Re: Jewish-ish-ish-ish

1

How much of the "non-Jews feeling Jewish" thing is right wingers and their weird crush on Israel? I'm guessing most of it.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:43 AM
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Just last night we were out with friends and literally talking about being Jew-ish. Literally.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:44 AM
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Yeah, not Jewish, but Dr. Skull and the kid are. So I don't know. We do all the Jewish stuff here. I'm sort of Jewish auxiliary ?

Except the kid says she doesn't feel Jewish because she's an atheist.

I say being an atheist is the BEST KIND of Jew.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:45 AM
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1: Almost all of it. I posted, and then read the whole article, and discovered it's not about trendy urbanites at all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:46 AM
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Just last night we were out with friends and literally talking about being Jew-ish. Literally.

There's got to be some sort of hipster marketing opportunity here.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:46 AM
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3: These are people with no Jews in their family.

Also, there's a rich tradition of Jewish atheists.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:46 AM
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Makes sense, Christians are the true Jews after Jews made a wrong turn and gave up on true Judaism 2K years ago, obviously.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:48 AM
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If I was a Jew and some cracker told me they feel Jewish because Jesus was a Jew, I'd feel justified in breaking their jaw. But that's just me.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:48 AM
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Antisemite.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:49 AM
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right wingers and their weird crush on Israel

After the primary but before the general election, the Republican candidate for mayor of Pittsburgh sold his house and moved to Israel. But he's Jewish in a standard way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:51 AM
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Jews of political convenience.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:52 AM
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Not really. I've seen him doing Jewish things even when not campaigning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:53 AM
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12: That was to the OP, not the mayoral candidate dude.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:55 AM
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Probably also at least partially the Panetta-Burns effect: asking makes it so.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:57 AM
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I posted, and then read the whole article, and discovered it's not about trendy urbanites at all.

That's disappointing. For a moment there it looked possible that entire new vistas of hipster mocking were about to open up.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:59 AM
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I bet we could brainstorm a great list of the oddest ways for hipster and fundie interests to intersect.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:01 AM
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16: How about hipsters, fundies, the Red Sox, and non-Jewish Jews (sort of).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:07 AM
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they feel Jewish because Jesus was a Jew

Then there are the Jews who pretend they haven't converted to Christianity: Jews for Jesus is a real organization. I don't know if they have it in the U.K. They were always trying to give me pamphlets when I ate lunch in the park near my office in DC.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:11 AM
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You never know who might be Jewish.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:12 AM
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18: The only reason I've ever heard of Jews for Jesus is that scene in Airplane! where Robert Stack fights his way through a mob of people soliciting for different charities at the airport entrance.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:22 AM
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Irving couldn't believe it when he heard the news
Someone told him he and Jesus were both Jews.
"What? With the long hair and the Puerto Rican name?"

From a "Walk on the Wild Side" parody that Dr. Demento used to play and that I'm sure I found on the internet once, but can no longer.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:24 AM
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18, 20: They pass out pamphlets here. Or did several years ago. I haven't seen them lately, or so I think. Every so often, some guy in one of the black hats asks me if I'm Jewish* and then goes away when I say I'm not. I think those are just people asking secular Jews to become religious Jews, but I can't really be sure.

* This always makes me feel like I should maybe work on developing muscle. Then I feel anti-Semitic for thinking about Jewish people as not having muscle even though I know it is an incorrect stereotype. Then I stop caring.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:29 AM
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Then there are the Jews who pretend they haven't converted to Christianity: Jews for Jesus is a real organization. I don't know if they have it in the U.K.

Yes we do. In fact, their UK headquarters is just down the road from my flat. Though to be honest I'd never heard of them until they were mentioned on some US blog a few years ago (I forget which). But they don't really have much of a profile here (maybe they do among the Jews they proselytise). Stereotypically, evangelical Christianity here is associated with African (especially, but by no means exclusively, Nigerian and Ghanaian) congregations, and is generally concentrated south of the river.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:30 AM
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20: They were certainly a thing when I was of college age. Somehow I had the impression that they were associated with Campus Crusade for Christ who were also very evident at the time. If you can stand this terrible website, it covers a lot of that territory from the '70s.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:30 AM
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19: but there actually was a clutch of Chinese Jews, no?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:32 AM
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Staying home sick on Rosh Hashanah plus some other baseline traits can make one crypto-goy for years.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:33 AM
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These guys.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:33 AM
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Yes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:33 AM
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Screw you, Nosflow. This is why you can't find love.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:34 AM
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Except the kid says she doesn't feel Jewish because she's an atheist.

Atheism is central to my Judaism, such as it is. Interest in Israel...not so much!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:34 AM
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I'm sort of Jewish auxiliary ?

I have often felt this way. No, I'm not jewish, but y'know, my hometown, it's practically the same thing (not actually, obviously. But we did make latkes in first grade and get all the jewish holidays off and so on).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:34 AM
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25: Technically, it was a minyan of Chinese Jews, not a clutch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:36 AM
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My ex-wife was sort of one of those non-Jews that felt Jewish, or at least aspired to Jewishness. In her case it was a class thing - where she grew up in Long Island the Jews were the smarter UMC kids and she wanted to be like them. So she married a Jew(me). And then we got divorced, and she married a gentile, but he (unlike me) has a Jewish-sounding last name.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:39 AM
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I think those are just people asking secular Jews to become religious Jews, but I can't really be sure.

Those assholes. They always Are-You-Jewish me. The best response I ever heard, but never got around to using, was "yes, and the great thing about Judaism is WE DON'T PROSELYTIZE.'


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:40 AM
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I've thought about saying, "No, but this guy is" while pointing at whoever is standing next to me. This usually happens on the bus and I could use the diversion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:43 AM
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36

Is it too early for a Thanksgivukkah food thread?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:44 AM
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Is it too early for a Thanksgivukkah food thread?

Latke/turkey/cranberry sandwich.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:46 AM
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While stifling the obligatory "where it counts!" joke, I'll share a differently-aggravating joke about Jewish penises.

You know why Jewish women can't parallel park?
All their life they've been told that this [hold hands up about 4" apart] is six inches!!


HOW WOULD THAT AFFECT THEIR ABILITY TO PARALLEL PARK?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:46 AM
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37 is true.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:47 AM
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40

Er, 37 sounds good. I guess a list of ingredients has no truth value.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:47 AM
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I think those are just people asking secular Jews to become religious Jews, but I can't really be sure.

This is almost certainly correct. That sounds like Chabad -- http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/244374/jewish/The-Chabad-House.htm


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:47 AM
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42

Wasn't your driving instruction mostly about how to estimate the distance to the cars surrounding you in terms of penises?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:48 AM
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42 to 38.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:48 AM
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We were figuring out the menu for Thanksgivukkah yesterday. Or maybe we'll have the bagels and latkes on Friday.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:50 AM
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38: Tough question! They think they have to get too close to the curb, so they bang into it?



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:51 AM
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I guess a list of ingredients has no truth value.

We need a richer logic.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:53 AM
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The only reason I've ever heard of Jews for Jesus is that scene in Airplane!...

The documentary Jews and Baseball begins with the Airplane! scene in which a passenger asks for light reading, and the flight attendant offers the pamphlet, "Famous Jewish Sports Legends". The House of David teams aren't featured, presumably because they were Jew-ish rather than Jewish.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:53 AM
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I have in my FB feed a South African woman (with the most iconic Afrikaner last name I can imagine) whom I befriended over our common Scots ancestry (Gloag may not be as iconic, but it's unmistakably Scottish), who posts nearly exclusively way-out Zionist propaganda.

Eye-rolling has some therapeutic benefit, right?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:54 AM
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38: It could cause problems in the emerging world of voice commands. Siri, back the car up six inch- BANG BUT I WAS MORE THAN A SHVANTZ AWAY!


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:56 AM
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38 -- I first heard this when I was a surveyor(where the set-up was why women are bad surveyors) hands are held 5.5" apart and the misstatement is 8.

The real joke isn't the parking.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:02 AM
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I feel Jewish by osmosis, because it feels like many of the people around me were and are Jewish, including my childhood best friend and her parents who are basically family. Growing up and still today, our families basically collectively formed a larger interfaith one, with us celebrating passover and hanukkah (and occasionally one of the minor ones like sukkot), and them celebrating Christmas and many of the weird slightly pagan Scandinavian smaller holidays.* Also, through my friend I read a very large portion of the YA literature aimed at Jewish kids, so I feel like that affected my development at key points in my life. AFAIK, my sister and I are the only goyim who know all the words to all the songs on "Shalom Sesame." I also sometimes joke that I am 'almost Jewish,' because my mother's mother's father's mother was Jewish, and if one gender were reversed, I could argue for unbroken matrilineal heritage. But I don't actually "feel" or think I am Jewish in an ethnoreligious sense, nor would I have answered affirmatively to that poll. I would say I'm Jewish in the way I'm Chinese: I feel a sense of cultural familiarity and a certain level of comfort, but am also most definitely an outsider. I also have a fairly strong ethnic/cultural identity which people tend to identify me with, so it's not like anyone ever thinks I am Jewish (or Chinese), no matter what sort of "insider" cultural knowledge I display.

*When we played house, how we were going to raise the children always was a big debate. My friend and I, very serious little theologians and traditionalists (though neither of us actually believing in God) felt that mixing traditions would lead to a loss of connection with either and a culturally unmoored secular humanism. While we were arguing, my sister would get fed up with both of us and just shout "why can't we have Christmas and Hanukkah and just get on with it" and then eventually storm out of the room. In fact, I'm not sure if we ever actually got to the 'playing house' part.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:22 AM
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I go to the JCC so I don't get to work out on Jewish holidays. Does that count?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:23 AM
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@25

During The War, some Jews fled east to China, and ended up in Shanghai. The Japanese refused to hand them over to the Germans, so they remained there during the war. In total there were over 20,000 Jews living in Shanghai. After the war most emigrated to the US or Israel, but a few stayed behind. I watched a Chinese documentary on this,* and they interviewed some of the remaining Jews. It was amazing seeing these elderly white people speaking fluent Mandarin and Shanghainese.


*this is actually the only time I can remember anyone Chinese saying anything nice about the Japanese, particularly about the Japanese in WW2.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:28 AM
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And yes, the Kaifeng Jews, but more people know about them than the Shanghai Jews.

Is it too early for a Thanksgivukkah food thread?
Latke/turkey/cranberry sandwich.

So...like a KFC double down, but with latkes instead of fried chicken?


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:34 AM
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one of those non-Jews that felt Jewish, or at least aspired to Jewishness

I have trouble understanding what it means to "feel Jewish". I get that non-Jewish people mean a variety of things by it, but it just seems so odd to say that you "feel Jewish".

I've been trying to find an analogy that might make more sense to me -- despite the analogy ban -- and all I can come up with is people who are mixed race. They might feel white, or black, or latino or whatever else: while they are a mix of these things, they might "feel" more one or the other. That makes sense to me.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:35 AM
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One of my favorite Jews for Jesus joke is in the Christ converts to Islam article in The Onion.

In perhaps the oddest development, the Jews For Jesus organization announced Monday that it has split into three separate groups: Jews Still For Jesus, Jews For Allah, and Jews For Just Being Jews Again.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:43 AM
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55: An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

That's what feeling Jewish meant to Sylvia Plath.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:44 AM
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When I was a kid, I had the impression that there was a non-negligible class of people for whom aspiring or pretending to Jewishness (in the -- kind of racist, I think -- senses of fast-talking, urban, sophisticated, cynical, self-conscious, long-suffering) was the next best thing to arrogating the moral superiority of African-Americans.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:53 AM
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Should I be panicking yet about the debt ceiling? A few people I talked to today over here seemed confused about it. It's, irrationally, somehow harder to believe in imminent economic catastrophe when people outside the US don't seem to realize anything especially bad could happen.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:56 AM
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I have trouble understanding what it means to "feel Jewish".

The way I would explain it is, if you hear other people talking about [some ethnic/cultural group], do you immediately feel like they might be talking about you?


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:59 AM
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[I]f you hear other people talking about [some ethnic/cultural group], do you immediately feel like they might be talking about you?

I feel very hurt when society disparages tall, clumsy, diffident and absent-minded honkies. If you cut us, do we not complain on the Internet?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:04 PM
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6, 30: This is what I tell her! It's practically a Jewish tradition to be atheist, I tell her! I make a list of all the famous Jewish atheists for her!

But what do I know, I'm just a goy.

One of the big problems, of course, is that here in Fort Smith, there are almost no Jews at all, so she hardly ever meets anyone except Christians. Her entire Jewish cultural experience has come from me, and (not very often) from her father. He's supposed to be educating her in how to be a Jew, obviously, but although he's not an atheist, he's also not that interested. He's more a prog-rock Jew than a Torah-Jew.

He did argue strongly for buying a Menurky this year, tho.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:06 PM
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He's more a prog-rock Jew than a Torah-Jew.

His Hebrew's horrible, but his fifteen minute Moog solos have to be seen to be believed.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:27 PM
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A Roger Dean album cover joke eludes me. Moby? Neb?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:32 PM
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I don't know much about prog rock. It was a little before my time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:33 PM
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60: Oh, huh. I wouldn't say I feel Jewish. I grew up identifying as a goy in a Jewish-majority environment. But there's a brand of (what I perceive as) subtle anti-Semitism that I take personally -- the sort of redneck-city-intellectual-and-elitist-hating is, I think, strongly relating to anti-Semitism, but I also feel like people who hate Jews on those terms hate me too, despite my goyishness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:34 PM
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Sifu's 31 is me, too. Which isn't very surprising since we grew up in neighboring towns, IIRC.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:36 PM
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||

I've been exercising at 6 am MWF all semester. I feel great all morning, and then I die all afternoon. I'm frantically trying to get some shit done for a meeting, and I have about five minutes before a bunch of students descend on my office hours. And then after all that, fucking math club. I'm tired.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:49 PM
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59:Panicked meaning what? Buying gold? Stocking up on canned goods, ammo, and bottled water? Taking good care of your hands so you can rant on the internet?

A couple of weeks ago I studied up on Thomas Mann, and then over the weekend spent some hours with Lion Feuchtwanger...both of them starting and completing their exiles. And the Hollywood German community. Do you, will you feel like them?

the sort of redneck-city-intellectual-and-elitist-hating is

You hated me first. And the Heidegger bashing is over at CT


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:50 PM
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60: Well. I'm not sure I've ever felt like that, except perhaps with people who are talking about intellectual types.

66: there's a brand of (what I perceive as) subtle anti-Semitism that I take personally

Definitely. I would not describe that feeling as feeling Jewish, though. It's more just being annoyed that the speakers in question are being anti-Semitic, in a way that they apparently don't realize is bigoted. It doesn't make me feel Jewish to experience that sentiment. I figure I'm just being human.

I also just noticed that my name/pseud disappeared earlier on. Sorry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:53 PM
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I coulda been Jewish if my mother had married some guy she knew at Brandeis and converted. I've never "felt Jewish," although, being an anarchist and growing up where I did, I've been around Jews pretty constantly my whole life. It was always fairly obvious to me that I was not a Jew, despite spending weekend nights sitting at my grandparents' table arguing politics throughout my childhood.

I've mentioned before that I've seen Jews for Jesus doing visibility events at the Mall of America, where they all wear stupid Jews for Jesus t-shirts and sit in the food court eating fast food and what not. It's pathetic all the way down at that point.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:56 PM
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But it's different (for me) than reacting to subtle racism. Someone says something codedly anti-black, I think "You're a bigot", but it doesn't feel aimed at me. Someone says something in that kind of codedly anti-Semitic way, I think "You're an anti-Semite, and your definition of Jew is loose enough that you hate me too."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:57 PM
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66: You're in NYC right? Isn't it the official deep red state position that everyone in NYC who isn't black or an immigrant is Jewish, except for Rudy Giuliani?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:58 PM
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And firefighters.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:01 PM
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I've experienced something like what LB talks about too, especially at the stock brokerage. Of course, all the actual Jews there were pretty assimilated to Midwestern white Lutheran cultural norms, often moreso than I was, so perhaps my concern was misplaced.

Also, have I mentioned my Jewish friend who insists that Jews can't be expected to have ever watched A Christmas Story? That's crazy, right? It's not even a little bit about Christianity. And the family winds up having Jewish Christmas at a Chinese restaurant, ferchrissakes!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:02 PM
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Also, have I mentioned my Jewish friend who insists that Jews can't be expected to have ever watched A Christmas Story?

I had a Jewish boss once claim a surprising unfamiliarity with It's A Wonderful Life -- not never watched it, but never heard of it. I surmised that it was a bit of a matter of principle -- Christmas movies aren't my thing, so they don't exist in my world.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:05 PM
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68 And then after all that, fucking math club.

Surely they can just fuck each other for once.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:06 PM
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72: Ah. Yes, I see that. Some people don't have clear definitions of Jewishness, apparently.

I am consistently incensed by remarks from a sometime coworker who explains that someone he ran across at an auction "was a Jewish guy." I believe I've complained about this here before. When I question this coworker -- what does his being possibly Jewish have to do with anything? Why do you think he's Jewish? Why is that relevant? -- he just eyeballs me and patiently explains that the guy's name is, like, a Jewish name, so. Also the guy behaves in a certain fashion, let's say it's bargaining to the bitter end. Which -- apparently! -- is Jewish.

Oh my god. It utterly freaks me out that people walk around filtering their awareness of other people in this way.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:11 PM
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Why does everyone keep identifying some other people as Jewish???? My god.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:13 PM
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I of course don't give a fuck for or about the Religious Right...but...

For a good part of my life I have wonder if Jimmy Joyce was full of shit, or if he captured something in Ulysses that Jews could recognize and not only was more general but accelerating. Mann and Feuchtwanger have recently brought the question back.

Bloom, Dedalus, Ulysses, Joyce himself...the exiled, expatriate, alienated, cosmopolitan, deracinated. Marx in London, Nietzsche, Rimbaud, Thucydides...I have always been closer to the exile, the immigrant. But I don't know what it feels like to be a Jew.

Anthony J Smith, National Identity

But the chief reason why the symbolic and ritual aspects of nationalism impinge so directly on the sense of individual identity today lies in its revival of ethnic ties and ethnic identification, and especially its commemoration of 'the forefathers' and the fallen in each generation of the community. In this nationalism resembles those religious faiths that, like Shintoism, set great store by communion with the dead and worship of ancestors. Like those religions, nations and their remembrance ceremonies bring together all those families that have lost kinsmen in war and other national disasters, and all who look back to common forefathers, so as to draw from their example that strength of purpose and spirit of self-sacrifice that will inspire in them a similar heroism.

Transcending oblivion through posterity; the restoration of collective dignity through an appeal to a golden age; the realization of fraternity through symbols, rites and ceremonies, which bind the
living to the dead and fallen of the community: these are the underlying functions of national identity and nationalism in the modern world, and the basic reasons why the latter have proved so durable, protean and resilient through all vicissitudes.

Sometimes I think I read entire books to get to the last poetic paragraphs.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:14 PM
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OT: How do tech recruiters work? A friend/colleague of mine asked me to talk to someone at some company that might make him a job offer. I told him I'd try but with travel it's kinda difficult. The recruiter guy is trying to set up a time to talk and honestly it's kind of a giant pain what with being in very different time zones and having not-very-high-bandwidth internet connections and whatnot.

I guess what I'm wondering is: if I don't bend over backwards to make this conversation happen, and then the guy doesn't get the job, should I feel at all personally responsible? Do they really make decisions on the basis of this sort of thing? Writing rec letters for academic jobs is so much easier....


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:15 PM
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Latke/turkey/cranberry sandwich.

FYI Saul's Deli does basically this. (Well, they don't make it a sandwich, but you can get all that on a plate standard.)

And 75: not crazy at all. I don't care how little you think Christmas isn't about Christianity, from my perspective it totally is. (I was trying to figure out a while back what the essence of being Jewish in America was, given the atheism and the secularism and all. The best thing I could come up with was: we don't celebrate Christmas.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:17 PM
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83

How about Easter?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:18 PM
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79 -- Is God really Jewish?


Posted by: Heinz Rippenstoss | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:22 PM
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83: You're right, Easter's usually a day of mourning. Good Friday, OTOH...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:24 PM
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OR Easter.

Though we do buy the little Cadbury creme eggs.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:24 PM
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Because some sacrifices are too much to ask of ANYONE.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:25 PM
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(I was trying to figure out a while back what the essence of being Jewish in America was, given the atheism and the secularism and all. The best thing I could come up with was: we don't celebrate Christmas.)

Yes, except.... a lot of American Jews do celebrate Christmas. For example, my best friend who as an adult claimed to still believe in Santa Claus.

The answer to the question is that we don't believe in Jesus. If an American Jew believes in Jesus, then other Jews will not consider him a Jew. The other thing that might work that way is becoming a Muslim. But it's no problem for a Jew to also be a Buddhist.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:25 PM
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The big Cadbury eggs with the sugar "yolk" make me sick. I still eat them, but I always feel sick afterward.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:26 PM
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Right, bigots think everyone in NYC is Jewish and everyone in SF is gay.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:26 PM
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Yes, except.... a lot of American Jews do celebrate Christmas.

I'd never set foot in their shul if you *paid* me!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:27 PM
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82: Right, but I'm not saying Christmas isn't about Christianity, even though it's not, but rather that A Christmas Story isn't about Christianity. Big chunks of the film aren't even about presents and stuff -- they're about the general aspects of growing up lower-middle class in the late 1940s. School, bullies, parents' craziness, etc. If you want to talk about the Red Rider gun being the core of the movie, then there is the tenuous connection to Xtianity through its appearance as a Christmas present, but that's as far as it goes.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:27 PM
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75:But if I did care about the Religious Right, had any empathy for them and if this thread was in any serious way about "What it feels like to be a Jew" I might point to the some recent articles about the Religious Right/Tea Party feeling like strangers in their own land and feeling dispossessed.

I have never belonged anywhere or had anything to lose, so I can't relate to dispossession.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:28 PM
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if this thread was in any serious way about "What it feels like to be a Jew"

It feels like a Phillip Roth novel stomping on a knish...forever


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:30 PM
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(It's better than I'd remembered.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:31 PM
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Yes, except.... a lot of American Jews do celebrate Christmas.

I will never understand such people.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:36 PM
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Lots of people celebrate holidays that don't directly concern them. Canadians celebrate the 4th of July, except on the 1st of July, and Thanksgiving, even though Abraham Lincoln didn't tell them they could.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:38 PM
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I just read Bleeding Edge, which is reasonably topical on being Jewish in New York, has lots of good jokes, a fun plot, and consistently impresses by how much more with-it the author is than novelists a decades younger; my only regret is that there weren't nearly enough magnificently dense passages like 95.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:39 PM
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88 gets it right. I have a plausible "Hitler would probably have killed me" claim to being Jewish, but being a practicing religious christian kind of settles the matter.

When I brought my (current, Jewish) wife to church, she said "it seemed OK I guess but I wasn't really expecting them to go on about Jesus so much."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:41 PM
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[A] lot of American Jews do celebrate Christmas.

Look, do white Christian Americans come down to your culture, ethnically-defined or otherwise, and seize the aspects that they wish to appropriate or exploit, discarding context and larger significance willy-nilly, in the process diminishing the value of the very treasures they wished to steal?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:43 PM
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OPINIONATED YOGA says yes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:45 PM
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Namaste, Whitey.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:46 PM
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How does adding women in really tight pants diminish the value of something?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:47 PM
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It depends on context content.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:48 PM
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Sherman Alexie does great stand-up about Wannabes, who, he says, continue to plague him after 20 years of relentlessly insulting them. He says some guy recently claimed to be 1/3 Native.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:48 PM
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It could happen. You'd just need some people marrying some cousins or siblings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:50 PM
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89: I agree, they're totally disgusting.

But how can you not eat them?


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:51 PM
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96: What's so hard to understand? Irvin Berlin wrote "White Christmas", you know.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:51 PM
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Also this: http://xkcd.com/1035/


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:51 PM
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||

I am desirous to know what's meant, in the current state of Congressional negotiations, by the proposal that "those receiving Obamacare subsidies be subject to income verification"

The quote comes from digby, but it's obviously discussed elsewhere.

What would "income verification" mean in this context? ACA subsidies are based on projected income in the upcoming year -- income that hasn't yet been gained -- so how do you "verify" that?

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:52 PM
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68: Skip the workout for some sleep? Workout during math club (ugh.)?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:52 PM
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96: What's so hard to understand? Irvin Berlin wrote "White Christmas", you know.

So you're saying that they're celebrating, not Christmas, but the opportunities for profit that Christmas represents?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:53 PM
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I don't think so, Moby. If the same person occupies more than one spot, they get credit for both spots.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:54 PM
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Well, you can have 1/3 of your ancestors be whatever, if you can't have 1/3 of you ancestry be whatever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:56 PM
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Σ (1/4)^4n approaches 1/3 as n goes from 0 to infinity, so maybe that's what he meant.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:56 PM
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You guys seem oddly ready to debate cousinage and genetic coverture.*

* New from Nabisco!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:56 PM
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If an American Jew believes in Jesus, then other Jews will not consider him a Jew.

There is an unusual exception to this rule. If he were to win a Nobel Prize, then he becomes Jewish again.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 1:59 PM
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115: But n can't approach infinity if we're looking at dividing ancestry into ethnic categories that are probably no more then 20,000 years old under the most expansive definitions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:00 PM
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OT: Lest I forget, you reprobates may see, inter alia, TWYRCL playing a stringed instrument behind Deltron 3030 tomorrow (Tuesday) evening on Letterman.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:01 PM
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But it's no problem for a Jew to also be a Buddhist.

Which is how you get Leonard Cohen.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:02 PM
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117: Apostasy loves company.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:03 PM
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I hadn't heard Deltron 3030. I'm going to assume he's 1% better than André.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:07 PM
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116 I've mentioned before that both parents of an ancestor of mine were the product of first cousin marriages.* Said ancestor wrote at length** on the foolishness of our society's taboos on this (with frequent invocations of imagined Jewish social practices). He was a prof at a med school, but also an opium addict, and I don't think the 'well look at me' line of argument did much to convince folks that looking into the matter was worth doing.

* Not Appalachia. Greenwich.

** A bit more than century ago.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:08 PM
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(One of the parents was a circus performer in the 1840s. Died on tour, of 'Asiatic cholera.' I've been unable to ascertain what his talent was.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:11 PM
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What would "income verification" mean in this context? ACA subsidies are based on projected income in the upcoming year -- income that hasn't yet been gained -- so how do you "verify" that?

I was wondering that too, because I thought the subsidies were routed through the tax system, and hence already have income verification of sorts.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:13 PM
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but also an opium addict

Sounds persuasive.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:14 PM
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OPINIONATED YOGA says yes.

In my limited experience, of the people who snark about this, the vast majority of them are people who have very little knowledge of the history and culture of yoga (a word so broad in meaning it's actually kind of hard to even speak of it being misappropriated). You occasionally find knowledgeable people to snark about it, but a pretty large subset of them are white. I've seen/read a fair amount of interviews with Indian yogis at this point in my life and I actually can't recall a one where they bitch about white appropriation although I may not remember correctly or have been exposed to all the relevant complaining. The attitude among Indian yogis that I hear is much more commonly more similar to the practical Buddhist "take what works for you" and a hope that they will find something bigger than what they started with.

B.K.S. Iyengar (important yogi) began practicing yoga solely as physical exercise. Yoga was a marginal practice even within India at the beginning of the last century and Krishnamacharya (important yogi) revived it with a focus on a physical practice because he was a visionary who saw that this is was the wave that would allow it to travel.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:15 PM
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The income I put into the exchange site was quite a bit lower than what my 2011 tax return shows (which the exchange obviously linked, somehow) -- but an honest projection -- and I got a letter back from HHS asking me to contact a representative and provide some data. My guess is that the Republicans are going to the mat to get something that already exists.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:19 PM
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119: Whoa! I'll try to take a look, if I'm up then.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:20 PM
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118: You only need to go back 64 generations to get to 0.332, which is pretty close.

Of course, if you go back that many it won't really be possible for have only four ancestors, spaced out appropriately, of the appropriate group.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:21 PM
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130 If someone tells you that they've traced their Native ancestry back 64 generations, you should ask them if they're from Greenwich.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:27 PM
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125, 128: Yeah, I'd like to see what exactly this means. I cannot prove what I'm going to make in future, but I'm happy to show what I've made in the past. The IRS has that info. Maybe Republicans are going to the mat for something that already exists, or maybe they're trying to make things more difficult and frustrating for those of us who don't draw a regular salary (toward making the ACA seem awful in general). Details are needed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:29 PM
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he was a visionary who saw that this is was the wave that would allow it to travel

Catch a wave and you're sittin' on top of the world.

But seriously, I picked up The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America at the dollar store awhile ago, and skimmed the first part. Very interesting to read about how many of the Transcendentalists were so heavily into yoga. Many steampunk plot possibilities there, I think.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:32 PM
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132: It seems to be coming from this Politico article (so take with a grain of salt). What they actually say is this:The plan under consideration would require larger bicameral budget negotiations to conclude by Dec. 13, sources said. Republicans would win a provision to force Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services secretary, to certify that individuals receiving Obamacare subsidies meet the required income levels. The department's inspector general would later have to conduct an audit on the matter.

So if that's accurate it seems like less of a hurdle for individuals than a stick to beat Sebelius with when they find someone whose projected income levels didn't pan out.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:42 PM
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127: I haven't been into yoga for a while, but it seemed to me that there was stuff about how the physical piece was tiny.

Krishnamacharya trained Patabhi Jois, and his son Desikachar is also a yogi, but that's relatively modern stuff. I thought that there were some people who argued that they were just appropriating calisthenics from the British.

The older tradition (this may be total BS) emphasized the spiritual aspects more.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:48 PM
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124: Pooping?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:48 PM
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Who needs a reason? You know those Republicans, they just want to create more big government bureaucracy and give the IRS more tools to persecute people who happen to fill in a box wrong.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:49 PM
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I wonder if it is basically this:

[Spet 13 -JPS]By a 235-191 vote, the House passes a bill (H.R. 2775) to prohibit the Obama administration from issuing tax subsidies for individuals applying for health coverage on new insurance marketplaces until there is a program in place to verify income eligibility. The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Black. It responds to a decision in July by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to allow less than full income verification in a limited number of circumstances. The bill isn't likely to be taken up in the Senate.
The rule change from July:
Under the final regulation, federally operated exchanges still will verify such information beginning in 2014, but states operating their own exchanges can wait until 2015 to do so (Morgan, Reuters, 7/7). In addition, exchanges will only have to audit a statistically significant sample of applicants whose self-reported income differs from federal records, as opposed to reviewing all such cases. For applicants not included in the sample, "the Exchange may accept the attestation of projected annual household income without further verification," the rule states.
So yeah, a dick move by dicks--but a relatively benign one in th ebroader picture. Agree with GY, something they can hold Sebelius/whomever-bashing hearings on sometime in the future. Plus racist fuckheads can campaign on that they kept those lying "urbans" from lying to get the free stuff Obama buys their votes with.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:50 PM
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Yes, okay, agreed that it's a stick to beat HHS with, making things even more difficult for Sebelius -- without, presumably, providing her department with additional funds to finance its mandated efforts.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:57 PM
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a lot of American Jews do celebrate Christmas

These glasses help.

It was when I enthused about a pair of these very specs at my local coffeeshop that a Jewish gentleman—and not just any Jewish gentleman, mind you, but a real-life New York Jew—declared me to be Jewish, crowing that spotting fellow Jews in Portland was like shooting fish in a barrel, at which point the barista tut-tutted that she found the comparison of "spotting Jews" to "shooting fish in a barrel" to be objectionable, and I told him that I wasn't Jewish. And then I found five episodes of Portlandia.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:02 PM
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there's a brand of (what I perceive as) subtle anti-Semitism that I take personally

I'm kind of the opposite. Whenever there's anti-semitism, I feel like I'm not entitled to feel persecuted. As in, "Oh, they didn't realize they were talking about me." Or if they're veiling it in terms of NYC and bankers, well, I'm not really from NYC myself. Nor am I a banker.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:03 PM
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Not like I excuse the anti-Semitism. More that it's in the same category as when I'm around other forms of prejudice that don't target me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:05 PM
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141: It's the Second Law Of Political Correctness: touchiness is always conserved.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:11 PM
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Also people think I'm Jewish until they hear the name that my good old mega-assimilationist mom gave me, and then they think I'm super-Southern, until they hear me speak, and then I think they think Yankee.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:11 PM
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they hear me speak, and then I think they think Yankee

?!?!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:25 PM
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Have you guys met? Heebie's got my accent: blandly Mid-Atlantic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:27 PM
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146: no way! Heebie has a noticeable southishness.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:28 PM
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Oh, a bit. But it sounds like an overlay -- the basic accent sounds pretty Northern, with some Southernish bits and pieces.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:29 PM
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147 is right, 146 is Greenwich-on-drugs wrong. It's not a redneck sound, but a delightfully soft breeze in the pines kind of southern.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:31 PM
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You think so? I didn't notice any in particular. In fact, hardly anyone at the 'con had what I would call a real accent. Apo sounds about 10x more Southern than heebie, and his accent isn't what you'd call thick either, just a pleasant twang to some of his vowels.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:31 PM
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And, LB, can you hear yourself? Blandly Mid-Atlantic? As if anyone south of the north shore of Staten Island talks like you?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:32 PM
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Sifu's Brahminical accent is the best, though.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:33 PM
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149 is very flattering, but at best my accent is Congested Mid-Atlantic which is not very melodious.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:34 PM
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Apo definitely has an accent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:35 PM
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Okay, I admit that I don't know what I sound like. But Heebie sounds to me like people I know around with a very little southern flavor, rather than someone who's fundamental rhythm is different.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:36 PM
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Fortunately, I don't sound the least like a Pittsburgh native.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:36 PM
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Apo, on the other hand, while his accent is mild, sounds fundamentally southern.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:36 PM
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I know people from Wisconsin who have a much thicker (in the sense of "deviating from the newscaster standard") accent than Apo.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:37 PM
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Wisconsinites can have terribly strong accents! They can sound downright ridiculous.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:37 PM
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LB is right. I am rootless.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:39 PM
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Meanwhile, I'm the only Minnesotan I know who sounds close to Jason Priestley's supposedly Minnesotan adenoidal-Thurston-Howell-the-Third accent on 90210.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:39 PM
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And never clearer than when they say "Wisconsin." That o gives them away every time.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:40 PM
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Don't forget that in Texas, Yankee includes pretty much everywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line. Californians have a "Yankee" accent to Texans. I've heard students say stuff like, "Well, all y'all sound the same to us."


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:44 PM
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Actually, I'm not sure I understand what Mid-Atlantic even means to you folks. NJ? Philly? Baltimore? Richmond? People from the Midwest or California transplanted to DC?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:46 PM
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163 is what I was thinking when I used the word. That I code as "Yer not from 'round here, are yee."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:47 PM
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164: Central Texas. What, that's non-standard?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:48 PM
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166 Having learned to speak in Fort Worth, I was surprised to find when we moved there that people in California thought I had an accent. It was more of a caliche dust storm than a soft breeze in the pines, thus more easily left behind.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:55 PM
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152: that's not an accent; I actually have tetanus.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:58 PM
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Mid-Atlantic = "Ah you rilly an ahchitect?"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:59 PM
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146: blandly Mid-Atlantic.

You're surely not talking the Carey-Grant/Hepburn/Buckley Mid-Atlantic? Right?

Carp's 164 is right--there is no such animal as true regional dialect.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:16 PM
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I'm using Mid-Atlantic idiosyncratically to mean someone who I can't place as being not from around here. What that tends to mean in practice is grew up in the Boswash megalopolis and isn't strongly regional within it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:30 PM
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Oh, right, the Greenwich mid-Atlantic.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:31 PM
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172 to 170.

Class plays a big role in these things.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:36 PM
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Cary Grant's was particularly mid-Atlantic [ahem].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:37 PM
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I think sometimes the standard American accent gets called the "midlands" accent, but not "Mid-Atlantic." Maybe that's the source of the confusion?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:43 PM
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I think the Hepburn/Plimpton Mid-Atlantic was supposed be literally the middle of the Atlantic: halfway to England, so it would sound equally normal to Americans and English.

What I meant, and I don't think this is a standard usage, is "like people talk in the Mid-Atlantic states." Coastal NY/NJ/PA/DE -- anything with that basic sound, and not too many specific tells for location within that area.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:10 PM
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I don't think this is a standard usage

In fact it is a mildly hilariously provincial usage, since it sounds like you're talking about standard American newscaster English, which is really more closely tied to more western areas, but cool, I'm with you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:12 PM
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I think the Hepburn/Plimpton Mid-Atlantic was supposed be literally the middle of the Atlantic: halfway to England, so it would sound equally normal to Americans and English.

It sounds English to Americans, and American to the English, that is.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:14 PM
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Three years of marriage to a Wisconsinite is enough to start saying "Wi-scon-sin." A Californian friend who married a Missourian has likewise adopted "Missour-uh."


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:16 PM
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Apropos what I'm listening to right now, how would you characterize Vin Scully's accent?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:19 PM
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||Vin Scully now going on about Alameida's grandfather (? maybe relative, the general) for obvious Cardinal-pitcher related reasons.|>


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:20 PM
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Zardoz got her first Cardinals gear this weekend, but it won't fit her until they are inevitably in the postseason next fall.

Meanwhile, I didn't get to see any of the Boston sports amazingtimes yesterday, but of course I can treasure the photo like everybody else.

I did not notice anybody saying "missour-uh" but Blume assures me that many of them likely would do so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:23 PM
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180 -- He specially trained his voice to be 30s-40s radio announcer voice, but he's NY Irish by birth.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:24 PM
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177: Isn't mid-Atlantic the word for the East Coast region between New England and the South? I'll cop to being generally provincial, but why would you use that word to talk about midwestern newscaster-speak?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:27 PM
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184: you... I.... you make a good point. What am I talking about? Except, on a subtextual level, "please sleep more, baby".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:29 PM
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179: Don't you mean Wi-sgan-sin? And may I express hatred for Ellinois/Ellinoise?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:36 PM
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Okay, with Blume's help, I have figured it out: the places that LB identifies as "mid-atlantic" are known for really identifiable accents, so insofar as there is a common accent between them, it's going to be something like midwestern/California standard newscaster English, as opposed to something with anything to do with the mid-atlantic coast.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:45 PM
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187: Hmm. . . I use the term "mid-atlantic" in precisely the way LB does, so I'm confused by the confusion. Do you not agree, Sifu, that there's a standard accent shared by educated people on the east coast? Shared, for instance, by you (grew up outside of Boston) and me (grew up outside of Baltimore)? I haven't heard LB, but I'd be surprised if she didn't sound like us. Or do you agree that there is such an accent, but would call it something else?

(Or am I just really, really oblivious to accents and Teo or Matt needs to rescue me?)


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:54 PM
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188.1: the latter; that same accent is shared by people who grew up in, say, St. Louis, or Oakland, or Minneapolis, or probably Austin.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:56 PM
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I don't think there's a standard accent for educated northeasterners that differs in any noticeable way from the educated version of the standard general American accent that you'd find pretty much everywhere as the non-accent-accent, so identifying this as "Mid Atlantic" seems really weird to me. Mid Atlantic would either mean Cary Grant or maybe that weird Philly or Baltimore accent.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:57 PM
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For me, the notion that Boston and Baltimore have the same accent calls into question the concept of an accent. OK, sure, class can kill a lot. But everything.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:58 PM
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Ah, I see, and I'm persuaded. LB, I'm abandoning our east coast parochial side!


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:59 PM
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So, I have theory, CharleyCarp, about accents, which is that they're more class-linked in the east. I mean, yes, to be sure, the Baltimore accent is very, very different from the Boston, but neither Sifu nor I would speak like that. I think in the interior west and the south, at least, if not in the midwest or upper north, it's more likely for people of all classes to speak with a regional tinge. (This may be because geographical mobility in schooling is more of a value in the east, but now I'm way out on a amateur sociological limb). I have no idea about California.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:03 PM
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There's a specific educated/rich person southern accent, and a Texas one, in a way that there's not really anymore an educated/rich person NY accent, I'll give you that, though it's not universal even there. Upper Midwest, I'd say no, I don't think well educated people often have much of an accent, though they may retain a little bit of the great vowel shift that you're noticing.

Boston in particular had especially class-based accents because (until recently, so they tell me) it had more of the old-England class system than just about anywhere else in America.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:09 PM
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it had more of the old-England class system than just about anywhere else in America

What? Compared to, say, Virginia? Not hardly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:12 PM
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There wasn't much of an urban white Virginian working class, ever. Maybe "really old-England class system."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:13 PM
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Should that have been "hardly" rather than "not hardly"? Substitute in the appropriate idiom. I remain, as I may have implied, really tired.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:13 PM
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Not that Boston lacked significant hereditary class divisions, but they were basically idiosyncratic and homegrown, and didn't really have much to do with divisions between aristocratic/common English.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:17 PM
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I do think Yankee Atlantic Educated Standard is less standard here on the edge of the south. I know Mister Smearcase and I have accents that differed from our local peers (because snobbery but also because lack of early close friends, perhaps) but I think fit in fine with the rest of the group in DC.

I was actually hoping there'd be a regional dialects thread going because I heard one of my favorite odd usages today, "I don't care to check that" for "I don't mind checking on that." The only people I know who use "don't care to" to mean the opposite of what I would are from white Appalachian backgrounds, but it may well be more widespread. (And actually one person who says it isn't from an Appalachian family in the near past as far as I know but is local probably German Catholic. Today's user left the outskirts of the mountains a few years ago.)

((I am also hoping the child who's been kicking at and spitting on me while telling me how much she dislikes me will put herself to bed while I take this break from her. It's been a really rough day!))


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:17 PM
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196 Wait, what?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:18 PM
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196: the English aristocracy was not particularly urban, no?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:18 PM
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190: It's not very distinct from newscastery midwest or similar-class California, but there's a subtle difference you can hear. Someone with the boring-whitebread-educated accent from east of the Appalachians, I'm poised to hear a story about how they ended up moving to NY. Someone who sounds like Heebie, she clearly lives in the South now, but if she said she grew up in Hoboken I wouldn't be surprised.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:19 PM
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OT: YES!!!!!!

201: I think you're thinking of David Hackett Fisher or the 18th century and am missing what I mean. Boston had until maybe the 1970s something that looked unusually closer to the 19th-20th century English class system, where there are significant class-based divisions among people of the same race in the middle of a big urban City.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:21 PM
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202 sounds like crazytown to me, though I've never heard Heebie speak, unless you mean people who have specific regionalisms or retain a mild accent.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:24 PM
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Actually, I assume it means that Heebie retains a slightly Jewish accent.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:26 PM
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200 -- I'm thinking of Richmond and Norfolk in the 20th century.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:27 PM
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I assume it means LB doesn't blame anyone for where they have to go to get the hell out of Hoboken.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:27 PM
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206 -- OK, but neither were very substantial cities until very recently.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:29 PM
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203.2: oh, I see what's going on. You're counting the Irish as white.

Seriously, though, what you are reading as class-based divisions I read as sort of standard American ethnic stratification (which you see everywhere, or certainly everywhere in the east), only the ethnic group in question is so heavily assimilated everywhere else that it reads as something like hereditary class.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:33 PM
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Richmond was not a substantial city until very recently? It was the capital of the CSA! It was maybe the biggest industrial city in the south before the war. Over 200 years ago they were building canals intending to make Richmond the center for trade between the (mid-)west and the East Coast via the James River.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:37 PM
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204: Come on, you're California -- can't you hear East Coasters, even if they don't have much of anything you call an accent, sound like 'not California'? It's not a big difference, but if you talk to someone from off the East Coast, no matter how bland they sound, there's something about the vowels that you can hear as 'not East Coast'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:38 PM
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OT: YES!!!

209 -- yeah, probably, but there was also a really long-time unified hereditary urban aristocracy in a way that there wasn't in most other major US cities, certainly not New York, and that kept power longer. Maybe Philadelphia but even there you had more Germans.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:39 PM
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Ok, I'm on board with the notion of standard American unaccented English, and anyone can speak it no matter where they come from: Boston, Houston, Chicago, Memphis. But I don't think it correct to call it "mid atlantic" because there's an actual mid atlantic region and people have various accents there.

I don't remember LB speech as strongly accented, but it's certainly seemed highly educated class Manhattan-Hartford (not Baltimore-Boston) to me. Very Hepburn.* So, comity, I guess.

* There's a family story about my dad's uncle dating teenaged Hepburn, on the Connecticut shore.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:39 PM
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211 -- not really, especially not here, again b/c I suspect that some of what you're thinking of is a slightly Jewish accent.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:40 PM
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I mean, I can tell people from New York because they make such a big fucking deal about telling you that they're from New York.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:41 PM
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212.2: I mean, going by mayors as a synecdoche for local politics, only until the late 19th century, at which point they were pretty much out of the game politically. Not that they (the brahmins) didn't stay rich, but they weren't in charge in any particularly meaningful way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:46 PM
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Okay, 'unaccented' is just silly. No one's 'unaccented', it's just a question of which accent you've got. I'm talking about small differences within what you're calling 'unaccented', though: there's an accent that doesn't vary all that much across the US outside the south, but within that, there are subtle things about the vowels that say West Coast, middle of the country, or East Coast.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:47 PM
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Yeah but I mean socially, not in terms of controlling the levers of municipal politics. Wasn't the Boston mayor pretty much the enemy through the 20th Century of everything the Brahmins hated (looks up guy I'm thinking of) e.g. Curley.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:49 PM
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strike "the enemy" and "of" there to allow that to maybe make sense.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:50 PM
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217 -- maybe, but I sincerely can't hear it, I don't think (sometimes I hear people with what I think of as a "slight NY accent" which maybe is it). Maybe link to a speaker of same?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:52 PM
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As to the OT, I subscribe to this argument in Slate, except with a smidgen of guilt about it, for god's sake.

Here are some of the things I cherish about Jewishness: unsnobbish intellectualism, sympathy for the disadvantaged, psychoanalytic insight, rueful comedy, smoked fish. Those things have been thoroughly incorporated into American upper-middlebrow culture. Philip Roth and Bob Dylan and Woody Allen no longer read as "Jewish" artists but as emblematic Americans.

The first part is more defensible than the artist examples, but I used to argue a similar thing w/r/t Seinfeld.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:53 PM
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217 -- If you're saying there's less of a difference in very lightly accented Standard American English between someone from Boston and someone from Philly than there is between someone from Hartford and someone from Cleveland (or Denver), then we're going to have to agree to disagree.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:55 PM
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218: but socially every city on the East Coast had that. You think there aren't still clubs in NYC and DC where only old(ish) WASP money is welcome? The biggest difference in Boston is that they got a name and a lot of literary mentions because of our oversupply of writerly types.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:58 PM
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223 -- The difference I'm thinking of is that NY had a more varied and open elite than Boston (though not than Philly), or really multiple elites, as well as more mobility up and down between generations, as well as just generally being larger. Thus there was more of a 20th C "class system" in Boston, in which a hierarchy was clear, variations are recognizable based immediately on accent, heredity, etc. as opposed to the more standard general US pretend everyone can muddle together as long as they're white plus we really really respect wealth. I'm writing this in between trying to work and listening intensely to baseball so this may not be the world's best-defended assertion.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:05 PM
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215: Ahem. I find myself hounded basically instantly by the question "Are you from NY?" when I'm in LA.
(I think we've done this here already. Apparently I talk fast and wear a lot of black.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:05 PM
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Oh yes, talking fast and wearing all black will do it instantly.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:06 PM
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As we discussed before.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:07 PM
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OT: YES.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:12 PM
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To return to topic, the only people I see wearing all black here are the more strenuously-practicing kind of Jewish people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:15 PM
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I've never been to LA so I don't know where they'd think I'm from. Sometimes I wear black.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:16 PM
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I haven't been to LA since 1982 or so. All I remember is the tar pits.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:18 PM
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I would like to add that Carp has lost all accent-related credibility by saying I sound at all like Katherine Hepburn. Other than when actually saying "Yes, Professor," there's literally no resemblance.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:21 PM
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OT: Does Ted Cruz look like a tool in every picture or am I projecting?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:22 PM
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Me, but that was probably clear from context.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:23 PM
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OT: YES.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:31 PM
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233: Why can't it be both?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:35 PM
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It could, but it being one or the other is more probable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:43 PM
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YESYESYES


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:43 PM
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Somebody loves probability theory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:44 PM
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Or Hanley Ramirez's broken rib. Which is cool and all, but it's no bloody sock.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:45 PM
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186: Wi-sgan-sin is better. When spoken by lurid keyaki's mother or sister, the 'a' has that touch of Upper-Midwest Swedishness; lk herself has completely transparent vowels. I suppose that for me 'transparent' should equate to 'Mountain West accent,' but, 217 acknowledged, I don't know if there is one for people my age. Many older folks have a recognizable sort of cowboy accent, but I've never had anyone tell me my voice was placeable.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:54 PM
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COME ON COME ON COME ON.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:55 PM
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Kenley Kenley Kenley


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:58 PM
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I don't think cavemen had baseball.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:59 PM
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YES. Alive for another day.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:02 PM
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244: They do, just not in a way we can understand.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:03 PM
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Technically, wouldn't they have been alive for another day even if they'd lost?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:04 PM
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Yes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:05 PM
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I'm actually totally rooting for the Dodgers, because Halford's tears will be even sweeter when their defeat comes at the hands of the Red Sox.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:07 PM
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Richmond was not a substantial city until very recently? It was the capital of the CSA! It was maybe the biggest industrial city in the south before the war. Over 200 years ago they were building canals intending to make Richmond the center for trade between the (mid-)west and the East Coast via the James River.

It was a regionally significant city in a region not known for its cities. In 1860, Richmond had 38k people. New York (well, the five boroughs) had 1.2 million, Boston 178k, Phily 566k; even Washington, a very young city, had 75k. New Orleans, the traditional big city of the South, had 169k.

Richmond was the capital of the CSA because the CSA desperately needed Virginia.

It was true that they were building such canals. It is not true that they succeeded; shipping downriver was responsible for New Orleans's growth, and the Erie Canal won for eastwards traffic. (The Pennsylvania Mainline was another failure, probably worse than the C&O canal).
I think Richmond's industrialization really only picked up after the war, and can only be considered substantial against a baseline of the South ignoring New Orleans.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:10 PM
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135: That's not bullshit; it's just a different claim.

There is a collection of loosely affiliated spiritual and philosophical disciplines called yoga that are very old, some of them older than others. The subset of these that you could call "hatha yoga" had a strong emphasis on physical practices, but not so much the poses we appropriating Americans do today, it was a bunch of other physical stuff, e.g. the neti pot dear to many of our heart. Also breath stuff (pranayama) and other kinds of movement that are not the most familiar postures.

My point was just that this kvetching about misappropriation is, afaict, is not primarily the concern of the actual people being supposedly being appropriated from, and it's pretty hard to make claim of "misappropriation" even coherent, considering the thing supposedly being misappropriated is a fusion of lots of influences that was designed for export and widespread adoption, and the category "yoga" supposedly being corrupted was even in ye olden days so diverse as to contain philosophies that said "renounce the world," and others that said, "it's fine if you're a rich businessman as long as all your actions are done with devotion to god." What has happened is a very widely branching tree grew another set of branches.

In my experience as an American yoga practitioner, I continue to be mystified by the common claims that American yoga is divorced from spirituality, because I actually have been quite consistently exposed to philosophy/chanting/other "spiritual" stuff in my yoga classes, and now that I've done a yoga teacher training and know something about the Yoga Alliance standards, you can't wriggle out of there without some exposure to history and philosophy of yoga. Of course, I've taken yoga in the decadent coastal enclaves/one decadent Midwestern enclave, so maybe it's not representative, but still.

I DO think that the content of yoga philosophy has evolved in its present day incarnation, closely related, I imagine, to Natilo's observation about the Transcendentalists, who share an intellectual heritage with the Romantics. All through yoga teacher training I was super frustrated by what felt to me to like an inability to draw distinctions. I would observe that Thing I Had Usually Understood to Be a Value in Yoga appeared discrepant with Ancient Philosophical Text and when I invited comment I would always get "Oh, it's just different ways of saying the same thing," which it was not! I was immensely satisfied by this article a friend sent me: http://www.tricycle.com/feature/romancing-buddha, which, though it is about how Buddhism in the West has been heavily inflected by Romanticism, could have as easily been about yoga. It made me exactly understand why I was happy with the way ideas had filtered down to me in my classes but I found some of the foundational yoga texts uncongenial. Particularly, that point about how Buddhism (and yoga) posit an end or goal of existence and in Romanticism there is only process is pretty central to what I found unpleasant about those texts. I don't believe that kind of exit is possible, nor do I find the idea of it desirable.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:12 PM
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Further to 241, other than placeable as 'nerd,' which seems pretty invariant across the US. What is it with the universal nerd accent anyway? How did it come to be?


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:14 PM
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Sorry I messed up the link. Here.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:15 PM
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Cardinals have a .134 batting average through 3 games, and we're still down 2-1.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:25 PM
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Richmond was the capital of the CSA because the CSA desperately needed Virginia.

As a history naif, I find myself wondering why you'd chose a capital so near to the North - so near to Washington. I mean, I don't understand what kept the Yankees from marching down I-95 and taking the city.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:29 PM
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I have a slight Wisconsin accent on some words now, lent to me by my old roommate from Up North. Occasionally people will ask me if I'm from the Midwest right after I say "I don't knoooh." Although that hasn't happened in a couple months; maybe I've lost it already.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 8:48 PM
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I don't understand what kept the Yankees from marching down I-95 and taking the city.

Petersburg National Battlefield does a decent job of addressing this question.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:16 PM
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It's surprisingly difficult to get an army across the Rappahannock. That's why the Union tried the Peninsular Campaign.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:32 PM
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Heebie so does not sound southern. Any more than Thorn does or I do. (Bave says I sometimes do and it would make me feel more lingusitically interesting to think so but I wonder.) Anyway.

I don't care how little you think Christmas isn't about Christianity, from my perspective it totally is. (I was trying to figure out a while back what the essence of being Jewish in America was, given the atheism and the secularism and all. The best thing I could come up with was: we don't celebrate Christmas.

This is kind of the substance of an argument I had with Halford a year or two ago about holiday greetings where neither of us could see the other's point at all.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:44 PM
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I can't even really remember that argument but I'm sure I was either right or wrong.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 9:50 PM
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It seems equally likely that whichever you were, I was not.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:01 PM
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Gah, where to even start with this accent stuff.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:31 PM
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Or the Jewish stuff, I guess.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 10:32 PM
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It's just you and me awake, teo. Have at. Except actually I am maybe now going to phone-watch another episode of Season 5 of Damages because really? They made a fifth season of this very stupid, very formulaic, very watchable show?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:07 PM
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I've been thinking about it and I still don't even know where to start.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:44 PM
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But there's a brand of (what I perceive as) subtle anti-Semitism that I take personally -- the sort of redneck-city-intellectual-and-elitist-hating is, I think, strongly relating to anti-Semitism, but I also feel like people who hate Jews on those terms hate me too, despite my goyishness.

Yeah, I get this, though a little different. I feel like people feel free to say anti-Semitic things around me because I look like someone whom anti-Semites imagine would be anti-Semitic, except I'm not. They write off my urban intellectualism as being Swedish socialism, not "Bolshevism," which is somehow more ok because blond people, and then they get offended if I point out that is anti-Semitic and/or racist.* If someone says, "oh, don't you hate it that New Yorkers do X" (wink wink) and if I say "really? I do X too" then they are like, "oh, but that's different. you don't do it like those people" and then I get angry and call them anti-Semitic, and they seem shocked. Ditto with certain sorts of anti-Israel criticism or even Iraq war criticism.** I guess I am really annoyed that people assume they know all about my upbringing and political/social beliefs simply based on my phenotypic appearance. I am even more annoyed that so many people are racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, sexist dipshits.

*I love the look on Rightwingers' faces when they find out Sweden has a 70% out of wedlock birthrate.
**Yes, there were Jews involved in the decision to go to war with Iraq, but an overwhelming majority of those with actual power were WASPs. Yet despite the fact one could actually make an argument that there is a cabal of old WASPy men controlling the world, I have yet to hear that conspiracy theory.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:55 PM
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Okay, here's a shot at the linguistic stuff:

Geography and class are both important axes of sociolinguistic variation in the contemporary US. Educated middle-class white people tend to share a broad set of linguistic features that distinguish them from lower-class residents of their native geographic areas, but there are also local linguistic signifiers that transcend these class distinctions.

So, yes, most Americans who comment on Unfogged probably talks similarly in some respects, mainly syntactic and lexical, but there are also likely to be noticeable differences, mostly phonological. That said, "Mid-Atlantic" isn't really a useful linguistic concept except in reference to the Hepburn-Buckley accent that almost no one has anymore. The East Coast is a fairly coherent geographic and cultural area, but it's very diverse linguistically. Boston, New York, and Philadelphia all have distinctive dialects that share some general similarities but don't really group together meaningfully when compared to the other dialects in the country.

Anyway, to my ear heebie has a pretty typical General American accent with a few Southern features.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 12:01 AM
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Yet despite the fact one could actually make an argument that there is a cabal of old WASPy men controlling the world, I have yet to hear that conspiracy theory.

Really? Try googling "trilateral commission".


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 12:03 AM
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On the Jewish stuff, I guess I have the opposite experience of the goyim who feel Jewish because they grew up surrounded by Jews. Growing up Jewish in an area with very few Jews was just very different. For one thing, I tend to interpret "being Jewish" as "not being Christian," as was discussed a bit upthread, rather than as being primarily about any specific aspects of Judaism per se. I feel a lot of solidarity with other non-Christians, more so than with many other Jews, in fact.

Living in a heavily Jewish area, as I did for a couple years when I was in grad school in NJ, was actually really weird and disconcerting for me, since I didn't feel like I had much in common with all the other Jews around me, whereas I was used to identifying with other Jews because we were so isolated and outnumbered. Alaska feels much more comfortable in that respect.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 12:09 AM
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Try googling "trilateral commission"

Huh. Never heard of either the commission or the conspiracy theories before. Must hang out with the wrong group of conspiracy theorist hacks.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 12:57 AM
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Clearly.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 12:58 AM
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Jews for Jesus is a real organization. I don't know if they have it in the U.K.

Based on the Kentish Town Road, on a stretch that really used to be quite vicious until they showed up and unexpectedly turned out to be the pioneers of gentrification!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 2:55 AM
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That's why the Union tried the Peninsular Campaign.

Only to find that Wellington had already done that fifty years before. Boy, were their faces red!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 3:47 AM
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The Iberian Peninsula never looked very much like a peninsula to me. Too wide and if width doesn't matter, then it looks like just the tip of greater European Peninsula sticking out of Asia.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:15 AM
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"unsnobbish intellectualism, sympathy for the disadvantaged, psychoanalytic insight, rueful comedy, smoked fish."

Whoa, -1 Psychoanalytic Insight +1 Not Invading Anybody to Convert Them and that's exactly what I value about Judaism (despite not believing in God). Secular Jew manifesto!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:26 AM
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276

(275 is me)


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:26 AM
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277

There are a lot of peninsulas about the piece that look nothing like the definition I was taught in primary school geography. I mean, the Arabian peninsula? No way is it nearly an island. Wikipedia tries to tell me that the entire Indian subcontinent is a peninsula, in which case the word is void of all meaning.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:34 AM
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278

The Indian subcontinent? That can't be right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:35 AM
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"unsnobbish intellectualism, sympathy for the disadvantaged, psychoanalytic insight, rueful comedy, smoked fish."

By this definition Netanyahu isn't Jewish. This might explain a lot.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:35 AM
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279 Netanyahu doesn't like smoked fish? Who knew?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:46 AM
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There is that.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:46 AM
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India south of Gujarat and Bengal is peninsulaic, but counting the entire subcontinent is a stretch. I think Arabia is pretty clearly a peninsula, and you can even think of it as one in the "land surrounded on three out of four sides by water" model by considering the fourth side to be a line from Sinai to Kuwait.

I've had trouble thinking of other places as peninsulas, though. The various peninsulas around the Great Lakes (especially lower Michigan and the Niagara Peninsula) seem like they're cheating since they usually have land very close to them across a river. By that metric, New Jersey is a peninsula.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:55 AM
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To combine some other topics, Netanyahu speaks English with a distinctive Philly accent.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:56 AM
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(Looking) New Jersey kinda is a peninsula, isn't it. So is downtown Boston, for that matter, though far less of one than once it was.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:01 AM
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282.2: For similar reasons, I've always felt that Manhattan was a peninsula.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:01 AM
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There should be some rule that all the water surrounding peninsula or island has to be either salt water or fresh water. Brackish water counts as salt water. Otherwise, any river that parallels the coast for a while before hitting the ocean makes a peninsula. And that's just wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:07 AM
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By the standards of 286, New Jersey is still a peninsula. There's really no way around it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:10 AM
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Boston no longer is, because of the locks on the Charles.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:10 AM
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Well, not as much of it is, but maybe the width of the water is a better standard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:14 AM
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289 to 287.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:14 AM
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It's peninsulas all the way down.


Posted by: Benoit Mandelbrot | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:18 AM
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I think I had previously posted about the usurped Philippines one, but there seems to be a new largest island on a lake on an island in a lake on an island. In Canada, so some may question its existential validity.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:21 AM
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279: Yes. The father of my best friend (the Jewish family that celebrated Christmas) used to say that he didn't consider Israelis to be real Jews.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:47 AM
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It is impossible for me not to read the title of this post to the tune of "Movin' Out" by Billy Joel. It's horrible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:55 AM
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295

You ought to know by now.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:57 AM
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292: Are we counting the North American mainland as an island for these purposes? I thought Treasure Island, which is inside a lake on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, was the winner for the island on a lake on an island on a lake on an island (North America).


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:09 AM
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Let's not count North America as an island. That makes my head hurt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:10 AM
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292: Well, there's still only one largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake in the world. Which ought to be in the great state of Minnesota, rather than being an adjunct to Wisconsin's hat. Harrumph!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:12 AM
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296: Moose Boulder will always pwn your ridiculous Treasure Island.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:14 AM
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The largest latke on an island in a lake would make a good publicity stunt for somebody with an island in a a lake and a fuckton of potatoes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:22 AM
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300: If I ever get back to Isle Royale alive, I will make such a latke especially for you and take a picture to affix to social media postings, Moby.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:30 AM
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I've completely stopped Facebook. I didn't delete it or anything, but I've stopped checking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:32 AM
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269 is me, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:35 AM
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296: There's probably a nice, unambiguous, topologic criterion involving shore crossings.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:40 AM
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298/299: That's only if you don't accept the Caspian Sea as a lake, which it clearly is. Your Minnesotaean chauvinism is showing.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:41 AM
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297: You could count everything south of the St Lawrence and east of the Mississippi as an island. That's smaller than North America.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:42 AM
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You're not helping.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:44 AM
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306: Only because of the Chicagoans and their crazy waste management schemes.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:54 AM
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306: Right, as a result of fucking with Chicago's rivers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:56 AM
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I linked a map.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:58 AM
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305: NO! It's too salty!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:03 AM
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So the Great Salt Lake is a...?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:34 AM
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...peninsula?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:37 AM
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heavier than a duck?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:42 AM
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I only feel Jewish on peninsulas.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:42 AM
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Like Moses.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:47 AM
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DREAMING OF A WHITE ISTHMUS


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:47 AM
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317 is pretty awesome.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:01 AM
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Thanks.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:02 AM
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It is impossible for me not to read the title of this post to the tune of "Movin' Out" by Billy Joel. It's horrible.

See, for me it was that Fall Out Boy song that shows up in all the baseball broadcasts.

JEWISH ISH ISH ISH
JEWISH ISH ISH ISH
JEWISH ISH ISH ISH
I'M ON FI-YAH!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:02 AM
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