Re: Gratitude

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and of course much of what he'll be like will have little to do with us,

Basically, this. As a parent, your basic job is just to live according your own values and continue to check internally to make sure you're square with yourself. As kids grow up, they have to learn to be square with themselves and their own values. Ultimately we all have to learn to be our own internal yardsticks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:27 AM
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. . . but the things that people in this community seem to have trouble with: confidence, self-promotion, some sense of entitlement.

As kids grow up, they have to learn to be square with themselves and their own values.

I remember asking my parents at some point if they ever thought that they should have been more inclined/open to promoting ambition or self-promotion as virtues (since I'm terrible at both). Their answer was, as I would paraphrase it, that it isn't something you can calibrate too precisely. They could understand why I would ask that but felt like they were comfortable with the idea that if they were going to err, they erred in the direction of conscious opposition (as ogged put it) to the dominant culture.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:35 AM
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The tension between being an asshole and being a doormat is a difficult one to resolve. What I've tried to do with my kids is emphasize that they need to be affirmatively kind, as opposed to being compliant -- attempting to teach the opposite of kiss up and kick down. They've ended up aggressively challenging with authority figures (in a friendly kind of way that assumes that there are shared goals, but not so much with the natural deference), and I hope they're not assholes to people who aren't authority figures, but it's hard to tell because if I'm there, that kind of changes the situation. But I'm pretty sure they're kind.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:37 AM
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Your kid is a wuss. Asking for gummies is for pikers. Making sure that you're the only one who gets gummies is for champions.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:38 AM
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The dominant culture can go fuck itself. Children are entitled enough that if you can't scale it back a bit, the life of a parent is misery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:39 AM
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Also kids want what they can't have. To train your child to master the race, eat his gummies yourself*, in front of him, for that is what those who cannot get gummies themselves must face. Iron training, cauldron of steel.

*then spit it out, obvs. You don't want to weaken yourself in the course of deweakening your wussy children.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:42 AM
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"Master the race" may have come out a little wrong when I'm trying on this personna.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:44 AM
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Who ended up with the gummies, is what I want to know. Cui bono, Baba.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:44 AM
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3: better to be a doorhole or an assmat?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:45 AM
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Huh, 8 was pwned, kinda. Now I must destroy somebody else's comment in turn.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:45 AM
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We have found ourselves on occasion saying things like, "Remember when we said it wasn't just about the money; well it's actually just about the money."

Anyone who figures this one out should be sure to write it down for.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:49 AM
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The tension between being an asshole and being a doormat is a difficult one to resolve.

It would seem that simply teaching children self-confidence and empathy, each in proper portion, would guard against either outcome.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:52 AM
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This is not related to anything except kids, but the new child in Selah's daycare class is named Le/g/end C/ox. And they're listed Last, First on the sign-in sheet, which makes the problems even more obvious. Do people with a last name like that just give up or what?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:54 AM
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4,6: Children should have hunt down wild gummies on the veldt, just like their ancestors did.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:55 AM
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What I mean is: You don't become a doormat by having too much empathy; you become a doormat by having too little self-confidence. And you don't become an asshole by having too much self-confidence; you become an asshole by having too little empathy.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:55 AM
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I'm basically with Urple, but also: the way kids learn is by trying it out. Be an asshole, discover that you felt like shit afterwards. Be a doormat, later get really angry at the person who was walking all over you. It's not really our job to pre-resolve these things for our children, but just to be available to help them digest and map out alternatives as they ask for help.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:55 AM
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I should say that Buck and I get both ends of that -- they are both challenging and not really deferential with us, but also thoughtfully kind to us. (Newt a bit more than Sally, but I think that's a second-child trait.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:58 AM
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Be an asshole, discover that you felt like shit afterwards.

Sorry, no. If you don't appropriately model empathy for your children, they will not have this discovery. They will just discover that being an asshole gets them what they want. Period.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:58 AM
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It's not really our job to pre-resolve these things for our children

But this itself is part of UMC American parenting. There are lots of cultures/parents who think this is precisely their job.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:59 AM
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15 is right, I think, and is kind of what I was trying to get at in 3.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:59 AM
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I mean, I don't know your children, heebie. They probably don't need any parenting. But for most children, they need to be taught these things.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:59 AM
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If you don't appropriately model empathy for your children, they will not have this discovery.

Well, sure. But your job as a parent is to live according to your values, so presumably you're modeling empathy. But then your kid gets to fail and try again.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:02 AM
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But this itself is part of UMC American parenting. There are lots of cultures/parents who think this is precisely their job.

This is so far from what I perceive to be conventional UMC wisdom. I see a lot of parents obsessing about private schools and specific teachers and paving over any conflict they can anticipate.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:03 AM
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we all have to learn to be our own internal yardsticks.

That sounds painful.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:04 AM
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What I mean is: You don't become a doormat by having too much empathy; you become a doormat by having too little self-confidence. And you don't become an asshole by having too much self-confidence; you become an asshole by having too little empathy.

This seems basically right, but also too pat.

I mean, yes, it's possible for people to be both self-confident and have empathy, and not everything is a trade-off. But, at the same time, I think ogged is correct that there is a genuine tension between two not-entirely compatible attitudes.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:05 AM
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but this question of how much to raise a kid in the dominant culture, and how much in conscious opposition to it, is always in the back of our minds.

I'm trying to raise my kids better than I was raised, but I don't suppose I can attempt to inculcate values in them that are any better than the values that I actually hold. So the question for me is: How much do I, myself want to surrender to the dominant culture?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:08 AM
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I'm trying to raise my kids better than I was raised

In what way did your own rearing fall short?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:10 AM
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If your rearing falls short, maybe jogging would help.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:10 AM
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Le/g/end C/ox

Please let the middle name be Ari.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:10 AM
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raising a decent human being and raising someone to succeed in a culture where decency can be a hindrance

If there is an environment where decency is a hindrance, the correct advice is to get the fuck out of that toxic place, or hope that it's short-term. You don't raise your kid to be an asshole in order to widen the range of awful environments that will be compatible to them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:14 AM
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I'm a big fan of 15.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:15 AM
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In what way did your own rearing fall short?

That was probably a little too glib on my part. On the specific matter under discussion - Asshole Culture - my parents did okay.

That said, I was raised to be well-meaning, and to believe that good intentions were all that really mattered. This turns out to be wildly wrong.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:17 AM
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What I've tried to do with my kids is emphasize that they need to be affirmatively kind, as opposed to being compliant -- attempting to teach the opposite of kiss up and kick down.

This is pretty much what I'm trying to go for. I hope we pull it off! So far (modulo being almost-four) pretty good.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:24 AM
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you become an asshole by having too little empathy.

Maybe! Or, that's probably a sufficient condition, but the converse doesn't follow, that having empathy is sufficient for not being an asshole. I can't remember where I was reading recently that empathy without caring just makes you a master manipulator.

I see a lot of parents obsessing about private schools and specific teachers

Just to disentangle some things: this isn't what I'm talking about. I mean that "modeling values" is the UMC way, instead of explicitly telling kids that "this is how we do things, and you'll get whooped (literally or metaphorically) if you do things differently."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:26 AM
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I can't remember where I was reading recently that empathy without caring just makes you a master manipulator.

I've talked about a partner I used to work for -- brilliant guy, exquisitely emotionally sensitive and interpersonally deft, and got all his pleasure in life out of causing people pain. Terrible, terrible person, but an emotional IQ (as well as an intellectual IQ) that was through the roof.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:28 AM
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I was specifically talking about letting kids fail and have disasters, in the part you quoted in 19. I think we may be talking past each other.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:29 AM
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I can't remember where I was reading recently that empathy without caring just makes you a master manipulator.

I read that too, but I can't remember where it was either.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:30 AM
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Rutabagas, which we called turnips when I was growing up, were important in my family and my wife, who didn't grow up with them has taken preparation of them to another level. Every guest of ours at dinner where they're served 1)loves them, and 2) has hardly ever eaten them in any form.

My mother used root vegetables like parsnips a lot in stews, and occasionally as the vegetable on a plate. She made them palatable to children with sugar; my wife would use butter, garlic etc.

The revolutionary-era firebrand William Cobbett was a ferocious advocate of Rutabagas, which he called Swedes, and believed they would be a great aid to the liberation of poor rural people. His classic Rural Rides goes on and on about them.

You may be surprised to learn that neither of these is the vegetable I've chosen as an icon/handle at my local food blog; that's reserved for something else.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:30 AM
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By the way, Heebie: the other day, my wife let the boy sit on a counter, and he lunged for something and started the long trip to the floor headfirst. She wheeled and grabbed him in the air. You know what I said? I said, "Nice catch."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:31 AM
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... you become an asshole by having too little empathy.

It occurs to me that one easy and common way to be an asshole is to only have empathy for other people within your peer group. Part of the challenge is not only cultivating the capacity for empathy but the willingness to extend it in a range of situations.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:36 AM
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Basically, I suppose, what I want for my child is for her to have and exercise the opportunity to be kind from a position of relative strength. Magnaminity!

Rutabagas/yellow turnips/swedes and parsnips are both great. Actual turnips are kind of gross.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:38 AM
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We might have read it in Bazelon's bullying article.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:38 AM
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I think that "praise hard work, not talent" thing, which we've discussed endlessly here, is also supposed to help make make it less likely that a kid will have entitlement issues. Though the main reason to do it is so that they don't develop a crippling fear of failure (hi, 18 job applications in 3 months!).


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:39 AM
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you become an asshole by having too little empathy.

You could check for this by giving your kids Voight-Kampff tests starting at age 7 or so.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:39 AM
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38 is directly on point for this thread, but you assholes suck at parenting too much to know why. Also I've gotten like 3 hours of sleep in the past 48 and so LB's reference to "Buck" up above read to me as "The Rock"and I was wondering why LB was parenting with The Rock.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:41 AM
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Item #87239 in my list of tiny hypocracies and snobberies is my utter loathing of the parentally chirped "Good job!" I of course say any number of things that are not so far off ("Ooh, I like it!" and "Thank you, that was really helpful!") but that classic "Good job!" just drives me nutso.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:42 AM
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Le/g/end C/ox

Shoulda gone with Holden. (A friend claims to have attended elementary school with a child so-named.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:44 AM
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I don't understand the point of sorbet if you have ice cream. Maybe that confusion is why little Ogged asked for gummies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:45 AM
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I probably should not have posted 46, since no doubt many of you lovely people are better parents than I and say "Good job!" all the time.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:46 AM
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More semi seriously: everyone wants their kid to be the strong, kindly, confident leader who is both tough enough to do well in life but also kindly and protecting of the weak, but much of that has to do with inherent personality and circumstance and I'm uncertain that parenting can do too much of that, at least directly. The kind of confidence and centeredness that leads to confident empathy probably does come to some extent from parenting but probably not to a great extent from direct "now here's how to be empathetic" lessons.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:46 AM
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We might have read it in Bazelon's bullying article.

Yes.

I know an old family friend named H/ar/ry J/ohn/son.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:46 AM
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And then there's Jordan Davis's mom wondering whether teaching him to speak up for himself cost him his life. (Keeping guns away from assholes would help on a lot of fronts, but obvs is not the American way.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:47 AM
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I say "Good job" all the time, indeed. Or "Nice work." Of course, I follow up, as do all parents who say such things, with "And now, fifty lashes."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:47 AM
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I was raised by people who took very seriously the idea that if you think your children will have to move to a famine-plagued country at 18, you don't starve them during childhood as preparation.*

So they raised us to code-switch: This is the appropriate way to behave, but there are unhealthy structures in society in which that behavior may not serve you well, so here are some options in those cases.

As an adult this has served me extremely well, though it does mean I tend to have little patience for people who think that success happens because you focus on it. What professional success I have had is a by-product.

*That's John Holt's phrase, for the radical educators in the audience.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:47 AM
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50: Yup.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:48 AM
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39: Good job!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:48 AM
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A side issue here is the role of the parents', and the kids', assessment of what the kids' outcomes are going to be like if they aren't assholes. I've had the luxury of having clever, attractive, verbal, tall, strong children (I know, I know, I'm punching myself in the face right now), and having enough money to resolve any reasonable problem, which means that I can tell them to be kind and helpful to their peers without worrying about their losing out in any competition that means anything. Like, short of being genuinely wealthy, there isn't a lot of privilege markers we don't hit.

Someone with a different sense of where their kids are likely to come out in any sort of limited-resources situation is faced with a harder moral problem in terms of how much of an asshole to encourage their kids to be. I think the right answer is still "not at all", but that's easy for me to say.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:49 AM
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52 makes me sad so I'm just going to replay to 51.2. I knew a guy named H/ar/ry Pe/ters.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:49 AM
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"reply"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:49 AM
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Subject-verb agreement are one of the privilege markers I don't consistently hit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:51 AM
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||
Megan, is this long article about California water worth reading, or should I read instead something by someone who knows more about the subject?
|>


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:54 AM
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What are all of you picturing as the kind of situation where "be an asshole" is what you'd want your kid to do?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:54 AM
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Graduate school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:55 AM
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As I am often quick to mock, criticize or find fault, I will go out of my way to compliment Ogged on this post, which I thought was very well-told in it's own small way.

Good job!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:56 AM
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I think the right answer is still "not at all"

I'm using a pretty expansive definition of assholery. For example, most decent people agree that boastfulness is unattractive, and kids are naturally boastful. One would like to tell one's kids, "Don't brag," but one doesn't want one's kids to take that lesson to heart too well, because a little bragging can be a big help. That's a minor example, but this kind of thing comes up all the time. Obviously, there's more room for nuance when they're older, but you still have to parent them until they get there.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:57 AM
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I don't really know what the alternative behavior is in 57 that less wildly successful parents would be encouraging in their kids. I mean most "asshole" behavior is not in fact very effective when done without subtlety -- demanding gummies in a situation where you know no one will give you gummies is not a recipe for success. Figuring out how to actually get the gummies is a totally different kind of skill. I mean some kids develop assholish behavior as a coping mechanism or for whatever other reasons but I don't think there are a lot of parents out there affirmatively training their kids to just be blatant dicks, and to the extent that there are it's not a particularly good strategy for success, for anyone.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:57 AM
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Shorter 66 is 62.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:58 AM
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Be an asshole, discover that you felt like shit afterwards.

And if they discover they feel fine afterwards?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:58 AM
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But 66 was addressed directly to 57. Onwards! Good job!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:59 AM
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I don't understand the point of sorbet if you have ice cream

How about dark chocolate if you have milk chocolate available?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:00 AM
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61: Well, I liked that article because he says flattering things about me. Besides skimming for my psuedonym, I haven't read it yet.

I do wish he hadn't mentioned that I'm female.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:00 AM
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I work in an environment where there are number of nominally equally ranked workers, and tasks that come in at irregular intervals. Some of the tasks are intellectually challenging, and some are tedious penny-ante bullshit. We've got two workers, both, admittedly, at the top of the pack ability-wise, who have been assholes about their willingness to do the penny-ante bullshit (literally saying things like "I'm too good for this"), and as a result have been relieved of the responsibility for doing any of it. Just being a straightforward jerk about not doing things you don't want to do works surprisingly well sometimes.


Posted by: Marie of Roumania | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:01 AM
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71: I hadn't skimmed that far yet. But if he knows to cite you, maybe he's worth reading!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:05 AM
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I was pleased to be contacted. When I read the national articles and they quote everyone else, I sulk a little. Why not me? Then I get over it, because I don't want ot be an asshole.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:06 AM
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Yeah, 72 gets at some of it. I imagine this comes up particularly in academic settings, although of course hopefully you'll all teach your children to stay the fuck away from academia. But it generalizes: lots of stuff needs to get done that isn't fun or interesting, and the people who step up and do it because it needs to get done often have less time to do the stuff that's both better rewarded and more rewarding.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:08 AM
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And I think the other side of it is: in situations where only a few people will get some nice thing X, do you always put yourself forward?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:10 AM
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I spend an inordinate amount of time about six months of every year volunteer coaching the mock trial team of a local public high school. During the competitions there are inevitably opportunities to be jerks or gracious to the opposing team. Our kids are a ridiculously high percentage recent immigrants and English language learners, while the league's dominant teams are disproportionately white or at least second generation and native English speakers, often from UMC professional parent homes. It surprises me every year how advantage seeking the dominant teams can be, and I am constantly amazed at the generosity and graciousness of our kids.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:14 AM
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Which we explicitly encourage, of course. The graciousness and generosity I mean. That's the team way, we tell them!

On the home front, we sometimes think the kid may have to become ever so slightly more assertive if he ends up dancing professionally. But then his father is English so he's starting from an aggressively nonchalant place.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:18 AM
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62: If my kids grew up to be presidents of the United States, it would be because I failed to teach them not to be assholes. But I'd still probably be proud.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:24 AM
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72: As manager, I would way rather have everybody on my team say "I don't want to do [task], it's bullshit" then to have one person say that and everyone else silentky stew over it resentfully. Because in the first case I have a realistic idea if the cost of assigning that work.

(Sometimes a task I think is boring or tedious isn't to someone else, so just guessing doesn't work either.)


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:28 AM
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72: Sure, being an asshole works if you're already in charge of things or indispensable in some way.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:28 AM
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Raise your kids to be empathetic wusses, then send them to the Cobra Kai for karate training. Best of both worlds.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:29 AM
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*of the cost


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:29 AM
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80: This is a situation where (a) the distinction between high-status work and penny-ante bullshit is fairly objectively clear and (b) there's enough penny-ante bullshit that the people who will do it are at least sometimes overburdened while the people who won't have spare capacity. We're not talking differing opinions about what is or isn't appealing work.


Posted by: Marie of Roumania | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:49 AM
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Gummies? You're already giving the kid PEDs in anticipation of his professional swimming career?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:52 AM
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74:what about almonds grown in the delta??? They actually are a staple of my diet.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 12:01 PM
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Of the 800,000 acres of almonds in the state, 64% are sent overseas. We could lose a whole lot of almonds before your cute Delta farm stops supplying you with farmers' market almonds.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 12:10 PM
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Relief! Your nastiness very entertaining.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 12:11 PM
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81: Not really. I'm a peon, and there's a way to do my job while being an asshole (which will get more me-beneficial work done in fewer hours) and not (ie pitching in to help someone else solve a problem, taking students to mentor and so on). Obviously the latter version makes you a nicer employee to have around, but not in a way that is easily quantified when performance review time rolls around.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 12:23 PM
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66
I don't think there are a lot of parents out there affirmatively training their kids to just be blatant dicks, and to the extent that there are it's not a particularly good strategy for success, for anyone.

If "affirmatively training" means deliberately teaching it, then of course not. But if it means modeling that kind of behavior, then of course there are.

As for it being a good strategy for success, again it depends. Success at what? In combination with which other traits?

I keep up with Not Always Right (although I can't link to specific anecdotes because my computer is being stupid). It's a roughly equal mix of assholes, idiots, and petty criminals. I'd assume the assholes act like that around their kids; they even appear in many stories. And while in those stories, the assholes are generally getting their comeuppance (but not always!) presumably they got away with it before and a smart remark from one clerk won't make them stop forever. So, saving time by cutting in lines, saving money by getting a refund or freebie you aren't really entitled to, because some minimum-wage clerk can't be bothered to put up with you or is too harried to see through your lie: the perks of being an asshole.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 12:26 PM
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I should note that, contrary to the impression I give in the post, my wife doesn't struggle with this at all: don't be an asshole, she'd say. And she's done much better in life than I have, while adhering to that. Probably a good part of my anxiety about how to parent is due to things I think I've fucked up in my own life. Now this is banal!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 12:30 PM
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50: be the strong, kindly, confident leader who is both tough enough to do well in life but also kindly and protecting of the weak

So why not just tell them that? Or make a decoupage of it and hang it in their room?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 12:31 PM
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I had a high school friend with the surname mentioned above and the first name W/iley.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 12:41 PM
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And she's done much better in life than I have, while adhering to that. Probably a good part of my anxiety about how to parent is due to things I think I've fucked up in my own life. Now this is banal!

Two things that I muse about in terms of my own life (a) how do I decided whether or not I've done well in life and (b) how do I think about the role of fortune (good or bad) in my own life and the way in which personality traits can be either strengths or weaknesses depending on external circumstance.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 12:53 PM
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If you were named "Nick Peters," you'd probably have not done as well if you lived in one of the places where penis snatching is a going fear.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 12:58 PM
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Megan your blog is fantastic and an utter time sink and me with a brief to write oh no! But want to commend to you Camille Pannu's 2-28-2012 California Law Review article "drinking water and exclusion" for an overview of local entity formation and governance issues in a water context. What may not come through sufficiently in Camille's article is the heinous extent to which local political elites have systematically forced farm labor into unincorporated communities with no hope of ever accessing sufficient capital to sustainably produce clean drinking water. One could gather the impression from your writing that only comfortable suburban communities have chosen to underinvest in water infrastructure. It's often (not always) more complex than that. CV poverty particularly in the south end of the SJV is a nasty deliberately created beast.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 1:16 PM
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Speaking of bad parenting: had I known that playing "talk it," where I make up stories with my kid's toys, would become his favorite activity, I would never have started. So exhausting. How about a nice game of catch, son? No interest.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 1:24 PM
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I'm not saying you're a monster, ogged...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 1:27 PM
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Two things that I muse about in terms of my own life (a) how do I decided whether or not I've done well in life and (b) how do I think about the role of fortune (good or bad) in my own life and the way in which personality traits can be either strengths or weaknesses depending on external circumstance.

Describe your current life circumstances on Unfogged and let the commentariat decide by vote.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 1:29 PM
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I'm no saint, Heebie, I'm just not as bad as you. I did draw the line with the ridiculous "find me" game that involves him sitting on the couch in full view, while I scour the house pretending not to see him. No more!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 1:35 PM
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97: How about a nice game of catch, son? No interest.

Based on an ad I saw during the football playoffs, I think you need to take him on a trip to the mountains in your 4-wheel drive pickup.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 1:37 PM
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I'm just saying that I'm pretty sure my kid is going to weasel all the scutwork on to your kid, in thirty years. One of us is teaching our kid to avoid being bored at all costs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 1:38 PM
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93: Frowner famously talked to someone with that surname and the first name "Winsome". Prior internet searching seemed to indicate that there are at least TWO individuals so named in this country.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 1:43 PM
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101: I learned from TV commercials that you should give your kids a smartphone at the youngest possible age, and never force them to spend a moment away from it. They will never look you in the eyes again, but they will text you their love and gratitude.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 1:49 PM
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96: I am torn on that (and also speaking outside my expertise. Drinking water is not my field.) Farmworker communities are the poster child for not having the money to get drinking water treatment facilities, and their situation totally sucks. Besides what you mentioned, which I will go read because I didn't even know about it, their groundwater has been salted below them with nitrates. Their situation is very sympathetic.

But. I think there are a lot of rural communities who are simply in denial and unwilling to pay in advance for system reliability (their system isn't broken yet, so why pay this year?). I admit that I'm thinking of the mutual water company for 30 mountain cabins that our family cabin is part of. They have the money; these are vacation homes for Angelenos. They could pay. They just won't.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 3:34 PM
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|| I guess I wasn't aware either that Harold Ramis was someone people were passionate about or that anyone was expecting or indeed giving any thought to the idea of a third Ghostbusters movie...If you had said the name to me last week, I wouldn't have known quite who it was/might have for a second thought you were talking about Rick Moranis.
|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 4:19 PM
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I mean, yes, it's possible for people to be both self-confident and have empathy, and not everything is a trade-off. But, at the same time, I think ogged is correct that there is a genuine tension between two not-entirely compatible attitudes.

I absolutely disagree. The tension you are identifying is the fact that, within certain defined parameters, being an amoral asshole has real advantages in our society. (And, possibly, in most human societies. I don't know enough anthropology to say.) I hear the potatoes whisper, but I don't answer them. Flash flood warnings. Pizza delivery. Garbanzo beans. What LB said in 57.2 about relative privilege seems valid. Lottery winners. Scratch-off tickets. Accumulated airline frequent-flyer miles. Deflation. Canned laugh-tracks. Etc.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 4:26 PM
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I would have taken a moment to place him accurately, but he was responsible for some really funny movies. There are bits of Stripes that come to mind and make me giggle probably twenty years since the last time I saw it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 4:28 PM
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I hear the potatoes whisper, but I don't answer them. Flash flood warnings. Pizza delivery. Garbanzo beans. What LB said in 57.2 about relative privilege seems valid. Lottery winners. Scratch-off tickets. Accumulated airline frequent-flyer miles. Deflation. Canned laugh-tracks. Etc.

I'm wearing a beret and snapping along, but I don't know what this means.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 4:32 PM
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Urple is reminding me a little too much of this.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 4:41 PM
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106 - I think I have been thinking of Rick Moranis. They were both in Ghostbusters! It's confusing!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 4:43 PM
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105: add to "blue babies" from nitrates lack of adequate solid waste disposal (eg failing septic systems including feces lying exposed on the ground where children play in addition to risk of groundwater contamination), and the "arsenic belt" in parts of Kern Co. And so many of my UMC financially successful peers think we are crazy to pay $$$ for produce from farmers who strive and generally succeed at employing a stable, year round workforce at a decent wage! Vast overwhelming majority of us have no idea what went into our "cheap" food.

re the 10 cabins issue, the LAFCOs should have a generic report they can issue for all dysfunctional infrastructure CFDs, var. 1 for the vacation home communities that is code for "you cheapskate idiots are on your own when the bill comes due" and var. 2 for the year round resident communities that is code for "you thought the Hatfields & McCoys where insane? You haven't seen ANYTHING yet."


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 4:48 PM
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110 led me to this, which is not entirely unrelated to the OP.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 4:50 PM
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Thing is, if you google the ten communities that are about to run out of water, you can find assessments of them from 2002, calling them high risk. Everyone knows they're on the verge of failing. But they either can't or won't buy better on their own.

Some of them are begging to be consolidated into their more secure neighbors. But their neighbors who have been toiling like good ants all along want to know why they should get hit with the rate increases to bring their grasshopper neighbors' systems into compliance. That is a very good question.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 4:54 PM
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Re: 57

Not read the rest of the thread, so maybe pwned, but in my experience, people in difficult financial or social circumstances are very rarely assholes at the kind of level you encounter almost daily in white collar jobs or at UMC social gatherings.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 4:58 PM
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Ah yes, pwned by dq in 77, which is exactly my experience, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 5:01 PM
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113 led me to this, which is entirely unrelated to the OP but is hilarious. (It hits stride a few paragraphs in.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 5:03 PM
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There are bits of Stripes that come to mind and make me giggle probably twenty years since the last time I saw it.

I'm part of what appears to be an entire generation for whom Stripes was the first R rated movie seen in the theater as opposed to on cable.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 5:04 PM
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Completely agree with you when the grasshopper and ants are comparable with respect to socio ec status and political power, could not agree more. That is a different issue from the Allensworths and Fairmeads and similar communities sitting right next to and providing cheap labor for Delano and the regions overwhelmingly dominant industry and yet systematically excluded from inclusion within municipal boundaries and access to infrastructure serving a broader tax/fee base.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 5:11 PM
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Yeah. I am going to have to read that paper. I don't know much about that side of things.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 5:31 PM
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118: Didn't that generation not have cable until after seeing its first R movie?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 5:31 PM
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Yeah who had cable in '81, Richie Rich?

I refused to see R rated movies for years out of some sort of principle or other. Finally my parents made me go to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

Which is why I've never seen Stripes or Meatballs. I'm sorry, okay?!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 5:39 PM
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A lot of folks in my area had cable in 78 or 79.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 5:41 PM
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I looked up this list of HBO shows to figure out when we got cable. It was probably at least 3 years before First and Ten was on (I remember when it was new) and definitely before Fraggle Rock started so it was probably 1981. I also remember it felt like we were the last kids on the block to get cable.

The list is pretty interesting. Who knew that Real Sex premiered in 1992 and had an almost 17 year run, at a time when there were almost no other HBO original shows. Or that there were six seasons of Dream On and that it predated The Larry Sanders Show.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:04 PM
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Some friends of mine were on Real Sex. It wasn't sexy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:09 PM
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He wrote Meatballs? I went to the camp where it was filmed.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:12 PM
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125 -- Well, that's the thing. That show was literally the least sexy thing on earth. It was basically a 17 year long commercial for sesual puritanism, since it turned out that having "real" sex meant being a topless fat 55 year old man with a ponytail at some disgusting tantric retreat in the woods.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:16 PM
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+x


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:16 PM
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It was also the least sexxy thing on Earth.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:19 PM
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I thought 128 was adding the requisite MPAA rating to comment 127.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:25 PM
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But were the yurts at the tantric retreat site connected to a functioning, properly sized and sustainably financed septic system, Halford??? Focus man, focus!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:27 PM
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Even more disgusting!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:34 PM
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I bet Halford would visibly shudder if the word "yurt" were uttered within earshot. Heebie, you must try this one simple trick!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:39 PM
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A yurt ain't nothing but a paleo grotto.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:42 PM
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115: Not read the rest of the thread, so maybe pwned, but in my experience, people in difficult financial or social circumstances are very rarely assholes at the kind of level you encounter almost daily in white collar jobs or at UMC social gatherings.

Ditto. I'm finding this thread confusing on any number of levels, some of which have been addressed. But skipping to the one I'm stuck most on:

34: I mean that "modeling values" is the UMC way, instead of explicitly telling kids that "this is how we do things, and you'll get whooped (literally or metaphorically) if you do things differently."

I'm having trouble seeing these as in tension. Explicitly telling kids how we do things is to a large extent teaching etiquette, isn't it? No doubt there's a class of UMC parents who do not teach that, but many do, I would think.

Rules of etiquette are supposed to be grounded in authentic empathetic feelings -- it's not supposed to be an act -- and you'd have to teach that by modeling it. I think.

How does privilege come in? I suppose if you behave as though you're entitled to, or expect, any number of nice things, and go out of your way to procure them, what you're *doing* could be in tension with what you're saying. 'Do as I say, not as I do' could be a problem.

ttaM and I and others here weren't raised in UMC environments, and I don't think I ever felt entitled to anything; on the contrary, I know humility, humbleness, while I do acknowledge that I struggle over ambition (my lack thereof, irritation at).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:43 PM
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122: I was kind of like that. I didn't use profanity until I was about 17. Ever.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:49 PM
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Ughhhhhh.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:55 PM
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Sadly I think the yurt has lost its Genghis Khanian macho cred for many. And grottoes always make me think of Act 2 of Napoli, which really manages to stretch the already truly absurd boundaries of what us considered an acceptable "plot" for a ballet.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:57 PM
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136: Twinsies!

I'm really not sure how to respond to the parenting question, either. It's actually something I think about a lot because I'm parenting transracially and I know that certain values I'm passing on will have a different connotation when it's them doing the same thing, but if I feel strong enough I still do put in the pressure to make them behave the way I want them to behave. But it's also complicated because I have to have conversations about why in our family kids aren't encouraged to beat up their classmates and why we're not going to hit the baby to teach her things and so on. Also, I don't play games with my kids much at all. Maybe I'm a terrible parent or something.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:00 PM
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I've never had cable except for six months when we moved to a new place and it was left on from the previous owner and we weren't charged for it. We were afraid to watch it because we thought they were trying to get us hooked or something.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:02 PM
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72: Just being a straightforward jerk about not doing things you don't want to do works surprisingly well sometimes.

Doing a shitty job, so that no one ever asks you again, also works a lot more often than it should. My annoying coworkers, let me complain ineffectively about them.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:06 PM
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I've never had cable except for six months when we moved to a new place and it was left on from the previous owner

Disgusting!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:20 PM
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Act 2 of Napoli, which really manages to stretch the already truly absurd boundaries of what us considered an acceptable "plot" for a ballet.

I dunno, I'd kind of like to see a balletic rendition of the Red Sox's 2013 championship run.

(In fairness, I suppose that was more like Napoli's 3rd rather than 2nd act.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:27 PM
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I didn't use profanity until I was about 17.

I picked it up pretty seriously at GSP.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:36 PM
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143: mais ça existe déjà! Golfo, demon ruler of the Blue Grotto, has a luxuriant beard. Fake but then he's got all those naiads too. Perhaps overcompensating?

Parsimon, Thorn, natter - we are constantly expressing specific behavioral expectations to the boy, but then I'm consistently surprised in encounters with coworkers how much our parenting is outside current UMC norms. Now that I think about it, our expectations of the boy are very much in line with what I expect of the mock trial students and what clearly seems culturally acceptable to them within an overwhelmingly immigrant or African American context. Both the form and the content of manners are very important to us as parents. And gaming any system for advantage is seriously not on.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:53 PM
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why we're not going to hit the baby to teach her things . . . Maybe I'm a terrible parent or something

I think your threshold for terrible parenting is different than mine. I remember being shocked at how much more rough my high school boyfriend's (poor, working class in a lucky year) family was with little ones, and that one line brought back a lot of memories.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:53 PM
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I really can't imagine having cable any more. I did watch it a lot when I was a kid, but yeah, no interest.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:57 PM
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I keep having the intention of canceling my cable and replacing it with Hulu Plus, but I never get around to it. But watching shitty television is my primary means of coping with stress.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:59 PM
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Or maybe that's writing blog comments.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:59 PM
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I mean, it's not like I don't watch shitty television. But the thing cable is designed for (omnivorous, bored surfing) I just can't begin to envision having the time or inclination for. I guess if I couldn't nigh-instantly get anything (except live sports) that I affirmatively want to watch that might be different?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:01 PM
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I was offered what I thought and still think is a good deal to add cable to my initially internet only plan. Except if I had know the extra $2/month in regular fees meant an extra $10/month in taxes I wouldn't have taken it. The cable box has never worked and I've been meaning to exchange it since October. The part of the deal that's turned out good is the online access to stuff, including ESPN and HBO. I'd still get the cable box fixed, if it didn't look like I'll be moving out of here in a month or two.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:04 PM
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They offered to add cable to my internet for no extra charge, except that it was basically just the broadcast networks, and to watch them in HD would be an extra ten bucks a month (waived the first year! Thanks, fellas). Turns out those HD broadcast channels are actually just broadcast over the air, and I can watch them with an antenna. Then they said "oh, well, we could also double your internet speed for the same price", meaning that shows download even faster! Whatever b-school genius came up with that cable company pricing plan gets an A+, really.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:09 PM
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Similar deal here with the very basic non-HD cable - I discovered that apparently I don't even get enough channels to get the Olympics, but since I wasn't planning on watching the Olympics it didn't matter - but the only major broadcast network I get over the air is ABC. And I hook a laptop up to the tv and get better picture on some channels than I'd get with working cable.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:13 PM
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I do feel like I'm ripping myself off at this point, though, because I'm not as interested in watching sports as I used to be and HBO is nice but I've never subscribed before and am fine without it. But again, no point in making changes to the plan if I'm just going to move out relatively soon.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:16 PM
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150: for me, it's all about the soccer. And sometimes "Justified".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:17 PM
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That article -- wherever it was -- about the stunningly high percentage of everybody's cable bill that goes to fees for sports channels that I am fundamentally not interested in (many of which are driving the absurd profit-taking of bit time college sports) firmed my resolve nicely.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:18 PM
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"big time", not "bit time". Was reading an article about the Mt. Gox hilari-debacle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:19 PM
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You can add cable to an internet plan that cheaply? I thought that like $100 of my $140/month cable bill was for cable. Although it is HD + Tivo + whatever free stuff they threw in when I subscribed that suddenly stopped being free after a year.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:23 PM
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The thing I miss about having a more-than-basic cable package is Turner Classic Movies. Because I'm in my 80s or something. Netflix never covered old movies that well, and Hulu had even fewer of them, but I think Warner Brothers having their own streaming service has just made things worse. There are only so many streaming services I want to subscribe to and if every studio is going to keep theirs to their own platforms that just makes it harder to see them.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:25 PM
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Have you tried stealing them? It works much better than any of the streaming services as far as availability and picture quality.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:26 PM
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After giving a talk about how to find subtle signals that might be hiding in massive amounts of data, I am having trouble locating my shoes in a small hotel room.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:27 PM
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(And, needless to say, isn't actually stealing except metaphorically.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:27 PM
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161: use more energy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:27 PM
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trapnel - beard actually rather modest, but a *crown!*, a ?seaweed themed unitard? and of course the bevy of naiads. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXa62ZN55Pk So so so silly and senseless. She's got the Royal Danish Ballet feet tho - yum, soft and ever so precise.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:30 PM
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I watched lots of stuff in Canada via the "if you won't even make it possible for me to pay for it, you leave me with no choice" justification. A fair amount of the old movies couldn't even be bought in the US at the time, though more are available now through streaming services, if not DVD. I wanted to pay for the NCAA tournament, which was available in Canada when it was free but not available at all when they charged money.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:31 PM
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Gosh, it's almost as if a momentary desire for minor convenience is forcing people to steal cable. But don't worry I'm sure you can look cool announcing your theft and work out some bullshitty self-serving rationale one would never apply in any other sphere of life to make yourself feel better.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:33 PM
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165: even when it's possible to pay for it's so fucking impossible. Like, okay, torrent sites are always going to be cheaper. That's hard to get around. But do they have to be more convenient and have better, more responsive customer service than any legitimate option? Way to market fail, content enterprises.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:36 PM
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You're totally justified bro! If you can do it on a computer you deserve it!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:37 PM
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161: Bandpass filter for objects smaller than a breadbox followed by heat map for likeness to leather?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:38 PM
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166: no, it's okay. It's not theft! See, intellectual "property" is really just a term for a collection of laws designed to allow for the commercialization of creative works. So really, accessing those works outside the terms of whatever license may or may not apply is only "theft" by very loose analogy, and happily those are banned.

I recently found out about a Bill Murray movie (released, barely, the same year as Ghostbusters) that's supposed to be among his best works, but which has never been made available for legitimate purchase because the system is great. I'm excited to watch it!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:39 PM
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The laws are actually different in Canada.* It's like they have their own country up there!

*Although I can't claim I did a complex legal analysis of the situation.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:42 PM
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Actually, YouTube is sort of interestingly close to solving this problem. The Bill Murray movie I mention is up there, as are other things (Los Angeles Plays Itself, for instance) that are unreleasable via traditional means. But YouTube is annoying to watch when you aren't online, obviously.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:43 PM
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yt-dl, st, iykwim.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:44 PM
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170 -- oh cool you did work out a bullshit line of reasoning to make yourself feel better. It's like you're engaging in a form of civil disobedience, really.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:44 PM
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146: I didn't actually mean for there to be a direct relation between those two statements. I am 100% on board with not hitting babies, or other kids, and it actually makes me sad that it's baffling to the big girls to imagine how else one could get a baby to comply at least sometimes. (They do know that if they take something from her they have to trade something that will keep her occupied, so they get some of it. Most of their questions about how things work about babies are more about themselves.)

I just feel like my concerns and worries are very different from some of what gets talked about here for reasons that relate to their race, class, and especially histories. And by different standards I meant things like that I can't send them to school in ripped clothes and with messy hair because people will think I'm not clothing them properly because they're in foster care and not doing their hair because I'm white, whereas I can look however the hell I want and no one will think badly of me. Even though only Nia needs her hair seriously styled on a regular basis, it's amazing how much time I spend on hair and it's still of course not as good as all their classmates who go to professionals, but I'm also not going to send my first grader to a professional braider for a lot of reasons. Etc.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:49 PM
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The customer service part is the fascinating thing, really. There's this movie site where they care more about the history of film, and making the history of film available, and preservation, and finding the best possible versions of rare, important films, than any commercial enterprise save maybe Criterion? They're so hardcore.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:50 PM
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It would seem that simply teaching children self-confidence and empathy, each in proper portion, would guard against either outcome.

But it's not a matter of "simply" teaching children these values/habits of mind in the abstract. At a certain point, children will have to apply these values in particular contexts, the contours and content of which may well be well beyond parental control.

I think ogged may have skewed the responses here by speaking of an "Asshole Culture." That is perhaps a tad extreme. But a culture which places a very high premium on self-regard and self-assertion? not always, and not necessarily, compatible with decency and empathy. I do think ogged has identified a real tension, in other words.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:50 PM
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It's really frustrating that there's no reasonably priced way to get regular network television here. We don't get it over the air, and on cable it comes out to $20/month. That's kind of a lot for something we'd use at most every few months, but still it'd be nice to watch the oscars and the nba finals.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:52 PM
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178: Aereo?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:53 PM
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Seriously Halford? Your outraged that people don't go out of their way to pay for a service that they neither asked for nor wanted? Now I might understand that you'd be a bit outraged that the first time I got cable was by bribing a cable guy (back then it wasn't centrally controlled). But aren't informal favors an important currency in the entertainment world?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:54 PM
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I need to call the cable company though this week. Our initial year is up so the price of internet has gone way up, so now I have to call to negotiate and/or switch companies. So maybe we'll add some sort of cable if they offer that but don't offer a lower rate on broadband. I really wish there were a way to get decent broadband that wasn't owned by a cable TV provider.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:55 PM
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179: I'm on their waiting list. Though it's not totally clear to me whether I live close enough to the city that they're expanding to that I'll be able to get it. But it's a definite option. The pricing for Aereo seems reasonable for broadcast TV. I'd probably be willing to pay the cable company $10/month for it.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:56 PM
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I am 100% on board with not hitting babies, or other kids

What about hitting other kids with the baby? Once my kids got old enough they thought it was hilarious for me to swing them around and smack a sibling or other relative with their little feet.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:57 PM
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ogged may have skewed the responses here by speaking of an "Asshole Culture."

Yeah, clearly. I tried to qualify and elaborate, but "asshole culture" was just too catchy, for me and everyone else.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:57 PM
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180 -- no, the not going out of your way to pay for a service you don't want is fine. Bargain with your cable company, don't get cable if you don't want it, get a hdtv antenna, watch TV from Canada if you want to, whatever. It's stealing lots of content to avoid paying for it entirely (so, really, only 160/162) on the thinnest of justifications (I have to!) that I have a problem with.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:00 PM
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Halford is just embarrassing himself here. But I'd pay five bucks for a Skype feed of him doing it.

Sifu, there's a site that hasn't failed me yet for live feeds of sporting events. Not the greatest quality, and you have to try a few links before you find one that works, but it's usable. I found it by googling. You can too!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:00 PM
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Oh damn, 185 is more reasonable than the comments 186 was responding to. So I guess I wouldn't pay five bucks, after all.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:01 PM
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186 -- Oh hey more thievery! You deserve it!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:01 PM
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There is something weird and busted about a setup where paying for something gets you not only out the money, as expected, but also only the crummier version of what you've paid for.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:04 PM
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THAT WAS A GREAT SENTENCE, WHAT DO YOU MEAN?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:04 PM
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144: Triplet...sies! I feel like I've told this here before but I went to a showing of Breaking Away at GSP and my friends and I thought it was dumb (I might like it now, who knows) and we ran out screaming about what a dumb movie it was, but using lots of profanity. This is strange to say, but it's a very happy memory. I mean imagine going all those years not saying any of those awfully expressive words.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:05 PM
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175: I was teasing you by putting the thoughts together, because yeah, not playing games with the girls is a far cry from actually being terrible (as in, hitting the baby!). The second sentence was more earnest. Your girls are getting (I suspect) a lot more ethics/logic/philosophy with their house rules, and I bet they'll become good at code-switching like Witt mentioned in in 54.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:06 PM
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190: I downloaded the free version and it was perfectly clear.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:08 PM
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191: I am so glad that all of us got to go there. I don't think we were uniquely socially behind compared to the rest of the commentariat but I love so much that there are other people who understand what that place and experience meant to me and are also people I like and respect.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:09 PM
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Like, okay, torrent sites are always going to be cheaper. That's hard to get around. But do they have to be more convenient and have better, more responsive customer service than any legitimate option? Way to market fail, content enterprises.

Boy, this is a bad way to argue for something not necessarily bad.

Not only does the unlicensed contractor who enslaves his workers and dumps his waste in the river give me the best price, he also offers 24-hour convenience and no pesky paperwork! How ridiculous would I be to follow the law? It's lose-lose-lose-lose-lose!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:09 PM
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For the record, I wouldn't move to Canada just to be able to download stuff legally. At least not with Harper still in power.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:09 PM
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186: oh, I know, I mostly just don't care. I watch broadcast NFL games and that's about enough. I would probably watch more hockey? I do stream the TdF even though I'm usually someplace with cable when it's on because the Eurovision announcers are so much awesomer.

To be honest I barely have time to watch anything. I said earlier I watch plenty of terrible tv but it actually nets out to maybe an hour and a half a week. I was hoping to watch Archer tonight but now it's too late.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:11 PM
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192: They are already good at code-switching and we explicitly talk about that, just like we talk about a lot of therapeutic and emotional things. And I do play with them a lot, but it just doesn't seem to be games the way ogged's and heebie's kids play them. In part that's because heebie's at least are younger and in part it's because when Mara was 3 she had a smaller active vocabulary than 18-month-old Selah does and so it was just different and then thinking about that sort of thing makes me very sad. I've done what I can and what I think is best for them, anyway.

In fact, I played the Angry Birds card game AND read a portion of a chapter of Harry Potter tonight, plus making and serving dinner and supervising bath and bedtimes. I know I'm not worthless; it just feels different sometimes.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:12 PM
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Halford, in seriousness, a question: I want to watch Barcelona or Real Madrid play, and get the opportunity maybe once a month. Now, I definitely have the option to get cable, which is what, $40/month? And then I'd have to buy their soccer sports pack, which is probably another $10/month. So, my Halford-approved option is to pay at least $50/month for something I might watch for two hours a month (and some months not at all). Doesn't this seem insane to you? If the network that carried the games offered to stream to me for a fee, I'd gladly pay it. If my cable company offered me the choice to buy the one channel I want, I'd buy it. But they don't, for reasons you well understand.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:22 PM
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There is something weird and busted about a setup where paying for something gets you not only out the money, as expected, but also only the crummier version of what you've paid for.

You seem to dislike the new system where instead of being able to "buy" things like some sort of jurassic hoarder, we have to rent access to them forever.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:23 PM
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175: in a very small scale way totally understand the presentation thing, closely coordinate with teacher and other coaches each year to make sure our kids are impeccably turned out for competitions, would never let them enter the courtroom not looking sharp.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:28 PM
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If my cable company offered me the choice to buy the one channel I want, I'd buy it.

Or, even better: I pay for access to that channel. But even though it's available in HD, my cable company only carries it in SD. So I get to watch a craptastic SD feed on my HDTV (with a little "HD" bug in the corner to remind me what I'm missing out on). But at least I get to hear Ray Hudson do the commentary.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:28 PM
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Also:

Bargain with your cable company

Did you really expect this to get a pass, Halford?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:30 PM
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Hey everyone - Criterion are having a flash sale through sometime tomorrow! (noon PST?) 50% off everything in stock. Get your copy of Le French Can Can, possibly the best backstage drama movie ever made, certainly the most awesome dance finale EVER!!! Jean Gabin too, be still mon coeur battant!!!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:33 PM
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We live in the best possible pricing structure for copyrighted content. Deal with it as equal bargaining partners, people!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:33 PM
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I was going to mock him for that, but honestly, when I did have DirecTV, they were surprisingly open to bargaining (I had no idea; a friend told me to try it). But Comcast might be a very different experience. All the more reason to get DirecTV! I really liked their service.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:33 PM
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I don't know if DirecTV still lets you do this, but you could activate a premium channel for a day, de-activate it, and pay the pro-rated monthly fee, and as far as I knew, there was no limit to how many times you could do this. So you could pay for four days of HBO to watch a weekly show, etc. I'm sure that when there's just one cable company in America, they'll be happy to let you do that same.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:36 PM
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206: Comcast has been willing to lower the rates when I've threatened to cancel my service (and when I moved they threw in all the premium channels for free). There's no possible universe in which they'll a) allow you to bargain for a la carte channel access and b) give you any meaningful way to ask for new channels. (See also: my complaint about not carrying soccer in HD.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:37 PM
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Because I'm a serious fucking commenter, I just did a live chat with Comcast about beIN sports, the network in question.

we do not have the BeIn Sports channel on the line-up for your area

Now Halford will have to do some research to tell me who I'm stealing it from.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:39 PM
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208 is totally right, of course. I didn't want to get into those weeds with Halford. No weeds! No weeds with Halford!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:41 PM
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DirecTV has beIN HD. Just sayin'! I'm not on the payroll. I don't even have the service anymore.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:42 PM
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211: I can't get DirecTV in my building. It's Comcast or nothing.

But I'm sure this is somehow my fault for being a bad consumer.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:45 PM
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Do you guys have any idea how many nemeses/ambiguous/negative heros in Verne novels are English? It's unreal. Had no idea. Turns out Phineas Fogg was no aberration ... jeez. Some serious "old rivalry" business going on. Think we should send Verne into time machine therapy. Also, when I agreed to type up this bilan de lecture I'd forgotten what a pain in the arse it is to do all the diacritical marks on a QWERTY keyboard. And I've forgotten how to touch type on a French keyboard. Merde.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:47 PM
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I currently get about 30 channels in SD and about 120 channels in HD. This may be a mistake on their part (for example, among the HD channels, I get the NHL Network but not TBS or MTV). But it's been going on for a while. Maybe I should put this comment in rot13 so Comcast doesn't see it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:48 PM
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this is somehow my fault

For not buying a house in Oakland ten years ago. Don't beat yourself up, we all omitted to do it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:49 PM
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199 -- Seriously? I suspect, but don't know, that $50/month with no other choice might be wrong if you priced out your other options. Putting that aside, though, no one sane would argue that cable delivery is perfect or without problems or frustrations. But the truth is that in our current system it's not economically rational to sell channels without bundling and the ability to sell bundling is a big part of what has made the huge expansion of channels possible, not to mention that so much of the cost is driven by bargains that have already been cut over expensive sports telecasts. That's just how the system works and is what contracts are based on all down the line. Now you can say that you don't like the system or you'd like to have a state decree/subsidy for a la carte pricing, but the current system is how things are structured so that people, including athletes, get paid.

And, usually, our response to "I want that but the price seems too high" or "I could conceivably arrange this economic arrangement more fairly" isn't just to unilaterally steal something because you feel that the relevant regulatory regime could be improved. I mean I'm pissed that I have to pay too much for water because too much of it is going to horrible agribusiness, but if I found some way to cut my rates by illegally switching off the water meter I would most definitely still be stealing. And while stealing, including stealing cable, is often understandable, and not like the biggest crime in the universe, it's not really justified, either.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:53 PM
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"Unilaterally steal something"? As opposed to with consent?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:54 PM
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215: The funny thing is, I was actually shopping for a house in Oakland 10 years ago. None of that worked out exactly how I expected.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:54 PM
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so much of the cost is driven by bargains that have already been cut over expensive sports telecasts.

This is, in the context of soccer, absolutely, utterly false.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:55 PM
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Also, this:

I suspect, but don't know, that $50/month with no other choice might be wrong if you priced out your other options.

is also wrong.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:58 PM
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217 -- fair pont, but I meant the idea that we just get to decide on our own to steal things when it feels like they're priced too high. I mean maybe that's what you do think but only Natilo here lives into it as a real philosophy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:58 PM
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I do admire the continued insistence on equating digital goods with tangible, physical ones. You're persistent if nothing else.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:59 PM
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Maybe some athletes are paid too much. There should be an interactive tv feature where you can cut someone's salary in exchange for a lower cable fee.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:59 PM
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The "stealing" language is just inadequate here. As we've discovered since I typed 199, I don't have the option of paying even full price for the service I want. I'm not depriving anyone of the use of the thing I'm "stealing," etc. These are just talking points by now. Plus, water -- analogy -- you're banned --what have you people done with Stras?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:09 PM
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we just get to decide on our own to steal things when it feels like they're priced too high

Well to be fair most consumers don't have the money to pour into lobbying that the content providers do.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:19 PM
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Does this satisfy your soccer needs? I see at least one Barcelona game under the full match section. It's not clear to me whether you can get live streaming, but it's at least on-demand for at least the week after the match, and it's $20/month. I was linked there from UEFA.com so it's legit.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:27 PM
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226: That's for Champions League, not La Liga (which is what ogged wants). Also this is relevant.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:31 PM
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And, usually, our response to "I want that but the price seems too high" or "I could conceivably arrange this economic arrangement more fairly" isn't just to unilaterally steal something because you feel that the relevant regulatory regime could be improved.

That's true, but it's not (necessarily) because people are happy to just accept the prices as they are or do without; it's because in most cases if you steal physical goods there's a good chance you'll get caught and the cops will throw your ass in jail. (And even though that's the case, people still steal stuff all the time, and often get caught.) Setting aside any of the ethical or legal issues, I think the big problem for this approach to intellectual property is that there just isn't the enforcement capability to make the risk of consequences equivalent to that of physical theft.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:35 PM
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Bummer.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:36 PM
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I do admire the continued insistence on equating digital goods with tangible, physical ones.

This supposed point never makes any sense to me. If there's going to be some kind of regime or apparatus to pay people for works and goods they produce then what difference does it make what format it's in?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:51 PM
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228: That's why I mostly just steal people's innocence. It's way hard to prosecute that shit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:53 PM
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Speaking of legal stuff, don't beat your boyfriend/girlfriend, because after we haul your dumb ass off the Supreme Court will allow them to give us warrantless access to get all up in your business. Boom!


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:01 PM
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If there's going to be some kind of regime or apparatus to pay people for works and goods they produce then what difference does it make what format it's in?

Because most people don't in fact accept strict supply and demand wrt pricing. Unless you now want me to explain why price gouging pisses people off.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:07 PM
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227: Liga turns out to be a Latvian first name. We met a woman at a party who was named Liga, and who was from Riga, so now Cole Porter's "Katie went to Haiti" is in my head, in a slightly modified form, forever.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:27 PM
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Eh, it still strikes me as kind of nonsensical but I'm not really interested in re-hashing all that tonight.

Instead, because Ogged's back we'll celebrate with an Asian driving article.

Confused Japanese tourists trigger highway pursuit in S. Utah


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 11:30 PM
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Is it wrong to speculate what would have happened if they had been tourists from sub-Saharan Africa?
232- I recommend the cops keep some guy around to claim he lives in any apartment they might want to search, and when it turns out he was lying, well, wasn't their mistake, the search still counts as reasonable.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 4:12 AM
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201: I'm really fairly lax about it by certain standards. I have friends who won't let their kids go to school without button-down shirts and the like, whereas I let them dress themselves for the most part even though that leads to interesting color combos, just nothing dirty or too holey. And C's hair should really look better than it does right now, but I did 90 minutes of detangling two nights ago and have at least two more sessions of that until I can restyle it. (The last full style was the first week January, so I've saved lots of time by just doing touch-ups, but now I have to pay the piper.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 8:02 AM
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I was poised to nominate 204 as the possibly most helpful comment in the history of unfogged, but after I took the time to fill a shopping cart with eight wonderful half-price films to purchase, I'm getting persistent "application errors" when I try to check out. It says to try again in a few minutes, but I've tried again a dozen times now, so I'm probably going to give up. So ultimately 204 wasn't helpful at all. It's actually ruined my morning.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 8:16 AM
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If you want a vision of the future, imagine Cole Porter's "Katie went to Haiti" in your head, in a slightly modified form, forever.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 8:26 AM
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The criterion website finally worked! Comment 204 has been redeemed!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 8:32 AM
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Catching this from upthread:

I absolutely disagree [that there is a genuine tension between two not-entirely compatible attitudes].

Let me put it this way. For years I've thought of this dynamic in relation to the Leonard Cohen lyrics:

I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, / He said to me, you must not ask for so much. / And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, / She cried to me, hey, why not ask for more?

Self confidence doesn't necessarily translate to, "why not ask for more" and empathy doesn't necessarily translate into, "[don't] ask for so much." But, to the extent that they do, there is a tension between them.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 8:38 AM
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When it's a massive bargain that I just bought a DVD for only $26 including shipping, I better actually watch all these special features.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 8:40 AM
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One thing I never quite understand about discussion of OTA TV in the US is all the comments about not being able to get even the big networks OTA, even in major cities. Is it just a question of not being able to get them without a roof antenna (in which case easy solution), or are there just no broadcasting towers at all? And if the latter, why? They must have been there before cable, and isn't it part of the networks' licenses to maintain a certain level of coverage?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 8:57 AM
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AWESOME CRITERION SHOPPERS!! So, what did you buy?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 9:05 AM
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243: We have one tv that gets satellite and another with just a small digital antenna. I actually like the over-the-air channels better, because there's an alternative PBS that does arts programming all day and that sort of thing, channels that we can't get on satellite. It has all the network channels plus a few others I don't know about, MeTV or something that I think is for Baby Boomers, one that always plays Westerns, I think about 30 channels total, most of them secondary or tertiary versions of the network options.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 9:07 AM
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Negotiation somewhat successful. I used to be paying $30/month for internet (though actually it's more like $40 when you factor in installation costs) but after a year it bumped up to $50. So I called to try to get it decreased, and after much negotiation with two people eventually they gave me a year of basic cable with dvr at a discount of $33/mth off the usual rate plus $200 reward minus $50 of installation. So in the end I'm now paying a little less than $60/mth (factoring in the reward) for internet and cable. Though in a year I'll have to do this all over again and probably will need to switch cable companies to get a comparable deal. Fortunately we have two cable companies. In NYC we only had one so when I called them after a year their offer was "nothing."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 9:23 AM
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216: in our current system it's not economically rational to sell channels without bundling and the ability to sell bundling is a big part of what has made the huge expansion of channels possible

Right, that had been my understanding of the rationale for bundling: if everyone pitches in, the cost per person is lower. If everyone who doesn't want those 50 ESPN channels opts out -- an a la carte model -- the cost for those remaining who do want them goes up significantly. It might not become prohibitively expensive for sports channels, which are broadly popular, but could well be for, say, Turner Classic Movies.

On one level it seems just and proper that only those who use want/use a service should (have to) pay for it, but there are numerous cases in other realms of shared life in which we don't accept that reasoning; the most obvious difference is that in most of those other realms, the service provided is public, governmentally administered, and considered a general public good.

In any event, just as a wider shared risk pool is the right way to go for health care (health insurance) even though some people will never go to the doctor, there's certainly an argument to be made that a wider subscription pool for programming -- whether or not you actually use it -- makes a great deal of sense. Right?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 11:12 AM
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216,241: If everyone would just adopt bitcoin, I'm sure all of these issues would somehow solve themselves.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 11:18 AM
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not being able to get even the big networks OTA, even in major cities.

I'm not in a major city, and I don't know if a more powerful antenna would get the networks that aren't broadcasting nearby. I think ABC may be in town. In many apartment buildings, you're not allowed to set up an external antenna.

When I was in the Bay Area a decade or so ago, there was some kind of controversy over NBC moving to a San Jose affiliate, leaving non-cable subscribers in SF without good coverage. Or something like that. I don't know what's happened since then.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 12:19 PM
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244: "Elevator to the Gallows". After seeing that "Bob le Flambeur" and "Touchez pas la Grisbi" were out of print.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 12:21 PM
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All 3 totally superior choices. Watched touchez pas recently supra delicious.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 12:23 PM
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243: I have no idea why, but I live on a small hill in a big city, and even with an antenna, I can only receive a couple of the main broadcast channels, and the ones I do receive seize up when I stand in certain parts of the room. Maybe our broadcasting infrastructure is poor?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 12:25 PM
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Wasn't there something a couple of years ago about how those using the most minimal apparatus to receive signals would have to get a conversion doohickey? I am forgetting the details, but it was a bit of an issue for low-tech members of society.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 1:03 PM
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Wasn't there something a couple of years ago about how those using the most minimal apparatus to receive signals would have to get a conversion doohickey? I am forgetting the details, but it was a bit of an issue for low-tech members of society.

Sure, the digital switchover is a reason for OTA problems in general, but I'm talking about people discussing cord cutting on tech-related websites.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 1:59 PM
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246: Comcast ***literally*** sends me two pieces of mail PER WEEK insisting that I call them for a "free account review". So finally, in desperation, I did. I got bumped through 3 levels of customer service/sales, until I wound up with a guy who was like "hey, you're already getting $30 off, we don't offer a deal that good anymore, can't help you, but let me know if they bump it up by $30, and I'll see if I can get it reduced again". What. The. Actual. Fuck. I've been at this job for nearly 3 years. We're talking about at LEAST a ream's worth of paper, about 50% of it four-color glossy cardstock, trying to get me to call them so they can tell me not to bother them? Capitalism is so fucked up. Plus, of course, they will just keep sending these things twice a week, there's no way to make them stop.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 2:04 PM
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250: Amazing soundtrack, that one.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 2:11 PM
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255: to be fair, we get at least that much mail from them and we aren't customers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 2:30 PM
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250 244: "Elevator to the Gallows".

I remember nothing of that movie except how great the music was.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 2:37 PM
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It's actually completely legal here in the Netherlands to make copies of movies (and books, and tv shows etc) for personal use, even from illegal sources. No moral dillemmas here!


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 02-28-14 8:46 AM
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So, after 12 hours of waiting for installation over the course of 3 days, I now finally have network television for around $15/month for this year (pro-rating the $200 reward for upgrading). After a year though it goes up to almost $70/month. Hopefully by then aereo will have expanded and I can ditch the cable company.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 1-14 1:01 PM
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Technically it's not just network television, we also get a few kids channels.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 1-14 1:04 PM
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