Re: Be Excellent To Each Other

1

Lots of movies from my teenage years fall flat with Sally and Newt

Name names!


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:10 PM
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Funny, I'm not coming up with specifics. It's just that trying to watch a movie together generally turns into bored children wandering away, to the point that we hardly do it at all. This, they were riveted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:14 PM
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Potless stoners are timeless.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:17 PM
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I remember how excited I was the first time I actually saw a Circle K in San Dimas.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:18 PM
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I thought they made-up the city.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:19 PM
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It's real, and it's really kind of a shithole.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:20 PM
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I still haven't seen Bill and Ted's movies.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:20 PM
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I think the youth may still respond to Heathers, though as far as they're concerned it stars the Lunts.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:21 PM
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Who is Saint Dimas? (Don't answer. I'll google. Just explaining why I figured it was fake.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:22 PM
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I still haven't seen Bill and Ted's movies.

Me neither, although I suppose that isn't too surprising.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:26 PM
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This makes me happy. I have a couple of fond memories related to those movies.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:32 PM
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I haven't seen the Bill and Ted movies, or if I did, I don't remember.

Possibly timeless movies of the goofball sort:

That one with Bill Murray on the golf course. With the gopher. Too stupid?

The Blues Brothers.

Blazing Saddles? Too sophisticated, maybe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:36 PM
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Caddyshack isn't too stupid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:38 PM
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I once contended that The Blues Brothers was the funniest American movie. Not sure if that bears revision. It feels like there's been a good run. (21 Jump Street: delightful!)


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:38 PM
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I've never seen Caddyshack.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:41 PM
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Too much Kenny Loggins, but otherwise great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:42 PM
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I wonder if Spinal Tap holds up?

I suspect not, but that would be my default choice for funniest American movie.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:43 PM
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Airplane is the funniest movie ever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:45 PM
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Caddyshack is odd, because the actual movie (like, the plot, with the curlyhaired kid and his pregnant girlfriend) is pointless and dull -- everything great about it is a series of sketches that could have been hung on a completely different movie. But they're very funny sketches.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:46 PM
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I can only remember laughing so hard it hurt at one movie ever, and I'm bewildered to admit that it was The Aristocrats.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:46 PM
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Wet Hot American Summer is a good candidate. Is that too mature for kids?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:46 PM
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Not even close.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:47 PM
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I probably should have counted on this one, but it was the reason I qualified Blues Brothers with "American".


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:48 PM
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22: I'm in a bar on my phone. Can you tell me who won?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:49 PM
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16: I will bet that many of us can name three movies with Kenny Loggins songs on the soundtrack, but few of us can name four. (Answers at the link.)


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:50 PM
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22: Airplane by a factor of 7, and by a factor of 26 against Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:52 PM
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Have your kids seen Midnight Cowboy?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:52 PM
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Reminder to me: Don't respond to email from boss until morning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:53 PM
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26: I have very common tastes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:55 PM
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LB will be putting Airplane on the family movie menu soon, then, I hope. And she'll report back on the findings.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 6:59 PM
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Animal House beats Airplane by 3:1.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 7:02 PM
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Animal House is stupid, I'm afraid.

Is The Big Lebowski in the running at all? Too sophisticated (for Newt and Sally)? Also perhaps too recent.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 7:13 PM
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Stupid like a fox.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 7:16 PM
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This really brings back memories.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 7:19 PM
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12.2: Finally saw it a year or two ago. Didn't get any of the jokes.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 7:38 PM
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Except for the candy bar in the pool, which would have been funny to some of my friends when we were ten.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 7:39 PM
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37

Did you miss the part about the gopher?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 7:47 PM
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I made my kid watch The Princess Bride last night. He's too young, but seemed to really enjoy the sword fight scene. But the Fireswanp freaked him out, and he kind of drifted away from the rest of it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 7:47 PM
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37: I remember there being something about the Bill Murray character's animosity toward a small animal.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 7:50 PM
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Is Wayne's World still funny?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 7:54 PM
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No.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 8:01 PM
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Overall the movie is rather uneven, but I find myself drawn to this rant from back in the day. Refreshingly profane. I still use What Would Clark Griswold Do? as a general guideline for dad-dom.

I think you're all fucked in the head. We're 10 hours from the fuckin fun park and you all wanna bail out. Well I'll tell you somethin, this is no longer a vacation, it's a quest, it's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun, we're all gonna have so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles. You'll be whistlin zippidy doo da out of your assholes!

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 8:23 PM
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Only the mention of "Kenny Loggins" can send me onto the floor in helpless laughter. No movie can:

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/12/year-kenny-loggins-ruined-christmas.html

"Galaxy Quest" and "Rat Race" aren't bad, however...


Posted by: brad the lurker | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 9:37 PM
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I mean, what could possibly match: "[M]y aunt quietly squeaked 'Kenny Loggins wouldn't beat the baby Jesus...'"


Posted by: brad the lurker | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 9:41 PM
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45

The lurkers agree with me in email.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 9:59 PM
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How could Airplane not win? Just a couple hours ago I was playing hockey with a guy on my line named Roger and when I called for a pass I yelled "Roger! Roger!" What other movie gets referenced as often?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 10:22 PM
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re: 46

What other movie gets referenced as often?

Among certain types of people, Spinal Tap, definitely.

'Too much fucking perspective'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 11:10 PM
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My son popped in the other night to see what the old folks were watching, and ended up staying, and liking it. Ridicule.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 1-12 11:50 PM
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It's real, and it's really kind of a shithole.

How dare you. San Dimas has the glorious distinction of being home to a Raging Waters. God only knows how many times I went to that thing in the early 90's, they had cheap student season passes.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:00 AM
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Charvel, makers of guitars for the shred/rock fraternity, were based in San Dimas and still make a San Dimas model. I've wondered occasionally if the location of Bill and Ted is related. The guitar factory, and rock guitars labelled 'San Dimas, CA' pre-date the film.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:24 AM
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It's got to be the same San Dimas. This site says the building was technically just over the border in Glendora. I grew up a bit west of that area in Arcadia.

http://www.charvelusa.com/san_dimas.html


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:18 AM
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I knew it was the same place, I just wondered if the film makers had chosen it because it was the right sort of California location, AND it had a guitar connection.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:29 AM
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9: I am assuming he was the good thief.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:01 AM
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I'd be interested too to know what hasn't caught Newt and Sally's attention. My kids seem to have enjoyed pretty much every daft old film we've shown them, the undiscerning bunch. Kid A got a Goonies t-shirt from kid B for Christmas, and I think it was her favourite present.

I love Vacation and probably make far too many references to it that no one else gets.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:09 AM
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re: 54

BTW, tierce and I are meeting for a pint or two in the Angel, in London, tomorrow. And others if we can track them down. Ginger Yellow's email is bouncing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:26 AM
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the Angel the pub near the top of Shaftsbury Ave., not the Angel the district in Islington.

(Despite the fact that the Angel the district in Islington gets its name from a pub, which is thus responsible for the only square on the British Monopoly board to be named after a pub, despite the other fact that this pub is now not only a bank, but my branch of my bank. There is a plaque with the mustachioed monopoly man on the wall. He looks exactly like bob mcmanus.)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:34 AM
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Having assumed that all my tutees would want the Easter holidays off and so I would be free, I have one pushy mother requesting more work for her daughter tomorrow. So no, not going anywhere - have a good evening!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:33 AM
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Is The Big Lebowski in the running at all? Too sophisticated (for Newt and Sally)? Also perhaps too recent.

Perhaps not age-appropriate, unless I'm greatly misremembering how old Sally and Newt are.

What about Ghostbusters? It's the sort of film you wouldn't think holds up, but it really, really does.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:58 AM
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More recent, but my kids went bonkers for this completely insane French movie that isn't quite aimed at kids. Even the rapid-fire subtitles that Cassie couldn't read didn't dim her enjoyment one bit. Laughed themselves silly.

The last time I watched Airplane, it was nowhere near as funny as I'd remembered it being.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:06 AM
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What about Ghostbusters? It's the sort of film you wouldn't think holds up, but it really, really does.

Blume recently saw that movie for the first time. She can tell you in more detail if she wants, but I think it would be fair to say she didn't think it held up terribly well.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:10 AM
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58.last, 60: Actually, it's more of a guideline than a rule.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:32 AM
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Bill Murray's character in Ghostbusters isn't funny or attractive any more, he just seems lazy and lecherous. There's something about sexism in 1980s movies that can be jarring enough to ruin the entire movie for me. Maybe it's the 'too close' phenomenon: I don't have the remove from them that I do from, say, something in the 1950s, where I can say Things were sure different back then! and compartmentalize the gender roles out from the rest of the movie. Yet things have changed enough since my childhood that the way Bill Murray treats his female undergrad research subjects, for instance, is disturbing and off-putting.

In addition to that, I didn't really understand the story line. I get that there's not a lot to understand, but by the end I had to keep asking what was going on. There seemed to be a lot of jumps.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:36 AM
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There's something about sexism in 1980s movies that can be jarring enough to ruin the entire movie for me.

There was an odd moment in Bill & Ted like that -- I'd kind of remembered both movies muddled together, so I recalled the princesses being in the band (still not major characters, but whatever). Instead, the princess plotline runs (1) B&T see them from a distance, identify them as "historical babes" (2) B&T have thirty-second conversation with them in which B&T find out that that they're going to be forced to marry royal ugly dudes, and ask them to go to the prom, and then leave (3) at the end of the movie, after the successful delivery of the history report, Rufus shows up with the princesses in the phone booth: he's gone back to the middle ages to rescue them and buy them prom dresses, and then each princess walks demurely over to Bill or Ted and kisses them.

The whole plotline probably took up ninety seconds of the movie, but still very weird, and probably wouldn't happen that way in a movie made in this decade.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:44 AM
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Bill Murray's character in Ghostbusters isn't funny or attractive any more, he just seems lazy and lecherous.

Totally. Doesn't stop the film being funny, at least for me.

Yet things have changed enough since my childhood that the way Bill Murray treats his female undergrad research subjects, for instance, is disturbing and off-putting.

See, this sort of thing is exactly why I think it does stand up. I didn't watch it for about 15 years after seeing it as a child, and I had it pegged as basically a children's film (the subsequent cartoon probably had a hand it that impression). But it's totally not. Murray's character is a sleazebag, as you note, and the film is generally filthy.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:48 AM
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In addition to that, I didn't really understand the story line. I get that there's not a lot to understand, but by the end I had to keep asking what was going on

Well, it was probably just too complicated for a girl.

But, I agree with you about the 80's sexism-- disgusting!

My wife and I watched Butterfield 8 last night. Now, that's a funny movie.

I suppose I should admit I only watched the first half-hour of it, because it was my bedtime.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:52 AM
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But at the time it was sleazebag-haha (see also Cheers), and that just doesn't play that way any more. If he's not sympathetic at all, which he's not for me, the movie doesn't work. I'll agree that it's not a kids' movie, but it's also not a super complex commentary on sleazebags.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:54 AM
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I haven't seen Ghostbusters since it was in theaters, but I'd kind of expect it to hold up. I've never thought Bill Murray was attractive in the sense of being sexy, but I find him incredibly entertaining to watch -- funny, but even in stuff where he's not being funny he's, er, compelling? magnetic?

I actually had the same thought about Keanu Reeves last night. Less so, because he really can't act and he's been in a whole lot of very terrible movies. But even in B&T, where he's too young to be particularly attractive as such, he's just very pleasing to watch.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:55 AM
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Shamebusters, starring Michael Fassbender as Bill Murray as Peter Venkman.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:56 AM
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If he's not sympathetic at all, which he's not for me, the movie doesn't work.

I don't follow this. For a start, it's an ensemble piece - the film wouldn't work if it didn't also have Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd and Rick Moranis at a minimum. But regardless, I don't see why Venkman has to be sympathetic.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:10 AM
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Sympathise instead with Gozer the Gozerian! Or rather COWER IN TERROR, worthless humans, for thy time is ending and the age destruction begins!


Posted by: OPINIONATED ZUUL THE GATEKEEPER | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:14 AM
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+of


Posted by: OPINIONATED ZUUL THE GATEKEEPER | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:14 AM
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I don't follow this. For a start, it's an ensemble piece - the film wouldn't work if it didn't also have Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd and Rick Moranis at a minimum. But regardless, I don't see why Venkman has to be sympathetic.

Well he is sort of the lynchpin character. In addition to being the romantic lead opposite Sigorney Weaver, of the 3 ghostbusters he's the "normal" one who we are supposed to identify with and compared to whom the other 2 look goofy.

I can see how it would be a problem if you just find him offputting as opposed to being the likable scoundrel that the movie is aiming for.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:16 AM
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+1


Posted by: OPINIONATED KEYMASTER | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:16 AM
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Some parts of Animal House are incredibly dated, but the highlights are still incredibly funny.

I saw Airplane again a few years ago, and I would say the problem with it isn't so much that it hasn't aged well as that it doesn't really require repeat viewing. Since the highlights are the rapid-fire jokes, you can basically remember them exactly as they were, and they're easy to quote. My memory of Leslie Nielsen saying "I'm serious. And don't call my Shirley" is exactly identical to the actual scene. While the big "Niedermayer! Dead!", etc. scene from Animal House is long enough that I don't remember it exactly, so it seems fresher on reviewing.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:19 AM
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Well he is sort of the lynchpin character. In addition to being the romantic lead opposite Sigorney Weaver, of the 3 ghostbusters he's the "normal" one who we are supposed to identify with and compared to whom the other 2 look goofy.

Three Ghostbusters? Racist. Surely Winston is the most normal one. And then maybe Ray, whose only oddness is his enthusiasm. As for sympathising with a lynchpin character - well, if anyone that's Sigourney.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:21 AM
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Right, he's sort of the head honcho of the three dudes. I will admit that I have particular difficulty with unsympathetic protagonists in both movies and books (no Coetzee ever again for me, thanks), but I really do think in this case it's the change since the time the movie was made in acceptable levels of scoundreldom. Or at least in acceptable ways of signalling his scoundreldom.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:21 AM
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||

For LB: David Graeber has a very long post at Crooked Timber in which he spends a while talking about the sentence about Apple as sort of his personal nemesis -- he says that it was a copy editing error, which he missed in the proofs, has been unable to correct since and which has gone on to be quoted and referred to more often than any other part of the book. So, if you were the first person to mention that specific sentence and bring it to prominence, you can feel like you've had some part in causing him intense frustration.

But (and this is the real reason I felt inclined to comment about it here), you needn't necessarily feel guilty since he also uses "hone in on"

[Malcolm Harris] also hones right in on what I thought were some of the more compelling philosophical issues that I opened up, but didn't really resolve . . .

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:21 AM
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Zuul only speaks to the true believers in hexadecimal.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:23 AM
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Surely Winston is the most normal one. And then maybe Ray, whose only oddness is his enthusiasm. As for sympathising with a lynchpin character - well, if anyone that's Sigourney.

This is the 80s. Your claim is that we are supposed to sympathize with the black character, the nerd, or the woman? In a movie where the fact that we are supposed to sympathize with that person isn't the entire joke of the thing?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:24 AM
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@75

You got me. I still think the basic point holds though. Venkman gets to be normal even though he's a scientist. As opposed to the other 2, who are weird just like we - the audience - expect those weirdo scientist types to be.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:26 AM
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Also, on topic, there's a long running outdoor movie series in the summer. I don't go that often but by far the three most entertaining movies that I've seen in that setting were Wayne's World, Ghostbusters, and Tremors (which was, incidentally, the only one of the three that I hadn't seen previous to that occasion) and, for what it's worth, Monty Python and the Holy Grail was a dud -- boring and tedious.

I think part of what made those three successful is that they are both surprisingly good and don't require one's full attention (because it's slightly uncomfortable sitting on the grass in a crowd of people it's hard to commit fully to the movie).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:26 AM
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I really do think in this case it's the change since the time the movie was made in acceptable levels of scoundreldom. Or at least in acceptable ways of signalling his scoundreldom.

I can see that, and I'd agree that the filmmakers didn't intend Venkman to be entirely unsympathetic. I just don't think it's necessarily detrimental to the comedy that he is. The funniest bits are either nothing to do with him, or mocking him for being a douchebag.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:27 AM
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Bill Murray's character in Ghostbusters isn't funny or attractive any more, he just seems lazy and lecherous. There's something about sexism in 1980s movies that can be jarring enough to ruin the entire movie for me.

Also applies to "Caddyshack". Except the Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight parts.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:27 AM
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Forgot to close the italics tag there, I wasn't trying to add extra emphasis to my disappointment with Monty Python, but that's probably obvious.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:27 AM
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I just read that. Taking what he says about it at face value, he got really unlucky that his one giant howler was on a topic where a whole lot of his readers could spot it as absurd offhand -- if he'd screwed something up about Sumerian religion, I certainly wouldn't ever have spotted it.

Of course, the same argument gives a good reason for not taking what he says about it at face value, and suspecting that there are errors in the more obscure parts of the book. (And the nature of the error is a little puzzling. I can't think of anything he might have been saying about Apple that would have fit into the argument around there -- I could see garbling a couple of sentences together and accidentally coming up with something false, but it's harder to see how a completely irrelevant company name got in there.)

I really don't know what I think about the book. It was thoughtprovoking, I suppose, but not in a style I find terribly useful or comprehensible: a lot of the arguments seemed to be about what different kinds of relations between people really fundamentally mean, and that's not something that I find a useful way of thinking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:31 AM
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One of my pet theories is that Animal House is one of the top 10 most important cultural products of the past 50 years. It basically singlehandedly created a film genre and an important world subculture, and commercially was almost as big a milestone as Jaws. What other movie can claim all of that?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:34 AM
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Put John Belushi in the same category with Bill Murray for me -- someone I'd watch eating a sandwich and be riveted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:35 AM
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I'm pretty sure we were supposed to identify with the socially crippled Egon Spengler.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:38 AM
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And the nature of the error is a little puzzling.

Not having read the book, and not not knowing anything about the context of that particular error I thought his explanation sounded disingenuous. I would be happy to believe that it's true, broadly speaking, and also that his general level of frustration with talking about that one sentence over and over again is high, but at the same time it read less like an explanation and more like an attempt to just make the question go away.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:40 AM
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if he'd screwed something up about Sumerian religion, I certainly wouldn't ever have spotted it

COWER! ENDING! DESTRUCTION!


Posted by: OPINIONATED ZUUL THE GATEKEEPER | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:41 AM
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Interestingly, the part of Peter Venkman was originally supposed to be played by Belushi. Does he hold up better as a loveable rogue than Bill Murray does? Certainly his character in Blues Brothers is a dick.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:42 AM
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Mostly, I want to see Henry Farrell come back at him in comments. He really ripped into Farrell, and I had the same trouble with his criticisms of Farrell as I did with the book -- I find it hard to pin down what's he's asserting without doing a whole lot of work. That doesn't make him wrong: you can be right, and informative, and still write in a style that I find unsympathetic. But Farrell I generally find clear enough that his response should lead me through what's at issue.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:44 AM
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91: I'd guess that Blume wouldn't have the same reaction to Belushi -- Murray's usually arguably a reasonably sympathetic sleazebag, where Belushi is something closer to Cookie Monster: he's this practically non-human pile of id. The movie couldn't possibly be expecting you to sympathize with Belushi (as opposed to rooting for him) as if he were an ordinary person.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:48 AM
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Talking of Keanu, and his terrible acting, we (the kids and I) watched Much Ado about Nothng last night (Kenneth Branagh/Emma Thompson) - very funny. And a bit of Keanu with his shirt off oiled up after a massage.

My teenagers liked Wayne's World more than I ever have. And Tremors is only good because it's just soooo bad. Don't think they've watched Animal House - should rectify that.

The trouble with wanting to share such things with my children is TIME. The older two and I are on a mission to watch the whole of ER (after it recently restarted here on Sky Atlantic, every weekday), plus Kid A and I are trying to watch The Wire. Fortunately Kid A goes to bed later than Kid B. And we're all out a lot. There's just not enough time for me to force all my old favourites on them.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:50 AM
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The sexism in "Caddyshack" and the beginning of "Ghostbusters" is nothing compared to "M*A*S*H" (the movie). I spent the whole movie wishing Tom Skerritt and that other jerk would get their comeuppance. Until the 50th or so minute of the football game during which I fell asleep.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:51 AM
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There are few movies I've hated more than Animal House.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:52 AM
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he says that it was a copy editing error

So we're to believe that a copy editor constructed the whole sentence? That's... odd.

I find it hard to pin down what's he's asserting without doing a whole lot of work. That doesn't make him wrong: you can be right, and informative, and still write in a style that I find unsympathetic.

I'm not sure I would say that I found his style unsympathetic; the book was a mostly pleasant read, at least. And I don't think I had anything coherent to say about the book after I read it. But, looking back on it, the sort of impression I have now is that this was a book by a guy who knows a lot of interesting stuff and who sort of intuits connections among things, who's kind of regaling us with chunks of what he knows-- "look at this fascinating story about the way tallies were used in country X in century Y!" -- and gesturing at a big picture he hopes we will also see, but that he doesn't really know how to articulate.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:58 AM
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LB you should really do a post on the Graeber stuff. You know you want to. (Or maybe you don't. I know you want to, though.)


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:59 AM
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sort of sort of kind of


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:00 AM
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But I think I'm kind of sympathetic to that; it's hard to take a big mass of information and turn into a sharp argument without being dishonest or oversimplifying. So the "here's a bunch of interesting material organized roughly along common themes, which I hope will make you feel somewhat more like I do about the role of debt in the world" approach maybe works? If you could extract a clear and logical summary of what it means and what he thinks we should do about it, the result would probably be laughably simplistic.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:03 AM
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98: I'm interested in it, but I don't have anything useful to say: essear's take is right about what I came away with.

(I do kind of want to get obsessively factchecky: trolling through for things that look solidly checkable and confirming them, in the hopes of finding it riddled with error. But (a) that would be a lot of work and (b) what would be the point?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:06 AM
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95: This is true. It's clear in the movie that part of the problem with Hot Lips is that she's a woman with opinions. By the football game, she's completely broken to her proper role as a cheerleader for the men.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:23 AM
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96 is not inconsistent with Animal House being tremendously culturally important. Much of AH's impact was negative! (For example, part of my elaborate pet theory about AH is that AH took what was originally a 1960s, rebellious, out of the mainstream focus of SNL and channeled that energy, permanently, for the forces of order and reaction).

*M*A*S*H* now seems super sexist, but in both it and in the Bill Murray comedy, some of what now reads as sexism comes from anti-authoritarianism/anti-school-marmism. That's not necessarily reactionary or even anti-women, but since Animal House has largely been channeled into a reactionary force. My pet theory explains everything!

[Could we put the Graeber stuff in another thread at least? As a fan of pet theories in many different domains, I want to talk about both it and film comedy, and it's hard to run the two together.]


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:30 AM
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*M*A*S*H* now seems super sexist, but in both it and in the Bill Murray comedy, some of what now reads as sexism comes from anti-authoritarianism/anti-school-marmism. That's not necessarily reactionary or even anti-women, but since Animal House has largely been channeled into a reactionary force. My pet theory explains everything!

The channeling of anti-authoritarianism into sexism - women are these shrewish schoolmarms out to spoil your fun. Rebel! - played a big role in harnessing it for reaction, yes?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:37 AM
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Wow! "That other jerk" was Donald Sutherland. I am incapable of picturing Donald Sutherland as a young man, no matter how many films I see containing said young man.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:38 AM
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I see that Snark already obliquely mentioned it, but I would love to know if anyone here has tried Young Frankenstein out on their kids. I love it very much and think it stands up to repeat viewings surprisingly excellently for a comedy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:38 AM
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Young Frankenstein, and Blazing Saddles, both had me laughing to the point of personal injury the first time I saw them. Aged about 11 or 12, maybe? Something like that.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:40 AM
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Per Animal House, I recently read one of the stories that inspired it in the context of the recent article about how things are at Dartmouth now (which appears to be widely loathed by recent Dartmouth grads, based on an n of 1). Things... seem largely the same, yes.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:41 AM
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106, 107: Yes, it was a huge hit with my brothers and me at ages 8-14 when we saw it the first time.

On the personal injury front, the youngest brother once laughed so hard while watching a Mr. Bean show of some sort that he kneed himself in the face and gave himself a black eye while ROFL.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:44 AM
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The problem with Brooks is that he made many brilliant first halves, Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles among them, but never seemed to have enough material or imagination to fill out a complete movie.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:47 AM
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I dunno the big dance number in Blazing Saddles is pretty great.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:50 AM
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I don't think I've ever seen YF or BS actually. Have added them to our rental list, and will report back (in many weeks' or months' time).


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:51 AM
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re: 112

They are a mix of the really puerile, and the rather clever. Plus slapstick and dick jokes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:52 AM
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BS does kind of trail off -- it's not that the last half is dull, but that it's not an ending. YF I haven't seen in forever, but it's great, and I wouldn't complain about the last half particularly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:53 AM
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(I am unfazed by the puerile.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:53 AM
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It's hard to imagine that Ghostbusters, seemingly such a recent movie, was actually made in a time when behaving like a sexist oaf was striking a blow against squares in the establishment, instead of striking a blow for traditional gender roles against those squares in the feminist movement.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:54 AM
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seemingly such a recent movie

I think this is the wrong part.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:57 AM
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There are few movies I've hated more than Animal House.

Porky's?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:59 AM
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It's also only a year later that Flashdance, which is another 80s movie I saw for the first time recently and was appalled by. "Haha, I''m your boss and if you don't go out on a date with me maybe I'll just have to fire you!"


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 10:00 AM
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By "those squares in the feminist movement" I mean "the P.C. police".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 10:02 AM
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was actually made in a time when behaving like a sexist oaf was striking a blow against squares in the establishment, instead of striking a blow for traditional gender roles against those squares in the feminist movement.

That's a great phrasing of the point. Temporally, I'd say that Ghostbusters was about the last film to be able to semi-sort-of-pull off the anti-establishment, and even there it was only about at most 50% about striking blows against establishment squares and 50% pure reactionary-ism; recall that the evil authority figure in Ghostbusters was the (gasp!) Environmental Protection Agency. By the time the mid-1980s had been saturated with teen bikini comedies, all of them in one way or another the spawn of Animal House, it was clear that the rebellious SNL energy was largely going to be directed against squares in the feminist movement.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 10:07 AM
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121: And Nat Lamp itself was something of a leading indicator of the same trajectory (for instance the story linked in 108 from 1974 NatLamp) . That said, M.A.S.H. is much more jarring to me. I am also not able to completely put John Wayne into the "that's just the way it was back then" category. Whereas I suspect if I were a bit younger I could do so.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 10:50 AM
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While we're hating on Bill Murray can we spare a hate-thought for Chevy Chase? God I hate him so much.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:07 AM
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A mix of the really puerile and the rather clever. Plus slapstick and dick jokes.

New mouseover text?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:15 AM
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Au contraire. Fletch maintained the anti-authoritarianism streak well into the 1980s, and is surprisingly (not completely, but still) non-sexist for the genre.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:15 AM
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The channeling of anti-authoritarianism into sexism - women are these shrewish schoolmarms out to spoil your fun. Rebel! - played a big role in harnessing it for reaction, yes?

Would you include One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest?



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:21 AM
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Speaking of jarring sexism in recent-ish movies, I re-watched L.A. Story (1991) a while back and had the same experience -- all of the romantic relationships were so bizarre (particularly the flirtation between Steve Martin and Sarah Jessica Parker) that it was hard to like the movie.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:31 AM
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L.A. Story

That movie is so awful and bizarre.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:40 AM
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Would you include One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest?

Tough call. Obviously there are sexism issues in OFOtCN, but I'm not sure they're serving the same agenda as the anti "PC" sexism that appeared post Animal House (if we are following Halford's grand unified theory).

I could be wrong though.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:42 AM
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Would you include One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest?

I know what I would included, though. Fucking On the Road.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:46 AM
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"included" s/b "include"


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:46 AM
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That movie is so awful and bizarre.

The strange thing about it, and the reason that I re-watched it, was the fact that people seem to take it seriously, and I've seen it mentioned more than once as a turning point in Martin's career (intended positively). For example, Roger Ebert:

The film is astonishing in the amount of material it contains. Martin has said he worked on the screenplay, on and off, for seven years, and you can sense that as the film unfolds. It isn't thin or superficial; there is an abundance of observation and invention here, and perhaps because the filmmakers know they have so much good material, there's never the feeling that anything is being punched up, or made to carry more than its share. I was reminded of the films of Jacques Tati, in which, calmly, serenely, an endless series of comic invention unfolds.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:47 AM
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I never thought of MASH the same way again once I read the book and learned that Trapper got his name by trapping a woman in a train compartment and raping her.*

*Obviously, not put quite like that. But yeah.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:49 AM
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133: and a Dartmouth grad!

I think we can start to see the common thread, here.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:51 AM
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125: Fletch was intolerable at the time.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:54 AM
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Do 10-12 year old kids like Buckaroo Banzai?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 11:55 AM
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Fortunately, he was quickly replaced by kindly, mustachioed B.J. Hunnicutt, who got his name from his parents, Bea and Jay.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:00 PM
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The channeling of anti-authoritarianism into sexism - women are these shrewish schoolmarms out to spoil your fun

I think this is a tradition in American literature. Huck Finn is the first example that comes to mind. I think Leslie Fiedler wrote about this.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:02 PM
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@138

A long tradition, I agree. I'm just considering what role it played in smoothing the transformation of the 60s counterculture anti-authoritarian ideal into the 90s Andrew Dice Clay conservative man-child one.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:07 PM
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121 - Ghostbusters was also the last major movie I can think of in which the protagonists smoked in a non-marked manner (that is, it wasn't a character point or a bit of period style that everyone was smoking). I think these go together!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:13 PM
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123: You know he got banned from Saturday Night Live (possibly for life) by Loren Michaels, right? You have to be a monstrous dick and a talentless hack for Loren Michaels to decide your talent to dicker ratio is too low, but I guess making AIDS jokes about Terry Sweeney to other cast members is enough to do it.

And yet I love Community.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:17 PM
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And yet I love Community.

You know Chevy Chase is on the verge of leaving Community because he's such a monstrous dick, right?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:31 PM
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So who was worse for the cinematic struggle against sexism: Shelley Duvall or Sissy Spacek? Both Nashville and The Shining are fantastic, and the sexism is both was contemporary and disconnected from rebellion against authority.

Maybe the peripheral details are the right thing to look at, I don't know. But if counterculture implies sexism, then shouldn't there be more films where women are actual villains or explicitly villainous? Cuckoo's Nest and Fatal Attraction and the others like that, maybe, but the thrillers aren't counterculture films. The year before Cuckoo's Nest, best actress went to Ellen Burstyn for ALice. Forman's next movie was Hair.

I'm not sure how central National Lampoon was. I loved it when I was 12 and it was popular, but I wasn't so interested by the time I was 17.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:32 PM
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Taking what he says about it at face value, he got really unlucky that his one giant howler was on a topic where a whole lot of his readers could spot it as absurd offhand -- if he'd screwed something up about Sumerian religion, I certainly wouldn't ever have spotted it.

Of course, the same argument gives a good reason for not taking what he says about it at face value

I don't understand this at all. Taking what he says about it at face value it wasn't his howler at all, and not something he screwed up, because what he says about it is that it got garbled in the copyediting process (a copyeditor, in comments, claims this is plausible), and he recognized it as mistaken and tried to get his publishers to change it (too late, as he—again, taking what he says at face value—just missed it in proofreading, which seems to me also to be pretty plausible).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:35 PM
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I also don't really see how the explanation sounds particularly disingenuous; I mean, maybe you think he's straight up lying, but this: "but at the same time it read less like an explanation and more like an attempt to just make the question go away." is baffling. It reads exactly like an explanation of how those words got there; it doesn't, it's true, read like an explanation of how he made that mistake, because the upshot of the explanation is supposed to be: and so, you see, I didn't make a mistake at all. I could understand the response: "oh come on, what kind of fools do you take us for?", but not the response: "but that isn't an explanation at all!".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:37 PM
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So we're to believe that a copy editor constructed the whole sentence? That's... odd.

Not according to one who purports to know. I don't really intend to be in full-on Graeber-defense mode (I also haven't read the book, and I thought his response to Henry was, at least, rhetorically ill advised), but I mean, at least try to respond to what he's actually claiming.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:39 PM
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So who was worse for the cinematic struggle against sexism: Shelley Duvall or Sissy Spacek? Both Nashville and The Shining are fantastic, and the sexism is both was contemporary and disconnected from rebellion against authority.

I'm not sure I understand. The issue isn't the depiction of sexist behavior but the attitude towards it that the film in question endorses. E.g., we're clearly supposed to agree that Hawkeye and Trapper are likable fun loving rogues and that Nurse Houlihan is a bossy harpy.

In The Shining on the other hand....I don't think we're meant to be on Jack Torrance's side.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:40 PM
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I see now that everyone has moved on.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:42 PM
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if counterculture implies sexism

This isn't the argument.

shouldn't there be more films where women are actual villains or explicitly villainous

They're not villains, they're annoyances.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:43 PM
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I think you are overlooking Shelly Duvall's contributions to on-screen feminism. Laydeez.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:44 PM
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I also don't really see how the explanation sounds particularly disingenuous;

Because the explanation of, "as soon as I spotted the error I tried to have it corrected but that hasn't been possible to do yet" seems like a different explanation than this one.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:44 PM
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144: By 'the same argument' I meant to refer to the fact that there was a glaring mistake in a particularly conspicuous bit of the book -- stuff about Apple which a large portion of his readership could check, in a way that left no doubt at all that the sentence in question was just absolutely wrong. Taking his explanation at face value, the fact that the error was one that would be noticeable to his readership was terrible luck. Not taking his explanation at face value on the other hand, the fact that he wrote a book filled with obscure fact claims that most of his readership couldn't check, but in the small portion of the book that they could check he got something glaringly wrong, suggests that the whole thing is riddled with error.

145: It kind of sounds disingenuous, because any copyediting mistake I can think of would have a fuller explanation: "I had this sentence about Apple, and this other sentence about this other company, and they got munged together into something that wasn't true of anything." The copyeditor seems unlikely to have introduced the word 'Apple' into a paragraph that didn't mention it -- what was the true thing he was going to say about Apple and edited out?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:45 PM
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151: Right, I'd forgotten that in the explanation linked here, he does explicitly cop to having intentionally meant to talk about Apple.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:47 PM
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Right, I understand the objection to casual disrespect. I'm saying that it doesn't seem to me to be central or pervasive in pop culture at the time, and that actual female villains are pretty rare.

The competent antecedents of today's Lifetime movies seem more relevant to me-- Alice or Goodbye Girl, where women pass the Bechdel test and the sympathetically depiceted men are good listeners. Neil Simon got famous then, didn't he?

It's possible that I'm wrong about this, it's a little before my time, but it seems to me a selective reading based on movies still popular now rather than what was around then.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:49 PM
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The counterculture was started by groups of twenty to thirty Nixonites, sitting around in Chevy Chase's garage working on their sex comedies.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:50 PM
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149 is right -- it's not that women are outright villains (except in grossness like American Beauty); they're not well-developed enough in most cases to be villains, just to represent the joylessness and buzzkillitude of a non-homosocial environment in which they provide something beyond blowjobs and pie. It's a continuing theme in popular entertainment from M*A*S*H (and before that!) through Judd Apatow's movies, etc.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:51 PM
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Not taking his explanation at face value on the other hand, the fact that he wrote a book filled with obscure fact claims that most of his readership couldn't check, but in the small portion of the book that they could check he got something glaringly wrong, suggests that the whole thing is riddled with error.

This has come up before, but I don't think it does have that suggestion.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:51 PM
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154: I am now baffled about what time period we're talking about.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:51 PM
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I wonder how PCU would play nowadays? That movie was simultaneously weirdly, insistently retro (even in the early '90s), and not actually about what it nominally (titularly) claimed to be about.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:53 PM
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If I ever read Debt I should do an ongoing series of blog posts fact-checking every claim. The downside of this is that that would of course be a hell of a lot of work, and this is not really the kind of anthropology I'm most familiar with.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:53 PM
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157: It suggests it to me. Not so strongly that I couldn't be convinced otherwise, but anything where I can check only 2% of it (to pull a number out of the air) of my own knowledge, if I find an error in that 2% I'm going to get suspicious.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:55 PM
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Judd Apatow

Freaks and Geeks has a female protagonist. The movies seem stupid, geared for fast profits, I haven't seen them. Are they good?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:55 PM
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Some of the Judd Apatow movies are quite funny, but you have to accept that the female characters run the gamut between cardboard and cardstock.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:58 PM
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162: I think Freaks and Geeks owes quite a bit to Paul Feig. I don't think it's a coincidence that Bridesmaids, with female comedic leads, was the first time he and Apatow had worked together since.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:59 PM
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152.1: He does address this possibility by pointing out that many specialists have praised the book for mostly getting things right..


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 12:59 PM
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160: I seriously think you could probably spend the rest of your life on that task.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:03 PM
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165: I feel like Captain Ahab here. I don't know that the book is riddled with error, and I could totally be completely off base. That said, he doesn't so much point out that specialists have praised the book for getting things right as assert that they have, without naming them or citing to the praise. Reviews I've seen have been much more 'fascinating in its broad sweep' than 'As an anthropologist specializing in premodern societies in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is refreshing seeing information from my specialty brought into a book aimed at general audiences while maintaining scrupulous accuracy.'

If I saw a number of reviews like that, I'd dismiss the Apple thing as a fluke, even if he was dodgy about explaining it. But I haven't, and his claim that they exist doesn't help me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:09 PM
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As long as we're discussing Graeber here, I want to highlight what I thought was the most interesting paragraph from his post:

Morley is also spot on when he describes my basic problematic. The way I'd myself put it is this. The reason why grand narratives, or metanarratives if you like, have been so broadly rejected in radical theory since the '80s is that they close down possibilities rather than open them up, and, of course, tend to imply that political power should be in the hands of some intellectual elite that understands the inevitable direction of history. The problem is that you can't really think outside some narrative structures. So the result is that those who think they are embracing a postmodern skepticism towards metanarratives, and just looking at contingent particulars, seem to end up reproducing the reigning assumptions of the day (economism, usually) without even noticing they're doing so. There was a recent special issue of the journal Current Anthropology called "The New Keywords" organized by Lauren Leve, which I contributed to, where we actually tried to demonstrate how exactly that happened in '80s and '90s anthropology: instead of grand theory we ended up with a series of themes, consumption, identity, agency, flow... and all of them, really, ended up precisely echoing the logic of the market and the emerging neoliberal ideology of the day. So the question is: how do you write a grand narrative that will ensure we don't do this, but which won't also won't try to enslave us to some Party that will lead us in the Inevitable Direction of History.

That raises interesting questions. He correctly notes that he doesn't have a solution to the problems of the "grand narrative" but, if he's correctly describing a set of intellectual trade-offs, that's a provocative defense.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:18 PM
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@168

Does this mean that our effort to construct a Grand Narrative of sexism and anti-authoritarianism in post-60s Hollywood films is doomed?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:27 PM
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Groundhog Day is probably my favorite Bill Murray movie, although it might not be the funniest.

Not a big fan of the later Farelly Brothers stuff, but I thought "Something About Mary" was hilarious.

"The Producers" movie was pretty funny.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:38 PM
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The Apple error is certainly evidence of poor copyediting (there are many others -- horrible typos in the book), and I'd use it to death if I were cross-examining him, but the critical question for evaluating whether the Apple error serves as a proxy for the overall effectiveness and/or reliability of the book is "are the examples he is using that form significant parts of his argument wrong in the same way that the Apple error is wrong."

I strongly suspect that the answer to that is no, and that while there are undoubtedly errors in detail or places where specialists would emphasize different things, the basic factual structure that underlies the book isn't "wrong" even if the emphases might strike some specialists as odd. And I am reasonably certain at this point that if a seriously significant (and genuinely undermining) error in a more specialized field was made, we'd have heard about it by now.

It's also worth noting that the Apple error was (probably) not carefully checked precisely because it's a throwaway line in the book, and that the error doesn't really play into any significant argument in the book: the only meaningful information conveyed, which wasn't supposed to be about Apple specifically, is that there are plenty of computer companies started by small informal networks of ex-IBMers, which is true. I'll also admit to being somewhat annoyed that people are all like "OMG HE DIDN'T KNOW THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD -- THE STORY OF APPLE COMPUTERS." I'll also admit that he does seem pretty defensive and ornery in his Crooked Timber post, which is never a good sign, but I kind of like him out there swinging hard punches.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:41 PM
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Hey, PGD, last time Graeber came up, you mentioned unequal treatment of creditors according to how powerful they were. Who writes moderately well about this? For the US, is reading about the S&L bailout of the 90s relevant, or is there a better event to look at, maybe depression bankruptcies?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:45 PM
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172: Not sure about a specific book. But you can just look at Donald Trump's career. I mean, the capacity of major creditors to renegotiate debt is no secret. My favorite recent example is the Mortgage Bankers Association doing a strategic default on their headquarters building in DC -- they were underwater and just walked away from the debt.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:50 PM
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That said, he doesn't so much point out that specialists have praised the book for getting things right as assert that they have, without naming them or citing to the praise.

Well, here's one from the CT event itself:

Since I imagine I was invited to contribute to this seminar in the capacity of a historian of the ancient economy, I should record that I did indeed spend much of my time tutting to myself during the sections on Greece and Rome, and muttering things like 'yes, but it's rather more complicated than that' - the historian's traditional mantra. Some serious questions could be raised about Graeber's account of ancient slavery, about his neglect of Sparta and his habit of taking Athens as representative of an entire era, about his assumptions re the high level of literacy in this period and his account of the history of the Roman Republic (very compressed, hence tending to conflate events that were centuries apart). Actually, though, I was impressed with how well he knows the relevant scholarship (much better on Greece than Rome, admittedly, perhaps because there is more of a tradition in that sub-field of the sort of 'culturalist' approach to economic history that's amenable to his own project); compared with some of the atrocities committed by economists and business historians seeking to reclaim ancient economic history from the ancient historians (something of a trend in recent years - which seems to call for an explanation) this is a credible and sophisticated interpretation of the subject.

This strikes me as, basically, praise from an expert.

I continue not to see why a claim to specialist knowledge is impugned by a mistake (granting that it is one) in a non-specialist realm (especially if the mistake isn't particularly load-bearing). Suppose I am an expert, or claim expertise, regarding the Canterbury scene in music, and I say something which is just outright false about Johnny Cash, having assimilated it under the rubric of common knowledge. Why should you mistrust what I say about Robert Wyatt? (Or about French cookery, or whatever, something else you can't easily check?) Wyatt and his crew are the objects of my research.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:52 PM
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I think it would be a loss if the movie comedy thread became the Graeber thread, but I quite liked Graeber's response in CT. He called out a number of CT posters who deserved it, I thought.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:58 PM
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@171,174

At least in the original unfogged thread, I think it just struck people as an especially easy thing to get right, and so getting it wrong was taken as evidence of lazy attitude that could potentially infect other parts of the book.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:58 PM
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Whoops, in 173 I meant major debtors.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 1:59 PM
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I'll also admit that he does seem pretty defensive and ornery in his Crooked Timber post

He seems a lot more reasonable in comments (except when replying to Henry, whose sole comment (that I saw) also did not bode well). I think Tim Mason is probably right in saying "I'm not sure that [Graeber] does himself any favours in defending it as he has done here." In particular, saying something like this, "Rather than refute him point by point, which would presumably bore most readers to tears, perhaps it would be more interesting to explore how such a strategy works." is, I think, almost always a really bad move rhetorically, unless you're absolutely certain that you're talking to people who already agree with you, which, obviously, Graeber isn't, since among the people he's talking to is Henry Farrell himself. You can, if you want to be snide, do the rhetorical analysis thing after you've shown why the accusations are wrong, but just waltzing right by them smacks of arrogant trollery. And this is just egregious: "Again--I'm sorry to be rude, but I didn't start this thing--one really wonders what this has to say about Prof. Farrell's professional qualifications." What is the point of such a sentence? Salve your wounded pride elsewhere, guy. I'm not sure why the response to Henry wasn't more along these lines.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:00 PM
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At least in the original unfogged thread, I think it just struck people as an especially easy thing to get right

Easy things to get right are often also easy things to get wrong, because you, the wrong-getter, also think they're easy to get right, and that you have already easily gotten it right. Hence the mentioned assimilation to common knowledge in 174. Maybe I just think it's well known that Cash's most famous album is Live in Cook County Jail.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:02 PM
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Because he's not a specialist in the subject matter of his book: it covers 5000 years of history and the whole world, no one could be a specialist in that much. (Noted that you're right, he did get praise from an expert on the classical world, and that does affect my sense of the reliability of the book as a whole positively.) The book is going to contain an awful lot of information in areas where he's not a specialist.

Given that, anything indicating that he's likely to make fact claims in areas where he doesn't have a strong familiarity with the subject matter without checking them out seems like it speaks badly of his credibility generally.

On the common knowledge point: nothing like the Apple claim (and I think the link in 151 establishes that he was intentionally saying something about Apple that was very wrong, even if further mangled by a copy-editor) is common knowledge. He didn't get sucked in by a common error, he made his own error. On the Wizard of Oz thing I was bitching about on the prior thread, I think it's self-evidently true that if no one identified TWOOZ as a political allegory until the sixties, it really wasn't one. But that I'm not holding against him at all, because the error's out there and you could rely on a number of sources for it: "common knowledge" is a fine defense for the TWOOZ thing, but not for the Apple thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:02 PM
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Oh on the original topic, my 11 year old loves Freaks&Geeks, liked Back to the Future, really liked Real Genius, which I thought was good also. Before Malcolm in the Middle decayed in its later seasons, we both liked that. This not just comedy, but most well-done vampire stuff plays- Buffy, BBC Being Human.

Bill+Ted sounds like a good idea. He also likes Tarkovsky, will tolerate Howard Lloyd, who I like a lot.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:04 PM
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On the Wizard of Oz thing I was bitching about on the prior thread, I think it's self-evidently true that if no one identified TWOOZ as a political allegory until the sixties, it really wasn't one.

Well, this is a separate issue, and I didn't read that thread, but this also strikes me as strange.

But that I'm not holding against him at all, because the error's out there and you could rely on a number of sources for it: "common knowledge" is a fine defense for the TWOOZ thing, but not for the Apple thing.

Right—my point was that it's possible to believe that p, which is neither true not common knowledge, is both true and common knowledge, hence to cite it without doing much investigation, not that p might be both false and "common knowledge" (though that is certainly also possible).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:04 PM
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anything indicating that he's likely to make fact claims in areas where he doesn't have a strong familiarity with the subject matter without checking them out seems like it speaks badly of his credibility generally.

I honestly don't think that this is true of anything in the book -- only those elements that are significant to his argument. The Apple error (confusing Apple with other computer companies, and stating that laptops were used earlier than they were) was totally insignificant. I do think that it prevents you from saying "my God, this massive tome was scrupulously fact checked and copy edited" but it doesn't tell us much about his claims where something is actually at stake.

I admit I'm pushing this a little bit because I think it's basically impossible for people to write books like Graeber's -- and I think people should write books like that -- if we're going to discard them just because we notice little things like the Apple error. And obviously LB didn't actually disregard the book, but I think she's overstating the significance of the error.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:12 PM
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He seems a lot more reasonable in comments (except when replying to Henry, whose sole comment (that I saw) also did not bode well).

My basic frustration with his post (which, I hasten to add, was interesting enough that I read the whole thing without ever feeling like it was too long -- unlike some of Holbo's posts), was that he didn't add that much to any of the conversations from the seminar. This was most egregious in his response to Henry, of course, and in some cases he was right to be dismissive, but I there was no case for which I thought, "I read the original post, thought it was interesting, but was confused by [X] and now it makes more sense." In all of his responses he clarified which side of any given argument he was on, but didn't clarify the underlying debate at all.

I was particularly disappointed that he didn't respond to dsquared in any substantial way because I thought that post was one in which D2's snarky and somewhat belligerent style actually lead to an interesting discussion (see also the recent Community College thread in which, IMHO, D2's comments ended up adding a great deal of value). But in general I just didn't feel like reading his response helped extract additional value.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:18 PM
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182: Oh, I wasn't following you. So, just a straight bonehead error, not being misled by a myth that seemed too well-accepted to check. Yeah, that sort of thing can happen to anyone.

183: Yeah, I'm not committed to the book being a tissue of errors, I'm just not relying on it for any unexpected claims of fact without checking another source.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:18 PM
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On the CT thread, I'm taking Graeber down. He'll have to copy-edit out the whole last chapter of his book.

The article in 142 actually made me slightly sympathetic to Chase. Though he is the most expendable of the permanent cast.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:25 PM
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I was particularly disappointed that he didn't respond to dsquared in any substantial way because I thought that post was one in which D2's snarky and somewhat belligerent style actually lead to an interesting discussion

It led to an interesting discussion because the original post didn't make much sense and then DD engaged with the commenters who pointed that out. DD has had lots of great posts but that definitely wasn't one of them. I think Graeber was right to be dismissive.

As for Henry, he can be as belligerent and snotty as D-2 at times without the excuse of D-2s sharp intelligence. Have to admit I don't remember his post on Graeber though, possibly it was more polite than Graeber makes out.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:36 PM
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Walt (or PGD), since I refuse to sully my pristine clothing by wandering into the mire of a CT thread, what do you think of the accuracy of this claim (which Graeber explicitly endorses). By "accuracy" I don't mean "did Michael Hudson say this" I mean "is it correct?":

In the book Hudson makes an explicit case that under Nixon, the US did develop a system of compelling client regimes to buy T-bonds as a way of paying for the US military that "protected" them from the Soviet bloc. During the Cold War, the Communist bloc were of course were outside the US-imposed currency system, and at the time, the US used various forms of pressure on its allies to ensure they did acknowledge the primacy of the dollar: for instance, threatening to pull its troops out of West Germany if that country's central bank did not become a first linchpin of the T-bond system. Hudson documents all this. After the collapse of the Soviet bloc, former communist regimes were, he says, obliged to become part of the US-centered monetary order. The result is the massive advantage the US has in the world marketplace, being able to effectively write checks that are never cashed but instead treated as if they were gold by central bankers.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:41 PM
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Dsquared posted on his own blog an email that takes exception with his CT post ("To start with, IIUC the idea that "the majority of debts are always commercial" is utter tosh before the rise of capitalism."), which I won't quote here (in full anyway) since dsquared's blog is still private, but which was interesting. Agreed that the comments his CT post spawned were for the most part good.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:44 PM
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And I should say that the argument in 188 is, if it is wrong, the kind of thing that I would expect to be "wrong" in the book; Graeber is borrowing from the work of an actual specialist (in this case, Hudson) and is not making a glaring factual error, but people with more knowledge of the field think it's either not quite right or an erroneous interpretation for a number of reasons. That's different than the Apple quote.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:45 PM
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I seriously think you could probably spend the rest of your life on that task.

Probably not worth it, then. Eh, I probably wasn't going to read the book anyway.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:45 PM
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This is Henry's post, and unless he got substantially nastier in comments, I'm having an incredibly hard time comprehending Graeber's outrage, or his claim that he was no more than 50% as rude as Henry was.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:49 PM
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Dsquared does still have a blog? I really thought that was a joke. Is it the only private blog in the world?

Does Standpipe have one?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:50 PM
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But, looking back on it, the sort of impression I have now is that this was a book by a guy who knows a lot of interesting stuff and who sort of intuits connections among things, who's kind of regaling us with chunks of what he knows-- "look at this fascinating story about the way tallies were used in country X in century Y!" -- and gesturing at a big picture he hopes we will also see, but that he doesn't really know how to articulate.

Huh.

Does this mean that our effort to construct a Grand Narrative of sexism and anti-authoritarianism in post-60s Hollywood films is doomed?

Nope. I just read something that set me back on my heels. To paraphrase.

"Male radicalism, revolution, anti-authoritarianism is utterly Oedipal, and thus always includes sexual violence towards women." ...Nygren

This is finally language I can use to understand the "get me coffee" thing. It is not the kind of thing I like to share on the Internet, because many people...oh never mind.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 2:56 PM
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192:The "Empire and tribute" thing is really important to some people, maybe especially anarchist pacifists. The difference between Farrell and Graeber as to the uses and purposes of this kind of analysis is pretty stark.

Does Farrell want to kill the state?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:00 PM
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188: I have never heard anything remotely like that West Germany claim. How could it possibly be true? Nixon was going to basically turn West Germany over to the Soviets if the Bundesbank wouldn't buy T bills? Was he deliberately trying to lose the Cold War?

The other claims are also wrong. The US dollar is the official currency of the drug trade, which means drug dealers treat dollars as checks that are never cashed but treated as gold. Do US elites derive any benefit from this?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:05 PM
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The mortifying Bill & Ted's Saturday morning cartoon link reminds me that I saw an ad on the odious elevator "news" thing that they're making a cartoon of Angry Birds. Akhmatova once wrote:

No, it is not I
It is someone else
I would not be able
To suffer so


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:06 PM
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Nixon was going to basically turn West Germany over to the Soviets if the Bundesbank wouldn't buy T bills? Was he deliberately trying to lose the Cold War?

As the saying goes, only Nixon could defect to Moscow.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:09 PM
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And I think Graeber did a fine job of demonstrating the relative emotional weight given to say, the "Empire and tribute" argument, and why he finds the academic Farrells so frustrating.

But can you prove, to peer-review satisfaction, that the shotgun aimed by the dealer effects the the other player's bets? I don't think your evidence completely supports your claim.

There's the fucking shotgun aimed at everyone's head. Argument over.

Fuck off, bourgeois apologist for empire.

I wouldn't have been as polite.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:10 PM
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The US dollar is the official currency of the drug trade, which means drug dealers treat dollars as checks that are never cashed but treated as gold. Do US elites derive any benefit from this?

Well, they presumably enjoy the drugs.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:11 PM
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197 is perfect in every way.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:13 PM
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The other claims are also wrong. The US dollar is the official currency of the drug trade, which means drug dealers treat dollars as checks that are never cashed but treated as gold. Do US elites derive any benefit from this?

So is the idea that unless US elites derive some benefit from every effect of something, they can't have been behind that thing?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:17 PM
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I mean, did anybody benefit from Guttenberg?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:18 PM
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196 - I've actually seen a credible-to-me argument that the USD's status as the global currency of choice for black market trades has a notable disinflationary effect.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:19 PM
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203 - Moses Hightower?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:20 PM
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I'm sure that baby and little lady grew up to be fine members of society, though Guttenberg can only take 1/3 of the credit.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:22 PM
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203: The Stonecutters?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:22 PM
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202: I just commented on this at CT, but the following is in the relevant chapter of Debt:

What is remarkable for present purposes is not so much that American dollars are created by banks, but that one apparently paradoxical result of Nixon's floating the currency was that these bank-related dollars themselves replaced gold as the world's reserve currency; that is, as the ultimate store of value in the world, yielding the United States enormous economic advantages.

He's explicitly claiming that someone who can be identified with the US gets enormous economic advantages from the dollar being the reserve currency. It's not clear to me what those advantages are, or who's reaping them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:23 PM
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DVDA pornos have nothing on y'all.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:24 PM
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209 to 205 through 207, but maybe a little less to 205 and 206.

"Johnny Five!" would have also been a-okay by me.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:25 PM
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201: Why thanks!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:25 PM
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The US dollar is the official currency of the drug trade, which means drug dealers treat dollars as checks that are never cashed but treated as gold. Do US elites derive any benefit from this?

I thought the idea was that having the dollar as the international reserve currency stabilized the financial system as a whole, which, even though it kinda sucks for US exporters, benefits the real elites who want to control global finance. And that it allowed the US government itself to borrow more cheaply, thus financing war. Or something like that. I really don't understand macro but it seems odd that the US government wouldn't be super concerned with something that makes it easier to finance itself.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:25 PM
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Farrells of the world:"Let us discuss the latest arguments on just war theory and liberal interventionism."

Powers that Be and allies and subject states:"You do that. We're busy budgeting the ground invasion of Syria."

Read it this morning. Because of the WMD's, ground troops are necessary. Probably be $40 billion a month, minimum.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:25 PM
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208.last

Because we can repay international debts in our own currency, thus enabling us to run current account deficits without sparking a currency crisis?

Because we get the benefit of the interest float on all those greenbacks outstanding (I've seen estimates in the tens of billions for the value of this)?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:31 PM
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Here's a link to a McKinsey study that says we get about $40 billion in net benefit from being the world's reserve currency, which is certainly a benefit but not a super-significant one.

Is it possible to have less than zero expertise on a topic? Because that's what I have. But still.

Anyhow, it's pretty easy to have a vague voodoo sense that having the dollar be the world's currency and the US be the world's dominant military empire are mutually reinforcing elements of domination, that make us important in people's lives. But that's ignorant medieval peasant logic, not any considered view.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:37 PM
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The elites benefit from a reserve currency, but it doesn't really matter what it is, as long as the government pursues policies that don't harm elite interests (such as high inflation). There's no necessity that there be only one reserve currency, either.

A strong dollar does let the US borrow at lower interest rates, but the UK, Japan and Germany can also borrow at low interest rates -- as of today Japan can borrow at considerably lower rates than the US. The effect can't be that big.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:41 PM
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212. It's bullshit. The Swiss Franc is also a widely-held reserve currency. The country which currently holds the most US government bonds is China. In theory, yes, China is helping the US military by keeping borrowing costs lower. It's a very ineffectual effort, since the US keeps sending weapons to Taiwan and we are keeping Chinese private companies from buying US owned Indonesian oil.

The imperialism-resource argument concerns oil and US-Saudi relations, economics and politics impossible to disentangle.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:42 PM
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214: Australia has run a current account deficit for like 50 years in a row, without being a reserve currency.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:47 PM
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Is it possible to have less than zero expertise on a topic?

Sure. Look at Yglesias.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:50 PM
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It seems like an interesting book, but I would rather read actual history than a well-intentioned but poorly-executed collage. It's valuable to have a serious book pointing out that "debt" isn't just one thing, and that the way Haiti really got a raw deal 200 years ago si part of systematic behavior.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:54 PM
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The elites benefit from a reserve currency, but it doesn't really matter what it is, as long as the government pursues policies that don't harm elite interests (such as high inflation). There's no necessity that there be only one reserve currency, either.

OK, but given that the US is already the world's reserve currency, and has been that since the end of Bretton Woods, wouldn't the better, more conservative position if you are a risk-averse global elite be to hope that the US maintains the dollar as the world currency, as part of a broader pax Americana?

OR SOMETHING. I'm arguing from less than zero knowledge, so I am handicapping myself 20 argument points and if I make Walt concede even one thing I win.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 3:54 PM
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215: ignorant medieval peasant logic

Come and see the violence inherent in the system!

But seriously, if we're talking about the elite elite, not just your average rich person, but like, Trilateral Commission/Davos/plays golf with the President elite people, do they really care that much about any particular facet of hegemony? I mean, yeah, of course they don't want a global revolution, but if they're the elite, it's a bit of a tautology that everything is set up to benefit their interests. So strong dollar, weak dollar -- as long as it catches mice it's a good dollar.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 4:25 PM
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The elites benefit from a reserve currency, but it doesn't really matter what it is, as long as the government pursues policies that don't harm elite interests (such as high inflation).

So, for the sake of argument, presuming sat a madcap socialist gov't being elected in Germany, how do American elites stop Germany from inflating? We are not going to invade. What tools are available, what methods created, leverage?

Your job is not to tell it can't or needn't be done, but to tell me how to do it. No, sanctions won't work. Could take, oh the past forty years to create a controlling financial mechanism. And it was done.

It is not only the Germans who remember Weimar. A lot of war debt disappeared.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 4:26 PM
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Okay Walt?

Competitive devaluation has always been a tool of int'l economics, and the hegemon, even though it can't realistically control other Central Banks, sure would like to be the only one who could go full on hyperflation, the only one with the choice?

How would you do that. You are Richard Nixon, and you say get me someone who can prevent Germany and Japan from ever devaluing?

And the first guy walks in and says:"Weimar! Don't worry, you can trust them."

And Nixon says:"Who let this fuck into my office? Take this idiot fuck out and shoot the motherfucker. Trust is not in my fucking job description or how my mother raised me. Get me a real mean Jew. Where's Allan Greenspan?"

And then America in the 70s showed just how far it could, how it could torture and torment it's populace. Can you do this, dude? Repeat in the 80s. And then they ruled.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 4:51 PM
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"Who let this fuck into my office? Take this idiot fuck out and shoot the motherfucker. Trust is not in my fucking job description or how my mother raised me. Get me a real mean Jew.

Maybe it's time you did move to Hollywood, Bob. You've already got the film knowledge AND the workplace culture down.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 4:53 PM
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I think people are underestimating the tangible benefits that certain U.S. sectors (Wall Street especially) get from the 'exorbitant privilege' of the reserve currency. Also, people do not seem to be taking into account that U.S. capital holders get significant benefit when other countries underprice their currencies -- how much do you think Walmart stockholders have benefited from low Chinese currency?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 4:58 PM
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Ugh, that Graeber response. First, he's right that Henry's post misreads him when he says that Graeber "systematically ignores the possibility that many people like monetized relations" -- Graeber doesn't try to cover up the reasons why money is a useful and appealing thing to have. Henry seemed to be attacking a caricature of Graeber there.

But the Iraq bits, and associated discussion of US hegemony, really didn't seem to contain much of an argument. And Graeber's response veers between the "why aren't you addressing my very detailed and substantive arguments?" (when they are nowhere to be seen) style of argument characteristic of at least one Unfogged commenter, and a sort of directly opposite "can't you see the burden isn't on me to make an argument, but on everyone else?" It's not very appealing.

From the rest of Graeber's writing, I have a general impression of him as both thoughtful and likable, so I'm surprised by this. This must be something that pushes his buttons in a way that's really not conducive to getting a coherent account of what he thinks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:45 PM
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To clarify: when I said "But the Iraq bits, and associated discussion of US hegemony, really didn't seem to contain much of an argument," I mean there isn't much of an argument in Debt, just a string of claims.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:46 PM
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the "why aren't you addressing my very detailed and substantive arguments?" (when they are nowhere to be seen) style of argument characteristic of at least one Unfogged commenter

Lame and passive aggressive. Name names.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:50 PM
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He learned it from you, Dad.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:51 PM
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Wait, that wasn't meant to be that harsh. But you should name names! And, I have no idea who you're talking about. I hope this isn't one of those "if you don't know who the sucker is" situations.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:51 PM
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Anyhow everybody knows who he means.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:52 PM
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Oh. Well, almost everybody. No problem.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:52 PM
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231: Not you.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:54 PM
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It should be obvious who he is referring to, but no it isn't you.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:54 PM
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No one will NAME NAMES. I'm going to go full McCarthy on you all as soon as I get subpoena power.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:56 PM
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At long last, sir, have you no sense of comedy?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:56 PM
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227.last: Agreed. That is, having just finished reading the Graeber piece, he gets much better once he begins to talk himself down from the irritation over Farrell et al.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 5:57 PM
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231: Further hint: it's "obvious" to people who have various species of bug lodged in their rectums from previous arguments that they've misrepresented to themselves. (Which particular Rectal-Insectoid Disorder was responsible for Sifu's masterful comedic display on this thread.)


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:00 PM
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You are not the audience, essear, you are a prop in Graeber's performance. And as I said, Graeber won big time today.

What we think, LB and the Bankster are going to work really hard for Jubilee? Or stop the wars?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:02 PM
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the "why aren't you addressing my very detailed and substantive arguments?" (when they are nowhere to be seen) style of argument characteristic of at least one Unfogged commenter

Weirdly, I haven't noticed a lot of people pulling that maneuver here lately. Must not be paying attention.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:02 PM
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Okay, perhaps my wonderful argument was misunderstood.

Graeber showed today he wants relief from debt and an end to war.

The rest of you showed that you are way cool and real smart.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:05 PM
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239: Dude. Seriously?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:24 PM
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243: Seriously. Dude.

Duuuuuuude.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:28 PM
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I actually didn't really have any idea who essear was talking about. I was pretending I did because it's funny to make Halford feel left out while I emailed essear to ask. I think Castock might be right, though!


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:29 PM
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Are we going to have wacky misunderstandings again?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:33 PM
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I figured it was me essear was talking about. Or Standpipe, who basically never made an actual argument -- ever notice that? Just cryptic statements. So obnoxious.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:36 PM
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It's a little ironic to have this break out on the thread called "Be excellent to each other."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:37 PM
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(Although wrong as I may think they are, I actually have some recollection of what some parties are bitching about when they get started. I can't really say that for "Josh," maybe I ran over his cat or something? It's possible, I've run over many cats. Uhhh, sorry about your cat, Josh; If it makes you feel any better, he made for a tasty burger.)

I didn't force anyone to passive-aggressively reference old flamewars, but now that we've all clarified the particulars and that there is a lot of love in this room, I don't actually want to derail the whole thread. On the Graeber discussion, credit where due to Bob: 199 makes a lot of sense and is my read on that part of his post as well. Though I think the observation that anger is getting the better of his prose is an accurate one.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:44 PM
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Are we going to have wacky misunderstandings again?

Always already.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:49 PM
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LB and the Bankster

Wait, do I have a sidekick? This totally sounds like I have a sidekick. Is he a cool sidekick?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:49 PM
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The Bankster wears a natty pin-striped suit, carries a tommy gun and can banter with the best of them.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:52 PM
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Is he a cool sidekick?

I think bob was referring to dsquared, so: yes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:54 PM
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252 - Are you sure the Bankster doesn't pack a holster full of spray paint? Or, for that matter, roam America looking for top models?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:54 PM
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It's true, anything is possible with the Bankster.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:56 PM
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Come on, that sidekick blows a lot of noise but totally can't street fight for real.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:56 PM
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Bit of a potty-mouth, the Bankster, but knows how to wield a terrible argument 'til somebody or other backs down.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:57 PM
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Come on, that sidekick blows a lot of noise but totally can't street fight for real.

That's why he's the sidekick rather than the hero.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:57 PM
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I can't really say that for "Josh,"

I really should have picked a better pseud, shouldn't I?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 6:58 PM
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183

I admit I'm pushing this a little bit because I think it's basically impossible for people to write books like Graeber's -- and I think people should write books like that -- if we're going to discard them just because we notice little things like the Apple error. And obviously LB didn't actually disregard the book, but I think she's overstating the significance of the error.

I don't agree with this at all. Lots of books don't contain anything as egregiously wrong as that paragraph and I think it is reasonable to suspect the book as a whole based on it.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:14 PM
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I guess I picked the wrong thread for being cryptic.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:14 PM
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Looks like I picked the wrong thread to quit sniffin' glue.


Posted by: Steve McCroskey | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:16 PM
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248 It's a little ironic to have this break out on the thread called "Be excellent to each other."

Yeah, this leans more toward "bogus" than "excellent". I apologize.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:21 PM
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262: Could you be a little more explicit next time?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:26 PM
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I kind of wanted to talk more about Graeber but I guess I derailed the discussion I wanted to start.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:30 PM
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263: This thread is the Encino Man of threads which are analogues of late '80s/early '90s teen comedies set in LA suburbs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:30 PM
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I kind of wanted to talk more about Graeber but I guess I derailed the discussion I wanted to start.

It's not too late to re-rail it. What did you want to say?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:32 PM
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265: I hate that fucker because everyone wants to talk about his stupid fucking book. If it had stayed a somewhat marginal interesting historical survey it would have been fine, but now it sucks.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:32 PM
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267: Nice try, Smokey.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:33 PM
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Graeber's post gestures at an argument that also shows up a little in the book but isn't thoroughly fleshed out, to the effect that paranoid conspiracy theories and urban legends are very revealing of the way that people think about how the world works. He seems to think that even if Iraq switching to the euro didn't cause the US attack, the fact that there were widespread rumors that it did is itself diagnostic of how the US government abuses the dollar as reserve currency. And I wish he would spell out his thinking more, because I don't really follow this. Such rumors might indicate that some people fear that the US uses its military power to enforce the dollar as reserve currency, but this isn't evidence that the US military is exploiting that fear or intentionally cultivating it, which seems to be his inference. Or maybe I misunderstand him? I also never heard any of the rumors he describes as widespread, which makes me wonder if his perception of what counts as a common urban legend is strongly influenced by his anarchist circles, or if I'm just unusually insulated from people who spread these conspiracy theories.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:38 PM
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Contra 268, I find the Graeber discussion interesting, even though I haven't read the book and probably won't, because the issues it raises are interesting and rarely discussed. I haven't yet found an aspect of the discussion to which I have much to contribute, so I haven't been all that active in it, but if there's as much in the book as people keep saying that may change at some point.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:38 PM
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And contra 269, I don't even wear the hat anymore.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:40 PM
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271: I think it's worth reading. One notable thing about it is that it's very dense. By comparison, I'm reading the Kahneman book now, and while it's interesting it feels like it's repeating a lot of things and could be condensed quite a bit (at the cost of losing some of its engaging tone). Graeber's book would be hard to condense without losing information, and even if you don't like the broad sweep of his arguments, a lot of his stories about different cultures and historical episodes are really interesting. As I mentioned in an earlier thread, it made me want to go collect a bunch of the books he cites to read also (though I might never get around to it).


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:43 PM
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208

He's explicitly claiming that someone who can be identified with the US gets enormous economic advantages from the dollar being the reserve currency. It's not clear to me what those advantages are, or who's reaping them.

Aren't the advantages obvious? The United States manufactures and exports dollars. It as if gold were the reserve currency and the US had the only gold mine. Whether the profit here is "enormous" in the greater scheme of things is debatable but it certainly exists.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:44 PM
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270 is interesting and I share the concern. There's a lot of "as an anthropologist I find rumors fascinating" but I'm never quite sure why in this context. Defensible arguments are, I think, that (a) that rumors like that are believed reveal that we live in a world where the US is at least perceived to plausibly be powerful enough to attack Iraq for switching to the Euro; (b) the rumor demonstrates some folk understanding of the connection between US currency and US power, which has some kind of symbolic power in constructing people's understanding of the world even if the US government isn't actually punishing Iraq for switching to the Euro -- that is, even if denominating oil barrels in US currency doesn't mean that much at a rational level, it has a symbolic weight that is significant.

But who knows! FWIW, I loved the book but thought the last chapter went off the rails and couldn't finish it, which I understand to be a common reaction. A lot of the problem was the clipped nature of the chapter, but the discussion as a whole just seemed way less grounded.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:51 PM
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273: I may well read it at some point. My reading list is already so long, and I read so slowly, that it'll be quite a while before I get around to it, though, if indeed I ever do.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 7:54 PM
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270: I don't see this argument as rooted in rumor at all, or in any kind of *conscious* intention by the U.S. military to maintain the U.S. currency. Global military hegemon / international policeman is a very particular role, and Iraq was a very strong signal that we intended to keep that role regardless of international approval or UN sanction. Being the global military hegemon means that you have the unlimited power to use violence in pursuit of your interests. It's pretty clear the U.S. accords itself this power based on our inherent righteousness and self-proclaimed best-country-in-the-history-the-world status.

An effect of that kind of hegemony is that you are perceived as more stable in various ways, both internally (who would interfere to say that the U.S. was being oppressive in putting down an internal challenge to property rights?) and externally (who could make an embargo of the U.S. stick?). A side effect here is that stockpiling your currency will be perceived by foreigners as a useful hedge against all kinds of local or regional instability. No conscious conspiracy is needed -- the ideology hangs together. All I see Graeber and others who make this argument doing is pointing out the full range of indirect effecs of our hegemonic ideology.

I'll admit I haven't read Graeber's book, so all I'm doing is pointing to how I think this argument makes sense generally. And as I indicated in 226 (and the link there) I think there are real economic benefits to particular sectors of U.S. society of this kind of reserve currency status. That doesn't mean there aren't long-term problems created by it as well; empires often end up in situations where they are disadvantaging themselves economically in the long run by their claims to power.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:05 PM
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To be clear re what I was saying in 277, I do think it's silly to think that there's some kind of Pentagon office where people are, like, "The central bank of country X will now price oil in Euros! The bombing begins at dawn!". But it's not all silly to think that we have a unified ideology that encompasses both U.S. military dominance, U.S. autonomy in using that dominance, and a whole range of U.S. economic advantages.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:09 PM
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277: But that all seems, to me, to be thinner than what Graeber wants to argue. There are obviously correlations between being a large, wealthy nation; having a powerful military; and being seen by others as a stable place to invest. But Graeber seems to want to make tighter causal connections, and his rhetoric about "tribute" in particular seems to suggest a stronger element of conscious conspiracy. He seems a little slippery on that point, though.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:25 PM
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Hmm. This ball game got a lot closer since the last time I looked at the TV.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:30 PM
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I don't feel great about the satisfaction I would take from Kentucky losing, but there it is.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:35 PM
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Come on Smearcase, sports isn't about winning, its about seeing your enemies lose and hearing the lamentation of their frat boys.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:44 PM
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+s


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:44 PM
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Fuck.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:47 PM
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284: See.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:48 PM
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281: Seriously! Such a fucking disappointment and now I'll have to hear about it for days and days, not that anyone knows I was hoping for a loss but just because the talking will never stop.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 8:52 PM
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It probably is true that conspiracy theories and rumors, etc., reveal a lot about the way people think the world works, and about what they think is really important, or interesting, or whatever, though they wouldn't admit it in themselves—but that's a mighty slim, even nonexistent, reed on which to hang a claim about what actually happened, so I hope that that's not what Graeber does.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:06 PM
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Ah, this is the NCAA thread. I believe that voting in the final round of Go">http://gofugyourself.com/fug-madness-2012-the-final-game-04-2012">Go Fug Yourself is still open.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:07 PM
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That is the ugliest link I have ever...

Let's try this again.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:08 PM
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Skipping all of the comments as am (irresponsibly) taking a break from drinking and (irresponsibly?) grading at my conferenc bar.

Anecdote: I saw The Ataris perform "San Dimas HSFiotball Rules" at my undergrad school. It was sad. Dudes are too old for that schtick.

Comment on topic: Heathers is timeless. I suspect the same is true of Airplane! and MP's Holy Grail. Life of Brian falls flat with my students unless I explain what's funny ("No, see, this is what all social movements are like! Hilarity!"). My husband is a decade older than I, and his favorite movies (Hughes films, Revenge of the Nerds) drive me INSANE with their gender politics.

Now off to give everyone an A minus and attend a distinguished scholar reception.


Posted by: JennyRobot | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 9:15 PM
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Kentucky is the Can't Buy Me Love of basketball programs.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 2-12 10:19 PM
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96 is not inconsistent with Animal House being tremendously culturally important.

If it weren't such a pain to type on my phone, I'd have included this qualifier in my original comment. As for Porky's, I think a caught a few minutes of it on tv in a hotel and then went looking for other things to watch.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 1:13 AM
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And I am reasonably certain at this point that if a seriously significant (and genuinely undermining) error in a more specialized field was made, we'd have heard about it by now.

I think you're underestimating both the time it takes for academic reviews to appear and the tendency of many specialists to just ignore this kind of book as not written for them and not something to bother with. I'm sure that to the extent that these claims about academics are accurate, they just increase your dislike of academia.

A quick and lazy check of an academic database "discovery layer" shows that Debt has now been reviewed in Contemporary Studies in Society and History by an anthropologist. He seems much more familiar with the relevant anthropological fields than the authors of other reviews I've read, but it's a pretty short review and, broadly speaking, his take isn't much different than others': experts will cringe ("chafe") at places, it's original and provocative, review author is glad to have read it even if he doesn't agree with it all the time. It'll take a real review essay for an expert to really get into it.

I haven't read it, it's not my field, etc. etc. I don't have anything to add.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 1:52 AM
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Also, the interview linked in this comment is apparently no longer online, but it's more evidence that the Apple claim was floating around outside of just the book. Yes, I know, it doesn't impeach all his arguments and so on and such.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 2:21 AM
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188 is way more interesting and important than anything about Apple. (I mean, the German central bank was actively working on European monetary union as far back as 1969, and the D-Mark was itself the reserve currency for the so-called snake in the 70s and the ERM in the 80s and 90s.)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:20 AM
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||

Alex are you round and about London-way tonight? Or still aloft and afar?

|>


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:48 AM
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I'm around - I'll need clearance though.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:52 AM
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Insert deprecated smileyface here.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 4:05 AM
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In the Angel, St. Giles, same as last time. Heh at clearance.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 4:08 AM
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Halford! Dude! I will totally concede something so that you can win: Bacon should be the reserve currency.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:20 AM
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279: In a sense I agree with you, but just as conscious conspiracy theories go too far, I think a simple statement of a 'correlation' is too weak. The ideology of military power and trade / globalization based around a strong dollar hangs together and produces very tangible benefits for the U.S. investor / global corporate class (once again, I recommend looking at the link in 226).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:24 AM
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Also, re conspiracy, it's very clear that U.S. military intervention was used pretty directly to boost returns for U.S. multinationals in Central/South America for many years (the 50s through the 70s at least), we know chapter and verse on that. So it's not implausible to think there are specific connections going on today that we don't know about.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:29 AM
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VICTORY. But I don't want bacon sitting around in some bank vault feeding bankers, I want it on my plate. BTW my most recent home curing adventure was a smashing success -- I now have a big slab of five pounds of nitrate free bacon sitting in the fridge.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:35 AM
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Cool. I made cheese for the first time ever this weekend: nothing difficult, just paneer, but I was terribly impressed with myself when it worked and turned into something that was identifiably cheese.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:38 AM
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303: That should last you the work week, right?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:42 AM
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||

Hey did you know that the University of California system does not offer courses in American history?They aren't available to be taught. Someone should tell Von Wafer.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:48 AM
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302: But of course that's what you would find even if everything is caused entirely by China manipulating the exchange rate. China buys debt, which drives interest rates on bonds down. US manufacturing is no longer competitive, so the returns on US stocks are down. The US is now the worst place in the world to invest, so of course the highest return differential will be between US investments and non-US investments. It is as compatible with a story of US weakness as it is with one of US strength.

(I don't mean to pick on China -- I don't think there's anything wrong with a country deliberately manipulating their exchange rate.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:52 AM
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306: Maddow name-dropped Rauchway last night.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:56 AM
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The US is now the worst place in the world to invest,

Not true, and doubly not true if you adjust for risk.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:57 AM
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As soon as Maddow mentions someone, they become invisible to Republicans. Santorum was making an understandable mistake.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:57 AM
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310: not likely to be the case unless Santorum also exists backwards in time (Maddow was responding to him), which... my god.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 8:37 AM
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Is it just me, or is this the most crack-addled gaffe Santorum has made yet? As mistatements go, it is right up there with Graeber's Apple comment.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 9:09 AM
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Please note that the demonstration at the link in 249 is inaccurate. People who need to know how to do insults in ASL should contact me directly.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 9:59 AM
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People who need to know how to do insults in ASL should contact me directly.
Who do we talk to if we want an argument in ASL?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:09 AM
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307: not sure what this comment is replying to, but if it is re the link in 226, the data there is showing the return difference between U.S. investments abroad and foreign investments here. If you are saying the differential is driven by us trashing our own economy, you still have to ask why foreigners are willing to consent to a deal where they get low returns for giving us their money while we get high returns for letting them use our money. That differential is a pretty direct form of 'tribute', they could opt out by keeping their money at home.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:15 AM
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You're on your own. I'm a hater, not a fighter.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:17 AM
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Under what circumstances would you use the second sign in that video? It's unfamiliar to me, and I can't work out when it'd be used instead of "why", "for", or "for-for." Not that I ever trust my impulses on prepositions in languages I'm not a native speaker of.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:29 AM
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I've been told that Kristin is using SEE rather than ASL.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:44 AM
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That would be a bit odd, given that she's certainly not signing "in" as the middle sign.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:45 AM
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I think it's a dialectal, or possibly register, difference. People definitely use it (although the production on the video is a little off- the final handshape should look like a fingerspelled X, not A) but I've seen students complain that it's "Englishy". It might have originated in a signed English system? But at least some people do sign 'because' that way. I personally would use WHY.

Except not in the sentence in the video- that whole construction looks off to me. I don't think anyone would understand it as an insult/command/threat.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:46 AM
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It's not SEE, but it's pretty heavily English-influenced.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:47 AM
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Sounds like someone needs to challenge Kristin's reign as YouTube's potty-signing superstar.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:50 AM
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Maybe when I'm not on the job market...


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:52 AM
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The youtube masses care about how easy it is to learn, not about whether it's understandable. It's not like people are watching those videos in case they need to insult a Deaf person. If you start getting into the grammar of ASL imperatives, you're going to lose everyone.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:53 AM
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It could be that Kristin's viewership may not need to insult a deaf person, but might crave the approval of the deaf community for the style and flavour of their insults. In which case more accuracy would be better.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:58 AM
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the most crack-addled gaffe Santorum has made yet

It certainly is a weird one. I can't imagine what half-remembered factoid he started with to end up at that crazy-ass conclusion. Or how he's going to raise the bar next time. "Half of all children born out of wedlock in this country will have a limb amputated before they reach adulthood."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 11:12 AM
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I saw the source somewhere, maybe at EOTAW? The source-factoid was something like at some or all UC colleges you can graduate without taking a US history class if you want. (Of course, you can do that where I went to school too.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 11:17 AM
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Isn't that true almost everywhere?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 11:20 AM
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Presumably everywhere outside the US for starters.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 11:34 AM
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326: "by 2030 every American liberals will have torn the eyes from a picture of the baby Jesus."


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 11:36 AM
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330: Right because that will be the background picture on the MegaMillions scratch-off game.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 11:42 AM
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315: They get low returns on their money because they are manipulating the exchange rate down by holding Treasuries. Lots of countries want to export more than they import, so they run a current account surplus. That means someone has to run a current account deficit. The easiest way to run a current account surplus is to buy Treasuries.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 11:52 AM
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THe Graeber thread has convinced me not to read the book. THe guy comes off as thoroughly dishonest, a conspiracy nut and a total asshole.

I was curious about his response to Farrell because I found that part of the book silly as described, but willing to hear a defense. Instead it just got stupider, even with the invective removed. For example, the idea that support vs. opposition among EU states for the Iraq war was linked in any way to the Euro - most of the states that supported it were either in the Euro or wanted to be at that time. On the other hand it had quite a lot to do with their feelings about American power and whether or not that was something that enhanced their own power and autonomy or the reverse. These were perfectly normal realist IR type calculations mixed with ideological ones.

Nor does he provide any sane explanation of how having the dollar as the dominant reserve currency, as opposed to simply a major reserve currency, helps the US elites. The advantages he mentions apply just as well to the Brits or the DM era Germans. And that has everything to do with being a wealthy large economy with a freely traded currency and nothing to do with military power. As far as overall US power goes, having the dollar as the dominant reserve currency has negative effects as well as positive ones, as everyone has pointed out.

Finally, what tribute is there? The US gets modest subsidies to its defense industry but that's about it, and those aren't even close to the cost of maintaining military dominance.



Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 12:37 PM
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THe guy comes off as thoroughly dishonest, a conspiracy nut and a total asshole.

With a hair-trigger temper to boot. Color me thoroughly disappointed.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 12:49 PM
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The CT stuff convinced me that the CT stuff, as far as I read, wasn't going to change my mind, which I haven't made up, about reading the book. Graeber comes off as a nut when it gets to a personal level, but to me as someone with no knowledge of the last chapter, he still comes off as having the more substantive-looking argument. I have no idea whether Farrell's summing up is accurate and he doesn't really engage with that chapter in a way that allows someone to get a sense of what's really in it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 1:05 PM
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335: What substantive argument? His argument is entirely that Farrell is engaged in some subtle anti-Graeber propaganda campaign.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 1:54 PM
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That's the personal stuff that's completely crazy.

He also talks about whatever is in the chapter and it appears - again to someone who hasn't read it - as more representative of what's in the chapter than the summary of the chapter that Farrell presented and then argued against. He could still be wrong, but I'd have to read the book. That's all I really meant - the forum didn't help me decide whether to read the book. It's a minor comment.

I should note that I don't think Farrell's post was objectionable or rude or whatever. It seemed like the kind of thing you'd expect from a forum where presumably the main discussants had read the book and could go from there.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 2:03 PM
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The only thing I understand about the chapter now than I didn't before is that he explicitly attributes the argument to Michael Hudson. I don't see the significance of this. Maybe I'm just not getting what he's saying.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 2:22 PM
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What's annoying about the whole thing is that the chapter about the contemporary world reads as (and, really, is) a tacked-on conclusion to a much bigger and more interesting book; honestly, the argument is basically "there's some connection between military power and the US issuing debt instruments around the world" which seems undoubtedly true, but Graeber doesn't theorize much or really have a coherent argument there. When I saw both the Farrell and Rossman posts a month ago my initial response was basically "who cares, and nice shooting at the easy target, jerks." But Graeber himself apparently disagrees and is willing to go to the mattresses for his claims in that chapter, and certainly comes across as wildly oversensitive.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 2:27 PM
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I've read the book, and while I know very little about macroeconomics, I can usually follow (maybe not evaluate, but follow) a clearly made argument, and I couldn't follow what Graeber was arguing in the relevant bits of the book closely enough to really agree or disagree.

He is asserting something about the relationship between US military hegemony, the status of the dollar as the primary reserve currency, and the ease with which the US can borrow -- if all he's saying is 'come on, there's got to be some connection between these things', then I'm with him. It seems clear to me that the US position as the preeminent military power has a significant effect on the other two things.

Once he's getting into asserting that it's plausible that the countries in the "Axis of Evil" were identified as enemies of the US because they switched from the dollar to the euro, I couldn't follow his support for that claim. The same for the claim that generally the sale of T-Bills and use of the dollar as a reserve currency are explicitly motivated by foreign investors' fear of military reprisals if they stop.

The problem is that if all he's really saying is "there's some kind of relationship there", it's not that interesting. I'm not sure (even after reading the book and the CT thread) to what extent he's really arguing the more specific claims -- if he's just kind of dancing around them but won't defend them, that's bogus, and if he does mean to defend them, then I don't follow his defense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 2:34 PM
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It's certainly been a bizarre display.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 2:35 PM
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Although I've read discussion forums in academic journals* that have been much worse. It's just that when that happens, it's usually not so one-sided. (One-sided is for the letters to the editor pages.)

*Pre-twitter, even.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 2:37 PM
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"who cares, and nice shooting at the easy target, jerks."

I haven't read the book and probably won't* but me sense of Farrell's response was that he ended up picking an easy topic because his feelings about the whole book were similar to errear's and LB's

But, looking back on it, the sort of impression I have now is that this was a book by a guy who knows a lot of interesting stuff and who sort of intuits connections among things ... gesturing at a big picture he hopes we will also see

In fact that seemed to be a common reaction among the people involved in the CT seminar. Part of what I liked about the dsquared post (as elaborated in comments) was that it made an actual argument related to the central themes of the book. But the impression I am left with is that it's difficult to do that.

Which is, again, why I'm disappointed that Graeber's response didn't do more to extend the conversation.

*While it sounds interesting I have a large stack of interesting books that I'm not reading and I don't really need another one).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 2:37 PM
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I really still do think the book was worth reading. But after the CT response, I think Graeber's a bullshitter: doesn't make him wrong about anything specific, doesn't make his work useless, but I'm really not trusting him on anything I can't check.

Even in the CT thread, he complained about Krugman tweeting the Apple thing, and seems to have been wrong because Krugman doesn't tweet: he backed down with a 'maybe it was Stiglitz and I misremembered, or a fake Krugman account'. And again, everyone makes mistakes and I make plenty, but if you're going to be bitching in public about public figures attacking you, you should be accurate about who said what about you before you name names.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 2:40 PM
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Well, Graeber's response to Farrell at CT does make four things clear (or more clear):

a) What specifically Hudson's argument -- that he was using -- in re: "tribute" is based on (and the senses in which Hudson takes that critique further than he did, as well as Hudson's perception of the complex dynamic regarding Russia and China, both of whom he alleges to be using the dollar in the short term while maneuvering in the long term to get out of a situation where they are effectively funding the Pentagon);
b) That his reference to neoliberalism's deployment of force and attempts to constrain alternatives does not in fact amount to a claim that there is no voluntary dimension to the system, or that nobody "likes" monetized arrangements;
c) That he was referencing Iraq's switch to the euro in terms of Hussein's wish not to use a hostile country's currency, and not in terms of any grand conspiracy theory.
d) That he thinks of one of the main theoretical points of Debt as a whole (it's unclear to me how much this is specifically linked with the chapter in question) as a major break with leftists thought about markets -- that he believes in fact that market exchanges do not have to rely on state power and could actually be made less obnoxious by grounding in a "human economy."

I certainly didn't get any of that from Farrell's critique, and I don't know to what extent the text of the actual book supports it, but all of the above indeed look like substantive (if not conclusive) points to me. And they do make me want to read the book, and moreover the Hudson book which he references.

It also makes clear that attempts to portray the above as being super-paranoid and outlandish really, really piss Graeber off and strike him as dishonest. While there was a subtle edge of snark in Farrell's original post, I think he's still over the top there, but I have no idea what the background of stresses to his obvious frustration would be. So that wouldn't discourage me from reading the book.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:03 PM
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345 to 338.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:04 PM
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He doesn't really say your (c) -- that is, he says maybe the Iraqi decision to leave the dollar motivated the US attack, who can really tell, but there were certainly rumors it did and the possibility is going to influence decisionmakers in other countries.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:14 PM
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340: The same for the claim that generally the sale of T-Bills and use of the dollar as a reserve currency are explicitly motivated by foreign investors' fear of military reprisals if they stop.

So is Graeber misrepresenting the book when he claims in his response on CT not to have said anything like this?


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:15 PM
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347: In the actual chapter, you mean?


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:16 PM
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Both there and on CT:

So what's really going on here? Do countries resist the reign of the Almighty Dollar because they already oppose US military domination, or does the US intimidate them militarily because they resist the reign of the dollar? How can it not be a bit of both? And surely it was the same with Iraq (or Iran, or Venezuela; pretty much every oil producing nation that has made a move away from the dollar has also been the target of US military threats or subversion of some sort): countries in the crosshairs of the US military are unlikely to wish to use the dollar, the US sees attempts to move from the dollar as hostile gestures. This was the only point I was really making when I wrote the offending passage about Hussein's switching his oil sales the dollar--what he called "the enemy's currency"-- to the euro:

How much Hussein's decision to buck the dollar really weighed into the U.S. decision to depose him is impossible to know, but no country in a position to make a similar switch can ignore the possibility.

This is hardly a radical statement. The switch to the euro was just one of a series of hostile moves on both sides, which on the US side included an embargo and constant military attacks, and I emphasize have no idea how much it actually weighed in to US plans to escalate to outright regime change. My point was simply that there were widespread rumors it weighed in, and they had an intimidating effect.

He's kind of dancing around the issue there -- referring to the possibility that "Hussein's decision to buck the dollar really weighed into the U.S. decision to depose him" without committing himself to defending it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:25 PM
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So is Graeber misrepresenting the book when he claims in his response on CT not to have said anything like this?

Um, arguably? This is from the relevant chapter:

As I've already observed, since Nixon's time, the most significant overseas buyers of US treasury bonds have tended to be banks in countries that were effectively under US military occupation. In Europe, Nixon's most enthusiastic ally in this respect was West Germany, which then hosted more than three hundred thousand U.S. troops. In more recent decades, the focus has shifted to Asia, particularly the central banks of countries like Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea--again, all US military protectorates.

He does not quite say that 'US military protectorates' buy treasury bonds out of fear of reprisals. On the other hand, if he's not saying that, I don't understand his point at all, and reading the CT thread didn't clear it up for me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:32 PM
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The problem with the last chapter is that there's not really a coherent argument beyond PGD's The ideology of military power and trade / globalization based around a strong dollar hangs together and produces very tangible benefits for the U.S. investor / global corporate class, but Graeber keeps citing to examples as if he has a more specific argument in mind.

And there's a lot of elision between referring to dollar-denominated assets (like the price of oil) and/or sale of t-bills, and the overall position that there's a connection between US military might and a general idea that maintaining a strong and stable currency, and allowing lots of US investment abroad, is deeply tied into US military might. Graeber seems to think that the first is deeply connected to the second, but doesn't get deeply into what the connection is. I honestly don't think he's thought that deeply about the specific issues Walt and others have raised, and he probably should have just admitted that.

Overall,I think the book is very interesting to think with, particularly at a high level of generality, which is why I give him a pretty big pass with specific details. If you're reading the book to get a precise account of post WWII US monetary policy (or, really, a precise and detailed historical account of anything), you're probably in the wrong place. I felt like I knew that coming in and didn't mind it much.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:37 PM
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352: Yeah, this exactly. What he seemed to be doing at CT was waving away criticisms by claiming that the critics were misrepresenting his argument, but without making it clear (at least to me) what was actually left of his argument if it wasn't what the critics said it was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:39 PM
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Right, the problem with 351 is that you can read it either weakly to say that there's a connection between US military might and the global system that allows the US to sell its debt overseas. That's pretty obvious, and in that sense the financial system does rest on the back of a gun. Or, you could read it as saying that the US has consciously used and is currently using its military to force countries to buy t-bills, which (as I understand it) is a different and completely wrong claims. Graeber wants to say "how could you think I am saying anything so stupid, you are misreading me" when people say things like the latter, but the truth is that the chapter is slippery on the level of generality he's operating at.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:41 PM
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350: Mentioning a likely factor in a conflict whose precise role you can't pin down isn't necessarily "dancing around the issue," though. It's speculative, but that's different.

351: I can certainly see his point on that one, as surely there's a far more basic incentive for military protectorates to shore up the economy of the power protecting them than "fear of reprisals." The political and economic order of a protectorate -- certainly this would be the case with Germany or Japan -- is closely bound up with and dependent upon the power that constituted it.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:42 PM
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Yeah. The claim that "there's a connection between US military might and the global system that allows the US to sell its debt overseas" seems to me to be obviously true, but also pretty anodyne: it doesn't necessarily mean more than (1) as the greatest military power in the world, the US is pretty much absolutely secure against military attack or challenge; (2) therefore, its debt is a secure investment -- the US isn't going anyplace.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:44 PM
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all of the above indeed look like substantive (if not conclusive) points to me. And they do make me want to read the book, and moreover the Hudson book which he references.

But how interesting are those points really?

I agree that the most interesting part of his response to Henry was his fleshing out of Hudson's argument (your "(a)") but do (b) or (c) really add much value? They do clarify Graeber's position but I'm not sure either of them add any significant insights for thinking about the dynamics of money and power around the world. As for (d), it sounds interesting but, honestly, that part of his post generally left me confused. So I don't have a firm opinion about it's value but I can say that it wasn't particularly helpful to me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:48 PM
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It's speculative, but that's different.

But if you're going to speculate like that, it is completely legitimate for someone to criticize the speculation as unlikely or unfounded. What seemed to be happening at CT was that Farrell attacked the claim, and Graeber's response was that the attack was dishonest because he hadn't claimed to know that what he was saying was true, just that it might be true. And that seems illegitimate to me: you can attack a solid fact claim as unproven, but you can also perfectly reasonably attack a speculative claim as unlikely or implausible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:48 PM
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352.last: Yeah, I would be fine with that.

It certainly looks perfectly possible that Graeber is over-invested in defending that last chapter. Though I have to say that, looking at Rossman's participation in the CT thread, I feel like I have more of a sense of where Graeber's frustration could be coming from. Apparently a big part of Rossman's counter-argument is "the US can't be doing X because it doesn't make public pronouncements to that effect." What?


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:50 PM
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a far more basic incentive for military protectorates to shore up the economy of the power protecting them than "fear of reprisals."

I'm very naive on these subjects, but what specifically do you mean? I get fear of direct reprisals, and fear of the withdrawal of military protection -- what's the basic incentive I'm missing?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:50 PM
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I'm not sure either of them add any significant insights for thinking about the dynamics of money and power around the world.

Right. Which is why this was one of the weakest parts of the book, though a little more interesting in the context of thinking about how state power more generally is essential to a system of debt enforcement and what debt might look like without state power. But the specific arguments about post WWII US international monetary policy are either totally banal or massively under-argued and under-supported. Which is also why I thought that Farrell was shooting at a weak and uninteresting target, but Graeber apparently is super into that last chapter and is willing to go crazy defending it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:52 PM
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Well, Farrell is a political science guy -- it's hard to fault him for engaging with the poli sci part of the book.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:56 PM
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357: I'd say by far the most interesting of the points in the larger sense is actually d) [followed by a), as a source for which Hudson's work sounds like it may actually prove more fruitful]. As one of the typical leftists he claims to be departing from, I'm very accustomed to the argument that market interactions rest on state power and would be genuinely fascinated by an anarchist account of possibilities outside of this. The clarifications in b) and c) are mostly of interest in any larger sense insofar as they have bearing on the actual credibility of Graeber's book.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:58 PM
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I guess not. Farrell's thing did seem a little bitchy and unfair, not in the "make stuff up" sense but in the "no, he's probably not really arguing that the US went to war after 2001 to prevent Argentina-like defaults, so why are you spending a lot of time uncharitably dealing with that kind of issue?" But certainly the response was not justified.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 3:59 PM
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I'm very accustomed to the argument that market interactions rest on state power and would be genuinely fascinated by an anarchist account of possibilities outside of this.

If you read the book and feel like his argument makes sense to you please post some impressions.

I'd be curious as well, but I just bounced off that section of the prose (specifically the individual elements made some sense but I had no ability to put them together into an alternative vision for markets).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 4:00 PM
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360: What I have in mind is who acts as the underlying guarantor of the whole political edifice. The post-war political order of Europe and Japan was heavily shaped by Allied occupation, for instance, at the high water mark of American statescraft. But this role is even more visible where an occupation proves ultimately to be a failure (the collapse of American attempts to legitimate puppet governments in Viet Nam, the even-faster collapse of its attempt to put Ahmed Chalabi in power in Iraq -- leading to an endless series of work-arounds -- and Hamid Karzai's much-mocked status as the "Mayor of Kabul" in Afghanistan).


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 4:08 PM
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Aw hell, you really are better off spending your time in Michael Hudson searchable archives than arguing with or about Graeber

I won't send you to Henry Liu, but the link is on the right.
HCKL is maybe a level up in abstraction, and maybe the level where Imperial history, power and relationships are delved into. But his site is massive, and heavy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 5:58 PM
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Aw hell, Liu's site is fun, aren't many like this one

"The World Order Parts I-V" kinda thing.

Here's a taste.

Dollar Hegemony


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 6:03 PM
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332 and others: the U.S. earns a much larger spread on its foreign investments than any other country, including other big advanced economies like Japan, Germany, and Switzerland...we consistently take in 3 percent higher returns on our foreign investments than we pay out for using foreign money. That spread goes across not just debt instruments but equities. That's kind of a big deal and the U.S. multinational financial class gets a lot of money out of it. Basically we seem to have a form of banker's privilege w/r/t the rest of the world. I agree with Walt above that this is connected to deindustrialization here and also to a conscious effort to run mercantilist trade surpluses by other countries, but we are hardly the only country China runs a surplus with, that can't be whole explanation. Also, the fact that it may end up harming the economic interests of most Americans in the long run is a little beside the point; most Americans don't run our foreign/military/trade policy nor is that policy run for the benefit of most Americans (sadly).

Also agree with others above that it's too crude to think there's a consistent military threat directly behind favoritism to U.S. investments (although it is not hard to come up with post-WWII examples where there has been such a threat...Latin and Central America most notably). But what is the connection between U.S. international military dominance and the willingness of so many other countries to let us take the lead on the international regime covering trade and (importantly) capital flows? I think straight-up military conspiracy theories are too crude but dismissing it as a correlation driven by other factors is too naive. I would love to see a better analysis of all this than it sounds like Graeber did.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 6:32 PM
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reading up, I'm not sure I disagree with anyone.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 6:54 PM
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369

Your link seems to indicate that currency depreciation and relative risk play a big role in that. I.e. if the currency depreciates, you improve capital gains (check), and if your country is less risky, you improve yield (check). Though their quantitative model wasn't great, the authors did not seem to be in a big hurry to dismiss either factor. And am I wrong in thinking that we pretty much are the only country to have both of those factors and their own currency? Switzerland and Japan have their own currency and are safe, but do not have currency depreciation. The EU has


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:29 PM
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Oops, that should be: the EU now has its own currency, and that has improved their yield, but it seems that people still consider it to be a more risky investment than Japan or the US.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 7:31 PM
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366 The difference between Western Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and SK one the one hand and places like Latin America or South Vietnam is that there was broad and deep support for US power among the population at large. Regardless of how many specific resentments and dislikes of specific US policies they had, US hegemony was viewed by most people as at worst a lesser evil to non-US hegemony.

369.1 THe paper you cite suggests that it is not the US per se, but 'Anglo-Saxon' countries that enjoy this privilege. More to the point it is wealthy nations running large trade deficits over an extended period of time. There isn't any Australian Dollar hegemony yet somehow they benefit the same way. I'd be curious to see how the individual countries in the Eurozone broke down to see whether that pattern applies as well, e.g. how do Spain's foreign investment returns compare to Germany's over the past decade.

369.2 America tends to run consistent trade surpluses with most of Latin and Central America, the one part of the world where US domination has long been enforced more by military force than by a perception of common interest by the local population.

The claim that "there's a connection between US military might and the global system that allows the US to sell its debt overseas" seems to me to be obviously true

Something I don't see, except in the sense that yes, it is correlated, but not in a meaningful causal way. The US is by far the largest economy in the world and thus even if we didn't deliberately seek domination we'd still have an incredibly powerful military. The next two most powerful militaries in the world are China and Russia neither of which seem to benefit from this in a similar way. Yet countries that share similar economic features with the US do benefit.

Graeber's response was that the attack was dishonest because he hadn't claimed to know that what he was saying was true, just that it might be true

Shorter Graeber: it would be irresponsible not to speculate.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 8:40 PM
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||

Another Yglesias classic in which he converts a $280,000 annual rent to "less than $2,400 a month".

|>


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 9:30 PM
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374: If only Yggles had had better teachers growing up.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 9:37 PM
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374: Wow.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 10:18 PM
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374: l looked at the Trulia map on top of Yggles showing one side of 4th twice the price of the opposite
side, and I now recall doing some late night field research there with washer/dreyer and Neb.

No doubt Bave D burned the tapes.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 04- 3-12 11:54 PM
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369.1 THe paper you cite suggests that it is not the US per se, but 'Anglo-Saxon' countries that enjoy this privilege. More to the point it is wealthy nations running large trade deficits over an extended period of time. There isn't any Australian Dollar hegemony yet somehow they benefit the same way.

not true -- the entire point of the paper is that the measured U.S. advantage is like more than double anyone elses (Switzerland, Australia, anyone) and more consistent. Make sure you are looking at the spread including capital gains.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:35 AM
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374: See, this is what I find so frustrating about Yglesias these days. I think his larger point (that it's dumb to have large areas of industrial zoning in a city with high housing prices) is good, but the example he finds to illustrate it is terrible because of the way he fucks up the math. Also he continues to not know anything about the history of zoning, which puts him at a severe handicap relative to a lot of the people who disagree with him but do know that history. Back when he was at CAP it seemed like he was starting to educate himself on these issues and strengthen his argumentation, but since he moved to Slate he's regressed enormously.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:49 AM
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Henry's response is up at CT, for those who are interested.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 11:07 AM
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380:Note, at the end, and to a lesser degree in the body, the carefully modulated personal attack on Michael Hudson...for those still interested


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 2:48 PM
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"Wow, this Hudson guy wrote a book? In 1972? That I had never heard of in my umpteen years of Very Serious Scholarship in a very close field? Well, to be fair to lowly peasants Graeber and Hudson, I read that book. And it's a pretty good book!"

And then that last note.

This should make just a little clearer what was going on in the previous thread.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 2:57 PM
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It's a good reply. I guess no one would read blogs if there were too many 5000+ word posts, but I like that kind of thoroughness in book forum contexts.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 5:56 PM
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Agreed that it's a good reply, though I haven't finished it yet. There are substantive and important things in play in what seems to be me to be a debate between neoliberalism and [something not neoliberalism] and anarchism in the topic, and Henry, to his credit, stays reasonably focused on them. So far.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 6:07 PM
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||

Pop quiz: Who uttered this quote?

"Somebody's got to live this life," he says, gesturing to the pristine view from his penthouse villa. "God decided it should be me."

Did you say King Charles I? Ah, so close.

|>


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 6:37 PM
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From the link in 385: could I tap into the psyches of the ultrawealthy by walking a mile in their Ferragamo loafers?

Speaking of people who need to die in a fire...


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 6:46 PM
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Just seeing the title of that article made me want to not read it, and these quotes aren't changing that at all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 6:54 PM
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In the era of the Occupy Wall Street movement, when the global financial elite has been accused of immoral and injurious conduct, we are still obsessed with the lives of the ultrarich. We watch them on television shows, follow their exploits in magazines and parse their books and public addresses for advice.

"We" doesn't seem to include anyone I know (including any of you people). Who is this guy talking about?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:02 PM
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In the era of the Occupy Wall Street movement, when the global financial elite has been accused of immoral and injurious conduct, we are still obsessed with the lives of the ultrarich. We watch them on television shows, follow their exploits in magazines and parse their books and public addresses for advice.

Actually, we don't.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:04 PM
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Ha! so pwned.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:06 PM
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Teofilo, he probably isn't regressing but branding.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:08 PM
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I suppose this might be true of the NYT's target audience. Which obviously doesn't include me (hence I only read articles linked elsewhere) or anyone I care about.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:08 PM
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Also, there's someone named Jennie Enterprise, who runs the Core club? Hm, maybe all that talk about Mitt Romney not having a "core" was seekrit code ....


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:15 PM
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What was that BBC series from the 1980s where the fellow went around making connections between various stuff like the invention of aniline dyes and the eruption of Krakatoa or whatever? Was it just called "Connections"? If that guy's still around, maybe he could review Graeber's text and connect it all.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:21 PM
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Man, even Jennifer Government has been privatized.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:21 PM
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Yeah, okay, James Burke is still alive and kicking, ATW, so get him on the case!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:22 PM
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394: I loved that show! I think there was more than one series, or maybe I just watched a lot of it. James Burke. Connections/


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:23 PM
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Yeah, strangely, even though IDOAT in the 90s, I never knew there were follow up series.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:25 PM
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I did own all that?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:29 PM
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As another potential reviewer, I nominate the guy who wrote Bribes.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:31 PM
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Teofilo, he probably isn't regressing but branding.

I'm sure that's part of it, and indeed my current theory (formed mainly by reading one of his recent columns after it was linked here) is that Slate is pushing him to be more like David Brooks, i.e., to be a smart man pretending to be a dumb man pretending to be a smart man pretending to be a dumb man. Whatever the cause, though, it's frustrating to see.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:36 PM
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IDOAT.

I did own a television.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 7:36 PM
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Yggles spoke at Fancy Law School today. I was too busy to go, and also not keen on being annoyed for a whole hour. I'm slightly mortified that a few of my friends were excited about it. Yggles is kind of perfect for this place, which is full of people who think of themselves as progressive and who succeed in life by remaining oblivious to fundamental critique.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 8:27 PM
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Yggles is kind of perfect for this place

Well, I mean, yeah.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 8:41 PM
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"We" doesn't seem to include anyone I know (including any of you people). Who is this guy talking about?

I did read the New Yorker thingy about some incredibly rich asshole who made sure his chauffeur was able to get him across the county line 183 nights a year so he didn't have to pay resident taxes. If fascination and flames-on-the-side-of-my-face hatred overlap, yes, I was fascinated.

I have barely started the Graeber book but I'm a slow reader and prone to giving up on things, especially long books. By the time/in the event I finish it, even CT may have stopped discussing it.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 8:52 PM
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388

Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, Warren Buffett for three examples. Lots of people follow them on TV or look to them for advice.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 9:35 PM
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405.1 -- I stand corrected.

406 -- I don't know anyone obsessed by their lives. I do know that some people are.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 4-12 9:52 PM
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385. If I was a billionaire 6:00 a.m. would not exist. Other stuff is negotiable.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 2:06 AM
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"Somebody's got to live this life," he says, gesturing to the pristine view from his penthouse villa. "God decided it should be me."

Missed opportunity to explore potentially interesting questions. Does this guy really think that? How do people at private jet levels of wealth justify their lifestyles to themselves? Whereas "Can I get used to wearing a $20,000 watch" is not a particularly interesting question.

(Not that I'm under the delusion that the NYT is about to start exploring interesting questions, especially regarding wealth/class.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 4:08 AM
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Based on his CT postings over the years I do think Henry Farrell is something of a dick, and not a very interesting thinker either. His reply to Graeber seems courteous enough though. I'm much more interested in what someone like Quiggin has to say.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 7:11 AM
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Oh my god. I just read that whole article. So appalling. For some reason the detail that I find most irritating is the warm chocolate chip cookies that magically appear. How whimsical! Rich people, underneath it all, really do just like the simple pleasures!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 7:32 AM
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PGD - do elaborate. Seriously. I'm interested to know why you think this (can't guarantee I'll agree, obvs, but if there's stuff that I say that you think is particularly dickish or stupid, it might be interesting to know what it is).


Posted by: Henry Farrell | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 7:52 AM
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411: The article really did not faze me one bit. However, there are a couple aspects of my work which have somewhat inured me to the attitudes described (or at least the massive striving to reach the wealth/importance level where you can act that way). And NYTimes as news within an overall framework of wealth porn is pretty well established.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 8:03 AM
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I did read the New Yorker thingy about some incredibly rich asshole who made sure his chauffeur was able to get him across the county line 183 nights a year so he didn't have to pay resident taxes. If fascination and flames-on-the-side-of-my-face hatred overlap, yes, I was fascinated.

That was an interesting article! In the sense that it demonstrated that people with (practically) limitless amounts of money can be just as neurotic and prone to obsessing about random shit as anybody else (he didn't sound neurotic, exactly, but it did sound like an awful lot of attention spent on the sort of quotidian details that one might think money would allow you to escape).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 8:23 AM
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414: that guy had about $25M-$30M at stake, and "being neurotic" just meant that he probably had a person whose full-time job was to make sure he kept that money.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 8:37 AM
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that guy had about $25M-$30M at stake, and "being neurotic" just meant that he probably had a person whose full-time job was to make sure he kept that money.

I had forgotten it was that much (I thought it was a couple million) but I do remember stopping in the middle of the article and thinking, "this seems crazy, but for that much money it's definitely worth it."

But, at the same time, talk about an example that blurs the lines between owning money and being owned by money . . . (and, yes, you could make an argument that this is why tax expenditures are problematic, but that's a whole separate topic).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 8:44 AM
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people with (practically) limitless amounts of money can be just as neurotic and prone to obsessing about random shit as anybody else

With rootie-too-toot tootie-tootie-toot-toot and Howard Hughes to you!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 8:46 AM
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410:Wow dude didn't ya know he reads these comment sections? Or maybe just does a search.

Tim Burke ...being very "Tim-Burkean" as someone said yesterday...ahh said over at Kotsko's. Anyway about the thread from hell and academia


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 8:50 AM
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that guy had about $25M-$30M at stake

+

I had forgotten it was that much

I think you both forgot! "If he failed to demonstrate by 'clear and convincing evidence' that he hadn't been in the city on even one of the disputed days, he would be deemed a resident and would owe New York City income tax for the year 2000. In his case, the sum amounted to $26,702,341 plus interest..."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:03 AM
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Grargh. I think I misread.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:03 AM
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Western Front!

Graeber, Bertram, Healy, Farrell take it over to Kotsko's Aufall place. Go see, they need the hits.

This blogosphere thing is starting to feel kinda claustrophobic. I hope to hell Seymour and Proyect don't get in play. I need a safe quiet area with nice people.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:04 AM
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Please don't mind Mr. Smearcase. He is not firing on all cylinders.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:04 AM
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Nah, Seymour is still in poppyfront commiegasm over Galloway

Whew.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:12 AM
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Jesus fucking christ at 421.1 [at the thread at Kotsko's, not at Bob picking up on it].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:14 AM
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421: Graeber nicely established himself to be a dick, a bullshitter, and a hero in his own mind. I'm going to read his book anyway, because for some reason an army of delegitimizers decided to repeatedly plug his book and it sounds very interesting. But this has nothing to do with the niceness police.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:15 AM
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421: Wow, this thing is getting meta. Possibly over the weekend I will write something long about Jonathan Haidt and (a) how his now six-axis system of morality is still missing something (something like honesty, integrity, or intellectual coherence) (b) how he's irritating the crap out of me (c) why conservatives generally are bad people along this missing axis (and how this explains Republican hostility to science); and (d) why this explains Graeber's hissy-fit, and arguments about 'tone' generally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:17 AM
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I lurk - and comment every three years or so. And try not to get annoyed at people telling me to fuck off because I'm a bourgeois apologist for empire ;)


Posted by: Henry Farrell | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:23 AM
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424: Kotsko's ploy worked! I followed the link from here to his web-site, and then I followed his link to the excerpt from his book. How fiendish and manipulative! And, he claims not to be a sociopath!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:24 AM
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I'm going to read his book anyway

I started reading it but I got distracted because somebody gave me a copy of Mann's 1491, which is objectively more interesting. However I'm pissed off at myself now because while I was reading Graeber I came across another wazoo like the Apple thing that we've all agreed was an unfortunate accident, and, not realising that it was going to be a 9 day wonder on the tubes, I have allowed myself to forget what it was.

So, whereof I cannot speak, thereof I must remain silent.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:35 AM
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427: Don't worry about it, if I understand bob correctly we're all bourgeois apologists for empire. (And, as I expected above in comment 92, your response did clarify the issues at stake for me.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:44 AM
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429: If you remember, I'm fascinated.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:45 AM
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430: I know - hence the winkicon. Bourgeois apologists of the world unite!


Posted by: Henry Farrell | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:50 AM
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I was going to let it pass, but now that you've mentioned it again, we do have rules about emoticons here.

Henry Farrell is banned!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:52 AM
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LB is mean!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:55 AM
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Commenters around here are getting soft. Back when I was a girl, you couldn't go ten comments without Ogged banning someone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:56 AM
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Meaner and meaner!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:00 AM
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Could any teacup meteorologist have successfully predicted this awesome tempest? I don't know this David Graeber, but I'm very dubious about the contention that there is a broad spectrum of ideological daylight between him and most of the Timberites. The whole business seems like an ongoing Pyrrhic attack on the most proximate of opponents.

Occupy mostly sucked anyway.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:02 AM
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How about you just make him bring pastries next time?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:07 AM
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Being banned generally meant until the thread falls off the bottom of the page - back when Ogged was serious about it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:11 AM
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437: Could any teacup meteorologist have successfully predicted this awesome tempest?

The digital butterfly effect in action.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:12 AM
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Did anyone ever take being banned seriously enough to leave the thread? (Barring the, um, maybe three occasions when it was for real -- abc123, Charlie notWhittaker, and some guy whose name I can't remember who neB banned. Oh, TMK, although that wasn't exactly a banning.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:14 AM
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433: can I put this on my resume?


Posted by: Henry Farrell | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:15 AM
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Emoticons? No, don't.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:17 AM
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442

So it was about the shameless career advancement after all!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:17 AM
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Could any teacup meteorologist have successfully predicted this awesome tempest?

Hey, I pointed out a while back that Graeber was kind of a dick when he showed up at Metafilter, and then Emerson insulted me.

(Going back over his appearance at MeFi, I realized that Graeber used to hang out on Usenet. That goes a long way toward explaining why he gets into fights every place he shows up.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:27 AM
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Re 441

Bphd? During her banning?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:41 AM
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and then Emerson insulted me

This is the new "and then I found $5".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:42 AM
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442: Busted!


Posted by: Henry Farrell | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:47 AM
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446: Right, BPhd was for real banned -- I had that in a different category in my head somehow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 10:56 AM
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There was the one dude who confessed to something rhyming with "mate grape." I don't know if he was actually banned or just left.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:00 AM
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Left spontaneously, and was then not welcomed to return on changing his mind.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:02 AM
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See, this is great stuff for the FAQ I was asking about a few weeks ago. Or maybe fodder for my madly conceived idea "A year of reading Unfogged" in which I go back to the very first post and read every single comment.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:09 AM
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Fuck, read. All right, I guess we've for-real banned a bunch of people. Now I feel bad about the 'is banned!' gag.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:11 AM
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You shouldn't. That actual people have been banned is what always made the gag funny.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:13 AM
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452: To get the really juicy gossip you have to go to a meetup, I believe. Or be on Facebook.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:14 AM
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Now I feel bad about the 'is banned!' gag.

LB is banned!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:14 AM
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452: There are competing schools of thought on this. Some of us hold that Unfogged should only ever be black text on a white screen, and don't go in for all this Facebooking and FlickRing and meet-up-ing and such. I personally read the blog on a steam-powered computer, taking occasional breaks to re-stoke the boiler's coal supply.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:18 AM
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457. Mon semblable,--mon frère!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:24 AM
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Whatever your qualms, signing up for the Flickr account is totally worth it because it reveals that young JP Stormcrow looked exactly like Nick Andopolis from Freaks and Geeks.

Now I've probably violated some norm, but seriously, that's just so awesome.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:28 AM
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Re 457

I have minions in the bowels of the naieldoB hand set the threads and print them on parchment, bound in leather. I gave up on the illuminations, though. Can't get the staff.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:30 AM
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451: In my recollection that was not "left spontaneously" but rather "agreed to leave rather than be forcibly banned."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:31 AM
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459: You know, I had to Google that and ... not sure, but whatevs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:32 AM
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In future days my copy of the Codex Standpipebridgeplateanus (MS. TFA 1) will be priceless.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:32 AM
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Should I sue them?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:32 AM
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456: Yeah. Front-page posters around here are getting soft. Back when I was in my early 50s, you couldn't go ten posts without Ogged saying something about Jessica Biel's ass.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:33 AM
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Sure, if you are willing to pay my hourly rate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:33 AM
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466: Saw a commercial for Edgar Snyder (I assume he's known beyond the Pittsburgh area, if not there is a short Wikipedia page) last night that was even below his usual standards--the appeal was to the victims of dog bites. I guess they're running short on motorcycle accident victims.

And remember , "There's never a fee unless we get money for you!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:39 AM
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These are my favorite motorcycle injury lawyers. I sometimes fantasize about joining up with them just so I can be a "LAW TIGER" -- sounds so badass. Not a good sign for motorcycle safety when you see few advertisements for motorcycles on TV, but lots of ads for motorcycle accident personal injury lawyers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:41 AM
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Where is this Flickr account you speak of?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:42 AM
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Email me! heebie dot geebie at gmail.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:45 AM
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457: I personally read the blog on a steam-powered computer

This should just be the new mouseover. That is all.

437: Occupy mostly sucked anyway.

Hey.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:46 AM
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452: my madly conceived idea "A year of reading Unfogged" in which I go back to the very first post and read every single comment.

I note for the record that the comment I'm quoting is number 1,439,849 in the database. So you probably want to pick a leap year.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:57 AM
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468: Aggressive. I clicked on the link and forgot about, went back to close it and there was a pop-up, "Hello...sorry to barge in, but we are available to answer your questions. Would you like to speak to a live person?"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 11:57 AM
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So you probably want to pick a leap year.

Good point. I'll be sure to mention that in my grant proposal.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:01 PM
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472: If I did my arithmetic right, spending 8 hours a day for a year should be about right. That's without reading the posts, of course.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:02 PM
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Honestly, in the end, I like Graeber. I just do. I can't manage to get my panties in a twist about his responses. Sure, it was kind of idiotic to suggest that various people shouldn't even have gotten into grad school and so on, but we all -- well, many of us -- say snotty things from time to time, Henry and others at CT not excluded. It would be absurd to suggest otherwise.

I don't particularly like any claim on the part of CTers that they haven't been snotty in the slightest; that is just foolish and false. Extreme defensiveness (in the form of pearl-clutching) when someone like Graeber renders an insult, doesn't reflect well.

(You may be able to tell that I'm just catching up. I'm getting it out of my system.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:04 PM
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Hey, I started out reading /. whoever reads the posts anyway?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:05 PM
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477: When did one of us claim that none of us had been snotty in the slightest? I'd never deny that there were some snotty bits in the original post. I tend to be snotty, maybe more than I should be. And there were certainly some snotty bits in my OP, but they were mixed in with a lot of genuine appreciation for the good stuff. Until I got to the last chapter, I thought that I was going to end up writing something about reciprocity and Polanyi (you can get some sense of where I'd have gone from the non-final chapter bits that I talk about). The reason that I was snotty was that I thought the final chapter was genuinely godawful to the point of reading like a deliberate parody (and I deliberately was snotty only about the bad bits in the book, not Graeber himself).

If he'd been snotty back, I'd have taken it as just the usual cut and thrust of exciting deliberative discourse on the internets (as we say back in the old country, "compliments pass when the quality meet"). But he went beyond snottiness about arguments, into direct accusations of unprofessionalism, dishonesty etc, which is what got our backs up, I think.


Posted by: Henry Farrell | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:25 PM
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Barry Freed, if you have questions about things from teh archives, you can email me. There is not going to be an unfogged FAQ.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:28 PM
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And 479.last is the first entry.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:32 PM
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The Unfogged FAQ contains only one question.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:40 PM
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478: When did one of us claim that none of us had been snotty in the slightest?

A few commenters did in the original Graeber reply thread.

If he'd been snotty back, I'd have taken it as just the usual cut and thrust of exciting deliberative discourse on the internets (as we say back in the old country, "compliments pass when the quality meet"). But he went beyond snottiness about arguments, into direct accusations of unprofessionalism, dishonesty etc, which is what got our backs up, I think.

This gets somewhere. I can't say I followed both lengthy Graeber response/reply threads in full detail, but I didn't notice a clear acknowledgment that one (you) had been snotty. Perhaps it was there and I didn't see it.

Graeber went beyond snottiness because snottiness is game-playing. It's thrust-and-parry, and it's apparently not something he's interested in.

I do understand that accusations of unprofessionalism are about as far as a person can go in a word fight. It's like saying that someone is unserious.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:44 PM
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Instead of a FAQ we have Standpipe's blog.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:45 PM
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UPetgi(9) and apo are unserious.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:48 PM
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The difference, as I see it, between snottiness and however one would characterize what Graeber ended up doing, is that you can start from a snotty conversation and still end up engaging productively on whatever the discussion is about: if Graeber had responded in a snidely polite way, he could have expressed just about as much interpersonal hostility, if he wanted to, but still informed the readers where he thought Henry had gone wrong. The problem with straightforward invective, rather than thinly-veiled sarcasm, is that it's much harder to mix with substance.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:49 PM
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I do understand that accusations of unprofessionalism are about as far as a person can go in a word fight. It's like saying that someone is unserious.

This is great.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:51 PM
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479 Oh, I know. And thanks, I was thinking of it more like an guide to all Unfogged traditions - and desirous of same mostly due to anxiety because of my increasingly delurkenating status.

I don't get 480 unless it's some kind of gnostic riddle. Actually in that case I still don't get it.

Where's Standpipe's blog (I've found the Twitter feed).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:52 PM
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Where's Standpipe's blog

Oh, you'll find it.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:54 PM
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487: It's kind of like the first rule of Fight Club.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:56 PM
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It's a mystery wrapped in a gnostic riddle inside an enigma.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:57 PM
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Clearly the FAQ needs to answer that one question and move on from there.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:57 PM
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LET ME SUM IT UP: Graeber wrote a very good book with a shitty and not too important last chapter, which was mostly shitty because it was hard to pin down (i.e., as to whether there was some general relationship between US military power and the world economy, or whether there was some more specific claim about the dollar or whatever). HF wrote a review which (kind of pointlessly IMO) focused on that last chapter and was very dismissive of it, and perhaps uncharitably took Graeber to be making more specific claims than he was making (the review seemed not that interesting to me precisely because it focused on that last chapter). Then Graeber went ballistic, claimed falsely that people were trying to "delegitimize" him when they were doing the opposite, appeared to be insanely oversensitive, and doubled down on the shitty last chapter without really addressing the substantive criticisms, thus quite needlessly "delegitimizing" himself.

I'm very much on team "unleash your inner asshole" when it comes to debates, but Graeber on his own pointlessly ruined what might have been a pretty interesting (from my perspective as a bystander) conversation.

My guess is that Graeber has been working himself into the ground as a scholar/activist and that his brain is fried; that's the kind of behavior you get when someone is sleep deprived and exhausted. Or maybe you have to be a little insane to write a book like Debt, which might be a good thing but wasn't good in this context.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:57 PM
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I don't get 480 unless it's some kind of gnostic riddle.

It's the Unfogged version of the first rule of Fight Club.

Where's Standpipe's blog

That's the gnostic riddle.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:58 PM
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489: [sigh]


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:59 PM
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Don't pay Halford's hourly rate! I'll comment on Jessica Biel's ass, totally free.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 12:59 PM
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I'm so gonna troll the shit out of that blog.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:00 PM
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481: "Who wants to sex Mutombo?"? Or "Where the white women at?"


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:03 PM
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494: But you gotta admit that being pwned in a comment where you link to a comment which itself pwned someone else is kind of something. Don't know what, but something.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:04 PM
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The trouble is that sneering at your opponent's hypothetical GRE scores just looks pathetic.

It's right up there with "Oh yeah? Well....well....you're ugly so THERE!"

It's less a question of being nice than of being not nice in a reasonably accomplished way.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:04 PM
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Mwtapwnage.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:05 PM
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485: The problem with thinly veiled sarcasm is that it really greases the skids towards straightforward invective. I completely understand the impulse to go for a bluntly honest and direct "fuck you clown!" when confronted with snide nastiness. There's really no reason to set foot on that path in the first place, and once one does it's a little precious to object when it leads where these things so often do.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:06 PM
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The trouble is that sneering at your opponent's hypothetical GRE scores just looks pathetic.

I missed this, but it sounds delightful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:07 PM
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if I understand bob correctly we're all bourgeois apologists for empire

I have found my audience!

I have climbed down from Meta. It doesn't matter, because I think I have been banned at CT, at least from that thread, but Geo S is asking for a "Marxist Theory of the State" and people are linking to papers from 1977. But I don't have an articulate answer for George, in part because current conditions can't be delimited.

The State is immanent. Capitalism and Empire are now immanent. Capital has won and lost, because it needs the class struggle, the divisions in order to reproduce and accumulate. The class struggle is over, there is no longer the possibility of a self-conscious working class for itself.

We are Capital, we are all State, we are all Empire.
Ruling Social Relations have become ubiquitous and internalized.

That is why these suckers are so hard to find.

Revolution happens when the Immanence becomes Subjectivity, when (oh, I/me) recognize that I am willing Empire and can unwill it. Or something like that.

It may be a little easier using feminism. I am the Patriarchy after/until I believe I am.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:08 PM
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I was so excited the day I understood where Standpipe's blog was. It's really the last time I felt a sense of accomplishment.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:09 PM
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Oh bob! You're such a gnostic riddle!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:10 PM
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Don't be unprofessional, JeePs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:11 PM
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There still a lot of Marxists who go for some complicated undialectical tripartite class analysis (workers, managers, owners) Nah.

OWS has is right, and 1%/99%, as predicted by M/E, is collapse, cannot reproduce the productive or social relations. We are not only in Revolution, we are in Communism.

We just haven't said it yet, loud and proud.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:15 PM
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re: 504

?!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:16 PM
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Umm, if you prick me do I not bleed?*

*Taking an idea of Doctor Slack's (see bottom of comment) from the thread linked in 421 in a different direction.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:17 PM
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501: The excuse for snideness is that there are circumstances where intelligent, accomplished people, who are very much worth engaging with, do say things that are wrong, or stupid, or bullshitting, or all of the above. And if you're going to have a conversation about substance, politeness can't bar you from pointing out wrongness/stupidness/bullshitting where you see it without damaging the usefulness of the discourse. (That is, I disagree with Halford's take in 492 -- it doesn't seem uncharitable at all to me to say, as Henry did, that this is an interesting book with some glaringly ill-supported stuff in the last chapter.)

But once you're going to call someone's ideas wrong, or stupid, or bullshit, that's the kind of direct attack that leads to hostility and derails the conversation. If you say it bluntly, the conversation's probably over. If you say it in a superficially polite way, the conversation can go forward, but you do sound snide. Extraordinarily diplomatic people can do this kind of thing without being snotty, but it's almost impossible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:20 PM
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The problem with thinly veiled sarcasm is that it really greases the skids towards straightforward invective.

501 gets it right. Thinly veiled sarcasm abides by politeness rules. It seems that not everyone is on board with those.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:21 PM
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508: You mean you didn't know?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:22 PM
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509: RELEASE THE KRAKUMMM!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:23 PM
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501 gets it right. Thinly veiled sarcasm abides by politeness rules. It seems that not everyone is on board with those.

I think the point of 501 is precisely that thinly veiled sarcasm is not polite.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:28 PM
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510: LB, you're totally mixing up what counts as snide as opposed to snotty, or politely sarcastic, or politically snide. Set out the rules as you like, what it comes down to is that as soon as elements of snideness and snottiness are introduced, you can't necessarily count on everyone to find that a-okay, and it's a bit much to be shocked if they are.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:32 PM
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Umm, 509 was to 506. It's important to get these things right for serious students of history.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:32 PM
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514: I think the point of 501 is precisely that thinly veiled sarcasm is not polite.

Yes, apparently I wasn't clear. I was agreeing with 501. Politeness rules are not actually polite.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:35 PM
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This is turning into "Who's policing who's tone first?" The problem with Graeber's response isn't so much that he was an irate asshole, or that he took exception to Henry's snottiness, but that the nature of his response largely stopped talking about the substantive issues, at which point the interesting part of the conversation for anyone not warmly personally interested in the character and feelings of either of them was over.

It's almost impossible to strongly criticize someone's ideas without being unpleasant about it -- call Henry's tone what you like, I completely understand that a reasonable person in Graeber's shoes would have been offended by it. I just don't think there's a tone in which the same substantive criticism could have been made that could guaranteed have avoided offense. If you want to talk substance, you find a way either to control your hurt feelings, or to express them in a way that's compatible with talking substance. Graeber didn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:40 PM
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LB, you're totally mixing up what counts as snide as opposed to snotty, or politely sarcastic, or politically snide.

I also love this sentence a lot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:46 PM
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Imagine one king with a billion willing subjects, subjects who can only understand themselves as subjects. The king cannot manage such a complicated system by himself, but also cannot ennoble two dukes for help, or create a chancellor, because there only two possible subjectivities, king/subject and any non-subjects instantly become lethal competition. The subjects are ruled, they have no perceived agency, they will follow whoever. But they all equally ruled.

This is the last moment of State/Capital/Empire.

Imagine the king dies. Who then rules? Everybody.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:48 PM
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519: Umm, snide?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:49 PM
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One of my favorite Randall Jarrell quotes, when berated by some editor for having written a withering but accurate review of a bad poetry book.

I had thought a good motto for critics might be what the Persians taught their children: to shoot the bow and speak the truth; but perhaps a better one would be Cordelia's love and be silent.

I genuinely _could_ have been a little nicer in my response, but (as Lizardbreath suggests), not that much nicer without being dishonest about the weaknesses of the argument as I saw them.


Posted by: Henry Farrell | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:49 PM
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This thread has taken a turn for the hilarious. Is this what threads on CT are like?

(Mean Sifu!)


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:50 PM
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It's almost impossible to strongly criticize someone's ideas without being unpleasant about it

Wrong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:50 PM
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And that is why we are all "bourgeois apologists for Empire" when we set ourselves apart and in opposition to Empire.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:51 PM
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518: The problem with Graeber's response isn't so much that he was an irate asshole, or that he took exception to Henry's snottiness, but that the nature of his response largely stopped talking about the substantive issues

Also wrong. He moved on to substantive issues.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:54 PM
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525 to 524.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:54 PM
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Wrong.

parsimon, you ignorant slut.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:54 PM
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Is it worse to be unserious and unprofessional, or horrid and degenerate?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:55 PM
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529: Mu!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:56 PM
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Now you're just being smude.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:58 PM
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I'm fast and bulbous.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:58 PM
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He moved on to substantive issues.

Nah, not really. Or, the moving onto serious issues was mostly "I've read this book and it says this" and an avoidance of specifically discussing specific claims.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:58 PM
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They say you'll last longer with age, sweetie.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 1:59 PM
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I'm fast and bulbous.

Rows of Apos have been known to sprout up on a log overnight.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 2:00 PM
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Apo is Reddy Kilowatt?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 2:06 PM
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The Mascara Snake.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 2:08 PM
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528: parsimon, you ignorant slut.

Josh is banned.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 2:08 PM
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Bulbous, also tapered.

(it's like a reflex, that is).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 2:11 PM
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Evidence, arguments, serious claims, substantive issues

BOOM!

He's a fucking anarchist.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 2:14 PM
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Hey Farrell!

Next CT roundtable:"Death of the Liberal Class" with Chris Hedges. It will be awesome!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 2:18 PM
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533: the moving onto serious issues was mostly "I've read this book and it says this" and an avoidance of specifically discussing specific claims.

I'd like to be fair: he was addressing six or seven or eight different responses (posts, each accompanied by a thread) in his reply. However much people might think he should have drilled down to address their specific issues, he didn't. Sorry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 2:41 PM
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Parsimon, people were only bothered by his response to Henry, which was remarkably substance free.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 2:55 PM
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Right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 2:55 PM
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If Graeber had said "Look, Farrell, you're an cockface shitmuncher" and had then convincingly point-by-point demonstrated why Farrell was substantively wrong and why Graeber's substantive assertions were correct, I don't think anyone would have had a problem. I sure wouldn't.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 3:03 PM
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543: Yes I know, his response to Henry caused a kerfuffle. I was saying that he also moved on, in the same lengthy post, to respond to half a dozen other people. It's not all about Henry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 3:07 PM
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546: I don't understand -- you sound like you're disagreeing with someone about something, but I'm not sure who about what.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 3:13 PM
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I'm afraid I'm off now for a while, LB.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 3:23 PM
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548: You'll be looking in again over your morning coffee, though, right?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 3:27 PM
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547 looks like a highly recyclable comment.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 3:42 PM
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551

I just skimmed the last 100 comments really quickly and I don't really get what's going on, but I love that "unserious" is now the worst thing anyone can say about anyone else.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 3:42 PM
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The worst thing that anyone can say about anyone else is "You're a virgin who can't drive." Like heebie.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 3:48 PM
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"unserious" is now the worst thing anyone can say

Heyyyy, wait a minute. Does that mean-- Fuck you too, ghost of ogged.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 4:25 PM
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553: Ha. ogged was smitten with you, the Apostropher.

As for "unserious", yes, calling an academic an unserious person is no laughing matter. Surely that is well known.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 6:28 PM
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412: wow...OK, Henry I saw your reply late this afternoon and decided that being directly called out by someone I had called dickish would take more justification than I could really spare during the work day (when I normally do fairly off-the-cuff procrastination style posts). But then tonight I went out to dinner and looking through your past posts to find an exact origin for my impressions is really too much research at this point as well. So I will just give my memory for the origin of this impression. Which is that I tend to find your posts fairly conventional and, while not offensive, not that interesting either....rather mainline liberal academic. But then you seem to get extremely huffy and snippy in the comments section and come down very hard on commenters who disagree. As I recall you drove away several rather left-wing CT commenters who I rather liked (can't remember the name, but it began with an 'a' I think). Really a whole set of commenters along the Emerson / Seth Edenbaum / McManus spectrum. Getting all huffy and bullying on commenters is not something I like unless the commenters are really awful. It speaks to a certain arrogance in the internet persona that I could see coming out in a touch of dismissiveness that Graeber might have taken offense at.

With all that said (and this is the difficulty on the person-to-person encounter aspect of this), none of this means you're actually a dick in real life. Blogging is hard. Posts take work and effort and it is easy to see how one could get frustrated at the responses and then assert the privilege of being the blogs custodian. I've seen it from both sides so I'm aware of this.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 8:04 PM
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PGD's looked at blogs from both sides now.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 8:59 PM
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557

It's blog's delusions he recalls.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:18 PM
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558

What do we look like from inside the blog? Is it like TRON?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:19 PM
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559

Wait, driving bob away would be a *bad* thing? It always baffles me that there are people out there who think he actually posts in good faith.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-12 9:58 PM
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560

Bob trolls, but he does so in the prophetic voice. It's an otherwise lacking element.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:32 AM
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559: Well, bob does occasionally have something to contribute that isn't either sniping at someone or whining. It's a shame everyone here can't say that.


Posted by: Hint, Hint... | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:34 AM
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562

Some say the world will end in ire
Some say in nice.
Having argued with a liar
I hold with those who favor ire
But if it had to perish twice
I've heard enough of bland debate
To say that for destruction nice
Is also great
And would satisfice.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:50 AM
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562 is excellent


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 1:18 AM
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564

561 is breakin' the rules. It's also hilariously lame, but let's start with point 1.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:13 AM
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PGD - absolutely fair enough if you find my posts boring and conventional - de gustibus and all that. I suspect you're talking about abb1, who got banned for borderline anti-semitism. Seth Edenbaum's ban was for calling us all a bunch of motherfuckers. John Emerson was never banned, although he certainly managed to annoy some of the more philosophically minded CTers (he liked to turn every debate about philosophy into a "analytic philosophy: why it's full of shit" meta-debate. This didn't bother me particularly, since I don't post in this area, and I invited him to come back to comment on my own posts a couple of years ago. Bob McManus has never been banned, although he periodically swears that he is never commenting on CT again, and then inevitably comes back a couple of weeks later for a Status Quo like final tour. He also keeps on talking about being banned for some reason - I get the sense that he would find it satisfying to be banned since it would confirm him in his beliefs.


Posted by: Henry Farrell | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:40 AM
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566

Man, Henry. Could you be a more giant jerk? I can't believe you called uh somebody a whatever it was that was definitely objectionable in 565.

Or no, wait: man, Henry, you just do not get the tone of this place. Can't you start calling people names?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:43 AM
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567

501

... I completely understand the impulse to go for a bluntly honest and direct "fuck you clown!" when confronted with snide nastiness. ...

It may be an understandable impulse but that doesn't mean it is an effective debate tactic.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 6:02 AM
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568

an cockface

Because historically the "c" was elided.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 6:13 AM
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569

Oi, 'ockface, yer review is shite, you shitemuncha, wot?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 6:26 AM
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570

Seth Edenbaum's ban was for calling us all a bunch of motherfuckers.

Are you sure that wasn't intended as a compliment? If he called you a "bunch of bad motherfuckers", I'm pretty sure this was all just a horrible misunderstanding.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 6:31 AM
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571

If Graeber's entire response had been written in fake-ass cockney that would have been really laudable, frankly.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 6:31 AM
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572

If he called you a "bunch of bad motherfuckers"

Or wizard cocksuckers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 6:40 AM
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573

560 gets it mostly right.

Also, Seth Edenbaum is a pretttybad motherfucker himself.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 6:44 AM
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If Graeber's entire response had been written in fake-ass cockney that would have been really laudable, frankly.

It'd also have been consistent with his general posture of working-class heroism. I mean, Istanbul polishing Emperor-ism.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:02 AM
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575

Well, bob does occasionally have something to contribute that isn't either sniping at someone or whining.

Of course. The question is, why does he post his movie reviews here rather than some other blog?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:06 AM
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576

Because we're scrappy yet lovable?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:13 AM
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577

Hey LB, who posted 561? My money's on Lee Siegel.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:15 AM
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578

Are you sure that wasn't intended as a compliment? If he called you a "bunch of bad motherfuckers", I'm pretty sure this was all just a horrible misunderstanding.

Or perhaps he was just saying that you have children.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:17 AM
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579

I've said before that I generally don't check IP addresses unless I get really curious. If there were enough anonymous sniping that it got to be an annoying thing, I'd bust people, but I'm going to let that lie.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:19 AM
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580

577: No, he couldn't write anything that long without praising himself.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:21 AM
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581

That doesn't seem like a terribly good idea, but okay.

Also, Halford's fat.


Posted by: Sniper No Sniping | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:22 AM
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582

If Graeber's entire response had been written in fake-ass cockney that would have been really laudable, frankly.

I'm now picturing the whole debate as taking place between Henry Farrell and a cheeky chappie in an adorable kerchief, flat cap and gorblimey trousers.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:29 AM
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Or perhaps he was just saying that you have children.

Which would be okay, except for the insinuation that the lady you have the children with feeds them on junk food and smokes while they're in the car.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:40 AM
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584

581: To make the meta-rule being enforced (or, more accurately, not enforced) here clearer (apo usually says this first, but I agree with him), I am completely uninterested in being the police here, or mediating squabbles between commenters. I may participate enthusiastically in a squabble if I'm in the mood, which I often am. But doing anything that would count as 'enforcing the rules' is going to be arbitrary and capricious, and based on very little more than whether it seems like it's going to be less work/annoyance than not enforcing them, or whether I happen to be in a hostile mood.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:41 AM
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582: for some reason it led to me thinking of Graeber as the little kid at the end of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:42 AM
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584: I mean, I gather that there are not actually "rules" per se. I just find anonymously sniping at somebody like that profoundly dickish, and was enthused about the opportunity to tell the person involved that to their face (or, alternately, to help them welcome the increased credibility their drive-by sniping would have if we knew (for sure) who it was). And I think if it's okay to do that, things can obviously get pretty fucked up pretty fast, but I guess whatever on that front.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:47 AM
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587

Eggplant smells like an asshole!


Posted by: Ragin Waters Theme Park | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:47 AM
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588

Beyond Thunderdome has a lot to say about the evolution of markets in the absence of the state. "Break a deal, face the wheel."(there's a well known federal judge who likes to quote this line at every conceivable opportunity).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:48 AM
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585: Which one? You mean right at the end when they're listening to Savannah Nix telling the tell? Aren't there a bunch of little kids in that shot? Or do you mean the Gyrocopter Pilot's son? Or the kid with the quasi-Don King hairdo who helps Max get rid of Auntie Entity's goons? There's just a lot of little kids at the end of Beyond Thunderdome.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:50 AM
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590

You know, the one with the funny accent.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:51 AM
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I am completely uninterested in being the police here, or mediating squabbles between commenters

Moooom! HintHint is breathing on me!


Posted by: Squabbler | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:51 AM
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592

Wait, now you've got me all confused with The Road Warrior. You didn't mean Emil Minty, the Feral Kid, did you?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:52 AM
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I hear Stormcrow shops at the dollar store!


Posted by: Cheap Plastic Tacos | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:53 AM
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594

592: I think I was confusing Emil Minty and Savannah Nix, maybe.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 7:54 AM
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595

I really wouldn't have expected the passive-aggressive note I injected into this thread to still be echoing 300+ comments and ~4 days later.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:00 AM
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596

ttaM's gams look like hams!


Posted by: Sadpocalypso | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:00 AM
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597

Hey, right, this is all your fault! Essear is banned!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:09 AM
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598

Well, I was thinking that this place was missing something since TOS left.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:12 AM
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599

essear is passive-aggressive and a despoiler of other cultures!


Posted by: Bolus Habeas | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:13 AM
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600

He's unserious!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:21 AM
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601

His gums look like gums.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:29 AM
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602

But not the same gums.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:30 AM
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603

Awww, I don't think I've ever been banned before! Thanks!

599 is totes violating the sanctity of off-blog communication.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:32 AM
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604

I don't know what you're talking about.


Posted by: Bolus Habeas | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:35 AM
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605

Okay, sheesh. I hope the point is made. I remain a fan of insulting people under my regular pseud, teo.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:36 AM
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595: Don't flatter yourself Quark Boy, we could be perfectly passive-aggressive without you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:36 AM
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607


Sifu listens to Starship and drinks Mike's Hard Lemonade.


Posted by: prosperitatis vario | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:38 AM
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608

I really wouldn't have expected the passive-aggressive note I injected into this thread to still be echoing 300+ comments and ~4 days later.

What can we say, it's been a slow couple of days at the blog.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:44 AM
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Seth Edenbaum was the worst goddamn commenter in the history of the internet. I was surprised when abb1 was banned, though, despite the borderline anti-Semitism.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:01 AM
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As Seth Edenbaum once said,

Still reading Fodor et al. I can't see much of a distinction, in their structure, between the old arguments Leiter accepts and the new ones he disparages (on Darwin). Reading about "multiple realizability", "reductionism" and "projectibility" I thought immediately of explosions, and the functionalism of relations rather than objects. Pain is not a "thing" it's a relation between things. The relation is the kind. Cognitive science is still the creation science of human behavior; theologians forever being pushed slowly back. Claims for physicalist anti-reductionism are no more than attempts to reify linguistic ambiguity as "vital principle".

As true now as when it was written.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:09 AM
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I'm surprised to find this thread still going, but since it is, there's something I've always wanted to ask Henry. From 565:

I suspect you're talking about abb1, who got banned for borderline anti-semitism.

I know I'm not alone in never having understood your hostility to abb1, and I guess my question is: "what was up with that?"

The "borderline anti-semitism" you're mentioning seems to have consisted of pointing out that the Arabs don't hate Israel just for the sake of hating Jews, but because of actual things that happened, and of contending that the term "anti-Semitism" has been leached of much of its meaning by Israel apologists. He was also apparently banned for contending that rhetoric about China being an "odious regime" is foolish. The middle claim may have been overstated, but otherwise none of those opinions is especially outre. PGD isn't the only one to find abb1's banning (from CT or just from your threads?) an overreaction and a black mark against CT, especially given the nature of some of the posters who are still welcome there; lots of people do.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:11 AM
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Is Anthony Paul Smith anyone I should be familiar with? I just clicked through those links and he was being rude about Unfogged in a way that actually managed to kind of offend me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:19 AM
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613

abb1 would also routinely argue that there was no such thing as racism, only classicism.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:24 AM
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612, he's one of Adam Kotsko's co-bloggers. Like so many bloggers he alternates between expressing carefully thought-out serious moral explanations for why people are wrong, and overflowing with scorn and derision.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:24 AM
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615

Eh, I'll get over it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:26 AM
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He's one of Kotsko's regulars. Bit of a hothead, but not all bad (is my impression of him). I didn't see those comments from him at the third link until now, though; they certainly do seem to bespeak pretty limited exposure to Unfogged.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:27 AM
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617

Razzberry
Strorbry
Bloobs
Gräp
Pyenappel
Lyme


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:28 AM
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618

Pwned, of course.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:28 AM
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619

Eggplant smells like an asshole!
Sifu smells like a banana.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:29 AM
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620

seem to bespeak pretty limited exposure to Unfogged

All for the best, it appears. The "bootstraps" comment is bizarrely off-target.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:29 AM
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621

This is all from 5 years ago! Jeez! Let's start some new fights!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:31 AM
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622

Well said, CN!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:31 AM
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620: Yeah, kind of a dead giveaway.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:32 AM
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624

SHOWS YOU WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET MCMEGAN IN YOUR JOINT

GUILT BE ASSOCIATION


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:38 AM
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621: Umm....OK. He's the commenter who got in an "umm battle" with Kieran Healy in the thread of Kotsko's post about the Graeber-Farrell brouhaha which Kotsko has now retracted but which led Doctor Slack (if that's his real name) to do a riff on "umm" and famous phrases which I brought into this thread in 509.

Is that new enough for you, Likely-To-Be-Eaten-With-Extreme-Prejudice-Sometime-This-Weekend Boy?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:44 AM
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626

Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summers by the Ummms of Stormcrow!


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:50 AM
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627

Hurm. "Those crazy religious people" is a fair-ish cop, I guess. But the other two takes are just bizarre.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:55 AM
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Even a keep glance at this mess exhausts me. Since I cant be bothered to really read any of it, I am just going to join Lord Castock's team.

Mostly bc accusations of borderline anti-semitism drive me crazy as they often seem pulled out whenever someone doesnt voice loud enthusiasm for some action by Israel.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:57 AM
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Members of my team get a free six pack of I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Juice, in their choice of Gräp, Pyenappel, or Lyme flavours. You've made the right decision, will.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:00 AM
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That itself post looks pretty much like some of the weblog posts looked four or five or more years ago, which was the last time I looked at the weblog. Wasn't there a big blogspat with Tim Burke over civility and niceness back then too?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:06 AM
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631

Anthony Paul Smith once declared that he got a little boner when I made a grammatical error in a comment on the old-old-old version of The Weblog.

I believe he used to think very little of me, and I used to think not so much of him, but I know the latter has changed; as for the former, he seems at least to tolerate me. Hooray! He is definitely not being seen at his best in the exchange with Kieran. Obviously. That whole thread is a trainwreck; Holbo's lead-off in his comment, responding to Craig, is totally gratuitous, frex.

I have no idea what this "third link" that LC is referring to is, though.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:08 AM
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632

3rd link to CT in 611.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:09 AM
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Ah, ok, I saw that there were three links in that comment but also that they were all to CT, so I dismissed them as candidates. What a fool!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:11 AM
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634

Oh, I see that Kotsko has retracted the post. Time travel averted!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:12 AM
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635

Members of my team get a free six pack of I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Juice,

I thought they got an ironic "I Heart Juice" t-shirt.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:15 AM
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636

Hipster Hitler is too mainstream these days.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:16 AM
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637

he got a little boner when I made a grammatical error in a comment

Who doesnt?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:36 AM
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Is that new enough for you, Likely-To-Be-Eaten-With-Extreme-Prejudice-Sometime-This-Weekend Boy?

Is that a Passover reference? Because I think you got it wrong.

Also, apologies for the previous comment, as I didn't realize that A.P. Smith was involved in the most recent brouhaha.



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:37 AM
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639

Shoot, I was hoping the latest post would have pushed this off the front page.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:43 AM
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640

Well, I brought him up because I saw something five years old. So, you weren't terribly offbase, squishy-yellow marshmallow though you may be.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:45 AM
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638.1: You're not a christian baby?

638.2: People were in fact referring to the years-old fight. Only coincidental that he was tangentially involved in the recent one. My comment was part of my campaign to blow off some of my free-floating hostility resulting from not being allowed to go to work today due to alleged events involving some Jewish momma's boy several thousand years ago.

Also we need PGD, or Henry (whose turn is it?) to chime in with some earnest blog talk to give balance to this thread. All play and no work makes Jack a dull boy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:45 AM
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640: Thanks for the pwnage, and the making explicitness of 640.last, oh mighty reptilian shirker of blog-policing duties.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:48 AM
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640: Have I ever told you your breath stinks?

641.1: 48-year old Jew. I think I'm safe.

641.2: You're upset because you weren't allowed to go to work? Sorry, I can't relate.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:51 AM
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I didn't notice any anti-semitism in abb1 as such, but did get the impression of him as a troll. He seemed to routinely try and start flamewars relating to Israel on threads that weren't on Israel and I assumed that was why he got banned. However, folks with that level of obsession with bringing every discussion around to Israeli human rights abuses and the nastier sides of Zionism do make me suspicious in a way similar to those who do the same thing about Muslims and Islam. Also, LC's initial link describes abb1's views rather disingenuously. abb1 is arguing there that there's nothing problematic with believing that Israel should be wiped out.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:52 AM
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645

638.1: I think he had in mind your fellow peeps, peep.

641.2: I feel just the opposite of this. Do your sweet Easter thing, zombie Jesus. I am so relaxed right now.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:54 AM
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646

One million years ago when I worked in children's book publishing, a very well-known kiddie book author/illustrator (and not one of these sneaky/naughty/subversive types either) sent my boss an Easter card that she had drawn of a crucified/dying/bleeding cartoon bunny, with other bunnies weeping at his feet, that had been marked over with a bright-red city-morgue-style DECEASED stamp.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:54 AM
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Have you guys ever read the comments at Crooked Timber? I've avoided them, as they sound insufferable, but I would like to know more.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:54 AM
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648

645.1: Thanks for finally making this so obvious even a squishy yellow marshmallow could understand it.

I hate peeps. I could explain again that I named myself after the little sound not the candy, but maybe it's really just because I hate myself.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:58 AM
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649

639: Being let down by that sort of thing is the essential spirit of this place.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 10:59 AM
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650

BR lost control and ate 7 peeps in one sitting. They made her sick.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:03 AM
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651

643.3, 645.2: I jest.

My free-floating hostility (well anything above baseline) is due to still not having shaken a week-old cold which contributed to an effed-up week at work, and the fact that I am procrastinating dealing with some of the backed-up work at this very moment.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:06 AM
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652

645 pwned by 640.

I don't think I've ever actually tasted a peep. They seem to be more of an American thing.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:07 AM
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653

Also apparent Facebook hackage of my wife's account from a mobile device in Japan. And she had used our original common account password, so facing changing a lot of those. Eh, overdue anyway.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:09 AM
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654

652: Not pwnage, because your comment actually managed to penetrate my thick marshmallow skull.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:12 AM
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655

I've never heard of peeps until now.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:12 AM
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656

that I am procrastinating dealing with some of the backed-up work at this very moment.

Now, this, I can relate to.



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:13 AM
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657

It is true to some degree that I have been procrastinating dealing with some ... backed-up work at this very moment for the last 40 years. Even when I'm doing work I'm procrastinating on other work. There may in fact be psychologically healthier ways to conceptualize this.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:16 AM
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658

655: What about Family Circus?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:16 AM
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659

Or Michelle Shocked?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:18 AM
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660

I actually don't think that abb1 was a troll in the classic sense - just someone with a very limited sense of interests, an extraordinary determination to pull conversation towards those interests, and a kinda sketchy set of positions which went way beyond the usual Israel behaves badly thing into explicit claims that anti-semitism was a non-issue, and that it's basically justified to talk about wiping out the Jews. If you're trying to keep things together in a comment section where people disagree lots on international politics, this doesn't help much.


Posted by: Henry Farrell | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:26 AM
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661

Aw, I stepped away from the computer for a few hours and completely missed 561. I'm touched someone out there cares enough to snipe at me anonymously! Have an adorable picture of sleeping baby pandas as penance for my sins, Hint Hint.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:29 AM
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662

659 wins.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:30 AM
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663

I don't get it. Michelle...Shocked? I haven't heard of her.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:35 AM
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664

663: I have heard of her, and I still don't get it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:37 AM
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665

I recently had the delightful opportunity to thank her for including the starting chord of each song in the liner notes to Short Sharp Shocked, and I don't get it.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:46 AM
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666

She became a big star after ogged discovered her. One of the few times this blog has made a real difference in the world.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 11:48 AM
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667

661: Those are so perfect they don't even look real!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:07 PM
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668

They were surgically enhanced, duh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:15 PM
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669

Those are so perfect they don't even look real!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:15 PM
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670

I don't actually think those are creepier than the female version, as per the title claims.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:22 PM
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671

663 et seq.: http://www.unfogged.com/archives/week_2004_03_28.html#001641


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:25 PM
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672

From that same day, this post is kind of hilarious.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:28 PM
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673

Both those posts got a grand total of 2 comments each, half of which were left by ogged.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:30 PM
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674

Does Scheherazade have a blog still? Wasnt it with Megan for a while?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:34 PM
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675

On the other hand, there were 12 posts on that one random day.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:34 PM
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676

RIP "Dive Into Mark".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:34 PM
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677

674: They were blogging together here, but that's a couple years gone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 12:37 PM
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678

I don't actually think those are creepier than the female version, as per the title claims.

They just look like Islom Karimov.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 1:14 PM
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679

676

Is that like "Heavy into Jeff"?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 1:31 PM
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680

It turns out to be surprisingly difficult to figure out what the heuristics & biases stuff in Kahneman's book has to say about one's own decision-making processes, even when some of the effects at work are recognizable.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 1:52 PM
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681

||

Burn this racist system down.

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 2:02 PM
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682

I cannot imagine how someone could possibly be rude to those CT people. They're so nice.

"He made a big blooper about something important I understand, so I don't have to think about the rest of the book, which is about important topics I don't understand" is a most excellent labor saving device, up there with "I only do the second half of the Dutch seventeenth century".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 2:16 PM
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683

680: really? Hmm. Most of them can be surfaced with the simple question: "Why do I think that?"


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 2:21 PM
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684

"Unimportant". Even I mistype.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 2:29 PM
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685

Yeah 682.2 was pretty much my problem with HF's original review, but then DG doubled down.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 2:31 PM
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682: Graeber didn't think it was unimportant. FWIW, my working hypothesis is that he was so worked up because of his new book, which sounds as if it's an expansion of the arguments of that chapter.

And if you want to dish it out to CT ... I was personally quite happy to have you around, but can understand why some of my mates were grumpy that every time they wrote about something in philosophy/political theory, it immediately derailed into another multi-page version of the Why John Emerson Thinks Analytical Philosophy Is Teh SuXoR roadshow. Gets a bit stale after a while.


Posted by: Henry Farrell | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:02 PM
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I think there's a lot to Robert Halford's comment at 492, namely this part:

My guess is that Graeber has been working himself into the ground as a scholar/activist and that his brain is fried; that's the kind of behavior you get when someone is sleep deprived and exhausted.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:06 PM
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Yeah, 682.2 was what I meant by "doubling down." DG's best move (I thought) would have been to say something like, look, I'm an anthropologist and in that chapter I'm talking at a pretty high level of abstraction, and I'm really not making the specific claims that you're taking me to make, and, hey, I just wrote a 5000 year survey that touches on a ton of super important topics and this review is quibbilng with a bunch of not very important details in a final chapter that was supposed to be more suggestive bits about the present than the core of the book.

But it now seems like Graeber really does want to make a bunch of very specific claims about the dollar as international reserve currency, but if he does want to make those claims, he needs to do it in more detail and more persuasively.

Anyhow, if anyone misreads this comment, not only are they nonserious but I will shoot them in the fucking face.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:10 PM
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my working hypothesis is that he was so worked up because of his new book, which sounds as if it's an expansion of the arguments of that chapter. history of Apple Computer.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:11 PM
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690

Anyhow, if anyone misreads this comment, not only are they nonserious but I will shoot them in the fucking face.

"Nonserious"? "Nonserious"? What a howler! It's "unserious".


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:13 PM
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691

BAM goes the shotgun.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:14 PM
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692

You see, if academia had "stand your ground" laws we wouldn't get this level of invective on Crooked Timber and we wouldn't need niceness police.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:15 PM
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693

Tell me more about why you like threatening to shoot people in their fucking faces.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:15 PM
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694

How about I tell you BAM goes the shotgun. Good lord I like debate better this way.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:21 PM
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695

I thought that was just tacked on at the end of a comment that made a bunch of important points.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:21 PM
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696

But then Halford decided to double down on it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:22 PM
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697

I wasn't saying anything about the rest of the comment! The rest of the comment was perfectly fine. I have no idea why Halford flew off the handle like that.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:22 PM
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698

He's probably working on a follow-up comment on nonseriousness.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:22 PM
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699

I have no idea why Halford flew off the handle like that.

I'm drunk with the power of an imaginary weapon!! And it feels so good. Reason never solved anything. BAM BAM BAM BAM.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:24 PM
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700

It's a perfectly reasonable reaction to imaginary snideness.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:25 PM
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701

RATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATAT


Posted by: THE DELIGITIMIZER | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:26 PM
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702

Hmm. (Nonserious vs. unserious n-gram.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:27 PM
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703

701 gets it completely backward.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:27 PM
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704

TATATATATATATATAR


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:30 PM
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705

SAVE THE TATATATATATATATAS


Posted by: OPINONATED, POSSIBLY STUTTERING FUNDRAISER FOR VAGUELY ANNOYING CHARITIES | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:31 PM
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706

I listened to Sirius radio on my ride home from work today.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:32 PM
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707

702: you can clearly pinpoint Carter's "nonserious" speech.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:33 PM
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708

MAY I BRING YOU ANYTHING TO MAKE YOUR STAY MORE PLEASURABLE?


Posted by: THE DELIGHTIMIZER | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:39 PM
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709

705 eff tee double-u.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:45 PM
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710

705 eff tee double-u.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:45 PM
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711

705 eff tee double-u.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:45 PM
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712

Hi.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:45 PM
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713

612

Is Anthony Paul Smith anyone I should be familiar with? I just clicked through those links and he was being rude about Unfogged in a way that actually managed to kind of offend me.

You were offended by someone who couldn't even tell Crooked Timber and Unfogged apart?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:45 PM
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714

I'm going to write off my purchase of I Wish My Brother George Was Here and the first Gorillaz album on my taxes, thanks to my new DEL ITEMIZER.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:47 PM
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715

I'm going to give the Lay's Corporation the thrill of it's life with this DELICHIPAMAZER.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:51 PM
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716

709-711: now take it to the bridge.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:52 PM
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717

Way off-topic, because this thread is long enough that it seems okay to pollute it: suppose you've been wanting, say, a puppy. (The puppy is a metaphor, see.) Puppies are very rare, so first someone offers you a guinea pig. And it's really cute and you're like, well, maybe I can enjoy taking care of a guinea pig! Since puppies are so rare. Maybe a guinea pig is what I really wanted all along! But then someone else comes along and offers you the most adorable puppy ever, and you think about all the happy days you'll have playing with this puppy. But there's a catch: in five years, the puppy will be taken away from you and given to someone else. You will have very little say in this, it's just going to happen. Whereas the guinea pig is actually a super-long-lived guinea pig that you can keep around forever. So some people are like "dude, a pet for life! go for the guinea pig!" And you're like, "gee, it'll really suck to be separated from the puppy in five years, but maybe after that I can get a guinea pig?" But all the, um, pet experts you talk to tell you it's actually really dicey to be given a guinea pig after people know the puppy has been taken away, especially if the bottom might drop out of the pet market, and... this is going off the rails. But damn, wouldn't you be tempted to take the cute puppy anyway and hope magically you'll be able to keep it?


Posted by: Unserious | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:56 PM
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718

Maude's going to die, Harold. But if you want to sing out, sing out.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 3:59 PM
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719

718: Very good. That kind of scenario was the only thing I could imagine.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:02 PM
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720

717: (a) analogies are banned and (b) don't go to grad school, is what I hear.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:02 PM
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721

Does the puppy live in Chicago?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:05 PM
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722

I wonder if 717 is one of the better humblebrags of all time or if I've misinterpreted it completely.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:05 PM
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723

Ohhhhh. Go to Chicago. The football is worse, but hey.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:08 PM
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724

Ohhhhhhhhh. I think I get it? If so, eh, puppies are cute, you only live once.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:09 PM
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725

722: I should probably be embarrassed to have written it.


Posted by: Unserious | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:10 PM
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726

To be clear, I don't get the Chicago reference and it is humblebragging.


Posted by: Unserious | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:11 PM
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727

717: I remember watching Manhattan and thinking that the Woody Allen character's approach to get involved with Dianne Keaton feels like he's thinking, "this relationship is unlikely to end well, the odds are in six months we will break up and I will be miserable. On the other hand, odds are I will be miserable six months from now regardless, so why not take the chance."

I'm probably misinterpreting the analogy, honestly, but that does sound like the calculation -- the puppy caries with it a high likelihood of unhappiness, at some point, but you could always console yourself that unhappiness isn't that uncommon anyway. On the other hand, taking pet advice from Woody Allen is probably a bad idea.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:14 PM
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728

Oh, Chicago has a particularly tasty five-year/no tenure option assistant... puppy... thing that it might have been. Is it a puppy with an explicit death sentence, or just an inevitable-in-practice but not contractual one?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:14 PM
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729

Dude, TAKE THE PUPPY.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:16 PM
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730

just an inevitable-in-practice but not contractual one

Right, that. And maybe could be stretched to seven years, if I understand correctly, though waiting that long to look for other, um, pets would be ill-advised.


Posted by: Unserious | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:16 PM
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731

Also, the guinea pig would probably have been much more enjoyable before you knew you could have had a puppy.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:17 PM
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732

727: So one Woody Allen movie made you think of another?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:19 PM
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733

731: Right. It's a perfectly good guinea pig, to the extent that the analogy is a little insulting to all the wonderful people who have guinea pigs. But now it seems like settling.


Posted by: Unserious | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:21 PM
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734

Dude, TAKE THE PUPPY.

But leave the gun.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:22 PM
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735

Sorry for the analogy and the bragging. I ban myself.


Posted by: Unserious | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:23 PM
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736

to the extent that the analogy is a little insulting to all the wonderful people who have guinea pigs

Eh, not wanting a guinea pig is a large part of the reason I got out of the pet market.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:24 PM
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737

Unless I'm misunderstanding, doesn't the work that you do while taking care of the puppy matter for your eventually getting a guinea pig? In other words, if you think 5 years of puppy love would put you into a better position for long term guinea pig care than you would be in otherwise, go for it; if not, just take on the guinea pig now.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:25 PM
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738

Is it a fancy guinea pig that would maybe allow you to shop around for a puppy a few years down the road? Or would you be... strapped into the hamster wheel for life?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:26 PM
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739

727: So one Woody Allen movie made you think of another?

Isn't Dianne Keaton in Manhattan, am I confused, or do you just mean that 717 sounds like a Woody Allen movie.

Either way, it's the end of the day Friday, and I admit to being slightly incoherent.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:26 PM
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740

As a recent acquirer of a very nice little guinea pig, I am entirely un-insulted. (And I long ago realized I'd rather be out of the pet market than have a gerbil or tarantula, so it all goes around.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:30 PM
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741

Or would you be... strapped into the hamster wheel for life?

groooaaaan.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:31 PM
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742

If either the Guinea Pig or the Puppy is Dartmouth, you can totally puke on it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:33 PM
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743

GET A CAT


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:39 PM
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744

Just take the puppy, for fuck's sake.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:41 PM
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745

I never was banned anywhere. I just became as tired of trolling as the trollees were tired of me. Simultaneously I came to understand that the political situation is utterly hopeless and excruciatingly painful to talk about. Almost simultaneously I went back to actually reading books and writing things.

The internet was about 8 years of my life. I was one of Atrios's first 20 commenters. He had the secret of blogging right from the beginning -- short, interesting, the right amount of attitude, variety but with a basic core, and open-ended posts. This is Eschaton's 10th birthday, and I started blogging a few weeks before he did but look where I ended up. Let this be a lesson to everyone.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:46 PM
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746

You teach grim lessons, Emerson.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:55 PM
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747

Take the puppy, because you can always get a guinea pig later, because people will value your ambition in having taken care of a puppy and be more likely to trust you with a guinea pig.

And no one sneers at guinea pigs. When you end up taking care of beta fish, even the beta fish wonder if you wouldn't be happier with maybe a kitten or an iguana in a nice location....


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:55 PM
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748

Emerson is banned!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:56 PM
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749

739: Isn't Dianne Keaton in Manhattan, am I confused, or do you just mean that 717 sounds like a Woody Allen movie.

An indirect answer that is somewhat relevant to the form of Unserious's analogy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:56 PM
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750

There should be a widely distributed site where various people game this out, because it happens to people every year, and presumably some take the puppy and some take the guinea pig, and then you could get data from real people (I took the wonderful thing and then I was completely fucked! -- or -- I took the long-term thing and then I was trapped and eventually abandoned my career! -- etc.).

Taking the puppy is altruistic, because you will thereby (probably) allow a person with fewer options to have, nurture, and adore a guinea pig of their very own. You know how very, very, very, very much people who don't have guinea pigs want them?... Whereas finalists for more desirable pets often have more options. Everyone wants to give them puppies, or cats, or all the bunnies at the University of Victoria.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 4:58 PM
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751

LK makes a good point about the altruism, too. Even if it all goes horribly wrong for you, you'll be able to comfort yourself with the thought that you helped others out.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 6:54 PM
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752

groooaaaan.

* puts on sunglasses, plays "Won't Get Fooled Again" *


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:19 PM
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753

PS. CONGRATULATIONS!!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:27 PM
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754

If this is one of those Harvard puppies don't worry. No one* gets to keep them and most companions-to-animals get a chance to companion a cat and maybe a dog. It is sort of like training guide dogs. Now the full-sized Harvard dogs, they go to people who have proven they can handle a dog.

*For various values of.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:28 PM
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755

Take the puppy.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:30 PM
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756

754 is my understanding as well (based on n=1, admittedly).

It strikes me that there's another factor: do you want to reside in and limit yourself to a puppy-style place for the next 5 years, knowing that you'll be (hopefully) moving to a guinea pig style place in the future? A person can get tired of trading pets after a while, and sometimes guinea pig styles allow for more settling in. That would be a consideration, at least for me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:40 PM
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757

In case 756 isn't clear, by "place" I mean actual residence. How much stuff can a person have with a puppy? Can a person have a garden and actual furniture for once, or is it just going to be milk crates all over again? That may not be a factor for you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 8:45 PM
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758

Get the puppy, because then you don't have to deal with backstabbing administrators who decide that euthanizing guinea pigs would be an entertaining hobby. At least you've been told that the puppy won't be a puppy forever.


Posted by: too tired to think of a president | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:04 PM
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759

729 and its echoes seem pretty compelling to me, I must admit.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:21 PM
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760

749's link is excellent.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04- 6-12 9:26 PM
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761

You seem like the sort of person who really wants a puppy. People like me apply for puppies because we apply for all pets, but if anyone were stupid enough to give us a puppy, we would almost certainly fail to take care of it properly (and probably be miserable while doing so). The only reason to take the guinea pig would be if you thought that ultimately you want to settle down with a nice guinea pig and people might less likely to give it to you in the future because they thought that you were never going to be happy with a guinea pig and would abandone it at the first opportunity for a dog or cat. But you seem like a person who ultimately wants a dog. Someone's offerring a puppy to you. Take the puppy.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 8:56 AM
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762

I'm on team puppy. Carpe diem. Plus taking the guinea pig feels like a decision borne out of an attempt to game the system, or at least hedge your bets or manipulate life, and that's no way to live and no way to treat other people. This guinea pig may be someone else's puppy, and you may realize that this puppy is not quite such a puppy after all, and who knows. But don't try to manipulate pet-getting. Enjoy your puppy and take comfort that the future is unknowable.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:05 AM
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763

And whatever you do, report back here on any events which will increase our collective self-esteem relative to either puppy or guinea pig owners.

Goes without saying I guess.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:09 AM
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764

Someone is going to stumble across this thread one day and horribly misinterpret the pet metaphor as a reference to mail-order brides.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:14 AM
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765

Misinterpret?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:17 AM
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766

Am I the only one who read the initial question and thought dating rather than job? (I didn't understand it in that context, mind you.) If everyone else hadn't figured it out, I'd still be confused.

On the actual question, I have no relevant knowledge. But generally, I'd say that you really don't know exactly where you're going to be and what you're going to want in five years. If I understand your motivations correctly, the only advantage the guinea pig has over the puppy is that in five years, you'll have the pig rather than be trying to adopt a new pet.

I don't think that's much of an advantage. Pets die, you can decide that a given pet annoys you and you'd rather adopt a different one or live a pet-free lifestyle. Five years is a long time. And in terms of adopting a new pet in five years, you're the kind of person who someone trusts with a puppy today; it would seem unlikely to me that after five years of puppy care, no one would let you adopt anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:18 AM
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767

766 sort of see 718 and 719.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:20 AM
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768

766.1 that is.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:20 AM
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769

765: Walked right into that one.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:22 AM
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770

Pets die

I heard that they get sent to a farm and then are replaced by one-year mammals without benefits.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:24 AM
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771

I'd say take the puppy, but don't just wait for them to take the puppy away. After 3 or 4 years with the puppy you can be proactive in Guinea Pig searching, and it looks good for people with guinea pigs if they can get people to give up a puppy for their guinea pig.

Also moving sucks. If the puppy doesn't require moving, just take the puppy.

Finally, although there is some chance of the pet market tanking during the next 5 years, on the flip side there's a chance that the market for pet bears will improve. And don't you really want a bear after all?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:39 AM
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772

Oh, and congrats!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:39 AM
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773

766: My first reaction was dating as well. Maybe someone deciding whether or not to break off a long distance relationship for a hot fling during a year abroad or something.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:45 AM
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774

Wait, it's not about dating?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:46 AM
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775

(Is the line between dog and guinea pig clear for the people with domain specific knowledge? Like, I'm figuring the puppy is a purebred, which is why you can't keep it: it's going to go to someone who started out with a lovable mutt but still won some obedience competitions, so now they're going to let the mutt-owner trade it in for a purebred and go to the Westminster dog show. But I don't know where you draw the line between a lovable mutt and a guinea pig -- is it two-year/four-year, or something subtler?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:47 AM
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776

Wait, it's not about dating?

Clearly the puppy is a virgin.


Posted by: Rev. Ezra Stiles | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:55 AM
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777

I get the impression that the puppy dog is a very specific puppy dog, possibly associated with the most prestigious kennel in the land. But I'm guessing just like you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:57 AM
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778

777 -> 775


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 9:58 AM
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779

771: Is a bear the analog of a puppy, but with a bay view?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:13 AM
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780

On the other hand, personally I would take the guinea pig. Partly this is that I'm risk averse, and partly it's that rhymeswithmaria is tired of moving around so much and really wants to replace her pet rock with a pet rock that she can keep longer.

775: For calibration, assuming I've worked things out right, the guinea pigs he's considering are roughly comparable with my new pet. There aren't very many puppies.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:14 AM
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781

There are places where the transition from puppy to dog is clearly laid out as a possibility, but in practice almost all dogs got there by growing into doghood at other places and then being hunted down by poachers.

The final doghood review is usually at 7 years, but there's a mid-way review at 4 years, and even if things seem fine after that it's a good idea to go looking elsewhere. But who knows, maybe you'll have that one puppy in 30 years to become a dog there.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:15 AM
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782

There is one bear that's like a puppy with a bay view, but there are other bears too.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:17 AM
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783

Also she wants pet goats. But the pet goats are not a metaphor.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:18 AM
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784

You are all so, so banned.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:25 AM
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785

I would have thought "cub" the appropriate analog rather than "bear", but as JM says, this entire subthread is an abomination, and we're all banned.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:28 AM
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786

775: The guinea pig is one of those large, flagship state guinea pigs. I mean, it's actually really similar in most ways to a puppy, but it's a little harder to recruit good... um... petsitters? Maybe I should just drop the pretense of disguising my identity and question.

772: Thanks!

The puppy offer was decided by a hiring committee but hasn't been approved by the department chair yet, which I'm told means there's a slim but nonzero chance that it won't go through, which is part of why I'm being oblique.

Back to being banned now.


Posted by: Unserious | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:28 AM
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787

You could be dead in five years. Team puppy.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:30 AM
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788

There is a decent chance of 7 good years? Those odds are better than getting married.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:32 AM
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789

784: For fiber? Because that would be really cool. Also goats are great.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:34 AM
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790

What's the pet-owner parking situation like at the puppy vs. the guinea pig? That's what you'll spend most of your time as a pet owner arguing about, so it might be a good thing to find out now.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:39 AM
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791

786.1: Oh, huh. I guess I'd still say that if the puppy is much more desirable than the guinea pig, all my reasoning still holds. But honestly, that seems like the same species to me (if it were my metaphor, I'd be calling it a lovable mutt). And at that point I'd think it's close enough to start really thinking about location and such.

I mean, if I've got it straight, the people who train grownup dogs are people who've demonstrated awesomeness in their guinea pig ownership. You could do that by going puppy/guinea pig/dog, but are your odds worse going just guinea pig/dog?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:41 AM
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792

Also, how many cage cleaning or dog-walking committees are you going to be expected to serve on? Are you going to have enough time to write articles for Transactions of the Guinea Pig Society or The Puppy Journal?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:43 AM
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793

Dog Fancy, I think.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:45 AM
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794

If it were my metaphor it would be a pony. Cause then we could make "and a pony" jokes. The lost opportunity...


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:46 AM
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795

My friend who just died went guinea pig=>guinea pig=>goldfish, but he wound up being an amazingly well regarded and personally fulfilled goldfish owner. Hundreds of people came to his memorial service, and hundreds more around the country wished they could have. Not everybody has that experience with a goldfish of course, but that's true of any pet you could name. I'm sure there's plenty of miserably depressed pedigreed dog owners who've even competed at Westminster, and they still go home every night and wish they'd never even thought about getting a pet in the first place.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:52 AM
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796

My answer above really was about dating. But now I understand. I chose the guinea pig with relief, but it was my puppy.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:53 AM
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797

Would that Unserious were as serious as LB or Upetgi about constructing metaphors.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:53 AM
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798

791 Based on completely non-scientific observation in a different field, the odds of getting a purebred dog are higher for those who've had some puppy training experience than those who have only had guinea pigs. But it also depends on the breed of puppy. Certain breeds of puppy are apparently exceptionally unfriendly to their trainers, others aren't.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:53 AM
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799

796 My answer above really was about dating.

That's awesome.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 10:55 AM
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The status of the guinea pig having been clarified, the stakes seem much lower all around. I'd agree, at least for my field, which likely has only the broadest of structural similarities for Unserious's field, with teraz. If the puppy lives in Hartf0rd, you might be better off with The guinea pig, but you know it's all a role of the pet distribution dice.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 11:06 AM
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Sorry, not Hartf0rd, but the same state.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 11:08 AM
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That one claims that you get to keep the puppy nowadays.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 11:40 AM
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The locksmiths?

I should say congratulations as well: as I understand it any kind of pet is rare these days, and puppies are awesome.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 11:49 AM
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It's a damned sweet puppy. Not too shabby a guinea pig either, but damn, look at that puppy.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 11:50 AM
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Really? When did they start doing that?


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 11:57 AM
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Oh, and congratulations on your (hopeful) surfeit of awesome pets, Uns.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 11:58 AM
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About five years ago the lock company realized they weren't keeping good puppy trainers so they made some modifications to their kennel policy.

The advice is still roughly the same. After three years with your puppy after you've made some contributions to Dog Fancy, you'll need to be looking for a new doghouse. Or move into taking care of guinea pigs, if that's what you prefer.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 12:09 PM
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Huh. Certainly makes more sense than what they were doing.

I have a colleague there, who I'm not in active contact with, whose lease on a puppy should be coming due. He's made the right moves towards dog ownership, but I don't know how they've been received. Will be interesting to see what happens.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 12:19 PM
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Sometime in the second half of the last decade, with exact timing depending on field is my understanding.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 12:26 PM
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Bark may have more prestige, but the more rigorous papers are published in Bite.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 12:30 PM
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Puppies are very playful and interactive, whereas guinea pigs mostly keep to themselves. Also, if you have a Peruvian friend, he or she might eat your guinea pig when you're not looking. It's been known to happen.

So, yeah, definitely the puppy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-12 12:32 PM
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