Re: This is not important, but you're bored.

1

You were lied to.

You were lied to about a great many things.

Merry Christmas.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 12:58 AM
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1 is right. You were lied to. Happy Christmas!


Posted by: Trickster Paean | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 1:40 AM
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3

Murder the dwarf-mayor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 4:24 AM
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4

Yeah, it isn't fair.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:51 AM
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5

I never had zits except as an adult. Perfect porcelain skin until my mid-twenties. Aging is fun.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 6:36 AM
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I have a more rustic stoneware kind of skin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 6:50 AM
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Happy holidays, you strange-skinned dwarf fanciers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:06 AM
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I got boils and carbuncles in my 20s and 30s. Partly bad hygiene, partly weakened resistance, partly genetics, partly hormones? My dad got them at the same age. I don't get zits or anything any more, but who can tell under all the fur?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:08 AM
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9

TERRA COTTA FOR ME.


Posted by: OPINIONATED JOHN BOEHNER | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:14 AM
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10

Skin tags. WTF?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:17 AM
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11

||

Compliments of the season to all who come by. Byeee

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:19 AM
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12

Zits are fun. See if you can hit the mirror.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:23 AM
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13

Then pop the zit with your bleeding hand.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:26 AM
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Well, try not to punch the other guy's knuckles.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:36 AM
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The ugly motherfucker started it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:38 AM
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The really good ones were neither zits or blackheads, boils or carbuncles, but these hard little spheres, half below skin level, with just a tiny clear hole at the top. They hurt like hell, but if you could get a good squeeze on them, and that could be tough because they only build up at the difficult-to-reach areas like the middle of the back, you could explode them like a volcano with pints of thick yellow goo. And the pain was ecstatic.

But see thread below on decadence.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:40 AM
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re: 5

Yeah, I basically never had zits as a teenager. I skipped that stage of growing up. I do get the odd one now though, but they are mostly shaving/facial-hair related.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:55 AM
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Stanley and anyone else in the central Va area. We're going to do an overnight trip to Charlottesville. Driving down early Tuesday, driving back late-ish Wednesday. Have only very tentative plans: go to Monticello, see if the other Preznidential homes in the area are open, I suppose, walk around in the cold a bit, etc. We're underprogrammed at this point.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 8:08 AM
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You were lied to about a great many things.

Indeed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 10:22 AM
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18: My current Tuesday plans include (1) working till 5-ish and (2) killing time until I have to pick someone up at the airport at like 11pm. Unfogged lore would dictate that you eat dinner at Mas, also known by the nickname I'm trying (so far unsuccessfully) to popularize: "Fresh Salt South". Email me? stanleysparksATgoogle's friendly mail service.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 10:28 AM
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21

||

apropos of nothing, Bruce Sterling's reaction to the wikileaks story is very good.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 3:31 PM
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22

Food-related sidebar: I'm suddenly (potentially) tasked with making some sort of coffee-cake or otherwise sweet bread-like thing for breakfast or brunch tomorrow. Oh no. The idea is to fill the house with a heavenly scent of a morn, I think.

So, coffee-cake: usually calls for sour cream, no? Don't have that. I've found one that calls for buttermilk -- don't have that either. I believe there is a workable substitute for it, but I haven't determined what that is yet.

Alternatively: corn bread? Served with preserves. But I have never successfully made cornbread. I do have cornmeal, as well as some frozen corn.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 3:47 PM
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23

21: strongly disagree.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 3:57 PM
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24

So when people say "shortening" in a receipt for cornbread, do they mean Crisco? Or does "shortening" just mean lard of any sort, including butter?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 4:05 PM
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23: It's well-written, if nothing else.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 4:14 PM
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26

21: strongly disagree.

For what reasons?

You have to accept that, as he says at the outset, he doesn't find the specific details of the wikileaks story particularly compelling and so it's specific in certain ways, but tends towards broad generalizations in other ways.

But I thought it was a appropriate response to wikileaks from the author of The Hacker Crackdown and showed an interesting evolution (or variation) in perspective from something like these remarks 16 years ago, from CFP ("Being afraid of monolithic organizations especially when they have computers, is like being afraid of really big gorillas especially when they are on fire.")


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 4:20 PM
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24: Broadly defined, "shortening" includes butter, lard and vegetable-oil fats like Crisco, but in recipes it generally means Crisco IME. You should be able to do a straight-across substitution with butter, but you might want to Google around a bit to confirm that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 4:25 PM
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22: I've made plenty of coffee-cakes without sour cream, so you could probably find a recipe without. As for buttermilk, if you have regular milk you can "sour" it with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar and create the same effect.

What goes wrong with your cornbread, usually? Too dry?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 4:28 PM
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28.1: Yeah, that's what I'd determined: substitute milk + lemon juice (preferably) or vinegar for buttermilk.

What goes wrong with your cornbread, usually? Too dry?

Oh, good grief. Um, the last time I used a recipe from, I believe, The Joy of Cooking, though I'm not sure, which involved using a cast-iron skillet, and it was dry and stuck to the pan, if I remember correctly. It was some time ago, and I assume I screwed it up in unknown ways, since everyone says cornbread is quite simple.

I'm attracted to this recipe.

The recipe involving shortening was a cake-pan sort of deal, and I thought that promised more moistness, but shortening really trips me up.

I haven't planned very well, which seems to happen when there's not really a big family shindig going on, and everybody makes it up as they go along.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 4:47 PM
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30

When did Bruce Sterling forget how to write, anyway? He's become the Henny Youngman of self-important US science-fiction authors. Except not as funny.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:02 PM
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31

29: I've made a ton of cornbread muffins, and so far these were my favorite (minus ones with like, green chiles and cheese and stuff). Perfectly moist, a tad sweet, and otherwise quite good.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:02 PM
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32

minus ones with like, green chiles and cheese and stuff

Such as this recipe, which is goddamn delicious.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:12 PM
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33

Zits are fun. See if you can hit the mirror.

It turned out, I could! (TMI?)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:12 PM
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34

31: Thanks. *6 tbsp. sugar?!* Okay, both the one you've linked and the one I found in 29 are possibilities. Thank you.

---

I can't say I find the Bruce Sterling piece well written.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:18 PM
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35

This Sterling fellow sure likes to hyphenate him some nouns: shear-forces, point-man, detail-freak...


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:22 PM
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36

34: Right; it's a lot, but it transforms them from a bit, I think, into something that feels rather virtuous to a treat. Then again, I like sweet things and don't really think 1 1/2 tbsp. of sugar is much, per serving.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:24 PM
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37

but it transforms them from a bit, I think, into something that feels rather virtuous to a treat.

OMG. Don't ever type a comment and talk to your mother at the same time, it'll come out as garbley-gook.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:26 PM
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38

36: 1/2 tbsp. per muffin. Eek.

And Stanley, what have been eating that you're growing zits that can hit the mirror? I mean, you're younger, so that kind of thing can happen, but I get zits as an adult (and a mostly vegetarian) only when I, like, eat potato chips. Then it's like clockwork: oh, you ate 15 chips two days ago? Bingo: you have a zit on your chin.

Hey: maybe it's from wearing a hat while running -- the sweat banding around your forehead.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:49 PM
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39

maybe it's from wearing a hat while running -- the sweat banding around your forehead.

That is, in fact, my theory of the pimple's provenance, my diet having been unchanged in recent days.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:55 PM
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40

38: If you eek at that, you'd scream at a lot of my cooking. And thanks for correcting my math; I think I was turning it into teaspoons.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 5:59 PM
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41

When did Bruce Sterling forget how to write, anyway? He's become the Henny Youngman of self-important US science-fiction authors. Except not as funny.

I know that you've said before that you think Bruce Sterling has become a a somewhat unpleasant figure. Honestly, I'll trust your judgment on that. I don't think I've read any of his fiction since Zeitgeist (which I liked an awful lot), and I only read his essays when I stumble across them.

However, for the reasons listed in 26, I'm inherently interested in whatever he has to say to try to put wikileaks into historical perspective.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 6:02 PM
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42

There you go. Wash your face well after running, I guess. Maybe run the hat through the wash with some frequency. I'm glad that we've straightened this out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 6:03 PM
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43

42 to 39.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 6:04 PM
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44

42 to 39.

Now that you mention it, 42 is humorous as a response to either 40 or 41.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 6:10 PM
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45

I didn't find the Sterling piece well written, but that's not my main complaint; I'm multi-tasking in the kitchen so at the moment I'll just say that a large portion of the essay seems to be devoted to saying, "but don't you see? I know people like Assange, and Assange is a GEEK!". And then engaging in crude psychologizing and simplification.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 6:42 PM
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"...I know people like Assange, and Assange is a GEEK!"

As is Bradley Manning in his telling of the story . . .

Thinking about that makes me realize something that I like about the piece, which is the distinction between geeks doing things that amount to actively looking for trouble, vs people who end up in trouble just from doing geek things.

I doubt that Assange and Manning fit those archetypes quite as well as he makes them out to, but I think that it is relevant to point out that distinction and to make clear that geeks have been engaging in both types of behaviors for twenty-five years.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 6:53 PM
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As is Bradley Manning in his telling of the story . . .

Yeah, what a shitty act of story-telling that was. His take on both Manning and Assange seems to be that their only motivation could have been the lulz. It struck me as a shallow and frankly apologistic essay.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 6:56 PM
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frankly apologistic essay.

apologistic for whom?

I definitely see it as being kind to Manning, but is anybody out there saying that his crime warrents his current punishment?

In the broad scope of it, I thought it was the opposite of apologistic. I read him as saying that when SF writers were kicking around an idea somewhat similar to wikileaks in '92 it was exciting (and I direct you to Bruce Sterling's contemporary CFP speeches as a document of that excitement) and that now that hackers have pulled off something that's managed to get everybody's attention it really isn't exciting.

Maybe he just feels that way because he's old and cranky now, but it felt like a reappraisal of sorts to me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:04 PM
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49

Bruce Sterling-style cyberspace triumphalism seems like as good a way as any to understand Assange's self-narrative.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:05 PM
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50

I'm agreed with neb with respect to Manning anyway; I hadn't read through the entire Sterling piece, but yo, this is terrible glibness with respect to Manning. Sterling appears to be telling a story of his own construction, complete with a striking of poses every other sentence.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:11 PM
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For what it's worth, the Sterling gets better toward the end, and I apologize to Sterling for not reading his whole thing before passing judgment.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-24-10 7:29 PM
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52

22: I usually substitute yogurt for the sour cream in my favorite coffee cake recipe.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 12:55 AM
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53

The Sterling piece is unpleasantly pompous, but I think this this is uncharitable:

His take on both Manning and Assange seems to be that their only motivation could have been the lulz.

I'm an admirer of Assange and Manning. I am also a big fan of (for example) Abbie Hoffman. I suspect that all of these types are, after a fashion and in their own ways, in it for the lulz. But they are in it for other reasons, too, and Sterling doesn't give short shrift to that fact.

Sterling plausibly describes the milieu that gives rise to activists of this particular sort. And if I find his world-weary pose a little tiresome today, well hey, that's probably a seasonal thing on my part. I'll go back to being a world-weary, superior grump myself in a day or two.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 7:36 AM
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I couldn't read the Sterling piece to the end. I stopped at the point where the urge to punch him in the head became overwhelming. Perhaps it gets better, but the only way I'm going to keep reading is if a double-blind study shows reading it makes you invincible to bullets or something.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 12:54 PM
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53:I'll go back to being a world-weary, superior grump myself in a day or two.

How is this day different from all other days? All blend together, with nothing sacred.

Chris Hedges, not recommended, not that you would read it anyway, but just tiresome divinity school homiletic informed by war-zone empathy and old personal friends like Zinn or ancient exemplars like Dorothy Day.

The election of Obama was one more triumph of illusion over substance. It was a skillful manipulation and betrayal of the public by a corporate power elite. We mistook style and ethnicity--an advertising tactic pioneered by Calvin Klein and Benetton--for progressive politics and genuine change. The goal of a branded Obama, as with all brands, was to make passive consumers mistake a brand for an experience. And this is why Obama was named Advertising Age's marketer of the year for 2008, beating out Apple and Zappos.

Obama had almost no experience besides two years in the Senate, where his voting record was a dismal capitulation to corporate power. But, once again, the electronic hallucinations that assault us rendered most
voters incapable of thought and response. The superficial, the trivial, and the sensational mask our deep cultural, economic, political, and environmental disintegration as well as the newest political diversion
approved by the corporate state. We remain hypnotized by flickering images we mistake for reality.

"Celebrity culture is a culture of faux ecstasy, since the passions it generates derive from staged authenticity rather than genuine forms of
recognition and belonging," Chris Rojek writes:

Marcotte had a tough call for Album of the Year, between Kanye West and Jonelle Monae. Ultimately, it was the racism sexism, not Kanye's of course of course of course, that tipped the scales. Whose sexism? Doesn't matter. Anybody who asks "whose sexism?" will do.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 3:49 PM
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Thinkin on in-your-face performativity:

Wiki, "Performativity", Butler section

The concept places emphasis on the manners in which identity is passed or brought to life through discourse. Performative acts are types of authoritative speech. This can only happen and be enforced through the law or norms of the society [sub-culture?] though. These statements, just by speaking them, carry out a certain action and exhibit a certain level of power.

Monae, Lady Gaga, Marcotte. Hedges? Authoritative counter-cultures as reflections of authoritarian societies?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 4:25 PM
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57

Is Zappos known for their marketing?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 7:11 PM
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57:Never heard of them

Finished the Hedges! Now onto Sheldon Wolin, alternating with film theory and Japan, of course

Speaking of performativity within authoritarianism, I spent a coupla hours in this part of Wikipedia last night

Merry Xmas, I suppose. Had a friend over, ate some turkey, but not a card not a call. All the old ties long gone. Means nothing to me any more, not even irritated by the tv xmas overkill, since I no longer watch tv.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 7:33 PM
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59

We used to make fun of Bruce Sterling when he'd come to hacker cons and bitch about computer viruses ruining everything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 7:36 PM
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60

58.last: Merry Xmas, bob.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 7:37 PM
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61

Incidentally, I know Assange's narrative: he was working on his PhD in Auckland (on crypto filesystems and funded, indirectly, by DoD) when DoD decided they couldn't have anything like that going on outside the country and classified all the shit he was working on out from under him, to the point that he sort of felt like he was being asked to forget everything he knew. I imagine his thought process went something like "well, fuck you."

I haven't read the Sterling piece; did he know about all that?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 7:39 PM
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The greatest of the gifts I received today is wisdom, specifically this: presidential candidates are sold to voters using techniques similar to those used by corporations to market products. As God is my witness, I'll never allow myself to hope again.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 7:46 PM
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63

No, JP, Mike Dukakis really did like driving tanks.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 7:50 PM
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62:The point was more Monae and Lady Gaga than Obama. Rebellion starts with self-alienation from mass culture.

Maybe I needed to paste the last paragraphs of the Hedges riffing off Camus after all.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 7:53 PM
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C'mon, no one likes mass culture, it's too popular.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 7:58 PM
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66

The election of Obama was one more triumph of illusion over substance. It was a skillful manipulation and betrayal of the public by a corporate power elite. We mistook style and ethnicity--an advertising tactic pioneered by Calvin Klein and Benetton--for progressive politics and genuine change.

Or, maybe, just maybe, we aren't that fucking shallow, and we decided to take a chance on the candidate who sounded sane and intelligent, corporate shill or not.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 7:58 PM
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I made an eggnog sandwich, guys! Wheeeeeeeeee!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 8:00 PM
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We mistook style and ethnicity--an advertising tactic pioneered by Calvin Klein and Benetton--for progressive politics and genuine change.

"We" is doing a ton of work there. Even if the president was now Colin Powell promising to continue the Bush legacy, a black candidate winning the presidency (and taking three large southern states in the process) would be a significant historical event. Sure, we all *hoped* he would be the progressive messiah but I think most people knew they were hoping against hope, just as with every winning Democrat for the past 50 years. Even then, the only other real options on the menu in 2008 were HRC and Edwards, and they had no record of deviating from the Blue Dog line anywhere except in their speeches either.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 8:24 PM
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69

Hedges, as far as I can tell, isn't voting anymore, and doesn't care much about Obama. I suspect I have delivered my last vote in November, at least to Democrats.

The three quoted paragraphs are a progression, the last about observing, participating, being enchanted by the spectacle(s). Feels to me like getting excited by American Idol. I just don't have the heart for those arguments anymore.

I need to hunt up some better subtitles. Goodnight.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 8:50 PM
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I was told that once I reached a Certain Age (i.e., post menopause) that i'd stop getting zits.

wholly idiotic statement.


Posted by: dragonet2 | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 9:00 PM
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71

I haven't read the Sterling piece; did he know about all that?

If he does he doesn't let on.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 9:22 PM
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71: I imagine he doesn't, then, yeah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 9:25 PM
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61: Melbourne rather than Auckland?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 9:54 PM
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74

That would probably make more sense.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-25-10 9:56 PM
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