Re: Various

1

What about "Racism: Yea or Nay"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:36 AM
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I believe the conventional angle is "Open thread".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:37 AM
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2: I don't know if this has ever been spelled out, but open threads are banned on Unfogged.

As commenters, we need to have a topic to ignore.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:48 AM
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That poor guy. Lives through the car accident, gets to someone who could help and they won't, and then the police shoot him. What is wrong with people? (Yes, racism, but stupid, stupid, pointless racism.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:50 AM
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It's sort of like the end of Night of the Living Dead but much worse for being real and not happening during a zombie outbreak.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:54 AM
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The NY Times recently provided near-perfect Unfogged fodder, with that story about the affluent white South African family who took their two small children with them to live the life of the poor in an extremely poor black South African shantytown for a month, for the kids' education.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:54 AM
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gets to someone who could help and they won't

Not only will they not help, they assume he's trying to rob them and call the cops on him.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:56 AM
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It was 2:30 in the morning. Calling the cops seems defensible in a way that the cops shooting him isn't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:00 AM
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That's probably worse morally, and that's what killed him, but in the moment, thinking of pulling yourself out of a wrecked car and getting to someone who could help you and call a doctor for you, and you see them and you think "I got help, everything's okay, I can give up and relax now", and then it all falls apart and you're still alone and injured with no one helping you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:01 AM
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That wasn't a sentence at all, was it? I used to write well, I think.

(Buck just changed jobs, and a commenter on his last article at his old publication said that he would be greatly missed despite his "neuron-searing grammar". I liked that.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:04 AM
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I was going to mention the Miss America thing in the what's wrong thread -- but then it went in a different direction. What's Wrong is a pretty good all purpose post title, even better than Various.

8. I don't think calling the police before ascertaining whether the situation was reasonably threatening is fair. And race is not a reasonable basis for being scared, even if there is a God, and He, She, or It is just.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:06 AM
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I don't think it is likely that you get medical care at that time of the day without the cops also coming. The cops and the ambulance both come through 911. The cops may have come less warily or shooty if the caller says there's an injured man here than if they say there's a robber, but I think the cops would still be wanting to know how the guy got injured.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:09 AM
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If the guy was discombobulated by the accident he may well have been failing very badly to communicate with the woman whose house he stopped at. The cop is another matter. It reminds me of the occasional cases of cops shooting or otherwise failing to respond reasonably to people who are having seizures or strokes or the like.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:09 AM
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8, 13: Yeah, large incoherent (plausibly) man on your doorstep in the middle of the night might easily justify caution and nervousness, and calling the cops might not be unreasonable depending on how badly communications broke down, but still.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:12 AM
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Miss America types, of whatever race creed or ethnicity all look like Stepford Barbies. Horrible.

OTOH, there is Lupita Nyong'o supporting actress in 12 Years a Slave

I can die now


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:14 AM
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But someone knocking on your door is not a robbery. It just isn't.

I'm not saying the homeowner bears responsibility for his death the way the cop does, but a cascade of racism increases the danger to his safety at every stage.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:15 AM
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Why has it taken Miss America for the longstanding genre of"Something happens; writer trawls Twitter for reactions from morons" to go mainstream?


Posted by: cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:24 AM
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But someone knocking on your door is not a robbery. It just isn't.

But is it perhaps hamesucken or stouthrief?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:26 AM
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It reminds me of the occasional disgustingly more frequent cases of cops shooting or otherwise failing to respond reasonably


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:26 AM
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Are they actually more frequent? Or is it a journalistic trend recently to report on them?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:28 AM
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And race is not a reasonable basis for being scared, even if there is a God, and He, She, or It is just.

No, it isn't. But 2:30 in the morning is. I wouldn't assume I'm being robbed, but I'd certainly assume that something went very wrong for somebody.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:30 AM
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19, 20: Yeah, I think heebie may be right. I'm pretty sure police shootings are down over the last few decades in NY at least.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:32 AM
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21 -- She told the cops it was an attempted crime. She wasn't assuming that something went wrong for somebody, she was assuming that this was one of those home invasions she's heard so much about.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:44 AM
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This doesn't excuse the police officer, obviously.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:47 AM
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23: Yes. I agree that's wrong. However, I don't think it would be wrong to call the cops without figuring out what is going without assuming what it was. "There's a stranger banging on my door" seems a perfectly reasonable thing to say to the 911 operator given the hour.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:52 AM
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I've been kind of a dick to Robert Halford.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:55 AM
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Yom Kippur was a few days ago, textie.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:01 AM
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The one with the booths is coming up shortly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:02 AM
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What about "Racism: Yea or Nay"?

I dunno. You decide.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:03 AM
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No, Bob, you can't die now. That A&M kid getting shot is the worst. There is absolutely no excuse.

Frankly I think the Miss America response is a concerted effort among racist assholes whose percentages are dwindling.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:04 AM
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27: He's coming back though, right?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:06 AM
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So, on the grounds that this is an open thread in disguise, and it's kind of about racism, I'm just going to post this here. The Naval Yard guy used to live in a town called White Settlement, Texas. For reals? And according to Wikipedia, the residents overwhelmingly voted to keep the name in 2005?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:32 AM
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||
Thing on facebook that makes me sad and irritable:

An interviewer says, "Tell me your choice. I can either ask you ten easy questions or one very difficult question. Think hard before you make up your mind."

"Ummm, I'd like one very difficult question."

"You have made your own choice. Good luck to you. Tell me which comes first: day or night?"

"The day, sir."

"And how did you reach that conclusion?"

"Sorry, sir. I can't answer that. I said I would only answer one difficult question."

I hope there is a knife fight at the end of this exchange, with no survivors. This is apparently from a book about acing job interviews and in fact this does seem to me to capture some of the spirit of the entire job-getting process in all its sadism.
|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:52 AM
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Also "You have made your own choice"? This is writing you can get paid for?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:52 AM
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"a book about acing job interviews"
I used to hear the term "ace" (sorry Heebie) used to mean producing a very clean and tidy shit. Under that usage I would say that this approach is certainly a way to ace a job interview.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:57 AM
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It's weird that Ace and Deuce would refer to the same thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:00 AM
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37

Here's something from The Atlantic that might serve as decent Unfogged-fodder:

In the U.S., a powerful network of women's groups works ceaselessly to protect and promote what it sees as female interest. But there is no counterpart working for boys--they are on their own.

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:01 AM
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I am to blame for 37.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:03 AM
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You are to blame for not emailing it to me, because I would have loved to post that. It's an amazing combination of right, and then so wrong, in quick succession.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:06 AM
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Like, I genuinely do agree that there's a problem in our schools of not serving kids who are high-energy and can't sit still and so on and so forth. That have a lot of the traits we indoctrinate our boys with. But also, we indoctrinate our boys with a lot of traits that are obnoxious in a perfectly reasonable classroom setting: always searching for the easy way out is the one that jumps out at me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:08 AM
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Do you really think that on-average differences between male and female students are just the result of 'indoctrination' and don't have any biological roots?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:12 AM
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42

do you really think that conversation is worth anyone's time?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:14 AM
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I think humans are obsessed with heightening the difference, and children of both genders would benefit from detangling gendered-specific traits and letting them be kid-specific. Hyper boys and girls would both benefit from more recesses per day. Etc.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:16 AM
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Hawaii, this morning: When we grow up, Hokey Pokey will be older than me.
Me: Really? Why?
Hawaii: Grown-up boys are older than grown-up girls.
Me: But Aunt S. is older than Uncle K and Uncle J.
Hawaii: [something convoluted about them being kids.]
Me: But you're older than Pokey as a kid.
Hawaii: Right now I am. But he'll be older as an adult.

We went in circles for a long time, and she never conceded anything. It feels like she's expressing something hierarchical about men and women.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:18 AM
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45

personally I take all the recess I can afford, the quantity of which is quickly turning me red.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:19 AM
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Since I was a girl with some of those high-energy qualities, every single fucking time I read about how that is a "boy" problem, I see red. (Hm? Self centered? Who?)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:20 AM
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44: shorter life expectancy is what she's getting at. Men are older than women in the sense that they are closer to death.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:22 AM
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37: At least this has numbers instead of the anecdata as irrefutable proof that dominates the blogosphere.

Now I must cry cry over my 16000 evil evil eveeeel neighbors (somewhere west, have I driven thru it don't remember) in White Settlement.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:22 AM
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sorry for being a dick again in 42. 41 was exactly the sort of question I might have once asked, thus preventing me from getting laid.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:23 AM
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Maria Farrell was moving today over at CT, and I think directly on topic, or at least on topic of Atlantic article 37, in very complicated we cannot yet understand...or at least talk about.

Houston, Houston do you read?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:35 AM
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44: I think she's talking about height.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:45 AM
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Probably height, but maybe the Geebie residence has actuarial tables all around.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:48 AM
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48 -- If it'll help you hate on WS, bob, I used to live very near there.

On boys/girls, there are obviously going to be people of both genders at all points of the distribution plotting diligence against, what, adventurousness. That doesn't mean that such a plot wouldn't tell you something about how teenage girls are different from teenage boys, and suggest that one ought to be thinking about that difference in designing HS curricula.

I don't much care for CHS, and think her efforts at ringing the alarm bell aren't going to be effective. On the other hand, the overemphasis on homework was very annoying for me (having a son out near the edge of the distribution). They weren't overemphasizing homework as a plot to screw with boys, imo, but as a way of dealing with decreased budgets and increased class sizes. And stupid panic about how schools are failing. Yes, it's because kids aren't spending enough time arguing with their parents about homework. Or trying to find a quiet place/time to work on homework. Whatever the reason, I think there is a consequence that falls disproportionately on boys, and especially disproportionately on boys at the lower class positions.

(In MoCoMD, they had a rule limiting the amount that homework could count for grading, presumably to avoid penalizing kids with seriously unstable home environments. Guess what, though: no teacher ime ever complied, they just gave assignments to be done at home by the next day, or in 3 days, and called it something other than "homework.")


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:48 AM
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I think she's talking about height.

I don't think so, although that blurring maybe where she got the impression. For ex, I said "But Mimi is older than Daddy," and she rolled her eyes and said "Well of course, that's his mom. I'm talking about kids." (By which I think she meant "I'm talking about people who were kids together, and then grew up.")


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:52 AM
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Of course, Maria at CT also wrote her piece in anecdata mode.

I use more of my experience and decade of blog and comment reading to question if anecdata as epistemology or rhetorical strategy is partially gendered, but I also did read Carol Gilligan's In a Different Voice

I try to be open and I read about uses of allegory and shit, but "Another black guy got shot" and "there's a town in Texas" and "a white working guy yelled at a woman in a hijab" and "look at the Sultan of Brunei" is just driving me nuts.

But I guess that's me. Other people are well aware that the evocative incident (I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night) is intended to compel an emotional response that builds near relationships or oppositional relationships

I relate and empathize but I ain't a joiner.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:57 AM
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Has she noticed that husbands tend to be older than wives?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:57 AM
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You could tell her the tragic tale of peep.

When peep was a child his sister was 5 years older than him. He was a good boy and tried his hardest, but no matter how hard he tried he couldn't gain on her. With much effort he reached 10 only to find out that she was turning 15. He achieved the unprecedented age of 20 only to discover that she was turning 25. Finally at the decrepit age of 50 he gave up, and resolved that since he could never catch up, he might as well not have any more birthdays at all.

The End.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:00 AM
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Do you really think that on-average differences between male and female students are just the result of 'indoctrination' and don't have any biological roots?

PGD, the problem with the linked item - as with almost everything that is popularly written on the subject - is that it isn't concerned with your question. Sommers' - much like Summers, come to think of it - isn't interested in much of anything beyond reinforcing her prejudices.

Boys do better in certain schools? The only possible way to account for this is that boys are innately different. Never mind that the entire history of history is one where boys do better in certain fields for reasons that are demonstrably unrelated to their innate differences. That's all history, and doesn't have an impact on the present.

Sure, we know that racism isn't a problem any more and that outcomes are the result of innate differences, but I do think there are still some issues related to differential treatment of the sexes that could account for why boys and girls perform differently.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:03 AM
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Has she noticed that husbands tend to be older than wives?

I think she's inferring this from general prince-princess stories. I don't think she knows the ages of actual adults, in general.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:03 AM
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sorry peep, you'll get no respite.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:06 AM
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60: Go ahead, kick me when I'm down.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:08 AM
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I don't think she knows the ages of actual adults, in general.

You could start her guessing the ages of strangers in public places. She'll learn eventually.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:12 AM
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That's not a kick, that's a really excellent baguette and a permanent invitation.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:13 AM
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we're all having birthdays here every year, even if it means sodium pentathol.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:15 AM
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62: Yeah, and while she's at it have her guess strangers' weights too. If your college plans fall through she'll still be able to make a good living on the carnival/state fair circuit.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:15 AM
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Do you really think that on-average differences between male and female students are just the result of 'indoctrination' and don't have any biological roots?

The way we react to them and/or label them isn't biological. For example, when girls do worse in math than boys, many people accept that as evidence that girls are naturally worse at math. When boys start to do worse in school than girls, this is taken as evidence that school systems aren't being designed well for boys.

heebie, shiv's cousin's kid once told his pregnant mother he wanted a big brother, because babies cry too much. Hey, if Mom can grow a little brother, she can grow a big one, obviously.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:20 AM
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She knows that men can remarry into their 50s or 60s but that if a woman isn't married by 30 she has a better chance of dying than finding a husband.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:25 AM
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And if we're going to start with the assumption that boys are different from girls, aren't we compelled to ask whether boys are inherently inferior and simply not able to keep up?

I mean, yeah, it's sad if boys aren't cut out to be captains of industry and whatnot, but what is it about our schools that is discriminatory against people who are fit to be in school?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:30 AM
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I'm agnostic on most proposed innate gender-based personality differences, which from a policy point of view means I don't think we should be making policy based on assuming they're innate (improving the school experience for high-energy kids, or ones who like to tinker is clearly a good thing where possible, of course).

The idea that boys are innately less capable of discipline or self-regulation than girls, though, seems pretty low-plausibility to me. I mean, the sit-down-and-shut-up model of school originated at a time when the assumption was that boys' education was more important than girls; you'd think an innate lack of capacity for discipline is the kind of thing that would show up in life outcomes generally; as far as I can tell the idea that boys are much less capable than girls of dealing with boredom and obedience isn't a cross-cultural commonplace... I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's not jumping out at me as likely in the same way as a claim that men are on average more physically aggressive than women might.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:39 AM
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68: The "captains of industry" thing is genuinely wrongheaded - the problem is the great mass of students who could have moderately bad to moderately good life outcomes, depending in part on success in school.

Very few people of either sex turn out to be captains of industry. The question is, who are going to be the doctors, bureaucrats, and artists, who are going to be the janitors, truck drivers, and waiters, and who are going to be permanent SSI recipients.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:40 AM
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The question is, who are going to be the doctors, bureaucrats, and artists, who are going to be the janitors, truck drivers, and waiters, and who are going to be permanent SSI recipients.

I'm puzzled that you distinguish between artists and permanent SSI recipients.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:44 AM
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And of course whether or not boys are innately anything, it seems that at this time in our culture, on average they're raised to be less capable of self-regulation than girls are, and that's a problem in itself. Ideally schools should be better at working with kids with problems disciplining themselves.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:46 AM
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The question is, who are going to be the doctors, bureaucrats, and artists, who are going to be the janitors, truck drivers, and waiters, and who are going to be permanent SSI recipients.

Absolutely. I intended the "captains of industry" thing as shorthand. Point is: If boys are inherently ill-suited to being doctors, bureaucrats and whatnot, then we need to find productive things for them to do, but why should those things involve being educated? Maybe they should be raising children. I dunno.

The thing is, Sommers completely fails to deal with these issues. The only evidence she provides for the education system being inadequate is that it requires kids to sit still and perform well, something she says boys don't do so well.

Yet sitting still and paying attention are important requirements for much of the work in our modern economy. If boys can't hack it, maybe we can steer them into car repair, professional football and other careers that take advantage of their innate tendencies and don't require so much schooling.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:53 AM
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I'm agnostic on most proposed innate gender-based personality differences

I try to deny them as a sorta a leap of faith. Bu this definitely leads me to believe in a very strong persistence of socially gendered roles and performance.

Obstructing Role: Women are nurturing.

But nurturing is a good thing!

So make everybody nurturing.

The problem may be the second proposition.

Is it sexist or anti-social to try to devalue nurturing?

Very few join me in my goal of universal creches.

Or vituperative comment sections


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:53 AM
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Read this over lunch:

"I pity a man who doesn't have a hobby like this one. It's just the most supreme relaxation. Every person should have one hobby that really captures his interest," said Rod Stewart in a 2007 cover story for Model Railroader Magazine. Yes, that Rod Stewart. The rooster-haired rocker always arranges to have an extra hotel room when he's on tour, where he can set up tables and spend his mornings crafting buildings for his massive HO-scale layout.

Stewart is among a number of famous folk who spend a lot of their time and cash building model railroads. Tom Brokaw, Neil Young, Mandy Patinkin, Merle Haggard and Tom Hanks are celebrated model railroaders, as were Frank Sinatra, Walt Disney and Joe DiMaggio.

Merle?? Really?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:56 AM
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73 -- I don't really disagree with you, but I think you're jumping over the whole aging/maturing point. What someone can or can't do at 15, as far as diligence, patience, and judgment are concerned, isn't dispositive of what she/he is capable of at 25, much less 35.

I am sure that there are people at every point on the continuum, of both genders. It wouldn't surprise me to learn, though, that on average boys lag girls on maturity in their early teens. What is innate and what is socialized may well matter to the people running bob's creche, but it shouldn't mean shit to the people designing high schools, or deciding whether to charge child criminals as adults, or lots and lots of other decisions that have to be made at particular junctures.

Over the last 30+ years, we've moved to more zero tolerance of various rule breaking and, ime, a much stronger emphasis on homework. Ignore CHS, but I think both these changes probably affect boys more than girls, although they obviously affect girls as well.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:06 PM
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we've moved to more zero tolerance of various rule breaking

Getting closer, I think. But still complicated, because as said above, it wasn't as if boys learning environment wasn't ever disciplined and self-disciplined.

Pretty Pynchon

But on the way home tonight, you wish you'd picked him up, held him a bit. Just held him, very close to your heart, his cheek by the hollow of your shoulder, full of sleep. As if it were you who could, somehow, save him. For the moment not caring who you're supposed to be registered as. For the moment anyway, no longer who the Caesars say you are.

Can't speak much about the Caesar, but the Japanese Empire and Japan Inc after made damn sure you knew you were first and foremost part of a nurturing reproductive family. Or you were nothing.

They control us with what we most love, with our dreams.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:24 PM
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76: Ignore CHS

Good advice, I think.

In that spirit, I'll concur with you anecdatally. My son has problems with the homework-and-discipline thing that my daughter doesn't have. But to me, that just means that the kid has to learn to cope with homework and discipline, not that homework and discipline are inherently harmful to educational outcomes.

I am open to the idea that homework-and-discipline, as currently conceived, really are harmful to education. If that turns out to be the case, then yes, the program has to be changed. But the fact that modern boys have worse outcomes than modern girls doesn't tell me a thing about whether boys have worse absolute outcomes than they otherwise would. The current program could be very helpful to boys.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:59 PM
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20, 22: It's probably true that police shootings have gone down, but unjustified police shootings could still be going up. I doubt there's reliable data anywhere.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:03 PM
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The Hag is famous for being a model train guy. Also, he turned 21 in prison, doing life without parole, even though his Mama tried, because boy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:10 PM
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If I had plenty of extra space, I would love love love to be a model train guy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:50 PM
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78 last -- I agree with that.

I'll just say again how glad I am to be done, forever, in any capacity, with pre-college education.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:10 PM
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81: Why didn't you get a model train room when you were doing the other stuff to your house?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:14 PM
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One of the guys in the story had a warehouse sized building built to house his trains. It's no Dollar General, but maybe you could get an economic development grant from your town nonetheless. Transportation infrastructure.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:26 PM
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Over the past decade there have been two fatal police shootings within a fifteen minute walk of my apartment that seemed pretty clearly homicides. As far as I remember in one of them the dude got forced off the force, in the other it was ruled a justified shooting. Shooting number one: inexperienced cop on a routine daytime patrol in the projects is going up a ladder to the roof entrance with his gun in his hand when the trap door opens. He immediately fires, killing the poor kid coming down from the roof. In the other a plain clothes cop staking out a drug dealing area, dressed to look like a junky, is lounging on a stoop. Middle aged guy comes out tells the junky/cop to get the fuck off his mom's stoop, the argument escalates, eventually the guy kicks the cop and the cop shoots him. Cop claimed he showed his badge, security cam footage and most witnesses said otherwise. The one dissenting witness was the cop's partner. Also a couple shootings that sounded like they really were justified.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:36 PM
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a routine daytime patrol in the projects is going up a ladder to the roof entrance with his gun in his hand

!!!!!!!!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:47 PM
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Yea. That's not good practice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:48 PM
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The other story you've told here before -- I wonder why it didn't turn into a citywide scandal. That sounds right up there with Sean Bell or Amadou Diallo.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:51 PM
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And if we're going to start with the assumption that boys are different from girls, aren't we compelled to ask whether boys are inherently inferior and simply not able to keep up?

This is an implicit assumption behind some of the "End of Men" stuff and is lurking behind the Sommers argument too. Inferior and superior are very loaded words obviously but it seems perfectly plausible to me that on average men are not as good at handling certain kinds of pressures/demands that modern society puts on you. It seems to me that there's a general assumption that men are 'inferior' in certain ways, or less able to handle life smoothly, since there is no indignation about the fact that men are over 15 times more likely to be jailed, commit suicide 8 times more often, die much younger, are more frequently victims of accidents and violence, etc. There are some huge outcome differences there. There's an implicit assumption that men 'deserve it' -- are more violent, more likely to act out in stupid ways, less responsible, etc. People are more frightened of men, and it's not just the size differences. Seems plausible there's a a biological component interacting with the social component of that.

The idea that boys are innately less capable of discipline or self-regulation than girls, though, seems pretty low-plausibility to me. I mean, the sit-down-and-shut-up model of school originated at a time when the assumption was that boys' education was more important than girls;

The sit-down-and-shut-up model was fundamentally different in so many ways than our current education model -- more violent (more emphasis on physical punishment), more disciplinarian, and simultaneously many more avenues to success that didn't involve formal education. Maybe it was optimized to men, or the casualties were less visible. Our model is tricky...self-regulation is supposed to come voluntarily and naturally, and the forms of stigmatization when it doesn't are more subtle but probably more devastating to life chances.

you'd think an innate lack of capacity for discipline is the kind of thing that would show up in life outcomes generally; as far as I can tell the idea that boys are much less capable than girls of dealing with boredom and obedience isn't a cross-cultural commonplace...

For what it's worth psychologists do find some gender differences in self-control , at least in modern schools, but I think you're right that it can't be as simple as 'an innate lack of capacity for discipline'. Perhaps a capacity that's accessed in different ways.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's not jumping out at me as likely in the same way as a claim that men are on average more physically aggressive than women might.

it seems to me that in a very controlled society like ours, where physical aggression is almost never the smart move, greater physical aggression must be linked to some elements of self-control. Viscerally, indulging in physical aggression feels linked to 'losing control'.

I think humans are obsessed with heightening the difference, and children of both genders would benefit from detangling gendered-specific traits and letting them be kid-specific. Hyper boys and girls would both benefit from more recesses per day. Etc.

that's seems quite true, and it would be true even if there was some biological element to differences, since there's so much individual variance. It seems to me that breaking out gender specific interventions mainly makes sense when authority figures are stereotyping based on gender specifically. But I think that probably happens for boys too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 5:19 PM
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Didn't see some of the other comments above, yes, it could be as simple as men taking longer to mature in certain ways and getting tracked in their most disruptive years.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 5:22 PM
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there is no indignation about the fact that men are over 15 times more likely to be jailed, commit suicide 8 times more often, die much younger, are more frequently victims of accidents and violence, etc. There are some huge outcome differences there. There's an implicit assumption that men 'deserve it' -- are more violent, more likely to act out in stupid ways, less responsible, etc.

Strongly disagree. There is not only "indignation," there are programs and policies and grants and research and handwringing and all kinds of formal and informal attention being paid.

While it's true that society often doesn't address the problems that men and women face in similar ways, that's very very far from saying that men's problems are not being acknowledged or addressed.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:02 PM
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But 2:30 in the morning is. I wouldn't assume I'm being robbed, but I'd certainly assume that something went very wrong for somebody.

What Moby said. And for real, loads of these severe single car crashes at 0230 involve the driver being drunk and/or high. Calling the cops to see what's up with this guy is totally reasonable.

But that said the shooting sounds nuts. They had three cops on one unarmed guy. That he got charged so quickly makes me think the other cops on scene are likely sinking him.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:04 PM
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And for real, loads of these severe single car crashes at 0230 involve the driver being drunk and/or high. Calling the cops to see what's up with this guy is totally reasonable.

It's reasonable, but why didn't the woman ask the guy what he wanted, listen to him say (presumably) that he'd been in a car accident, and then tell him -- through the closed door if need be -- that she was calling 911 and they'd be here shortly?

I mean, come on: assuming that some guy *knocking on your door* at 2:30 a.m. must be trying to break in makes no sense. Even if he was pounding on the door, even if he was a bit incoherent. The cops fucked up, sure, to put it mildly, but the woman wasn't doing much better.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:14 PM
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(And gswift, thank you for the links to 6th grade science curriculum in the other thread.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:23 PM
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For fodder, I propose: "Breaking Bad: Greatest show on television or hamhanded, melodramatic schlock?"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:46 PM
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Why "or"? It's high-lowbrow!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:49 PM
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Excuse me, can you please help? There's been a terrible accident!


Posted by: Opinionated Alex (the droog, not the Ranter) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:14 PM
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94: Anytime.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:19 PM
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For fodder, I propose: "Breaking Bad: Greatest show on television or hamhanded, melodramatic schlock?"

Argh, that show. I assume I would like it but I've decided to be artificially not-into-it because after the Sopranos I decided not to watch shows that regularly brutalize me, even if they're really good, so I don't watch Breaking Bad. I read recaps lest I be tempted to watch. I'm glad it's a good show but I'll also be glad when it's over. It is so, so talked about among people I know and things I read.

(Speaking of which, Twitter is a great way to discover that people aren't that great. I hadn't made up my mind about Emily Nussbaum though I really liked Nancy Franklin, read Emily Nussbaum's Twitter for a while and now can't shake the feeling she is annoying.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:27 PM
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I've never seen Breaking Bad. I feel like I should sometime, at least just to see the locations. Maybe I'll wait until it's all over with and people stop talking about it so much.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:31 PM
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I haven't been a huge Breaking Bad fan -- for pretty much the reason Smearcase gives above: I'm exhausted by television that is darker than dark -- but this final season(let) really has featured remarkable writing, directing, and especially acting.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:05 PM
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Also, I have to fly out of SFO in about six hours. I suppose I should try to sleep for a bit, but I have to get on a plane, so that might be unlikely. Why, why, why do I agree to do things that involve flying?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:06 PM
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Where are you flying this time?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:07 PM
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Dallas, where I'm giving a talk at The Clements Center. Then I'm driving (driving! on the ground!) around that part of the country and giving talks other places that you'd expect. I said yes to the thing at The Clements Center back when I was still excited about the book that cures cholera. But now I'm spending all of my time on the next book, which is very nearly done, so this trip seems stupid and futile and, because of the flying, scary.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:12 PM
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Totally my own fault, of course, and thus boring in the way that self-inflicted wounds almost always are.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:12 PM
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I wish I ate meat. That would make the trip more appealing, maybe, because of the BBQ.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:13 PM
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But you could have a meetup with bob!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:16 PM
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But yeah, North Texas isn't high on the list of areas I would want to visit either.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:17 PM
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If off-blog communication weren't sacrosanct, I would tell you all about plans. Actually, since it's late, I'll just say that we're going to spend a good part of our day shopping at the Nieman's flagship store! Squee!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:19 PM
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See, so you've got that to look forward to.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:23 PM
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I haven't been a huge Breaking Bad fan -- for pretty much the reason Smearcase gives above: I'm exhausted by television that is darker than dark -- but this final season(let) really has featured remarkable writing, directing, and especially acting.

I'm completely the opposite - I love darker than dark television. Nighty Night and Jam are among my favourite TV comedies ever. So I love Breaking Bad. I was actually a little disappointed at first by Walt's slight moment of moral redemption this last episode, because I want this show to end as bleakly as possible. Even so, it's shaping up to be one of the best endings to a drama series I've seen in a long time.

As for its schlockiness, I think it's actually become less deft at weaving the black humour and the personal seriousness as time has gone on, probably because Walt's arc is forcing things to become ever more extreme. The first season is really a masterclass in bouncing between tragedy and comedy without losing the audience.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:54 AM
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For fodder, I propose: "Breaking Bad: Greatest show on television or hamhanded, melodramatic schlock?"

Apparently the BBC is planning a remake of "Breaking Bad":
"Mr White, we have your test results and I'm afraid it's bad news. You have lung cancer. Now, there are various options for treatment..."
"But I'm an impoverished schoolteacher! How can I afford chemotherapy on my salary? What depths of depravity and crime will I be forced to --"
"The NHS will pay."
"Oh, right."
CREDITS


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:07 AM
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Anyway, I insist we not discuss Breaking Bad because I haven't seen it yet. I'm still working my way through Deadwood.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:08 AM
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I really should watch the Sopranos some day. I don't suppose it is on netflix yet?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 4:50 AM
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I haven't watched Deadwood, The Sopranos, or Breaking Bad, but we did finally get to finish Orange Is the New Black and I got preoccupied with baby stuff before saying that I think race was actually handled well, but the religion stuff was insufficiently nuanced.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:27 AM
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115: Jenji Kohan is really bad about religion. When your show makes Smearcase want to say "tone it down; you're being kind of an asshole about religion," things is bad.

It's not entirely the darkness of Breaking Bad that put me off; it's some combination of that and the violence. This has been a weird thing for me as an adult who likes Serious Things: things that are violent in certain ways (graphic, involving torture) just aren't worth it to me, and I generally won't watch them, even if they're great. I made it to the end of The Sopranos because I really loved the writing and the performances so much, but once it was over I knew immediately I would never go back and watch it again as I do obsessively with most things I like that much.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:04 AM
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p.s. to VW: Sorry about parting ways with our good old reliable friend The Ground. There's plenty of good food in Texas that isn't barbecue, though, even if barbecue is really the best. (I can say this. I lived in Texas for 6 of 7 years as a vegetarian and only later went back as a post-vegetarian and really experienced the barbecue.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:08 AM
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I started watching Game of Thrones, which is like breaking bad only insofar as it features, uh, adult themes. I think it might be stupid? Am I missing something?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:15 AM
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104 the next book, which is very nearly done

It sounds like you're being entirely too productive. Don't you have tenure?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:36 AM
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I'm exhausted by television that is darker than dark -- but this final season(let) really has featured remarkable writing, directing, and especially acting.

And yet, the final season is surely the darkest.

Throughout the series, even if the plotting has been inconsistent, the acting has always been amazing.

The excellence of this season puts the series second on my list of all-time favorites, surpassing The Sopranos but not quite matching The Wire. (Haven't seen Mad Men yet.)

Has there ever been another series in television where the last season was the best? I'd argue that the second-last season was the second best, too. The character arcs in this series have been amazing.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:40 AM
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I'm only part way into season 3 of BB, and that far only because the boyfriend feels he needs to really stick it out before he can fairly tell his friends they are wrong about how lovely the emperor's clothes are. I don't particularly have that reservation. Dude's naked. Part is probably what Smearcase is saying about the violence. But I can deal with violence when I feel intellectually engaged - where it's serving a purpose other than to shock. But within a few episodes of season 1, BB just struck me as facile and unconvincing. Smugly puffing out its Serious Television chest without actually being more than lowbrow violence porn dressed up as serious for Halloween.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:49 AM
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119: yes, but the new book is weird and fun (and a collaborative project), so it doesn't feel like productivity.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:54 AM
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118: we recently watched the first two seasons and had very much that reaction. And yet, we kept watching, because the palace intrigue hooked us. Still, it's a pretty silly show.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:56 AM
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The thing is, it's not trying to be "serious television" in the way that, say, The Wire or even The Sopranos are. It's deliberately cartoonish at times (I'd give a perfect example, but it's the biggest spoiler ever). And it's always tempering the seriousness of the characters' predicaments with comic elements (though the comedy gets darker and more sparing over time).

I guess I must have a high tolerance, because the show doesn't strike me as particularly violent (compared to your typical R rated movie or HBO show) or shocking (compared to an edgy British drama).


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:57 AM
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And yet, we kept watching, because the palace intrigue hooked us

Yeah, I have a feeling this might happen to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:59 AM
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compared to an edgy British drama

Which British dramas are edgy and shocking?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:08 AM
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Downton Abbey: Special Victims Unit.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:11 AM
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Brass Eye-gouge


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:15 AM
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121, others: I'm midway into season 2.

More serious than Weeds, about equal in tone to The Sopranos. There's more there than dressed-up violence, I think. The acting and photography are fantastic IMO, I really like the main character's acting. The main character's struggle with pride is the main thing that IMO is pretty well-done. The initial set piece showing just how little he had was really well done, and his understandable initial overreaction was well-done longer-term tension.

I don't much sympathize with the wife-- the show strikes me as simultaneously a male power fantasy and an unsympathetic parody of the same thing.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:15 AM
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129 is just your opinion, lw.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:15 AM
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I watched two episodes of BB and thought "this is probably high quality TV but far too stressful for me to watch."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:20 AM
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124: Nighty Night as mentioned, Black Mirror, Threads, Skins, Queer as Folk, that sort of thing*. These are shows that go out of their way to shock the easily shocked. I don't think Breaking Bad does.


*I'm not endorsing all of these as objectively edgy, or indeed good. But that's what they set out to be.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:25 AM
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Yes, GoT is deeply entertaining schlock. It is very very good at staying entertaining, because plotting and not taking itself too seriously. But never not stupid.

Breaking Bad is pretty relentlessly grim, and there can be something a little over the top torture porny about it (as well as implausibility) for sure, but has some of the best and most tension-creating set pieces I've ever seen, on TV or in the movies. I haven't seen the current season yet, so no spoilers. I also don't think it's really comparable to the Sopranos or Mad Men in that it's not really a drama in quite the same way.

As for OITNB, there are many very good things about the show, it's definitely very watchable and I am officially in favor of much of the way in which it humanizes the supporting characters, often in excellent ways, but I just don't like it that much. I think it's a combination of (a) Jenji Koham wackiness, which I find grating and not very funny; (b) overbroad caricature characters, except when it's time to do nuance, which is often handled with NOW WE'RE DOING NUANCE GUYS GET IT level subtlety; (c) the main character, who is supposed to be annoying but really genuinely kind of is too annoying to carry the show.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:28 AM
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I'm also not a big fan of Weeds, which I find sort of consistently low-level annoying in some of the same ways as OITNB, so I guess the bottom line is that I just don't like Jenji Kohan's style that much. No wackiness!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:31 AM
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First season of Weeds was great, well-done comedy of manners


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:32 AM
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Although, to continue talking to myself, while OITNB is generally better than Weeds, Mary Louise Parker is also a much better actress and more capable of carrying a show than whatever the actress's name is who plays Chapman.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:36 AM
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Which British dramas are edgy and shocking?

"Jeeves & Swearengen".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:38 AM
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135: Yeah, the first season was very funny and super entertaining, but I gradually lost interest thereafter.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:39 AM
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"Jeeves & Swearengen"

Want.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:43 AM
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And whatever you want to say about Breaking Bad, the acting is just incredible. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are fantastic. I think of it (again without having seen this season) as a really fantastic extended thriller, with some comic relief from all-time top 5 lawyer character Saul Goodman.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:45 AM
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136: Also the MLP fan service nudie bits are better than the ones in OITNB, which are all but non existent.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:46 AM
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Chapman is pretty legitimately goddamn annoying, but I still love OITNB.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:49 AM
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I liked maybe a season and a half of Weeds and then began to find it difficult to watch, in part because, though MLP is hot, I was seeing too much of her ass. Orange is a much better show, I think, but in the end I didn't like it very much either. Although its racial politics are interesting and well done, the whole show felt to me like little more than a smart gimmick. Kohan realized that high school is an inherently interesting setting for drama but ultimately limiting for a writer, because social norms dictate that too many things/themes can't be discussed if the actors are ostensibly high school students. And so she decided that prison could become high school -- mandatory attendance, cliques, run by little Eichmanns -- unbound. Like I said, smart. But unfortunately the lead characters are universally boring and whiny, and the more interesting characters don't get enough screen time (and one gets the sense that if they did get more screen time, they would, in Kohan's hands pretty quickly become cartoons).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:52 AM
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139: it's crying out for someone to put a video edit together.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:52 AM
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Talking about television is oddly soothing.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:52 AM
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I would like to use the word interesting again, but I'm afraid I can't.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:55 AM
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OITNB has a hell of a supporting cast of characters, but Chapman is boring.

I don't usually follow television series as they air, but I am glad that Breaking Bad is an exception to that rule for me. Great acting, great storytelling and as Halford says, some of the best tension creating set-pieces around. (Watch the last minute of "One Minute".)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:07 AM
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Mary Louise Parker is a terrific actor but she did Hedda Gabler here and my friend who went said it was ceaselessly hilarious.

Also Downton SVU made me laugh out loud.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:09 AM
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There's a fair bit of bleak UK tv. Luther, is pretty dark, although it has its cartoony/silly moments.

The Fall, from earlier this year [with Gillian Anderson] was really very dark indeed in places. The way the main murderer was handled was something I've never really seen before, at least not done in that way.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294189/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Red Riding, from a couple of years back, was extraordinarily dark and bleak.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1259574/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1260581/?ref_=fn_al_tt_5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1259573/?ref_=fn_al_tt_6


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:12 AM
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It seems to me like British comedies are relentlessly dark, edgy, depressing and shocking, whereas British comedies are very comforting and amusing.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:19 AM
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Red Riding was pretty nightmare-ish in places, and looked a lot more like a feature film than most TV manages.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx5rqw9tXB8

[The trailer markets it like a film, but it was shown on UK tv as a mini-series]

The case is ridiculously good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL3qypfj8DY

Sean Bean has never ever been better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXyQqFREnQo


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:20 AM
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Try again.

It seems to me like British comedies are relentlessly dark, edgy, depressing and shocking, whereas British dramas are very comforting and amusing.

This probably reflects what is made available to us in the US, based on what people have grown to expect.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:21 AM
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Case is ... good, should be 'cast'.

re: 152

I expect US TV just buys the 'cosy' drama. As per the previous few comments, I'd put Luther, Red Riding, and the Fall [and others] up against anything US tv has ever produced for darkness.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:27 AM
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The Wire is the greatest show ever.

Been rewatching The Sopranos and the seams do show, especially on a lot of supporting characters...but man do James Gandolfini's performance and the Tony Soprano character hold up. Just incredible, what a layered and fully realized performance and character. Never seen any other character who combines human warmth and decency and animal brutality/cruelty/cunning in such a believable way. You can really see how the 'good' and 'bad' tony are the same person.

Breaking Bad is really fun, a blast, and brilliantly executed. But I think the veneration for it kind of skips over how cartoonish it can be. Basically, the 'this could never fucking happen in the real world' factor is extremely high on BB.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:36 AM
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I liked maybe a season and a half of Weeds and then began to find it difficult to watch

I had the same experience, it got boring and repetitive, it also became very hard to suspend disbelief. Maybe around the time MLP built a tunnel to Mexico so she could have an affair with a Mexican drug lord.

Agree totally with 140.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:38 AM
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My favorite TV show, Misfits, is British.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:39 AM
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But I think the veneration for it kind of skips over how cartoonish it can be.

I'd agree in terms of critical reception (with a broad definition of critic). But the cartoonishness is a large part of why I like it. Everyone loves the "fuck... fuck... fuck... fuck" scene in The Wire, but it's artificiality was really incongruous for the show, which was generally deeply serious (even with its larger than life characters like Omar and Brother Mouzone). Whereas in Breaking Bad, the whole show is over the top, so it can get away with a lot more enjoyable side-material (all the Better Call Saul stuff, for instance) and plot twists that aren't remotely realistic.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:44 AM
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It also partly explains why I don't find it particularly shocking, despite all the nasty shit that goes down. Look, it's a guy's head on a tortoise! That's not shocking, it's funny.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:45 AM
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Yup, exactly. A lot of the flair and brio of BB comes from its freedom to be playful and push the edges of realism. I actually find the whole 'PROFOUND MEDITATION ON THE NATURE OF EVIL' trip that's being layed on it this season by critics, etc. to be kind of annoying from that perspective.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:48 AM
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But I think the veneration for it kind of skips over how cartoonish it can be.

My veneration for it does not overlook this.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:49 AM
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I stopped watching Weeds near the beginning of the Mexico season of Weeds because 1) it was dumb and 2) it started to feel like woman in danger porn, if that's a thing. MLP in one horrible often humiliating situation after another. Then I read a (false) thing online about a homo plot line for the beautiful twink older son and got sucked back in and watched the rest of the show. It had one or two great moments in a sea of dumb.

Doesn't The Sopranos also get some credit for revitalizing tv as a medium for interesting, serious stuff?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:49 AM
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Seconding Red Riding here. It's very dark indeed. And excellent. "It's the north, we do what we want." Of course the next time Sean Bean expressed that sentiment in a TV miniseries it cost him his head.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:50 AM
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though MLP is hot, I was seeing too much of her ass

It's like you're talking some crazy moon man language, Wafer. I can't even figure out how somebody could string these words together.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:59 AM
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||

Does anybody have access to the journal Latino Studies? If so, can you email me at the linked address? I'm trying to track down an article.

Many thanks.

||>


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:10 AM
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163: I was at first worried that MLP was in the sense of MLP:FIM.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:15 AM
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It's the secret technique that cats use to control human minds: mewrolinguistic programming.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:39 AM
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Yup, exactly. A lot of the flair and brio of BB comes from its freedom to be playful and push the edges of realism. I actually find the whole 'PROFOUND MEDITATION ON THE NATURE OF EVIL' trip that's being layed on it this season by critics, etc. to be kind of annoying from that perspective.

It seems like this is the case for all shows that critics love. You could read 540,000 "Girls" and "Louie" recaps from last year without being aware that anything funny ever happens.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:18 AM
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163: I think he's saying he wanted them to zoom in.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:23 AM
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There is some structure at DFW, on the way to the way-the-fuck-offsite rental car place, that can only have been built to signal alien civilizations. It is that yooge. Also, re MLP's ass, I just meant that it wasn't being shown in service of the plot. It became gratuitous enough that even I noticed.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:48 AM
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In game of thrones nudity is never gratuitous because there are numerous debauched sex scenes crucial to the plot. Scriptwriters take note!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:52 AM
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169: didn't you know everything's bigger in TX? Also, please enjoy the very, very high interchanges with stars on their vertical supports.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:06 AM
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Breaking Bad is really fun, a blast, and brilliantly executed. But I think the veneration for it kind of skips over how cartoonish it can be. Basically, the 'this could never fucking happen in the real world' factor is extremely high on BB.

Considering the business it revolves around, I don't think it's all that high. The real life drug trade literally has mass beheadings, narco submarines, and cartels shooting drugs over the border with improvised cannons.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:18 AM
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118: I started watching Game of Thrones, which is like breaking bad only insofar as it features, uh, adult themes. I think it might be stupid? Am I missing something?

I don't know - it may depend on how much of it you've seen. I tend to view it outside of the realm of stupid-or-not-stupid, given that the characters' motivations and cultural milieu are not placed in this world.

The first difficulty with that is that virtually none of the characters is likeable. I, at least, have a recurrent irritation along the lines of, "Okay, I was kind of finding her [or him] a sympathetic character, but she [he] is getting on my nerves, is rather annoying and kind of an asshole, as she/he plays along in the game the society has constructed." And this happens with every character (barring a couple of the kids).

I actually find that interesting: this isn't a morality play, and doesn't even try to fool you that it is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:21 AM
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virtually none of the characters is likeable

OTOH, virtually all of the characters get killed, so it kinda evens that out.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:26 AM
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Neither The Wire nor Breaking Bad is particularly realistic. I also don't find Breaking Bad to be objectionably violent. There's a few rough scenes per season, but more Cranston-in-his-underwear, I'd bet.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:26 AM
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175 --The Wire is not a documentary, and there are certainly some extremely implausible moments used for artistic effect, of which Brother Mouzone is probably the most famous, and it's certainly wrong to give into the temptation of ascribing too much reality to the world it portrays. But. It certainly strives for "realism" and has as an artistic goal making statements about real-world Baltimore. It is probably about as "realistic" as a fictional TV show can get. I don't think Breaking Bad is going, at all, for the same thing artistically -- it's more about providing enough realism to allow suspension of disbelief while creating incredible moments of dramatic tension.

Also BB is violent, but that's not (for me) what makes it hard to watch after a while --it's also pretty unremittingly bleak and tension-filled (with occasional comic relief). I mean, I love the show, but it can get hard to watch.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:38 AM
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We just started watching GoT as well; my wife was champing at the bit to watch it once she read the books (I haven't read them). It's a slightly frustrating exercise when she knows more-or-less what's going to happen and who the characters are (having had umpteen thousand pages drilling it in), where I'm having trouble even keeping track of just what's been presented in the show. I vaguely worry that I shouldn't ask her for assistance - in part because her knowledge of what's in the books might not line up with how they've constructed the world in the show, and in part because I want to be critical of the show as a self-contained production.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:42 AM
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OTOH, virtually all of the characters get killed, so it kinda evens that out.

I know this was a throwaway line, but I think I'm only one season behind, and they haven't all been killed. But anyway, the killed characters aren't killed because they're unlikeable, bad people. It's just how things fall out: no overarching lesson.

I was one of those who was irritated pissed off at the gratuitous nudity -- like, is this just to show us that women are devalued in this society, because if so, I get it already, do you have to keep showing us? -- but in the end, okay fine, the nudity is there in part to keep some viewers ogling, and it's not as though the society has changed so that we can pretend it's not true, so it goes on.

In any event, Game of Thrones can do things that escape the criticisms that might be leveled at other shows, in virtue of the fact that it's SFF. That genre can, obviously, do things outside the bounds of objections like "Gah, how totally unrealistic" and so on. As long as the world is internally consistent -- and so far, I haven't seen GoT failing there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:13 PM
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they haven't all been killed

Just wait until you get to the late, great avant-garde episodes where the camera just pans over fields of dead bodies for hours.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:15 PM
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To be fair, any individual episode provides only one hour of pans over fields of dead bodies.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:18 PM
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177: I'm having trouble even keeping track of just what's been presented in the show

Yeah. It can be a bit hard to follow; moves fast. I sometimes feel like I'm watching in a state of stupidity: "So, wait, who's that guy again? Oh, right, right. Wait -- you mean Theon who I thought was a Stark brother is actually a Grayjoy - oh, taken hostage by the Stark family in his childhood? Oh. Okay, I'd missed that."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:23 PM
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179, 180: I'm going to hope you're joking. No spoilers, please.

Meanwhile, Google's logo today is startling.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:49 PM
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167: I found that the most interesting thing about Camille Paglia's chapter on the Importance of Being Earnest. It was written like she had no awareness that it was supposed to be a joke. So for example she draws many conclusions from the line "I always bring my diary with me -- it gives me something sensational to read on the train" without seeming to notice that it's a one-liner.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:59 PM
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Neither The Wire nor Breaking Bad is particularly realistic.

"Realistic" is a weird word to use in the context of television, and only a little less weird in the context of fiction in general. What television show worth watching has ever been "realistic?"

Contrast The Wire with every other police procedural-type show on TV today, and it has a quality that those don't. Maybe it's not "realistic," but it's "real."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:15 PM
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172: it's not the drug trade element that's unrealistic, it's the part about an ordinary middle class dude with chemistry skills becoming a successful drug kingpin and earning $80 million in his first year in the biz.

175-76: re The Wire / 'realism' stuff, Chase's first take on this material was a sort of drama-documentary called "The Corner" about the Baltimore drug trade that was so realistic it was unwatchable. I mean, it made you feel like a dead-end drug addict in the pit of despair yourself. When you watch that next to the Wire, just in a relative sense it's immediately obvious how concerned The Wire is to be dramatically entertaining in a way that real life is not. (And how successful it is at it). But as PF says, The Wire is still 'real' and ambitious to illuminate reality in a direct way. It has the kind of realism of Balzac, Dickens, Zola, the great 19th century social realist novels -- they are obviously stuffed full of dramatic conventions that can be very theatrical, and vivid characterizations that can run almost to caricature. But they also aim to explore what the author feels are the actually existing power relations in the society. The Wire does that. It's more than a police procedural, it's a serious take on institutions, bureaucracy, the mechanics of power and how it intersects with peoples' lives.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:34 PM
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I wish BB had found some way to accommodate the universally-acknowledged truth that drug middlemen always cut their product.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:40 PM
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185: a sort of drama-documentary called "The Corner" about the Baltimore drug trade that was so realistic it was unwatchable

I take your general point, but "The Corner" was unwatchable? Because it was so real? Mayhap people could take off their velvet smoking jackets once in a while.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:40 PM
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While it's interesting to compare The Wire to police procedurals, it isn't one itself, is it? It involves police, and crime investigation, but it doesn't have that structure at all. Maybe the first season taken as a whole does, but the other seasons don't.

(I think I've raised this complaint before)


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:43 PM
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186 -- yes, the biggest "realism" problem with BB is that it makes no sense as a story about the meth trade. Meth users are generally addicts who aren't willing to pay huge premiums for amazing artisinal quality in their product, so the idea that Walter White is a masterful chemical craftsman who can control the market by creating this high quality product and getting users to pay more for it makes no sense. It's as if he's capturing the market for low-end alcoholics by selling a high end Gevrey-Chambertin.

(If this issue is handled in the two most recent seasons don't tell me about it!)


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:49 PM
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Reality TV isn't realistic?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:52 PM
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189.2: And if it's not?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:59 PM
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Meth users are generally addicts who aren't willing to pay huge premiums for amazing artisinal quality in their product,

Not completely true, according to wonkblog:

Longmire is more insistent that purity matters. "Obviously, the more pure that you can get it, the higher a price you can charge for it, and the more profit you can make off of it," she says. "There's always a market for higher quality drugs, it's just a question of who affords it." There will be bad, cheap meth, sure, but there are high-end markets for meth too. Weisheit notes that one of the few urban demographics where demand for meth is heavy is among gay men. "You probably don't see meth as a street drug, as it's so often sold in gay clubs where you don't tend to get arrested, and they're kind of out of sight from police,"

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:04 PM
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This piece, which I reflexively mistrust because it conforms to so many of my biases, argues more or less the point in 189: "As a careful midgrade cook with DEA connections, he could have flown under the radar in a community overrun with the stuff and taken care of his chemo costs and family just fine. But what makes White more attractive than your garden-variety tweaker to both international cartels and viewers alike is his craftsmanship and attention to detail. He brings class to the New Mexico meth scene."


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:05 PM
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Maybe for a subset of users, but the show doesn't depict Walter (or his distributors) selling to high end customers who can afford superpremium luxury meth. Instead it's street deals to addicts.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:06 PM
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194 to 192.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:07 PM
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193 -- what an insightful article, since it agrees with me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:14 PM
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I also imagine chemists hate the assumption that all chemistry is one discipline - White started as a researcher with great achievements in crystallography and then after decades as a teacher effortlessly turned his hand to industrial chemistry.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:51 PM
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The part of BB that relies on the impression of "realism" is everything ancillary to the main plot line: set and setting, as well as the character types of everyone not connected to the underworld. Capturing the anxieties and resentments of their social world is what makes it feel like a period piece set in our contemporary moment of American decline. The genius of the show is drawing a series of Coen-Brothers-esque plot lines on top of that "realistic" backdrop.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:21 PM
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I'd put Luther, Red Riding, and the Fall [and others] up against anything US tv has ever produced for darkness.

Add Utopia to that list. I've only watched the first episode, but it was really damn hard to watch at points.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:47 PM
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189: The thing is there'd be another in-story explanation that would make more sense. A chemist who can pull a high yield is one whose product is more profitable. They gesture at it in S4 when they start talking about how much profit their barrel of precursor represents, but then it's back to purity and what the customers demand.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 4:01 PM
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197: Although it's true that it's a different subfield, you usually have to make the materials you are crystallizing, so he'd have some synthesis skills from both his college and grad school experiences (plus teaching high school labs, assuming they had any sort of lab, which they must since he takes glassware). The fact that White does large scale chemistry isn't too nuts since I gather meth synthesis isn't especially complicated or touchy as long as you've got decent equipment. Disclaimer, though, I'm not very far into BB.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 4:03 PM
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The Fall had a serial killer that really lacked boundaries.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 4:07 PM
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re: 199

Oh, yeah. Without giving any spoilers, that gets worse, even.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 4:36 PM
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201

It's not the scale of the chemistry that's suspect, it's the fact that his graduate research was firmly on one side of the physical/organic divide of chemistry, while making meth is firmly on the other. Most spectroscopists and crystallographers wouldn't know the actual structure of meth, much less how to make it. I think the show largely glosses over this by making him a scientific genius.

On the other hand, the chemistry is largely very accurate. They must actually listen to their scientific advisers.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 4:38 PM
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My dad went from post doc work on crystals (some about light refraction?) to a career as an oil refinery engineer and researcher. Isn't that the kind of trajectory you guys are saying is implausible?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 4:51 PM
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205: There the second career is collaborative, not doing things that have never been done before with horse sense and equipment catalogs.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:00 PM
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Should I watch Red Riding or The Fall if Luther turned me off by episode 4?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:01 PM
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re: 207

They are quite different shows. The Fall has a strong interesting feminist female lead. It's still pretty damn creepy, though.

Red Riding is sort a Yorkshire noir. Quite Ellroy like.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:08 PM
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205: Maybe I phrased it poorly. I was trying to say it wasn't implausible to go from crystallography to synthesis. It depends on your specialty within each area. Some people move around more in terms of interests or work at the edge of two fields. I was also thinking that (a) making meth is not technically demanding - I mean, Jesse does it before he joins up with Walt and (b) having to teach high school means he'd likely have more synthetic experience than someone who did only the analytical work of crystallography his entire career.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:23 PM
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One thing I appreciate about BB which I have found more or less overlooked is its relative lack of interest in sex. Walter White stands out among the big cable anti-heroes (Tony, Don, Jimmy et alia) in mostly not acting out his power fantasies by fucking a lot of women. There's very little boobs as wallpaper -- there's an addict hooker who shows up now and again but there's extremely little scopophilia in her presentation. Walt's and Jesse's sexual relationships (including Walt's sexual assault of Skyler) are observed dramatically, but it's a refreshing character choice to skip the sexual incontinence.

Not that I don't enjoy HBO boobs or even concede that sex is often used to fine dramatic purpose. I'm just relieved that someone took a different route.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:33 PM
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We like the Fall; too bad Red Riding isn't on Netflix streaming. Enjoyed The Silence last week.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:13 PM
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203: I am so not surprised. Still planning on watching the rest of it, but yeesh.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:59 PM
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Oh, I'd say that there are some things in Utopia that really do max out in the first episode.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:00 PM
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The kind of realism The Wire has is like the realism Amanda Claybaugh writes about in The Novel of Purpose. At least, that's the kind of statement I'd have made back when I remembered what that book was about.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:49 PM
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I am nodding at 210. Nod. Nod. Nod.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:49 PM
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I've only watched that 6 minute synopsis of Breaking Bad that was linked from bOING bOING a week or two ago. And a couple of random snippets here and there. But it seems like there are more than a few plot holes/challenges to a willing suspension of disbelief.

Most of the white people I've met who are or were heavily involved with hard drugs are by and large utterly normal seeming types. Street level fuck ups who work harder making a crooked dime than they would for an honest dollar are the stereotype, but that would seem, based on observable facts and statistics about drug use, to be the smallest plurality of users and dealers.

And there's really not that much violence at the higher echelons -- it's just not how people at that level want to do business, for obvious reasons.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:11 PM
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tl;dr: You want a toe? I can get you a toe.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:12 PM
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This is fantastic.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:18 PM
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Red Riding is fantastic, especially the first series. It used to be on streaming Netflix.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:18 PM
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And here's the backstory to 218. Also fantastic. "We had a lot of clients in the 30s and 40s. I can't remember all of them." So, so good.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:26 PM
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OT: A creepy clown is terrorizing some town in the Land of the Teabags Knifecrime Island Blighty England.

[Makes effort to resist, fails.]

BatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBatmanBATMAN!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:27 PM
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221 to 220 and 218, actually.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:30 PM
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On a slightly related note, has in struck anyone else that the "Trevor" character in the advertisements for Grand Theft Auto V bears a strong resemblance to the late actor Charles Gunning? How close does the characterization have to be before they owe his estate likeness rights royalties?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:31 PM
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Oh good. I saw the Russell Brand thing linked about four times before and each time I told myself I would read it when I had some time, and then forgot about it. This time I can read it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:40 PM
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I couldn't remember who Russell Brand was and then I remembered he was the guy who I couldn't remember who he was the last time people were linking to him telling someone off about something or other.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:08 PM
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Russell Brand is best known as a drug-addled celebrity who shows up in movies and comedy performances as a sort of grinning incoherent homunculus. Apparently in his rare lucid moments he has also been ghost-writing all of Stephen Fry's essays for the last 20 years. These pieces are all great to read.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:11 PM
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It appears I've only seen him in a Simpsons episode.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:26 PM
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201: I hate to harp on this, but you do know that ordinary ivy league students who need extra money to buy heroin can make meth as long as they can steal enough glassware/various retorts/burners/some chemicals from the orgchem lab and then purchase all the other precursors, which used to be much more easily acquired? like those "help you breathe better" things that went right up into your nose, sort of like a tube of chapstick with vents at the side? they don't sell them anymore because they were full of...benzedrine I think? they also sold ether in a spray can as "qwik start" for your shitty old car, you were supposed to spray it into the air filter, get the engine to turn over, put the top of the filter on and screw it down, and get in the car.

I didn't super-pay attention to the actual process; it's like sailing--I don't get seasick and I will pull on ropes when people tell me to, but I can't actually sail. so, I could get the reactions going if directed but not otherwise. at the end after you get it out of solution with ether and into solution with water (vice versa? no I think that's right or we would have been huffing the fumes off the little pyrex dish, although getting high on ether basically donks) it does crystallize in the final saucer-type dish very attractively. I should watch the show, I guess. sometimes people are all like, "al, that's so insane! you should write about it!" but then I say "all the characters are entitled little fucks; with whom are we meant to sympathize?" I guess there could be some, 'you, the reader, get to feel superior to aaaallll the characters' thing, but I find that tiresome. or, 'but there are other, way less sympathetic characters!' no.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:14 PM
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further to 228: private schools are a market that it is very easy to control, even if the borders are porous and the area outside the city is new york fucking city. none of us wanted to become drug kingpins or anything, but fuck could we ever have done so. people are too scared to go buy drugs from strangers (solid.) they would much rather buy drugs from a columbia classmate (reasoning mildly obscure but solid, yeah.) even though it was simultaneously still the years of "the crack epidemic", there was also "heroin chic" and the new, even deadlier drug: ice. this could make a black man so strong he could--wait, yeah, kind of, or a white dude, because this was crystal meth. seriously partying kids got drugs in the bathrooms of clubs like normal people. kids that wanted to try some shit out wanted reliable quality and careful instructions. I look so, so trustworthy you guys. trustworthy. no, but the shit I regret the most ever in my life probably is so many people that I gave heroin for the first time. more than 50. and meth too, LOL, like I think that doesn't even count as a drug. OK fine, cocaine, but they were going to find that shit on their own, right? fuck. I don't even know most of those people's faces. I don't know what happened to them, either. more I regret leaving my sister alone with my mom when she was still a kid and my mom was still drinking, but god I couldn't do shit about it. no, worst, I betrayed my beloved grandmother's trust and never got a chance to apologize to her before she died. but all those people, yeah, sometimes I wonder about it late at night.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:24 PM
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Did you force them to use? Were they adults? If the answers are no and yes, I think you're pretty much in the clear. That said, I sure am glad that I never had a reliable way to get Dilaudid in high school, because that might have spelled big trouble for me.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:46 PM
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Also, one of my favorite grad students ever recently got a job in Narnia and just moved there. He's a very lovely guy. Please don't force him to start using heroin.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:48 PM
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Meth is okay, though, right?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:55 PM
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Not that I don't enjoy HBO boobs or even concede that sex is often used to fine dramatic purpose. I'm just relieved that someone took a different route.

I wonder how much of it was genuine artistic choice (obviously some, because there's plenty of titillating but chaste network TV) and how much was down to the show being on AMC as opposed to HBO. HBO boobs are HBO boobs for a reason.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 2:24 AM
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221: Oh goodness, my coworker showed me the pictures yesterday, after I informed her I'd be heading to said blighted town today. I *really* hate clowns.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 2:40 AM
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***Spoilers?***

I had seen a couple S1 eps and a half of an S3 episode I think. Last night I checked out "Ozymandias" 5.14 I think and turned it off 1/3 through.

Not interesting. Not visually interesting or directed in a way that grabs me. Same ole American tv style.

Example

Walt, big face: I know where Pinkman is
Cut to truck, then a closeup of under truck, etc
Boring and predictable

Walter was still oh so conflicted*; Jesse still bewildered, shocked and scared; Hank disgusted and frustrated.

*which is how the show works, how Walt gets empathy
Walt's is like a constipated badness; he is always straining to be evil

Anyway, shake my sandals and leave America behind. Nothing good here at all.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 4:55 AM
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236

In college, nobody would even give me pot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 5:30 AM
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237

236 to 235.last.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 5:32 AM
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Ah, the tragedy that is the lack of nudity on Mad Men because it's on AMC instead of HBO.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 6:37 AM
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As usual, some acute criticism from Bob in 235.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 8:57 AM
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240

I want to believe that 239 is dead serious. In fact, come what may, I will choose believe that.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 9:00 AM
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Faith makes blessed, waifu

I didn't give it enough time to actually do any analysis, since I found it unwatchable.

Car sputters to halt, shot from in front of car
Close-up on Walt's face looking at dashboard
Closeup on fuel gauge
Walt gets out of car shot thru opposite side window
Walt looks under car, shot from opposite side
Walt looks at side of car sees bullet hole
Cue Greed and Sierra Madre

Tick-tock-tick-tock like clockwork. I was screaming.

Classic continuity of 30s Hollywood said show everything three times.

You know what was good this week?

Skammen (Shame) 1968, Bergman did not make me want to slit my wrists for the predictability and lack of style

Nykvist, Ullmann, von Sydow at the top of their game I am asking why are these geniuses attached to that sad sack SOB until I remembered Bergman also wrote all the little character stuff I found amazing

and anime remains visually interesting.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:22 AM
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Been rewatching The Sopranos and the seams do show, especially on a lot of supporting characters...but man do James Gandolfini's performance and the Tony Soprano character hold up.

Yep.

I've been rewatching The Sopranos too, with the question, "Was James Gandolfini really that good?" in mind. And he really was that good, imo. Such a combination of hapless, clueless dad with brutal, cunning criminality, and some of those scenes with Dr. Melfi make me want to hide behind the couch. It is a remarkable performance by Gandolfini.

Breaking Bad is not meant to be "realistic." As noted above (most notably by Criminally Bulgur), it is an over-the-top, Mr.-Chips-meets-Scarface, dark comedy-drama which succeeds so well in evoking the texture of everyday life, in delineating the workaday characters that we expect to encounter there, that we then expect its crazy, cartoonish plot to conform to the demands of "realism." I can't remember ever watching a better show on television, though The Sopranos comes close.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 8:54 PM
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