Re: Assumption of segregation

1

"Uh" [brief pause] "Yes she has."
Perhaps to be followed by:
"What makes you think she hasn't?" [or What makes it seem like she hasn't]?

Or would all of that be too awkward of a conversation to have?


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 1:37 PM
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"She's never seen a black person before!"

"Neil deGrasse Tyson lives on our block. She's expecting you to say something about outer space."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 1:37 PM
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Making the appropriate substitutions, Sly had the answer on stand.

Nobody would call me racist in front of my kids or in my house and be treated politely.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 1:43 PM
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Obviously, walking my wider neighborhood I have daily opportunities to encounter people who might say "Those dogs don't like my kind, do they?" (White dogs)

Never happened.

I can imagine it happening, and it would be insulting, but not as insulting as the original post.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 1:50 PM
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"She's never seen anything before. She just got cornea replacements yesterday."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 1:56 PM
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"That's her hungry look. Her wet nurse is African-American."


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:02 PM
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Why not just laugh a little and say, "No, that's not it - she just gets a kick out of seeing new faces"?

I mean, I assume that if someone is saying that to you, they're just thinking "ah, white people live pretty segregated lives" not "fucking white supremacist crackers would never spend time around people of color". So the point isn't that they're calling you personally racist, they're just making an assumption based on the fact that, due to racism, we live in a really segregated society. If anything, someone who is telling you that they think your kid has never seen a black person before is assuming that you're cool with mentioning race.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:04 PM
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8

Babies often wear white sheets, just saying.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:08 PM
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9

I mean, 7.1 is what happens. I'm polite about it. I just find it awkward.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:09 PM
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10

Wrong thing to say -- "No, she's seen many colored people. It's just that you're objectively funny-looking."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:16 PM
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11

"It's not your face, it's your SOUL."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:17 PM
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I find everything I hear about Texas puzzling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:18 PM
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7:Submissive but expected

I haven't seen a white cable repairman in twenty years.

It is very hard in my town to avoid daily constant contact with persons of color. I don't know what kind of place h-g lives.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:18 PM
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"But not the kind of SOUL that could be misinterpreted as saying that because you're black, you must have a lot of SOUL. Just the regular, slippery oily ether slip kind."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:18 PM
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"This baby kills fascists."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:19 PM
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It is very hard in my town to avoid daily constant contact with persons of color. I don't know what kind of place h-g lives.

Here, too.

Except I'm not sure how you don't know what kind of place I live in.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:20 PM
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Because asshole.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:23 PM
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All I can guess is that I code as so utterly suburban and white that people look at me and assume I've completely walled myself off in a gated community. But jeez I wouldn't think that I look like that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:23 PM
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"Don't be fatuous, all the cable repairmen have been black."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:25 PM
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16: I try to forget personal details, and there are places around DFW where you can see very few minorities, although not zero. And I don't mean service workers.

Those places don't feel safe for me.

I could find a white cul-de-sac on this block, I think, but I'd still go shopping.

I guess I'm sorry. I pictured you living in a smaller town some distance away from campus, and in South Texas I thought you could accidentally buy into an all-white village.

What the hell was she thinking?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:35 PM
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Yeah, I don't get what would make someone say that. It's not that it's all that offensive -- I don't see any reason to think that it isn't meant harmlessly -- but any inoffensive interpretation seems oddly pointless. Like, what Heebie should actually say is probably something like what she's been saying, but I can't figure out what the initial speaker is expecting to hear in response.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:40 PM
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No not gated. Call it the ignorance of the city boy, but I picture rural Texas as an assortment of towns, with internal demographics partly based on accidents of history. There is a lot of accidental variation in my larger neighborhood.

Zoomable Map ...keeps freezing on me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:43 PM
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23

It's definitely happened with each baby, more than once.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:43 PM
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24

"We have been showing her pictures, in preparation for this moment."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:47 PM
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25

It's a bit puzzling. I would hypothesize that it might be a preemptive attempt to defuse tension.

I can imagine that people may have had bad experiences in the past (baby starts crying, white parent says something intentionally or unintentionally racially offensive) and therefore to avoid that in the future they lead with their own acknowledgement.

Honestly, I don't know anything about race relations in Texas, though. When *I* say stuff like that it's generally because I know the parents are already a bit tense around me and I want to reassure them that I'm aware of my potential out-of-placeness/surprisingness and will not be offended if they or their children are a bit tentative in relating to me.

But of course in my case the power dynamics are very different. (E.g., I'm thinking of an iftar I attended with Burmese and Indonesian families -- I was not only the only white person there, but I was half-a-foot taller than virtually everyone there, so stood out as especially tall and gawky).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:48 PM
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26

Somehow I'm loathe to attribute this to Texas.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:53 PM
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It feels slightly self-deprecating or trying to be disarming. Not ill-intentioned.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:55 PM
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Oh yes, sorry, I didn't mean to suggest it was unique to Texas -- just that I don't know enough to understand how the power dynamics might differ.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:55 PM
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Zoomable map sucks!

White = Blue, AA = Green, Hispanic = Yellow, Asian = Red

But what I see when I can, Austin to San Antonio, does sometimes include a Yellow dot in a sea of Blue, or vice versa. Red dots dispersed all over Austin. Weird shit happens in the countryside, like a factory placement or an office site.

We weren't looking for any kind of neighborhood in particular when we moved here. Contacted a contractor, he recommended some lots, we looked at roads and shopping.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 2:56 PM
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Oh. You think there's a chance that the speaker has heard "She's never seen a black person before," from (segregated, insensitive, kinda racist) white parents, and is going there preemptively to defuse the situation? That would make some sense to me, although the prior experiences leading to it (if im right about that bit) seem surprising.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:01 PM
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31

"She has, but none so beautiful."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:03 PM
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32

No, I can't imagine a segregated/insensitive/kinda racist person actually delivering that line. (Maybe that's a failure of imagination.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:04 PM
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33

"She's wondering if you're Oprah. Are you?"


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:04 PM
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34

"your baby is cooing! I must be special to the cooing baby in some way!" or "your baby is freaking out! DEFUSE DEFUSE DEFUSE"


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:07 PM
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32: I'm pretty sure many years in the past I either heard (or heard of) similar. "She's not used to being around black people" from the parent. Maybe I'm imagining it, but sadly it would not have been at all surprising in the milieu of my small Midwestern city in the '60s.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:12 PM
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36

I read it as the kind of joke Conrad and family might make at Nancy Botwin's expense.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:12 PM
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37

32: It sounds weird to me too, but if it were a standard kinda racist thing to say, it'd work to set up what's happening to you. But you're right that I have to be speculating from ignorance about what racists say when I'm not around.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:14 PM
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38

Can you imagine yourself delivering that line in a black household?

"She's never seen a white person before!"

Why are you being so generous?

Course, I think most people are assholes, but she certainly picked up cues from your interaction with her, maybe oversensitivity, overpoliteness, and too much caution.

No big deal. Most conversations I watch are exchanges of subtle insults. It is how momentum is maintained.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:15 PM
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39

"Well, my husband's name is _____" (Just flashing back to the story of his disappointed football coach.)

I think 34 gets it right.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:17 PM
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15:Woody GuthrieHeebie Geebie has a sign on his guitarher baby that says "This Machine Kills Fascists"


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:18 PM
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41

"She doesn't even see race."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:27 PM
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42

This would never happen if she were wearing a "some of best friends are black"-onesie.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:41 PM
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Yes, re: 34

Not really the same thing at all, but when I had long hair, and was 'talking' to babies I used to say something similar [about not having seen a man with long hair before]. As a lot of small kids were clearly somewhat surprised/fascinated at the mismatch between hair/silhouette and pitch-of-voice.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 3:52 PM
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I wish it would make sense to get my niece (official adoption date is in 2 weeks!!!!) a "This Baby Kills Fascists" onesie, but my sister would never let her wear it. Oh well. I'll probably have to wait until my radical friend who got married a year ago finally has a kid. Sigh.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 4:19 PM
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45

I read it as the kind of joke Conrad and family might make at Nancy Botwin's expense.

This may be spot on.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 4:42 PM
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46

"Of course she has, we dress in blackface for her all the time!"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 5:00 PM
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44: Ooh, good idea, baby-clothes-wise. (I might go with "this diaper.")


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 5:01 PM
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48

Toddler Flippanter once informed an African-American minister friend of the Flip-Pater that "Only girls can be black," because Toddler Flippanter's previous experience of the diversity of life had been limited to the populations of a couple of well-known women's colleges in western Massachusetts.

Adult Flippanter regrets the error.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 5:05 PM
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||

Well, shheeet

Two Awacs and a refueling tanker landed in Cyprus today

I though it might be a month away, but looks like they want to start before the UN inspectors, which just got to the attack site, report back.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 5:10 PM
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I feel like I've overheard this conversation a million times. My black coworkers at my old job definitely used it occasionally as a defusing technique with fussy kids and impatient parents--they were trying to sell the parents into ridiculously overpriced photography packages, and putting parents slightly on the defensive might have been useful to them.

I've also overheard it on the subway a number of times and always took it as sort of sweet. I hadn't really thought before of how the remark might be taken by parents (not being one).

Anyway, the baby may be responding more to accent than to skin color.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 5:20 PM
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51

No shit, you've heard people say that on the subway? How could anyone answer other than by saying "No, we're on the subway." (I suppose, theoretically someone could have gotten into NYC from Maine twenty minutes ago, so the baby could be encountering her first black person ever. But the odds don't favor it.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 5:25 PM
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52

Well, I think so, although I really don't trust my memory very much.

Still, it's not about a child's seeing black people, it's about a child's interacting more intimately with black people. (And a black person feeling safe enough to interact freely with a white child he or she didn't know.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 5:42 PM
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53

52 indicates that it's time to introduce the priceless Hari Kondabolu clip "Your Name is Toby."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 5:53 PM
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54

To follow up on my 34, consider that it may not be meant to be literally true. When a baby stares at my curly hair like he wants to eat it, I might say, "I know, you've never seen hair like that before and it's calling to your fingers!" I don't take myself to be saying ".. because based on her class and social standing, everyone your mommy knows flatirons their hair."

I'd be willing to bet it's nothing more than "baby is staring at me" + "must babble at cute baby" + "everything is new and amazing to babies" + "what feature is the baby staring at?" The Conrad/Nancy stuff is in the background, but it's almost certainly not a commentary on heebie's likely social circle or meant as judgy. People babble around babies.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 5:57 PM
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When my kid's daycare had a black teacher in his room one day (at 9 months or so?) he was definitely a little weirded out, in a way he wasn't by the rest of the rotating cast (this was before he developed generic stranger anxiety, as best as I can tell). He got used to her pretty quickly.

We picked a new babysitter recently, after our previous one moved to Austin, and one of the candidates was a black woman with some remnants of an English accent, which was fascinating - I kind of regret passing up the linguistic opportunity there, as well as the racial one.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 7:28 PM
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56

"Oh she's seen black people. Just not with their clothes on."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 7:36 PM
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19 -> 56


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 7:45 PM
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58

Do we not have any actual Black people to ask?

In a vacuum I'm guessing Witt is on the right track.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 10:51 PM
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59

We have one, but he's busy talking about Joan Didion in the other thread.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 10:53 PM
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You rang?

Not sure I have anything worthwhile to offer on these kinds of American mores, though. I don't know of many (any?) places in Canada with a reputation for anything like the casual racial segregation supposedly pervasive in American life. Nor have I ever known any black person in Canada who would think of saying this to or about a baby, even in circumstances where it was likely true (like they were just flown in from small-town PEI or something).


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 11:02 PM
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(61.last: Although come to think of it... I don't know if jokes about shy kids being frightened of large black men would be comparable? Because I've made those, usually around shy white babies, and now I wonder if the parents thought I was implying that their baby had never seen a black person.)


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 11:07 PM
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"My baby is color blind"?

My aunt was born in 1939, and apparently she had some sort of baby paraphernalia along the lines of "this baby kills fascists." My grandmother never described the details, just said it was "anti-Nazi." I always pictured this as bib with a swastika with a big red slash through it, kind of like a no smoking sign. It was a present from her cousin, who gave her a hard time for reproducing then in the first place.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 11:43 PM
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Oh, on the direct topic, I scare babies and small children. I do say things like, "they must have never seen a foreigner before," or sometimes the parent will say that to me as a way of explanation. I usually say it more as a lighthearted thing, and no one seems too offended, though maybe I've just been offending people and didn't know it. There are far fewer foreigners here than black people in Texas, so it's pretty normal to expect a small child would never have interacted with one up close.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 11:47 PM
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"this baby kills fascists."

OMG. Next person who gets pregnant, I am making you a onesie.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-26-13 11:48 PM
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I don't know if jokes about shy kids being frightened of large black men would be comparable?

Infants start getting worried about strangers - particularly strange men, particularly bearded men - around the 18-24 month mark. That's because that's the peak age for abandonment (Hrdy reckons). I don't know if the anxiety is greater when the stranger is visually very different from the mother (ie different colour), but it makes sense.

"She's never seen a black person before!"

1) "No, she hasn't, and she's armed. So you'd probably better give her some space."

2) "Actually, neither have I. How come the palms of your hands aren't black as well?"

And 10 is a great answer.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 1:33 AM
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"This Machine Kills Fascists"

* It also maimed that guy who always wore jeans made of hemp. Anyway, OSHA, our lawyers, and the insurance guy say this isn't a political issue. They'd rather we focus on "This machine kills people who operate it without the safety guards in place or after consuming alcohol/sedatives/etc."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:10 AM
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67

"This baby is a pipe bomb."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:37 AM
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68

PDBS being what it is, the first Baby Ruprecht did not see a black person before the age of 18 months or so. It happened that the Ruprechts were staying in a fancy hotel that was hosting a number of NFL players and their families. The little one saw one of these huge black guys in the lobby and proceeded to point and squeal loud enough for everyone in the lobby to notice. Fortunately, her language development was not far enough along for her to say "Black man! Black man!", because I'm sure that's what she was thinking. The wife of the player responded amiably, waving and cooing at the little honky baby. Fleur and I were still mortified, though.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:20 AM
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"This Machine Kills Fascists"

Number of fascists actually killed by Woody Guthrie: 0.

His indirect involvement in the whole fascist-killing enterprise consisted of trying to stop the US from helping the British kill fascists in 1939-41, because the fascists were, during that period, on his side.
Post 1941, he started being pro-killing-fascists again, but only as long as he didn't have to actually kill any himself. In order to avoid being drafted into the US Army, where he might have actually had the opportunity to kill fascists, he tried to get himself into the USO instead. When that failed he joined the Merchant Marine.
By the end of the war, Guthrie had written a lot of songs and articles about how important it was that other people should kill fascists, but had inexplicably managed to avoid getting closer than a few hundred miles to any actual fascists that might need killing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:23 AM
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We're going to need a bigger guitar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:26 AM
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Also, while I don't know the details of Guthrie's life, the implication that joining the Merchant Marine during World War II was somehow cowardly is absurd. The death rate was higher than that in the army.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:37 AM
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The implication wasn't that of cowardice; just that, when it came to actually killing fascists, Woody preferred not to be involved.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:44 AM
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Unless he was in some very lucky convoys or Germany decided to create all an Social Democrat Wolf Pack, he was closer to fascists than you've allowed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:51 AM
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I'm not saying Guthrie was perfect, but let's attack him for things that are actual wrongs, such as writing and performing folk music.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:54 AM
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75

Well, simply by going to Britain he was closer than I've allowed. Scratch that as hyperbole, then.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:54 AM
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76

"This Land Is Your Land" isn't bad, but he didn't write the music to that. Just the lyrics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:56 AM
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75: Wasn't his real crime* fathering Arlo?

* "Misanthrope Will Tell You What the Real Crime Is, Man."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:57 AM
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Jerry Lee Lewis managed to commit a crime while fathering children.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:59 AM
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OT: Ben Affleck? Ben "facetious preppie lug"* Affleck?

I go hiking for four days and you people can't handle things?

Jesus Bat-Christ.

* Yes, I've seen The Mark of Zorro. Distinguishable on grounds of (i) Tyrone Power and (ii) Ben Affleck.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:04 AM
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Nerd.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:06 AM
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I don't have to take that from somebody who knows who wrote the music to "This Land Is Your Land," commie.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:07 AM
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82

I haven't seen a Batman movie since Michael Keaton was making them. I did see part of filming for one, but it wasn't on purpose.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:10 AM
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"This Land Is Your Land" isn't bad, but he didn't write the music to that. Just the lyrics.

When I was on holiday in SW Ireland the bus driver realised that everyone in the minibus was British and played nothing but IRA songs for about two hours, which was unintentionally hilarious. (Because, IRA folk songs accompanied by Swanee whistle? Comedy gold. Like the Provisional Clangers.) And it included a 32-county version of "This Land Is Your Land" which struck me as a spectacular example of missing the point...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:10 AM
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84

"Your" is a word with very contingent meaning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:12 AM
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85

OOT: No. No. No. A thousand times no, for a thousand reasons. The people at Mountain Travel Sobek are very nice and very professional and all that, but promoting tourism in North Korea is not acceptable.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:13 AM
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83 - I believe my mother-in-law reported multiple Catwoman encounters in her building's deli. The report was that Princess Diaries is very polite.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:13 AM
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85: well, I wasn't thinking of "your" as meaning "you Brits in the bus" though that's obviously a point - more that using the Guthrie tune to back up 19th century irredentist nationalism is kind of like using it to sell BMWs with.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:15 AM
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I like quite a bit of Irish music, such as the Chieftains. I suppose technically it is folk music. It's mostly the one-asshole-with-a-guitar brand of folk music that I don't like.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:21 AM
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"This Land Is Your Land" isn't bad, but he didn't write the music to that. Just the lyrics.

Who's this "you and me", white man?


Posted by: OPINIONATED TONTO | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:22 AM
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Okay, heebie, I was quiet for a day and let other people talk (and, thank heavens, even point out that your babies don't even SEE race) and I still don't know if I have an answer for you. I'm pretty sure Lee has said something similar but a bit more nuanced (like "Your baby isn't USED to seeing black people!") but never about kids younger than preschoolish. I would think in your case the people saying this are trying to put you at ease, not make you uncomfortable. They're saying why the baby may find them interesting or different and acknowledging that it's okay to notice that. I don't know. Obviously no one's ever said it to me!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:29 AM
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87: I watched Love and Other Drugs just to see how many locations I could recognize and because her butt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:30 AM
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I didn't watch Jack Reacher to see how many locations I would recognize because I read the book and it annoyed me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:34 AM
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They probably messed up a lot of locations when building the city to the reduced scale necessary to make Tom Cruise look like 6'5" and 250 lbs. of widow-seducin', bad-guy-killin' macho.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:41 AM
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I love folk music. I even like a lot of Mumford and Sons. Not exclusively, but it's part of a balanced diet.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:45 AM
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Tom Cruise is short and weird, is the takeaway here.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:45 AM
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I even like a lot of Mumford and Sons.

You're not making any sense. You're babbling. You're hysterical.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:47 AM
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promoting tourism in North Korea is not acceptable.

Why not?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:54 AM
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93: saw it on the plane, it was TERRIBLE. Really, I had no idea a thriller could be so badly scripted.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:57 AM
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92: There was some dippy ABC made-for-TV musical filmed right up the street from me. Led us to watch it and the story actually was not as bad as I had expected (soft bigotry of low expectations in action, and the music was indeed beyond dreadful). For the Pittsburghers, it was filmed in and on the grounds of the really large "mansion*" you can see going northboumd from the Highland Park bridge.

*I may have told this here before, but the previous house that was there shared our driveway which the trucks then used in the early part of construction (it now has two different gated entrances). So I decided I had a right to inspect the construction up close. Which led to me nearly getting busted very early one Sunday morning when I was wandering around the house after it was framed and walled. Fortunately there were like twenty rooms to hide in, and it turned out they just putzed around the swimming pool for a bit and left.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:57 AM
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100

Now there are fences, walls and big dogs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:58 AM
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99: But I heard the Strip District looked really great on film.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:59 AM
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98: The propaganda effect, for one: "See how the humbled American savages come to bask in the light of the TBD Leader's glorious self-reliance regime!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:04 AM
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Tom Cruise is short and weird, is the takeaway here.

Acquaintances of mine who worked as extras in Valkyrie would agree. All these German wannabe actors, trained for the stage, relegated to playing Nazi extras, totally weirded out by this little American and his ideas about "acting". Apparently his process of getting into character for a take involved lots of stamping and huffing.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:05 AM
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That would explain so much. Inhalants don't help your brain at all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:06 AM
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101: Wire cutters, a ladder, and steak.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:09 AM
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101 to 98.

103: I don't know. Friend of mine went to North Korea and had a terrific time (ended up beating some KPA troops in a tug of war, which probably didn't do much for their juche spirit). I'm not aware that visitors are used for propaganda purposes by the DPRK government. Except for Jimmy Carter in 1994 of course.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:09 AM
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103: Really? Whatever the downsides of foreign tourism (and the propaganda issue strikes me as unimportant compared to, say, supplying the government with additional hard currency), they must pale before the advantages of prying the country open a crack.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:18 AM
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I love folk music. I even like a lot of Mumford and Sons.

I can't imagine why anyone would mention folk music and DMB 2.0 in such close proximity.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:24 AM
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Along with reading her Loomis's labor blog posts, I've been singing half-remembered Canadian maritime folk songs to Zardoz to ensure that she never forgets that ther parents are dorks.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:26 AM
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110

Here's the only Batman movie you need to see.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:29 AM
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110: Is it The Greenland Fisheries? That was the one real privilege I got as an oldest child, that my dad would sing all 400 verses at bedtime. And he's definitely a dork.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:31 AM
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No, a couple of Stan Rogers songs. The Mary Ellen Carter and Barrett's Privateers. My dad sang them to me as a kid, and I have never forgotten that he is dorky, so it seems likely to work.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:32 AM
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They've been shooting the grungy urban bits of "The Equalizer" in my town. They built a fake, very "Nighthawks"-looking diner called the Bridge Cafe, sort of under the Tobin, that I really wish was real. It's already gone, though I think the sign is still there. They also shot over near the salt pile, so that might look kind of cool. In sum, a movie I wouldn't ordinarily see, but will, just to look at my neighborhood.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:33 AM
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My childhood dream was to be a folk singer of the "asshole and a guitar" variety, though unfortunately 1) I can't sing that well, and 2) was about 30 years too late. I used to practice with an air acoustic guitar and sing my favorite Bob Dylan song, I believe it went: "the ants are my friends, they're blowing in the wind, the ants are blowing in the wind"

I'm not saying Guthrie was perfect, but let's attack him for things that are actual wrongs, such as writing and performing folk music.

Tom Lehrer did a good job of this.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:05 AM
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Now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier...

The Calabat is a big fan of "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:06 AM
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In sum, a movie I wouldn't ordinarily see, but will, just to look at my neighborhood.

A puzzling phenomenon. I'm assuming that you have already seen your neighborhood.



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:07 AM
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Not through all those blue filters!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:07 AM
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118

93 et seq.: I may have mentioned this before, but I find those Reacher books oddly fascinating. They're absurd with the ultraviolence and the "I'm such a loner that I don't even do laundry" thing, but what strikes me really funny about them is that structurally, they're cozy mysteries. Reacher may be all unstoppable killing machine, but the engine of the plot is always this Miss Marple-style analysis of clues.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:08 AM
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119: not having read any of them, I hadn't clocked that, but it sounds intriguing.

Not, however, as intriguing as the novel based on the reverse setup - "Hercule Poirot: Panzer Hunter".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:19 AM
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120: Or "Machine Gun Marple". Helen Mirren may have already made that movie.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:23 AM
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"Hercule Poirot: Panzer Hunter"

I insist somebody write that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:24 AM
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Not, however, as intriguing as the novel based on the reverse setup - "Hercule Poirot: Panzer Hunter".

Isn't that the central conceit of Neal Stephenson's oeuvre?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:25 AM
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My childhood dream was to be a folk singer of the "asshole and a guitar" variety

That still is my dream. I can't play the guitar at all, and ,according to other people, I can't sing either, but I'm thinking I could still annoy the hell out of Moby.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:26 AM
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"But, mon ami, I, Poirot, was able to identify his one tiny but crucial weakness - the engine grill on the rear upper deck!"
"Great Heavens, Poirot!"
"After that, my dear 'Astings, it was simplicity itself to attach a small thermite charge to the louvres, et voila - the tank is destroyed, the offensive is halted."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:27 AM
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119: The plot was certainly enough to keep me reading for the whole book. The character just struck me as being too much of a Gary Sue to read.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:27 AM
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At least Guthrie had that song about Lindy.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:27 AM
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Isn't that the central conceit of Neal Stephenson's oeuvre?

It's kind of the central conceit of the Lord Peter Wimsey books.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:28 AM
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124 was supposed to be credited to "OPINIONATED OLD MAN DYLAN".


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:28 AM
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There seems to be a genre nowadays of "Famous historical intellectual was actually an action hero". There was a show about the erotic and violent adventures of Leonardo Da Vinci recently.

Probably this is because actual historical action heroes awkwardly turn out to be mass rapists, genocidal murderers, delusional psychopaths, etc.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:28 AM
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124 was supposed to be credited to "OPINIONATED OLD MAN DYLAN".


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:28 AM
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128: Nero Wolfe too -- the cerebral detective with the violent past is standard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:32 AM
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Yes to 126.2, definitely - that came across massively in the film too.

130: I've certainly read a few "famous intellectual FIGHTS CRIME" things. The Interpretation of Murder has Sigmund Freud as a detective. Neal Stephenson had Isaac Newton (justified because as Master of the Mint it was actually his job).

And "The Adventures of Babbage and Lovelace", of course.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:33 AM
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132: Nero Wolfe? The fat guy with the orchids?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:33 AM
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I feel like for someone of Lord Peter Wimsey's age, being a veteran of the Great War was the default. It would have been more of a statement if the author made it clear that he hadn't been in the Great War.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:34 AM
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135: I'm only up to Murder Must Advertise, but there have been hints at action-hero antics such as pretending to be a German officer behind enemy lines.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:37 AM
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He'd been some kind of Montenegrin revolutionary, as well as a secret policeman for the Austro-Hungrian Empire. The fatness and agoraphobia were a defence mechanism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:39 AM
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137 is to Nero Wolfe? I really should read those.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:40 AM
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Read one, they're short. If you like it, there are dozens and dozens. Order is mostly unimportant -- there are references to earlier books, but nothing that'll wreck anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:45 AM
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Between work, here, and Civ 5, I'm not going through books very fast.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:46 AM
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I had to smother a laugh at 125.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:00 AM
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"Famous Intellectual Commits Crimes" ought to be a sub-genre: "You'll never catch me, Batman! No one can defeat Stanley Fish!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:01 AM
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I've certainly read a few "famous intellectual FIGHTS CRIME" things. The Interpretation of Murder has Sigmund Freud as a detective. Neal Stephenson had Isaac Newton (justified because as Master of the Mint it was actually his job).

Have you read this one, ajay?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:12 AM
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Or "Machine Gun Marple"

In addition to her usual methods.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:13 AM
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I read a really terrible "Famous Intellectual Commits Crimes" semi-recently.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:16 AM
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No one is interested in your Henry Kissinger/Veronica Mars slashfic community, hippie.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:20 AM
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That is far from the truth.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:23 AM
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146: Your "something something" template was more endearing, flip.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:24 AM
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148: Something I need to grow, man something I'm not breaking up the band, but I've got some side projects I want to pursue something.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:29 AM
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A puzzling phenomenon. I'm assuming that you have already seen your neighborhood.

I want to see if they can make it look more menacing than it already does. Did they persuade the owner of the nice thai restaurant to take her potted plants inside?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 12:02 PM
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Or did they cover the potted plants with fake blood, inverted crosses, and hypodermic needles?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 12:32 PM
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OT: So, I'm now empanelled on a jury, despite being assured by everyone I know that I couldn't possibly be empanelled on a jury, being a lawyer and all, and: it's a murder trial (double homocide), and I'm feeling uneasy because I can't quite tell if I was lying under oath during voir dire when I said I'd be willing to consider the death penalty. I mean, I said I had a lot of reservations about the death penalty, but I thought in appropriate circumstances and given appropriate facts I would be willing to put my reservations aside and sentence someone to death. But, reflecting: I'm really not sure what those circumstances are, or whether the appropriate facts really exist.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 1:34 PM
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Not uneasy like I'm worried I'm going to be tried for perjury. Just uneasy.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 1:35 PM
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I don't know how anybody could be serving on a jury for a double murder and not be uneasy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 1:39 PM
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Sorry. Double homicide. I'm not trying to jury tamper.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 1:41 PM
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Mostly I just really did't want to spend the next three weeks on a jury for a murder trial, and I was reacting against that, by trying hard to answer truthfully and not intentionally say something to get myself thrown off, and I think I swung too hard in the other direction, and maybe something a little more definitive regarding opposition to the death penalty would have been more truthful. I don't want to be sitting in the deliberation room and feel compelled to sentence someone to death because I agreed up front that I would, under appropriate circumstances, be willing to do so.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 1:42 PM
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154 is probably a lot of it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 1:43 PM
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Long way to go; there are 11 other people to eventually talk to and the likelihood is that they won't all be assholes;11-1 is also unlikely. Don't sweat it yet.

Not fun of course.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 2:25 PM
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154 gets it right. That's crazy. When does it start? Having never been selected for a jury, does that mean that you're definitely on the jury, or is there more filtering left to do?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 2:28 PM
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There is research that shows that jurors who favor the death penalty are more likely to vote to convict than jurors who oppose it -- a fact that has been (AFAIK unsuccessfully) raised as a legal objection in death penalty cases in jurisdictions where death penalty opponents are not allowed to serve on juries in capital cases. Seen in that light, you have reduced the likelihood of a potentially innocent person being sent to prison or death. I think that is sufficient recompense for the possibility of being complicit in imposing a death sentence on a guilty person, especially considering that such sentences are almost never carried out in your state.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 2:28 PM
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I'm feeling uneasy because I can't quite tell if I was lying under oath during voir dire when I said I'd be willing to consider the death penalty.

I'm uncertain why that would be grounds for uneasiness. Are you concerned that if you don't go for the death penalty, you'll be charged with perjury or something?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 2:32 PM
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159 -- Urple can obviously speak for himself, but impaneled usually means that's it, and one would expect the trial to start today or tomorrow.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 2:33 PM
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Does impaneled mean you can liveblog it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 2:36 PM
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Not unless you want to get thrown off the jury. And/or held in contempt. IANA[somewhere other than where I am a]L.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 2:39 PM
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163: Oh! I just saw an episode of The Good Wife that had a member of the jury updating her blog during the trial.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 2:46 PM
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OTOH, the installment where Nero Wolfe returned to Montenegro was pretty unsatisfying.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:59 PM
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Read Too Many Cooks as the intro to Wolfe.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:14 AM
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Read Too Many Cooks as the intro to Wolfe.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:14 AM
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Read Too Many Cooks as the intro to Wolfe.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:14 AM
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DO IT! DO IT NOW!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:25 AM
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OTOH, the installment where Nero Wolfe returned to Montenegro was pretty unsatisfying.

No! No! It rules! Wolfe gets stabby! And says bad things about Communism! (Rex Stout did not like Communism.)


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:31 AM
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And he finds cheese in a hole in the ground due to his knowledge of local custom!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:30 AM
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There's a local custom for burying cheese or a local custom for finding holes that helped him discover some cheese that somebody tried to hide by burying it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:34 AM
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