Re: The Greatest

1

That second video has been showing up in my feeds the past couple of days since a guy jumped off the bulding I work in.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:10 AM
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Down side of working in the tallest building on campus. Same thing happens with building 54 at MIT.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:12 AM
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3

Look, guys, he can't be everywhere.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:51 AM
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4

No Viet Cong ever called ogged Mexican.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 12:29 PM
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For some reason I ended up watching a 20 minute thing from maybe the 80s on Liberace and it was utterly perplexing to imagine how he became a celebrity. It seems like he had this combination of superficial virtuosity at the piano, amusingly horrible taste, and a sort of faggy charm, and somehow this translated into great wealth and people who would probably have happily stoned him to death but for the atomically thin fiction allowed by public asexuality thinking he was just wonderful.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:00 PM
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5: I resigned myself years ago to not ever being able to figure out why certain things in culture are so popular. K$sha, Fifty Shades, etc., I just assume they're the overwhelming signs of a cruel and godless universe.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:09 PM
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I think we talked about this in the context of Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" video: before gay went mainstream, you could put on much more stereotypically gay stuff without triggering people's "that's HOMOSEXUALITY" response.

As for Liberace, wikipedia tells me he was a child prodigy who self-consciously set out to become famous.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:15 PM
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7: Yes, as anyone who grew up on He-Man can attest.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:18 PM
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9

Ke$ha is great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:19 PM
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Many commentators over the years have noticed this culture's weakness for the "showily second-rate." A classic observation on this is in Dwight Macdonald's Masscult and Midcult, where he compared Liberace's presentation of "pianist" to the businesslike real thing, such as Rudolf Serkin.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:26 PM
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Olivia Newton-John's "Physical": Wow, I don't think I've ever seen that before. The 70s were an oddly ambivalent time. What happened since? (See other thread about pot legalization, I guess.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:28 PM
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Does the attention whore jumper thing still go on? I think that vid is the only one I've seen aside from the one in Lethal Weapon. The ones up here don't screw around like that, they just huck themselves right off the building.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:31 PM
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Fifty Shades is proof of a cruel and godless universe. Kesha proves there is at least one minor deity that amuses itself making weird jokes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:36 PM
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I think now when people climb out on a ledge, the crowd yells "Jump!"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:38 PM
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It was a common fictional and dramatic trope, to set up the hero's persuasiveness. I don't know how prevalent it ever was in real life.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:38 PM
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More office buildings with sealed windows? When I think of a movie jumper, I think of them in a prewar stone-facade skyscraper, on a ledge outside an openable office window, so they could be outside the window entirely thinking about whether to jump. That's a much less common physical setup now than you had in the 1970s.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:43 PM
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In the opening episode of the George Reeves Superman T.V. series, Clark Kent walks past the gatekeeper to sell himself to Perry White by walking around the building on the ledge and into the chief's office.

His Kent was rather assertive as they go.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:48 PM
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I rather liked how they handled his persona in the latest Superman, not as a guy who's meek at all but has to constantly restrain himself from murdering the assholes he encounters.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:56 PM
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||
Not that I am interested in re-arguing this, but I assume this Climate Central article from last month was what motivated the xkcd comic on putting cold snaps in perspective. Has relative frequency of relatively cold days for a whole host of US cities over the past 40 or so years. it was linked in this "Hot Alaska" article.
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Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 2:37 PM
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16: there's a balcony on the top floor of my building, accessible by breaking a window. So there you go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 3:16 PM
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As for Liberace, wikipedia tells me he was a child prodigy who self-consciously set out to become famous.

Speaking of prodigies, words cannot summarize the joy I take in the description of an English lawyer's tests of the abilities of the 8-year-old Mozart: "[A] favorite cat came in, upon which he immediately left his harpsichord, nor could we bring him back for a considerable time."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 3:20 PM
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20: And a sign: " In Case of Despondency Break Glass."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 3:45 PM
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The guy apparently did break the glass with a fire extinguisher, you morbid bastard.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 3:47 PM
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On the OP, some memories of Muhammad Ali came to me as I was out shoveling snow just now.

I remember Clay-Liston, because my father and brother came into my bedroom--I had an 8 transistor radio--to listen. I don't remember that gendered a response to any other event that year, such as Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Listening in the dark. "I am the Greatest!, I am the King!"

I remember Ali-Frazier in '71; listened in a group with the Sargeants. All of them, even the black ones, were rooting for Frazier, because of the patriotism/military service factor. Gratified by the result--Frazier won that one. I remember the runway descriptions, of stars taking their seats, Diana Ross etc.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 4:08 PM
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Poor cat!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase-Bedelia | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 4:42 PM
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26

Occurs to me that title fights may have been the last major events experienced mostly on the radio, since "closed-circuit" tv with big ticket prices was the only alternative.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 4:51 PM
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The only fight I ever saw intentionally was the one where Tyson won in like ten seconds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 5:22 PM
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When I think of a movie jumper, I think of them in a prewar stone-facade skyscraper, on a ledge outside an openable office window

I think of that, but also of Bill Murray being pushed through the sealed office window via the magic of Christmas by a rotting ex-TV exec and held dangling over the alluring glare of 1980s NYC traffic, which isn't actually a jumping scenario, but I still think of it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 5:56 PM
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I have watched a fuckton of episodes of the NHK series "Begin Japanology" English language hosted by forty year expatriate Peter Barakan. I wonder if they are subtitled and Japanese learn English from them. Relentlessly positive and trivial, no homeless or hikikomori on this show Demo:

Tonight's, "Women's Nylons" which I haven't seen is absolutely typical, I can predict it all.

A segment interviewing women on the street about nylons;a segment in a Tokyo shop that sells nothing but nylons, interview with owner; a segment on history silk to parachutes to postwar chemistry to heavy industry, interviews with aging chemist and maybe somebody who developed a technique for dyeing or something; another consumption segment probably weird varieties with stripes or flowers; finally an outsider segment, some woman who has collected 10 thousand pairs or a guy who has built a ravine bridge with old stockings.

They're all the same.

All about economics (consumption, distribution and production of commodities or services...historicized) minus the money and the capital.

Economics as about people.

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Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 6:00 PM
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27: Marvis Frazier?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 6:24 PM
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The only fight I watched intentionally was the one where he bit the other guy's ears. Twice! I was very stoned and had a hard time ascertaining if something so ludicrous could actually have transpired. TWICE!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 6:56 PM
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I am reminded of the deeply tasteless MIT joke of drawing concentric circles on the ground next to Building 54, labeled from inside to out "A","B","C","D","F", with another pair of concentric circles next to them labeled "P"/"NR".


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:12 PM
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Landscaping tastelessness, because there is already a big green circle that looks like a bullseye next to the building.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:46 PM
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32: What do the school colors represent?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:59 PM
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35

Blood on concrete.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:00 PM
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21: Wow, "Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart" is news to me, but I'll assume for my own amusement that they decided "Wolfgangus" just didn't look right next to "Theophilus." Awesome.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:54 PM
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Via a Henry Farrell retweet:
Bill Tozier @Vaguery
Very pleased to hear Cosma Shalizi has been tenured at CMU in the Statistics Department. Now maybe someday we can connive him onto Twitter.

Or back here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 7:13 AM
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26: Speaking of historic moments in boxing, has anyone else read, or been reading, The Burglar by Betty Medsger? I'm finding it a fantastically interesting yarn. Kind of makes me wonder what sort of activist adventures you lot are having that will be written about in 40 years.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 7:42 PM
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