Re: Reconsidered

1

The third line doesn't even really scan right. Maybe if I heard the recording it'd get it.

In any case, he's only saying that 1 in 10 rappers are better than he is when he is just spitting it and they are at the top of their game. Those are the guys he has to practice to beat.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 9:49 AM
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Are you trolling me or your blog?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 9:51 AM
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I've been following the Chait pile on simply because it keeps showing up on sites I read.

On the one hand, there are legitimate complaints about the twitter/tumblr-sphere and its endless round of performative "I'm totally outraged about whatever the latest thing to be outraged about is!". I've seen plenty of people from inside that culture making some of the same complaints Chait makes.

On the other hand, if your going to criticize online progressivism, you should really be able to manage something better than "It's political correctness gone mad! Mad, I tell you!"


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 9:54 AM
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Chait. Jesus. Pareene had the best takedown I've seen so far, though I've only sampled a small portion of the volumes out there on the subject.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 9:58 AM
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The sad truth that the media wouldn't tell tou for aome reason is that Eminem sucks, also it's 2015, why are we talking about Eminem.

3 gets it totally right in my view. The real issue, if there is one (as Spike explained here once) is that social media and especially Twitter have a built in structural bias in favor of sound bite OUTRAGE that generates links and shares, so it's made dialogue on political topics even stupider. I confess that I fucking hate Twitter and did it incomprehensible.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:03 AM
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I almost feel like Chait read Tim Burke's "Grasping the Nettle" series and thought there needed to be a dumber and less empathetic version of it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:03 AM
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4 is a good link.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:10 AM
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On the one hand, there are legitimate complaints about the twitter/tumblr-sphere and its endless round of performative "I'm totally outraged about whatever the latest thing to be outraged about is!". I've seen plenty of people from inside that culture making some of the same complaints Chait makes.

Yeah, definitely. The only problem with his article is the occasional "You amateurs, please be quiet" approach. The message should be "You bullies, quit trying to ruin people's lives".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:13 AM
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Does Chait really use protested commencement speakers as one of his examples of political correctness run amok?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:20 AM
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I've stood up for Chait more than once in this forum, but not today.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:23 AM
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Yeah, 3 is good. Sully is quoted having Chait's back and Freddie DeBoer shows up in the comments. Of course, everyone will read the 476 comments there, being small-d democrats and against hierarchy and all. And cause they're funny.

I would link to the Michele Goldberg piece everybody prefers, but it is way too nice and boring.

For myself bellum omnium contra omnes sounds like a plan. Sersly.

I'll explain later, cause Invisible Committe/tiqqun/endnotes/Theorie Collective/Claire Fontaine/whatever the fuck have a new mindfuck getting published by semiotext(e).

Albert Toscano Review ...lucky ducky got an advance copy

Irresistible Teaser!

The insurrection came and was beaten back. Yet it is still coming. But the order of urgencies has shifted, the poetry of the imminent future largely making way for the prose of the recent past. We have been defeated. But we are everywhere. Stability is dead. Capitalism is disintegrating. And yet it reproduces itself - as a catastrophe in permanence.

Don't swamp the site.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:34 AM
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Chait isn't stupid, I suppose, but he's becoming an increasingly useful idiot for the forces of darkness. This seems to be increasingly true of many so-called liberals. Bob has well and truly won.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:34 AM
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Who in particular do you have in mind.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:36 AM
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I meant the Pareene in 4 was pretty good


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:39 AM
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Tim Burke's "Grasping the Nettle" series

I'd be interested to talk about that here at some point. I've found it interesting, but also thought that several of the entries (notably the one on, "check your privilege") seem just slightly wrong to me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:41 AM
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I wonder if there's a workable theory that goes something like this: Liberalism was once important because of context and content. In terms of context, liberals fought against Hooverites, segregationists, and isolationists. In terms of content, they did so by arguing for a top-down approach to governance: that federal authority -- not common people -- was as a powerful tool for making the United States a more perfect union*. But insofar as liberalism's defense of big government began waning under Carter, disappeared under Clinton, and hasn't experienced the sort of resurgence many of us hoped it would under Obama, the ideology (movement?) has become increasingly useless or perhaps even pernicious.

* Or whatever the fuck.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:41 AM
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Or not. Whatever. I have too much work to do today and shouldn't have commented. Sorry!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:43 AM
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15: Yeah, I've pushed back at him (specifically on the "ally" post) but it's a little frustrating because my comments keep getting held up for moderation. And while I don't doubt his good faith, his commenters are another story entirely.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:43 AM
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I'll buy in to 16. Though, the simpler theory (this I believe is Bob's theory, and I think he's right on this) is that the current liberal coalition is entirely dependent on catering to its yuppie wing and link to capital, and so there is no real hope of the kind of structural populist change that would ever actually accomplish anything from liberals, and so we get culture war stuff that appeals to yuppies (even that often begrudgingly, as per Chait) and not much else. It really is like a 19th century Latin American political system, where two groups of rich people fight each other over hot-button cultural issues while 90% of the population stagnates under the exploitation of the political class.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 10:56 AM
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Though, the counter is that there's still a little life left in redistributionist big government. I mean we did get health care reform, which sucks in many obvious ways and had to sell out to a ton of constituencies, but, still, we got it. But that's about as good as current US liberals can do and it ain't great.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:06 AM
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its endless round of performative "I'm totally outraged about whatever the latest thing to be outraged about is!"

God yes. And if there's anything more dreary than the incessant identity-politics oppression poker that so often substitutes for honest-to-god analysis and discussion, I can't think what it might be.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:11 AM
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And if there's anything more dreary than the incessant identity-politics oppression poker that so often substitutes for honest-to-god analysis and discussion

This presumes that if there were less oppression poker we'd actually get honest-to-god analysis and discussion.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:18 AM
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I think the counter in 20 is more persuasive than the base argument in 19, to be honest. Isn't the ACA evidence that, although plausible structural arguments can be made that beneficial policy changes are impossible, moving the median vote in Congress can in fact accomplish (flawed, unsatisfactory) beneficial policy changes?

On Chait, well, I went to college in the 1990s, and I know what an self-declared "liberal" is signalling by denouncing "political correctness" without irony, and if that's the political position Chait wants to signal he's welcome to the completely foreseeable results. Pareene's George Foreman analogy is funny, though.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:31 AM
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Sully appears to be calling it quits on the blogging thing.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:34 AM
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On Chait, well, I went to college in the 1990s, and I know what an self-declared "liberal" is signalling by denouncing "political correctness" without irony, and if that's the political position Chait wants to signal he's welcome to the completely foreseeable results.

See also this comment by someone who went to college with Chait.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:36 AM
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And if there's anything more dreary than the incessant identity-politics oppression poker that so often substitutes for honest-to-god analysis and discussion, I can't think what it might be.

Theocracy.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:40 AM
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This was your grandfather's axe: your father fitted it with a new haft and you fitted it with a new head but it's still racist.


Posted by: Opinionated Twitter on the Identity Problem | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:40 AM
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I think it's the performative aspect of it that makes online progressivism turn in annoying directions so often. Once something is said, a "me too" effect kicks in and everyone else has to say it, or say it differently or one-up the last person who spoke somehow.

That's why all the whining about the ALS ice bucket challenge last summer struck me as pure distilled essence of what's annoying about online "activists": hundreds of people dedicating many thousands of key strokes to complaining that someone wasn't raising money for medical research* in exactly precisely the way they would prefer.

There was an absurd inflation effect as each person tried to come up with some new spin the distinguish their criticism from the last person's. "Has someone said that this campaign re-inscribes power relationships by implicitly colonizing the disabled body yet? Darn! that one's taken, I'll have to come up with something else. Hmm...disappearing queer identities maybe?"

Discussion gets drowned out by everyone frantically signalling "I'm on the correct side of this (whatever it is)!" to everyone else.

*I'm aware that raising money for a good cause doesn't grant automatic immunity from criticism. If the ALS people were engaged in some PETA type nonsense and having women get naked in public to raise money, they would totally deserve to be criticized. But it takes some dubious fancy footwork to discover the hidden racism implicit in dumping a bucket of ice water over your head.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:41 AM
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From the link in 25: "Jon has built a career on being a libertarian journalist." What? This is bone stupid. I'm not going to defend Chait's piece at all -- at this point, given his clownshoeing with his TNC debate (which I shouldn't even dignify with that name), it's evident that Chait has some essentially problematic ideas about race and discourse* -- but Chait isn't a libertarian.

* Although to be honest, TNC pantsing him was not actually as embarrassing as his practically pornographic column on Jim Harbaugh's return to Michigan.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:42 AM
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I think it's the performative aspect of itnarcissism of small differences that makes online progressivism turn in annoying directions so often.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:44 AM
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30 is definitely part of it, but I take a pretty strong view that there's also something structural about social media that makes things way worse (status based on approval for links, 140 characters or less statements, rapid sharing and resulting of links).


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:58 AM
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Resulting sb resharing


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:59 AM
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Also, you get doses of positive feedback via people liking/resharing you, and people generally do that with angry righteousness, and not so much with complexity.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 12:08 PM
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not so much with complexity.

Hey, the link to the interview I posted earlier today was from a retweet. YOU HAVE BEEN REFUTED.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 12:21 PM
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I like 22 and 25.

I'm not sure what to think about the Twitter/tumblr/whatever outrage machine. AISIMHB, I miss out on a lot of stuff due to work filters - can't see a lot of those sites here, and when I'm at home I'm rarely just browsing at random, I'm either playing computer games or looking up stuff with purpose or not in front of a computer at all. I hear about them mostly from Andrew Sullivan and reddit.com/r/all, both of which I like in general but distrust about almost exactly this issue. At the moment I'm (1) glad the "so-called 'PC movement'" exists, (2) glad I'm missing out on it, and (3) only holding a belief in (1) very tentatively.

However, we can all agree that anyone who uses "SJW" unironically is an asshole, right?

29: "Libertarian" is incorrect. He does seem a lot like the typical even-the-liberal, though, doesn't he? See here, and the comments to this, and his famous anti-Bush article makes some good points but almost discredits Bush hatred in general with non-substantive culture-war stuff, and he hates unions and likes war. "Libertarian" is the wrong word, but I wouldn't want to call him a liberal. (Oh no, there I go policing discourse!)


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 12:35 PM
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30 is definitely part of it, but I take a pretty strong view that there's also something structural about social media that makes things way worse (status based on approval for links, 140 characters or less statements, rapid sharing and resulting of links).

Twitter seems practically designed for taking things out of context. You certainly can't use it to put things back INTO context. Once you've been targeted by one of the perpetual outrage machines, you just have to ignore it no matter how unfair it seems.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 12:41 PM
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25: I think this really illuminates why Chait is so sensitive:

I was also a student at the University of Michigan during the Jacobsen incident, and was attacked for writing an article for the campus paper defending the exhibit.

It's appalling that someone could be attacked over something like this. He doesn't elaborate on the attack - no mention of how many bones were broken or how long he spent in the hospital or anything. But now that I realize he's an attack survivor, I can understand how seemingly trivial criticisms from readers might trigger him.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 12:42 PM
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Interestingly, current orthodoxy would condemn McKinnon as whorephobic, praise Jacobsen, and presumably back Chait for defending the exhibit.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 12:51 PM
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Yeah, Chait's article was a good example of the classic mistake of equating being criticized for racism/sexism with the real-world consequences of actual racism/sexism. But the original column the kid wrote that got him fired was pretty well done, modulo hitting the "replacing vowels with 'y'" joke too hard.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 12:51 PM
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And as everyone in the world has noted, writing this article about the speech-hating orthodoxy of wimmins of the Tumblr generation without mentioning the exciting new frontiers of ethics in game journalism demonstrates a really impressive level of selective blindness.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 1:06 PM
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Throw them all into the sea. Not in an outraged way.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 1:11 PM
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Oh, well, if Will Saletan is defending Chait, I really need to rethink my stance here.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 1:17 PM
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Maybe Marty Peretz can weigh in, too.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 1:18 PM
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https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/28/petulant-entitlement-syndrome-journalists/

Being aggressively, even unfairly, criticized isn't remotely tantamount to being silenced. People with large and influential platforms have a particular need for aggressive scrutiny and vibrant critique. The world would be vastly improved if we were never again subjected to the self-victimizing whining of highly compensated and empowered journalists about how upset they are that people say mean things online about them and their lovely and talented friends.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 1:21 PM
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43: No Peretz, but Dan Savage is on the case! I hope Sam Harris speaks up soon.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 1:30 PM
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I don't have the time or inclination to follow all the ins and outs of this as much as I should to be a good person, but I get the sense that Chait is asking "Why don't they love me, I'm a liberal?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLqKXrlD1TU


Posted by: marcel | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 1:33 PM
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Oops, sorry: wrong comment thread,


Posted by: marcel | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 1:34 PM
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Or maybe not.


Posted by: marcel | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 1:35 PM
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Either way that is both great, and highly applicable.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 1:51 PM
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In what way would it be modest to assert that one is in the top decile of quality? Against a background norm that assumes self-praise will be hyperbolic?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 2:04 PM
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50: Yes.

Imagine Muhammad Ali thrusting his fists up and yelling, "I am in the the top 10 percent!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 2:23 PM
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I really am in the top ten percent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 2:25 PM
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I'm more modest than 99% of my colleagues.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 2:27 PM
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I've been impressed at how little my FB feed gives a shit about this. Even my twitter gave it a light boxing about the ears and moved in. Pareene didn't really leave a lot on the table -- Mallory Ortberg & tailwind basically made a lot of puns on his name and moved on.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 2:28 PM
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50: or against background common knowledge that one is really much, much better than that.

(The Muhammad Ali example is—sorry, peep—multiply terrible for your first proposal, because thrusting up your fists and shouting self-praise of whatever sort doesn't go with modesty, and he really was fantastic, so he better exemplifies my proposal than yours.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 2:30 PM
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55.2: Ok, nebs, but now you have to explain to me how to multiply terrible. I never got that far in math.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 2:33 PM
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neb, opéra paralèlle tix going on sale! I'm really looking forward to it.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 2:51 PM
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Pareene is my current mild internet crush, although I don't seek out his stuff beyond what comes to me on Twitter.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 3:16 PM
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55: Or possibly, if one is in possession of reasonably objective private knowledge to that effect, even if it isn't public yet? Say a professor of Physics/Chemistry/Economics who has been privately informed that his or her work made the short list for last year's Nobel, asserting that he or she is among the top 10% in his/her field? It's not entirely humble, given that one is putting the opinion out there at all, but it isn't exactly hyperbole either.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 4:09 PM
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I for one support uncommonly non-hyperbolic yet still objectively unlikely boasting.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 5:04 PM
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"I reckon I could hit that four times out of five... on a good day. Say, with this wind... say, say seven times out of ten."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 5:06 PM
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57: but is Dead Man Walking any good??? I didn't care for the same composer's Moby-Dick all that much; the music was kinda blah, I thought.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 5:11 PM
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The link in 25: I'm a bit confused: is Chait libertarian? I didn't realize that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 6:46 PM
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Oh, I see I'm way pwned by 29. I'd gone off to read other links about the Chait face-plant, and hadn't read further here.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 7:03 PM
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Agree to a certain extent re MD but it did have a fee moments and the kid enjoyed it, also have much time for Paiement so we'll go and I'll let you know what we think.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 7:34 PM
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Sully appears to be calling it quits on the blogging thing.

My first thought on reading this news, which I learned from this thread, was that maybe the fifth column finally got to him.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:10 PM
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the editors of gawker bought chait a gift certificate to a DC spa with the suggestion he use it for a hot stones massage; I think that would be nice for him. it sounds like his life is really stressful.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-28-15 11:12 PM
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Tangentially related to the Chait, thing, next TNR will apparently have a Jeet Heer cover story on the magazine's " "perceived legacy of racism."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 6:45 AM
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Jeet Heer must get really tired of puns based on his name.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 7:08 AM
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68: That's actually pretty clever. Way to stick the knife in, Chris Hedges!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 7:31 AM
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||
So, Keegan got in to UNC and will hear about his other applications at the end of March, but Carolina's making a serious play to keep him from heading north. They emailed last night to tell him he'd been selected for this program. Exciting!

For what he wants to do, the Chancellor's Science Scholars option is probably the best fit, but then I read about the EURO program and OH MY GOD I AM SO JEALOUS. I should have been less focused on getting hammered in college. Apparently there are all these other amazing things you can do.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 7:40 AM
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I should have been less focused on getting hammered in college.

Don't say things that hurt just to get over a moment of jealousy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 7:42 AM
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Congrats, apo! Congrats, Keegan!



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 7:49 AM
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Yes. Also that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 7:50 AM
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My guess is one factor in leading to folks like Chait developing mid-career grumpiness is the growing recognition that their legacy is not not in fact going to be that which they imagined.

That plus the accumulated weight of microawkwardnesses due to their subliminal awareness of their part in many microaggressions.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 7:51 AM
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Congrats to Keegan. UNC seems like a good place to be, this notwithstanding.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 8:47 AM
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71. Great stuff!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 8:57 AM
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Yay Keegan! Yay apo!

I, too, am among those hoping that the apple falls some distance from the tree.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 8:58 AM
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68: That's a nice piece by Politico - very smart to notice that Heer is merely adopting Coates' critique.

It takes awhile, though, to grasp that this is really what's going on. "Perceived legacy of racism" is an unfortunate quote to put up front, and this bit ...

How do we reconcile the magazine's liberalism, the ideology that animated the Civil Rights revolution, with the fact that many black readers have long seen--and still see--the magazine as inimical and at times outright hostile to their concerns?

... implies that only "many black readers" found the magazine's racism offensive, or even found it racist.

Reading that, I was expecting a Chait-like apologia, but as Walt says, Hedges looks like he may be a shrewd steward of whatever reputation the magazine retains.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 10:16 AM
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Congrats to Keegan!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 10:18 AM
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Yay, Keegan!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 10:24 AM
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Congrats!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 10:30 AM
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And if UNC doesn't work out for Keegan, I hear that TNR is hiring.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 10:31 AM
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but is Dead Man Walking any good???

I found it dreary and boring. Singers like JH (the composer, not Jeet Heer) because his vocal lines are nice to sing, but I can't fathom the appeal for a listener.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 10:39 AM
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79 - 1 - Heer was twitter-posting about TNR at about the same time as Coates was developing his thesis on Twitter. 2 - in fact, he probably posted a few thousand words on the old New Republic after that announcement. 3 - that, on top of a lot of on-again, off-again critique of Peretz & Wieselter over the years. 4 - I had a hard time reading his sentences without the numbers, though.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 12:17 PM
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TNR article now available here. I've not had a chance to read it yet.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-29-15 12:33 PM
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