Re: Round-Faced Dudes With Issues

1

Maybe he'll start a blog.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 6:36 AM
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Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 6:46 AM
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He already got the TV show. So I suppose it'll be that and serve out his term. If he does something hideously illegal now, as opposed to at some undefined date in the past, he might have to spend a year or so as a guest of Her Majesty. Torontonians can only hope.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 6:57 AM
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The clan is gathering.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:03 AM
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Bah, I mean this.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:04 AM
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5: Oh my. That was my stop for a short while.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:11 AM
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He's interesting because he's an example of the Evil Clown political pattern (see also Berlusconi, George W. Bush, Shinawatra, Beppe Grillo), and he's quite similar to Boris Johnson except for the fact he projects proleness while Boris projects (spurious) nobility.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:11 AM
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It will eventually come out that either he or his brother has ordered people killed and/or severely beaten and then the whole thing will seem less funny.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:16 AM
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I mean, not unfunny. But less funny.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:16 AM
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Was Ford clownish* from the outset? Boris has been (astutely) laying the comedy groundwork for years.

*And if so, surely not this clownish?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:17 AM
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8: The video of them running around the city council meeting is sort of unsettling. (Also, by turns, hilarious.) Bah!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:17 AM
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10.1: yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:19 AM
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Dennis Skinner shows how to do it with panache.

Skinner: "Half the Tories opposite are crooks."
Speaker: "Please Retract."
Skinner: "Ok, half the Tories opposite aren't crooks."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:32 AM
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re: 7

Žižek had an article on that phenomena in the LRB a couple of years back. He identified Ahmadinejad as of the same type.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:33 AM
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I can see it. Avigdor Lieberman. George Galloway. They're everywhere.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:37 AM
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Wait a minute y'all. This was posted by Ogged? The real Ogged (PBUH) who ascended shortly after I started to read this blog? The real Ogged for reals?

I don't read all the comments like some of you do so maybe I missed something.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:37 AM
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14: regardless, we must cut the balls.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:37 AM
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He identified Ahmadinejad as of the same type.

Probably true. The extreme case of course being Idi Amin.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:38 AM
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7: Shinawatra seems kind of the odd one out in that list, but I don't know too much about Thai politics. Is he really an Evil Clown rather than just an Evil Billionaire?
And Ahmadinejad definitely doesn't belong on that list. Khrushchev probably would, though.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:38 AM
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7, 14: And of course it grades into the Idi Amins*.

*My characterization of the shameful flight suit episode was that Bush was acting like a first-world Idi Amin. One of the low points in the imagery of the American presidency even though it got Sean Hannity and Chris Matthews hard.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:38 AM
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20 before seeing 18.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:39 AM
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19: Not sure why Ahmadinejad does not. He certainly appeared to have tendencies in the bombastic clown direction.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:40 AM
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http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n14/slavoj-zizek/berlusconi-in-tehran


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:41 AM
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Ahmadinejad is not the hero of the Islamist poor, but a corrupt Islamofascist populist, a kind of Iranian Berlusconi whose mixture of clownish posturing and ruthless power politics is causing unease even among the ayatollahs. His demagogic distribution of crumbs to the poor shouldn't deceive us: he has the backing not only of the organs of police repression and a very Westernised PR apparatus. He is also supported by a powerful new class of Iranians who have become rich thanks to the regime's corruption - the Revolutionary Guard is not a working-class militia, but a mega-corporation, the most powerful centre of wealth in the country.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:41 AM
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Žižek probably belongs on his own list.

(And maybe not necessarily in a bad way: the point is more that it's an effective strategy than that it invariably signals terrible politics.) (Though we're not doing a good job coming up with non-terrible politics here, are we?)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:44 AM
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17 to 16.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:44 AM
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22: I don't know... I'm not sure that he has conscious clownish tendencies. The whole point about the Evil Clown, surely, is that you get blinded to the Evil bit by the Clown bit. That's the reason they do it. Idi can't be a mass-murdering dictator, he's so jovial and inept! Boris can't be a nasty mean-minded little shit, he's so funny on HIGNFY!

I am not sure that Ahmadinejad is being consciously clownish. We may find him funny - he does look rather like Steve Carell if Steve Carell had been put in the wash on too high a temperature setting - but that's different. We found Mussolini funny, but he was definitely not trying to be funny. That was what made him so funny, really.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:44 AM
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Wait a minute y'all. This was posted by Ogged? The real Ogged (PBUH) who ascended shortly after I started to read this blog? The real Ogged for reals?

No, it's another Ogged. You can't step in the same river twice, for other waters are always flowing on to you.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:52 AM
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I'd pay a great deal for the PPV of Rob Ford fighting Slavoj Zizek.

"That's why they call it the cage, playa!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:03 AM
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Ahmadinejad was a troll, not a clown, despite being funny-looking.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:04 AM
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Clowns don't look that good in a jacket and unbuttoned, collared shirt.

I might have to go watch that Andy Samberg video again.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:06 AM
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7:38 was a great moment for this thread.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:09 AM
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Ahmadinejad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:13 AM
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Note that Trump overplayed the clown card, and thus has been excluded from serious politics.

Actually, were there any GOP presidential candidates last year who weren't basically evil clowns? Mittens aside, of course; he's more like an evil emcee.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:13 AM
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Note that Trump overplayed the clown card, and thus has been excluded from serious politics.

Actually, were there any GOP presidential candidates last year who weren't basically evil clowns? Mittens aside, of course; he's more like an evil emcee.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:13 AM
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Rob Ford seems guilty of extremely boorish behavior, but it seems to me he's getting a raw deal. I don't actually think smoking crack should disqualify you from political office. Lots of fine people have used cocaine, many within the context of a drunken stupor. And are his drunken stupors an worse than those of, say, Ted Kennedy?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:20 AM
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any GOP presidential candidates last year who weren't basically evil clowns

Maybe Jon Huntsman. Though his candidacy mostly proved that evil clown is a basic requirement in today's GOP. Therefore, Chris Christie gets the head start.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:29 AM
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36: I think breaking a law while you are in office ought to count as more serious than doing so out of office. Also, since Kennedy's drunken stupors lead directly to the death of a person, I think Ford has a way to go. Kennedy sets the bar pretty high.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:29 AM
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39

Sarah Palin.

I certainly think Ahmedinejad spent a lot of time basically trolling (all the holocaust denial stuff. Bobby Sands Street. in fact the Iranian Revolution can be seen as a multidecade effort to troll the United States). And a big part of the clown archetype is that you keep pulling this shit but for some reason you never take responsibility. there are no consequences.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:34 AM
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I think it is an error to view the Canadians as a quiet, sensible people who could never have expected the fat buffoon politician tornado. That's what they want you to think, so they can continue to smugly sew those little maple leaf flags onto their backpacks, but it's not accurate. It's true that they are more outwardly polite and socially conforming than we are. But, as I've said here before, my theory of Candian-ness is that the country's combination of ambition and intense social pressure to be "normal" means that when the crazy appears (and it inevitably does) it goes to 11. Examples include the amazing grifters of the Vancouver stock exchange, fights in hockey, raping the tar sands, and that they have a former defense minister who totally believes in aliens.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:38 AM
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A posse of evil clowns, one might say.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:39 AM
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Hang on. Rob Ford is willing to stop appearing serious in public, to say self-deprecating things about ostensibly serious topics ("one of my drunken stupors"). Disraeli, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Bono, Yeltsin, maybe Churchill before the war. Drunks and showbiz people are the vein to mine in looking for this I think.

There are lots of politicians who seem basically ridiculous from the outside, but who take themselves seriously and are taken seriously by people who sympathize.

Buffoons like Trump or Gingrich are different from clowns, I think.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:44 AM
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I'm also reminded of the reports that said, on the evening before the start of the government shutdown, that lots of people in Congress were drunk. It was not to the credit of the media that they refrained from naming names. Apparently, going out on a bender after work is a terrible thing to do, but actual drunk legislating in a time of crisis gets you a pass.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:53 AM
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39: In fact, Ahmadinejad is the reverse of an Evil Clown. An Evil Clown is doing serious evil things for serious evil reasons and camouflaging them by making everyone believe he's a clown. A troll like Ahmadinejad is camouflaging his lack of serious by making everyone believe he's evil.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:56 AM
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43: isn't the entire history of politics, democratic and otherwise, courageous or disastrous, pretty much a history of famous people drunk in a time of crisis (and historians and the press not saying anything about it)?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:01 AM
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Yeah, like that time the Suez Crisis happened because Eisenhower had run out of vermouth.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:10 AM
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45: with the exception, presumably, of the Iranian Revolution?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:21 AM
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Boehner is widely known to be a drunk. Knowing this, and that the Speaker would play a critical role in negotiations, Obama started his Honey Ale Initiative.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:22 AM
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From a show taped Sunday, but aired today (I think).

"I know in my heart everyone has personal problems," Ford told listeners. "I urinated in a parking lot . . . what does that have to do with anything?"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:25 AM
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45. Arabs don't see the Persians as abstainers, I think. Though the stereotype is opium rather than alcohol.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:30 AM
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Did Teddy Kennedy ever get thrown out of public venues for inebriated disorderliness? I'm genuinely curious.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:37 AM
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I admit I don't follow congressional dipsomania as much as I ought to but is Boehner really widely known as a lush? Maybe that's why he cries all the time.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:40 AM
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I'm told you can sometimes distinguish long-term alcoholics by what it does to their faces, and Boehner has such a face.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:44 AM
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Delighted to discover -- while searching for further evidence for my theory which NEEDS NO EVIDENCE -- that Herbert Asquith's parliamentary nickname was Squiffy.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:46 AM
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50: well, they do have a grape variety named after one of their major cities, and their most famous poet's most famous work was mostly about being, and written while, drunk.

52: widely speculated in the fever swamp, anyway.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:49 AM
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So, don't know where Barney Frank and Dick Cheney fit on the Evil and Clown scales, but this is a great little piece from Frank following up on a something in Cheney's autobiography:

To be clear, Cheney's statement that I killed the bill as chairman of the Financial Service Committee in 2003 is not an exaggeration; it is not a misinterpretation; it is not a distortion. It is a lie.[Repubs controlled House in 2003]
And had not heard this term before: and I gave it what is known as a "Washington read" - I went to the index and found my name


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 10:07 AM
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A friend was at one of last week's press conferences (the one where Ford was apologising with his wife present.) Ford was standing right beside an exit, but instead of using it, he finished his remarks and ploughed through the crowd of reporters, who were taken by surprise. There wasn't an immediate exit in the direction he was travelling. On camera, it looks as if the press are swarming him. My friend thought, "he wants a reality TV show and anything he does from now on is to further that."


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 10:08 AM
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If I had to manage the House Republican caucus, I'd drink too.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 10:25 AM
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"Washington read"

That's why This Town was published without an index.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 10:30 AM
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I don't actually think smoking crack should disqualify you from political office.

When other people, particularly marginalized people, get thrown into jail for it, not only should it disqualify you from political office, it should get you thrown in jail too.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 10:48 AM
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I think all Rob Ford needs is a prissy, snarky sidekick à la David Spade to complete his resemblance to Chris Farley.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 10:56 AM
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When other people, particularly marginalized people, get thrown into jail for it, not only should it disqualify you from political office, it should get you thrown in jail too.

See, I was going the opposite direction with "stop throwing people in jail for it."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 10:58 AM
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60 gets it right.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 10:59 AM
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61 is actually something I've thought. And I'm pretty sure David Spade has nothing better to do.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 11:04 AM
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That's why This Town was published without an index.

Oo, tell me they put nonbreaking zero-width spaces into the proper names to stop vanity searches in the electronic edition.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 11:11 AM
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59: Ah, so I see. But the WaPo did the honors with an unauthorized index.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 11:14 AM
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And the fact that among the 'A's the "winner" is Allen, Mike ch. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 may be all one needs to know.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 11:18 AM
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I view him as carrying on the work of his Bircher father only far more effectively. (Even if he neither intends to nor realizes he is doing so.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 11:21 AM
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I think all Rob Ford needs is a prissy, snarky sidekick à la David Spade to complete his resemblance to Chris Farley.

This is right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 12:26 PM
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70

Except he needs one, full stop.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 12:26 PM
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As for the OP, I've got most of my Canadian political news from Mighty God King, a Canadian geek blogger. It's down right now, but it's interesting stuff most of the time.

As for the return of the one true Ogged, I've been slacking off a lot with my Unfogged duties too, but it seems genuine.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 1:02 PM
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69: Maybe we could send him Lindsey Graham.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 1:04 PM
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To the OP: "Before Ford admitted that he'd bought and smoked crack - all the while, campaigning against drugs - he was a pretty popular mayor. After his confession, his ratings went up by 5%. As of writing, while most citizens sadly admit the mayor should probably step down, 40% of the city of Toronto "currently approve of his performance as mayor". Was it the way that he bought rocks of crack?"


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 1:40 PM
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During this whole Rob Ford meltdown, I kept seeing people pine longingly for Chris Farley, whom I had found distinctly unfunny at the time, so I looked up a bunch of clips on YouTube to check my memory. Really just horribly unfunny. The one running gag across everything I saw is "Hey look at me I'm so fat and loud and gross and pathetic." That's not a very good joke.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 1:46 PM
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"Hey look at me I'm so fat and loud and gross and pathetic." That's not a very good joke.

But he did it with such energy and conviction!



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 2:02 PM
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Speaking of pathetic, George Zimmerman has been ordered not to possess guns as a condition of his release. If I understand my NRA mailings correctly, that means he isn't a man and can't vote.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 2:05 PM
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Maybe Zimmerman and Ford can go down together in a hail of bullets, like in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 2:13 PM
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"Hey look at me I'm so fat and loud and gross and pathetic."

I guess that's pretty much the premise of the "in a VAN down by the RIVER" sketch, but boy that killed me at the time.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 2:13 PM
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If I got a message from The Lancet addressed to Dr. Moby Hick, does that confer the title?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 2:14 PM
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79: If email, no. If regular mail, yes. I'm pretty sure those are the rules.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 2:21 PM
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Maybe I'll write myself an Oxycontin script and see if it flies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 2:23 PM
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...this time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 2:25 PM
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You need the little stamp thing. My pain meds doctor has a little stamp thing that makes oxycodone not addictive when you stamp it on the prescription.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 2:26 PM
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76: Based on my reading of NRA literature, it means that he's dead meat when Obama's goons come to get him.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 2:29 PM
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What part of 'shall not be infringed' does that judge not understand?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 2:53 PM
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It will eventually come out that either he or his brother has ordered people killed and/or severely beaten and then the whole thing will seem less funny.

This.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 6:06 PM
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Have you tried watching the news only in one of your drunken stupors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 6:26 PM
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Worst pick up line of the day?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 6:38 PM
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"I don't have anything to eat"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:01 PM
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90

Back when the crack tape story first came out there was stuff about how the Ford brothers did a bunch of violent stuff in their drug dealing days.

And in related news about abusive horrible people, try this story about French rock megastar Bertrand Cantat

On beating his girlfriend, star actress Marie Trintignant to death in a culmination of a long period of regular abuse:

"My remorse, my suffering, my sensitivity - it didn't count for anything in the story. I became a caricature. The fact that I love Marie so much - it was wiped. All they wanted was what was sordid. What was beautiful was hidden," he said.

On driving his wife to suicide with his abuse:

Asked about the Rady suicide, he said: "My God, it's the same soap opera... the assumptions and the delusional accusations concerning me are unacceptable. It's appalling, disgraceful to have become the symbol of violence against women."

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:04 PM
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90: I saw that story earlier today. I have a copy of "Tostaky" lying around here somewhere; after reading that I can't imagine ever listening to it ever again.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:07 PM
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42: Buffoons like Trump or Gingrich are different from clowns, I think.

Huh, I'd parse that differently, putting Trump in with Rob Ford, Gingrich in some other category. I'm having trouble with the taxonomy of clownishness outlined here: what's the difference between a buffoon and a clown? Why is Rob Ford a clown rather than a buffoon? Is it the pratfalls?

I certainly see that Ahmadinejad is troll rather than clown.

Where does someone like Michelle Bachmann fit? (She of the "our founding fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery" and the "not one study shows that carbon dioxide is harmful".)

I actually went to the thesaurus. You got your boor. Your funnyman. Your ignoramus. Your simpleton. And your mountebank. That last covers a number of GOP politicians.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:11 PM
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90: what the fuck france geez


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:13 PM
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It's true that they are more outwardly polite and socially conforming than we are. But, as I've said here before, my theory of Candian-ness is that the country's combination of ambition and intense social pressure to be "normal" means that when the crazy appears (and it inevitably does) it goes to 11.

I hear you on the crazy going to 11. So, for example, while the US murder rate is much higher than the Canadian, and while the US probably has more mass-murder killing sprees per capita (I think? I could be wrong about this), every once in a while Canada will produce an absolutely shockingly sicko crazyperson murderer that makes everyone say, "How could this happen in Canada?!"

I'm not sure I agree about more "socially conforming" and under more pressure to be "normal." I dunno: I find plenty of social conformist pressure in the USA, and this distinction just doesn't resonate with me.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 7:55 PM
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So what with Toronto self-identifying as "New York run by the Swiss" should I be worried about Switzerland at all?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:02 PM
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"Social conformity" probably wasn't right; more like "socially cohesive and skeptical of folks who put on airs or act like big shots." But this is the folk sociology of my butt.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:02 PM
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95: You should always already be worried about Switzerland.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:05 PM
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Throughout the struggles and debates within Halford's butt over the past 20 years, materialist dingleberries have continually worked to develop an analytic capable of disrupting the taken-for-granted in local and global social arrangements and of exposing the economic, political, and ideological conditions upon which exploitation and oppression depend. Materialist Halford-butt, however, is not to be confused with vulgar Marxism, with what is frequently referred to as base-superstructure Marxism or economic determinism. Rather, materialism here means a mode of inquiry that examines the division of labor and the distribution of wealth in the context of historically prevailing ass and supra-ass interests and ideological struggles over meaning and value. Utilizing both marxist and crackological critiques of ideology, materialist Halford's-butt breaks away from the growing trend toward discursive politics -- postmodern and poststructuralist Halford's-butt -- and takes as its object the "social transformation of dominant institutions that, as a totality, distribute economic resources and cultural power asymmetrically according to poop" (Crumb 1993:5).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:09 PM
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98 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:11 PM
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"New York run by the Swiss"

You mean cleaner, really boring, more corrupt and cliquey/who-you-know'y, more expensive and really xenophobic version of New York but with really awesome views and skiing?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:18 PM
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100: also, secret caves with jet fighters.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:21 PM
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more like "socially cohesive and skeptical of folks who put on airs or act like big shots."

More socially cohesive, yes. One thing I notice whenever I go back to Canuckistan is that there really is more social trust in everyday transactions (but I don't go to Toronto, I go to a smaller, and different, city). But I'm increasingly convinced it is a less open society than the US -- which is to agree with you, probably, and also to confirm the stereotypes.

On the other hand, I think Canadians may be less deferential towards political office and political authority -- the office of the Prime Minister, for example, just doesn't carry the same symbolic weight as the office of the American Presidency.

On "Toronto the Good" becoming "Toronto the Hot Mess":

On the surface, Toronto looks better than ever. Because of our well-regulated banking system, we had an extremely mild recession. Toronto recently passed Chicago in population, and the quality of life is high, with good public schools, good free hospitals and a government that combines meaningful regulation with open markets. Toronto is basically the model of what a postindustrial city can be.

And yet the city is divided and angry. Mr. Ford has played off its fissures perfectly.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:21 PM
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But I'm increasingly convinced it is a less open society than the US

I know Canada only regionally, and have no sense of it nationally. I know British Columbia (a bit), and haven't seen it as closed -- a less open society -- but of course I have little sense of things like immigration policy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:28 PM
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OT: I like most cider, but the "Fall" version of Woodchuck cider tastes like a muffin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:44 PM
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And not in the Rob Ford "I get enough to eat at home" meaning of muffin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 8:46 PM
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but of course I have little sense of things like immigration policy.

Well, neither do I. Are Canada's borders less open to immigrants than those of the US? I honestly don't know. For a would-be emigrant from (name your country: Syria, Guatemala, India, the Philippines), is it easier to gain entry into Canada, or into the US? I really do not know.

Certainly, Canada is more diverse, and is more of an immigrant society, than some Americans seem to realize. I've actually had Americans (no, not unfogged Americans, but, you know, a few of those other Americans) say things to me like, "Well, in Canada you can have universal health care because you're more like Sweden, and you don't have the same problems," with "problems" apparently (or so I have sometimes interpreted it) standing in for "the presence of non-white people." Which may be an unfair interpretation on my part; but truly, I have sometimes heard statements which come pretty close to saying, "You're all white, and therefore you can have nice things."

But I guess I meant "less open" in a cultural sense. In Canada, there is, perhaps, a higher premium put on social consensus -- which can help lend support to broad-based social initiatives such as universal health care coverage, of course, but which can also lead to some degree of (at least informal) stifling of difference and dissent (which is to agree with Halford, obviously). Also, at least until very recently (hello, Mayor Robert the Bruce Ford, and your thuggish brother Douglas, you North American mall rats), there was a very strong whiff of a certain kind of 'colonials of the British Empire' flavour to governance at the municipal and provincial levels, along with an insecurity about perceived levels of ideal 'Britishness,' which led to some 'more loyal to the British Crown than the inhabitants of Great Britian' absurdities (When my parents were kids, they stayed at home, they stayed inside, on the 12th of July, because of the parades. My parents were Catholic, and the parades were Orange and anti-Catholic, and they took that stuff very seriously indeed in small-town Ontario).


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:32 PM
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U.S politicians suck. Instead of "probably in on my drunken stupors" they get a lawyer to write something blaminging "...the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:34 PM
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"Blaminging" apparently isn't an actual word. I blame the cider that tastes like a muffin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 9:40 PM
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I blame the cider that tastes like a muffin.

A cider that tastes like a muffin is probably only in one of your drunken stupors. And "I shouldn't have got hammered down on the Danforth" (which is where you go in Toronto for good Greek food, btw), which is why I'm calling this press conference. An hour or so later, when still more shocking allegations come to light, I'll be calling yet another press conference.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 10:06 PM
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I came into this thread just now specifically to provide what Moby linked in 107!

A freshman congressman may not be half as prominent as the mayor of Toronto, but Trey Radel can provide a story of cocaine-themed downfall which is less likely to include vicious murders.

Also, he'll permit you to feel schadenfreude at the failure of a Tea Partier.

Also also, Spike @ 62 may be (sincerely) pleased to know that besides being a drug-law offender, Rep. Radel was participating in efforts to reform drug laws' mandatory minimums.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 11-19-13 10:10 PM
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which is less likely to include vicious murders

I wouldn't be sure about those odds because Florida.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 8:42 AM
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"...the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice."

"I specifically regret that, probably during one of my drunken stupors, I made the deeply irresponsible choice to do business with a dealer who would rat me out."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 9:30 AM
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112: The new detail that I am boggling at a bit is that he invited the agent (on first meeting) to come back to his place to due cocaine. I think it was before the agent offered to sell him the stuff.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 9:35 AM
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It does lend credence to the drunken-stupor story-line.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 9:38 AM
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Also to the "Tea Party is stupid people" story line.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 9:41 AM
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Due Cocaine and other entitlements issues


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 9:42 AM
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||
AAT ATG ATG to Frederick Sanger.
|>


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 9:46 AM
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Wired is saying he overpaid. Also in prior interview asked for his favorite vacation spot: Cartagena, Colombia.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 9:56 AM
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Just Plain Jane at 106: I'm not arguing strenuously against you, but I'm having trouble reconciling these of your thoughts:

Certainly, Canada is more diverse, and is more of an immigrant society, than some Americans seem to realize.

But I guess I meant "less open" in a cultural sense. In Canada, there is, perhaps, a higher premium put on social consensus

Does this mean that Canada's diverse immigrant population is more likely to assimilate than it might in the U.S.? Is this about assimilation...ism? (I think of France's morphing citizenship standards, a longstanding contrast to the U.S., though god knows at this point various parties in the U.S. are trying mightily to codify English as the country's official language.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 11:30 AM
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IN ANY event, TPM has an interesting post comparing Rob Ford to Marion Barry, former mayor of D.C.:

I think we can all agree Rob Ford is on another level from Marion Barry. His arrogance, his corruption, his total disregard for his electorate, pales in comparison to anything that the "Mayor For Life" of Washington ever did. Yet Toronto remains unsullied in the press, a victim of a rogue mayor who seemingly came out of nowhere. I've seen no in-depth reporting on what makes up this so-called "Ford Nation" (frankly, that there is a strong Tea Party-esque streak in suburban Toronto is news to me -- and I want to know more), or on how Canada's strange 2000's era provincial-level experiment with forcing its cities and suburbs to amalgamate has created these municipal messes, not just in Toronto but elsewhere

I don't know what to make of this. Canadians of the unfoggetariat, represent! What's the 2000's era amalgamation about?

What make you of the notion that Toronto is forgiven while D.C. was not? Why and how is Canada (or Toronto) different here?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 11:35 AM
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120: Racism is obviously a factor, but that's probably more why DC is sullied than why Toronto isn't. Rob Ford is a phenomenon of the suburban fringe of Toronto. The actual urban core (the part of Toronto that an American is most likely to be familiar with) is strongly anti-Ford and can shrug and say "not our guy." The patterns in DC was the opposite; interestingly, both mayors owed their electability (more so than usual) to municipal boundaries.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 2:58 PM
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Marion Barry was set up by The Man. All he was trying to do was get laid, and the FBI tricked him into smoking something that was never proven to be crack. It was like taking down Al Capone for tax evasion.

Also, Marion got re-elected. I'd like to see Ford pull that one off.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 6:07 PM
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Wait, you feel bad for Al Capone, too?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 6:34 PM
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He was just a businessman!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-13 6:35 PM
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Looks like that congressman has already plead guilty to a misdemeanor and received a 1 year suspended sentence. Marion Barry got 6 months in a federal prison for his misdemeanor conviction.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-21-13 6:43 AM
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