Re: Rightwing Lunatics I Can't Even Handle

1

there never would have been slaves in America if black people had guns.

Quentin Tarantino must be very proud of his influence on public debate.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 12:53 PM
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Both via FB

I don't know who this FB person is, but I know people like this. I try to keep them out of my Facebook feed.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 12:54 PM
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Surely B is some sort of hoax.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:00 PM
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In Larry Ward's inspiring counterfactual, the Time Haters wouldn't have had to travel all the way back in time to call slave masters "crackers."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:01 PM
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It's reached the point where a modestly famous person should just challenge Glenn Beck to a public fistfight.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:06 PM
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After watching the video, B is actually slightly less crazy than I first thought. I thought the wingnut believed that the distributive property was made up by -- or at least named by -- socialists, but the worksheet really is titled, "Distribute the Wealth!" Still ridiculous but not quite as bad as I thought, which is a really depressing illustration of how low my standards have gotten.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:07 PM
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7

I didn't actually watch the video.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:08 PM
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8

Exhibit C: Todd Rathner

Exhibit D: Warren Drouin and Steven Boyce

Ad infinitum.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:09 PM
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9

This (from later on in B) seems even crazier to me:

Bolling advised parents to read their children's history books because his son's textbook addressed the Iraq war "and they were very, very liberally biased, saying George Bush went in there because he heard there were weapons of mass destruction and they were never found. It was a very liberal bias to the history books."

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:12 PM
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10

Also: Pacing, for goodness sake!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:15 PM
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Three hours is too quick?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:17 PM
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More than four hours, contact your doctor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:18 PM
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Exhibit C (from 8) is really something.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:19 PM
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9.--I noticed that too. Surely the "the WMDs were moved to Syria!!1" argument can't be considered mainstream even by the 27%.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:19 PM
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there never would have been slaves in America if black people had guns

In an early draft of the Constitution, each slave was entitled to have three-fifths of a gun.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:21 PM
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16


there never would have been slaves in America if black people had guns

Someone's been taking interpretive liberties with Jared Diamond!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:30 PM
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I'm sure Larry Ward will join me in calling for a Nat Turner appreciation day but I won't hold my breath.

I think I have my own problems with reality because I absolutely refuse to believe that Exhibit B is anything other than an Onion story.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:30 PM
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Exhibit C: Todd Rathner

This looks like a severe case of telephone. Following a few links in, he's not saying guns have rights, he's citing Arizona state law that requires police to sell abandoned guns to dealers that will sell them to the public. Ridiculous that such a law exists, and it clearly doesn't apply to gun buybacks as he's claiming, but not as ridiculous as TPM makes it out.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:32 PM
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19

17: To demonstrate racial harmony, it should really be Nat Turner-John Brown Day.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:37 PM
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18: That's not actually less ridiculous. It's just ridiculous for a different reason.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:38 PM
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In an early draft of the Constitution, each slave was entitled to have three-fifths of a gun.

They got rid of that provision because they were worried it would be more honored in the breech.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:39 PM
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That's not actually less ridiculous. It's just ridiculous for a different reason.

Indeed. Rathner is essentially claiming that the government is not permitted to (or should not be permitted to) destroy guns. From the NPR story:

Todd Rathner, an Arizona lobbyist and a national board member of the NRA, may sue. He has no problem with the gun buyback, but he does have a problem with the fate of the guns once police take possession of them.
"We do believe that it is illegal for them to destroy those guns," he says.
. . .
Rathner says the NRA will ask for an accounting of every weapon turned in and then go to court to stop the firearms from being destroyed. If that doesn't work, Rathner says they'll change the law.
"We just go back and we tweak it and tune it up, and we work with our friends in the Legislature and fix it so they can't do it," Rathner adds.

Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:43 PM
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22: How would liberals feel if there was a book-burning campaign in which the government offered to buy back books from people and when those people voluntarily agreed to sell the books, the books were then burned?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:49 PM
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24

Books should be recycled. I have a local government agency that does it for me all the time except that I have to pay them to take the book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:51 PM
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23: If they did it in such a way that that was blind to the content of the books? I'd have no problem with the government giving me cash for old phonebooks and Harlequin romance novels.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:57 PM
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25: No, the idea would be reduce the quantity of bad books.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:58 PM
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27

But burning? Think of the pollution.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:58 PM
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26: add "to" in the correct spot, please.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:59 PM
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Our local library now has both $1 "rental DVDs" and $1 "rental books", maybe the guns should be handed over to libraries as well.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 1:59 PM
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I guess if you dropped an OED from a fifth-storey window you could kill someone with a book.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:01 PM
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31

26: But the purpose of the gun buybacks is not to get old flintlocks off the streets so that there will be a higher proportion of Bushmasters in circulation. They'll take any gun.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:02 PM
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32

Now here's a good idea! Because when I think "school janitor", I picture a person with steely nerves, unflappably sound judgment, and expert marksmanship. And totally mentally stable -- surely everyone has heard of the rigorous psychological testing that providers of outsourced cleaning services demand prior to employment.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:03 PM
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33

I wonder if the buy and destroy guns programs are actually supported by gun manufacturers, since by reducing the supply of used guns, it might increase sales of new guns.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:04 PM
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34

33: I wonder the same thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:05 PM
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I nominate 32 as Exhibit E.

So do the janitors have to provide their own guns? Or does the school board issue them?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:07 PM
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36

"Have gun, will travel mop."


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:09 PM
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37

It's "cash for clunkers" all over again. Your old unreliable gun was responsible for one or more mistakes for which you are being unfairly blamed? Provide evidence that you turned it in to Barry O's Big Guv Bonanza, and get half off a new gun!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:14 PM
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23: I think it's called "deaccessioning."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:30 PM
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39

Shooting rampage.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:51 PM
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40

And yet more gun-related weirdness.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:56 PM
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23: You know who else wanted to burn things he didn't like?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 2:57 PM
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42

41: Jehovah?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:02 PM
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43
"For him not to pull out that gun and try to defend himself, he had to feel comfortable around somebody," his wife, Amanda, told a television channel in Lexington, Ky., where he used to live. "Either that or he was ambushed."

This sounds like a Columbo murderer being helpful.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:02 PM
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44

The transitive property is attempting to indoctrinate our children into acceptance of alternative lifestyles, and the symmetric property is an attempt to make us give up feet, yards, and pounds in favor of Godless/French "SI" units (which announce their alliance with illegal immigration right there in the names). The reflective property can stay.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:03 PM
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45

You know who else wanted to burn things he didn't like?

This guy?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:04 PM
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46

All in all, though, the equivalence relationship is a backdoor attempt to make children think that affirmative action is scientific and not contrary to God's law.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:05 PM
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47

45: Presumably the stationary arsonists are easier to catch, or at least sweep up after.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:10 PM
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48

I'll let oudemia field 32 for me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:11 PM
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49

They get their news from The Huffington Post and their antiperspirant from a health food store. This is the way they live.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:22 PM
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50

Maybe this is some horrible confession, but I just quit the antiperspirant thing after a few years ago. I have not noticed much difference.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:43 PM
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51

I'm considering stopping the news thing also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:45 PM
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52

||
Everyone connected with the arts is a fucking nutter. Every. Single. One.
||>


Posted by: William Howard Taft | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:45 PM
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53

My upper-elementary teacher lectured us against antiperspirant. I thought it was something crunchy types avoided (as opposed to deodorant).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:49 PM
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54

One hopes that 52 is not from our dear friend currently working on his sunburn.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:50 PM
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48: ???? Because classism / condescension? Oudemia's dad was IIRC a bartender, and I have a lot more faith in armed bartenders than armed school janitors. In fact, I used to frequent a few establishments in Deep Redstatia where I only felt safe because I knew the owner had a firearm or two behind the bar.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:51 PM
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56

Tonight, on Standpipe Television!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:53 PM
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57

Topical: haw, haw.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 3:57 PM
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58

Hard to be surprised.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 4:01 PM
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59

Really, Minivet? At this point, sure, hard to be surprised that an anti-gay lawyer turns out to be closeted. Finding out that an anti-gay lawyer made child porn out of her own daughter being raped by two men? Somewhat surprising!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 5:07 PM
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60

I think the only reasonable thing to do at this point is to nuke the United States from space.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 5:15 PM
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61

Sorry, Canadians and Mexicans, your sacrifice will be remembered by an improved world.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 5:15 PM
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62

Dropping the nukes from a lower altitude might spare some of Canada and Mexico.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 5:22 PM
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63

I was thinking of the fallout. I suppose it will depend on the prevailing winds.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 5:25 PM
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64

Anyway, I keep thinking you're still in BC, fa, and wanting to ask you about Idle No More. But you're back here, comfortably inside the blast radius, so I'll have to bug someone else.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 5:26 PM
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65

Hm, I missed the "own daughter" part.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 5:30 PM
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66

Nevertheless, it's hard to beat the two-wetsuit guy.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 5:31 PM
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67

The Aristocrats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 5:45 PM
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68

43: It really does.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 5:47 PM
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They get their news from The Huffington Post and their antiperspirant from a health food store. This is the way they live.

Wait, which of the linked stories of rightwingnuttia is this from?

53: My upper-elementary teacher lectured us against antiperspirant. I thought it was something crunchy types avoided (as opposed to deodorant).

Right, antiperspirant has aluminum in it, to block your pores, which is bad because Alzheimer's and also, the blocking your pores.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 6:27 PM
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59: I think that she herself made a sex tape with her daughter as well. I can't even a little bit get smirky.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 7:01 PM
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71

Nobody wants armpit alzheimers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 7:04 PM
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70: yes, that too.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 7:28 PM
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71: You can stuff your armpit pores with aluminum if you want to, but I'm not gonna do it. Nuh-uh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 7:35 PM
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74

I do worry about Alzheimers, but mostly I just stopped caring how other people felt about how I smelled.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 7:46 PM
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75


Something tells me my affection for Moby is going to be sorely tested when we finally meet in person and I realize that the caricature of himself he has painted all these years in the comment threads is indistinguishable from his real life persona.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 7:53 PM
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I never doubted that he really does have toenail fungus, knecht.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 8:01 PM
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77

I'll almost certainly be wearing shoes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 8:09 PM
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78

Closed-toe shoes at that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 8:12 PM
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79

You gotta air those boys out, Moby. Sunlight and dry air.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 8:26 PM
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80

I love 19.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 8:44 PM
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81

The reflective property can stay.

Have you ever met any conservatives? Reflective they are not.

Tom's makes an aluminum-free antiperspirant that I use. I can't gauge how effective it is, except that I definitely smell worse when I don't.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 8:49 PM
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82

Why can't these lunatics dream a dream of Mississippi or Tennessee?

"We don't know who's behind it, but the claim that there are several hundred people involved is patently ludicrous," Potok [a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center] said. "We're likely talking about a man, a dog and his computer envisioning this whole imaginary city. We don't take it that seriously.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 8:55 PM
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83

Lunatic repellent?

Sorry I missed this today.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 9:01 PM
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84

82: "Redoubt" is a word you don't see much anymore.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-13 9:25 PM
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85

no diggity.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 3:14 AM
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86

honestly, I don't know why those crazies don't just buy up an existing gated community in south carolina. it's 99% of the way to how they want it already. I'm sorry they seem bound to bother everybody in montana. oh, speaking of miss montana, my brother got a ring for her, which was not infinity carats. my sister helped him have it made with a 2.5 carat diamond but an older one, with a rose cut, from the 20s, so it's relatively shallow and correspondingly more spectacular surface area wise. he proposed on xmas eve in the vintage airstream trailer they have parked on his propertay, and she accepted, so I'm pouring myself a cold glass of shut the fuck up. because it's great that my brother wants to get married again, after having his heart broken before! and, she wants to have kids soon, and I'm a-hankerin' for some cousins, and I also think my brother will like being a father much more than he imagines. he's afraid to try because he's only ever seen dudes fuck it up real bad. so, yay! and...I think she could be a great mom. and...yeah! mmm, delicious shut the fuck up.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 3:31 AM
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87

I'm equipoised on an implausible spot, thinking both, "I can't run my brother's life, and however much I think he's re-enacting some failed aspect of the past, having me personally in there trying to fix it is about the worst thing ever. further, he's a grown man and I should trust him." and "I don't think she's scared of me enough."
so, shutting up, always looks good. you can rarely go wrong.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 3:36 AM
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88

Wishing them both as much happiness as possible, and screw the odds. But, al, if your brother has kids, they won't be cousins - would you settle for nieces or nephews?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 5:36 AM
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89

To the OP: at what point does it stop being a Godwin transgression to think, this is what it must have felt like in Germany in about 1931?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 5:38 AM
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90

88: Possibly her family tree is more tangled than we know.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 5:44 AM
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91

Right, antiperspirant has aluminum in it, to block your pores

Did I ever mention the time I looked at a transaction involving a manufacturer of AZG? The sellers' theory of the case* was that 800 million Indians were just about to realize they couldn't stand the smell of each other, and demand for antiperspirant ingredients would explode. The business case had more than a whiff of "If every Chinaman lengthened his shirttail by one inch, the mills of Lancashire would be busy for a century."

*I'm caricaturing it slightly, OK?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 5:53 AM
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a 2.5 carat diamond but an older one, with a rose cut, from the 20s, so it's relatively shallow and correspondingly more spectacular surface area wise. he proposed on xmas eve in the vintage airstream trailer they have parked on his propertay, and she accepted,

Alameida, you can have a private laugh at her expense by contemplating the fact that all her neighbors will think it's faux: anyone who lives in a trailer in Hicksville and wears stones that size is buying CZ from the Home Shopping Network.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 6:00 AM
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93

||

Aaron Swartz RIP

I can't even bring myself to make the joke. This one hurts.

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 6:41 AM
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94

@93

I just read the news 5 minutes ago. Terrible.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 7:19 AM
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95

re: 89

Quite.

I don't know what the corresponding year is for the UK as it stands at the moment? Can't immediately think of a year. Some time when fat venal buffoons rule unchallenged.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 7:34 AM
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96

93. Fuck


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 8:14 AM
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97

Oh no. I sat next to him at dinner one time, enjoyed talking to him.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 9:03 AM
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98

94: me too. Very sad news.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 9:08 AM
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99

All of the top 15 posts on hacker news, and 16 of the top 17, are about him, AOTW.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 9:50 AM
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95. 1931 will do nicely for that too. Labour and Liberal leaderships had surrendered abjectly in conditions of economic meltdown, and a coalition with a huge majority was elected under the leadership of Stanley Baldwin, a fat venal buffoon if ever there was one.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 10:07 AM
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101

I lie. Apparently MacDonald (a thin venal buffon) remained as puppet PM for a few years. Same difference.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 10:11 AM
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102

re: 100

OK, in that case, 1931 it is.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 10:15 AM
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103

So terrible. I have also been fighting thoughts of suicide this past week, and I'm amazed at how shamelessly the suicidal impulse hijacks so many of people's best qualities: creativity, determination, passion, attention to detail, enthusiasm. Once depression kills off everything else in the ground, suicidal thoughts grow all over it with a vengeance.

I don't know if the reframing of depression as a serious, lethal disease will ever happen. It's just too protean. The mild cases are so innocuous. The moderate cases are so tractable. The serious cases are so much like the moderate cases. By the time you realize you're sick... you are just so fucking sick it's unbelievable, but it's almost impossible to reframe what you'd just said three weeks ago about how you were basically ok. And at the absolute worst, so often you can still say: I can barely walk to the store, but I'm still basically ok, and how can I burden my poor family with this for the 20th time after they'd finally gotten a few years of relief from it... which thought, the only thing actually keeping you from suicide, just rolls around and around in your head fighting with self-annihilation.

Do I give my depressed friends enough support? It always seems to be more than they can use. I may write more about this elsewhere.


Posted by: redacted | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 10:26 AM
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104

I don't know if we ever get to giving just the right amount of support, but I sure hope you hang in there, redacted, and realize things do get better. Being able to be so aware and articulate about what's going on is a good thing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 10:46 AM
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Oh wow, 103. I'm so sorry.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 10:50 AM
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106

Huge sympathies, redacted. My depression has never been unbearable in the way yours sounds. I hope you have people in your non-virtual life to reach out to. I know that reaching out just gets harder as depression gets worse though. I hope it goes without saying, but I'll say it, that there are literally dozens of people here who will reach back at anytime.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 10:50 AM
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107

Seconding 106: friendship and support is just an email/phone call away here.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 10:59 AM
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108

Depending where you are, people from here may be available in a non-virtual way, too. I know I am.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 11:09 AM
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109

I'm afraid I didn't really know who Aaron Swartz was. Only 26.

I hope I don't seem disrespectful of a serious situation, but this:

103: how can I burden my poor family with this for the 20th time after they'd finally gotten a few years of relief from it... which thought, the only thing actually keeping you from suicide, just rolls around and around in your head fighting with self-annihilation.

Gosh, this does resonate. Not in the context of suicidal ideation, but with respect to the prospect of inevitable, eventual death generally. The internal dialogue goes: my family will be so devastated, I fear to be the first to depart this earth, better that my brother should be the first to go, whenever the time comes, so that he doesn't have to suffer the loss of me, which will floor him very badly. (That's not a self-aggrandizing sentiment, I don't think.)

The continuing thought is that -- particularly now that both my parents are deceased -- I have a great responsibility to my brother, to care for my health, my finances, my general wherewithal. This great sense of responsibility has been a surprise; I feel as though I hear something of that in redacted's comments in 103.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 11:51 AM
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110

Thanks, all. On the "road" (mass transit), so more in a bit.


Posted by: redacted | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 11:52 AM
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111

I see now who Aaron Swartz was, and what he did.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 12:38 PM
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Sorry redacted! I am glad you are here, both in the Unfogged sense, and on the planet. I hope you can get through this as quickly as possible.

I've been thinking that, now that I am through the worst of my friends'-baby-and-others-dying induced depression, one thing I always want to remember is not to take anyone for granted and to feel real joy for everyone I meet who is still here. I've been working on telling various people in my life how much they mean to me. It feels good.

Love & solidarity!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 12:38 PM
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113

My sympathies, redacted. Depression is fucking awful.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 12:41 PM
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114

Let's Type On A Phone.

To put it a little differently: when depressed you "lose interest in" stuff you loved & identified with, sometimes to a hugely self-effacing degree, often because you were pushed into it (traumas of varying degrees). You are totally abject, but you still have energy, blind will, residue of your past achievements, capacity to get bored. Suicidal thoughts are this great impulsive attempt to make lemonade out of the new lemon monoculture of your depressed life. Mmmmmm, lemonade. LEMONADE. Little acts of hedonism are surprisingly effective at taking the edge off. And fuck the analogy ban being a general figurative language ban, although I'm done now.

I am really glad you guys are here, all of you, and I wish I contributed more substance and sense under the usual pseud, although this may give you some idea of why it is not easy. Natilo, I think your initiative is a great one, although I wish I were good for more material support: you know, conjure jobs for the jobless, partners for the partnerless, art studio and chore exchange for the frustrated artists, medicine, gov't overthrow, sequestering of mean people... the bitter fucking irony of aaron s's suicide is how many of us wish we'd been able to do anywhere near that much. When instead we should be asking ourselves if there's a better way to support one another and offer more opportunities for good work and good interventions.

Parsimon, no disrespect taken whatsoever -- families are so tough & create such odd awkward boundaries between self & others.

Posting before the phone gets hungry & devours all this --


Posted by: redacted | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 1:11 PM
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||
Treasury and the Fed harsh the platcoin buzz.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 1:51 PM
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114.2: To clarify, this initiative is mostly a prophylaxis against feeling more depressed in the future, not something I am normally capable of when in the throes of depression.

I've mentioned before that when I'm feeling suicidal, I like to think about just abandoning my life to go live in the woods, and how much happier everyone would be if I did that, rather than killing myself. And then I figure, if I've got those to options, and all these people who care about me, then probably I can work through to the other side of the current situation. Admittedly, I would not say that I'm subject to major depression as severe as that of a lot of people I've encountered, but I think most of us can find some strategies that help at least a little bit.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 2:15 PM
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||

115:

The inclusion of the Federal Reserve is significant. For the platinum coin idea to work, the Federal Reserve would have to treat it as a legal way for the Treasury Department to create currency. If they don't believe it's legal and would not credit the Treasury Department's deposit, the platinum coin would be worthless.

Remembering all those who dismissed my reservations as ridiculous. At LGM also.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 2:28 PM
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I tend to plan on changing my name and getting a job as a waitress in a truck stop in Oklahoma when things get bad. Same sort of thing.

And I have no idea if saying this sort of thing helps, but while I haven't looked to see who you are, if you're around consistently at all I'd miss you and be sad for you. I never met Chris Capel (pdf23ds) -- all the interaction I ever had with him was here and a little at his blog. And years after he killed himself, I still think about him every couple of weeks, and what a waste it was to lose someone so interesting and bright, and wonder what I could or should have done to help.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 2:28 PM
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117.2: We didn't think your reservations were ridiculous, but we do expect that gentlemen be attired in a suit or sport coat.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 2:33 PM
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The Fed doesn't have the option of saying that a coin is not actually money, if presented to pay a debt. The politics of the thing, though, does point to making Boehner back down, rather than having the Kenyan socialist engage in a mockery of all that is real.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 2:43 PM
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Best of luck getting through this, redacted.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 2:44 PM
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119:Here's the thread for people to read.

"Legaltenderlegaltenderlegaltender"

The Treasury might be able to create "legal tender" but they do not have the power to decree its real value. A 100 dollar bill might buy you a loaf of bread.

The platcoin depended on the Fed agreeing it was worth a trillion in relation to its existing balance sheet of securities.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 2:48 PM
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120: What the Fed's refusal does, though, is changes the political calculus from "This will work unless someone gets the courts to stop it" to "This won't work unless someone gets the courts to twist the Fed's arm," which is a serious difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 2:52 PM
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Krugman on today's announcement

People I Respect understand that:

The debt ceiling standoff is a massive national distraction, as is the rampaging blogospheric discussion of the standoff and its various possible resolutions. I am convinced that both the White House and Congress are eager to keep the debt ceiling debate and conflict alive to distract the country from a much more important reality: that they are currently negotiating the final shape of an economically punishing and magnificently stupid austerity package that will be substituted in for sequestration cuts due to take effect in March. The austerity package is Washington's obsequious response to the disaster capitalism cattle stampede that has been urged on by Pete Peterson, Fix the Debt and affiliated groups of debt hysterics. Whatever combination of tax increases and spending cuts are finally accepted, the result will be to tie a fiscal cement block amounting to about 1.5% of GDP to the legs of an economy that is barely treading water.

Of course, Obama and McConnell and Boehner have a plan. I don't think Reid is in on it.

Come March and April, serious people will want to do what it takes to "save the world economy." Politics is played with people's lives. Always, on all sides.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 3:07 PM
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89: I'm reading Erik Larson's book about the US ambassador to Germany in 1933, and it's fairly upsetting. Especially since I've been reading a lot of Alan Furst lately.

WON'T ONE OF YOU JUST FUCKING STOP HITLER ALREADY? EVERY GODDAMN TIME THEY JUST LET HIM LIVE.

Maybe I need to watch that movie about misspellings in wartime Europe.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 3:07 PM
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Best wishes to redacted. Also, 119 is great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 3:27 PM
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Ahhh, someone I do respect more than Krugman,

Tim Duy Fed-watcher, shows up quickly at Thoma's. This is very very good, in its way.

Tim Duy implies the class struggle that I think Krugman doesn't really want to think about.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 3:27 PM
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Josh Marshall's take on the politics of the platinum coin and the debt ceiling is interesting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 3:34 PM
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128:Agreement between Ezra Klein and Josh Marshall is a sign, but not necessarily a good one. Omigod this total catastrophe will embarrass and destroy the Republicans, like forever. Have they no shame?

No, it won't. No they don't. Republicans enjoy playing the heavy in America's WWC economic psychodrama as long as they can cash the checks alongside their Democratic partners.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 3:53 PM
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As I told you months and months ago, just as the point of the fiscal cliff was to ensure that it was Democrats not Republicans that made the Bush tax cuts permanent...the point and purpose of this debt ceiling "crisis" is to pass the Obama-McConnell deficit reduction nightmare with a majority of Democrats in the House. The base will sadly accept the necessity.

Then as in 2009-2010, Republicans will take those Democratic bills to the voters in the midterms and win.

This is the neo-liberal Shock Capitalism plan.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 4:01 PM
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Redacted, you're describing depression as I experienced it in an unusually lucid way. I am so glad that you spoke up and hope to hear any amount of ridiculousness under any name from you in the future. It is making me weepy to even think about how amazingly great my life is after I was so sure that it never would be and I didn't deserve any goodness anyway.

(Sorry for being extra maudlin, but Lee and I are celebrating our anniversary by calling off the babysitter and having me sequester myself in isolation with the needy, feverish child I presumably infected. And this is not a "children make your life complete" thing, but just that I remember how overwhelming depressed I was when she and I met and how much her bluster and disbelief when faced with my self-image pushed me through to something so much better than I ever would have even hoped for, and it would have been so easy for me to reject hope and love instead.)

I am so grateful for the kindness and humanity of people here. This is a special place and I am so grateful to be a part of it and glad for the voices we do get to hear here.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 4:04 PM
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117: I don't see how the Fed can refuse any deposits from the US government. If a court ruled that the Treasury had the authority to issue a trillion dollar platinum coin, and that it was legal tender, then the Fed has to accept it as a deposit, just like they have to accept tax receipts as deposits.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 4:05 PM
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I hope you feel better, redacted.

When I found out that pdf23ds killed himself, it made me sad and angry at the same time. I'm not even sure who I was angry at -- just angry. Angry at God, maybe.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 4:35 PM
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132

117: I don't see how the Fed can refuse any deposits from the US government. If a court ruled that the Treasury had the authority to issue a trillion dollar platinum coin, and that it was legal tender, then the Fed has to accept it as a deposit, just like they have to accept tax receipts as deposits.

Well they could make a court so rule and who knows how long that would take. Or what the result would be since Treasury just said they didn't have any such authority.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 5:04 PM
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Lawrence Lessig, friend and lawyer to Aaron Schwartz, says "Please Don't Pathologize This Story"

via Rick Perlstein's eulogy


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 5:24 PM
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just that I remember how overwhelming depressed I was when she and I met and how much her bluster and disbelief when faced with my self-image pushed me through to something so much better than I ever would have even hoped for, and it would have been so easy for me to reject hope and love instead.

This is particularly poignant, in that I simultaneously hold all three beliefs quite strongly: 1- that it's bad to think someone else can, should, or is likely to save you (impersonal 'you'!); 2- that it sometimes is the case that someone else's love helps, as described here; 3- that being depressed makes it really hard to reach out emotionally.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 5:48 PM
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Yeah, that's a worthwhile read. Earlier I watched the video of Swartz linked by Cory Doctorow, and elsewhere, and was amazed and wound up crying at this young guy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 5:48 PM
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If you want to channel your anger, here's a petition asking for the relevant US Attorney to be removed. I'm sure all the lawyers are ready to chime in about just doing her job and hierarchy and so on, and petitions are meaningless anyway, &c. &c.; I'd advise them to save it for another day.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 5:54 PM
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Page not found, trapnel.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 6:28 PM
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Here, with just 1,379 signatures at the moment.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 6:38 PM
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1,466 signatures now. 25,000 total needed to get the government's attention.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 6:42 PM
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Not to take the wind out of anyone's sails here but it was the Assistant US Attorney Stephen Heymann who had it in for Aaron and was chiefly responsible for going all out after him and not Carmine Ortiz.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 7:07 PM
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Per the insanity of the discourse on guns the OP, here is something from a few years back that I had forgotten about but which I saw linked somewhere after the Newtown tragedy. It's a report on the murder-suicide of the woman who had caused a stir by carrying a gun at her kid's soccer practice (she also ran a daycare center at her home--although I'd guess it was an "informal" one). What struck me reading it this time around was the following from a neighbor:

Meleanie Hain always carried her holstered 9mm Glock pistol, even to the grocery store, and was holding a rifle while she talked to someone outside her house last week, Fortna said. "I'm shocked at the whole thing," Fortna said. "I'm surprised she didn't defend herself."
Gee, why can't people be more like Jason Bourne?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 7:12 PM
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There's also apparently a Newtown Truther thing where whackjobs claim it was a hoax so that Obama could go after guns, and so that Adam lanza's dad could get out of testifying about I forget what. Probably Benghazi.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 7:17 PM
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142: Fuck! I had a feeling the anger was misdirected. Maybe something can be made out of this (petition) anyway: I believe the White House is committed to making a response once a certain number of signatures is collected. One wishes a dialogue to be opened, really. Fat lot of luck on that, where hacker-style activities are concerned, but still.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 7:19 PM
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I'd love to see some Kahneman-type experiments on the things around guns, gun statistics and views of competence. Is there such a thing as mass Dunning-Krueger syndrome?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 7:20 PM
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146: Given how emotionally fraught the subject is I suspect both "sides" would do for total shit, but the potential consequences of the errors of the one group don't worry me all that much.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 7:24 PM
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amazed at how shamelessly the suicidal impulse hijacks so many of people's best qualities: creativity, determination, passion, attention to detail, enthusiasm.

Of course, the absence of creativity, determination, etc. are probably a survival mechanism in the face of suicidal impulse. In my lowest-of-low moments, when I've felt like it would be really nice to just not be here anymore, I'm pretty sure it's a good thing that doing anything with that impulse seemed like way too much fucking effort.

I hope things turn around soon for you, redacted, and am glad you shared your voice here. Being with people and fighting off the isolation is good. And this place is so good about that, both for the generosity of the people and because it can be so much easier to muster the energy to type than to actually leave the house to be with people.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 7:27 PM
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133 Damn. Some of the things I've missed here due to infrequent visits I would have been happier still not knowing.


Posted by: Delurking | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 7:30 PM
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Fuck! I had a feeling the anger was misdirected.

I wouldn't go that far. The official statement from Aaron's family and partner doesn't see fit to pick out Heymann in particular:

Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death. The US Attorney's office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims. Meanwhile, unlike JSTOR, MIT refused to stand up for Aaron and its own community's most cherished principles.

I'm willing to believe that Heymann was the one pushing hardest for this insanity, but Ortiz is the US Attorney, and the buck is supposed to stop with her. If people are going to bring pressure to bear, it ought to be on the boss, not the subordinate. (And if folks demand Ortiz step down, and Heymann is thrown to the wolves instead, that's great; but the reverse would certainly never happen, so you might as well start by hunting the big game.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 8:18 PM
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Also, I could be talking out of my ass here, but I think Assistant US Attorney positions are supposed to be much closer to career civil service than political appointments; so even if Ortiz's only guilt was in not reining Heymann in, the procedural liberal in me would still rather go after her, as the political appointee. (And even at the US Attorney level, remember how we were all rightly horrified by Bush firing ones who didn't prosecute the stuff he wanted prosecuted?)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 8:26 PM
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When I found out that pdf23ds killed himself, it made me sad and angry at the same time. I'm not even sure who I was angry at -- just angry. Angry at God, maybe.

Right. Whereas with Swartz, my anger is focused directly on his prosecutors, who now have blood on their hands.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 8:47 PM
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urg aaron schwartz. fucking a. I'm sorry for his family and his partner. I'm also sorry to hear redacted, above, feeling low. I've survived 2 decently seriously suicide attempts, and I can definitely say that even though some super shitty stuff has intervened, I am happy that I lived. however, I am personally a little worried that I myself may not be able to handle all that much more worsening agonizing pain and stuck in bed before I up and get depressed. I feel. crying-ish. but I really don't want to cry on husband x's shoulder anymore because I feel like he's already worried and anxious and himself needs to be reassured. but what will I reassure him with? yay I have a TV show! that I will have to magically recover to um. fuck. fuck. fuck.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 9:52 PM
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now that I'm in enough pain to overcome all the medication I do have interesting dreams again, that is entertaining if one must sleep a great deal though painful regrets may be too present. just now, entire 'crumbling pile of reddish-stone mansion in buffalo' mystery, start-to-finish, with the stupider, more placid blonde adult daughter guilty because a half-sister (living until now in new york) was displacing her in her father's, er. affections. it had seemed so much as if the brittle, venomous wife must be guilty. just goes to show. I was traveling home to DC on the train after and it stopped in baltimore right parallel to the subway (of which there is not one? but bear with me). I was standing on the train, holding on to the handle, not the pole, and it was raining outside. I could see the signs for baltimore's MRT, a perfect blend of DC and NYC, with dots of color for the various lines. the cars on the train were chrome outside like the NYC 1,2 &3, but curiously old-fashioned and peaked at the ends. I could see the place where the city was smearing a glow on the water and see where the train was slithering into the tunnel, and I wanted so badly to get off because I could get a seat on the MRT. it was the D and R, yellow and green. poisonous also but restful, or verdant even. but a voice in my head said "not yet, you cannot get off the train here, there is nothing for you here." and indeed, nothing, because imaginary, or for another reason? to wake up I had to allow someone to hit me in the face, hard; I let him do it on the union station platform so I could just get home as soon as possible, to my mother's, as I imagined. to my bed, of course. there had been someone on the train with me as well, and I thought maybe I should have let him hit me there. but not so! I was not in pain on the train, just tired of standing. I love the train. if it occurs to me in time on the next occasion I will just stay on until savannah.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 10:26 PM
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(Sorry for late/pithy replies; I'm so tired.)

No, Lessig is fundamentally right. I took the "pathological" tangent after following a link to something George Scialabba wrote from Swartz's own weblog (widely-linked depression post), because of irresistible internal momentum. But the real story is about the prosecution and the government responsible for it, clearly enough.

For the personal comments, thanks again (& rhetorical hugs to several of you; will try to write more maybe tomorrow? maybe?). FWIW I am doing all the usual recommended things, and I'm sure it will get better... in three years, maybe.

alameida, HAVE U TRIED DEPRESSION FOR THE CRONIC PAIN?? I WAS ONCE IN ALTO OF PAIN AFTER A SKING ACCIDENT AND I INDUCED DEPRESSION BY HYPNOTIZING MYSELF WITH A SWINGING SKIPOLE AND TELLING MYSELF I WOULD NEVER WRITE A GOOD NOVEL UNRIL I WAS IN THE FETIL POSITION SOBBING LIKE A MOTHER AND 24 HOURS LATER IT DIDENT HURT. JUST A THOUGHT.


Posted by: redacted | Link to this comment | 01-12-13 11:30 PM
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I didn't mean to offend you, redacted. perhaps I should have separated my personal concerns from my well-wishes, which are genuine. depression is awful and I am very sorry that you are in the grips. I have long, and still do, maintain that physical pain is preferable.

I can only assume the misspelled all-caps suggestion is sarcastic. but as it happens I have, indeed, tried depression for the chronic pain. it's...not that great.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 2:24 AM
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155: Oh, come on, pathological would be saying, "No, don't talk about your own scary thoughts of suicide when an actual suicide makes you think of that!" I don't think anyone here would say that, nor do I think Lessig is trying to put that conversation out of bounds. What's interesting to me in the posts I've been reading about Swartz's death is the diversity of opinions and love being expressed, that it's not just a bunch of angry people pushing for the political side of the explanation but a lot of hurting people looking at their own roles in supporting him or not, politically and personally, and what that says about online community and activism and so on. No one is trying to make this simplistic and clean because it isn't and can't be.

136: I definitely didn't want to imply that relationships are a solution or a cure, just to make the point that my personal story went that way and in retrosepect it's no more surprising that I was lovable than that I was able to start believing I was a mostly worthwhile human being, but at the time both took a lot of work because everything took a lot of work and so I'm grateful now that I sort of inadvrtently got pushed into doing work that gradually helped me find my footing instead of just plodding along. (I don't think I'm adding any clarity by saying this. What you said made sense, though, and made me feel a little guilty if I was making others feel bad.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 6:47 AM
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FWIW I like x.trapnel's reasoning at 150 & 151 and will now put my reservations aside and sign the petition.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 6:58 AM
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156: Oh dear. I was just clumsily trying to commiserate -- I am truly, truly sorry that you have such crappy options, and I wish there were anything I could do or say to (materially, as above) help. The joke was meant to be an expression of that sentiment, more or less. I wonder if any version of it would work: "eh, I know pneumonia sounds promising, but it's actually not much help with cancer"? Maybe not. Sorry. In conclusion: when one is too tired to write, one is too tired to write.


Posted by: redacted | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:00 AM
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Nobody ever commiserates over toe nail fungus.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:40 AM
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I am here for you, Moby. My toenails are only here for you sometimes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:49 AM
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FDL collation of reactions to the Death of Aaron Schwarz. Not much that is new, except perhaps the official JStor statement and something from Jacob Applebaum, Tor developer, about State Terrorism:

The tactics of the State will take when it wants to crush you are endless, secret and literally many of us will die before truth comes out.

Tarek al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi 29 March 1984 - 4 January 2011

Petitions, hell. I wonder if anonymous could use distributed computing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:50 AM
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always want to remember is not to take anyone for granted and to feel real joy for everyone I meet who is still here. I've been working on telling various people in my life how much they mean to me. It feels good.
Love & solidarity!

Sign me on to this movement.

redacted: Thanks for expressing your thoughts here. It feels good that people trust this place enough to express their pain and sorrow. I hope things improve for you (and others who have expressed similar thoughts.)

The people here are important to me, even though I have this vague suspicious that most of the people are actually nosflow.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:50 AM
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163:We are Spartacus nosflow!


Posted by: bob's evil dogs | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:52 AM
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164:

Ok, so I know this isn't true bc someone has to pick up the tab for dinner.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 10:16 AM
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I see lots of wand-waving and finger-pointing but not his medical records or therapist's (if he had any) notes or statements. So, in general:

Why would suicide because of intense and intractable mental pain be less a "reasonable" response than for physical pain?
(Yeah, there's a chance of a miracle cure, but those seem to happen to someone else with a sketchy diagnosis who then starts a diet of mouse turds and olives, right?)


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 10:34 AM
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Why would suicide because of intense and intractable mental pain be less a "reasonable" response than for physical pain?

Because it is easier to get social acceptance for the latter than the former? One of the threads in the Swartz (sorry for misspellings) discussions were all the people who think they may have been able to help in the case of depression, whereas they would not be able to help much in the terminal pancreatic cancer.

(Leaving aside the merits of "Don't do this to me;" or whether people really can help people with depression; or why we think we can manipulate and control the "internal" and emotional states of others; etc)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 11:03 AM
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166

Why would suicide because of intense and intractable mental pain be less a "reasonable" response than for physical pain?

Because physical pain (at least in some cases) is less likely to get better (and often can be predicted to get worse as part of a terminal illness). Whereas mental pain is less understood and hence harder to declare "intractable".


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 11:05 AM
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There is of course also the political dimension of finding it somewhat more acceptable to live in a world with a mysterious and sometimes fatal illness called "depression" rather than in a (Intellectual) propertarian regime, (democratic, self-created, we are responsible) that persecutes very very good young men to their death.

Corollary: It is all the prosecutor's fault.

How's Les Miserables doing? I saw someone comparing Ortiz to Javert, but I expect Hugo's entire point to be missed in our time.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 11:17 AM
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Why would suicide because of intense and intractable mental pain be less a "reasonable" response than for physical pain?

I don't really find either one "reasonable".


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 11:33 AM
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170: I dunno. I've seen enough of the workings of the medical-industrial complex to want to avoid whole regions of it. IMO it's a complex decision related to age, responsibilities, resources, personality, independence, functioning, pain, all the messy stuff that makes up a life. I'm not at all close but I think it's a reasonable option to consider, just as advance medical directives and DNR instructions are worth having.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 11:44 AM
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Finished This Book just Thursday. It was of course very culturally specific, but also dealt with Cato and Cicero by claiming comparisons between the two political cultures.

Anything I might have to say using that analysis can wait. I hope the Swartz story accelerates to front page status, perhaps in putting the links for process liberals at the top.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 12:43 PM
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170

I don't really find either one "reasonable".

I had a cousin commit suicide after being diagnosed with advanced terminal prostate cancer. I might not have done the same thing but I don't think I would have tried to stop them (had I been in a position to do so).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 1:44 PM
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I'm sympathetic to the impulse. I just think it's vanishingly-close-to-never a decision I would support.

Part (most? all?) of my stance is pushback to the "ugh I could never live like that please shoot me when the time comes" attitude about various difficult disabling conditions, which may not be fair.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 2:27 PM
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174

I'm sympathetic to the impulse. I just think it's vanishingly-close-to-never a decision I would support.

I support my cousin's decision to the extent that I think it was their's to make. And I don't think it is accurate to say it was an impulse. Although perhaps there was an element of acting while they still could.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 3:26 PM
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Nobody ever commiserates over toe nail fungus.

Actually, I have really terrible toenail fungus, and it's a real source of shame and embarrassment. My sympathies, Moby. Let us stand proud, in our closed-toed sandals, wearing our frequently-changed socks.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 4:17 PM
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I have a very great friend in DC who took a course of toxic pills to rid himself of his years-long toenail fungus infestation.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 4:19 PM
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You mean this stuff (Lamisil's the US brand name)? Yeah, I've been on that a few times. It made a significant difference, but it didn't get rid of it completely, and the effects never lasted long after I stopped the pills. It was also ridiculously expensive, though at the time I had solid health insurance.

I've resigned myself to having truly disgusting toes.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 4:27 PM
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Yeah, probably those. I recall he was iffy about taking them for a while because there was a risk that some important organ or other would be compromised—I remembered it as kidneys, but perhaps it was the liver. He only had the one problematic toe.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 4:29 PM
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Liver was what I was told the serious danger was. You needed to get regular bloodtests to keep taking it; they weren't fooling around. Given that I already was a bit concerned about that organ's functioning due to my excessive drinking (on my recent visit to NYC, an ex reminded me of those days, when I would consider limiting myself to 7 drinks a night to be impressive moderation--oy), it was a source of some anxiety, and that--combined with the fact that it wasn't a miracle cure for me--made giving up an easy choice.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 4:38 PM
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180: It's easier and safer to adopt a Forties & Fifties retro-pron style with black socks than to get and survive a liver transplant.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 5:44 PM
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I don't have tonail fungus, but my ingrown toenails are evil.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 6:07 PM
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I've always had ingrown toenail problems. In 7th grade or so, I watched the podiatrist and decided that I could dig it out myself with a sharp pair of scissors, and I've been doing so ever since. It helped immensely because I wouldn't let it go so long if I could just dig the nail out myself when it started to get uncomfortable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 6:11 PM
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183 is making me cringe. Dig it out?

I thought ingrown toenails were a sort of temporary thing, due to whatever. (Too-tight shoes, maybe.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 6:17 PM
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In my teens, the podiatrist did some minor surgery to kill off the toenail generating cells along the edges of my toes, where it gets ingrown. Apparently that procedure only fixes you for 20 years or so.

Today I ordered a $13 specialty tool for digging out ingrown toenails. It looks like a dentist's pick, except for feet. I look forward to its arival.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 6:18 PM
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A Few Thoughts on Depression from Noah Smith econblogger. Very long.

4. Depressed people do need human company. For some reason, human company helps. In fact, it is the single thing that helps the most. But not the kind of company a sad person needs. ... The most helpful topic of conversation, I've found, is absurdity - just talking about utterly ridiculous things, gross things, vulgar offensive things, bizarre things.

Chobits! Sex in Chobits!

1) Japanese do understand their robots, androids, cyborgs, and inflatable dolls. But the "persocoms" in Chobits are very pointedly none of these, although except for the big ear interfaces, most of them look like beautiful people. There are male and female persocoms, but what "gender" persocom you will buy is up to you. There are childlike persocoms. There are miniature persocoms used much like mobile phones.

In fact, most persocoms seem to be used for communication and socialization. I never saw a persocom lifting and hauling, constructing, or otherwise exploited in manual labor. People do play games with persocoms.

2) Which goes to the actual word, never explained in the series. It could be "personal computer" of course, but it could also be "personal companion."

3) The only sexual activity, although it was not at all sexual to her, a persocom engages in in Chobits, as far as I can remember, was a short stint in a peep show. In other words, as image, representation, fetish. I remember absolutely no indication that people had sex with their persocoms.

OTOH, affection between "user" and persocom was ubiquitous.

4) There are lots of subplots. In one, young woman is despondent because "persocoms can do everything better than humans, but she learns that "there are things people do better than persocoms and things persocoms do better than humans. Every thing is itself."

****big spoiler*****

5) Everyone is overjoyed when our protagonist finally finds his heart and marries his persocom. Yes legally, and this is not the first human-persocom marriage in the series. What they can or cannot do in their relationship is not asked, implied, imagined, questioned. It is not anyone else's business. Their love, however, is definitely a social phenomenon. It increases joy.

Is this a metaphor, an allegory? That would be an attempt to move some thing that dwells in the Imaginary into the Symbolic, which is an aggression opposed to the spirit of the show.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 6:20 PM
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All right, you fuck, we're gonna pee on your desktop.


Posted by: bob's evil dogs | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 6:31 PM
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go bob's evil dogs!! the fact that bob has more than one dog is one of the few things that helps me believe that my dad is not commenting here under the handle bob mcmanus, a dude that doesn't smoke killer hydro 8 times per day and lives in texas. because my dad would 100% have to change a lot of details out of paranoia but would never lie about the dogs. and we would be hearing about his blind pit bull all the time. other than that...yeah, that's all I got.

redacted: ok gotcha. no problem. have you tried liver-killing anti-toenail fungus medication for your depression? because, why not, really. more seriously, are you feeling actually depressed, or getting depressed, or maybe are getting better depressed? because if you feel you're sliding down to worse depressed you should run to the doctor and start taking 8 times as many various different anti-depressants at once. I exaggerate, but they can stave off oncoming depression way better than they can fix existing you're-stuck-at-the-bottom-of-the-pit depression. at which latter thing they kind of SUCK, so.

also, toenail fungus sounds like kind of a bummer actually, sorry people.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 7:22 PM
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It's not so bad, the fungus. It would bother me more if I were someone who had previously enjoyed being barefoot, but I wasn't. I suspect it's much worse for femmey women, since open-toed shoes and sandals are such a big thing. Especially in warmer climates.

I mean, I suppose it's something I'm vaguely embarrassed about when it comes to being naked with someone, but the self-loathing that keeps me from connecting romantically goes much deeper than the toenails, and typically either stops that sort of thing long before the socks-in-bed question arises--or it results in hookups where the blood-alcohol-content is high enough that who the fuck cares. (Though I've been pretty good about avoiding the latter situations, lately.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 7:52 PM
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the self-loathing that keeps me from connecting romantically goes much deeper than the toenails

This sentence, taken out of context, is wonderful.

My self-loathing is more than toenail-deep, let me assure you.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 7:54 PM
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Well, I wouldn't want someone thinking they could fix the problem just by ripping them out. But hey, feel free to use it for a mouseover, though we've had much better candidates recently.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 8:02 PM
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I tried digging them out with nail clippers. That hurt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 8:05 PM
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Hey Bob, have you watched Ghost in the Shel: Stand Alone Complexl yet? I think you'd have a lot of food for thought there.



Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 8:11 PM
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That's some serious tmesis.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 8:16 PM
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Tee fuckin' mesis yessir.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 8:21 PM
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I have truly terrible ingrown toenails. trapnel comments on this as a social problem on this (as on so many other things) reflect entirely my experience.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 8:39 PM
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Isn't the ingrown toenail almost always on the big toe? Doesn't the big toe have enough hair to hide it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:19 PM
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Right, I meant to type Ghost in the Shtetl


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:22 PM
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198 to 198.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:24 PM
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I mean 198 to 197.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:25 PM
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193:I just watched GiTS:Innocence a week or so ago. I loved it. Have yet to see the first GiTS, but according to what I have read GiTs 1.0 is more into transcendance and so masculinist.

Almost too much. I need to rewatch GiTS 2.0 and think a lot. "Leeching the souls of our children to animate our sex fantasies." With the dog, dolls, & childrn I think GiTS:I caught PKD better than Blade Runner, although PKD never was worth a damn on feminism.

I picked up a coupla books on Haraway


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:39 PM
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PS:I chose Kick-Ass tonight over Iron-Man 2 and I am so glad I did. There is substance here.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:42 PM
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I watched Puss in Boots which isn't anything like what you might think if you don't have kids.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 9:49 PM
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188.2 (and presumably others): I think Monday was rock bottom -- or if it wasn't, I don't want to know what I'm missing -- and I then got some Celexa, through a weird process of elimination. So far, placeborrific. God bless the placebo effect, this shining star of human existence. I had my reasons, which I won't go into, for ceasing to take medication for 2 years (except a brief period in the middle, on a ludicrously low dose that wouldn't interact with other stuff), and I think it was justifiable on balance. But I took an enormous fucking hit from it. Things fell apart very slowly and with so many temporary remissions that I never truly believed there was a real downward trend. I'm almost angry at how insidious it was, but there's no target for the rage.

Thanks again again etc. for all of your well-wishes. All I will say about the justifiability of suicide: I wish people didn't feel so compelled to take their loved ones by surprise with it -- that there were some way to come to an understanding, as is sometimes the case with physical suffering. I don't think that it has ever, in my case, been a remotely justifiable impulse; but as Scialabba points out in his piece, it's amazing what financial trouble will do to you. Amazing. (The devil opens his spreadsheets...) My only two serious suicide attempts in youth came after I thought I'd lose a job, and/or not find another one. Unemployment is so closely linked to depression for me that it's actually hard to separate the two, conceptually and practically: they seem like outward and inward aspects of one form. I really, really do not recommend this logic to anyone.

I thought ingrown toenails were normal until about five years ago, and that the term "ingrown toenail" referred to something truly ghastly.


Posted by: redacted | Link to this comment | 01-13-13 10:40 PM
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I meant to type Ghost in the Shtetl

Ghost in the Shul, surely. A classic of kosher anime along the lines of Akiva, Fullmetal Rabbi, and Fiddler On The Gundam.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:34 AM
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Or Neon Genesis Evangelion.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:25 AM
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I find the best thing for my toenails is to trim them in exactly the opposite way to that which is always recommended. If I cut them straight across there is a pointy corner which digs into the toe. If I round that off contrary to all accepted wisdom, no probs.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:43 AM
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The live-action ones were never as good. "Torah! Torah! Torah!" and "Letters From Your Mother On Iwo Jima" were OK, though.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:07 AM
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On topic, this is hilarious.

Especially: `As to past criticisms of those who would skive not strive: "It proves the point. You've got to be on time for work or there are consequences. I'll learn from my own example." '


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:13 AM
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207. I went to a professional chiropodist once, and guess how she cut my nails...


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:25 AM
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re: 209

It'd be hilarious if it wasn't for what the evil fucks were actually doing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:52 AM
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209: wow. I'm. wow. the tories, everyone! slow golf clap! god, and what evil policies they're currently enacting that I didn't even know about.

204: yay medicine!! medicine can fix stuff probably! it's better than no medicine, IMExtensiveE.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 5:25 AM
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I then got some Celexa, through a weird process of elimination.

The civet eats only the berries containing the best SSRIs and the pills are then separated from the feces.

More seriously, best wishes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 6:39 AM
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I chose Kick-Ass tonight over Iron-Man 2 and I am so glad I did. There is substance here.

No one tell bob about (i) the conclusion of the comics version of Kick-Ass or (ii) Mark Millar's Nemesis, Wanted, The Authority, The Ultimates or anything by Mark Millar, really.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:12 AM
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214:I vaguely remember MM being outed as an asshole when the movie came out.

What struck me while watching it, and I don't know how much was MM and how much the director, was the way the movie was playing with media, the gaze/look, identity, etc. Lots of mirrors, very meta-. The violence seemed to interrogate/confront the viewer in a rougher way than even Battle Royale or Funny Games, when the narration disapproves, as it did in the Fukasaku and Haneke, it is easier to know your stance.

But when the narration approves? As in Zero Dark Thirty?

The surface really really really sucked, like the faux-gay BFF subplot, but somehow I felt the movie was subverting itself. I can't deny I make shit up sometimes while watching bad movies, or just find subject positions that can use them.

And it just had to be better than Iron Man


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:44 AM
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Next up:

Aoi Hana! Slice-of-life being much more my style, and I'd heard this was an excellent yuri with a milder eroticism.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 8:04 AM
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