Re: Guest Post - Writing for free, part two

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It's the scab problem. Scabbing can be in the individual worker's best interest, and depending on circumstances it's hard to judge them for it. But it's still a bad thing to happen, and the system should be set up to prevent it.

He's better off individually because he had the opportunity to write for free. Writers generally are worse off because profitable publications are comfortable asking them to write for free. The only solution is some form of collective action, either governmental like minimum wage laws, union, or informal social sanctions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:33 AM
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I never write for free. Not one word. Anything i type, somebody's got a reason to pay me to type it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:34 AM
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Since production costs are so low, the main solution, it seems to me, is to cut out the middle man.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:35 AM
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And, now having clicked through and actually read his post, his main point is a good one -- a big part of his reason for being a writer, rather than something else, is to get his point of view heard. When I say he's 'better off individually', I don't mean just in terms of career track, I mean that he used the ability to get published in a prestigious magazine to get his viewpoint out there, and that's a genuinely big deal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:55 AM
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"It's a scab problem" -- I've been pushing the Prisoners' Dilemma point of view in professional lists worried about work/life balance being fairly designed for people with children and without. I keep pointing out that if everyone actually worked 40 hours a week we could compete on productivity within that week and also get enough sleep.

I don't think I'm getting anywhere.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:18 AM
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Eveyone pays when I comment.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:44 AM
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6: Everyone! You idiot!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:44 AM
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Pope Pee paid plosively. Pundits penitent.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:46 AM
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I meant peep, but what the hell.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:46 AM
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I haven't read most of the previous thread about guinea pigs riding on turtles, but this seems related, doesn't it? Bust your ass doing extra stuff that isn't really your job (i.e., do work for free) in the hopes of getting something (visibility, recommendations) that will result in you getting a better job where you are paid for the work you do. Maybe works at the beginning of a career but not really a viable long term plan.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:51 AM
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I was trying to say something about unpaid writers also allowing a greater diversity of viewpoints -- that is also part of TNC's argument.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:52 AM
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I'm glad someone posted on this. I've been a bit befuddled by the discussion -- TNC is usually so thoughtful and clear-thinking, and yet he doesn't come across that way in these posts.

All I can think is that it's a nomenclature problems that spiraled out of control -- someone said he was being exploited, he said he didn't FEEL exploited, and they were off and running.

I did think it was interesting (meaning appalling) to hear about the ways magazines stiff their supposedly paid writers. Pretty ugly stuff.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:54 AM
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12.2; that was something of a class/race interaction, and wow do those often go poorly. Although for people kind of mad at each other online, what I saw was very civil.

I really liked the suggestion somewhere in that thread that for-money publications should at least cut writers in on profit-sharing. Possibly creepy if it leads to page-click optimization paragraph by paragraph, though.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:03 AM
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"It's a scab problem"

I do think there's an important difference between

1) Activties which are generally done for pay (even if some people do them as a hobby)
and
2) Activities which are generally done for free (even if some people do them as a job).

One of the things that makes it difficult to make money as a musician is that there are plenty of people who are willing to pay for free (or for free beer, tips, and a nominal amount of money). But I don't think you'd call those people playing music for free "scabs" -- you'd call them people who enjoy playing music. There are definitely tensions between the people trying to make money and the people who aren't but it isn't the same tension that you'd have with somebody coming to a factory and offering to work for less than the prevailing wage.

I speculate again that there's a lot of writing which falls into category 2 (a prime example would be poetry which almost nobody expects to make money from) but that journalism has been mostly in category 1 (people may do internships to break into the profession, but there's an expectation that everybody is trying to get paid). That impression may be wrong, considering TNC's comments about the Washington Monthly, but I do think that part of what makes the whole issue complicated is that it is difficult to agree on whether some particular bit of writing does or does not fall into the category of work that is, generally speaking, paid work.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:32 AM
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Particularly as I stand here on my unpaid soapbox calling TNC a scab for working for free.

But under these circumstances, it doesn't seem like a hard problem. A large-circulation, prestigious magazine is the kind of business that conventionally pays its writers, so not getting paid for something to be published by the Atlantic doesn't look like a close call. Publishers are trying to blur those lines (that is, the line between something published by a functioning business and a self-published blog or zine or whatever), but I think they're still pretty visible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:41 AM
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15: "conventionally pays its writers" really isn't true for online content, where unpaid contributions seem fairly conventional, and which arguably hasn't existed for long enough to have any "conventionally."

Ta-Nehisi is reacting to being called a scab because he doesn't think of himself as a scab, and he agrees that generally scabs are bad. When he publishes unpaid guest bloggers, he thinks he's paying forward a favor someone did for him not long ago.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:52 AM
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What's clearly wrong on the publishers' part is paying some writers but not others, or (slightly foggier) paying some workers but not writers. What's clearly right in TNC's part is having written for truth-telling rather than personal profit maximization.

I'm OK with beating up on the publishers rather than the writers. Similarly, I'm good with arguing that we need non-crab-bucket employment law and practices, instead of quibbling about exactly how mothers and non-mothers are disadvantaging each other in the workplace.

So, having established that I'm internally consistent, I can lapse into sorry inefficacy.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:52 AM
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online content, where unpaid contributions seem fairly conventional

But no-one is saying that people writing on their own sites, or on free sites like Unfogged, should be paid. It's not nearly as conventional that for-money sites should get free writing. Or, possibly, one should point out to the managers of for-profit publications that if they aren't paying for the work we know we can get just as much good stuff from blogs.

I have now paid _Matter_ for the promise of some long-form shoeleather reporting. It looks like their stories may start as unpaid work, or at least have a lot of stuff done on spec. That's scarier for the writers than staff jobs, but if successful work does eventually get paid in legal tender, less awful than `for exposure'.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:57 AM
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Ta-Nehisi tells us that a mix of paid and unpaid content on line has been conventional at the Atlantic and at Washington Monthly, and presumably at other comparable venues, for as long as they have had online content. I believe that these venues are all publishing many more total words online than they ever published in print in the pre-internet era.

LB, was there any discussion of money when you filled in for Kevin Drum?


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:23 AM
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I know we all look alike from here, but that was Ogged. I guest-posted at LGM, but that's not a site where anyone (AFAIK) gets paid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:26 AM
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oops. My apologies.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:32 AM
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But we all agree that ogged almost certainly didn't get paid, right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:35 AM
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Seriously, I think something that's happening in TNC's comments is TNC saying "Look, I've had unpaid guest bloggers here, and no one's giving me a hard time for it. What's the difference between that and what you're objecting to?" And the problem is that no one's going to give him a hard time for it because (1) he's beloved, and (2) he didn't personally profit from it, but that still doesn't make it all right. It really is fucked up: "Hey, I've got this paying job writing a blog, but I want to take a week off. I know you like writing, and this is a bigger audience than you'd normally have: do you want to do my paying job for free?" The Atlantic has managed to blur the lines of responsibility by authorizing him to pick guest bloggers when he's on leave, but of course it's still the Atlantic that's reaping the benefits of the unpaid work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:37 AM
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22: Yeah, I assume.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:38 AM
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20: Except for their secret deal with the government of Nagorno-Karabakh.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:56 AM
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It really is fucked up: "Hey, I've got this paying job writing a blog, but I want to take a week off. I know you like writing, and this is a bigger audience than you'd normally have: do you want to do my paying job for free?"

This seems wrong to me, and I'm trying to figure out why.

Worth noting, first, that this is only a problem because of the collective action problems mentioned above -- an individual person guest blogging for TNC is probably perfectly happy with that offer (and is welcome to turn it down if they aren't).

So is the collective action problem bad enough to be a reason to condemn that situation? I don't know. How many other situation are there in which somebody would willingly fill in for somebody's job without pay -- probably not many. Thinking of music as an example, there are plenty of cases where a guest will show up to a given performance, join in on a couple of songs, and not expect to get paid. However if a band member was sick and couldn't make a gig, I would think that whoever replaced them for the evening would expect to get paid.

If there are almost no other examples of people filling in for paid work on a volunteer basis then, yes, it seems like a messed up situation.

I wonder if the other thing affecting my intuition is the feeling that the bloggers are often bigger brands than the institution currently hosting their blog (both MY and EK have explicitly written about this, and the importance of having their name on the blog). If you think that the Atlantic isn't paying TNC for blogging, per se, but is paying for the privilege of hosting his existing blog and paying for his reputation*, then it would make sense that a guest blogger doesn't fill the same role.

* I'm thinking of a line from Bill Russell, when he talks about turning down an endorsement opportunity. The person representing the client tells him that doing advertisements will make him more visible and build his reputation. He says, more or less, that he already has a reputation which they want to rent -- that's why they're offering him money.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:56 AM
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23: TNC can delete and ban commenters who give him a particularly hard time. The tone in that comment section tends toward the Internet-sycophantic (like, e.g., the commenters at J/ohn Sc/alz/i's blog, who never cease to find him and his work product awesome).


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:59 AM
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27: So can any blogger. Getting a functional comment section that isn't a bit sycophantic is tricky, and we've certainly not been completely innocent of that around here. (I mean, I, and I believe the other front pagers, try to be abrasive and yet contemptible enough that you guys don't get too fawning, but it doesn't always work.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:10 PM
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Further to 27: I am not saying that that is immoral or suspect. I would not have a blog, because I hate myself, but if I had a blog I would not allow comments because I hate myself and other people, but if I had a blog and allowed comments I would police said comments in a manner and to standards that would make North Korean propaganda look like a particularly advanced species of that "critical thinking" that blog comments are always lamenting the lack and/or failure of.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:10 PM
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27: there is also, I sometimes think (but usually hesitate to say), a racialized (sorry about that) tone to the discourse in TNC's comments -- and to the comments about TNC elsewhere on the web. There is a general fascination with a black man who came up hard and who now produces interesting content that is so wonderfully palatable for a SWPL audience. I'm not calling this the soft bigotry of low expectations, because I think TNC is very good at what he does, but the dynamic certainly does seem to pivot on race.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:12 PM
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who now produces interesting content that is so wonderfully palatable for a SWPL audience.

It's not that talking about the effects of race on the tone of the discourse is wrong, but SWPL audience seems like both a shitty and an inaccurate thing to say. Something I really notice about TNC's comments is how many more identifiably black commenters there are -- it's not an exclusively African American space, but it includes a whole lot more people who aren't SWPL than (obviously) this place does, or many other of the places I read that aren't targeted primarily to a black audience.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:16 PM
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I should add: I think TNC is very good at what he does, but what he does, in my view, is produce a kind of middlebrow pabulum that tastes just enough like the really refined stuff that people can feel genuinely good about their excellent taste as it all goes down so very easily.

And just to be double or even triple clear, I don't think there's anything at all wrong with that. TNC wants to get paid to write. He wants to get paid to distill down complicated ideas about tough issues so that a mass audience can consume those ideas. And that's all to the good.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:16 PM
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I am not saying that that is immoral or suspect. I would not have a blog, because I hate myself, but if I had a blog I would not allow comments because I hate myself and other people, but if I had a blog and allowed comments I would police said comments in a manner and to standards that would make North Korean propaganda look like a particularly advanced species of that "critical thinking" that blog comments are always lamenting the lack and/or failure of because I hate myself, other people, and free speech.

You had a failure of parallelism there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:17 PM
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30: Hmmm. I wonder whether that is tonal or thematic. I don't often read the comments there, but when I do I don't often pick up too transparent a "Liking this cultural product and its producer is virtuous on my part" thing. Maybe sometimes when the comments wax a little too enthusiastic about the relative worth of hiphop and some sector of more traditional culture with which the commenters happen to be familiar, but that seems forgivable.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:18 PM
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Isn't free speech the problem here? Ban free speech! Promote lucrative speech!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:18 PM
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I don't think there's anything at all wrong with that

If you're calling it middlebrow pabulum that can easily be confused with something more substantive, you do think there's something wrong with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:19 PM
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Selection bias is at work here. The only people permitted to have gigs like Coates must first work for free, so anyone speaking from Coates' position will have first decided he's okay with that.

A commenter explains to Coates that whether or not he feels exploited isn't relevant. Coates' response is uncharacteristically clueless:

Then this is the end of conversation. You are effectively telling me that what I think about my own situation has no bearing on my ability to label it. There's no reason for me to participate in that.

I'm not a regular reader of his. I wonder what he thinks of the NCAA, another group that has helped black people gain access to prestigious careers.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:20 PM
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33: "I hate myself, other people, the Oxford comma and free speech" would be a good slogan for a blog.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:20 PM
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31: There are, I think, plenty of SWPL black people. They're often called bourgie, no? Also, I'm not just talking about his comments section. In fact, in fairness to your reading, I should have been much clearer in saying that I'm more put off by the general tone of adoration for TNC elsewhere -- as in, few people ever seem to want to call him out, even when what he's saying is terribly banal -- that is a mirror of of what happens in his comment section. Having said all of that, I don't think I'm invested enough in this discussion, and it all strikes a bit too close to home for me, to dig in in any way at all.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:21 PM
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36: well, I can't really say it any more clearly than I already have. I think what he does is excellent on its own terms. I also think, though, that there's a racialized component to the response to his work. That's not necessarily bad or at all surprising. And I'm perfectly happy to be told I'm wrong.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:23 PM
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wax a little too enthusiastic about the relative worth of hiphop and some sector of more traditional culture

Ergh. Honestly, I think he has a large percentage of commenters who are actually not white, and a large portion of commenters who genuinely like hiphop, rather than gamely pretending to for the purpose of looking unracist. To the extent there's a racial dynamic of the sort you describe going on, I think it's that the commenters who don't actually have any interest in hiphop aren't rude about insisting on their lack of interest because it'd be an uncomfortable environment to be that kind of rude in. (Because it would not only be kind of racist, but there would be a plurality of commenters willing to call it kind of racist. This does not seem to me to be a bad or in any way insincere dynamic.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:24 PM
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There are, I think, plenty of SWPL black people.

Okay, calling anyone black who's educated and middle-class SWPL, or white, really is bullshit. Honestly, listen to yourself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:26 PM
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as in, few people ever seem to want to call him out, even when what he's saying is terribly banal

If the worst of his work is banal, it's no surprise that people won't call him out on it. In any event, enlightened souls like yourself aren't everywhere.

His recent New York Times piece didn't actually tell me anything I didn't know. Nor did it provide a perspective that I hadn't considered. So yeah, for a sophisticate like me, it was "banal." I was, nonetheless, touched by it.

And even if I weren't, why would I criticize it?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:30 PM
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42: really, that's not what I meant at all. I was talking about social class, cultural signifiers, and a certain kind of taste for which SWPL is often used as a shorthand. Or so I thought. But again, it's clear that the fault is mine here. I'll cop to that and also apologize for my lack of clarity about a subject that's best avoided entirely unless one is ready to be very precise with language.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:30 PM
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And I would probably agree with what I think is part of your point, that lots of people are a little tentative about giving TNC a hard time because he's a visible black blogger in a largely white 'area' of the blogosphere, and people don't want to look racist. I don't think there's any way to avoid that kind of reaction other than bringing more black bloggers into prominence.

(And of course, part of his point about working for free is that he doesn't think he and many other black writers had a shot of becoming prominent without that option; that paid journalism was shutting them out. While I still think writing for free is a problem, and think that that problem should have been solved some other way, I certainly admit that I don't know how it was going to get solved.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:30 PM
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... as in, few people ever seem to want to call him out, even when what he's saying is terribly banal....

There is very little calling-out for banality online, or else we'd have quite the an-eye-for-an-eye-making-something-something-something state of affairs. I don't think TNC gets a special dispensation from the commenting masses for that.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:31 PM
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what he does is excellent on its own terms

Is that like saying I'm good at making dumb comments?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:31 PM
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43 was me.

Honestly, listen to yourself.

Or listen to Coates! He's very good on stuff like this, even if he does sometimes address people who haven't thought about the subject very hard.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:32 PM
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43: because the internet is a disputatious place, and because criticism is one way that ideas get refined. Also, I'm not asking you to criticize him. I'm struck by how few high-profile bloggers ever criticize him.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:32 PM
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47: You're the best there is at what you do, peep [/nerd]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:32 PM
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44: The thing is, what SWPL means generally, I think, is that "Your pretensions to be anything other than a sheltered, privileged middle class person are bullshit, you phony." And that seems really like a inapposite characterization for TNC.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:33 PM
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anonymous for this one is shockingly identifiable by prose style. I feel like that never happens.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:35 PM
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51: that's not been my reading of it. But again, I was silly to use an ill-defined shorthand in a conversation that was, in retrospect, even a little bit likely to be somewhat fraught. One more time: apologies.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:35 PM
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"SWPL" is a serious insult. That website HATES the people it writes about. Can we stop using the term entirely? It was always stupid.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:36 PM
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49: You've haven't raised an issue on which he ought be criticized. Your comments would make more sense if you raised some issue in which his view was fucked up and he got a free pass.

I don't read him religiously, but I think today was the first time I've seen him write something clueless. You know what I did? In 37, I quoted him and called him "clueless." It wasn't hard at all.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:36 PM
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And not just an ill-defined shorthand, but an ill-defined shorthand that is itself racially charged in a discussion that I turned to race. Stupid, stupid, stupid.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:37 PM
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Ta-Nehisi is also sensitive to the charge that only trustafarians can afford to work for free, so accpeting free content means promoting privileged kids over the rest of America. Ta-Nehisi provided free content without being upper class (and when he wasn't a kid), and his guest bloggers also probably aren't privileged and aren't ids.

On this point, I think Ta-Nehisi's right. It's possible to produce blog content on a part-time basis even if you have to hold down another job, and most of the bloggers who broke through did it at some point. If anything, accepting free content makes it easier for non-privileged outsiders to break in, since the cost of entry to the publisher is lower.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:39 PM
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52: I have a definite opinion on the identity of anonymous, and I never have such opinions. It's odd. I wonder if we're thinking of the same person.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:40 PM
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I thought SWPL involved stand mixers somehow. Do we know whether or not TNC owns a stand mixer? I think that piece of information would really clarify things.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:40 PM
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53: Dude, you knew the conversation was going to be fraught going in. That would, I presume, be why you didn't want to sign your comments. (Unlike Sifu, I haven't figured out who I'm talking to yet.)

No one's going to set you on fire for being racist. I can't reach you from here. But it really does behoove you, talking about this stuff, to be clear about what you're saying and implying and make sure that what you're saying is what you mean.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:42 PM
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55: I think I've said, in as many words, that in my opinion TNC's views aren't fucked up at all. Further, the point expressed in 46 is actually a very good one: banality is not a sin that's much punished on the internet. And as I've also said above, or at least tried to say above, I don't think banality is a sin at all.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:42 PM
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60: See! You're proof that anonymous is right! People need to be careful about criticizing Coates because the race police will inevitably attack.

I am particularly appalled by your expression of regret that you aren't close enough to set anonymous on fire. I mean, geez.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:45 PM
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Guest blogging is something anyone can do for free in their spare time, if they're talented. Only trustafarians can do a full-time job for free, a.k.a. an "internship". TNC does well to point out the difference, if that is what he did -- as if I had time to sit around reading stuff on the internet.

As for short-form writing, you can get the work of 5 full-time paid writers from 1 editor and 25 people doing it for free, just like photography.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:45 PM
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Dude, you knew the conversation was going to be fraught going in.

I've just said exactly this in 56.

But it really does behoove you, talking about this stuff, to be clear about what you're saying and implying and make sure that what you're saying is what you mean.

And this in the comment you're replying to. But do keep calling me a racist, because that's good fun.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:45 PM
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I don't think banality is a sin at all.

You fail to grasp the evil of banality.


Posted by: OPINIONATED HANNA ARENDT | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:45 PM
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59: I'm guessing yes. He's pretty serious about cooking.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:46 PM
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Further, the point expressed in 46 is actually a very good one

Well, it would have been had it not been entirely pwned by 43, which even had an illustrative link.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:47 PM
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Like I said, sorry all. I shouldn't have brought the issue up without being far more certain of what I wanted to say and, equally important, how I wanted to say it. That was a real mistake on my part, and I apologize. I also probably shouldn't have commented anonymously, though, to be clear, I did that for professional reasons rather than because I'm at all worried about talking about race under my own pseudonym.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:48 PM
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64: Help, help, you're being repressed. Come see the violence inherent in the system.

I'm not looking up your IP address because I'd rather not hold this conversation against you. But going anonymous because it's not safe to be anything but hagiographic about TNC, in a thread that's, you know, devoted to criticizing one of his posts, really is chickenshit.

God knows if you're any more racist than anyone else. But wanting to say things about race that you're not comfortable saying where people you know can identify them as coming from you does make you at least a bit of a twerp.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:51 PM
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43: the daily howler did criticize that editorial.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:52 PM
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61: Well, if you think his views *aren't* screwed up, you have kind of a funny way of expressing it.

few people ever seem to want to call him out, even when what he's saying is terribly banal .

"Call him out" in my book tends to signify "saying something stupid and/or wrong." I.e., that his views are screwed up.

For example, Yglesias fairly regularly says things that I think are stupid and/or wrong. (Despite the fact that I once met him for 15 seconds, I am happy to say this in public, and would say it to his face if I happened to encounter him.)

I think TNC is mistaken in the linked thread, which by my read is uncharacteristic -- he's usually NOT.

See what I did there? I said he was mistaken.

/sarcasm


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:53 PM
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I am trying to approach this like a post-whatever economist.

You have commodified labor coming out of college (is this not what college does?) who are trying to accumulate social (and maybe personal, but mostly social) capital in order to achieve a position that grants them rents, copyrights, fans, reputation, position, yet want to be paid as if they were commodified labor-power, interchangeable.

Hollywood manages this with a union and union scale. And the extra-talented and lucky usually are massively underpaid when their first job hits. Actors renegotiate after a show becomes a hit.

Entrepreneurs give free samples in exchange for a chance at future monopolies.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:54 PM
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I found TNC somewhat sappy and middlebrow when I read him regularly, which was quite a while ago. No worse than a lot of other mainstream journalism-y people I don't read. Certainly, of the two blogging Atlantic senior editors (current and former) I could name off the top of my head, he is the far superior.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:57 PM
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Now I feel like I should criticize people more.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:58 PM
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70: Somerby doesn't count. He is more-Slate-than-Slate.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:58 PM
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69: or it means that I know for certain that TNC sometimes reads (or maybe just read; I don't about now) this blog and that I might want/need work from him at some point in the future. Also, I really don't feel at all oppressed. I'm entirely at fault for the turn this thread has taken.


Posted by: anonymous for this one | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:58 PM
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Writers can and I think should unionize, but that also means that Rowling would get paid 20 thousand pounds for the first Harry Potter that earned its publishers 10 million.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:00 PM
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76: This almost certainly rules out my guess about your identity.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:00 PM
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75: That's wrong. Somerby doesn't count because he's way outsite the media establishment, but he's not Slate-like at all.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:03 PM
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The actual answer to the original post, by the way, is that it all depends on how lucrative the business is that requires free work. The NCAA is a despicable cartel because it could easily pay its performers, but uses its market power to stiff them.

Poetry magazines aren't going to exist without free labor.

The Atlantic falls somewhere inbetween on the despicability-meter, but is much more like a poetry mag than the NCAA. Magazines of that sort are not traditionally run for profit.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:04 PM
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79: That's true. I retract.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:05 PM
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March Poetry Madness is going to be sick this year.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:06 PM
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76: I do get testy at anonymous (rather than stably pseudonymous) posters, where I'm not on board with their reasons for anonymity. But no hard feelings, generally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:11 PM
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I was listening to people talking on the bus today. One person was asking another when March Madness was starting. A crazy person that was eavesdropping, helpfully pointed out that March started 2 weeks ago.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:11 PM
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I pooped myself


Posted by: anonymous for unknown, but no doubt troubling reasons | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:13 PM
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helpfully pointed out that March started 2 weeks ago.

Heh, someone in our property crimes unit put out an ATL (Attempt To Locate) via email for a guy. Like a helpful mammal I emailed the "detective" and pointed out that guy had been in county jail for the last ten days.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:30 PM
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Crafty bastard -- hiding in the last place the police would look.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:38 PM
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Felix Salmon has a post today which touches on the value of "exposure" (though I disagree with his conclusion that publishers should be more active trying to monetize the value of their reputation).

He's talking about the value to a company of being written up in a major publication, rather than value to a writer (and, note that, nobody reads bylines), but still interesting.

Quartz, in this deal, is getting one article, which needs a fair amount of editing; it's a tiny proportion of Quartz's daily output. Meanwhile, Brandtone is getting something very valuable indeed. Just look at the US flack-to-hack ratio: it's approaching 9:1, according to the Economist, which means that for every professional journalist, there are nine people, some of them extremely well paid, trying to persuade that journalist to publish something about a certain company. That wouldn't be the case if those articles weren't worth serious money to the companies in question.

...

Still, the price point on the now-aborted TOC program is revealing. The cost of the content, from a "trusted freelancer", would probably not be much more than a couple of thousand dollars -- but the cost of the content to the advertiser could be as much as $1 million. The difference is entirely accounted for by the value of the Fortune brand.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:40 PM
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is definitely a better Atlantic author than the Church of Scientology.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:54 PM
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The Atlantic makes over a million dollars of profit a year:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/13/business/media/13atlantic.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0



Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:56 PM
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It just doesn't seem to me that blogging or news brief types of writing can be protected from this sort of thing. Any job where some schmo can step right in and take over for a week is vulnerable to people doing it for nothing if they think it would be fun. Long form seriously researched/sourced writing should be more immune.
To be all consultanty about it, the two axes are fun and training. Not fun, no training quadrant isn't going to have scabs working for free, although might have robots. Fun, no training is free short form writing. Not fun, training needed- depends on what you consider fun. Skilled trades maybe? And fun, training needed is the job of all you slackers who can read blogs during working hours.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 2:18 PM
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90. Profit this year after a decade of losses. The margin is terrible, not a viable business to invest in.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 2:52 PM
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||

Court rules barricaded suspects not entitled to Miranda warning

Even a barricaded suspect has the right to remain silent during a standoff, but police have no obligation to tell him that while trying to coax him out, an appeals court ruled this week.

I'm kind of bummed. I was looking forward to the courts making the SWAT guys give Miranda with a bullhorn.
|>


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 2:58 PM
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93: Ha. Well, you could certainly say the defendant reasonably felt he wasn't free to leave...


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 3:41 PM
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Many here, including myself, would accept free publication in The Atlantic. I am often free-published elsewhere.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 4:03 PM
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I did an unpaid internship in online journalism at a for profit company that may not have been making much profit at the time, but seemed to be doing ok. I knew what I was getting into and it did not bother me that much, especially since I probably could have broken into paying journalism at the end of it.* Except at the very end I filled in for an employee who took a week's vacation and did stuff that you simply could not come in and do on a guest basis without prior experience. I was not comfortable about asking to be paid for that one week but I've always believed that it should have been compensated.

*It turned out to be an expensive way of learning I did not want to be a journalist. Otherwise, it was really good work experience, except the part about not being paid and the part about other employers seeing "intern" and assuming it was lower-level work than it was.


Posted by: Edward Wills Scripps | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 5:13 PM
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My prediction is that the next trend will be expecting people to work for free for job specific training and/or pay for it before being formally "hired." We already have unpaid internships in some fields. We see employers expecting to find people with the exact qualifications for a position and/or expect people to get those exact qualifications from some kind of educational experience at their own time & cost. (When I'm hiring people I explicitly make myself and others on the interview team not do this.) SCOTUS did say that people had to be paid for time it takes to prepare for a job- getting into uniforms or safety gear- but I'm guessing they might revisit that if the appropriate case came up. (Anderson v. Mt Clemens Potter 1946; IBP v. Alvarez 2005.) Besides, who are people going to complain to, the NLRB? Hahahahaha.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 5:37 PM
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I've done free work for a variety of reasons, and would do again. Once our new federal judge is confirmed in Helena/Great Falls I'm not sure where he'll sit -- hoping it's Helena), I'd take a case for free if it meant I was going to spend a couple of days arguing pretrial motions, jury instructions, objections, etc. with him. I'd probably take a case free at the Montana Supreme Court. I'd take a case free and buy my own plane ticket to the US Supreme Court.

You would too, LB.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 5:38 PM
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Scab.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 5:39 PM
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97: hasn't there been word of particularly shady law firms trying to charge for internships?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 5:58 PM
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My prediction is that the next trend will be expecting people to work for free for job specific training and/or pay for it before being formally "hired."

Wasn't/isn't there a program like this in the UK? Except people might not get hired? Informally, I'm sure this exists at the individual job level in the US, but not at the job field level.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 5:59 PM
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I think the UK program was related to welfare benefits. Had to work for free for a company with connections to conservative politicians in order to keep getting benefits.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:11 PM
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I think you're right that it was under the guise of a welfare program, not a new entry-level standard in any particular field.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:23 PM
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1

He's better off individually because he had the opportunity to write for free. Writers generally are worse off because profitable publications are comfortable asking them to write for free. The only solution is some form of collective action, either governmental like minimum wage laws, union, or informal social sanctions.

I think this is wrongheaded for a variety of reasons. These include practical concerns. There is generally red tape involved in paying people which can be disproportionately onerous for small amounts. Would the publication have to for example establish that the contributor was legally entitled to work in the United States? What are the legal requirements? I think Coates is correct that a payment requirement would act as a barrier to exclude outsiders.

And do you think publications should pay for publishing letters to the editor?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:25 PM
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28

27: So can any blogger. ...

Nevertheless TNC is quicker on the ban trigger than many.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:27 PM
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The UK programs do have the wonderfully Orwellian names "Sector-Based Work Academy" and "Community Action Programme"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:44 PM
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Not that it is exactly the same, but if I order a bagel with lox for nine bucks and I only get one layer of fish, I feel cheated.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:06 PM
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Pay a man to fish and you're out the cost of labor. Teach a man to fish for school credit and the man foots the bill himself.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:13 PM
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That should have been phrased better. It's more like: Give a man who knows how to fish the opportunity to gain experience in the fishing industry and the man foots most of the costs himself.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:14 PM
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Teach every man to fish, and the world's fisheries collapse and never recover.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:17 PM
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110: it's more complicated than that!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:21 PM
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Well, sure, not everyone you teach is actually going to fish.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:22 PM
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You have to smoke the fish also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:24 PM
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||

In Soviet blowjob, sperm tastes you!

|>


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:25 PM
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From each according to their fertility, to each according to their seeds.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:44 PM
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115 is good.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:53 PM
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Agreed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:54 PM
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Life is good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:55 PM
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Speaking of which, how can it be that nobody has linked the totally safe for work porn map? Is there anything sadder than a once-great blog that's fallen on hard times?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:56 PM
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Unless you're trying to start out as a writer or lost your balls to a group of gametes fleeing bitterness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:57 PM
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I take undue and pathological pride in the fact that CA's porn tastes run "asian" and then "massage". We're multicultural and weird, but at least we're not pedophiles or (the wrong kind of) racists. The Deep South's interest in "ebony" speaks for itself. The Midwest's interest in "creampie" is, I'm afraid, mysterious.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:58 PM
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121.last: Be the research you want to see in the world, VW.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:01 PM
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The #6 most searched for term in New Jersey is a porn star famous for her Sarah Palin impression? I don't begin to know what that means.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:01 PM
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Also the #1 most common term in Massachusetts cracks me up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:02 PM
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122: I figure apo will be along before too terribly long, and he'll surely link to helpful illustrations.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:02 PM
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Kentucky is so gay!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:02 PM
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124: Woodhead?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:03 PM
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I take undue and pathological pride in the fact that CA's porn tastes run "asian" and then "massage".

The appearance of "Korean" on the list also speaks volumes.

The Northeast's interest in "college" is interesting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:03 PM
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126: Mitch McConnell agrees!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:04 PM
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I would not have expect Kentucky to show quite such interest in "free gay porn."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:04 PM
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pwned on Kentucky, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:05 PM
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People from Hawaii want to see people from Hawaii in porn. Are you not from Hawaii? They do not want to see you have sex.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:05 PM
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Hentai has made surprising inroads in Mississippi.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:06 PM
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Certain parts of the Midwest seem to be more into MILFs than creampies. I suppose they're not mutually exclusive.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:06 PM
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#3 in West Virginia is "straight (gay)". I don't even have anything to add.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:07 PM
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I'm dubious about the rigor of the research behind this map. The bizarre geographic errors (Where's the UP? That's not what Hawaii looks like!) are not reassuring.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:07 PM
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I suppose they're not mutually exclusive.

Maybe they're actually trying to google pictures of cute babies but they get confused.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:08 PM
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Czech Republic has a few (including #1) that are disturbingly given their place on the list (I assume there is a small sample size issue).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:08 PM
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#8 for Arkansas is rather disturbing.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:08 PM
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132: If you think that's chauvinistic, check out Brazil.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:09 PM
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136: however, on the assumption it is accurate, I really know very, very little about the Ukraine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:09 PM
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Who's Lisa Ann, teo? It's okay; you can tell us.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:09 PM
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Actually most of South America.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:10 PM
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136: Not to mention the presumably unsmoothed state-level estimates, perhaps responsible for oddities like Iowa's #6.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:10 PM
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136: you doubt science?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:11 PM
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Iceland does not care about your keywords. Iceland wants to see teenagers fucking. Is that so complicated? Help Iceland, here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:11 PM
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123 to 142.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:11 PM
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I thought #7 in South Dakota was a community college, until I saw that it also ranks in Wyoming. Maybe it's a large, lascivious community college.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:12 PM
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Who's Lisa Ann, teo? It's okay; you can tell us.

I have no idea. Tweety seems to know, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:12 PM
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140: in Greece one wonders if it's nationalist pride, plausible deniability, or some combination.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:12 PM
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I know how to google, it's true.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:13 PM
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Adding to 136, the site apparently thinks that Oregon is Nevada.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:13 PM
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148: rawr.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:14 PM
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Belgium has an odd twist on the chauvinism, probably related to its perpetual crisis of identity.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:14 PM
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So mature, Finland.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:15 PM
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The Hungarians seem to be into some really weird shit.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:15 PM
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Wow, Japan wins the national pride sweepstakes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:15 PM
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Either the sample size in Kazakhstan is too small to make good conclusions, or I want somebody to go there and buy me a "squirt machine" t-shirt.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:17 PM
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Backroom casting couch. I went to a brcc porn site first and still did not get it despite the leather couches.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:17 PM
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I suppose the Swiss interest in "swissfuckers" is understandable.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:17 PM
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Israel just got confused while trying to google WebMD, okay?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:18 PM
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Backroom casting couch.

Which actually appears as a full phrase in Oklahoma.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:18 PM
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157: Maybe they're just really good at it given how well they do in China as well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:18 PM
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Something about searching for "what I jack off to" seems sort of sad, Nigeria. Shouldn't you already know?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:20 PM
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Everyone's fingers in South Dakota and Wyoming are too cold to type the entire thing.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:20 PM
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147: that's just very, very sad.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:20 PM
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South Africa very specifically knows the gay acts they wish to see, and the stars they wish to see performing them. Also, they like poop.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:22 PM
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I had no idea Koreans were so into scat.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:22 PM
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And Iranians like gay hotel businessmen.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:24 PM
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So, really, what is "raincoat"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:24 PM
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Huh, so apparently PornMD is itself a search engine for porn sites. Presumably these results are just from people searching through them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:26 PM
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170: isn't that just old-school slang for condom?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:26 PM
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164: Maybe it's part of an email scam.

Hello,

My sperm bank has informed me....


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:26 PM
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I'm feeling kind of dumb for not recognizing who anonymous for this one is. It's like overhearing a well-known voice but with just enough background noise that you just have a nagging sense you know who's talking but can't quite figure out who it is.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:26 PM
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171 to 170. (Uh, that link is very NSFW.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:27 PM
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It'll be hilarious if the search I did for 175 has a meaningful effect on the results for Alaska.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:28 PM
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Turns out no, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:28 PM
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175: I STILL DON'T GET IT. Really they wear raincoats like the Gorton's fisherman? Why are you so into this, Ukraine?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:29 PM
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Really disappointed not to see "coffee milk" for Rhode Island.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:29 PM
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Maybe I'll search for "Nickelback" like eighty times and see if I can skew the Massachusetts results.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:30 PM
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Only a bonus that it's spelled wrong, since Massachusetts apparently has a thing for "ielesbians".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:30 PM
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Wait it's not spelled wrong. What the hell? That was the dumbest series of things that have ever happened to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:31 PM
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Took me a long time to see how 9 and 10 for Mass. are related.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:31 PM
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Jesus. I was wrong about being wrong about how to spell "Nickelback". That is fucking horrible. Somebody give me a wedgie and make fun of my lunch.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:32 PM
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183: Not as long as Sifu!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:32 PM
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3 and 4 for Morocco right now suggest a division in tastes.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:33 PM
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I kept trying to find some Microsoft connection to Mass. #10.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:34 PM
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You guys aren't into creamp? It's so nickleback.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:34 PM
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The thread has long since moved on, I see.

The absence of results from North Korea is really disappointing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:36 PM
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Maybe you should try meeting women in countries without totalitarian governments.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:41 PM
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Compared to the rest of the world (for which data is available), Americans might as well be searching for "banal" and "milfquetoast". Not that there's anything wrong with that!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:42 PM
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Or some Axe body spray. I hear women love them some Axe body spray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:42 PM
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I'm going to regret not being anonymous for this thread, aren't I?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:43 PM
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Libya is unusual in its top search for a nationality being foreign. Apparently, our involvement there has given the Libyan people a taste for American anal sluts.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:44 PM
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195

191: I'm sure it's more that there's vastly more data for the US, so the results aren't as skewed by small samples.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:45 PM
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196

191: Just cuz you're not hip enough to know about /b/anal.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:45 PM
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197

I'm going to regret not being anonymous for this thread, aren't I?

No way! "Milfquetoast" is great.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:45 PM
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194: either that or American GIs watch a lot of porn and like homegrown anal sluts.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:46 PM
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196 is tops.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:47 PM
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200

Some aspiring actor should take the nom de porn Caspar Milfquetoast.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:48 PM
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201

[slash b slash] got me hip faster than [/b/].


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:52 PM
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202

Has anybody ever actually had milk toast? Not the porn kind.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:57 PM
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I've never milk toast. I've also never had "clabber milk" (nor do I know what that is -- nor, for that matter, do I know what a "truck farmer" is). I do, though, now know what a creampie is.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:00 PM
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204

A truck farmer is a farmer who grows crops to sell far from where he creampies.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:03 PM
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205

Would you milk toast?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:04 PM
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206

Without adequate health regulation, milfquetoast porn has been known to spread claptrap.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:04 PM
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207

A German version of Clabber Milf is called Dickmilf.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:07 PM
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208

204: "a farm that produces vegetables for the market"? What the fuck does that even mean? And what about clabber milk? "Milk that's naturally clotted"? Again, what?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:08 PM
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209

Oops that should be M.I.L.C.H.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:08 PM
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210

Dickmilch?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:09 PM
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211

(Mother I'd Like To Congratulate Heartily)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:10 PM
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"a farm that produces vegetables for the market"? What the fuck does that even mean?

It means the farmer sells them rather than eating them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:10 PM
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(Mother I'd Like To Congratulate Heartily)

IYWKIM.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:10 PM
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Since posting 174, I think I've become enlightened about anon for this one's identity.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:11 PM
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210: in actual fact, yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:11 PM
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Qu'est-ce que c'est que ce truc "farm"?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:13 PM
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212: so any market farm is a truck farm? AND WHAT ABOUT THE CLABBER MILK?!!!?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:13 PM
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Is that like yogurt or something?

You'd think when they invented their language they'd have thought about how it would sound to American ears.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:13 PM
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Clabber Milf is Milf I'd Like To Clab.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:14 PM
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I don't know about clabber milk. Ask Sifu.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:14 PM
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It's clabberin' time!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:14 PM
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222

See, he's all over the issue.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:14 PM
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fake accent is on roll. Which he bought from a truck baker.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:15 PM
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218: it's kinda like crime fraiche/semen.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:15 PM
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225

Thank you autocorrect, that'll do.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:15 PM
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226

VW does truck history.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:16 PM
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Anyway, not all commercial agriculture is truck farming, which is apparently considered a form of market gardening (or at least that's the article Wikipedia redirects you to from "truck farm").


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:18 PM
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I guess the truck in "truck and barter" means something distinct from "barter" but I have no idea what. The UofC's Soc core failed me badly, I guess.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:18 PM
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Another definition for "truck farm" appears to be "a wicked delicate film and food project." Founded in Brooklyn!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:19 PM
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230

We've discussed the meaning of "truck" in this context several times, I think. It refers to market exchange.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:20 PM
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231

What's it mean in porn?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:21 PM
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231: It appears to primarily refer to vehicles.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:22 PM
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This PornMD site is actually pretty useful. I guess their viral marketing with those maps worked on me. I hope they paid Von Wafer for his part in spreading the word.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:24 PM
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230 is the original meaning, it turns out. Have no truck with trucks, for the 'truck' of trucks debases the truck of honest truck.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:26 PM
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233: you... had been looking futilely for porn in trucks?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:27 PM
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233: 100 gallons of clabber milk delivered in a truck from a farm.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:27 PM
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Otherwise he would be a scab marketer and a societal monster on the scale of Ta-Nehisi Coates.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:27 PM
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235: No, it's just convenient to have a single place to easily find answers to questions like 231.

236: Oh, good.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:28 PM
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"Here's mud in your eye" seems like an appropriate chocolate milk toast.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:41 PM
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Does very much usually get in one's eye when toasting?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:46 PM
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If you toast enthusiastically enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:47 PM
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This PornMD site is actually pretty useful.

"It helps me answer questions single-handedly!" Tom ejaculated.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:56 PM
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See? Efficiency!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:38 PM
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244

And, scene.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:22 PM
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245

Does Chile have no straight people?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 12:02 AM
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I'm sure this is old news to everybody else, but I just saw this, and now it's going to be in my mind whenever Gswift comments.


Posted by: trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 12:18 AM
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You should totally become a cop, trapnel.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 12:20 AM
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Only if I get an eagle.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 12:33 AM
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32

I should add: I think TNC is very good at what he does, but what he does, in my view, is produce a kind of middlebrow pabulum that tastes just enough like the really refined stuff that people can feel genuinely good about their excellent taste as it all goes down so very easily.

This seems off to me. I expect there are people who read TNC because of his background but I don't think they are mistaking his writing for the really refined stuff (whatever that might be). In fact I expect the fact that his writing obviously isn't the really refined stuff is part of its appeal.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:53 AM
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Nobody at all watches porn in Slovakia?

Shorter: Most people like to watch videos of people like themselves fucking; a significant subset also goes looking for the weird, but with a severely constrained notion of what constitutes weird.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 3:58 AM
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Most people like to watch videos of people like themselves fucking

That was my first thought, but then I thought maybe more "Most people like to hear videos of people like themselves fucking."

But a quick peruse of South America somewhat debunks that theory.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 5:09 AM
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a significant subset also goes looking for the weird, but with a severely constrained notion of what constitutes weird.

But this is really just a variant of the fallacy inherent in "you guys all suck because my favorite obscure band didn't make the top 100 list*."

*Except for the Czech Republic where a couple of the indies did make it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 5:11 AM
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S. Koreans turn out to fit my stereotypes for Germans. I keep wanting to find significance in this.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:45 AM
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And a lot of people worldwide seem to want to see people like themselves rather than bushels of blondes.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:19 AM
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bushels of blondes.

Some prefer binders full of women.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:44 AM
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Somebody did a study that showed that the average porn actor was a brunette.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 8:27 AM
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||

Interesting stuff for us oldsters.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 8:37 AM
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I'm very sad that they don't have search results for Saudi Arabia.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 8:42 AM
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256 is interesting, Daily Mail notwithstanding. I can see it - most Americans are brown-haired to begin with, right? Now I'm trying to see if there's a survey on the subject.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:34 AM
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257: that's really interesting, thanks. The rumors about Nixon scuttling the peace talks have been around for a long time, but this seems like a new spin to me.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:44 AM
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Per the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003-2004, weighted, natural hair color at age 18 is 2.6% red, 11.6% blond[e], 63.6% brown, 22% black, and 0.2% other.

Among women 20-35, a bit more (report as) blonde, and brown surpasses two-thirds, both at the expense of black, interestingly.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:47 AM
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257, 260: I thought the real news was about LBJ considering jumping back into the race, but being dissuaded because they did not feel he could be adequately protected in a major American city.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 12:01 PM
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TNC is a wonderful writer, but he seems to have no patience for certain abstract/academic/analytic models of thought: eg, his flat insistence that if you don't FEEL exploited, you're not exploited.

in other words, he thinks about society and institutions in the individualistic, voluntarist way 99% of Americans think about them. what can you do? sigh.


Posted by: lurker | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 12:07 PM
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262: yeah, that too.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 12:51 PM
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Last night, I was going to post this but it didn't have a permanent URL yet. I can't remember the joke I was going to make.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:52 PM
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I was also thinking of linking that last night.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:52 PM
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(And the current comics do have permanent URLs, you just have to type in the number manually.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:54 PM
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257: Fascinating! Thanks.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 2:19 PM
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Actual on-the-original-post-topic (OTOPT) link.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:46 PM
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||

Cinema Anime 2006, Steven Brown

One of the most important questions for anime scholars today is whether the dissemination of Japanese media worldwide marks the emergence of a new form of cultural imperialism (or form of "invisible colonization") that is not simply a variation on the American cultural export industry, or whether anime's status as transnational "edge culture," which frequently questions the status quo while at the same time lacking clearly identifiable Japanese national, racial, or ethnic markers (referred to by Japanese commentators as anime's quality of being mukokuseki, or "without nationality"), undercuts (or at least complicates) the reconstruction of Japanese national/cultural identity through its very participation in the decentralizing networks of media globalization and global capitalism.

No, it is a global culture war, almost two-sided, in which America is not the good guys. Disney vs Madhouse. Iron Man and Zero Dark Thirty vs Maria-sama ga Miteru (Catholicism as not about sexual repression but about love) and Natsume Yuujinchou (meeting the racially different and abject on their terms, not ours).

America is still imperialist and hegemonic, and our relationship to the other is still co-optative (To take or assume for one's own use) rather that inclusive, nomadic , and hybrid. We are cannibals, and all our culture is evil.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:12 AM
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Somewhat related, some guilty amusement for the francophone section of the Mineshaft. Guilty, cause we've all been there in at least some language, and it's good to not be afraid of making mistakes. Amusement, because... .


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 2:24 PM
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