Re: Venturing Outside The Bubble

1

When bubbles collide! I'm always reluctant to get into these conversations, because I'm not familiar with their bizarro world talking points. Was this more reality-based? Statement of principles? Maybe you guys should do a radio show.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:18 AM
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He actually kept hitting points I was pretty well prepped for: the IRS targeting Tea Party affiliated groups? Huh, had you heard that when the full list of groups came out, it was ideologically balanced; If people can get health care without paying for it, why would anyone work? Interestingly, sixty years into the experiment, people in the UK are still often productively employed; Isn't it awful that Obama traded five terrorists for that deserter Bergdal (sp?)? In the grand tradition of the US military, we're willing to get people killed to recover a body, let alone a live American soldier who may or may not have done something wrong, and it's not like five more people in Afghanistan who want to shoot at us is really going to change the demographics much, and so on.

It was oddly like one of those 'respectful' arguments with rightwingers that I associate with Obsidian Wings in '06 or so.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:34 AM
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Admittedly, I think the conversation stayed pleasant because I restricted myself to swinging at his pitches, rather than bringing up issues of my own.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:35 AM
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Huh. I am super guarded against entering into anything resembling a political conversation in those circumstances. I can keep my external composure fine, but I can't keep my heartbeat from rising and my body from going into flight mode.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:37 AM
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I suppose if I were being asked direct questions, in a non-aggressive way, I could enjoy answering them, like 2 describes. It seems like it's usually someone going off on a rant, and I'd be overhearing them, and either have to take up the implied challenge or go to a different room, and I'd always go to a different room.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:40 AM
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This was very friendly, low emotional temperature; the guy was all excited to have found a leftist in the wild, and wanted to know about my behaviors and natural habitat. And we'd led into it with a long conversation with his wife who used to be a Nassau County DA about lawyering and other things, so by the time things got political we were all established as friendly, highly educated, and knowledgeable.

And I get paid to stay calm while arguing with people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:46 AM
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If he wanted to know about tangent lines, I'd knock it out of the park.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:47 AM
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(And while it did get started by my taking up a challenge, I did so pretty meekly -- someone else in the conversation said "Well, no one here voted for Obama!" and I literally raised my hand, and murmured, "Twice, actually. Knocked on doors for him the first time." And then we were off to the races.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:48 AM
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I don't get lobbed math questions very often, but the one that does come up is "Is infinity a number?" (My go-to answer is "No, it's a direction." Then we can get into more complex answers if they're interested.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:49 AM
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7: Isn't that more radial motion than tangential?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:50 AM
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Well, tangent to the arc of my swing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:56 AM
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I learned during the height of the Iraq War/"We need to take the gloves off" rubbish that right-wingers hated to be asked how much "taking the gloves off" would constitute "doing the same things that Saddam did, like gassing/ditch-massacring people."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:03 AM
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"No, it's a direction."

South by southeast.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:03 AM
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Since moving here, I've had several conversations like this. Each of them has been very cordial and largely stupid, ending with all of the not-especially-exercised parties throwing up their hands and exclaiming some version of, "Well, I never!" or "Conservatives are from Mars, and Democrats are from Venus!" The only one that became even a little interesting ended with some of the parties saying that some of the issues at hand didn't seem to track a liberal/conservative split. Okay, then, let's get back to watching the World Cup!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:05 AM
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Okay, then, let's get back to watching the World Cup!

Let's hope you didn't bring up penalty kicks. I hear that can be an inflammatory issue in some parts.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:10 AM
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One my kids like is "What is the middle number?"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:11 AM
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15: everyone agreed that PKs seemed to be as good a way as any other to end a deadlocked game. And then we talked about how humid it's been. Apparently it's not usually this humid here. I have my doubts.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:14 AM
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One my kids like is "What is the middle number?"

0!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:14 AM
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On the topic, I apparently have a sign on my forehead reading "give me your crazy, your racist, your paranoid conspiracy theorists and your lecherous aging Republican men." I'm pretty conflict averse with strangers so there are lots of conversations I just kind of run away from instead of engaging on.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:16 AM
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14: what fun!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:23 AM
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20: the conversations have been considerably better than the humidity.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:24 AM
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So how are you liking your new town and department?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:29 AM
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Moving is hard, especially with kids and double especially with kids during the summer. Given that, we did almost everything wrong: moving at the beginning rather than the end of the summer, not finding a house, etc. Even still, the people here are very nice, it's much more beautiful here than where we used to live, and once the kids are in school and we move into the house we FINALLY (just last week) found to buy, all should be well. Or not. We'll see.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:41 AM
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8: A rare double reverse Kael.

I've had the OP experience regularly. We're really not supposed to talk about that stuff at work, but it comes up. I ended up literally yelling at one of my officemates because he was being an unbelievable douchebigot about muslims.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:42 AM
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I literally can't remember the last time I had such a conversation, except at the current events discussion that I put on for students.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 6:49 AM
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You know, I was at a party recently where the ONLY person who would talk to me was the super-conservative ex-military guy. We started off talking about China, then the Dangers of the Internet, and then how we chose our careers. We disagreed on everything (seriously, what is it that makes conservatives so attached to handwritten letters?), but we had a good time. Most of the other people at the party -- who probably had politics much closer to mine -- were looking at me like they weren't sure if I could speak English or not.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:03 AM
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26

Out of curiosity, what was his position on China?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:16 AM
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I spared you all the continuation of Deep Redstatia liveblogging because of the absence of a cellular signal out in the sticks. Yesterday I stopped in the local general store to buy beer. The girl behind the counter was... I wish I could have taken a picture for the Flickr pool. Her haircut, tats and piercings that would not have looked out of place in Brooklyn. Hanging from a chain around her neck was an unironic silver cross. Her tee-shirt was difficult to interpret at first, until I recognized the image as a stylized drawing of the chamber of a pump shotgun ejecting a shell casing, under the slogan "I can load and unload more than a washer and dryer".

Also notable: my brother-in-law (New Yorker by birth), who enjoys taunting the natives, wore this tee-shirt.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:26 AM
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We disagreed on everything (seriously, what is it that makes conservatives so attached to handwritten letters?),

I like handwritten letters. But then I think I am a conservative, it's just that all the things I want to conserve are fairly left-wing (free health care, economic equality, strong welfare state, etc). Similarly my (occasionally obnoxious) nationalist sentiments centre around all the leftiest bits of my beloved country. This has led to me being described as "basically a national socialist, but that sounds bad in some way when you say it out loud".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:40 AM
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(seriously, what is it that makes conservatives so attached to handwritten letters?)

I dunno but this is one point where they're straight-up correct.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:41 AM
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27: His position was that, on a technical level, the US would win in any military confrontation with China, and on a political level, he thinks the US has strong and long-standing relationships with Japan, the Phillipines, etc., which make it necessary for the US to side with them against China.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:41 AM
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Let's be pen pals, ajay.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:41 AM
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-l +p


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:45 AM
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I bought a typewriter and asked people on fb if anyone wanted to receive typed letters and then forgot who said yes because of the gnat-like attention span I have because of Facebook.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 9:07 AM
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Let's be pen Paps? I don't think that's an approved medical use, regardless of your position on handwriting.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 9:13 AM
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Knecht's brother in law doesn't like indie bands?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 9:15 AM
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The very idea that cities limit your freedom rather than increasing it by allowing you more options for living is a complete indictment of the conception of freedom-negative-liberty held dear by libertarians and other right-wingers.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 9:26 AM
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35: Oh dear. 33 was intended to apply to 31, not 32, though I suppose the postal service would be happy to deliver any kind of correspondence.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 9:32 AM
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Pong-standing relationships with Japan? If you say so.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 11:23 AM
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Not since 1983.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 11:36 AM
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Mipitary confrontation!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 11:44 AM
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Aargh. I was just trying to spell Philippines correctly.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 11:54 AM
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I used to enjoy bantering with amusing, slightly crazy right wingers. Now I'm inclined to find them to be horrible evil monsters. I can't tell whether I've changed, the world has changed, or I just happen to no longer encounter wingers who are sort of fun to banter with instead of just being infuriating idiots.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 12:14 PM
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Short notice meetup opportunity: Do any District of Columbians care to get a drink with me this evening?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 12:43 PM
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I so very rarely get in conversations with right-wingers per se, but I find myself repeatedly in conversations with soi-disant liberals who want to tell me how teacher's unions ruin everything.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 12:50 PM
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44: Sorry, I'd love to meet up, but I don't think I can make it this evening. (Unless you happen to be near Bethesda or Rockville?)


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 1:27 PM
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44: sadly, not able to.


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 1:45 PM
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Does an hour and half "outside the city" get you to Westchester or just over a bridge?

Current reading: Penelope Francks, Rural Economic Development in Japan, 1875-1945. Much more interesting and useful than Piketty, and very much not just about Japan. Apparently there has been something of an anti-urbanist movement in developmental economics in the last couple decades, based in part on the work of James C Scott (Seeing Like a State) but better:

The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia

Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 2:32 PM
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Over a bridge and sixty miles away. Fields, horses, that kind of thing. Still more suburbs than genuine country, probably, but pretty far out of town.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 2:39 PM
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44: Sorry to miss you, but welcome back to the loving embrace of a blue area of the country.

To the OP, "Not a psychopath, son, just a Real American. Steer clear either way." Aside from the geography, sounds like where I grew up.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 3:19 PM
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Back in Obamastan: drinking a foreign beer and eating a salad that contains both arugula and quail egg.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 5:37 PM
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I had a mostly-very-enjoyable weekend with my s.o.'s family in quasi-rural NJ...until the friend-of-a-friend who spent years in prison for rape showed up.

And nobody made him leave. I mean, they grew up with him and they feel sorry for him, but they've all ADMITTED that he seems not to have changed (i.e., he's 30 and still trolls for underage girls) and they STILL didn't even try to urge him out the door sooner rather than later. I get that there's intense social pressure not to shun somebody, but...!!

I went inside and hid in the kitchen with another woman for two hours to avoid him.


Posted by: I can't this time | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:10 PM
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Did somebody move the Tour de France to England?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:27 PM
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52 sounds awful. I'm so sorry.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:34 PM
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That was sort of an abrupt change of subject. Sorry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:35 PM
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Gross, to 52.

I just learned that leather floors are a thing you can do, if you're a sufficiently wealthy and batty combination.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:35 PM
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53: the Normans.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:35 PM
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until the friend-of-a-friend who spent years in prison for rape showed up

Tough situation. My SIL's husband prosecutes child sex crimes, and has a ten-year-old daughter. His parents are genuine least-of-these Christians who occasionally invite a convicted child molester to their home. Generally, the SIL's husband is down with his parents' ways, but in this case, he refuses to go if the convict is there. Totally understandable, although there's something to admire in the invitation, too.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 7:45 PM
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My sister is The Man, junior grade, and the pulled her off the child sex cases when she had her first kid. Don't know how long that will last, but it seemed to help her mood.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 8:49 PM
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"they pulled her off"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 9:05 PM
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the continuation of Deep Redstatia liveblogging

Too tired now, but we'll have to compare notes on some of my Deep Redstatia observations (whose capital city I will be undoubtedly visit a few more times over the next year). I've spent a fair bit of time in various parts of the backcountry through the years, but this is my first "urban" experience in the state. An interesting mix--somewhat surprisingly, the internet/cable installer dude may have been the most stereotypically apt person (skinny as a beanpole variant) I've met so far.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 6-14 10:26 PM
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holy shit


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:50 AM
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@62: I believe that inviting the most freakish elements of the party to write the platform has been a GOP tradition for many years. The difference these days is that now more of the party takes the whole thing more seriously than they used to.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:12 AM
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His parents are genuine least-of-these Christians who occasionally invite a convicted child molester to their home.

The Big J prescribed otherwise.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:30 AM
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The very idea that cities limit your freedom rather than increasing it by allowing you more options for living is a complete indictment of the conception of freedom-negative-liberty held dear by libertarians and other right-wingers.

I've been turning this over, and trying to figure out what right-wingers picture when they yelp freedom. I think it is a very back-to-nature based version of freedom, devoid of any signs of human life. "Freedom" means speeding down empty country roads and camping in the middle of nowhere and skinny dipping in the river after fishing in it. So a city is very constrained insofar as you're constantly navigating other people.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:32 AM
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I think it is a very back-to-nature based version of freedom, devoid of any signs of human life. "Freedom" means speeding down empty country roads and camping in the middle of nowhere and skinny dipping in the river after fishing in it.

No. It is the freedom of the master, with subordinates to dominate, examine and direct, and the only superior authority belonging to what they respect, which is not squishy reasoned debate or consent-of-the-blah-blah-blah. If they wanted the liberties of empty roads and fishing, they wouldn't spend most of their time watching TV and complaining on the Internet.*

* Casts withering glance at self, fellow commenters.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:36 AM
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Other people are huge pains in the ass.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:37 AM
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64. Specifically?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:39 AM
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||

If anyone has some good (and serious) tips for Skype interviewing, please let me have them. And even if not, please wish me luck.

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:40 AM
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It is the freedom of the master, with subordinates to dominate, examine and direct,

Masters are often quite fond of cities.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:40 AM
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OT: Speaking of the imbecilic window, TWYRCL is tired of being left out of her friends' conversations about quality/premium television. Unfortunately, she thinks "plot"-only series are stupid: an attempt at Game of Thrones last night was ... not successful. (Hint: Show the dragons faster, dipshits.) I don't know how to recommend most other "prestige" and Emily Nussbaum-beloved series. Can anyone recommend one that won't get me lectured about somebody's fancy conservatory education and you can guess where it goes from there?*

* Bach. It goes to Bach from there.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:42 AM
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70: As would be your average right-winger, if everyone in the city behaved the way he told them to.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:43 AM
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65/66. Not incompatible. To build your house where you couldn't see you neighbour's smoke was an ideal of the Afrikaaners at the time of the settlement of the Free State. The freedom of the master, etc. also appealed to them.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:45 AM
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I'm not arguing that they're not super delusional about how to build a society. Just that "freedom" is tied up in very isolated, nature-based fantasies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:46 AM
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65: OPPRESSION IS OTHER PEOPLE.


Posted by: OPINIONATED RIGHT-WING SARTRE | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:53 AM
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Good luck, Barry. Are you interviewing or being interviewed? I know nothing about Skype interviews, but from what I know of Skype, I would say i. Speak slowly and clearly: don't take the other person's sound quality for granted; ii. Look at the little window from time to time to make sure your whole face is visible; iii. Keep it as short as possible: it may be quite stressful for the other person (see i.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:53 AM
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I was actually probing a bit on this one, because I really didn't understand what he thought he was talking about. The word 'suppressed' came up -- that I was 'suppressed' living in the city. And he went straight for Bloomberg's soda regulation, which I agree is stupid (and, of course, not in effect), but also unusual: as far as I know, there aren't generally many actual governmental regulations that apply in NYC that don't in the rest of the state.

I think it was more about other people being in the way. He was talking about getting a ticket in the city, and not being able to fight it, which confused me -- you show up at the hearing and contest it, just like anyplace -- and it developed that he meant it was too much of a hassle to show up, what with parking and everything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:54 AM
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69: Don't use a Dell webcam that shows you as a talking kitten? (Unless you are, in fact, a talking, typing kitten.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:55 AM
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77.1. So "freedom" means being able to be idle as fuck with no downside?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:59 AM
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I think it was more about other people being in the way. He was talking about getting a ticket in the city, and not being able to fight it, which confused me -- you show up at the hearing and contest it, just like anyplace -- and it developed that he meant it was too much of a hassle to show up, what with parking and everything.

I'd interpret this to mean that he pictures looking foolish and bumping into endless unexpected obstacles and not knowing how to navigate them, and the whole thing seems very intimidating to him.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:00 AM
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(Of course he's being an idiot; you can pick up the phone and call and ask questions, same as you would if you moved to a tiny FREE town in the middle of bumfuck.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:01 AM
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You generally can't discharge firearms within city limits. (Also, much-missed handgun bans in DC and Chicago.) If you can't exercise your rights as a gun enthusiast, you're not free!

Also to 69, best of luck.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:02 AM
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77: Ah, so you are suppressed by difficulty parking. Freedom = parking.

People's images of freedom are often built around cars, which is weird, because driving is actually a part of life where we are extremely interdependent.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:02 AM
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And also because driving is so often heavily subsidized.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:11 AM
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Fear of cities as a place of contagion and boundary transgressing monsters is a common theme in a lot of reactionary thinking, from the Jahwist portions of the Bible to Rorschach from Watchmen. It sometimes bleeds over into the far left through environmentalism.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:12 AM
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69: Wear pants even if they can't be seen on camera. And good luck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:13 AM
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76. I'm being interviewed.
86. Pants will be worn. Trousers too.

Thanks all.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:17 AM
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OT: I like getting email from Germans because they come back with "Von Moby Hick."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:24 AM
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Oh look, they use a raft which should help normalize the speed entering the uphill, although in the video it looks like they barely made it over. They seem to have water jets to make sure you don't stall. And they added netting so you don't launch in the air if you go too fast (footage of that happening in earlier tests too.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:36 AM
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87: adjust the camera position so you aren't looking up at it. Shave well. Check the room lighting beforehand to see if it makes you look washed out or otherwise weird; overhead lighting is probably fine, but ideally you want a lot of it. Underlighting from the screen should not be prominent. Make sure your head is reasonably big and centered in the frame. If you can pull it off (probably you can't with any degree of naturalness) try to actually look at the camera rather than the image of the people, for real eye contact.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:42 AM
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69: Good luck!
71: Good luck! (Seriously, how about Deadwood, seasons 1 and 2? And I loved a Channel 4 show called Utopia, even though it was on any close examination deeply stupid. Maybe the British accents will serve as critical chaff.)

How much of the freedom == living on my own ranch far from the maddening crowd is some sort of Jeffersonian impulse in American thought and how much is a much later trend towards hating the cities, what with their animals which is not at all a code word no sir? There's a thing where for American conservatism it seems like America is always in 1974 with New York willing to cut you as soon as look at you, but is this just a result of Republicans being increasingly an exurban and rural affinity group?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:44 AM
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Speaking of the imbecilic window, TWYRCL is tired of being left out of her friends' conversations about quality/premium television. Unfortunately, she thinks "plot"-only series are stupid

So why is she tired of being left out of conversations about them? And I'd hardly describe the likes of GoT as plot-only. I mean, it's pretty infamous for its gratuitous nudity and graphic violence and CGI.

The word 'suppressed' came up -- that I was 'suppressed' living in the city

Are you sure he wasn't a Scientologist?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:45 AM
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I mean, GoT is, fundamentally, quite stupid. Good for her picking that up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:47 AM
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77.1. So "freedom" means being able to be idle as fuck with no downside?

I'm not sure this is the right inference to draw from 77, but that sounds like a great definition of "freedom" to me.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:48 AM
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I doubt it's anything more thought out than "freedom good, cities bad".


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:08 AM
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96

How much of the freedom == living on my own ranch far from the maddening crowd is some sort of Jeffersonian impulse in American thought and how much is a much later trend towards hating the cities, what with their animals which is not at all a code word no sir?

Historically, of course, your actual Jeffersonians didn't live on big farms out in the country in order that they could get away from the coloured folk. Quite the opposite, in fact. The thing about living in cities is that you have to interact with lots of people on terms of (relative) courtesy and equality. If you're a country landowner, then you have automatic authority over anyone on your land who isn't you. The Jeffersonian vision of lots of sturdy independent yeomen being the backbone of the nation on their small farms is inherently inefficient from the point of view of actually producing food and so on, so if you want to implement it as an act of national policy you are going to need to acquire a lot of Lebensraum from somewhere. (Term not used idly; see Tooze, for example.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:33 AM
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I have no advice for you, Barry, but lots of good wishes! I am still basically euphoric about Lee's good new job and now hoping for the same for everyone I know. (She puts in her two-weeks' notice this week!)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:37 AM
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There's a reason the shoot-first gun laws are called "castle doctrine".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:38 AM
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The thing about living in cities is that you have to interact with lots of people on terms of (relative) courtesy and equality.

This, precisely -- that manners are functional rather than optional for city dwellers. Other people are going to impinge on you, and you on them, so there has to be a way of communicating that the interaction is appropriate and not hostile.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:42 AM
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Thinking about it a bit more, the freedom line came in the midst of a long conversation where he was playing the pig to LB's python. He was probably getting pretty desperate.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:46 AM
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||

Venturing Outside the Imperial Bubble

Eastern European Cinema Aniko Imre (damn how come Bob reads so much scholarship by women?)

Think...Ukraine, Russia, maybe Isis and Iraq

It was in the eighteenth century that the division between Eastern and Western Europe established Europe as the bedrock of rationality and democracy (Korek, 2007 : 15) and generated tropes that linked Eastern Europe with postcolonial Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America (Buchowski, 2006 ). While civilization was firmly tied to the West, Eastern Europe shifted to an imaginary location somewhere between civilization and barbarism, to serve as a boundary marker where Western empires were separated and protected from the invasion of uncivilized Eastern forces such as the Ottoman Turks. The borderland's mission to protect Western European civilization became deeply internalized in the course of the struggles for national independence in the 1840s. Eastern European nationalisms were thus formed in the West's image of the region, around a core of self-colonization. Although Eastern European cultures did not directly participate in actual territorial imperialism carried out by Western European states, the hierarchical division between the two Europes qualifies as an imperial order sustained through mutually constituting Eastern and Western discourses (Verdery, 2002 ; Böröcz, 2001 ).

PS:96 is such utter nonsense start to finish I can't be bothered.

Okay, an anime example is all it deserves, in Rose of Versailles (written by a women) last night the Crown Prince and MA visited Paris, avoiding the poor sections. Many examples shown of nobility kicking and spitting on the urban poor. But ajay thinks cities = equality?

"small farms is inherently inefficient from the point of view of actually producing food"

Urbanization = Agribusiness and industrial farming = displacement of peasants to urban slums and textile factories to get burned alive or act as nannies for UMC liberals who think cities = freedom and equality

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:50 AM
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Fuck off, Bob.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:54 AM
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Truly bob has completed the transition and is now fully inhabiting the persona of Steven Den Spart.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:55 AM
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71: hey, sorry about missing your second anniversary.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:57 AM
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Leash laws. Fireworks laws. Sign ordinances. Business license regulations. Zoning. Cell phone regulations. If these apply statewide and not just in the city, that's because you city people are imposing your oppression.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:59 AM
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||

Well I think that went very well. Except maybe a bit in the beginning when they asked about challenges I'd faced and overcome and I think they were fishing for some narrative about that period in my life when life basically hit me with a semi and put me in a coma for about a decade but they got something else instead. I still don't know how to address that and should have been better prepared for it. I pretty much hit it out of the park when they asked if I had any questions and in a few other places too.

So when do I follow up via email and thank them for the interview? Also, do I just send the email to the chair of the search committee or to all the members of the committee, whose names I don't recall at all.

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:01 AM
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105 seems right. I have relatives who think the city is oppressively overregulated because you aren't allowed just to burn all your trash in your yard.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:02 AM
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Quick email to whoever you've been dealing with up to now, thanking them for their courtesy. Tomorrow morning. You're too busy today, but you haven't forgotten to send it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:05 AM
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I recommend against sending any electronic thank you card. Especially anything that has auto playing sound.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:09 AM
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Thanks Chris. And in keeping with the OP, hopefully I'll get some good news and a red state will get a little more blue.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:12 AM
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I'm not sure I understand what 71 is looking for... Is there a current character-driven cable drama that would appeal to a classical music snob? Um... Top of the Lake?

Hint: Show the dragons faster, dipshits.

This is... not even wrong.

GoT, like most good TV shows, takes about a half a season to sink its teeth in. But if after one episode you're all like, ugh, horses and "much and more" and gratuitous boobs then, yeah, not for you.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:15 AM
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. But if after one episode you're all like, ugh, horses and "much and more" and gratuitous boobs then, yeah, not for you.

I'm not sure what the first two of those are supposed to convey.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:18 AM
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He was talking about getting a ticket in the city, and not being able to fight it, which confused me -- you show up at the hearing and contest it, just like anyplace -- and it developed that he meant it was too much of a hassle to show up, what with parking and everything.

Which is why the archetypal nuisance ticket is from a town in the middle of nowhere that sets up a speed trap to catch outsiders who will never ever show up at a hearing that's 75 miles out of their way.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:18 AM
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There's also the terrible dialogue. The terrible dialogue can be a turnoff if you're expecting something prestigey.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:18 AM
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114 to 111.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:20 AM
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I like the idea that someone could move to New York and be like "You know what I really miss about being in the country--burning garbage on your front lawn. I mean sure, the night life here is great, but it doesn't bring the deep personal satisfaction of burning your own garbage on your own lawn."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:22 AM
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Hint: Show the dragons faster, dipshits.
This is... not even wrong.
I think he's just hoping for another herpy link.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:22 AM
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71 -- Les Revenants. We had fun with Borgia -- the one with John Doman. If it's a matter of keeping up with conversations, though, don't you have to watch what the other people are watching, no matter how shitty it is?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:34 AM
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Vikings is way better than GoT anyway.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:36 AM
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119 couldn't be wronger.

I second the recommendation of Borgia, though. Good stuff, lots of intrigue and murder.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:39 AM
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Y'all are serious?

Where do you have to more empathic and cautious, a metropole of 5 million strangers or a village of 100 where you will be spending your entire life?

The urbanist thinks empathy is not bumping into people on the sidewalk;the ruralist knows it is about sharing food and labor.

And landlord tenant relations, excluding slavery but not entirely serfdom, were more complicated and interdependent than you will learn from Quentin Tarentino.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:39 AM
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71. Does she have opinions about Bach's character? He fathered 20 kids, half of which died, and there are a lot of surviving letters that depict a pissed-off, status-obsessed bureaucrat. But he wrote the French Suites for his second wife. Probably there are competing biographies which I haven't read.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:41 AM
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112: I'll presume you know what a horse is. "Much and more" is a representative example of the fantasy world's faux-archaic dialect. The two together are meant to convey the show's medieval fantasy trappings, which aren't to all tastes. (The AV Club's shorthand for this is "wizards and shit.")


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:42 AM
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121: They are indeed interdependent, but I don't see how they are more free when everyone you meet knows the totality of your affairs and feels entitled to share their opinions on the matter with you and everyone else you know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:45 AM
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118 has a point. I think the "best" currently buzzy show is Orange is the New Black. But Bach it ain't. House of Cards is total trash (really fun trash, but trash nevertheless). Mad Men is great, and very character-driven, and you could make a project of catching up before the last season next year.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:46 AM
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My classical music snob MIL loves Borgen and The Bridge.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:48 AM
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I'll presume you know what a horse is.

Well, sure, but why would it provoke an "ugh" reaction?

"Much and more" is a representative example of the fantasy world's faux-archaic dialect.

But GoT doesn't even have much of a faux archaic dialect by fantasy standards, if you set aside the foreign language bits.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'd have thought GoT would be far more palatable on "wizards and shit" grounds than, say, Tolkien (if not on other grounds). I also don't get the horses thing at all.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:48 AM
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I hate House of Cards. The fourth wall was built for a reason, asshole.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:50 AM
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He fathered 20 kids, half of which died, although the more impressive part is that the other half are still alive three centuries later!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:50 AM
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And landlord tenant relations, excluding slavery but not entirely serfdom, were more complicated and interdependent than you will learn from Quentin Tarentino.

Yeah, to get a really intellectually robust analysis of power relations in rural communities in mediaeval Europe, you really have to go to Sailor Moon.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:51 AM
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By the way, I'm not trying to defend GoT from charges of stupidity. It's plenty stupid. But I'm trying to understand a) why it's a "plot-only" show in TWYRCL's eyes, b) what it is about plot-only shows that make them stupid, and c) why she cares about conversations about them if she thinks they're stupid.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:52 AM
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But GoT doesn't even have much of a faux archaic dialect by fantasy standards, if you set aside the foreign language bits.

This is true. They are speaking, essentially, modern English, with fewer contractions and a few invented but not necessarily archaic bits of slang like "sellsword". There's no thee-ing and thou-ing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:53 AM
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I've been enjoying Orphan Black. It's pretty trashy, but the lead actor, Tatiana Maslany, is amazing.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:54 AM
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By the way, I'm not trying to defend GoT from charges of stupidity.

And I, in turn, am not trying to claim that it's so stupid I won't watch it.

what it is about plot-only shows that make them stupid

There was one episode in the first season of GoT that (to my memory) consisted of various characters wandering around the King's Landing garden set delivering ridiculous hissed threats to each other (this is the episode that contains the line that contains the series name in it) and it was just so, so obvious that they had to both crank out a ton of exposition and save money so they could have a big battle later in the season. It was was sort of humiliatingly lame, and then they tried to compensate with, like, tits. I could imagine not being enthralled enough by that to hang in for the crazy dragon magic ice giant gore swording.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:59 AM
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But GoT doesn't even have much of a faux archaic dialect by fantasy standards, if you set aside the foreign language bits.
I guess what I'm saying is that I'd have thought GoT would be far more palatable on "wizards and shit" grounds than, say, Tolkien (if not on other grounds). I also don't get the horses thing at all.

Yeah, this is just the stuff you hear from people who think it's embarrassing to like certain types of things.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:01 AM
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What is a show that isn't a plot-only show? I mean, what is the element that is missing from a plot-only show?

I hate House of Cards. The fourth wall was built for a reason, asshole.

I know, what sort of hack has his main character turn round and start talking directly to the audience in the middle of the action?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:02 AM
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I mean, what is the element that is missing from a plot-only show?

Larger themes? Character growth and depth? (Not saying GoT is entirely lacking those -- on the latter it does sort of okay, really, in its way -- just that they are what I would imagine missing in the rough early going. And, actually, I dunno what the larger theme might be. Everybody dies?)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:05 AM
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The Beverly Hillbillies is the opposite of a plot-only show.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:07 AM
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I'd have thought GoT would be far more palatable on "wizards and shit" grounds than, say, Tolkien (if not on other grounds).

Obviously GoT beats Tolkien because it has more nudity.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:08 AM
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138: Winter is coming? Very, very slowly?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:09 AM
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OK, I really have no idea what plot-only is supposed to mean, then. Surely the one thing (competent) plot-only shows have is character growth and depth. What else is the plot?

I could imagine not being enthralled enough by that to hang in for the crazy dragon magic ice giant gore swording

See, this seems to be a problem with wizz-bang effects shows (see, eg, Terra Nova), not plot-only shows. The plot-only shows don't have to save budget for the spectacular scenes, so they can spend it on good writing and acting.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:10 AM
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139: There were naked hobbits in the book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:10 AM
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I sure hope 140 is actually to 138.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:11 AM
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What else is the plot?

Who will end up the winner.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:11 AM
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Shakespeare had more believable characters.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:11 AM
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137.last: That there is a difference between being honorable and being wise. That the meaning of justice is determined by the powerful. And that dragons are fucking cool.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:14 AM
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124 is pretty good at encapsulating the theoretical arguments about capitalism/urbanization/liberalism-neoliberalism, and the gaining of certain forms of "freedom" ...especially the freedom to sell your labour-power...while losing support-systems, interconnectedness, community, traditions and their constraints. Rural "freedom" is indeed a more communal freedom, a freedom shared, granted and guaranteed by others dynamically rather than an individual atomistic institutionalized freedom obtained in the capitalist metropole. Each of these really traditionally can't even seem to comprehend the other, the urbanist thinks a freedom dependent of the good will of her community is no freedom at all, in principle and practice. The ruralist thinks an atomistic individualism is death.

130: Or try the Zapatistas. Or as I said above, the scholarship about SE Asian peasant communities that founded James C Scott's anarchism. Or try in the slightest way to move out of Eurocentrism and Imperial Hegemony.

Enough. Could have moved to food rather than American tv

Pontecorvo's Kapo last night was just ok. Osamu Dezaki's Rose of Versailles is just laugh-out-loud for joy visually astonishing. Check youtube. Lunchbox (Indian) was good, Circle of Deceit (Schlondorff, 1981, Lebanon) was excellent, and The Good the Bad and The Weird Kim Jee-woon 2008, was a mashup of Leone and Indiana Jones incredible fun.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:16 AM
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The argument LB and ajay seem to be making is that in the city we treat each other like dangerous strangers or aliens, and this is a good thing. Yeah, yeah, samurai in Edo, I know this shit. Their manners were fucking perfect and all-encompassing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:23 AM
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That's precisely right, bob. Courtesy is the truest sign of a sick, oppressive, society.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:27 AM
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It isn't much of a communal freedom to those at the bottom. It's a communal starve or do it my way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:30 AM
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The thing that makes GoT a "worse" show than say Mad Men (and I think it is, although to be clear I think GoT is a great show and a ton of fun and I watch and enjoy it) isn't its dependence on plot: it's the dependence on spectacle, battle pieces, invoking weird hokey fantasy whatever as a means of moving the plot along (we've reached the mystic tree! the Lord of Light must be appeased! I am the mother of dragons) and the 5 nude sexy whores per episode rule. The very very good GoT plotting makes up for all of those other elements; without the plotting it would just sink, weighed down by its fantasy trappings.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:30 AM
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133. Tatiana Maslany is so entertaining to watch in Orphan Black that I don't care about the stupid plot.

||

Thinking on it more, or obsessing really, I believe my interview had a really good peak and a very strong end so I'm even more confident than before.

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:33 AM
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There is a subtle difference between being polite because a man has a sword and is legally entitled to butcher you, and being polite because it smooths over the small frequent norm violations that accidentally happen when you stick a bunch of people close together. It's subtle. (Hint: it's the sword.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:34 AM
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If everybody starts carrying swords into Target and Chipotle, then we can have both kinds of politeness in cities.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:38 AM
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The first time I went to a country as an adult where I didn't speak the language my primary concern was how not to be an asshole there. Like if I accidentally step on someone's foot in a crowd how do I apologize, etc. But I was in Spain so that part really didn't matter.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:39 AM
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146, 153 - Threads are converging! Now let's switch from talking about manners and the formation of civilization in New York City and the flowers of Edo to King's Landing and whatever city it is that Daenerys is stuck in for the next twelve books.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:41 AM
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The Spanish have feet, but not in a way we can understand.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:41 AM
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If you have a really long sword, you can stick a bunch of people close together.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:41 AM
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156: ...Mereen? Maury'nn? Something like that? She goes back and forth. We're a bit behind on the TV show, but the whole Astapor slave-revolt thing seems like it was referencing a certain real world occupation.

Anyway, people in King's Landing all have swords but they also dump their shit into the road and then they stab each other. Wasn't there a book about how the English invented manners sometime in the 16th century or so because they were too stabby stabby beforehand?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:45 AM
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Speaking of sticking things, I threw a spear with an atlatl this weekend. I wasn't very good at it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:45 AM
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I think you guys are missing the biggest issue on the Jeffersonian individuals/"you city folk are oppressed" thing.

The main form of oppression in cities is being confronted with constant inequality, the continual reminder in a big city that you are surrounded by people who are either better or worse but certainly different than you. This is primarily true economically -- you are confronted with people who are both much richer and generally much poorer than you are. It is also true culturally/ethnically/racially, of course. That kind of distancing from the people surrounding you can indeed produce a kind of formal courtesy, but it is fundamentally distancing; you're forced to be polite because you know that no one gives a shit about you and everyone is different than you. And it can feel genuinely oppressive -- you're not "free" because you're constantly surrounded by people who are competing with you from above or below and as to whom you feel alienated.

In a more homogenous outer suburb or a small town, you can (theoretically) live among people whom you can think of as all roughly within a range of being "normal" people or your equals. No one's too big, no one's too small, most people are kind of the same. Your neighbors in the suburban planned community will pretty much all live in houses identical to yours, have similar interests and prospects, similar tastes, etc.

Of course we all know that this notion of exurban equality is of course at one level total bullshit; there are big time rural class distinctions; your middle class prosperous suburb generally requires some nearby poorer town to provide workers. But at some level it's really not bullshit -- in your outer suburb your immediate community really is likely to be made up of people more like you. This can be both community-building and can feel less oppressive than life in a huge city.

Of course this distinction is largely obscured by contemporary political rhetoric about "individualism," but if you listen to e.g. country music it's this kind of thing that's clearly the attraction of the countryside, and I think gets closer to what people see as being freeing about the suburbs or the country.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:51 AM
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I have not been able to get into Mad Men. I hate all the main characters and just want to see them die in interesting ways.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:51 AM
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161: Conflating suburbs and rural seems very wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:53 AM
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People in cob houses can't throw atlatls, Mobes.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:00 AM
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I was actually standing outside of a wigwam.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:01 AM
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Racist.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:03 AM
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For reals.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:05 AM
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It sometimes bleeds over into the far left through environmentalism.

Yeah, my high school best friend and his wife live in some small town in Colorado and would like to go further off the grid. They're sorta...not exactly hippies, but certainly left weirdos rather than right weirdos. Except it's getting hard to tell. She posts a lot of stuff about how the government is out to get you, though mostly links to stuff about how marijuana can cure cancer or something.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:08 AM
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162- GRRM to guest write a season of MM?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:09 AM
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161: I think you're right about the perception, but I also think that even your acknowledgment that it's on some level a bullshit perception is insufficiently strong. The rural/exurban life is completely dependent on members of other classes with whom my interlocutor would have been socially uncomfortable, he just normally doesn't have to be physically close to them so he can pretend they don't exist.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:16 AM
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I missed this thread becoming the active one.

Emily Nussbaum is terrible. The New Yorker is supposed to be at least a step above blogging.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:26 AM
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Does Cos Cob have cob houses?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:35 AM
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And aren't small towns run by Mr. Potters and Mayberry Machiavellis while suburbs are bastions of conformity and homogeneity built on denial of external reality? Or so literature and film has led me to believe. But maybe I shouldn't trust art created by dissolute urban sophisticates.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:41 AM
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while suburbs are bastions of conformity and homogeneity built on denial of external reality?

Criticizing suburbs as soul-deadening dystopias used to be cool before American Beauty came along and made it seem lame.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:48 AM
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All the cool kids these days criticize exurbs as soul-deadening dystopias.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:57 AM
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In a more homogenous outer suburb or a small town, you can (theoretically) live among people whom you can think of as all roughly within a range of being "normal" people or your equals. No one's too big, no one's too small, most people are kind of the same. Your neighbors in the suburban planned community will pretty much all live in houses identical to yours, have similar interests and prospects, similar tastes, etc.

People in a suburban planned community fly into a total panic when they find out that one of the houses nearby may be inhabited by MORE THAN ONE FAMILY. This is illegal, but nobody can prove it! They've got people sleeping two to a room in there! All right-thinking people must evacuate the community immediately.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 10:59 AM
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My community is unplanned. Or maybe it was planned, but a hundred years ago. Still, I very strongly object to having more than one family in a house. If that rule wasn't there, rentiers who want to put in six college students in a house would soon overtake the neighborhood and it would be like South Oakland.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:03 AM
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Are there really enough college students looking for housing to swamp the neighborhood? And would they really be so bad?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:05 AM
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178: no and yes, respectively.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:08 AM
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Well, probably no. I'm not actually sure how many students want to live near Moby. But man, Allston is definitely the shock city of student ghettos.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:09 AM
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COME ON YOU PARENTS IT WOULDN'T BE TOO BAD. HERE HAVE A JAEGER SHOT AND ... OH SHIT KEVIN JUST PUKED! CLASSIC.


Posted by: OPINIONATED DELTA CHI MIKE | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:11 AM
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OH SHIT KEVIN JUST PUKED DIED IN THE SEVENTH HOUSE FIRE THIS YEAR.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:15 AM
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177: It was definitely planned. 100 years ago Squirrel Hill looked like Somerset but built on a mine instead of a slag heap. Everything was built at the same time by a small handful of developers, and it's only the intervening century that's given the neighborhood any character.

"Six college students in a house" isn't unheard of in the neighborhood, but it's not particularly common. I do enjoy the balance between it being the student neighborhood and the Jewish neighborhood and the East Asian immigrant neighborhood. More students would be fine if they'd learn how to ride the damn bus.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:16 AM
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178: Yes. Mostly graduate students want in my area, but still. My area has a reputation for being safe and it's right on the bus line to campus. Rents near campus are getting ridiculous. A studio apartment in reasonable repair goes for something like half of what it costs to own a whole house (mortgage, taxes, insurance) in my area.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:17 AM
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183.last is right. At orientation somebody should tell them you can't wear a backpack if you are standing in the aisle and expect anybody to be able to get past you if you turn sideways.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:18 AM
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It just seems like you could draw a line between "no unrelated people sharing a domicile" and "totally unregulated firetraps".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:18 AM
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I think the rule is up to two unrelated adults.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:20 AM
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American Beauty was pretty awful.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:23 AM
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Also, congrats to Barry on the interview. Post-interview waiting can be nerve-wracking, but usually much better than can someone please interview me? waiting.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:35 AM
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Mostly graduate students want in my area, but still.

What the hell, man.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:47 AM
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I'm sure lots of graduate students are nice enough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:48 AM
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There are a bunch of undergrad (I was one), but due to the geography that might be weighted towards CMU students. But compared to Massive Mostly-Public University that probably doesn't register.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:50 AM
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There are many apartment buildings around, mostly a bit away from me and closer to the campuses. I'm not at all unhappy that those are filling up with students. I just don't want to make it profitable to subdivide the single-family houses into rentals.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:53 AM
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188: Maybe not as good as Workingman's Dead but still pretty decent


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 11:53 AM
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Emily Nussbaum is terrible.

What is this I don't even

The New Yorker is supposed to be at least a step above blogging.

The magazine employs both David Denby and Anthony Lane.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:02 PM
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And Malcolm Gladwell!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:03 PM
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I thought of including him but figured I'd restrict it to media criticism for the time being.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:04 PM
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This past friday I was standing in the bar area of a cafe-bar-amalgam while an uninspired "funk" band played uninspired "funk", reading a "slim volume". A young woman approached me and asked if anyone had ever told me that I look like Malcolm Gladwell.

"No", I replied truthfully, successfully repressing my first response, "are you insulting me?".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:04 PM
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How many thousand hours does it take to learn to be nice to somebody when they hit on you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:06 PM
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I was nice! I conversed with her for a while afterwards! I even managed to intuit that she was likely flirting, and at no point did I let slip that I detest Gladwell.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:08 PM
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That's why I was asking you how long it takes. I seek wisdom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:10 PM
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Thanks FA. I don't think I'll have to wait long, they want someone to start to the beginning of August. And VSOOBC but you may have missed an email from me a few days ago.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:13 PM
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I called my parents yesterday and my mom said "we're watching this really interesting guy on TV! his name is Malcolm Gladwell!" and I failed to restrain myself.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:14 PM
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Malcolm Gladwell should be forced to spend 10,000 hours looking at a plastic bag blowing in the wind.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:14 PM
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More like Sadill, am I right?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:15 PM
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202: Oh, sorry about the email. I just searched my account and somehow it got picked up by a skip-the-inbox filter I forgot I had.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:45 PM
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195, 196: I know, I know, and the theater reviewers suck in their way, though not nearly as much as David Denby.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:55 PM
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203: Malcolm Gladwell is totally interesting on TV.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:56 PM
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Sometimes I wonder, like, does anything not suck?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:56 PM
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Essentially their entire reviewing staff gets the fan/scholar balance wrong in reviewing in one way or another, and I'm including Alex Ross. OH YES I DID.

You should never tell someone they look like someone famous in case they happen to think that person is hideous.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 12:57 PM
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when they asked about challenges I'd faced and overcome

I know it's usually cover letters I go off about and that you have to hire people somehow but have I mentioned that lots of standard parts of a job interview are idiotic? Tell us about a challenge you have faced and overcome. Well, one time I was in a job interview and someone asked me a question that could only really reveal things about my ability to write good copy for myself on the fly, and I overcame it by shoveling a load of horseshit their way.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:02 PM
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Someone told me I looked like Danger Mouse once. That was kind of nice.

Alex Ross's Radiohead article was kind of embarrassing, but that was a long time ago.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:02 PM
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A salesman at a store once told me I looked like Johnny Depp in The Devil's Advocate.

Of course, Johnny Depp did not appear in The Devil's Advocate.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:08 PM
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During the era of the ill-advised goatee a homeless guy yelled "Hey Bud! Hey Bud Bundy!"


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:09 PM
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Halford in 161 is describing the deep fount of smarmy assumptions I found horribly oppressive in my suburban childhood, and then reconfirmed as intolerable the one time I moved back to the suburbs as an adult.

I will never again by choice move to a suburb.

Re Bach we once watched a pretty dreadful biopic I strongly suspect was made to show to French school kids and pretty much all I can remember from it is that it was easy to spot Anna Magdalena before Johann Sebastian picked her out of the choir line up because she was the only woman in the early eighteenth century with access to modern cosmetics. This movie was skippable, but I highly recommend the Straubs' Bach movie. Or any of their movies.

We went to see Ida on Saturday night, still recovering. That movie is haunting me.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:10 PM
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And yes, I did just think you were talking about Danger Mouse the cartoon mouse, and wondered what the hell, and googled to see if you look like him, and learned something.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:11 PM
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The author of 215 has clearly absorbed the lesson that style will out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:14 PM
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Oh dear, I'm late for the original. I can say that my most teaparty aunt once pitied me for living in the city where there wasn't any neighborliness and I pointed out that from my point of view she basically hadn't any neighbors, and also they were all a lot like her which isn't much of a challenge for neighborliness, and we changed the subject to casseroles. Thank the graces for casseroles and gardening.

Way too many of my arguments about freedom in PNW resource extraction land turn on one's freedom to do anything one wants with one's garbage. Since the garbage is mostly the toxic detritus of the industrial world they pretend not to depend on, they do need to be far apart from each other to pretend they're not impinging on each other's wells. My family has managed to buy land literally uphill of almost everyone right-winger than we are, and if global warming stays on track a satisfactory growing season will climb up to us. (Uphill of us a forestry professor planted olive trees and doesn't tend them, on purpose -- at least some have survived five years, though I haven't seen fruit -- wow, low input, high risk, possible high payoff. I thought this was so neat I planted some chestnuts.)

There is an independence born of lack of specialization; lots more people do their own construction or mechanic work. Also true in poor inner cities, of course.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:15 PM
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Oh 215 was me. Appears my phone finds me forgettable.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:16 PM
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Without 216 I'd still be thinking, "Hmm, I suppose it's something about the lankiness and maybe the way he moves, but I wouldn't have thought to make the comparison. Obviously he's no Penfold." And I even know about the namesake DM, so no excuse!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:21 PM
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With only slight trolling I believe something like 161 is also why people whom most people here view more as sympathetic peers than the demonized Republican suburban other move to, say, Portland OR.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:30 PM
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[A]nd I'm including Alex Ross. OH YES I DID.

Fight! Fight!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:30 PM
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I'm including Alex Ross. OH YES I DID.

I sometimes think of Alex Ross as having evaded -- but maybe sometimes only barely evaded -- the fate that claimed Yglesias.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:31 PM
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221: or live in cities where they can stay comfortably insulated in their cars behind tinted windows and homes behind tall hedges or up forbidding slopes and dine behind high walls in private courtyards and generally live in secret, hidden spaces, if I may countertroll.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:35 PM
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I'd actually seriously -- seriously! -- like to hear Smearcase's Alex Ross angle. I liked The Rest Is Noise so much, but it's very likely that I am the equivalent of the naive, ignorant undergrad taken in by the enthusiastic, charismatic professor who glosses over the flaws in his presentation.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:36 PM
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221, fair enough (or North Berkeley; or charming college towns, esp if you're connected to the college; or vacation towns if you can work remotely; etc etc). Though, on the other side, in the late 1980s income and real estate were low for almost everyone in Portland, so it was possible for blue- and white-collar workers to be in the same neighborhood and feel like equals. I *think* this is different than PRISM exurbs now, not that I've lived in any of them. I don't know if it's different in Portland -- most of the people I know managed to buy someplace in the late 1980s, and they know they were lucky to do so.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:39 PM
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No, 224 is basically right as well. It's really amazing how much people will pay for a liberating illusion of equality -- I once spent some time in a summer colony for the very rich, where people spend minimum $1.5 million plus hundreds of thousands in taxes on vacation homes to ensure that their kids can wander around in packs trouble-free together, and that they can have continual friendly old-timey neighborly encounters in an environment where everyone views everyone else as pretty much the same.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:40 PM
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I'm going to have to post from a bus to claim the moral high ground here, aren't I? The public library? Which does pretty damn well as a mad scientist lair for all, as that's what Koolhaas is good at, and the librarians made it mostly usable as a library.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:44 PM
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227: See also Burning Man.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:45 PM
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225: Simon Rattle did an enjoyable tv series on 20th c music, Leaving Home, you can get it from the usual places or the library. Includes parts of a song cycle Weill wrote in New York that were terrific but I don't think have ever been recorded. You might quite enjoy it.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:46 PM
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There's a scientist I only vaguely know who I was trying to decide whether to take seriously who just posted a link to a Satoshi Kanazawa article on a friend's FB feed. I'm glad to have that question settled in the negative.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:46 PM
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Jesus clew, you played my trolling trump card!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:46 PM
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229: sorta not really? It is painfully non-diverse, but I'm not sure the liberating illusions are particularly equality-keyed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:47 PM
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And I say this as somebody with no particular ability to take the moral high ground, since it turns out our neighbors are, like, doctors who go on trips to meet the pope instead of, as I previously surmised, now-successful but still salt-of-the-earth Portuguese immigrants.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:49 PM
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Snap! Go fish! Uh, whatever that one about the spinster is.

I've had several people describe the joy of the playa as the freedom of going about safely and being able to trust people -- not just not to attack, but not to try and sell anything. Even very leafy suburbs have the threat of the Tupperware party and MLM scheme, I guess.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:50 PM
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The cases in 234 aren't mutually exclusive, surely? Especially with the current pope?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:51 PM
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For bob et al.: The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with that of the Moderns, 1816.

Also for bob, for a sense of just how much constraint and exploitation could lie within the "moral economy of the peasant".


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:51 PM
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I think the point is that the equality illusion provides the comfortable lack of friction to subconscious "benefit", and from that perspective hat off to clew.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:52 PM
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Getting more serious --

to ensure that their kids can wander around in packs trouble-free together, and that they can have continual friendly old-timey neighborly encounters in an environment where everyone views everyone else as pretty much the same

is worth a whole lot, I think; the whole reason I'm a social lefty is that I think there's a way to view a much wider set of people as pretty much the same and allow the wandering and the neighborliness to more people.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:53 PM
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236: in actual fact they aren't totally disjunct in the specific case I'm thinking of. But... I dunno, I was thinking maybe there'd be, like, retired carpenters who'd saved up enough to buy a couple deckers, or something.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:54 PM
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235.2: interesting. I do know what they're talking about -- there's an amazing social looseness there -- but wouldn't have tied it to the lack of monetary transactions or, particularly, to equality. I always thought of it as a first filter of everybody being interested at least on some level in the kind of weird thing you have shown yourself to be interested in. Which maybe cashes out to the same thing, especially since, as you say, people are mostly spending thousands of dollars to be there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:57 PM
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They just called me - same day - and want me to travel down there for an on campus interview. Whew!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 1:57 PM
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242: So much for the plan to email in the morning. But go you!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:01 PM
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206 Ah, you'll probably get another one from me soon.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:01 PM
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243 Thanks, I suppose I should send it now.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:02 PM
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242: Hurrah Barry Freed!

241, etc: There are so many filters for being there -- the money, the span of time, okayness with nakedness and drugs (yesno?), having the kind of job/family/status that isn't imperilled by being known to be okay with nakedness and drugs.

I can't put much faith in "everybody being interested at least on some level in the kind of weird thing you have shown yourself to be interested in", much as I like it, because it's been so unreliable in other nerd venues.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:05 PM
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With only slight trolling I believe something like 161 is also why people whom most people here view more as sympathetic peers than the demonized Republican suburban other move to, say, Portland OR.

Heck, it's part of what I like about the PNW city that I live in (and I've said as much here). It isn't an unequivocal good, but neither does 215.1 match my experience -- partially because it isn't a suburb, it's a mid-size city with a somewhat interesting local culture.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:05 PM
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congrats to Barry Freed.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:06 PM
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242: Congrats again! Further investigation reveals that I'm getting some emails filtered to the label "moocs", which gmail is helpfully not showing me on my default list of labels in the sidebar, and which I'd forgotten about because MOOCS are so 2012.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:11 PM
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242 -- Congrats! Do we have an animal euphemism for this job/place?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:15 PM
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Just filter me to mooks and it should be alright.

I'm now looking into booking a flight for later this month. I haven't flown in about 15 years.

Thanks all. I may actually have a real job at the end of this.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:17 PM
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250 Possum may be appropriate but I'm not sure. Also possums just look like big rats to me. And it's not like I've had to choose between two options that are equally enticing but for very different reasons.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:22 PM
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246 - I bet you would love this Jerry Pournelle book/racist screed from Frank Miller/article by Satoshi Kanazawa!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:22 PM
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On cities/freedoms, a major factor is the weird cultural memory of homesteading, as though it was recent and blissful. Living off the land and not depending on anything Pure and Beautiful. Probably the fantasy is to compensate for how easy it was to die.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:33 PM
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The fantasy that living off the land was going to be easy (but manly and pure!) was pretty current *while* people were failing and dying homesteading, too.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:42 PM
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I think that was partially because the alternatives were failing and dying in coal mines and factories.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:51 PM
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225: It's a great book (that I didn't finish because attention span) and he's extremely smart and a really good writer. Just once in a while when he's writing about stuff I truly care about, it feels like he's done a lot of research (which doubtless he has) more than it feels like he really gets it, which is meaningless, but there you are, subjectively. I assume if I'm just being a contrarian you will tell me with your customary tact.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:52 PM
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254, 255: There's this series of books you should read...


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 2:59 PM
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242: Sounds like you were just what they were looking for! Congrats & good luck on the next round.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 3:07 PM
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258: Will they cure cholera? Or are you thinking of Little House on the Prairie?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 3:16 PM
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Speaking of the hardships of homesteading, I can't believe that there's no Wikipedia page for Old Jules. I could write one, I suppose. But I've never read it and reading a book and putting information about it on Wikipedia is not how Wikipedia and I interact over novels. Also, there is at least a page for Mari Sandoz.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 3:23 PM
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237.1: Read and saved, thank you. I haven't read Constant, cause I hear he is conservative, just as I was turned off by what I have heard about Gellner. I need to read it again.

I was about to call the crowd here:"Athenians!" with a kinda sneer, and a reminder of the Empire and Melians. That doesn't at all mean I am pro-Sparta, as implied above. Stirling Newberry wrote a terrific analysis of the 2004 election calling Republicans Spartans and Democrats Athenians, and trying to explain the difference between ruralist hegemony and urbanist Empire, rentiers vs speculators, among many other things.

237.2: Will look for it. I do not idealize or romanticize the rural village or peasant political economy, most of the Japanologists I read are modern American women for Pete's sake.

Part of what's going on is that jusy as Japan was (too much) an interesting economic model in the 80s, now China's developmental model is being studied.

1st book to read on Japan:Sugimoto, std text
2nd book:Nakane Chie

There is a big difference between hierarchies and stratification, says Benedict Anderson and Nakane Chie.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 3:25 PM
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I was about to call the crowd here:"Athenians!" with a kinda sneer, and a reminder of the Empire and Melians. That doesn't at all mean I am pro-Sparta, as implied above.


This sounds like it comes from the same well of thought where right-wingers do things not out of any intrinsic desire for them, but because they piss off imaginary liberals.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 3:51 PM
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I tend to take intentional eye contact on Skype as an act of open hostility. Looking someone in the eye to show sincerity is a natural human instinct, even if liars can fake it. But eye contact on Skype requires looking *away* from the (virtual) eyes of the other party and towards a small glowing green light. Who do you think you're fooling?


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 3:53 PM
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Now I want a gyro.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 3:53 PM
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Not necessarily contradicting Sifu's advice, since I don't know if other people feel the same way, but I'd be significantly less likely to hire someone if I thought they were trying to manipulate me by looking at the camera instead of my face. (It's also rude!)


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 3:57 PM
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266: making it seem natural would include not making it super obvious that's what you were doing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 3:59 PM
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260 - Of course, Rose Wilder Lane tried to excise things that conflicted with her Jacksonian/libertarian imagined version of her mother's story.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 4:02 PM
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93

Coming late to the party, but really? GoT as a book series is about the most anti-war, anti-aristocracy thing you are likely to find in popular fiction, especially if you limit it to SF/Fantasy fiction. The TV show is less that way but it still comes through in spite of the whores and nudity.

I think Martin was quoted as saying that one reason he wrote the books was in response to wondering "What was Aragorn's tax policy?"

262

I was struck (between the eyes) by SF author Gene Wolfe's (historically accurate) take on the Spartans. They freed and armed slaves to help defend against the Persians, and after the victory, they inducted them as citizens and then immediately killed them all. So, Athenians > Spartans.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 4:02 PM
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Skype interviews with committees are different than talking to one person, especially if the committee has one laptop and it's just sitting in the middle of a table and not turned towards the committee member who just asked a question.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 4:19 PM
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270 They actually had a camera in the meeting room. I found that I kept going back and forth between looking at the camera and looking at the screen. Which I think would make me look unsure and a bit frantic but hey, it worked. Sifu's advice is really good as to lighting, camera positioning, etc., I had set up the laptop at night and found that in the morning the sun was coming right in and shining on the screen, duh. I just swapped to the alternate location on the kitchen table I had set up so it was fine.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 4:25 PM
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262.last: Some "anonymous jet fighters" bombed some ISIL sites yesterday. Juan Cole thinks they were Iraqi, for no good reason at all I can see, except that he would prefer they not be Iranian, Syrian, or American.

You feel all morally clean, innocent and pure, Athenian?

153, dalriata:There is a subtle difference between being polite because a man has a sword and is legally entitled to butcher you, and being polite because it smooths over the small frequent norm violations that accidentally happen when you stick a bunch of people close together. It's subtle. (Hint: it's the sword.)

I was going to repeat that metropoles of means all have swords, they just hire somebody else to carry them and do the wet work. Deniability is the essence of imperial liberalism.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 4:29 PM
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And to correct the misperception of Edo, if a samurai in Edo drew his sword, just drew it, he and his family and possibly his clan...died. Meet an drunken asshole, you were supposed to run.

And that was the point, to make them carry their swords at all times as a reminder that they were to never draw it. They, and their swords, were owned by the state.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 4:39 PM
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GoT as a book series is about the most anti-war, anti-aristocracy thing you are likely to find in popular fiction, especially if you limit it to SF/Fantasy fiction.

Is that how people are taking it, or `the pseudopast was horrible but it was better to be an aristocrat'?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 4:51 PM
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269.1: haven't read the books (don't intend to read the books) but the TV show is pretty much silly, yes. As I say, I still watch it and mostly like it. But... it's silly! Excalibur 2: Fireball Fight! The fact that there are real characters and palace intrigue and blahblahblah and it's all gritty and so on doesn't make it not silly. It just makes it engaging, and a little bit more modern. It's like Rome or something; melodramatic popcorn entertainment with impressive production values and outré business that's nominally authentic to something or other. I mean fine, yay, but it's not The Wire.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:15 PM
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The handwork on the costumes is brilliant, is all I know.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:16 PM
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I have absolutely no criticism of the costumes to offer. The sets are generally pretty neat, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:17 PM
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And some of the Icelandic scenery is really terrific!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:18 PM
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Okay, can we disembowel Mother Jones on looseness by state? I'm taken aback by

The South, in the Civil War, was defending its own terrain and its own way of life. Indeed, the researchers show a very strong correlation between the percentage of slave-owning families that a state had in the year 1860, and its "tightness" measurement today.
It makes psychological sense, of course, that regions facing more threats would be much more inward-looking and tougher on deviants, because basically, they had to buckle down. They didn't have the luxury of flowery art, creativity, and substance abuse.

There's a whole school of Oxford decadent authors being dissed here. Also the serious question of social control as a means of, yo, social control. (Within California, correlation with anti-Chinese riots?)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:20 PM
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274: Right.

What, the peasants with agency get the majority of screen time in GoT?

First, an super obscure Japanese lefty art-movie you will never hear of in your entire life.

Then back to Rose of Versailles Will sweet but willful Marie Antoinette and her champion Lady Oscar defeat the ruthless machinations of Countess DuBarry and Duc de Orleans?

But in the background like a low radio hum are the starving peasants of Paris, shown in the corners (and a totally different visual language) of every episode.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:23 PM
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Speaking of the hardships of homesteading, I can't believe that there's no Wikipedia page for Old Jules.

I think you may be the only other person I've ever met who knows about that book.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:24 PM
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268: Right! The whole thing is fascinating.

We visited the Laura & Almanzo Homestead last summer; super-great.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:25 PM
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Congratulations, Barry! Hooray!

For what it's worth, my experience is that an actual mailed card expressing thanks and whatnot makes a good impression. There are probably exceptions to this rule (tech-fetishists come to mind), but I really doubt a library staff would be among them.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:26 PM
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281: It was sort of a big deal in Nebraska.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:28 PM
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Also, my dad always talked about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:29 PM
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Oh, I can't describe how great RoV is, manga and anime, to connect women's agency ( the men are all tools and fools), self-attributed innocence, and romanticism to oppression, exploitation, and self-destructive narcissism.
Bubblicious.

And to do it mostly with a purely symbolic visual language. Roses of Versailles indeed.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:34 PM
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I think Martin was quoted as saying that one reason he wrote the books was in response to wondering "What was Aragorn's tax policy?"

That could have gone turned out really terribly:

Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic Seven Kingdoms. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems the Free Cities of Essos is in dispute.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:40 PM
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I think Martin was quoted as saying that one reason he wrote the books was in response to wondering "What was Aragorn's tax policy?"

That could have turned out really terribly:

Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic Seven Kingdoms. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems the Free Cities of Essos is in dispute.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:41 PM
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Oops.

283 Thanks JM! And the card sounds like a fantastic idea especially since I'm not going there till the end of the month. The only problem is I'm not sure I got the names right of everyone who was on the committee. I suppose I could ask.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:44 PM
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254, 255: How anybody with a gun — anybody with a steel axe — thought of themselves as self-sufficient has always been a mystery to me.

262: I am not sure what you will make of Gellner, but he was in no sense a conservative. Do go read Nations and Nationalism, or Plough, Sword, and Book.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:50 PM
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281: You're a scholar or something like it, right? Why don't you write a nice summary for Wikipedia.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:50 PM
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291: a scholar? Not even close. I'm just a guy with too much time on his hands. (And despite having a copy since I was a kid, I've never actually read it.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:52 PM
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But what the hell, I just bought the Kindle version. Maybe this way I'll actually read it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:55 PM
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... actually read it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:55 PM
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Same difference.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:55 PM
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To 292.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 5:57 PM
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I can't believe they want $11 dollars for an electronic copy of a eighty year old book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:25 PM
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281: nope.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:38 PM
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Professionals don't count.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 6:59 PM
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I have a criticism of the costumes to offer. Why does no one either on or beyond The Wall ever wear a goddamned hat? It makes no sense that you'd be limiting your mobility with these huge fur capes like Jon Snow is always dandying around in but you wouldn't put on a hat. I mean, how cold is this winter they're always prancing on about? Is it like, 32 and sunny? Ooooooh winter is coming. I'm shaking in me boots.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:02 PM
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300: I believe their heads are kept warm by their gorgeous hair.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:09 PM
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Lhude sing Goddamm


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:16 PM
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Following the rousing success of advice given to Barry- I'm at post-interview waiting day 21. I was warned that 1) I was the first candidate and 2) they were moving really slowly with this position for a number of reasons (one being the hiring manager isn't local) and that they would get back to me "in a few weeks."
I did emailed thank you notes after deciphering all of their addresses from the standard company format, partly because I didn't know how to get a physical note to the hiring manager. However my internal champion there (not on the hiring committee) advised me to also continue a discussion via email with the manager- wouldn't that be intrusive to just strike up an email conversation though? How would I approach that and/or when should I ping them again to find out what's going on? I actually prefer a longer timeline but I do want to plan whether I'll be taking vacation in August or starting a new job.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 7:21 PM
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||

This amazon bio is hilarious. In full:

KALMAN TOTH, M.A. PHYSICS COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY & M.PHIL. IN COMPUTING SCIENCE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, A FORMER INSTUCTOR AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, IS AN SQL DATABASE DESIGN AND BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SPECIALIST. HIS PROFESSIONAL RESEARCH INTEREST IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. HE IS CONVINCED THAT MACHINE INTELLIGENCE WILL NOT ONLY REPLACE HUMAN INTELLIGENCE BUT SURPASS IT MILLION TIMES IN THE NEAR FUTURE. HIS HOBBY IS FLYING GLIDERS, VINTAGE FIGHTER & BOMBER PLANES.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:01 PM
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300: This drives Mrs. K-sky mad.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 8:39 PM
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300: This isn't specific to warm hats and the wall: all characters in all movies and all TV wear fewer things on their head than they should so that you can see the actors act. It's just a convention. Hats at the wall are a much less egregious example than the lack of helmets in fight scenes.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07- 7-14 9:21 PM
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Is it like, 32 and sunny? Ooooooh winter is coming. I'm shaking in me boots.

Well, technically it's still summer.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 1:44 AM
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This isn't specific to warm hats and the wall: all characters in all movies and all TV wear fewer things on their head than they should so that you can see the actors act.

Except Fargo. And Firefly.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 1:45 AM
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Firefly was fairly headgear-light, actually. (Obvious exceptions: space helmets, poke bonnet, the Cunning Hat.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 2:26 AM
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300 et al: This is a common problem in fantasy-themed video games. My favorite way of resolving this was in Dragon Age, where your characters would generally have face-covering helmets equipped. To make the cutscenes interesting, there's a settings option to not render the helmets outside of combat, making explicit (if you want it) that the bare heads is just a dramatic convention. Of course, if you like seeing people in bucket helms emote, that's an option, too.

It bothered me far more that Mance Rayder is clean-shaven. No explanation for that, unless the point is that he's so badass he shaves with a straight-razor dipped in snowmelt.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 7:36 AM
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