Re: There is a reason for that

1

This doesn't sound much like John Lennon:

"The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death," Hitler explained to his aides. "A slow death has something comforting about it. The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble. All that's left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic."

On the other hand, it's something I might have said.

But unlike Hitler, I'm not a vegetarian! Thank God!


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:35 AM
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Hitler is Putnam and Oppenheim!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:37 AM
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But how are you on organic honey, PGD? I agree both that it sounds nothing like Lennon and that it's a pretty plausible thing to say.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:40 AM
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"Unfogged Commenters Agree with Hitler." Further proof of liberal fascism!

--Of course, the man didn't get as far as he did by being wrong about *everything*. He just had rather more scope than most of us for turning his mistakes into enormities.

(Hitler, I mean, not Goldberg. Hitler was doubtless right more often than Goldberg is.)


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:50 AM
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Hitler had some good ideas, but he didn't go far enough toward his goal of universal vaccination, smoking eradication and annual cancer surveillance for everyone.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:52 AM
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This whole "let's write fake letters to Goldberg and laugh when he publishes them" was funny the first time, just like writing a fake missed connection that gets real responses ("ooh, ooh, maybe I am the good-looking person with suave hair you saw in the coffee shop!") was funny that first time.

But really, is this where the whole Making-Fun-of-Liberal-Fascism thing is going to end up?

If so, maybe we can talk about something else for a while?


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:10 AM
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No! Can only talk about Jonah Goldberg! Or knife fights.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:11 AM
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Or anal sex.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:12 AM
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But really, is this where the whole Making-Fun-of-Liberal-Fascism thing is going to end up?

Nobody knows where it will end up! It's a magical adventure!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:12 AM
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Anal knife fights with Jonah Goldberg!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:13 AM
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And Furbies!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:13 AM
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Let us not put the concepts Jonah Goldberg, Furbies, and anal sex too close to each other. Please.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:15 AM
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Let alone within each other.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:16 AM
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12: How's about Michelle Malkin, Webkinz, and intercrural sex?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:18 AM
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NY Times: Our op-ed page has the biggest idiot!
LA Times: No, our op-ed page has the biggest idiot!

Knives out, motherfuckers!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:18 AM
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Okay, I have a serious emergency, and only the internet can help me now. I've watched the first seven episodes of the last season of The Wire through Perfectly Legal Means, but the last three episodes are nowhere to be found. Save me, commentariat! You are my only hope!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:24 AM
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the first seven episodes of the last season

You mean Season 4?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:26 AM
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No, no, the last season, as in this season, season 5. You can see my dilemma.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:28 AM
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16: Try the local video rental store.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:29 AM
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A little late to stick to the original topic, but perhaps I'm the only one to fondly remember Hitler's teary-eyed oration from the podium at Nuremberg: "Aller, den wir Saying sind, ist Gebenfrieden ein Wahrscheinlichkeit."


Posted by: Fausto Carmona | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:29 AM
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19: Ned, the episodes haven't aired yet.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:30 AM
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Well, sometimes, when episodes haven't aired yet, they also haven't been distributed yet at all. I am pretty sure that my most up-to-date Wire downloading friends also have not seen the end of Season 5 yet, because the files are just not out there. But perhaps someone will come along and correct me.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:33 AM
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You're cheating, stras.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:52 AM
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22:I have all of Season 5, and the two spinoff movies from 2009, and 2010. Email me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:54 AM
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20: Whoa. Who knew Hitler was so illiterate in his own native tongue.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:57 AM
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Stras is making me want to cheat. Damn you, stras!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:01 AM
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22: Interestingly, I found quite a few episodes of "Stargate: SG-1" and "Stargate: Atlantis" available for download before they had aired. Presumably, a former employee of the Sci-Fi Channel had copied them for a friend or something and is now doing five to 10 years for copyright infringement.

OT, but since some people here get so much fun out of mocking the NYT's Style section and Modern Love column, I wanted to complain about another ridiculous example.

Background: an unoccupied, rural home about 20 minutes from here was broken into a few weeks ago. About 30 teens and college students had a party there, drinking and throwing up and breaking windows and stuff, and doing about $10,000 worth of damage. Because the home had once belonged to the late poet Robert Frost, the story made CNN and other national news outlets.

Afterwards, a NYT columnist parachuted in and discussed it in a longer piece.

Before long, distressing word spread from Ripton to Middlebury and beyond that the preserved farmhouse once owned by Robert Frost had been vandalized -- desecrated, some said. If these children of the Green Mountains knew this house was once Frost's, then shame. If they did not know, then shame still; they should have. How many had been weaned on Frost? How many had tromped through here on class trips and family outings?

It seemed once that Robert Frost would be with us forever, like some lichen-laced stone in a field.
...
Imagining still, as all poets invite us to, you can almost see Frost observing the vandalism and aftermath from that cabin above, wondering briefly whether these youths were, say, acolytes of Carl Sandburg, exacting revenge because Frost considered their hero poet second-rate. Sipping his tea, he rummages through his mind's deep storehouse for the metaphors that would provide context, that would find renewal in this destruction.

Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:02 AM
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I've watched the first seven episodes of the last season of The Wire through Perfectly Legal Means...

Send me the seventh episode through Perfectly Legal Means please! (I've only been able to get my hands on the first six.)

Try the local video rental store.

I tried that, but was it a couple of Swedes reenacting Jack Black reenacting The Wire.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:07 AM
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14: Okay, my guess for this round of Wingnut Clue: It was Michelle Malkin with the Webkinz between her thighs!


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:10 AM
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If these children of the Green Mountains knew this house was once Frost's, then shame. If they did not know, then shame still; they should have.

On the other hand, if it was just some shmoe's house, then there's no shame in trashing it whatsoever.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:25 AM
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"if it was" s/b "if it had been". And of course, as a consequence, "there's" s/b "there'd have been".


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:27 AM
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Sipping his tea, he rummages through his mind's deep storehouse for the metaphors that would provide context, that would find renewal in this destruction.

I might call the cops, but then I'm not a poet.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:29 AM
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Send me the seventh episode through Perfectly Legal Means please! (I've only been able to get my hands on the first six.)

Perfectly Legal Means right here.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:32 AM
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On the other hand, if it was just some shmoe's house, then there's no shame in trashing it whatsoever.

Especially if said shmoe was unreasonably wealthy, of course.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:33 AM
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No, no, I think this is the NYT; their point is that only the wealthy and important matter. Vandalism is just one of those things, but Robert Frost's house?!? The horror!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:36 AM
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Perfectly Legal Means right here.

Sadly, my university disagrees, so those PLM don't work for me. (Got my copies up to six from a friend at the LA Times.)


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:38 AM
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35: Exactly. The lesson can't be "shame on you for trashing someone else's stuff," it has to be "shame on you for doing violence to my whitebread upper-middle-class culture."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:40 AM
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I demand the New York Times report on all vandalisms equally! From the decapitation of the Statue of Liberty to the imprinting of the smallest child's hands on a sidewalk!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:49 AM
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20: Whoa. Who knew Hitler was so illiterate in his own native tongue.

Actually he could write perfectly well. He just couldn't speak it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:50 AM
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Resolved: Dan Barry and those little vandalizing fuckers should get their asses kicked equally.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:52 AM
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40: Exactly. After I read it, I turned to the other guy in the room and said, "I'm more offended by the article."


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:05 PM
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I demand the New York Times report on all vandalisms equally! From the decapitation of the Statue of Liberty to the imprinting of the smallest child's hands on a sidewalk!

Robert Frost lived in the skull of the Statue of Liberty?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:09 PM
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When it happens at GG Allin's funeral it's a celebration of his life, but when it happens in Robert Frost's house it's an outrage? Talk about a double standard.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:09 PM
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38: Right, because Choices Must be Made. And after all, it *is* newsworthy when something happens to the person or property of the safest, wealthiest class of people in human history. Whereas when those same things happen to everyone else, well, that's just how things are, and if we talked about it, we'd never talk about anything else.

Hmm.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:11 PM
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Hitler's poor standards of literacy are a terrible indictment of the Swarthmore graduates by whom he was educated.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:13 PM
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42: no, that's just where the controls he used to pilot it were.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:13 PM
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Hitler's poor standards of literacy are a terrible indictment of the Swarthmore graduates by whom he was educated typical of Cowboys fans.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:14 PM
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48

And after all, it *is* newsworthy when something happens to the person or property of the safest, wealthiest class of people in human history.

For example, when 3000+ New Yorkers (mostly Americans) are killed, it's the greatest crime in all of human history, but when that many people are killed every few months for several years in El Salvador (pop. 6,000,000), it's just something that they have to get used to and, ultimately, put behind them.

/harping on American foreign policy


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:19 PM
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48: Exactly. Although, in fact, though I was originally thinking purely snarkily, it's actually true: "news" = "what the privileged classes are doing." Period. Everyone else only gets in when their actions impact the privileged classes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:25 PM
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Come on. The rest of the population have reality TV, which gets them much more coverage than the elite.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:27 PM
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51

I hear a dog bit a man the other day.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:34 PM
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You're not the eggplant I know and love.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:38 PM
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I hear a dog bit a man the other day.

In the Hamptons?

Otherwise, not interested.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:39 PM
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54

"news" = "what the privileged classes are doing." Period.

Except the L.A. riots.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:43 PM
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55

Or New Orleans, or tornadoes.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:47 PM
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The LA riots mattered because they scared people. Dittto NOla and tornadoes.

I'm thinking this is a sound theory. I'll add it to my roster of "things I'm willing to argue for until I'm given a good reason not to."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:48 PM
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Maybe the problem is you guys are unaware of how many rat orgasms this story caused.
It's complicated, but lots.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:49 PM
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58

And by "people," of course, I mean "people that Matter."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:51 PM
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59

Maybe "what the privileged classes will pay to read" but that's almost tautological.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:51 PM
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60

How about this, B? Your claim is either trivial or substantive. If the former, it's true; if the latter, it's false. Any suffering of poor people can be tied in some way or other to "the privileged classes" rendering your claim trivial. If you bar those sorts of ties ("the event was really covered because it scared people with money") then you're left with an interesting claim that's false.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:51 PM
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Cala and I have the dormative virtue!


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:52 PM
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Not gonna work, 60. Anything leaving the roster mentioned in 56 would be like a planet flying out of a black hole.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:53 PM
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Maybe "what the privileged classes will pay to read" but that's almost tautological.

It's what the potential market will pay to read, no? That probably skews papers up in income and education. And lots of stuff, we just don't really care about because the effects on our lives are too attenuated and the information too limited and possibly suspect.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:53 PM
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63: Well, that's why it's almost tautological.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:56 PM
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52: Eggplants are known to have a strasmangelo jones, but I didn't know it was reciprocated.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:57 PM
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64: Mmm, maybe. Newspaper did at least use to have a different claimed ethic--news people needed. I think that's less true now, and there has been a change in what is covered and how. I suppose I'm trying to figure out how to explain that difference.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:59 PM
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I think I'm figuring out that one reason I get so annoyed (and so argumentative) is that you float an interesting hypothetical around here and everyone jumps in to dismiss it without even considering whether or not it might have some explanatory value.

59: Okay--but only in a sort of simplistic "hey, that's how the market works, quit complaining" sort of vein. "News" isn't defined purely by market forces--see PGD's 50. "News" is (1) politics, i.e., the doings of Important Leaders; (2) crime (but not of the boring, everyday sort that affects the poor, except in the extremely impersonal and minor form of crime statistics); (3) natural disasters, which affect the rich (though they affect the poor more); (4) things that happen to The Market; (5) society gossip.

It's really obvious that (say) the NYT Style section focuses on the rich and famous, because the stuff in there doesn't fall in the category "news." It's much less obvious that the news stuff is *also* focusing on the rich and famous, because the fact that it does so is part of how we define news in the first place.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:02 PM
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48: In a crazy sort of way, I actually felt good about how little I cared about the 9/11 attacks. My first comparison when my classmates were talking about how many people must be dying and how could this ever happen was that more people die each time the water level rises a few feet in Dhaka.

Your analogy's much better, since it addresses the "but it was due to malicious intent!" argument, but I was somewhat happy that my first thoughts were in perspective with common international events, not just those pertaining to American stockbrokers.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:03 PM
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I think I'm figuring out that one reason I get so annoyed (and so argumentative) is that you float an interesting hypothetical around here and everyone jumps in to dismiss it without even considering whether or not it might have some explanatory value.

In this case it seems like the interesting hypothetical is an extremely simplified caricature of something that we all already believe.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:03 PM
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The media heavily covered New Orleans when Katrina hit and flooded the city. The media has since been conspicuously sparse in its coverage of the inhabitants/survivors of New Orleans - and the unnumbered thousands displaced from New Orleans - who are mired in poverty. It seems there's a certain distinction between these two: the first represents a massive, splashy event, the second illuminates an ongoing and pervasive condition. The media can be relied on to cover the first - which will always attract the attention of well-heeled readers and advertisers - but will invariably shy away from the second.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:04 PM
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60: It might be false, but it's interesting at least as a rule of thumb. Unless you can give me a whole bunch of evidence of things being considered "news" that clearly don't fit.

Of course, it's entirely possible that part of this theory depends on my own (and I'm gonna bet yours, too) privileged class belief that things like reality tv, celebrity gossip, and Hints from Heloise are *not* real news.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:05 PM
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69: If we all believe it, then why are "we" all arguing with it?

I'm serious about thinking this might be an interesting line of thought. Don't forget, folks, that I wrote my fucking dissertation on the evolution of non-news periodicals, and that part of that evolution was about history figuring out the difference between "periodicals" and "news."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:08 PM
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67.2: Emerson is right to always harp on the role of owners in shaping what "news" is. On this theory, news is what the owner of the outlet (definitely part of the privileged class) imagines the person in the street wants to read, where "person in the street" means "person they would actually notice in the street." So, probably upper middle class as the lowest boundary.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:08 PM
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Saying that your hypothetical is false isn't to dismiss it. I think there are good reason that 'what affects rich people' doesn't drive nearly as much coverage as 'what interests rich people.' It's very hard to argue that the coverage of New Orleans or the coverage of drug-related homicides, to take one, are really affecting the life of your average well-off suburbanite. But they're interested in it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:08 PM
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I thought people were arguing that it was more or less true but it couldn't be simplified that drastically without becoming a tautology.

Also, in 72 you reveal that you have thought more about the technical definitions of these terms than anyone else has, which gives you an unfair advantage.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:09 PM
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No, we were arguing that this claim:
"news" = "what the privileged classes are doing."
is either false (plenty of news isn't what is done by rich people) or trivial (news is targeted to the interests of a certain socioeconomic group.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:13 PM
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The media can be relied on to cover [a massive, splashy event] - which will always attract the attention of well-heeled readers and advertisers - but will invariably shy away from [an ongoing and pervasive condition].

This is very true, and part of the reason I have so much respect for the long-form articles done in The Atlantic, New Yorker, and some others, that take the time to focus on an ongoing, simmering issue and actually explore what has happened and what it all means.

The main possible exception I can think of is wars in which the US is involved (particularly given a baseline of bloodiness). The Iraq war became a slog long ago, but it continues to appear in the news anytime people claim something new is happening.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:14 PM
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New Orleans and LA both had some rich people in them, and the consequences of those events effected rich people. And rich people have always wanted images of poor people, preferably caricatured or in some way processed for rich people's delight.

I don't think that FL's refutation is very powerful, though probably B. will have to revise her formulation a bit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:15 PM
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Again, a distinction between 'what they want to see', and
'what they do.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:16 PM
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Labs is just bitter because every assertion in philosophy can be classed as either "trivial and true" or "substantive and false".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:16 PM
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Though I'm not sure that 59 is really as trivial and uninformative as Cala makes it out to be.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:17 PM
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or trivial (news is targeted to the interests of a certain socioeconomic group.)

Why would it be trivial that news is targeted to the interests of a certain socioeconomic group? Isn't that actually pretty significant, say, for the ability of people outside that group to participate in a full and informed fashion in a democracy?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:19 PM
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I suppose uninformative depends on your point of view, but if you take it as given that the NYT's readership is largely upper middle class, then it comes out tautological quickly.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:20 PM
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Picking at the precise language of B's formulation is just an exercise in pedantry. The basic idea - that news is made by and for the wealthy, and thus excludes discussion of a host of issues and problems the wealthy don't care to discuss - is not only right, but fairly obvious. The New York Times is a business; The Washington Post is a business; Time Magazine is a business. As long as news is driven by a need to make money, news will never be about the problems of the poor.

(And in place of "news" you can put "politics," "the American government," "the Democratic Party," etc.)


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:21 PM
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82: Trivial to the extent that 'a business which exists to sell papers sells papers by appealing to the interests (note, not the doings) of its customers' shouldn't really surprise anyone.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:22 PM
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84: That's right. She said "do." That's not pedantry, that's reading what she wrote.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:23 PM
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85: But that isn't actually trivial. It's the fact that journalism is approached as a money-making operation that necessarily reduces "news" to the province of the rich.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:24 PM
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No one has remembered to remind me about quitting smoking, and so I have fallen off. I hope you are all proud of yourselves.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:25 PM
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Puff away, smokey.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:25 PM
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Ooh, sorry Sybil. Hey, B, how is your smoking battle going? (How many people on this blog quit recently?)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:26 PM
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85: But I think it's true that the news that is covered and the way it is covered has changed (to my mind, for the worse). If that's true, I wonder whether the motivations of newspapers have changed or the interests of potential readers have changed. In some way, I think B's formulation points at that sort of change.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:26 PM
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Jeez, I just gave you a hard time about it tomorrow, Smoky The Sybil.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:27 PM
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B, I forgot about your smoking battle. You should be emailing me to tell me how well it is going.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:27 PM
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Pretheoretically, we would expect "news" to include things that would not directly appeal to a mostly UMC readership. Discovering that what gets published as news is actually just that which does have that appeal is nontrivial. It's not what you'd get from a conceptual analysis of "news".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:28 PM
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87 gets it right. It's not just one of those things that the media panders to the rich, as that situation enables extremely serious problems that have helped undermine American democracy.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:30 PM
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Ah, I see. Okay, sorry I got immediately defensive.

You're probably right, Cala, about its being trivial as a description of how things are right now. But what's interesting to me about it--I think--is thinking about it, not as merely descriptive, but as being, literally, part of the definition of how we think about "news." By which I mean, I guess, part of how "news" as such came to be defined. So it's trivial in one sense but extremely non-trivial in another, because it's part of the sort of ideological underpinning of our world. It's both obvious and yet seldom really understood (except when it's expressed in a way that makes it seem like a conspiracy theory).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:30 PM
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94: It follows pretty quickly if your concept is "billion dollar news organization with an UMC audience."

Besides, the original point about triviality (I had said tautological) was to say that if you decide that what rich people "do" is "whatever can be connected to them, six degree style", yes, the argument does become trivially true.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:32 PM
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96: I don't disagree at all with your clarified position. It's all either a) stuff that appeals only to a readership with certain expectations (it's always 'other people' on food stamps) or b) violent or weird natural events and c) missing blonde girls on holiday.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:35 PM
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I like unfiltered handrolled. They're smoother and stronger, more of a hassle, you smoke fewer per unit time. Less of a habit that way. Also no saltpeter additives.

B is right about the news. thread from earlier today. So, where do people here go for news? I try to pay attention to particular bylines, though the reporters I liked best have stopped writing regularly. Nonfiction book reviews are pretty informative, here's one about Cancer politics


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:40 PM
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Anyone else smell how Sybil doesn't smell so bad anymore?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:40 PM
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I usually read NYT, and CNN, and sometimes Le Monde to try to improve my French.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:43 PM
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Isn't that actually pretty significant, say, for the ability of people outside that group to participate in a full and informed fashion in a democracy?

Exactly. Because we think of the "news" as being a major part of what *enables* democracy (and in fact, it really truly is a major part of what enables at least the *theory* of democracy). And the "conceptual analysis" Ben's talking about in 94 is a big part of the point, which is that it *isn't* just a question of "oh, well, duh, news is a business like any other"--that's the sort of lame kneejerk lefty thing that seems tiresome when people start shouting about it--but that what counts as "news" has, from the very beginning, been linked to business interests (seriously, the original newspapers were basically reports of weather and shipping conditions--which were published cheaply and periodically because you *needed* to know what the "new" information was in order to run your shipping/import/export/retail business), and that both of these have been about the interests of the privileged classes, those who either owned the means of production (including wealth production, i.e., retail) or who identified with those interests because they were directly dependent on them.

Rural shit isn't news, and neither is women's shit--becuase those things aren't defined by/dependent on novelty. Commerce and fashion depend on novelty, so we can reshape women's shit to be not about housekeeping (which stays on the ladies page, and isn't "news") but rather about fashion (which is labelled as for ladies, yes, but counts as "news" in a way that Hints from Heloise doesn't). Rural stuff is news only when it's about novelty--the waning of family farming, meth in the heartland, etc. Which *seems* like it's not about the interests of the privileged classes (certainly not the way "fashion" is), unless you step back and realize that meth in the heartland isn't an *obvious* topic for The Reading Public (and hence, the business people behind the NYT) to care about--certainly not any more than whether or not Britney Spears is losing custody of her kids. But we, the educated class, think that somehow it's more Important. And the difference, I would argue, is that it's novel, i.e., its about change, i.e., it is structurally analagous (is that the phrase I want?) to the things that define the privileged (monied) classes--their dependence on commerce which depends on perpetual novelty.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:44 PM
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Correction - I didn't smell so bad any more. Until 15 minutes ago.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:44 PM
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So, where do people here go for news?

CBC, the BBC World Service, online versions of various international papers (like the Guardian), AntiWar.com.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:44 PM
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94: It follows pretty quickly if your concept is "billion dollar news organization with an UMC audience."

I wasn't starting from so-called news organizations, which might all be sellouts. I was starting from the concept under discussion, news (or perhaps newsworthiness).


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:46 PM
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Wow, lame, kneejerk and lefty!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:47 PM
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Sibyl, I'm sorry you've backslid. Very sorry, b/c it tempts me to backslide.

The quitting thing is a motherfucking living hell. Everyone's all, "ooh, the nicotine will be out of your bloodstream in three days." BULL. SHIT. I still have total physical cravings for a smoke, and as I was complaining to Stanley the other day, I've realized how much smoking had become a part of how I structured my day. Which is probably why on days when I was exceptionally busy I didn't smoke nearly as much. But on average days, I used cigarettes to sort of help transition between activities--okay, PK's off to school, now I can have coffee and a cigarettte in the back yard, okay, almost time to pick PK up, better get offline and go have a cigarette before I leave, okay, dinner's almost ready, better go have a cigarette before I put it on the table, etc.

Without that little shift, I'm finding it astonishingly difficult to remember to *do* stuff like eat before I'm starving, and extremely hard to actually pull myself from one activity to another. All I do is sit around, craving.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:48 PM
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Rural stuff is news only when it's about novelty--the waning of family farming, meth in the heartland, etc.

Hey! We got plenty of news in the heartland. Hell, just the other day Harry caught a 10 lb. bass while icefishin'. Read about it on the front page of today's local paper.


Posted by: PeaDub | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:49 PM
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Ben understands me. (This may actually be a first. Hence, newsworthy!)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:49 PM
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I forget where I read that it's the first two weeks that's hardest for quitting.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:49 PM
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Very similar to my difficulty. I've no idea how to mark adult non-child rearing time as such without a smoke.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:50 PM
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103: You probably know this already, but you will likely fall off a few times before you finally kick the habit. One slip isn't a huge deal -- hang in there!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:50 PM
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108 totally demonstrates my point. That kind of thing is only "news" to the rubes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:50 PM
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and don't dare let me be a backslide encourager. i am smelly and it wasn't even that satisfying.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:51 PM
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106 to 105?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:52 PM
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111: YES! The cravings are totally worse when PK isn't around. Which fucking sucks, because that's the time I should be going to the bike shop and test-riding bikes, but I can't seem to get myself out of the house. This has been a serious problem for me all fucking week, and I really actually *want* to buy myself a new bike. Dammit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:52 PM
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my hyphenating was funny. i meant non child-rearing time.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:52 PM
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In Brainerd, MN (where "Fargo" mostly took place), a MTF transexual has filed for the Republican nomination for the legislature. She is the father of four daughters and her wife has stayed with her.

Match that, coastal elites!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:53 PM
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Sybil:

If you keep smoking, you will be stuck on the front porch with Armsmasher, Catherine, and the rest of the smokers at the next Unfogged DCon. And Asilon might not be nice enough to hang out and keep them company.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:53 PM
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Maybe a new hobby to keep your hands busy?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:53 PM
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All I do is sit around, craving.

Some nice meth might get your mind off the cigarettes.

i am smelly and it wasn't even that satisfying.

So low-hanging it's not even worth the obligatory "ATM."


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:54 PM
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Maybe a lot of wanking off.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:54 PM
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it wasn't even that satisfying.

Right, keep telling me that. Because in my imagination having a cigarette right now would be completely orgasmic.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:54 PM
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Meanwhile, I regret turning the conversation to smoking. This is not what a person needs to be reading. I retract.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:55 PM
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I firmly believe that actual nicotine addiction is far less of a problem when it comes to quitting than the whole set of behavioral patterns that you set up around smoking. For example, driving really triggers cravings in me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:56 PM
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And seriously B, it made me a little nauseous and spacey in a not-cool way.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:56 PM
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Maybe a lot of wanking off.

Does this help or hurt the effort to stop smoking?

If it works, it would be a heck of a great thing to market.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:56 PM
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I forget where I read that it's the first two weeks that's hardest for quitting.

Quite possibly from me.... B, the nicotine may be out of your blood stream in 3 days, but the first full week is just holy hell. If you can switch from coffee to decaf or tea or some such thing, it does help to mitigate the jitteriness/irritability a bit. Someone also recommended ice water to me -- drink lots of water, but especially when you have a craving. I'm not sure if there is supposed to be some scientific reason for that or if it's just that having to pee all the time distracts you from wanting to light up. It does take a long time before they stop looking really good, but it gets easier.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:57 PM
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123 to 122, obviously.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:57 PM
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I think it helps if you a) can get focused and b) have the luxury of being in a conducive environment. Neither is always the case.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:58 PM
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127: Nico-glide!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:58 PM
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126: Nauseous and spacey. Nauseous and spacey. Nauseous and spacey.....

128: Yeah, definitely less caffeine. I figured that out. And the water thing too, although I think that at least part of that for me is that I very rarely smoked (past tense!) without something to drink, and since I'm not smoking I'm actually letting myself get fairly dehydrated. Which doesn't help the crankiness, or the ability to get moving, or the feeling that I need *something,* if I could only figure out what--oh, I know! A cigarette! Fuck!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:01 PM
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I think I just found my defense to a help Di with her public masturbation charge: nicotine withdrawal made her do it.

Ooops. Did I let that out of the Vault?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:01 PM
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You've all talked me into it. I'm going down to the loading dock to smoke.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:02 PM
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GOD DAMM YOU APO.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:02 PM
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And not to be sanctimonious or a downer or anything, but I really ought to record what my father-in-law's breathing sounds like, or maybe a day-in-the-life video of what it's like when it takes five minutes to climb a flight of stairs because you can't breath. Avoiding emphysema (lung cancer, etc.) later is worth some suffering now. Hang in there!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:03 PM
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You've all talked me into it. I'm going down to the loading dock to smoke pole.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:03 PM
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GOD DAMM YOU BEN.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:04 PM
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Craving that, too, B?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:04 PM
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I'm really sorry I brought it up, B.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:05 PM
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B, you sound like Matt Dillon in Drugstore Cowboy, explaining narcotics addiction by the need to do quotidian stuff like tie one's shoes.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:05 PM
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139: I think she's saying that right now she'd put pretty much anything in her mouth. You might have a shot.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:05 PM
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B, these things just take time. I quit cigarettes 22 years ago, and I'm certain that any day now the cravings will stop.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:05 PM
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Sorry I'm behind, but I was actually working most of the day

crime (but not of the boring, everyday sort that affects the poor, except in the extremely impersonal and minor form of crime statistics)

B, you used to live in Crappy Town, or whatever you called it. Did the newspaper there not cover local crime pretty extensively, no matter who was affected? Here in Pittsburgh - #22 media market in the country - pretty much anything above "Street Dealer Busted" will get at least a para in the newspaper. I'll admit that the only way a burglary gets covered is if it's someone rich (and a big haul, to boot), but that's rare anyway. I'll not deny that extent of coverage is affected by the means of the victims/criminals, but it's nothing like all-or-nothing.

I do think it's an interesting hypothetical, but it doesn't begin to square with what I read in the paper, so it's hard for me to take it very far.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:05 PM
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NPH makes the primary error that people make when they're trying to get folks to quit. The "oh, it'll improve your health" thing. Dude, *I do not give a fuck*. That's a long term, maybe thing--not every smoker gets emphysema or lung cancer, dude--and it pales in comparison with the short term WANT NOW thing.

I'm completely serious when I say that the *only* reason I'm quitting is that (1) PK has been hassling me, which is annoying and pisses me off and makes me want to smoke, but I know that he's doing it because THOSE ASSHOLES have convinced him that I'll die if I keep smoking WHICH IS NOT NECESSARILY TRUE YOU KNOW and he's worried, and I don't want the poor kid to worry about Mama dying; (2) I promised him I would in a foolish moment of optimism, and he has in the past pointed out that I tend to make such promises and then blow them off sometimes, and the thought that I am a Mama Who Breaks Promises is just an awful one, so I really really want him to know that Important Promises, at least, are ones that I keep.

Plus, nauseous and spacey, nauseous and spacey....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:08 PM
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B, my heart is with you. On Saturday I'm starting Ch/nt/x after a visit to a doctor at Lifestyles Clinic. I've got my fingers crossed. If I don't quit in the next year then I will have smoked for half my life and I simply refuse to let that be the case.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:09 PM
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139: I think she's saying that right now she'd put pretty much anything in her mouth. You might have a shot.

Sah-weet


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:10 PM
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146: Okay, another thing that helped me was getting into a mindset where it was a matter of just proving to myself that I could. I told myself it didn't have to be permanent, I just had to know that I really could do it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:10 PM
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Lifestyles Clinic

They treat condoms?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:10 PM
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It can be a matter of embodying a variety of ideological principles, from being a promise-keeping-mama to loathing one's participation on the Big Tobacco evil. The health question is not a viscerally persuasive one for me either right now, because I am a myopic 29 year old.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:11 PM
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The "oh, it'll improve your health" thing. Dude, *I do not give a fuck*. That's a long term, maybe thing

No, it could easily improve short-term health too. Just like exercise.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:11 PM
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Er, a doctor at the Duke Health Lifestyles Clinic, just to correct myself. Stupid fingers.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:11 PM
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148 to 145 originally. But it may as well be to 146, too.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:12 PM
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144: But do you not have the sense--I know I did--that the "police beat" type stories in the local paper are, in fact, mostly *not* actual news? And did not, in fact, most local crime stories *not* rise to the level of actual articles unless there was some kind of novelty to them (which was usually spun into some kind of accompanying sidebar about How to Protect *Your* Kids/Pets/Property etc.)?

139: Mmmmaybe.
140: Don't be. The ranting about wanting to smoke kind of helps, in a weird way.
141: Addiction is addiction. It's probably a fair comparison.
142: No, Ben is in a rare "understanding B" mood. Don't let's ruin it.
143: That is not helping.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:12 PM
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I'm starting Ch/nt/x

That's on my agenda before Spring.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:12 PM
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They treat condoms?

With bleach, yes. It's all very scientific.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:13 PM
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139: Mmmmaybe
142: No, Ben is in a rare "understanding B" mood. Don't let's ruin it.

Jeez, talk about the right hand giving and the left taking away.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:14 PM
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I'll die if I keep smoking WHICH IS NOT NECESSARILY TRUE YOU KNOW

Mark Kleiman recently said that if you don't quit, tobacco has a 50% chance of killing you.


Posted by: Zippy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:14 PM
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Just like exercise.

Nearly everybody I know who quit successfully says that exercising helped them a lot, fwiw.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:14 PM
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I will have smoked for half my life and I simply refuse to let that be the case.

Yeah, this is the kind of thinking that made me promise to quit by my 40th birthday. The idea of being one of those ragged old women who shows up at the liquor store at 11 pm to buy cigarettes, dear god.

151: Uh huh. You've never smoked, have you Ned?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:14 PM
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158: That only reinforces B's point.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:15 PM
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THOSE ASSHOLES have convinced him that I'll die if I keep smoking WHICH IS NOT NECESSARILY TRUE YOU KNOW

I'm not going to pick a fight with you today, but there are a whole lot of things in this world that won't necessarily kill you but don't do great things for the odds.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:15 PM
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154: Pittsburgh's paper reads more like a small-town paper than the paper of a large media outlet, so a kidnapping or a shooting does tend to be covered without making it relevant to How You Can Be Safe.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:16 PM
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Jesus, this conversation is making crave a cigarette really fucking badly, and I quit 6 years ago.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:16 PM
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161: Sure. That's one of the reasons I posted it.


Posted by: Zippy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:16 PM
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159: So I should go buy that bike, huh?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:16 PM
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160: By "health" I mean "health", not "happiness". It seems like people's shortness of breath and coughing starts to go away pretty quickly. Although if you don't have these symptoms maybe there's nothing about your health that could be improved.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:17 PM
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If I don't quit in the next year then I will have smoked for half my life and I simply refuse to let that be the case.

I wonder if one can view this sort of simple refusal as a species of the "empty transcendental" kind of bad faith Moran mentions on pp 80 and 88 of Authority and Estrangement, or rather, what else, other than the refusal, must be the case to prevent its being so.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:17 PM
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167: No, that's entirely true, Ned. The thing is, when you really want a cigarette, you just don't fucking care about those things.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:18 PM
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157: Whereas I am *always* in an understanding Ben mood, even when I am suffering through horrible, HORRIBLE withdrawal.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:19 PM
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This is absurd. If you wanted to quit, you'd quit. There's no actual compunction there: if you knew that if you took a puff on your next cigarette, your kid would suddenly die a painful death, you wouldn't take a puff. But you're giving yourself permission, so you don't quit. Sympathy: zero.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:20 PM
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Okay, 170 pwned by 168. Never mind.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:20 PM
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what else, other than the refusal, must be the case to prevent its being so

Must, or could? I could always die tomorrow and then, in a way, y'know, win!


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:21 PM
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And, as always, Ogged demonstrates that he's the soul of kindness and succor.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:21 PM
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Ogged is Socrates!

Next up: smokers lack the measuring art.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:21 PM
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170: One more week, B, and I swear it gets much more tolerable. But keep this feeling in mind -- not having to get over that hump ever again is a really, really persuasive reason for staying clean.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:21 PM
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if you don't have these symptoms

That's the rub. The only ill effect of smoking I've ever had is yellow teeth, which I've come to peace with. No coughing, no shortness of breath, yadda yadda yadda. So all I've gotten the times I've quit is fatter and more irritable.

This is absurd. If you wanted to quit, you'd quit.

Ogged, you haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:22 PM
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This is absurd. If you wanted to quit, you'd quit. There's no actual compunction there: if you knew that if you took a puff on your next cigarette, your kid would suddenly die a painful death, you wouldn't take a puff. But you're giving yourself permission, so you don't quit. Sympathy: zero.

That seems like the moron's description of the non-existence of addiction.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:22 PM
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This thread may help me to break my afternoon junk food habit just to show B that one CAN TO be motivated to change by long-term health concerns.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:23 PM
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171: if you knew that if you took a puff on your next cigarette, your kid would suddenly die a painful death, you wouldn't take a puff.

Assumes facts not in evidence, and shows ogged has never been a cigarette smoker.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:23 PM
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CAN NOOT!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:24 PM
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171: And if Ogged had wanted not to have cancer, he wouldn't have had cancer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:24 PM
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I'm with Ogged on this one, and I speak as a smoker. The first time I quit (and I maintained it for six years) it was because I got a weird lung infection that was never probably diagnosed. Twenty minutes in a waiting room to see if I had tumors on my lungs cured me instantly and for a long time of any desire to smoke. When you have sufficient motivation it isn't that difficult to quit cold turkey.

Of course, as the urgency of that moment faded I was eventually tempted to take up smoking again, and eventually did so. (Complete with all the bullshit excuses; "I'm just a social smoker," "I'm only smoking hand-rolled, it's not that bad," "I'll quit after just this one more pack" etc.) For which I berate myself daily.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:26 PM
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There's no actual compunction there

I think Ogged should show us all how wrong we are by smoking three packs a day for a year, then quitting cold turkey.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:26 PM
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Less nicotine! More Hitler!


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:26 PM
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176: In fact! In "magic circle" yesterday (the day I help out in PK's class), I was sharing with the kids my "appreciation for the day," which was that I'm glad I quit smoking--not two weeks ago, apparently one of them was sharing a "concern" about some relative smoking, and the teacher turned it into a learning moment where the kids talked about who they know that smokes, etc.--which I think is MUCH better than that stupid-ass DARE-program method of Don't Ever Do It!--so anyway, my saying I'd quit led all the kids to ask why, and how I was doing, and that gave me a chance to do my Matt Dillon in Drugstore Cowboy routine, followed by an explanation that *this*, even more than the "it could give you cancer" thing, is the *real* reason not to try smoking--because you try it thinking that of *course* you're not going to smoke your *entire life*, and then if you're not immediately grossed out by it you maybe smoke on and off, casually, for a long time thinking that hey, you'll quit at some point, but that's how addiction works--you don't know you're addicted until it's too late, and then "I'll quit at some point" becomes really, really, really hard to do.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:26 PM
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171: And if Ogged had wanted not to have cancer, he wouldn't have had cancer.

This is actually my mother's stated position.

Anyway, unless y'all are saying that you would go ahead and smoke even if it would kill your kid, I remain steadfast in my position.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:26 PM
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179: don't be so fucking dense. Of course one CAN be motivated by long term health concerns. That's a lot of why so many people spend so much damn time in gyms. B's just saying that's not a very significant motivator when paired against immediate, physical addictive cravings. Your junk food habit doesn't fucking count.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:26 PM
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And if ogged really wanted to be on hiatus...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:27 PM
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This is absurd. If you wanted to ____, you'd ____. There's no actual compunction there: if you knew that if you _________, your kid would suddenly die a painful death, you wouldn't take a puff. But you're giving yourself permission, so you don't ____. Sympathy: zero.

I submit that any game of Social Issue Mad Libs played with the above modified quote would quickly come to resemble a Republican Talking Points brain-storming session. Suggested terms include "work," "get health insurance" and "become heteronormative."


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:28 PM
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You all evidently missed my allusion to the Protagoras above. Ogged doesn't believe in akrasia, thereby ignoring, as Aristotle says, the plain phenomena.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:28 PM
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Dude, ogged, it's an addiction. Second-order desires differing from first-order desires. Probably some wouldn't kill their kid, but most would.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:29 PM
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Can I use the "no sympathy" position as a counter the next time you think I'm being mean to someone, Ogged?

In fact, scratch that--I'm not asking. I'm 40, goddammit, I don't need your permission. I hereby declare that Ogged doesn't get to give me shit for being mean to people Ever Again!!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:30 PM
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People spend time in gyms to look at cute butts. Health is the cover story.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:30 PM
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Probably some wouldn't kill their kid, but most would.

I disagree--almost no one would kill their kid. But that doesn't matter much, because SMOKING ISN'T GOING TO CAUSE YOUR KID TO DROP DEAD, and you know it. So it doesn't affect your decisionmaking.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:31 PM
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191: Ogged believes in akrasia, he just doesn't have any sympathy for it. Which makes sense to me.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:31 PM
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190 gets it exactly right. Ogged sucks.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:31 PM
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Nice try, Cala, but the second-order desire is a desire not to have the desire to smoke, not the desire not to smoke, so ogged can still say, "if you actually desired not to smoke ...". That's first-order. And honestly I would bet that many of the quitters or would-be quitters here have both the first and second-order desires.

Not that I really think there's a way to tell which is which, here.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:31 PM
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Of course, it would help if I modified the quote correctly. Maybe I should stop trying to communicate via words for today.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:32 PM
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I suspected that Ogged was baiting w-lfs-n in some way, but I didn't remember w-lfs-n's post.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:32 PM
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Probably some wouldn't kill their kid, but most would.

Really, you think that? No they wouldn't. (I got the allusion, Ben, and you're right.)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:32 PM
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WTF is akrasia?

And Brock, but what about the OMGYOUSMOKEYOU'REGOINGTOGIVEYOURKIDSECONDHANDCANCERYOU'REANUNFITPARENTSOMEPEOPLEREALLYSHOULDNEEDALICENSETOHAVEKIDS thing?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:32 PM
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I can't believe how fucking pissed off I am right now. I haven't wanted a cigarette this badly in years and IT'S YOUR COLLECTIVE FAULT. FUCK.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:32 PM
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unless y'all are saying that you would go ahead and smoke even if it would kill your kid

Proposing complete counterfactuals that have no chance of ever being real proves nothing, Ogged.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:33 PM
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I think a lot would depend on whether their kid died in front of them or not.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:33 PM
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196: no, he doesn't believe in akrasia. He's claiming that plainly people don't really want to stop smoking (because otherwise they would). When they take a puff despite professing their desire not to smoke, what's being revealed is their real desire. They aren't being mastered by some other desire or anything like that. It really is like Socrates' argument, right down to the implicit invokation of the measuring art.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:33 PM
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Hey, Brock, you don't want one as badly as I do, and I'm not gonna have one. Don't be a pussy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:34 PM
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202: Wanting something that isn't in your best interest. Also runs around with weakness of will, mocking medieval philosophers.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:34 PM
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Akrasia: acting against one's better judgment.

I'm riding through full-flavoured Marlboro country right now, Brock. While directing a steely gaze off into the middle distance.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:35 PM
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(I got the allusion, Ben, and you're right.)

I should have suspected you would. You continental types tend to take the history of philosophy somewhat seriously.

B, akrasia is the fancy-pants word for weakness of will. Basically.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:35 PM
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188: Hey Brock, fuck you too. I happen to have strong feelings about the smoking thing at the moment because my father-in-law is driving my wife nuts while he slowly dies of emphysema. I know it's fucking hard to quit. But it's also kind of important. And when I throw in something light-hearted to try not to be heavy-handed about the whole thing, I really don't need some asshole calling me an idiot for it.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:35 PM
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Don't be a pussy.

Conceptual continuity.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:35 PM
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206: Yeah, I guess you're right.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:35 PM
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If Ogged's kid would drop dead if he ever trolled his own blog again, do you think he'd still do it?

I mean, as long as we're dealing in impossible hypotheticals, we might as well grant Ogged a child.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:35 PM
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Next up: Ogged makes a pass at Alcibiades.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:36 PM
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People fail to quit smoking because smoking is glorious. The feel of tobacco smoke as it fills your lungs and the satisfaction of expelling it into the air are among life's most sublime pleasures.

Also, being able to smell the world is highly over-rated.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:36 PM
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walk away, Brock. Just walk away.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:36 PM
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207: I'm not going to have one B. I'm just suddenly pissy because I want one. I was in a perfect mood 30 minutes ago.

Also, I'm over the hump, so I can actually have an occassional cigarette without the nicotine taking over my soul. Occassional.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:38 PM
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211: Hint; if you want to convince people not to smoke, focus less on the "my father in law is dying" than on the "my wife is going nuts watching her father die". It's a much more successful approach.

Also, my sympathy; I'm very sorry for you, your wife, and your father-in-law.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:38 PM
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You know, there are all kinds of drugs that seem like they'd be interesting to try. This one, though, seems like all of the trouble and nearly none of the interesting bits.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:38 PM
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What if you were on a trolley, and your kid was fat, and with one puff you could render him so dead that he fell over onto the tracks, preventing "Saving Silverman" from ever being made? Would you take a puff then?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:38 PM
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Also, being able to smell the world is highly over-rated.

I never, ever smell bad breath or body odor on other people unless I'm within haunching distance.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:38 PM
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I can't believe you people fell for 44 or 171.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:38 PM
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Wanting something that isn't in your best interest.

Surely that's too broad? When I want a cookie, thinking it will improve my health, then get and eat one, I'm not acting akratically, even though the cookie isn't in my best interest (being, as it is, laced with cyanide).


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:39 PM
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Tweety, we're in a weakened state. Also, we're CRANKY.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:40 PM
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1000 to 217.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:40 PM
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223: So now it's you who doesn't believe in akrasia?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:41 PM
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224: and an analytic philosopher is born. I knew I heard bells ringing.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:42 PM
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221: I'd going on living in a world with "Saving Silverman." If he was going to derail a train with Kevin Sorbo on it, though, that would be a toughie.

223: But... 44 and 171 (in slightly modified form) are both basically correct.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:42 PM
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I bet Ogged is just trying to make me *so annoyed* that I'll go into "fuck it" overload and go buy a pack of cigarettes. Because he hates me and wants me to die, and he hates PK and wants him to be miserable.

Well SCREW YOU Ogged, it's not going to work. I'ma go pick PK up at school now and then we're going to go look at bicycles together.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:42 PM
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226: Uhhhh......?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:42 PM
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224: It's not just weakness of will, either, but yes, you're right.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:44 PM
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I think he means LB's famous 1000 from the other day, Di.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:44 PM
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231: 226 is implying that the thread is now doomed to reach 1000.

Also, all my angry-sounding comments above are coming from a place of deep and abiding love. And were intended to be funny, in a bitter angry sort of way.

I just thought I'd spell that out. Toodles.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:44 PM
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Oh, I'm re-quitting as of today. I quit Dec. 31 2006 (day after UnfoggeDCon 1.0!) and didn't have A SINGLE CIGARETTE until like October, when I bummed one off someone in a bar. Then I snuck a few over the course of the next few months. Then I bought a pack on Dec. 29 2007 (UnfoggeDCon 2.0, you bastards), and have been smoking less than a cigarette a day. I had the last one last night. Sigh.

I thought I had kicked the habit, but now I feel sad all over again. You know what sucked? About a month into quitting, I kept having these dreams where I decided to quit quitting, and then I would wake up and be like "yay! I can smoke! Fuck it!" and then realize that it was all a dream, and I still hadn't had a cigarette in a month. Bastards.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:44 PM
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231: Not really. But, you know, the one from yesterday. But not really.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:44 PM
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Oh, I knew what comment he meant. I just was a bit unclear on why he was directing it at me,


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:44 PM
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When I first tried to quit, I found it literally impossible not to smoke whn I was drinking alcohol (combination of reduced inhibitions and former habits). So, I make a little exception for myself that okay, no more general smoking, but you're allowed to smoke when you're drinking--NO OTHER TIMES. I am not exaggerating at all when I say that I spent the next six months of my life drunk. I finally decided that wasn't a workable strategy for quitting.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:44 PM
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231: 1000.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:45 PM
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219: Thanks, but I'm not trolling for sympathy here. Worse things have happened and will again. But it really is way too easy for us still-youngish immortal types to discount how badly our last few years can suck. A little like DS, I got religion on taking care of myself a while back when I had to go in for some tests and realized just how much I hate being a patient, but it didn't last. Maybe peer pressure's a better bet.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:45 PM
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Also damn this thread is making me want a joint.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:45 PM
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Oh wait, one last comment before I go:

Smoking is anti-feminist, because smoking kills women. Discuss.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:45 PM
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237: It was needless inflammation. Surely you've heard of needless inflammation?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:47 PM
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242: 1000


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:48 PM
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239: 1000.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:48 PM
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I refuse to discuss smoking, so I will doggedly follow up on the original threadjack:

the "police beat" type stories in the local paper are, in fact, mostly *not* actual news

Not sure what you mean. My best guess is that you mean, "Here's the News, which affects/is done by Important People, and here's some stuff that happened around town."

If so: Not really. I mean, as I said, the stuff that gets the most column inches is either middle class white folks news or extra-big poor people news (abandoned baby, multiple homicide), but it's hard for me to pretend that novelty (which includes a UMC teen attacking his GF with a hammer, frex) shouldn't play into news. Poor people certainly spend more time talking about abandoned babies and multiple homicides that happen in their midst.

"Single mom struggles to raise two children" isn't news by any definition. The fact that (some) news outlets will do pieces on "Single white mom with poncy background struggles to raise kids" doesn't make the first story "news;" it just means the second story is UMC-rewarding BS.

I dunno. Every homicide in this city gets followed from event through trial, just like Law & Order. Maybe it's the absence of a police blotter - if all the "police beat" stuff doesn't go into the paper by default, then the editors feel more obligation to actually report everything of significance. If there's a stabbing a couple blocks from my house (in my marginal neighb), I'll read about it - it gets a headline. There's often a followup on relatively minor housefire-type stories. It's not a great paper or anything, but I feel like it's doing it's job on this front.

It would be interesting to test your hypo between, say, the NYT and the NY Daily News or Newsday, the latter pair being more comparable (in localness, not style) to my paper.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:48 PM
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243: You understand I am extremely sensitive, right? And a nice person?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:50 PM
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Here in Pittsburgh - #22 media market in the country - pretty much anything above "Street Dealer Busted" will get at least a para in the newspaper.

Here in toney suburbia....awww, you'll just have to read the police log to see what merits mention in our local paper.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:51 PM
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218: Also, I'm over the hump, so I can actually have an occassional cigarette without the nicotine taking over my soul.

Really? When were you 'over the hump' and how did you know? When I quit (8 months ago) I promised myself that if I made it to 6 months I'd allow myself the occasional cigarette, but when the time came I chickened out. But oh my god I think I'd sacrifice a kid (someone else's, not my own, naturally) to be able to do this.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:53 PM
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245: 1000.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:53 PM
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241: ZOMG, yes

179: I, too, wish I could break my afternoon junk food habit.


Posted by: Pantene | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:54 PM
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247: Je t'adore, Di. 244 was well played.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:55 PM
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`over the hump' is about 10 years.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:57 PM
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A teaser for the link in 248:

At 10:29 a.m., a resident of Upland Road reported his corgi, which uses a wheelchair, missing. The dog was found a short time later.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:57 PM
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I like the couple about iPods that were 'stolen' days before.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:59 PM
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249/253: in my case it was 2-3 years.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:00 PM
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241,251: This thread is making me want a nice European style joint, with fresh Drum tobacco and citrus-tasting weed. Oh, and a double espresso for good measure.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:01 PM
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108 totally demonstrates my point. That kind of thing is only "news" to the rubes.

Apparently quitting smoking has shredded B's sense of humor.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:03 PM
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This thread is making me want to be over my cold.

No, wait, that's my constantly sneezing. My mistake.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:04 PM
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259: Sneeze away, dude. You know you really want to.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:07 PM
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259: I feel your pain, Ben. No, wait, that's my constant sneezing...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:07 PM
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254: Place has really gone to hell since Emerson's day, hasn't it?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:09 PM
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254: But the best has to be:

At 5 p.m., a woman reported losing her keys on or near Heaths Bridge Road.

That would barely make the Stormcrow household report.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:12 PM
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I'm sneezing, too. Feel like crap, crap that really wants M&Ms.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:17 PM
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263: Personally, I can't decide between

At 10:05 a.m., a resident of Belknap Street reported getting a letter from a high school friend, whom she had not been in contact with for years. Something about the letter made her uncomfortable.

and
At 10:47 a.m., several pigs busted out of their pen on Lexington Road, crossed the street and were feeding in the field.

Either way, it was a busy morning for the local men in blue.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:27 PM
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265: You gotta feel bad for the high school friend who wrote the letter...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:29 PM
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I'm very fond of this police blotter roundup.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:33 PM
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I am mildly cold-ridden, and all I have in the house is orange juice and brown rice. Sniff.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:41 PM
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Obligatory.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:42 PM
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Every junkie's got a hard-luck story, but only a few of them (i.e., the ones that lived in or around academic communities during the '90s) has a philosophical argument for smoking.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:46 PM
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"Have."

Fucking cold medicine.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:46 PM
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The ontological argument for smoking fell apart when I realized that both sides of the argument would have infinite quantities.


Posted by: St. Anselm | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:50 PM
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St Louis police blotter newspaper publisher dies: Our evenings will never whirl the same way again.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 4:01 PM
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268: We'd try to visualize you up something better, but we failed with Di and just made her hungrier.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 4:04 PM
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265: At 10:05 a.m., a resident of Belknap Street reported getting a letter from a high school friend, whom she had not been in contact with for years. Something about the letter made her uncomfortable.

Ohmigod! I bet they traced the letter and found out it had been sent from inside the house!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 4:52 PM
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We're damn lucky Hitler didn't get a degree in education from Swarthmore.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 5:22 PM
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At 10:05 a.m., a resident of Belknap Street reported getting a letter from a high school friend, whom she had not been in contact with for years. Something about the letter made her uncomfortable.

You have got to be kidding me.

Just ... words fail.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 5:26 PM
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we failed with Di and just made her hungrier.

Unfogged: the NuvaRing of blogs.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 5:28 PM
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You know what else? I have this very special tea that I make when I have a cold. Star anise, peppermint and cayenne pepper. It is fabulous. You want to guess who took the damn star anise, and apparently also the peppermint leaves when he moved out? The injustice never ends.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:02 PM
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Highly recommended:Novels in Three Lines by Felix Feneon. 1000 3-line news items that appeared in Le Matin in 1906.

For example: "The sinister prowler seen by the mechanic Gicquel near Herblay train station has been identified: Jules Menard, snail collector."

(Add peper to taste: ´´´´´´´´)


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:08 PM
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And then the one about the man who died and his dog ate his head.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:08 PM
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Jonah's plan is working! From wingnut D-wn Ed-n's blog, one hell of a concessive clause (she's talking about George Cardinal Mundelein):

Although liberal and a close friend of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he spoke boldly against "Austrian paperhanger" Hitler more than four years before the United States entered World War II.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:20 PM
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Di, that is really adding insult to injury. My sympathies.

And per the link in 248: What on earth is labradoodle? Sounds indecent.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:25 PM
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Lab-poodle mix.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:27 PM
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Unfogged: the NuvaRing of blogs.

Just like Unfogged, there is no color in the Nuva ring!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:30 PM
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I'm trolling the community paper. A new low.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:48 PM
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Labs, you big gay, you have to troll much more aggressively to get a response on a low-traffic site like that one. You should have opined that the 60-year-old mugging victim had it coming for carrying so much cash around with him in the first place.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:32 PM
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Shout out to Cryptic Ned for comment 43. Ya'll gave me a serious spit-take. Thanks!


Posted by: slackerJAX | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 1:23 AM
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Police logs? Always funny. For people other than me, that is.

Checked two vehicles reportedly impeding snow removal on Fitch Avenue. Only one vehicle was found on arrival and was found legally parked. The operator came out and moved the vehicle upon request.

That's not from any of the links, if you're wondering. That was from a police log I dug out of the pile on my desk, which will not be published because the stupid chief took forever to get it to me. (The log covers events from Dec. 10 to Dec. 30. It was faxed to me on Jan. 23.)


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 8:27 AM
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