Re: State Of Mind

1

So you're going to note that Althouse is delusional in a way reminiscent of a clearly deranged person, but you're not doing to try to hurt her feelings. There's some fallacy B's all raving about that might be relevant.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:50 PM
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He was more afraid of you than you were of him, Ogged. Demented people are harmless and affectionate unless you're an asshole.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:51 PM
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The post has parts, w/d.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:53 PM
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You know what this reminds me of, seriously? I was walking through an underpass once and a clearly mentally deranged guy approached me

No doubt. Read Althouse, and then read the first two grafs from the Wiki entry on Psychosis.


Psychosis is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality". Stedman's Medical Dictionary defines psychosis as "a severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration of normal social functioning."[1]

People experiencing a psychotic episode may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs (e.g., grandiose or paranoid delusions), and may exhibit personality changes and disorganized thinking. This is often accompanied by lack of insight into the unusual or bizarre nature of their behaviour, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out the activities of daily living.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:55 PM
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The idea would be that since she does not fully inhabit the same reality as the rest of us, it is impossible to predict what will or won't hurt her feelings, so we can say what we want about the poor, gibbering moron.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:55 PM
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Demented people are harmless and affectionate

Except when they decide to get stabby.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:56 PM
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"doing" should either be "going" or "doing that."


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:56 PM
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She's deliberately laughing in a way designed to derail us from going in a direction that would hurt her.

Wow.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:57 PM
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9

Phoning it in this week, are we?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:59 PM
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I presume Althouse was carrying on like this (I know some people were) in July 2000:

The sickest thing about Al Gore is that he knows the press is going to notice his lies, and our unserious press is going to publicize them even when they're about trivial things! Gore is very, very cynical if he thinks the way to get elected is to get the press talking about things like this instead of all his policies which are unpopular with voters.

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:01 PM
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I feel sorry for the University of Wisconsin law students watching the value of their degree plummet.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:01 PM
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9: It's not at that point yet. But this sort of thing is addictive. Fontana Labs posted about 10 Althouse posts in a month and we haven't heard from him since. It must be a constant struggle not to fall into the "shooting fish in a barrel" pattern of such blogs as "Roger Ailes" and "Sadly, No".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:02 PM
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12: It must be a constant struggle not to fall into the "shooting fish in a barrel" pattern of such blogs as "Roger Ailes" and "Sadly, No"

Oh, sure, like that's such an easy pattern to keep up. You realize it involves actually reading all those lunatics?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:04 PM
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We appreciate you-all's yeoman's work on the Kaye Grogan beat,


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:06 PM
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, Sifu.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:06 PM
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Ned was trying to avoid embarrassing you. But you just insist on being humiliated. You poor boy.

How come you didn't post on Randy Moss this week? Racism?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:07 PM
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It's like reading several Althouse posts a day, for hundreds of days. With your eyeballs


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:07 PM
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Unrelated, but I'm surprised this hasn't been dissected or at least thrown out for discussion:

Exploring Ways to Shorten the Ascent to a Ph.D. Isn't that fellow thoughtful-looking!


Posted by: Counterfly | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:08 PM
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Y'all don't still think Grogan is serious, do you?


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:08 PM
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I actually shouldn't take credit for any of it. I mostly can't bear to read 'em.

My job is to piss off the regulars.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:08 PM
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20: I don't remember ogged informing me that I was being replaced.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:14 PM
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Them Persians is wily like that.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:19 PM
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Once again all I can think is that she has tenure and I never will.

18: The last line of the article makes me want to kill people. Yes, it's just common sense! Well, thank you for the help you son of a bitch.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:19 PM
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Oh Ogged, where's your sense of irony and humor, evident to the meanest understanding, etc.

Or, alternatively, why do you have to be so mean.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:21 PM
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That PhD story is like something from a foreign land. Humanities programs are not like science programs.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:22 PM
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21: oh goodness, not here. Here I don't piss off anybo....

I'm just going to drop it, actually.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:22 PM
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The Ph.D thing is a bit irritating, because obviously the way to prescribe a remedy for problems with length of time to completion is to take as your model the university with the highest endowment per student in the country. I certainly benefited from this arrangement, but its generalizability might be questioned.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:26 PM
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In one of my many encounters with crazy people while walking across downtown Providence (the place is full of them), I remember heading down a largely deserted Westminster St. when this insane guy started coming from the opposite direction on the same side of the street. As he got thirty or so feet away, I think, he started to shout and snarl all sorts of gibberish at me. We both kept walking, with me doing my best to ignore him and then, just as we started to pass each other, his voice dropped off and he said to me, "Aw, you don't want to hear it" and walked on.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:28 PM
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The average student takes 8.2 years to get a Ph.D.; in education, that figure surpasses 13 years... At commencement, the typical doctoral holder is 33, an age when peers are well along in their professions, and 12 percent of graduates are saddled with more than $50,000 in debt.

WTF

This isn't even comparing apples to oranges, this is like saying "The average fruit is 1.5 inches in diameter." Anyone who would take those statements as meaning anything probably thinks the most common name on earth is Mohammed Chang.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:28 PM
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It didn't seem to have much in the way of actual advice other than "be better funded so you can focus". Right up there with suggesting that people solve their money troubles by deciding to be less poor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:29 PM
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Failure to recognize education Ph.Ds as a different sort of animal is a clue to the rigor of the analysis right there. At that point you might as well throw in the JDs to pull the average back down.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:31 PM
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Or just use common sense! Because that helps!! Gee, those silly academics!

I don't know why I haven't developed a drug problem but now looks like a good time to start.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:35 PM
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Princeton offers 5 years of drug supply with only two semesters or rehab.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:36 PM
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or s/b of


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:36 PM
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Common sense? Ph.D. programs? Does not compute.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:37 PM
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In the comments to AA's post, there's a serious (well, serious is not exactly the term I'm after, so: an earnest) discussion of whether or not Hillary can be diagnosed a sociopath.

I believe it was Richard Hofstadter who first observed, "American political blogging has often been an arena for angry minds."


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:39 PM
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It didn't seem to have much in the way of actual advice other than "be better funded so you can focus". Right up there with suggesting that people solve their money troubles by deciding to be less poor.

Oh dear, this journalist has fallen under the spell of "The Secret".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:40 PM
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Speaking of not pissing people off, if the bitterness of humanities PhDs ever struck me as in any way funny, or even poignant, I would obviously keep it to myself.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:41 PM
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39

Every time a read Hofstadter's name I get pissed off. His very existence polluted his data.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:42 PM
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40

Tweety is wise. 35 is an uncomment.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:43 PM
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39: the heisenberg principal?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:44 PM
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At that point you might as well throw in the JDs to pull the average back down.

Hey, man, it's totally a doctoral degree. I don't know why all you humanities types have such a hard time with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:44 PM
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I thought American Political Tradition was a lot better than The Age of Reform.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:44 PM
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"Mohammed Cheng" is awesome, Ned.

What's going on with education PhD's? Never heard this.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:44 PM
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Ja.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:44 PM
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They're teachers upgrading their credentials while they work in order to become administrators.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:45 PM
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42: Who said anything about having a hard time with it (or being a humanities type, for that matter)? Stands to reason that if three years of trade school is enough get yourself an honest-to-goodness, you-too-can-be-a-scholar (but probably won't) terminal degree, it would be kind of, umm, overly idealistic to do anything else.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:48 PM
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46: I see, thank you. Don't you think someone should write a blog comment pointing out just how silly it is to compare them to the other PhD's?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:50 PM
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46 gets it right. Not even necessarily working to become administrators--may be just moving up the salary schedule, which usually provides additional dollars for advanced degrees.

Also, schools of education are not always among the most rigorous in the university.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:50 PM
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47: No, I meant that you and I got doctoral degrees in three years and it wasn't so hard -- why all the humanities types dawdle over it so is a mystery.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:53 PM
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You guys are really trying to make me slit my wrists, aren't you.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:55 PM
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I finished in 10 months, while working as a fashion model and volunteering for Amnesty.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:57 PM
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Including NPH and his ilk would also bring up the mean indebtedness of doctoral graduates quite a bit. I'm surprised they didn't do that, it would make for much better alarmism.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:57 PM
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If Cala decides now to slit her wrists, that gives us a good three or four months to find and save her before she goes through with it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:58 PM
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52: And tenure only a year later!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:58 PM
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50: Got it. I'm a little stupid this week, not because I have a second-rate doctoral degree but because I'm trying to draft a piece of persuasive writing on a topic that challenges the hell out of my ability to believe my own bullshit.

51: Worse--go to law school.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:59 PM
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55 to 54.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:59 PM
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54: OH SNAP!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:59 PM
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56.2: The problem with that is, while law school is easy as anything, you come out the other end, and suddenly you're stuck being a lawyer.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:01 PM
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The way most humanities doctoral programmes are set up, it's not possible to complete the degree in 3 years. Most programs require a couple of years of courses, plus another year of preparation for comps (there's three years of dawdling right there), before a candidate can soar to the lofty heights of ABD (all but dissertation) status. Two to three years dawdling over the dissertation, and it all adds up to 5-6 years as an ideal.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:01 PM
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58: Ned, did you check the flowchart?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:02 PM
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they were all reflections of what was going on in his head

See under "rich internal monologue".


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:02 PM
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And at the end of it you get to be a failure!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:03 PM
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52: Didn't you write a First Person column for the Chronicle?


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:04 PM
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I meant that you and I got doctoral degrees in three years and it wasn't so hard

You know, of course, that this degree you call a doctoral degree used to be a bachelor's degree until status-hungry lawyers changed its name. Why do you think lawyers get master's degrees after doctoral degrees?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:05 PM
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Isn't there a real and salutary effect of having all those grad students placed in a career holding pen for a while? If the process were faster, more of them would give up sooner and compete with me for jobs.

Any institution that keeps people indoors and marginally alive must be a good thing.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:05 PM
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You know, of course, that this degree you call a doctoral degree used to be a bachelor's degree until status-hungry lawyers changed its name.

"Juris Bachelor"?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:07 PM
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Didn't you write a First Person column for the Chronicle?

Those things are a running joke in our house.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:07 PM
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Any institution that keeps people indoors and marginally alive must be a good thing.

Prisons, malls, the Matrix.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:08 PM
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59: Yes, but it defers the wrist-slitting for at least three years, and after that you just take it a day at a time.

Kidding aside, I sure wouldn't encourage anyone to go to law school, but once you get off the law firm habitrail the main problem is just that working for a living is a pain in the ass. I don't see a whole lot of people who have decently-paid jobs that they're thrilled to go to every day, nor do I think lawyering is particularly worse than a lot of other things you could do.

But if what you really want out of life is to have no money and spend lots of time reading books, becoming a parking attendant looks like a lower-hassle approach than getting a humanities Ph.D.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:09 PM
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Good point. I would support a reform that let you get out of the mall quicker.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:09 PM
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This article could lead to an advertising campaign: Finishing is fund-amental.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:12 PM
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67: Bachelor of Law. Calling it a doctorate is a total marketing scam.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:13 PM
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Lord, you people. The nice thing about this sort of talk is that it drives me away, into the loving embrace of my actual work. Unfortunately, tonight I am all stoned on a combination of cold medicine and having a cold, and the most I could do to my work is add terrible phegmy crap to it that would have to be removed later. Wouldn't you like to entertain me in a nice way, instead?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:14 PM
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73: But since life in these United States is pretty much all marketing scams anyway, we get away with it just peachy-fine.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:14 PM
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Bachelor of Law.

Yeah, over the pond they at least let you start studying law as an undergrad and get a BL or BCL and then move on to an LLB or LLD. If you'd dropped out and gone to Oxford and one of the Inns instead of the midwest you could be L.B., B.L., L.L.B.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:16 PM
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38 to 74.

Being stoned for a living is a good way to go, rfts.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:16 PM
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My scariest encounter with a homeless person:

I am walking down the street, flipping through my new copy of Harry Potter. Homeless man approaches me and asks me if he can take a look at it. When I hand it to him he moves to run away, and we begin wrestling over the book. After a few tense seconds, he stops and says, "Don't worry man, I wouldn't steal your book; I'm not black." And he was.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:17 PM
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Aw, but I'm not bitter, just funny and poignant! And phlegmy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:18 PM
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you could be L.B., B.L., L.L.B.

Have I ever mentioned how desperately I wanted to be on call for the day in Civil Procedure where we discussed the seminal case WorldWide Volkswagen v. Woodson, just so I could casually refer to it as "Doubleyou-doubleyou vee-doubleyou vee Doubleyou"? Sadly, it was someone else's day.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:19 PM
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78: never got tenure either, poor guy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:19 PM
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I was once attacked by a homeless person in a Subway restaurant while ordering breakfast. He went for my throat, but turned out to be surprisingly weak. (Which was lucky.)

His rationale for the attack was "He coughed at me!"

Now that I think about it, I have no conclusive proof that that homeless man was not Ann Althouse.

Also no evidence either way for educational achievement.

Just watch where you cough near crazy people, is all I'm really saying.


Posted by: Lackey | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:19 PM
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Was black or was not black?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:20 PM
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Actually, I am bitter about the reformulation of NyQuil.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:21 PM
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He was black.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:21 PM
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80: Yeah, we knew you were a cute little nerd from the picture.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:22 PM
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No more dextromethorphan in it or something? Now that's a way to act like a crazy person!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:22 PM
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Does Nyquil really do anything that can't be done equally well by a couple of aspirin and a couple of Sudafed washed down with Scotch?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:23 PM
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88: dextromethorphan certainly does, especially if you're willing to ingest enough of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:24 PM
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He was black.

Actually, I am bitter about the reformulation of NyQuil.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:24 PM
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They took out the pseudoephedrine and didn't put in any other decongestant to replace it. Meanies. Now it's just Benedryl, Tylenol, and DXM. All lovely things, to be sure, but missing a certain crucial something.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:26 PM
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It's better to be phlegmy than biley or bloody.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:27 PM
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91: well if you hadn't been making all that meth it would still have it, missy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:28 PM
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But... but... I have to pay the bills somehow! Gary Indiana works hard!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:31 PM
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Isn't there a real and salutary effect of having all those grad students placed in a career holding pen for a while? If the process were faster, more of them would give up sooner and compete with me for jobs.

Heh, I like this: humanities doctoral programs as a reverse intelligence test.

(Let's see just how dumb you are: this is what we propose: Yeah, yeah? Whatcha think? Good plan, huh?)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:33 PM
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dextromethorphan certainly does, especially if you're willing to ingest enough of it.

Damn straight. The first time I took DXM, I told people I was with I had traveled through fire, been completely burned, and came out of it again. Also, I was a midget.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:40 PM
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Princeton probably takes more prospective grad students away from my department than any other school. Lots of grad students don't want to teach, but the prospect of teaching language courses seems particularly disdainful to a lot of young'uns who fancy themselves Great Scholars.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:43 PM
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Interestingly, dextromethorphan does bupkis to stop you coughing. But you're so high, you don't notice.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:44 PM
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Yeah, the fact that we were forbidden to teach our own courses (you could be a TA) was a big selling point in recruiting people. I can imagine that teaching GER100 is the last think a lot of prospective grad students want to do.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:45 PM
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But you might have another think coming!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:46 PM
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So Gonerill, you don't have to teach anymore now?

Just sit on your butt and ridicule study proposals?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:47 PM
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The option of being able to design and teach your own course was apparently a draw for some of the people in my program. I did not exercise this option.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:48 PM
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Hm, digging around in our medicine chest reveals that one dose of olde style CVS Maximum Strength Severe Cold Formula + one dose of NyQuil Cough equals one dose of the original NyQuil formula, with 30mg of DXM left over. This seems like sort of a waste of excess DXM, but otherwise hey, why not.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:48 PM
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I've got a big bottle of cough syrup with codeine somewhere in the cabinet- anything good with that?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:50 PM
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In a couple weeks, redfox is going to be jonesing for some for Nyquil. hanging outside CVS, paying strangers to buy it for her.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:51 PM
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104: what, do you mean like as a mixer?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:52 PM
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The Times' education coverage ain't what it used to be before Fox Butterfield drank his way into retirement. Dan Golden at the WSJ reports circles around the lot of them.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:54 PM
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Given the state of the job market today, it is wise to teach your own course before finishing gradual school.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:57 PM
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That was part of the rationale for setting up those kinds of courses for grad students.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:59 PM
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gradual school

Along about this point in every thread somebody has to suavely slip back on topic.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:59 PM
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Apparently it's a big pain in the ass to buy Valium in Tijuana now. My friend went down and, after rigamarole involving a ride to an unknown doctor's office in a black SUV, the procurement of quanityt-limited prescriptions, and the return to Costco Tijuana, paid $1/pill. After factoring in the associated costs of gas to TJ, parking, and the prescription racket the price went up to $2/pill, and because he's a good friend he upped it to $3/pill for intangibles (customs, getting into a strange SUV).


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:07 PM
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111: the key is to go further south. Once you get down to Ensenada or whatever nobody cares anymore.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:10 PM
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So Gonerill, you don't have to teach anymore now?
Just sit on your butt and ridicule study proposals?

I wish.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:13 PM
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Apparently it's a big pain in the ass to buy Valium in Tijuana now.

Why bother? Tell your primary physician you have muscle spasms in your lower back. Should be good for a 30 dose prescription, all for the price of a co-pay. And generic valium is cheap as shit at the local pharmacy.

Works for me, anyway.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:14 PM
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I've got a big bottle of cough syrup with codeine somewhere in the cabinet- anything good with that?

I believe Jolly Ranchers are traditional when you get your lean on, SP Screw.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:29 PM
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And Sprite, of course.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:31 PM
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snark is down with the sizzurp.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:36 PM
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103:"I've got a big bottle of cough syrup with codeine somewhere in the cabinet- anything good with that?"

It was a little speed, a lot of smoke, and about ten more bottles of cough syrup back in the day.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:51 PM
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In one of Tom Clancy's early Jack Ryan books Clancy describes his alter ego as getting a Ph.D. in history from Georgetown in 2 or 3 years. So it must be possible. (He also has Ryan's wife winning a Lasker in her 30s.)

Even for mindless crap I have limits. That Ph.D. was mine.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:52 PM
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Codeine is a fine thing, but make the fuck sure that it doesn't contain acetaminophen; you can overdose on tylenol faster than you think. Liver failure=serious.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:56 PM
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I see over on TPM that Linda Hirshman will be lecturing us on how only philosophy can revive liberalism. O joy.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:58 PM
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That is the Lasker Medical Prize, I take it, usually awarded for great work that in the nature of things is recognised as such toward the end if not at the end of a long career. I'd never heard of it before that reference of yours.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:07 PM
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Yay! Linda Hirshman! She plays so well with others.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:09 PM
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119: I, too, find that I can no longer enjoy the onanistic delights of Tom Clancy. Adulthood sucks.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:12 PM
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I must show my age by saying that Horatio Hornblower and James Bond, books not movies, were my adolescent fantasy wish-fulfillers. Both heroes with a lot of anxiety, and quite a bit of minute-to-minute fear, who did very well and were picked men, but whose accomplishments beyond their jobs were ordinary, and where it was always clear that others were doing the same job as they were and while they'd be missed, the whole enterprize didn't depend on them.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:22 PM
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I'm currently traveling in Canada, and we stopped at a drugstore this morning. Besides the bonus over-the-counter Allegra, we noted that while the name-brand NyQuil had been neutered, the Canadian store-brand still had pseudoephedrine.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:27 PM
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Wow, I'm reading the Jack Ryan biography at Wikipedia. What a fantastic right-wing Mary Sue. James Bond got to marry the hott suicidal daughter of the Union Course, but Jack Ryan overcame a cowardly liberal President and his sneering anti-American Academic mistress. Also, he made an investment in a railroad that was a 60-bagger. In your face, Whitewater! And he saved the Pope's life!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:30 PM
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Academic s/b academic


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:31 PM
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It's still possible to get the pseudoephedrine-laced Sudafed here in the US, isn't it? I think you have to ask the pharmacist, though, and he checks your ID and notes your name and information (to prevent people from buying too often/buying at multiple locations).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:31 PM
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125: Ah mah-self believe that Hubert Horatio Hornblower was one of ouah nation's greatest leaders.


Posted by: Jimmy Carter | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:32 PM
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Yup that's the Lasker Medical Prize. The super-fast Ph.D. in History was super annoying (since I was slowly pursuing one then). The Lasker was the cherry on top. Too silly.

I really liked the HH books. The whole thing about his being trapped in his 1st marriage had me puzzled. But then again, I was a kid. I too read the Bond books before seeing any of the movies. But Bond wasn't human to me. Close enough for pulp though.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:34 PM
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Clancy's 1st book was good milfic. The second was basically a war game and that was fun too. Book 3 & onward have been a quick descent into the slime. The stupid Wiki doesn't even record how quickly he zoomed through grad school or his wife's achievements because those are so minor compared to everything else.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:40 PM
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Anyone know a Dr. Feelgood in the L.A. area?


Posted by: T homas J efferson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:44 PM
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I think 133 is possibly not a good idea for anybody.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:48 PM
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The HH story began with Beat to Quarters, where he needed all the accouterments of a middle-class life in order to make his love for Barbara even more hopeless. The marriage to Sophia actually haunted me as a kid; I could imagine myself in the same b.. uh, predicament.

In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which Snark alluded to above, Bond is aware of his own contemptibility, as he seduces a country girl undergoing sleep behavior mod out of shear boredom. What an exploit!


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:49 PM
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You mean "1337".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:49 PM
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I've read only The Hunt for Red October and The Cardinal of the Kremlin, both of which were fun military/espionage books. Having read only those, I didn't grasp the degree to which Clancy seems to have embraced neocon idiocy of the week (seriously, Japan attacks us in his early-90s book? We valiantly conquer the terrorist mullahs with the help of the mighty Kuwaiti army? Our worst domestic threat is a conniving liberal vice president who files a case dismissed by the Supreme Court?) or the truly ridiculous career arc of Two-Fisted Iron-Cock Confucius Ryan. I wonder if the later books are more embarrassing than Orson Scott Card's Empire.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:51 PM
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136: 1337 1z 4 gr8 1d34, n3dx0r.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:54 PM
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The Clancy book that really cracked me up was Red Storm Rising, as it was nothing more than an expanded narrative of the course of a tabletop wargame he'd played with some nerdbuddy of his.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:55 PM
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Did Dan Quayle actually say:

"We should develop anti-satellite weapons because we could not have prevailed without them in 'Red Storm Rising'".

Wikiquote lists it as attributed, rather than sourced.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:00 PM
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I don't know about Dan, although my wife and I took the Dan Quayle sites and memories tour in Huntington Indiana one time, but Marilyn wrote fantasy fiction of her own. Lynn Cheney, Scooter Libby and his bears; these people have rich imaginations.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:03 PM
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If that's rich I'd rather just stay poor.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:04 PM
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I actually have a copy of The Spy Who Loved Me somewhere on my bookshelf; the film of that title bears no relation to the book, which is narrated by Fleming's bizarre conception of what a young Canadian woman who slept around might be like, and features Bond dispatching a bunch of American mobsters. Those books are terrible, but somehow fascinating in their faded luridness. (I read someone discussing, perhaps on Crooked Timber, the extent to which they reflect England's poverty at the time Fleming was first writing; the reaction to the UK being a declining power is evident, but I hadn't quite realized that simply traveling to France to play baccarat would have been quite so exotic in 1952.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:05 PM
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Clancy is terribly, terribly, terrible. I cannot get enough.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:09 PM
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Clancy's Debt of Honor occasioned a funny review from Christopher Buckley in the NY Times.

Clancy was also the subject of a very unflattering profile in the Washington Post Magazine in 1993 It is behind the paywall, but the title gives the flavor: WHAT TICKS TOM CLANCY OFF? Liberals, Critics, Clinton, Hollywood, Oliver Goldsmith, Anti-War Wimps and Just About Everything Else.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:09 PM
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I'm going on memory, and have probably made them better than they were. The poverty point is a good one, the bounty of the US is part of Bond's impression in Live and Let Die. A continuation in some ways of the longing expressed in The Unquiet Grave for the good things of life, as something more like necessities than Puritanism wanted to believe.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:12 PM
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Oliver Goldsmith? What's that about?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:14 PM
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Tom Clancy's books are horrible. They sound like a Sean Hannity narrative.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:20 PM
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You've got to admire a man who can find the sheep-hunting metaphor in retinal surgery.

That Christopher Buckley review is pretty fucking funny, I must say.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:20 PM
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145: That was the one where Clancy said that Congresscritters were all worthless, because that $N salary was the best they'd done in their life? I remember that; it was the turning point of realizing what a dick he was, and I didn't read any more of his books (I don't think I had read them all at the time, but the early few were good adolescent-fodder).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:20 PM
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Live and Let Die has Fleming's wonderfully nuanced and sensitive views of Harlem, but for my money, you can't beat the inscrutable Orientals of You Only Live Twice, including the honorable "Tiger" Tanaka. Commander Bond wins the wily Japanese's respect by going whoring with him and defeating him in a game of rock-paper-scissors.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:21 PM
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So how long you figure before Neal Stephenson is the new Tom Clancy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:22 PM
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I haven't read any Clancy books, but it was my understanding that he stopped writing his own books long ago.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:23 PM
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What do you mean "how long", Sifu?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:23 PM
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"The man knew how to think on his feet, and though often a guy at the bottom of the food chain, he tended to see the big picture very clearly from down there."

I love this sentence so much. Now I have to read this book. Thanks, jerks!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:24 PM
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Was I the only kid who thought of Bond as an unreliable narrator? That "the negress driving a car" was Bond as opposed to Fleming? Probably too generous.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:24 PM
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154: I'm assuming they'll have to fight to the death with katanas aboard the deck of an aircraft carried, winner being determined by the least winded at the end of forty-five seconds. Then there will be a new master.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:25 PM
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156: and what exactly is the problem with the unreliable author in fiction?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:26 PM
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The unintentionally unreliable narrator tends to disturb me, personally.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:28 PM
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159: Like in ogged's pool-visit stories?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:29 PM
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It's like outsider fiction, n3dx0r. Which, okay, calling Tom Clancy an outsider some might consider an egregious warping of that word's meaning, but see 158.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:30 PM
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156: I remember thinking the same thing as a teenager reading the only Bond I ever read, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. I had no basis for this.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:30 PM
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I liked The Hunt for Red October and I think I read through Debt of Honor and the series gets steadily worse the more Jack Ryan's career progresses. The storyline outgrew the character and I wouldn't be surprised if the next ones started by describing Ryan's curious eye color, as he was the only mage in his tribe born in the last three hundred years...

Come to think of it, the same damn thing happened with 24. First season, enjoyable counter-badguy revenge number. Second season Jack Bauer saves the world by torturing it in the last ten minutes of every hour.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:32 PM
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I saw the most horrible thing ever at the pool, last I went. My eye-line discipline failed me, and I discovered that some men of the subcontinent are racquetball-sized in the juevo-region.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:32 PM
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Oh man, the first season of 24 was so awful. Except for my friend who appeared in it, obvs. He was stylish and desirable.

Seriously after the first season I couldn't take it at all. Even the first season was work.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:33 PM
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Clancy has farmed out a ton of stuff. All that Tom Clancy's product line is not his. But the Jack Ryan books were and, I believe, are all his.

I dug around the web and found that the kvetch about Goldsmith was from having been made to read The Vicar of Wakefield. Even in middle age, Clancy is still pissed that he had to read a such a nobody back in school.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:35 PM
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I watched it in one weekend while drinking. So maybe that's why I liked it, but I still think it worked better as a series when it was Jack Bauer dealing with his problems rather than Jack Bauer defeating the caliphate with a toothpick.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:35 PM
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TJ is Tom Clancy? "the subcontinent" is "Texas"?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:35 PM
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167: you liked it because my friend is hot. Admit it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:36 PM
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My steely gaze pierced the terrorist...
"Another one bites the dust," I thought, as he bit the dust.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:36 PM
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Which one was your friend?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:38 PM
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I think Clancy now concentrates on designing the look of the characters and the weaponry in the Rainbow Six games. That's what he's been building up to for his whole career.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:39 PM
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Once you can customize your sniper's eye color, the circle of Mary Sue will be complete.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:40 PM
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171: the hot one! Hint: he died.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:40 PM
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Actually it might not be 100% clear that he died, in the end. He was certainly hurt bad, although of course he deserved it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:41 PM
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173 - I chose silver! And a Bushmaster AR15! And a telepathic cat companion who knew my parents before their tragic demise!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:42 PM
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176: that reference was awfully nicely done, snarkout.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:43 PM
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Three guesses as to whether Tom Clancy (born: 1947) served in the Vietnam war.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:43 PM
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actually, three guesses for a yes-no question is a little excessive. One guess.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:44 PM
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telepathic cat

Guess again, unless you want a cougar. Your other options are telepathic eagle, telepathic viper, telepathic cobra, telepathic stallion, and telepathic wolf.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:47 PM
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actually, three guesses for a yes-no question is a little excessive. One guess.

You could ask "which side did he fight on? A, B, A and B, or neither?"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:48 PM
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Guess again, unless you want a cougar.

That's more Ogged's deal, I think.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:48 PM
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182: Now we move into the options for how you want your brutally-treated foreign hooker with a heart of gold to look.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:51 PM
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I will have the telepathic wolf and invent the AK-atlatl, and oral sex.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:51 PM
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You don't get the option of inventing oral sex. You can, however, tell an Eastern Bloc agent that you invented it, as one of the seduction skills that you can give your character.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:54 PM
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I think Cala is playing the Clan of the Cave Bear mod.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:56 PM
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For a bargain you can get the AK-atlatl as a package with the telepathic axolotl.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:57 PM
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Snarkout, coming on strong tonight. Pulling ahead of Cala and Sifu, he could take the thread!


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:00 PM
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Oh I tip my tribal king, dude, he's got it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:01 PM
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Ned's doing great things with 'axolotl', but I shall invent the stiletto, the thong, and the pencil skirt and sic my wolf on him.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:03 PM
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On the veldt, women were forced to invent the men.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:05 PM
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Duh.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:09 PM
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Axolotl! I loved that Cortázar short story.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:17 PM
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No thread reading and doubtless it's gone off topic, but I have to say that Althouse's obsession with other women deliberately having breasts!!! is really freaky, man.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:31 PM
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Axolotl! I loved that Cortázar short story.

Agreed. I love Julio Cortazar's stories.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:44 PM
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194: You need a concealed carry permit for those guns, ma'am.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:45 PM
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Along the lines of excellent, but weird, writing, I recently got my gf to read The Death of Artemio Cruz.

She kept looking at me with this "WTF did you get me to read?!?" look, but ultimately loved it.

And, no, Carp, she couldnt get into Gravity's Rainbow.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:47 PM
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Have you read Rayuela (Hopscotch), will? I'm pretty sure that book made me temporarily insane. It helped that I read it while studying abroad in Chile.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:51 PM
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Yes. But, I didn't like it as much as his short stories.

Probably because I don't have sufficient mental endurance. (although I loved Gravity's Rainbow, Sound & Fury, and other such books)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:54 PM
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The Council of Graduate Schools, representing 480 universities in the United States and Canada, is halfway through a seven-year project to explore ways of speeding up the ordeal.

I feel like they could have done this in five years, tops. Don't be perfectionist, Council of Graduate Schools!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:56 PM
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Vineland, will, Vineland!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:01 PM
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the Canadian store-brand still had pseudoephedrine.

What? This is banned? Ouch.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:09 PM
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Sifu:

Havent read it. I also have Mason Dixon, but havent been able to generate the desire to read it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:12 PM
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198: I read it the regular way through and am waiting a bit to read it the crazy way through.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:16 PM
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What's the referent in 176? I am positively certain that I'm familiar with referent, but I can't at all recall what it is.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:18 PM
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204: One of the other gringos missed the instructions page, and just read the whole thing start to finish. He was very, very confused.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:20 PM
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203: vineland is easy, surfadelic, californian: read that!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:26 PM
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205: like Hornblower, but in spaaace. And, you know, with a telepathic cat.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:33 PM
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Vineland is the only Pynchon I haven't read. M & D has the most straightforward surface narrative of any of them, except maybe Lot 49, and, in my book, is tied with V for second best.

Also. Hornblower in space? That's pretty explicitly Star Trek. I'm with w-lfs-n that this kind of rings a bell, but it could just be Bulgakov spilling over.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:51 PM
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The Honor Harrington series by David Webber. It's almost completely literally Hornblower in space. One of the bad guys takes the alias Rob S. Pierre - I shit you not. And it has a telepathic cat. And the same "author falling more and more in love with his protagonist" that Clancy displays, although in a way that's possibly less creepy.

First couple are tolerable, but it goes downhill fast.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 12:19 AM
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And a telepathic cat companion who knew my parents before their tragic demise!

The cat thing is not I repeat not telepathic


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 12:44 AM
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209: Star Trek is Wagon Train in space, at least that's how it was sold back in the day.

And there's this bit from the Buckley review, "in an inadvertently comic deus ex machina piloted by a sullen Japanese airman who miraculously does not grunt 'Banzai!' as he plows his Boeing 747 into the Capitol" which became rather less funny seven years later, but does rather definitively refute the idea that no one had foreseen that mode of attack.

In a move that even Clancy's editors would have excised, reality did not prevent the man who observed "that this particular fantasy has long been his own" from serving as a Republican appointee on the 9/11 Commission. Maybe that was seen as a qualification.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 3:52 AM
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Everybody seen The War Nerd on why Clancy sucks/a> already, yes?

Meanwhile, the Honor Harrignton series went from amusing but crappy mil-sf to Saint Honor saving the universe in five pages of plot, interspaced with 700 pages of lovingly crafted infodumps of awesome future weapons and spacewar tactics all surprisingly resembling 18th century naval warfare until somebody reinvents carrier warfare when it starts to resemble the battle of Midway more, in about four books. Plus the Tweecats. Can't forget the Tweecats and their love of celery.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 3:58 AM
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The telapathic cat is the companion of Robert Lansing, as an intervenor in the earth of 1968, on Star Trek, a classic episode. Biohazard, Apo and I were reminiscing about it last spring sometime. Lansing operates out of the apartment of Terry Garr, playing a good-hearted dingbat.

We agreed that Terry Garr is worth remembering when in manual reversion.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 5:22 AM
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There's no way that Vineland is as good as V. It's just not. Why do you turn this comments thread into a house of lies, Ben?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 5:39 AM
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Demented people are harmless and affectionate unless you're an asshole.

I saw a guy walking down the street a while back, screaming "Kill them! Slaughter them! Crush them underfoot! Hack them to pieces!", and so on, quite imaginatively really. I though I was just going to the shop, but I must have inadvertantly been acting like a complete jerk.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 5:40 AM
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There's a guy sells the Big Issue outside my work. He rants in creatively sweary language. Sometimes it's clearly the 'voices' and he's ranting at them or at himself. Other times, it's obviously directed at passers-by and he's clearly taking the piss.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 5:51 AM
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215 - Ben s/sb Tweety. I blame rfts' cold.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 6:04 AM
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I hate to contradict Unfogged conventional wisdom :), but as it happens, I know from people at Redstorm Entertainment (which does computer games that tie in with Clancy stories, along with other games) that Clancy does in fact continue to write the books that have his name as author on them. They get fairly heavily edited, and they need more than they're getting, to put it mildly, but that's him, not someone else trying to please him. There are distinctive infelicities that readily distinguish his prose from volumes where he's just acting as packager.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 6:32 AM
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210, 213: Oooh, those Honor Harrington books are bad. I grew up on the Hornblower books, and am still very fond of them, and I'm a sucker for space opera. Still, no.

The incredible Mary Sueness of the main character! The bit where she ends up a duchess or whatever on the fundamentalist Christian planet where women know their place, but everyone thinks it's cool that she, individually, gets to be politically important warrior woman, and the really annoying people are those damn feminists who want to change the system too fast! The sheer crippling dullness of it all, particularly the bits that are meant to be exciting!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 7:43 AM
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The bit where she ends up a duchess or whatever on the fundamentalist Christian planet where women know their place, but everyone thinks it's cool that she, individually, gets to be politically important warrior woman, and the really annoying people are those damn feminists who want to change the system too fast!

LB is keeping a list of people to send there, when she becomes vizieress of the cala–phat.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 7:52 AM
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I have several adorable pet demented people and they're a world of fun if you treat them right.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 7:55 AM
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LB is keeping a list of people to send there, when she becomes vizieress of the cala-phat.

What a peculiar joke. I can't think of what I've said that you're making fun of here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 7:58 AM
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My crypto-essentialist deviationism, with IA, parsimon, princesses and vestibule brooms.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 8:01 AM
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Still not following.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 8:07 AM
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LB would make an excellent vizieress.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 8:07 AM
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225: on a hot dog!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 8:08 AM
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I just got another contract assignment, and I'm sky high, which accounts for Becks–style at this hour of the morning. The joke isn't worth figuring out, sorry.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 8:10 AM
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Never apologize, never explain.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 8:32 AM
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A great rule for dealing with "the bastards," not your friends.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 8:34 AM
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Chicago has more crazies than any city I've spent time in. They don't even surprise me anymore. Last night when I was going in to shop at Old Navy downtown, there was a guy outside with a microphone yelling "the devil will take your soul!" over and over again. He was wearing a suit and smiling. Odd. Then, of course, there's the schizophrenic woman I've seen several times on the bus who talks animatedly (and rather coherently and persuasively) about how demons are out to get her, to no on in particular. There's the guy who walks up and down my street yelping as if in pain. And my work-hood appears to be the center of the universe for mentally ill alcoholics and/or the disabled. On the first of the month, when stepping outside to get coffee or a snack, I see people drinking and carousing on the sidewalk, getting wasted on their Social Security checks. Sigh. Then, they don't eat for the rest of the month.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 8:59 AM
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And my work-hood appears to be the center of the universe for mentally ill alcoholics and/or the disabled.

You just passed the bar, right? Dude, welcome to the profession.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 9:06 AM
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Heh. The alcoholics can go far, though -- all the drunks I can think of are quite successful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 9:10 AM
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228: Nice work on the contract assignment.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 9:13 AM
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Thanks. It's just two weeks, and I'll be at home so no society, but right now I need to be tethered.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 9:16 AM
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233: A little disinhibition might help with this stuff. Maybe I ought to dump a shot or two in my coffee.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 9:16 AM
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And my work-hood appears to be the center of the universe for mentally ill alcoholics and/or the disabled.

The village I grew up, the major industry was the two large mental hospitals located on the edges of the village. It literally was the centre of the universe for mentally ill people. People there got incredibly blasé about nutters in the street.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 9:16 AM
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Other spy novel series that suck: the Dirk Pitt (great name!) series by Clive Cussler. As a teen on a car trip with my family, I got bored and picked up the book my mom had brought along. It was about a Navy officer (no, not a SEAL, some kind of diver or something) who stopped a plot by neo-Nazis to cause an environmental catastrophe by using nanotechnology to break off a massive chunk of Antarctic ice, intended to kill everyone but their chosen thousand or so members of the master race who would survive in a super-ark. Atlantis was involved somehow too. A major plot point depended on the hero borrowing some vehicle suited for Antarctic conditions from the author himself in a cameo appearance.

This makes me wonder once again why the hell I have ever felt embarassed or self-conscious of what my parents think about my geeky interests and hobbies.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 9:23 AM
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The local campus I want to eventually get a job at used to be a mental institution. Everyone derives great humor from this fact.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 9:33 AM
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re: 239

Yeah, they converted a large chunk of the village asylum into a high-tech science park and the rest into housing. It closed about 8 years ago. I imagine lots of people joke about those houses too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 4-07 9:39 AM
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