vague memories that we once built a bridge out of textbooks from one table to another, but I'm having trouble believing we really did that. If we did, we started during the break and the teacher let us finish. Someone took pictures. I should have asked for a copy of the print.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:42 PM
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The last time I fell asleep in class was one on aesthetic theory that later became central to everything I do. So I don't begrudge students a quick nap now. I was a bit narcoleptic then. My life was really stressful.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:42 PM
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I don't remember high school chemistry at all, I just have a vague recollection of boredom and chalk dust.

High school biology I remember quite vividly, because I had the best biology teacher ever. He was totally gay and everyone knew it (it was a Catholic school, and nobody was supposed to be gay, of course, but you could be gay and get away with it if you adhered to certain forms). He used to have us copy detailed sketches (of plants, animals, ameobas, etc.) with soft lead pencil: I recall a sense of surprised accomplishment at having completed a sketch, with the parts of the organism all carefully labelled in small print. He had a biting, sarcastic sense of humour, and seemed to feel his talents were wasted on the lot of barbarians that he was supposed to teach (which was probably accurate, actually). I thought he was absolutely wonderful.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:44 PM
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Apparently, the spider dude has more spider videos.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:46 PM
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but you could be gay and get away with it if you adhered to certain forms

My high school biology teacher was a strong woman who wore comfortable shoes and was best friends with the woman who taught P.E. at a nearby school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:48 PM
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Wow, that spider guy is sad.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:57 PM
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...which is not to say that I don't have a similar relationship with kitchen mice, but at least kitchen mice can be cute.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 10:58 PM
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but at least kitchen mice can be cute

Only in cartoons and storybooks, AWB. In real life, they are nasty vermin; and their little droppings probably carry some horrible disease.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:03 PM
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Wow, that spider guy is sad.

Perhaps the porcupine that thinks it's a puppy will make you happy once again.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:05 PM
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I killed a mouse last week. I saw him creep into the garage, so I got him with a glue trap. The month before, a mouse got into my garage and fell into a bucket. I just threw the bucket in the trash as the mouse had kind of liquified before I found him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:06 PM
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I still don't understand why the mouse went into the glue trap. It didn't appear to be baited with anything but glue.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:11 PM
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About 1/10 of the people there are talking shit about "energy" and the rest of us are groaning about it joyfully.

Energy, wisdom, whatever. Something about relaxing in warm water makes people stupid, apparently.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:11 PM
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That's why the British lost the empire after they got indoor plumbing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-10 11:20 PM
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re: 224

British people would never say 'waiting on line' [unless they were referring to something on the internet]. You probably wouldn't say 'waiting in line' [rather than 'queueing'] , either, for that matter, but it'd be less obviously out of place.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-21-10 1:41 AM
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I treat illnesses with very small amounts of an active medicinal ingredient, repeatedly diluted in very large volumes of water, in which I drown the patient. Sociopathic medicine.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-21-10 2:51 AM
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323: ROME TOO.


Posted by: OPINIONATED CATO THE CENSOR | Link to this comment | 07-21-10 2:52 AM
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26: I actually know a guy through work who's an Evangelical Christian--very low key, but I asked where he goes to church when I heard about the dinner groups he was having and where he volunteers giving out food to the homeless. (It was relevant to work, because he was so excited when one of the people he'd seen a lot on the street was finally getting MH services.)

Anyway, he's hilarious and trained as an expressive therapist. He actually does drum circles (as well as painting) and I went to one once. It wasn't bad. Just doing fun things with drums. Not a peace ciecle or any shit like that.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-21-10 5:14 AM
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324: Maybe it was that the Americas I met in the U.K. were from New York and I thought they were playing British? No idea why I had that impression.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-10 6:20 AM
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328: No idea why I had that impression.

They're all east of Latrobe, MH.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-21-10 6:33 AM
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Which is a fairly accurate guess as to how far east I am likely to go.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-10 6:35 AM
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323 -> 324


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-21-10 8:23 AM
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