Re: Modern Love: And That's Saying Something Edition

1

No, Becks.

That is the best ML simile ever. Even evar.

Without having read the column, I will say that I find the all-in-lowercase bit a mite seductive.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 2:41 PM
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After a time, the relationship congealed.....


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 2:46 PM
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Bad simile, yes, but I must admit I related to the column overall.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 2:53 PM
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cheekbones so sharp they could shave slices like Post-it notes off a block of Jarlsberg

This kind of writing makes me want to stabstabstab. "Sharp cheekbones" would be enough, even more than enough. "Cheekbones sharp enough to cut cheese" would be too much. "Cheekbones sharp enough to cut Jarlsberg" is too much by a lot. "Cheekbones sharp enough to shave slices of Jarlsberg" is insane-making. "Cheekbones so sharp they could shave slices like Post-it notes off a block of Jarlsberg" should have sent very large red flags up on the editor's desk. "My God, we've made a horrible mistake."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 2:54 PM
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I should add that it's extra disappointing that this article is so bad, because Julie Klausner, who wrote it, is a damn fine comedian.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:00 PM
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Erm.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:01 PM
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I did wonder what Jarlsberg added to the sentence. Sharp cheekbones, but sharp enough only to shave thin slices of Jarlsberg? What about cheddar? Are there grades of cheekbones, like Mary Catherine's fantasy cheese graters, best suited for parmesan,


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:02 PM
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His cheekbones were sharp like a Schick Quattro razor which could shave four parallel Post-it notes off a block of government cheese. No! Five blades! Five parallel post-it notes! Really sharp.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:03 PM
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Cheekbones so straight-edge-razor sharp they could, like a old Italian barber in Brooklyn, shave slices like Jarlsberg-yellow Post-it notes off a wedge-shaped block of Post-it-yellow Jarlsberg.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:03 PM
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The Polish barbers stick to Gouda. Why, no one's sure.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:04 PM
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This sentence, I confess to really liking:

A relationship book I once read told women to use the word "fun" whenever possible. The author claimed it had a subliminal aphrodisiac effect on men, who want a relaxed girl attached only to good times -- the human equivalent of Diet Coke. This is not me.

Also, maybe not the best writing, but like Blume said, I can relate. I've dated that guy. Not that guy, of course. But that guy.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:05 PM
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This makes selling Gouda in Brooklyn problematic, given the Polish barbers adhering to it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:05 PM
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Cheekbones so sharp they cut right through to the heart of the matter, my heart, and Jarlsberg cheese in slices, faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:06 PM
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Are cheekbones sharp enough to slice cheese actually attractive?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:06 PM
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To what ethnicity of barber?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:07 PM
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My cheekbones are sharp as Microplane graters, except they're like ceramic Microplane graters, which means that they practically never dull, but they're kinda brittle and if they do dull you can't sharpen them yourself, but in the meantime you can grate not only hard cheeses but even such fibrous things as ginger.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:08 PM
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Hott.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:10 PM
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I will admit to being the kind of person who has smiled blithely and unquestioningly at my share of gorgeous dudes, but there are some phenomena one is tempted not to complain about until they stop being fun.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:10 PM
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13: Snerk!
14: Probably not. But I did date a guy in high school, because his cheekbones were precisely as sharp as Peter Murphy's. (And because he, well, looked like Peter Murphy.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:11 PM
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My cheekbones may not slice cheese, but they can leave an impression in a bowl of queso.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:11 PM
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The awkwardness was palpable, sultry, like fondue.

Ok, so fondue is certainly palpable, but shouldn't that be scalding, or maybe sulphuric?

max
['Perhaps the awkwardness could've been pointy, like a fondue stick.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:11 PM
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slices, faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

falling faintly and faintly falling.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:13 PM
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A relationship book I once read told women to use the word "fun" whenever possible. The author claimed it had a subliminal aphrodisiac effect on men, who want a relaxed girl attached only to good times -- the human equivalent of Diet Coke. This is not me.

Hmmmm.

Show, don't tell.

That is, said men would want you to use OTHER words, such as "terrific" and "way cool" and "ginormous", such that he could describe YOU as fun. Don't go around saying fun fun fun yourself.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:14 PM
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"falling faintly through the universe."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:14 PM
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He took me for a walk around his neighborhood. I'm always suspicious when a guy takes his date on a walk, because it reeks of poverty and an inability to plan.

Who hates walks? I think a bit of a meandering walk on a first date, chatting, ending up at a bar, all sounds lovely.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:14 PM
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because it reeks of poverty and an inability to plan

I missed that line -- yikes.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:16 PM
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He took me for a walk around his neighborhood. I'm always suspicious when a guy takes his date on a walk, because it reeks of poverty fondue.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:17 PM
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Jarlsberg fondue.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:17 PM
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Heebie may be right, but Cala rules.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:18 PM
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That is, said men would want you to use OTHER words, such as "terrific" and "way cool" and "ginormous", such that he could describe YOU as fun. Don't go around saying fun fun fun yourself.

No, no. The point isn't to demonstrate that you are, in fact, fun. It's to show that you are not interested in anything more terrifying than fun. "Fun" is a codeword for, "I am not looking for a commitment and don't plan to have babies with you."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:18 PM
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Okay, if the issue is what to say when asked "What are you interested in?", then yes, say fun.

But don't proclaim yourself to be fun. You will inevitably fail to meet the expectations of total frivolity that this will lead up to.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:20 PM
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32

According to Cala rules, I'm right!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:20 PM
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Ah, but you don't use "fun" to refer to yourself, but rather to describe other things. If you think things are fun, then you too must be fun, a fun-loving person! Fun.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:21 PM
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34

I'm still stuck, like hardened crusty Jarlsberg, on the idea that Diet Coke can be called 'fun.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:24 PM
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Ridiculous! One person's fun is another's horror! Fun: running around naked in the rain. Fun: playing basketball. I mean, really.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:25 PM
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Fun people say "Zounds" and sit in Pee-Wee Herman chairs. Ladies, wear a propeller beanie on your date.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:25 PM
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Is there anyone who likes to read writing like this? Because we should round up those people, along with the hippies, and put them to work doing something useful like licking thrown-away batteries to see if any charge remains.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:25 PM
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38

I'm still stuck, like hardened crusty Jarlsberg, on the idea that Diet Coke can be called 'fun.'

I think the idea is that diet coke is empty, devoid of substance, not going to weigh you down. Just like fear of commitment.

Me, I'm a triple thick coffee milkshake with swirls of hot fudge!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:28 PM
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39

4 was the one that got me, too.

Also, I think that the assholishness of "I'm always suspicious when a guy takes his date on a walk, because it reeks of poverty and an inability to plan" needs pointing out.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:30 PM
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40

I had a Guinness milkshake the other day. Bitterly delicious.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:30 PM
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33: I once worked with two women, who, coincidentally, had both been Delta Gamma's at their respective undergrad institutions. The *very highest* compliment they could pay to anything or anyone was that it was "cute and fun." OMG, that skirt rfts was wearing, it was so cute and fun! OMG, heebie is so cute and fun! This got abbreviated to C&F. As they became corrupted by our workplace, this got reattributed to "crapulent and festering."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:31 PM
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42

And apparently it was pointed out before I showed up. Never mind.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:32 PM
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43

Guinness has little taste.

Make a root beer float with oatmeal stout instead of root beer. Anderson Valley oat,=meal stout,.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:32 PM
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39: I submit that her mistake may have been setting herself up as a date devoid of substance for someone who was looking for precisely that.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:32 PM
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45

42: Great minds, B., as they say....


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:32 PM
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46

Do you mean that they started saying "crapulent and festering", or just that you and your fellows started saying it? Because if it's the former, I think you deserve the congressional medal of honor


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:33 PM
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47

I'll go on a walk with you any time, Stanley.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:33 PM
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39: I've gone on a couple walks with the same woman now. It was a pleasant way to enjoy the outdoors and talk semi-privately. What's more, the first time I planned it explicitly, and she agreed to it. Neither of us is very fun, though.


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:34 PM
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49

I'll bet Tamara Jenkins feels dumb. The Oscar-nominated screenwriter responsible for The Savages must feel like she wasted all that time learning how to write, when she could've been stripping.I'll bet Tamara Jenkins feels dumb. The Oscar-nominated screenwriter responsible for The Savages must feel like she wasted all that time learning how to write, when she could've been stripping.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:35 PM
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46: It was collaborative and organic. They absolutely started saying "crapulent and festering." Note that these were real Lincoln Park Trixies, going out every single night: they spent a lot of time at work crapulent.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:37 PM
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51

I like walking on dates. I think it's a nice way to do something other than stare awkwardly at each other from across a table.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:38 PM
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46: Incidentally, the DGies and I taught each other. I now can sing the pledge week song, the lavaliering song, and the pinning song of the DGies.
"I have found my dream man! He's as sweet as he can be! I have found my true love and he's all the world to me! He loves the golden anchor! He loves the bronze and pink and blue! He's my DG sweetheart and to him I will be true!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:44 PM
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49: What an assholish, misogynist little article that is. "I don't care what she used to do for a living, except inasmuch as it gives me the opportunity to put her down."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:46 PM
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54

We call our walks "explorations."

We go for long walks all the time.

So much fun.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:47 PM
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51 gets it exactly right.

53 is inexplicable. Did you read the article?


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:50 PM
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Yes, I read it. It's possible to argue that one script isn't as good as another, and that the Hollywood media is sexist, without yourself being condescending and implying that the only reason Cody won is because she was a stripper.

If you require an analogy, think about what it sounds like when people say that the only reason folks support Obama is because he's black.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:52 PM
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Reason is that.

If the upshot of your argument that hollywood media is sexist in a particular way that would favor someone like Cody, are you still allowed to make the argument? Or are you only allowed to make the argument if you don't go all the way?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:55 PM
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What if you in fact believe that the only reason Cody won over other, more deserving women is because she had an interesting life story, that story consisting largely of being a stripper?


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:55 PM
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Reason is that, you heinous traducer of my language.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 3:57 PM
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One more good "reason is because" could send Ben spiraling out of sanity. Go!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:06 PM
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One good reason to observe sound grammar is because failing to do so can result in reader distress.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:10 PM
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62

Even though I know you're doing it on purpose, it still irks me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:11 PM
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63

Because why?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:12 PM
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I feel bad that knowing this gives me pleasure.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:13 PM
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63: The reason is, is because it's writing that's written badly.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:16 PM
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66

sorry, that should be "poorly".


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:17 PM
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67

Fondue is not sultry!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:17 PM
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Not even chocolate fondue is sultry. I mean, really! Gro-dee.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:18 PM
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51: "I like walking on dates."

Kind of an exotic Asian-type thing.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:21 PM
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Is salty poultry sultry?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:21 PM
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Wait just one minute. Now, I'll grant that there is nothing "sultry" about fondue, but "gro-dee"? Even chocolate fondue? Fondue which is nothing more than pure chocolate hot and molten?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:22 PM
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"sultry" means "humid", right?

Well, fondue produces warm water vapor. Q.E.D. ipso facto. videlicit.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:23 PM
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It's paltry.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:23 PM
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74

The best way to cure oneself of saying 'the reason is because' is to have one's adviser correct it while reading your draft.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:26 PM
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I have never had fondue that I did not rapidly repent having eaten. Not even chocolate fondue.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:28 PM
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No, fondue doesn't make the belly happy, but every few years or so, it's worth a trip to Artisanal. Mmmm.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:30 PM
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I have had fondue of which I have never repented the eating.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:30 PM
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I spent two weeks in Switzerland last year without encountering fondue of any kind. There was a great deal of cheese, though. It can be a bit humbling to haul one's "technical" rucksack and pale sea-level ass up a mountainside to find some little kids already at the top, selling Alpkaese from a chalet window.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:31 PM
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I am not sure there is any experience I have yet had with chocolate for which I should ever desire to repent.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:36 PM
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80

I bet we could arrange for one, though.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:38 PM
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Guys for whom diet Coke is an image of fun are almost always gay. Real men like Classic Coke.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:38 PM
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It gives me, too, pleasure to irritate Ben this way.

The reason is because it's fun.

Re. Cody, again, it is possible to say that X is a better screenwriter than Y without saying that the *only* reason Y won is that she had a "good life story." Which isn't what the linked article is saying; the linked article is explicitly saying that it's because she was a stripper. Specifics matter.

Among other things, Juno got a lot of press and publicity that had nothing to do with Cody and everything to do with the film's content.

So yeah, you can say that Cody didn't deserve the award. I'm going to disagree, because I quite liked the movie and there have been precious few coming-of-age movies about girls. But when you start saying that her being a stripper is *why* she won, and pitting her against "other women writers" rather than just, you know, other writers (and making, perhaps, a less loaded argument that the Academy Awards *often* have a lot to do with popularity and personality, rather than artistic merit), you're explicitly connecting the stripper/woman thing, and making an implicit claim that somehow, because her "interesting life story" specifically includes her being a stripper, her winning somehow "takes the award away from" women who *really* deserve it.

It's yer basic virgin/whore bullshit, IOW.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:40 PM
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it's worth a trip to Artisanal.

Oh, yes. Chocolate fondue didn't even occur to me. I guess that is how fondue can be sultry.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:40 PM
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84

When Ben's plan comes to fruition, Di, remember to yell "Fire!"


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:42 PM
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85

Why would one repent fondue?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:43 PM
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Cheese fondue gives me indigestion, usually because I eat too much of it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:51 PM
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87

I confess that I quit reading so many Valve articles before I'm finished that I'm baffled as to why this particular article roused such opposition.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:52 PM
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When Ben's plan comes to fruition, Di, remember to yell "Fire!"

As in, "OMG, smoke, flames!" or "Ready, aim... "

The reason I ask is because it's an important distinction and I wouldn't want the chocolate to get ruined by incorrect usage.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:52 PM
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Why do I eat too much of it if I think it's grody? Because fondue is unfortunately offered in lieu of dinner. And there is only so much fondue that one should eat, and it is not a dinner-amount.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:53 PM
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Woops.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 4:53 PM
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As in, "OMG, smoke, flames!" The reason is because nobody will save you from drowning in the vat of chocolate if you yell "Chocolate!"


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:00 PM
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Should, shmould. Sometimes one eats cheese for dinner.

I myself get indigestion from pepperoni, but do you see me making blanket pronouncements about how much pizza people should eat? No you do not. Fie! on your prescriptive dinner rules!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:03 PM
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I shall not drown. I would merrily swim, swim to safety or to satiety. If there is one thing Unfogged has taught me, it's the hip snap.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:03 PM
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Okay, actually, I suppose I probably have made blanket pronouncements about how much pizza people should eat.

And if I haven't, then I shall now: very little. Pizza's way overrated.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:04 PM
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As has often been observed, being way overrated and being very good are compatible.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:05 PM
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I shall not drown. I would merrily swim, swim to safety or to satiety. If there is one thing Unfogged has taught me, it's the hip snap.

Di! Only one hip at a time.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:07 PM
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95: for example, your mom.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:07 PM
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95, uncannily, is a line directly from my personals ad.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:08 PM
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93: Sally, in class today, finally nailed the flip turn. She'd been having trouble with it. She's very pleased with herself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:10 PM
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100

It's a sign, Di.

I'll swing by with Sazerac fixings later tonight.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:10 PM
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Sometimes one eats cheese for dinner.


mmmm yes. Like tonight. chevre, with dill


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:11 PM
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Chocolate? Sazeracs? I think I'm in love.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:11 PM
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LB: Tell her that she isnt Cirque du Soleil material. Dont try to land on your tummy. When her feet hit the wall, she should be on your back.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:12 PM
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104

Don't fall for it, Di! Remember 79-80!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:17 PM
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And I suppose Ben should be forewarned that I'm not Cirque du Soleil material...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:20 PM
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It's not as if I'm the most eligible bachelor in the world myself, Di. Let's settle … for each other.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:21 PM
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107

Okay. And the reason is because you promised sazeracs.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:23 PM
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||
So I was just at Target this afternoon, buying razor blades and a toothbrush and whatnot, and I went by their video game section and they had a Wii in stock, locked away in a display cabinet. So I bought it.
|>


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:26 PM
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108: As I learned over spring break, make sure to warm up, take time to stretch, don't overdue it on your first day. I believe I actually pulled a muscle playing Wii.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:28 PM
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Pizza's way overrated.

This is because you live in Cali. I wouldn't want to eat that much pineapple either.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:31 PM
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Ben:

As an older, more experienced man, I feel comfortable suggesting that you do not tell Di that you thought she would be taller and skinnier when you first meet her.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:32 PM
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Actually you look pretty much the way I expected, will.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:33 PM
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108: Naughty naughty. I'm sure this will require you to bear forced sole American citizenship.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:33 PM
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After a few sazeracs, will, he'll think I look just as tall and slender as he'd expected.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:38 PM
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Sazerac! I had a good evening last night, Mahler 9 and a couple of Sazeracs, made with a healthy dose of both Peynaud's and Angostura bitters in a Pernod-washed glass. Could this be my new favorite drink? Signs point to yes.

In Winnipeg there's a fondue place called the Fork & Cork, which I think I'd have to avoid on principle just because of the name, however intense my craving for fondue. Easy for me to say, as I've never had a craving for fondue, but I'd eat some right now if I could.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:54 PM
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Shit, pineapple's the only thing that makes most pizza worth eating. Well, that and goat cheese.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:57 PM
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JMQ, if you start avoiding high-quality food venues just because of their unbearably stupid names, soon you won't be able to go anywhere at all.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:58 PM
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The first comma in 115 should not have been written. The opinion "pineapple's the only thing that makes most pizza worth eating" should also not have been written.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:00 PM
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Are you saying that the second sentence of 116 should have been written? your standards are still too low.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:01 PM
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How often are you in Winnipeg? One doubts that there are tons of great restaurants in -- the coldest city in the world*!

*Except in Siberia and Mongolia.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:02 PM
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You know what would be fun? Giving restaurants extremely stupid names in exotic languages almost no one knows.

I'm sure it's been done.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:04 PM
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some Siberian cities are more delicious than others.

Norilsk Nickel

Omsky Bacon

I know where I'd rather go.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:06 PM
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Goat cheese on a pizza is right up there with vats of molten chocolate. I haven't done that in so, so long.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:06 PM
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119: I was so stunned by the first sentence that I ignored the second, and will continue to do so.

120: I am not often in Winnipeg. I spotted the place the one time I was there; I think it may have moved since then.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:08 PM
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Fuck you, Jesus.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:14 PM
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Isn't it odd how that would seem less rude if I had followed it with an exclamation point?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:15 PM
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less rude, but more blasphemous.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:17 PM
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Kisses, B.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:18 PM
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That was meant to go without saying.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:18 PM
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129 to 128.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:19 PM
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chevre, dill and garlic. It was delicious and cold.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:20 PM
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Giving restaurants extremely stupid names in exotic languages almost no one knows

Ha! That reminds me, when I was in Tokyo there was a French restaurant there called "À ta gueule."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:23 PM
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Boy, see if I ever invite any of you philistines over for chocolate fondue.

In other news, how did this line not get singled out for derision?

I would soon learn a lesson men have known for years: that it's possible to be attracted to somebody you don't like.

Men, doncha just love being referred to in the aggregate, as if all three billion of you are just one big monolithic collection of traits to be disparaged?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:23 PM
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Also, men have only known that for years. Not centuries or anything.

We were as surprised as you when we figured that out, back in WWII!


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:25 PM
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Men, doncha just love being referred to in the aggregate, as if all three billion of you are just one big monolithic collection of traits to be disparaged?

Fine with us. We're not as touchy as women are. Got a beer?


Posted by: Men | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:28 PM
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Men, doncha just love being referred to in the aggregate, as if all three billion of you are just one big monolithic collection of traits to be disparaged?

I was napping. Are we still hating the same things as earlier?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:32 PM
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I loved this awesome Modern Love! A return to form for the column. Set in the Williamburg hipster heartland, annoying girl writer meets immature male, it's got it all!

Also refreshingly minimalist, in that no life lessons are drawn. Just bad love, bad writing, and curtain. The fundamentals of the form.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:35 PM
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Got a beer?

I do!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:36 PM
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see if I ever invite any of you philistines over for chocolate fondue.

Invite us over for palpable awkwardness!

And let's make it sultry too...


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:55 PM
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Only experts should palpate awkwardnesses. A mispalpated awkwardness can result in complications including suicidal ideation, no one understanding the patient, and your not being my real parents.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:57 PM
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I don't even understand 140, and yet it's making me smile.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:13 PM
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It's a sign, Witt. I'll swing by with a fondue set, chocolate, and strawberries later tonight.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:19 PM
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Sssh, Di, Ben thinks that I haven't been reading the other thread. Let's see how long it takes him to realize he's double-booked himself -- in two different cities, no less. Premature senility is so sad.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:24 PM
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I've never had chocolate fondue. I've had cheese fondue twice. Never again.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:24 PM
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What's this other thread stuff, Witt?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:28 PM
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145: Some of us have earned our senility.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:30 PM
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Witt is famously old.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:31 PM
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Witt is absolute social feeling, or fragmentary genius.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:33 PM
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One should have Witt, but not want to have Witt. Otherwise, you get Wittzelei, the Alexandrian style of Witt.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:34 PM
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One should have Witt, but not want to have Witt.

Negging will get you nowhere. she knows your PUA tricks.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:36 PM
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Witt is the opposite of allegory in the realm of the real itself: an immediate flaring up of the unity of unity and infinity in the finite. Witt is an incarnation, the outward appearance, the outward flash of fantasy, which is in turn the synthesizing capacity of the spirit.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:39 PM
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I'll stop now.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:39 PM
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I'll stop now.

That's probably wise, you little two-timer.

In other news, I just met* the UNG's girlfriend while picking up my munchkin tonight. I would very much like to dislike her and make rude comments about her appearance, but she seemed perfectly pleasant. Poor thing.

*met, meaning introduced myself to after several awkward minutes standing in UNG's living room waiting for Rory to finish gathering her things while this rather obvious woman is openly sitting right there on the couch playing a board game with my kid and not being introduced in any way by the homeowner.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 7:55 PM
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not being introduced in any way by the homeowner

How did he live with you that long and not pick up any semblance of manners?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:01 PM
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You have to feel sorry for her. She hasnt had time to figure out what an ass UNG is. Give her time. Be there for her. Poor thing doesnt know yet.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:01 PM
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How did he live with you that long and not pick up any semblance of manners?

You say this to the girl who calls her hubby, UNG?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:05 PM
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It's an awkward situation, certainly. Not to excuse UNG here--he was being a dick--but it's a common weirdness of the divorced.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:08 PM
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ex-hubby, will. E-X!!!!

I'm actually shocked by the lack of manners--I know he's an ass, but I would have thought he would be more careful about tipping her off to that.

I'm definitely feeling a bit jealous of "the other woman" -- the other woman hanging out with my kid, that is.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:10 PM
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Look forward to UNG advertising the new girlfriend to Rory in the ways she is different from you. Ugh.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:12 PM
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hahaahh sorry Di. People constantly do the same thing to me and I hate it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:17 PM
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And now, thanks to you bastards, I went and bought some absinthe and bitters while picking up the deep dish my roomie and I ordered.

So Di, sazeracs and Gino's East at my house to drown your sorrows! In fact, everyone: sazeracs and Gino's East at my house! Also, beer!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:18 PM
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Ooh, Gino's. Color me jealous. I just ate a veggie burger along with a PBR.

Also: sorry, Di. That's awkward.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:22 PM
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Also, the veggie burger smelled absolutely terrible (Nature's Promise™, Garlic and Cheese flavor), but tasted fine. I didn't know that was possible. Perhaps I'm more congested than I realize.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:37 PM
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Yeah, Gino's sounds way better than the bag of Doritos I have my eye on. Ah well.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:43 PM
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I'm making a tomato pasta sauce with a lamb shank and bone for to flavor it, along with some lardons and rosemary and whatnot.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:44 PM
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Nothing like 90 minutes on the tarmac to work up a thirst. Any suggestions for a guy in jeans near Sel de la Terre?


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:47 PM
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the veggie burger smelled absolutely terrible

Shocking.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:48 PM
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165: Yeah, but you're in the Bay Area. And a total slut


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:48 PM
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I wish I were a total slut.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:49 PM
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Speaking of rosemary, I had one of the rosemary caramel chocolates today and it was excellent.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:50 PM
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167: As consolation to the carnivores, I can report that the continuation of the black widow spider video series is currently awaiting the spider's interest in the large moth my roommate just placed in the jar. Video soon, inshallah.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:53 PM
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169: It's overrated. Though I suppose 95 is still true.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 8:58 PM
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I wish I were a total slut.

It's like when people here say they want to quit smoking -- if you really wanted it, you'd just do it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:12 PM
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I don't know how.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:12 PM
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167: The dialogue needs a little punching up.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:16 PM
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174: Start at a truck stop.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:17 PM
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174: Sure you do. A line like 100, delivered to someone in the same time zone, with the right "I'm just kidding... or am I?" twinkle in the eye, pure pick up gold.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:22 PM
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It takes more than knowledge-that, hélas! to slut it up.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:23 PM
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(would this line be delivered via a blog?)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:24 PM
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(Caveat: "blah blah blah sazerac blah blah" is sort of all it takes by my standards. Other audiences may be more demanding... )


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:24 PM
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In other news, I just met* the UNG's girlfriend while picking up my munchkin tonight. I would very much like to dislike her and make rude comments about her appearance, but she seemed perfectly pleasant. Poor thing.

Does she look and act virtually identical to you?


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:24 PM
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Making a Sazerac well is fiendishly difficult, but very rewarding.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:27 PM
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And yet I even offer delicious cheese-laden pizza on top of sezeracs in the same metropolitan area with no success? Alas, it truly is difficult to slut it up sometimes!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:28 PM
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Had I a reasonably fresh lemon, I could make one now.

With wild turkey rye, so not exactly the classiest in the world.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:28 PM
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Indeed, maybe I would be more successful if I could spell the drink properly.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:29 PM
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167: The dialogue needs a little punching up.

True, true.

Anything composed of vegetable matter is not a "burger" ,godamnit, and "nature's promise" to me was that my position at the top of the food chain entitles me to eat all the tasty animals I want.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:30 PM
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184: I believe I have all the ingredients, but it seems rather complicated and I had better spend that energy not fucking up this soldering. Pastis and water, instead!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:30 PM
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She's got a good 40 pounds on me, but same basic sweatshirt and jeans style. Pretty face, no evident signs of hostility. I believe she is far more likely than I ever was to stay out past 10 and party like it's 1999. However else we may be alike or different, I haven't a clue.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:30 PM
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UNG's new girlfriend is almost as fat as he is and has low self-esteem! Pass it on!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:31 PM
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Oh wait, actually I couldn't, because I'm still out of pastis, damn my eyes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:32 PM
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183: Deep dish pizza, no less. But for my having a kiddo to tuck into bed, you totally would have been emailing me directions. Especially after I caught w-lfs-n stepping out on me with Witt.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:35 PM
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Your eyes drank your pastis? How Dali-esque of them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:35 PM
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Ah yes, I'm missing the lemon. Shame. I was going to make it with the more traditional cognac though. It's a mere VS, but it should be serviceable.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:36 PM
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193: I've wanted to try that. I was using Jim Beam rye: per Ben's recipe, suboptimal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:36 PM
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I'm pretty sure there is nowhere to buy Peychaud's bitters within 300 miles of here. Maybe 500 miles.

Can I make a Sazerac with everything but that?


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:37 PM
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189: No, no. We don't hate her. We hate that she's having family game nights with my kid. And we hate her boyfriend. But we have no reason to hate her yet.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:38 PM
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As long as we are talking about drinks, I will mention that I had the most ecstatically yummy concoction the other night: Mango juice with a squeeze of lime, and green cardamom.

Holy smokes was that good. Iced, even, and I don't generally like my drinks iced. It was the absolutely perfect complement to spicy Indian food. Mmmmmsigh. I think I'll be making this all summer.

(Yes, yes, you can add vodka.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:39 PM
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Ah. Noted! I'll try to keep up in the future.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:39 PM
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As long as we are talking about drinks, I will mention that I had the most ecstatically yummy concoction the other night: Mango juice with a squeeze of lime, and green cardamom.

A new local joint offers sake bombs with sake dropped into some concoction of beer, orange juice, mango juice, and some other secret ingredients. It's goddamn delicious.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:43 PM
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198: I'm sure we'll get there. You're just getting a little ahead of the game.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:44 PM
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188: She's got a good 40 pounds on me

So when the time inevitably comes you might want to do a little rope-a-dope first so that she wears down a bit and then when you make your move stay low and keep your feet wide for balance and take her at the knees.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:46 PM
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I guess I can't complain about using VS cognac if I'm willing to use inexpensive rye. But with rye you expect it to be raw. Cognac, though...

Btw, in case there was any doubt, this pasta sauce is gonna be fucking fantastic.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:46 PM
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197: Ooo... that would be delicous.

And Sifu, I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. I also need to know where to find Peychaud's bitters. I've only got Angostura lying around. Actually, I just generally need a better-stocked liquor cabinet, but my beer cellar pantry has received far more attention over the past couple years.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:48 PM
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I've never heard of Sazerac. Sounds like some kind of prescription drug that can't be described on tv without a bunch of disclaimers. Or maybe a household appliance. (Announcer voice: "The Sazerac 2500 is powerful enough to pick up almost anything!")


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:48 PM
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You can get Peychaud's bitters at Sam's, or you could the last time I was there.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:49 PM
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this pasta sauce is gonna be fucking fantastic.

Proof at last! Fucking can occur in the enclosure known as "ben w-lfs-n's abode".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:51 PM
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(It doesn't show up on their site search, but then, neither does angostura bitters. I'm confident they'll have it; anyway, if they don't, you can email the sazerac company and ask; that's what I did to find out where I could get fee's bitters, except, obviously, in that case I emailed fee bros.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:51 PM
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As I understand it, you can't mail order alcohol into Pennsylvania. This might not be true.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:53 PM
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Also, you obviously can't buy alcohol at big-box stores in Pennsylvania.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:54 PM
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As I understand it, you can't mail order alcohol into Pennsylvania.

I think you'll be fine. Bitters shouldn't count as alcohol in that sense; it's like how you can order cold medicine from drugstore.com even though it has alcohol in it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:56 PM
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You can buy Peychaud's bitters here. As they are not characterized as "potable", they can be shipped anywhere.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:56 PM
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Question: why are you folks on about the whiskey drinks of late? Is not Spring the time for a proper gimlet?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:58 PM
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Thanks. However, the problem of not being able to buy Douglas Fir eau de vie remains.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 9:59 PM
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It's still chilly in Chicago.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:00 PM
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214: Good point. I saw people with sunburns today. Weird.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:01 PM
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It's still chilly in Chicago.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:02 PM
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I will head by Sam's at some point soon, if only to pick up some decent rye whisky as well. Any recommendations, people?

This cognac is certainly sufficiently smooth for the cocktail, Ben, but thanks for your concern.

212: Don't like gin, I'm afraid. But the rum and vodka drinks will probably get more airing in the coming months.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:07 PM
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Springlike here this weekend, but apparently not for long, so brown liquor season continues. At my local brewpub today, where I was about to order a beer until I saw the bottle of Sazerac rye behind the bar, the bartender got into a snit when I asked for a dash of Peychaud's in addition to the insignificant amount of Angostura she'd put in. Like I'm ever going there again.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:08 PM
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I can heartily recommend wheat whiskey as a mellower, thoughtful rye alternative.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:08 PM
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217c: Then a vodka gimlet it what you need. The first drink I ever learned to mix, some relative's bridal shower when I was like 7. I drank virgin gimlets -- the sophisticated child's Shirley Temple...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:14 PM
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Admittedly, the sunburned people I saw were almost certainly attendees at this event, which got rained on quite severely late in the day.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:14 PM
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Any recommendations, people?

Old Overholt's pretty good.

(Honestly, even the Jim Beam rye is good for Manhattans.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:17 PM
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I will head by Sam's at some point soon, if only to pick up some decent rye whisky as well. Any recommendations, people?

Rittenhouse's $12 bonded rye is surprisingly good.

I had a flight of three ryes at Absinthe this summer for their flight night thing ($9! a steal!) and two of them were upper-end products, but, unfortunately, I can't remember which of them I thought was best. It was the middle one, that's all I remember.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:22 PM
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Is not Spring the time for a proper gimlet?

Don't look at me, man. I've been drinking lillet and caipirinhas.

Plus, actually, we've been on about rye for a long time here.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:23 PM
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Not this summer, this january: Rye flight --- Sazerac Rye, Rittenhouse Rye, Thomas H. Handy Straight Rye.

I think I liked the Sazerac the best.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:26 PM
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We hate that she's having family game nights with my kid.

Think of her as a free babysitter?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:41 PM
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Thanks, but that doesn't really work with my knee-jerk, ridiculous catastrophizing: OMG, they're going to get married and Rory will start calling her mom and she'll probably like her better than me and she'll never want to see me because they have their happy little family and I will be alone, all alone.

Ridiculous, but, you know...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:47 PM
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The solution, clearly, is to start turning Rory against her as soon as possible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:50 PM
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Okay, that's not going to happen. Have a stiff drink, lady.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:50 PM
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229 to 227. You can turn Rory against her if you want to.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:53 PM
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229: Well, I know that intellectually. It's those damned irrational paranoid/panic centers in the brain. If only there were a thread with extensive drink recommendations to help me self-medicate...

228: Or maybe just find a way to turn the gf against UNG...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 10:57 PM
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My dad's third (and final) wife is now a major person in my adult life, we're very close and I value her a lot. I'm glad my mom didn't try to turn me against her, even though my dad had done a lot of shit in that marriage.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 11:52 PM
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obviously, I know no one was seriously suggesting that. Just thought one version of the kid-25-years-later perspective would be interesting.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 11:54 PM
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The anecdote is helpful. But you need to also mention the part where your mom's support of the step-mom relationship ultimately brought you closer to Mom, who has always remained #1 in your heart.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 5:12 AM
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PGD's step mom is younger than he is, which makes the relationship more relaxed/


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 5:14 AM
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Since PGD appears to be online, I'll express in appropriately admiring tones my conviction that 137 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 6:01 AM
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I'm making a tomato pasta sauce with a lamb shank and bone for to flavor it, along with some lardons and rosemary and whatnot.

The fact that a philosophy grad student eats this well is persuasive evidence that there is still too much fat in education budgets.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 6:19 AM
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The fact that a philosophy grad student eats this well is persuasive evidence that there is still too much fat in education budgets graduate students' chief luxury is time.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:20 AM
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Or that w-lfs-n's chief skill is shoplifting.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:25 AM
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Shoplifting whatnot requires exquisite sleights of whathaveyou.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:33 AM
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Shoplifting whatnot requires exquisite sleights of whathaveyou.

...and a fair degree of mental whateverness.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:35 AM
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your mom's support of the step-mom relationship ultimately brought you closer to Mom, who has always remained #1 in your heart.

For better or worse, mothers are irreplaceable. You don't have anything to worry about. Actually, an advantage of a stepparent is that they aren't exactly a parent -- you can relate to them in a more casual and somewhat less emotionally loaded way, like another regular human being. If they're smart enough to let you do that.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:36 AM
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242: and sex can stay on the table, so that's a plus.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:41 AM
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Sifu: Objectively anti-bedroom.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:48 AM
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Hey, I googled this Julie Klausner woman who wrote the article. She's hot, funny, and single!

Come to me, Julie! Forget those foolish rock stars! My cheekbones are warm and fuzzy and round, like a cute squirrel collecting nuts! They won't cut you! Or the cheese!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:52 AM
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244: objectively pro changing table.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:53 AM
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She's hot, funny, and single!

And she's not averse to getting busy on the first date, apparently. Send her a txt msg, PGD! But with proper capitalization and punctuation, OK?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 8:06 AM
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231
Or maybe just find a way to turn the gf against UNG...

I think I saw this movie. Didn't Meryll Streep (sp?) play the gf?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 8:10 AM
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I love Meryll Streep! What movie?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 8:42 AM
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They won't cut you! Or the cheese!

The cheese is guilty of nothing.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 8:47 AM
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For better or worse, mothers are irreplaceable.

Only for a few more years, though. Robotics technology is moving quickly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 8:48 AM
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251: iWire Mommy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 8:53 AM
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NurtureBot 3000.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 8:55 AM
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Only for a few more years, though. Robotics technology is moving quickly.

Yes, but snobbery being what it is, there will always be a demand among upscale consumers for organic, free-range children raised the old fashioned artisanal way, sous la mère.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 9:05 AM
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254: But mass-market free-range children will be defined by the fact that their houses are certified to have been equipped with doors to the outside, not that any of them ever actually go outside.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 9:35 AM
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||

I am dating a guy who told me that as a member of student government he stopped a grad student unionization drive at a Canadian university. He felt that the university was treating them quite well, and that these humanities types were organizing just to put it on their resume.

Should I dump him? (Paging Sir Kraab.) These could be irreconcilable differences?

He is sweet but more into me than I am into him. I've also had to define some words for him.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 9:53 AM
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256: I would say you should rely on your own counsel when deciding whether to dump him. Perhaps he is educable, perhaps you don't really care that much.

Difficult questions for imaginary people to weigh for you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:00 AM
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He is sweet but more into me than I am into him.

This is rarely a good thing, IMHO.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:04 AM
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I'm inclined to say that if something like that makes you want to dump him, it's possible that you want to dump him anyway. That is, if everything else about him was entrancing, you'd be tempted to take his anti-union stance as a darling flaw.

I almost broke up with Max when he supported the French headscarf ban. That was the only fight we ever had, but man, that was really hard for me to swallow.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:05 AM
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258: I disagree, in that there are some situations when someone's attentions toward you are so deeply moving or flattering that you begin to adore them back. But yeah, very rare. I've almost always been the pursuer in every relationship, and it kind of freaks me out not to be. The current gentleman, for instance---it seriously would never have occurred to me to pursue him had he not made his intentions very clear. I am unmoored, not having to do a lot of explicit pawing and fawning.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:09 AM
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I'm with AWB. You sound distinctly unenthusiastic about the guy.

At this point, you should probably be paying more attention to your instincts/emotions than the nuances of his politics.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:11 AM
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Clearly BG should DTMFA, not least because the dude has obviously been distracting her from commenting on unfogged. The only question is whether she should cite his antiunion activities as the reason for dumping him. It could go both ways: either he becomes a passionate advocate for organized labor in an attempt to win her back, or he rationalizes his loss by developing a hatred of liberals and unions. The cost benefit analysis probably comes down to whether he has the right to vote in US elections.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:14 AM
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If it weren't BG, I'd be willing to let "he's an awesome lay" make anti-unionism slide, but she has spoken of her interest in something more emotionally serious, I believe, and sharing values on that level should be a priority.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:17 AM
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1. The grad union thing: well, it was at a Canadian university, which at least suggests that it's operating under a different set of circumstances than American universities (for one thing, obviously all the grad students had health care). Why not give him the benefit of the doubt, assume that he knows more about that specific situation than you do, and at least ask him to explain?

2. Dumping someone over something like that: silly, especially without a *much* greater sense that their politics and philosophy of life are truly objectionable.

3. Sweet, but more into you than you are him: well, my mom's advice was always to marry a man who loves you more than you do him. That said, it depends on whether you mean "I'm really not that interested in him," in which case, yes, break up with him, or whether you mean "I like him but he seems to *really* like me and that freaks me out because I have huge issues about being unworthy of love," in which case no, don't break up with him (and get therapy), or if it means something completely different.

4. Had to define words for him: a ridiculous and objectionable reason to dislike someone. (Unless their reaction to your doing so is to get all pissy and assholish, in which case it's the pissiness, not the defining, that's the problem.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:17 AM
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I've almost always been the pursuer in every relationship, and it kind of freaks me out not to be.

Right! I find it incredibly exciting to be pursued by a guy who's crazy into me -- for like five minutes. Then it freaks me the fuck out.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:17 AM
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I wasn't seriously going to dump him based on the counsel of my imaginary friends.

I don't exactly know what my feelings are. He can't vote anyway (not a U.S. citizen and can't vote in Canadian elections unless he promises that he'll return to Canada within 7 years).

I do like spending time with him, so I'm just letting it be for now. I did make sure that he disliked Bush though. No matter how good looking a guy was I couldn't go out with a Bush supporter in 2008.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:18 AM
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Plus, it's not like he merely made fun of unions or expressed a lack of interest in them; he blocked unionization. If Max had actually gone out and done something to support the headscarf ban, outside of mildly talking positively about it, I'd have left his sorry ass that second.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:18 AM
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Okay, I kinda wish I'd read B's #3 before making that last comment...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:19 AM
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267 not to 264, which has wisdom in it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:19 AM
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1. The grad union thing: it would depend on a lot of the details, but if it bothers you, it bothers you. And the fact that it bothers you so much indicates at least that you're probably not won over by his other qualities.
2. Dumping someone over something like that: we're not talking the end of a marriage, right, just the end of a month-long relationship? Pretty much any reason clears the 'silly' bar.
3. Sweet, but more into you than you are into him: IME, this tends to sort itself out with time.
4. Had to define words for him: not ridiculous or objectionable because we're talking about personal preferences in a young relationship, and the bar for a breakup reason is quite low at this stage.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:22 AM
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Hey, I'm a control freak too. I'm just saying.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:23 AM
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I mean student government already managed health insurance for the students to cover prescription drugs and vision.

He has occasionally said that the chemists at Me/rck (the privately held German company) are less productive and flexible than their U.S. counterparts because of their union work rules. He's also a little bit stubborn.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:24 AM
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270: Well, yes, of *course* you can dump someone in the early days for any reason whatsoever. All I'm saying is that things like "I have to define words for him" *really* mean, "meh, I don't like him that much." If they really mean "I won't date someone who needs words defined," then that suggests something that I find objectionable about the character of the person saying it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:26 AM
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the chemists at Me/rck (the privately held German company) are less productive and flexible than their U.S. counterparts because of their union work rules

That may be true, right?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:27 AM
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If they really mean "I won't date someone who needs words defined," then that suggests something that I find objectionable about the character of the person saying it.

It seems like we had a thread on this thought once...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:28 AM
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The fact that a philosophy grad student eats this well is persuasive evidence that there is still too much fat in education budgets.

The "shank" was a miserably small scrap leftover from the leg I had a while ago, as were the bones. Persuasive evidence that I know how to stretch a buck!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:29 AM
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He felt that the university was treating them quite well, and that these humanities types were organizing just to put it on their resume.

Maybe he can get away with the having that first part as a reason, but the second part is just asinine. What humanities grad student is going to get ahead by having that on a c.v.? 'Oh, we were undecided between those two medievalists, so we went with the one who had organized a grad student union.'


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:29 AM
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277: they were candidates in the Drama department, and to a one writing on Clifford Odets.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:31 AM
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277: There were a number around here who were using it explicitly to get a job outside of the academy, so maybe that's what he meant.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:33 AM
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then that suggests something that I find objectionable about the character of the person saying it.

Quite right, too. It was more that he asked me not to use big words, and they weren't particularly big ones anyway. It will be hard for me not to correct him, and I'm sure that my correcting him could be super annoying.

I don't want to drag his name through the internet. He does occasionally encourage me to smile, and I finally told him that he'd make me angry if he kept up with that, so he dropped it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:33 AM
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He has occasionally said that the chemists at Me/rck (the privately held German company) are less productive and flexible than their U.S. counterparts because of their union work rules.

Less flexible, I believe without reservation. Less productive, I doubt. This is the difference between the managerial view of unionization (it stops me from doing things I would prefer to do and makes me do things I would prefer not to do, therefore it is bad) and the (leftish) politico-economic view (it forces management to take the high road to profitability, employing the most productive technology and serving the highest value-added markets). Based on output per hour of labor, Germany overtook the U.S. a long time ago. A lot of that is due to the cost pressure of union wages and statutory social benefits, which militate against employing people for very low value-added tasks.

Now, you can argue about the distributional impact of such a society with respect to the pressure employment opportunities for entry level and low skill labor, but it is a fallacy to conclude that it reduces productivity in the aggregate. As long as Merck is still employing people in Germany, I am going to surmise that the marginal cost of employing them is less than their marginal product.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:34 AM
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264 is completely sensible start to finish -- wow.

All the stuff here from women who don't like it when men like them too much is sort of disturbing. Perhaps we should bring an ex-nice guy PUA in to comment.

Personally, I would also prefer to be the one who loves more, because loving is a wonderful feeling, even better than being loved (which is saying something). But a relationship where the imbalance is significant strikes me as very uncomfortable, risky, to be avoided, etc.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:34 AM
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He does occasionally encourage me to smile

Ew.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:34 AM
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275: We did. But surely repeating ourselves ad nauseum is part of what's keeping this blog alive.

277: I don't know that having done union stuff in grad school is such a resume-killer as you seem to be suggesting: it certainly implies that someone is going to be good at the "service" portion of the job, which depending on the department (and after all, the faculty may be unionized) might be a big plus.

I do think that the "just to put it on their resumes" thing is flip and foolish, sure. But without more understanding of where the person's coming from (remember the entire thread accusing Slol of being The Man because he allowed as to how faculty unions can be really irritating?), I don't think it necessarily means that someone is socially unacceptable.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:34 AM
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Without knowing the details, I'd say that "He felt that the university was treating them quite well" indicates a certain attitude toward/understanding of labor issues that I find odious and dumpworthy. Also, "I've also had to define some words for him" was important enough to mention, and perhaps is a proxy for a more general sense of intellectual incompatibility? I vote dump.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:35 AM
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281: great comment, nail on the head. Never seen such a pithy summary of the case.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:35 AM
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He does occasionally encourage me to smile

Okay, dump him because of this.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:36 AM
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It was more that he asked me not to use big words, and they weren't particularly big ones anyway.

Ugh. I dated a guy like this for a while and it was really frustrating. I talk my normal way in front of my (not particularly genius) undergraduates and they don't bat an eye, so it weirds me out when a man my age or older, with a fucking Masters degree, shows less intellectual flexibility and confidence than a mediocre freshman college student. I realize the relationships aren't parallel, since students are there to learn and boyfriends aren't, but that paranoia about dating a woman who might accidentally say a word you don't know does not reflect well on your character.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:39 AM
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277 and 279: To be fair, I don't think that he was talking about language or philosophy people. Mostly sociologists--who aren't really humanities people, but who are less sciencey than many social scientists.

I think that his Dad likes Stephen Harper which he doesn't understand since he doesn't think of his Dad as all that conservative.

I'm not sure, but I think that he almost objected to HRC for reasons that B would find objectionable. He may be educable.

Re commenting:

I was really tempted to comment from his place, but I didn't want him to find this website and didn't want to clear the cache in his browser. I may have to bring my laptop over next time.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:40 AM
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All the stuff here from women who don't like it when men like them too much is sort of disturbing.

There is, it turns out, a fine line between being loved too much, and being the object of focus of a deranged sociopath who worships the glorified image of you he has created and will turn on you in a flash the minute anything should disturb the glorified image created.

Erm, I mean, like, so I hear....


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:40 AM
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Never seen such a pithy summary of the case.

You realize I'm just saying that to suck up to Sir Kraab, right?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:41 AM
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Based on voluminous data, I vote marry him.


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:43 AM
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290 gets it exactly right. I'm arrogant enough to feel I deserve kind attention, but when it's given too quickly and too freely, I start to wonder what image he must have of me in his head, and whether it will freak him out when he discovers I don't really fit his image.

One of the neat things about being overweight is that I don't tend to suffer the "love at first sight" bullshit too often, but when I do, I can generally assume they have some kind of fatty fetish. Yes, that sounds awful, but it is also borne out by experience. I rarely wish to be more conventionally attractive than I am.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:44 AM
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All the stuff here from women who don't like it when men like them too much is sort of disturbing.

The romantic part of the nineteenth century ended some time ago. Today if you love someone who doesn't love you, you're not the protagonist in a tragedy, enjoying pity and fascination in overflowing measures; you're just a loser, like someone who bought a house with a mortgage he couldn't afford.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:44 AM
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eh, play it out. You will know soon enough if the big words and other issues are too problematic.

You should dump him just as you start to think "what a dumbass?!?!?!"


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:47 AM
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a fine line between being loved too much, and being the object of focus of a deranged sociopath who worships the glorified image of you he has created and will turn on you in a flash the minute anything should disturb the glorified image created.

It is a fine line. I think all love involves a certain element of worshipping the glorified image of another. As the generally more romantic sex, men have a better and more subtle understanding of this than women. The fact that the glorified image is false and incomplete is why there is such a thin line between love and hate. Deranged people are unusually quick to fall into the hatred that comes with disappointed love.

On the other hand, unusually modest people sometimes cannot see the ways in which they are, in fact, worthy of being glorified and idealized, and find the process frightening. Self-denigration can also be irrational.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:49 AM
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He does like the fact that I'm smart. All of his education is scientific, so I'm going to have to teach him a few things. He can teach me about chemistry, if he wants to.

I do sort of wonder whether he just sees me as a nice, pretty girl. I did tell him that I can be quite critical, but he doesn't really believe me. He does appreciate my sarcasm.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:49 AM
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He may be educable.

Well, keep in mind that my own take on this kind of thing is coming from a woman who married an anti-abortion strict Catholic ROTC dude and turned him into a pro-choice open-marriage athiest.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:50 AM
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As the generally more romantic sex, men have a better and more subtle understanding of this than women.

OK, I'll stand by the first half of this sentence, but the second half degenerated into pure trolling.

Obama sux!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:50 AM
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One of the neat things about being overweight is that I don't tend to suffer the "love at first sight" bullshit too often, but when I do, I can generally assume they have some kind of fatty fetish.

I am sorry, but that made me laugh out loud. When we met you, that wasnt our impression of you (fatty).

Of course, I am used to looking in the mirror and seeing a certain amount of weight.

When discussing why I weigh so much more than he does, another lawyer in the office recently said "Will, you just have an entirely different build than I do." I laughed.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:51 AM
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I did tell him that I can be quite critical, but he doesn't really believe me.

Well bless your fiesty little heart.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:51 AM
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On the other hand, unusually modest people sometimes cannot see the ways in which they are, in fact, worthy of being glorified and idealized, and find the process frightening. Self-denigration can also be irrational.

This holds some truth, too.

I, however, wish never to be glorified or idealized no matter how truly deserving I may be. It's overwhelming, because a big part of the idealization seems to carry with it, "And if you fuck up, I'm not going to love you anymore."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:54 AM
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Ditto to AWB's 288. There is a huge difference between using big words as a power trip and using them because they're a natural part of your vocabulary, and you trust that the other person will understand from context and/or feel comfortable enough to ask. I find it very hard to imagine that BG falls into the former category.

And KR's 281 is really interesting.


Posted by: Wit | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:56 AM
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Hm, I seem to have lost a T.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:56 AM
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Of course, I am used to looking in the mirror and seeing a certain amount of weight.

Oh, me too, and I've been this same size for 16 years, so I'm used to this as normal. I guess what I mean is that I dislike being objectified physically. It doesn't happen a lot to me, so when it does, it seems gross, no matter what it springs from. One guy I dated was very into my genetic material (light eyes and hair, good health, good brain, etc.) and that sort of objectification weirded me out, too.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:56 AM
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Well, keep in mind that my own take on this kind of thing is coming from a woman who married an anti-abortion strict Catholic ROTC dude and turned him into a pro-choice open-marriage athiest.

B stands for "bodhisattva."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:56 AM
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I, however, wish never to be glorified or idealized no matter how truly deserving I may be. It's overwhelming, because a big part of the idealization seems to carry with it, "And if you fuck up, I'm not going to love you anymore."

In my humble opinion, it is important to set expectations very low early in a relationship.

Like a runner or swimmer, nobody likes a rabbit. Start low, build from there. Always finish strong.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:57 AM
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"And if you fuck up, I'm not going to love you anymore." it will be OK, because I will continue to see the things I value and idealize in you as defining who you really are."

This is of course precisely why love takes so much criticism in our overly pragmatic era for getting people to overlook flaws in others.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:58 AM
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Will's trolling for business! Don't listen to him!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:59 AM
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I should mention that BR's ex-husband (gay) really set the bar very low for me.

Br: "Oh??? You like to have sex with women????? And you are not interested in other men's penises?"

She was concerned when I ordered a seabreeze.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 10:59 AM
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310: Won't BR be concerned when she sees that jpeg you sent to Ben?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:02 AM
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Just remember, relationships are like lottery tickets. No matter how carefully you choose your lottery ticket, your odds are the same. You might as well just shut your eyes and grab. And the house (Will) takes 40%.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:04 AM
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Ben and I are just friends. I was just demonstrating poses that I thought Witt and Di might enjoy.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:05 AM
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"And if you fuck up, I'm not going to love you anymore." it will be OK, because I will continue to see the things I value and idealize in you as defining who you really are."

Eh, I'm coming at this more from the perspective of "When you claim to be struggling, I will dismiss it entirely because struggle is incompatible with the idealized, I have of you and should you try to share with me your hopes and dreams and desires, if they conflict with the image, I will conclude that you are simply wrong."

It is one thing to be deeply, even worshipfully loved. It is another entirely to see an image deeply and worshipfully loved while you yourself remain invisible and unseen.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:05 AM
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I, however, wish never to be glorified or idealized

Indeed. Admired appropriately for my many stellar qualities, fine. Glorified or idealized, um, no thank you. I prefer to date people who want to be dating *me*, not some ur-woman concept they've got going.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:05 AM
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Will's trolling for business!

It doesnt really matter how often you and Emerson try to warn them.

They will be mine. Oh yes, my pretty, they will be mine.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:06 AM
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You might as well just shut your eyes and grab.

Or dim the lights and grab. Whatever you're more comfortable with.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:07 AM
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It is another entirely to see an image deeply and worshipfully loved while you yourself remain invisible and unseen.

This seems like a good time to ask you to bare yourself to me. ("for me."??)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:08 AM
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The romantic part of the nineteenth century ended some time ago. Today if you love someone who doesn't love you

In fairness to the nineteenth century, sometimes the problem was the other way around.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:08 AM
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B stands for "bodhisattva."

Hey, takes a diety to know one.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:08 AM
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The words that I had to explain to him were pedantic, (I had said that I was just being pedantic), solipsistic and aloof. I'm sort of embarrassed on his behalf about his not knowing aloof. I didn't want to write that here, because I figured that you all would be pretty harsh. I don't really blame him for not being comfortable with solipsistic, but I totally expected him to know what aloof meant.

Anyway, I'm not dumping him yet.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:09 AM
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318: I worry that it would be too much for you.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:09 AM
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Or perhaps the divorce lawyer is like the pawn shop who buys broken dreams at 5%.

Being on the winning side of the romance and marriage business sounds pretty good. Yet most choose the losing side, because of the tiny possibility of a big payoff.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:12 AM
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He can teach me about chemistry, if he wants to

Is the sunshine so bright today that no one notices the low-hanging fruit in the shadow of the tree?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:16 AM
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I worry that it would be too much for you.

You are confusing your men. Ben is the one who thinks you are too heavy, not me.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:16 AM
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I don't really blame him for not being comfortable with solipsistic, but I totally expected him to know what aloof meant.

I think you have nailed where the line should be. I agree with you.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:18 AM
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324: I think that's so low, KR, that people figured that it would fall to the ground on its own without assistance.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:19 AM
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321: Maybe he just thought you were calling someone a loof. Which might be sort of like a mook.
What's a loof?
You can't call me a loof!
I can't?
No...
I'll give you loof!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:23 AM
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328: a loof, ah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:28 AM
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It's difficult to be in a relationship when one loofs so much more than the other.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:28 AM
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Loof is a many splendoured thing. I'd have thought pedantic fell on dodgy side of the fence as well, but maybe there are places where the concept doesn't inform every conversation.

I'd be more worried about the union thing. The right to organise is a pretty basic human right, won in blood, even if you disagree with some unions some of the time.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:29 AM
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You are confusing your men. Ben is the one who thinks you are too heavy, not me.

He was talking about my intellectual gravitas, will.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:29 AM
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Bill O'Reilly was big on the loofs, except he called them falafals.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:29 AM
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Admired appropriately for my many stellar qualities, fine. Glorified or idealized, um, no thank you. I prefer to date people who want to be dating *me*, not some ur-woman concept they've got going.

There is no *you*, B. There are only the various fictions that you and other people choose to weave around the chaotic stream of perceptions and responses that emerge from your brain. If you were truly the Bodhisattva, you would know this.

You can take a firm stand that only your ego-illusion is allowed to idealize you, that other peoples' ego-illusions can't join in the fun, but that seems fear-driven to me. It may be true that your ego is somewhat less likely to exploit or harm you, but only somewhat. Sometimes the misplaced faith that other people have in us can save us.

On the ever-popular gender generalizations tip, I once heard that men were romantic people pretending to be practical, women were practical people pretending to be romantic. It's true that there's a certain practicality in wanting to get straight to disillusioned realism as a basis for relationship, since at least some forms of it are inevitable with time.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:33 AM
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If a woman didn't know the word "transept," I'd have to break up with her. Unless she were really, really cute.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:33 AM
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I'd have thought pedantic fell on dodgy side of the fence as well

I did too, actually. The definition in the Oxford dictionary of Canadian English was not a very good one.

He does have access to his brother's university login which he uses to watch CBC programming that the CBC won't let outside of Canada. I bet that they have access to the OED online.

Speaking of unions, OFE, how is the teacher's/other civil service unions strike going?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:35 AM
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335: What if, during the break-up, she calls you a nave?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:40 AM
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You can take a firm stand that only your ego-illusion is allowed to idealize you, that other peoples' ego-illusions can't join in the fun, but that seems fear-driven to me.

Nonsense. There is a huge difference between claiming that my image of me is the one and only objective truth and being profoundly averse to a situation where my version of me is treated as irrelevant. Words like "agency" and "object" belong in this discussion.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:41 AM
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Damnit. I wrote a perfectly genius response and then my wireless connection crashed. Fucking internet. This sub-par response will have to do.

281 is dead on, but it would be a revelation to the great majority of the U.S. populace, because their exposure to unions is bullshit stories of Teamster goons and lazy public workers and the tendency is to believe that unions are greedy and self-interested and/or old-fashioned.

I don't know if one can grow up in Canada ignorant of the true role of unions. Has the BF been exposed to 281's kind of analysis and rejected it? How does he understand power relations in other contexts? Is his take on unions based on ignorance or a different world view?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:41 AM
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337: Leave it to eb to come up with that one.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:41 AM
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how is the teacher's/other civil service unions strike going?

It was pretty solid, thanks, but it was only a one day stoppage. According to the Groan 6 out of 7 teaches supported it in principle, but a lower number than that actually came out, because there are 3 unions and only one of them (the biggest) was taking action. About 50% of schools closed.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:42 AM
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What if, during the break-up, she calls you a nave?

Tell her she's an apsehole.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:43 AM
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PGD gets it exactly right.

I'm arrogant enough to feel I deserve kind attention, but when it's given too quickly and too freely, I start to wonder what image he must have of me in his head, and whether it will freak him out when he discovers I don't really fit his image.

All attraction, in the absence of detailed knowledge about the person, is either purely sexual or based on idealized images of the other person. And then in the second case, the fate of the relationship depends on which parts of the idealized images you live up to, and which parts you don't, and whether the parts you live up to are the highest priorities.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:45 AM
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Let's not pyx nits here, folks.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:45 AM
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291: Well done.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:45 AM
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334: Thank you for your attempt to explain the truth to me, PGD.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:46 AM
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281 is dead on, but it would be a revelation to the great majority of the U.S. populace, because their exposure to unions is bullshit stories of Teamster goons and lazy public workers and the tendency is to believe that unions are greedy and self-interested and/or old-fashioned.

Agreed.

Virginia is a right to work state. However, most people are shocked to discover that their employer can terminate them, without any reason whatsoever, and not pay any severance.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:47 AM
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I haven't called him BF yet, though we did have a mini-talk.

I may have to print this stuff out to repeat. I did get him to acknowledge that people at Wal-Mart could really benefit from having unions.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:48 AM
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Is there any reason why the term "right to work" has become the politically neutral, universally used synonym for "right to fire without cause", and antonym for "right to unionize"?

I mean, it seems like framing might exist.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:49 AM
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a situation where my version of me is treated as irrelevant

That's what I mean by fear-driven though, you're jumping to a worst case scenario. Why do you assume that idealizing you is incompatible with understanding your version of you, with space for both partners agency and subjectivity within the relationship?

Everybody is a mix of ideal and real, both to ourselves and to others. Other peoples idealizations become part of us -- this is most notable in the case of our parents.

I also have sort of a quarrel with the notions like objectification, etc. as I think they are inadequate to the way subjectivity is constituted and give a false primacy to the individual over the social. I understand that in the past they have done liberatory work in preventing exploitation, but in an overly individualist society maybe they block understanding. And in our Unfogged context, can't we just generously assume that relationships are not going to be nastily exploitative?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:50 AM
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Employers have more money and are better organized. They market much better than employees.

Most people think employees have far more rights than they do.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:50 AM
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Why do you assume that idealizing you is incompatible with understanding your version of you, with space for both partners agency and subjectivity within the relationship?

Experience.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:51 AM
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"right to work" originated in opposition to the closed shop, didn't it?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:52 AM
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I have always said that the reason why philosophers are so disliked on university campuses is that we are brighter than anyone else and have trouble concealing the fact.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:54 AM
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"right to work" originated in opposition to the closed shop, didn't it?

Yes.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:54 AM
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Just that term alone means that union organizers have to do about six months of spadework before they become even able to communicate with the people they are trying to organize.

"Well you know, Virginia is a right-to-work state, so workers there have no rights."
"What?"
"Right to work means you do not have any rights when you are at work."
"What?"
"I know it's confusing, but the media started using these words, so I have to use them too."
"So is it possible for me to join a union or not?"
"Well, in theory yes, because the law forbids your boss from firing you for trying to unionize, but in reality no, because those laws are not enforced. So we will have to do everything in secret, but be able to say later on that we were not doing it in secret."
"Sounds impossible to me."


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:55 AM
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There's a lot of room between "nastily exploitive" and "irritating."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:56 AM
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298: coming from a woman who married an anti-abortion strict Catholic ROTC dude and turned him into a pro-choice open-marriage athiest.

Results not typical.

My non-labor-or-vocabulary-specific view is that you shouldn't commit to the person you hope someone will eventually be if you can't commit to the person they are now. (The same does not necessarily apply to casual dating.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:56 AM
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Everybody, please avoid saying that you worship Di. It creeps her out. If you do worship Di, please do it out of sight.

The Management


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:59 AM
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you shouldn't commit to the person you hope someone will eventually be if you can't commit to the person they are now.

I agree, and that's not what I'm advocating. I'm advocating assessing people on their character rather than their beliefs, since the latter are changable.

Of course now PGD's going to come along to tell me that there's no such thing as character.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:59 AM
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"See, in theory 'right to work' means you have the right to work somewhere even if you don't belong to the union that other employees belong to."
"Sounds fair to me."
"But (twenty-minute explanation), and so you see, that inevitably means that since they want to hire non-union workers, and set them apart from the unionized workers, it means that being non-union is in everyone's short-term interest, so the union dies off, and then everyone is worse off."
"So, everything you do is doomed to failure?
"Well, in this country, yes."


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:59 AM
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Is there any reason why the term "right to work" has become the politically neutral, universally used synonym for "right to fire without cause", and antonym for "right to unionize"?

The Right is really, really good at this shit.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 11:59 AM
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352: hah. You're right, I can't argue, that's the ultimate court of appeal.

For anyone who got their interest piqued by 281, any wants to get into the very rich and deep economics literature behind it, check out "What Do Unions Do: A Twenty Year Perspective", by James Bennett and Bruce Kaufman. It's a recent retrospective look at Richard Freeman's seminal book from the 1980s, "What Do Unions Do", which comprehensively laid out a lot of this stuff but is now a bit dated.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:00 PM
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354: Wrong thread, I think.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:01 PM
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Right. Exactly, Sir Kraab.

It's not like we're getting married or anything. He clearly sees this as going at whatever pace I want to take it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:02 PM
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||

Big news: Disenfranchisement of certain demographic groups is constitutional!

|>


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:02 PM
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If you do worship Di, please do it out of sight.

Does the secret Di worshiping cult get to meet in catacombs? Cuz that would be cool. Also we need a better name, so as not to be confused with the mass market Di worship focused on a certain former princess.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:06 PM
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Well, it's not like they *said* they're doing it because they hate black people. Therefore it would be wrong to assume that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:06 PM
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BG, maybe you should just keep your ears open. Besides being alert for negative political tendencies, you might keep an eye out for careerism and opportunism. As a student-government union buster, he may be a willing tool.

I'd dump the guy in a minute, but you're not me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:06 PM
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Of course now PGD's going to come along to tell me that there's no such thing as character.

No, character exists. It's the sum of all the defense mechanisms and projections we evolve to conceal our own nonentity from ourselves sufficiently to get through the idea.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:07 PM
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They don't hate black people, or poor people, or old people. They just think those people shouldn't be trusted with too much of a say in elections.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:08 PM
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whoops sufficiently to get through the day , not the idea.

That typo made the post seem even more vague, mystical, and pretentious than it already was.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:10 PM
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IT IS NOT, I apprehend, a healthy kind of mental occupation, to devote ourselves too exclusively to the study of individual men and women. If the person under examination be one's self, the result is pretty certain to be diseased action of the heart, almost before we can snatch a second glance. Or, if we take the freedom to put a friend under our microscope, we thereby insulate him from many of his true relations, magnify his peculiarities, inevitably tear him into parts, and, of course, patch him very clumsily together again. What wonder, then, should we be frightened by the aspect of a monster, which, after all--though we can point to every feature of his deformity in the real personage--may be said to have been created mainly by ourselves!


Posted by: miles coverdale | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:10 PM
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They just think those people shouldn't be trusted with too much of a say in elections.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:13 PM
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Speaking of chemists, biotech has been an increasingly shitty field for chemists the last few years. Some of the layoffs in 2007.

1. Pfizer - 10,000 jobs
2. AstraZeneca - 7,600 jobs
3. Bayer - 6,100 jobs
4. Johnson & Johnson - 5,000 jobs
5. GlaxoSmithKline - 5,000 jobs*
6. Bristol-Myers Squibb - 4,800 jobs*
7. Novartis - 3,750 jobs*
8. Amgen - 2,600 jobs

Also see articles like here , or google around on Pfizer's closure of the Ann Arbor facility, among others.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:13 PM
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No, they aren't actually taking away those people's right to vote. Just making it harder for them than for other people.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:13 PM
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Re 366. It certainly looks like a solution in search of a problem. How much supposed voter turnout is reduced by requiring a photo ID? It doesn't seem like a huge burden. One needs a photo ID to do just about anything anymore.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:14 PM
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they aren't actually taking away those people's right to vote.

Unless you think of convicted felons as people, sure.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:14 PM
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That would be "thirty years ago. "


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:15 PM
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367. Great is Diana of the Ephesians! Her temple was one of the Seven Wonders of the World until some prat burned it down because he wanted to see his name in the papers.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:15 PM
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Felons already didn't have the right to vote.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:16 PM
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381: Rights are enshrined by laws.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:18 PM
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Unless you think of convicted felons as people, sure.

That's not relevant to this Indiana law.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:18 PM
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OFE is the High Priest of the Tin Islands. The cult of Di grows!


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:18 PM
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Felons already didn't have the right to vote, so this law didn't take it away from them.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:19 PM
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383: I didn't say it was. I was making a more general statement about racism and voting rights. You see.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:19 PM
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The right to vote has never, in this country, been a universal right.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:19 PM
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That's what I mean by fear-driven though, you're jumping to a worst case scenario.

Maybe you were lucky enough to have experienced unconditional love as a child, but a hell of a lot of us weren't. Worrying that love will be withheld when imperfections are revealed is extremely rational.

In my head, I have to be useful to people in one way or another for them to even like me, never mind love me. It's not about abstract notions of idealization or agency or objectivity vs. subjectivity, it's about lived experience. Hell yeah, it's fear driven.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:20 PM
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385 see 386.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:20 PM
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TLL, not everyone is you.

The advocates of stricter rules to prevent voter fraud have not been required to show that there's an actual voter fraud problem. When put on the spot they mutter and mumble, because there isn't one.

Voter discouragement is a primary Republican tactic. It's done in an organized way at the national level. It's always keyed to Democratic voters.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:21 PM
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373 is wonderful. Thanks.

PGD is, I assume, (lightly) trolling with these gender generalizations. "Men are romantics pretending to be practical, women are" &c. indeed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:21 PM
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377: Does it matter how much it's reduced if it reduces a disproportionate amount of (say) poor and urban voters?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:22 PM
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How much supposed voter turnout is reduced by requiring a photo ID? It doesn't seem like a huge burden. One needs a photo ID to do just about anything anymore.

One might, however, walk down to the voting booth without one's wallet. Or be so unlucky as to lose one's drivers license shortly before election day. Or, heavens to betsy, not drive. Or have lost one's social security card and/or birth certificate, and therefore find it difficult to acquire said photo id.

It doesn't seem like a huge burden to us, the car-owning middle class, no.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:24 PM
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390. While not denying that high voter turnout tends to favor Democrats I fail to see how requiring an ID keeps people at home. Voter registration is more burdensome, as a practical matter.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:25 PM
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394: Then why do Republicans keep passing these bills, if they have no effect on anything?


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:26 PM
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How much supposed voter turnout is reduced by requiring a photo ID?

What's the difference how big the effect is? There's no denying it exists. And of course it skews in entirely predictable ways. The 7th Circuit admitted there would be an effect, and that it would burden Democrats more than Republicans.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:27 PM
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377:

A recent national survey sponsored by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law reveals that millions of American citizens do not have readily available documentary proof of citizenship. Many more primarily women do not have proof of citizenship with their current name. The survey also showed that millions of American citizens do not have government-issued photo identification, such as a drivers license or passport. Finally, the survey demonstrated that certain groups primarily poor, elderly, and minority citizens are less likely to possess these forms of documentation than the general population.

I'm sure other data is cited in the dissent.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:27 PM
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Voter registration is more burdensome, as a practical matter.

This, too, is a problem. Attempts to make voter registration less burdensome have been blocked by the same folks.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:27 PM
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388: that's totally true, and I wasn't meaning to belittle it. Just explore a different perspective.

PGD is, I assume, (lightly) trolling with these gender generalizations. "Men are romantics pretending to be practical, women are" &c. indeed.

Well, I'm usually lightly trolling, so yeah. But that particular generalization can be rendered palatable by noticing that the demands of the male gender role (and the role of rationality claims in the sorts of power men often hold) requires that romantic fantasies be cloaked in practical justifications. Contrawise, women's immediate practical needs have often been tangled up in relationships, and since at least the 19th century relationships have required romantic justification just as public power required rationalist justification.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:29 PM
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I fail to see how requiring an ID keeps people at home.

Oh, I guess I spoke too soon, there is denying it exists. It keeps them home because there are in fact (poor) people out there who do not have ID. There are numbers in the materials from the case when it was in the 7th Circuit, I'll try to dig them up.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:29 PM
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The 7th Circuit admitted there would be an effect, and that it would burden Democrats more than Republicans.

I admire efforts to defer to the legislature, and therefore the voters, most of the time. But it seems like saying "Well, if Republican voters are really okay with their Republican legislators giving more power to Republican voters, I guess we can't stand in their way" is not in what we like to think of as the spirit of the Constitution.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:30 PM
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He can teach me about chemistry, if he wants to

Is the sunshine so bright today that no one notices the low-hanging fruit in the shadow of the tree?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:30 PM
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Worrying that love will be withheld when imperfections are revealed is extremely rational.

Rational, and destructive, alas.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:30 PM
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It's a personal failure, TLL. Seriously. This is our issue, not yours. You have no motive for caring, because it's not your voters who will be discouraged and for that reason you have no curiosity about the topic.

Methods of this type were used to disallow votes from reservation Indians in Minnesota, and similar attempts were made in South Dakota. Many did not have drivers licenses, and their tribal ID was not accepted. There are lots of similar stories, but you wouldn't have heard about them.

It hasn't been proven, but there are a lot of reasons to believe that Federal DA Heffelfinger, a Republican, was pressured out of office and replaced by a megalomaniacal Republican ideologue because he refused to involve himself in voter discouragement efforts.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:31 PM
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KR: A double post, separated by 76 minutes?


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:33 PM
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I was wandering around for a couple of years without any valid form of photo id. I finally got all up-to-date, but it took FOREVER and cost a lot of money.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:34 PM
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While I am sympathetic to the plight of those for whom the proof of citizenship would be a burden, the last thing this country needs is large influx of low information voters who can't be bothered with these basics. I would guess this makes me "elitist" to which I plead guilty.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:34 PM
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It certainly looks like a solution in search of a problem.

No indeed. The problem is: Too many Democrats vote. Even Stevens acknowledged that aspect in his majority opinion, but he said it's okay.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:35 PM
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404 is an admirably "polite" put down. Nice job, John.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:35 PM
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401 is exactly right, and a tremendous problem.

I'm sure other data is cited in the dissent.

According the Souter's dissent, the district court came up with a figure of 43,000 voting-age Indiana citizens w/o the required ID.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:35 PM
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the last thing this country needs is large influx of low information voters

ZOMG LOLZ


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:37 PM
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407: This causes me to wonder if the TLL stance is on literacy tests is similarly ahistorical.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:37 PM
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the last thing this country needs is large influx of low information voters who can't be bothered with these basics

FWIW, my boyfriend, who is working on the Obama campaign and is a total political junkie, didn't have a valid photo identification for years and years.

But like John said, it's not your issue, so feel free to stereotype away in ignorance.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:39 PM
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I haven't seen my social security card in years. But I know my number and have a passport which I intend to keep renewing as needed, so I'm hoping I don't have to worry about it.

I thought part of the difficulty with these voter ID law challenges is procedural: the court wants to see some specific person or persons who were denied a chance to vote, and that's not going to happen until after the next election. Meanwhile, you don't need evidence of in-person election day fraud to pass a law purporting to prevent it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:39 PM
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Why does not knowing about how other Americans live not count as being a "low information voter"?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:40 PM
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414: You ignorant lazy bastard, you don't deserve to vote.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:41 PM
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407: There's no influx, TLL. These people normally vote.

And you're not sympathetic to anyone's plight -- you're a nasty piece of work. This country has been moving away from poll taxes, literacy tests, and property requirements toward universal adult suffrage during most of its history, and most of us think that's a good thing. George Will doesn't and you don't, but there's not a lot to talk about.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:42 PM
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Get a new SS card while your passport is still valid, eb. Then put it somewhere really, really safe.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:43 PM
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413: How the hell? I can't even drive, but I still need a state ID for cigarettes, alcohol, getting on planes, sometimes when stores check my credit card...

Seriously, how does any middle-class adult get by without one for more than a few weeks?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:46 PM
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The Washington Post has a good article on North Carolina voter registration. Here's a high information voter:

For this election, though, he decided he had no choice but to vote. A lifelong Republican, he planned to switch his party affiliation so he could vote in the Democratic primary. That Hillary Clinton wasn't great, he said, but she was just as good as presumptive GOP nominee John McCain and a heck of a lot better than that other guy, "you know, uh, Embowa. He'd take this country right down the tubes."

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:49 PM
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414: NY started making folks pony up with their Soc. Sec. cards when they got new drivers' licenses. I hadn't seen mine since 7th grade and had to get a new one, which involved waiting in annoying lines in annoying government buildings. I'd block off some time for getting another one before I needed it, if I were you.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:50 PM
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412. Poll tax, anyone? I will also admit to being disgruntled at having the ballot printed in languages other than English, but US citizens can certainly be more comfortable in other languages. And i have cast provisional ballots on two occasions, because I was at the wrong polling station. Not intimidating, but then again I am not easily intimidated by blue haired old ladies.

For the record, this "too clever by half" politicing like voter turnout is both anti democratic as well as anti Democtatic. I have a problem with the former if not the latter.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:50 PM
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I didn't fly for a while, and I live in NY where nobody's going to card you---well, except for weird old men carding you for cigarettes as a method of flirtation. Without ID, one just smiles, pouts, declares one's real age, and voilè. That's a technique that'll work on anyone besides the TSA, I've found.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:50 PM
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The reason we use the term middle class, Po-mo, is because there is a vast, mysterious, frightening group of people below them on the scale.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:51 PM
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I guess I should check with my parents - I was a minor the last time I saw my card and they might have it from when they kept my sister's and my records together, but I seem to remember not finding it once before - and then prepare to go get a copy for myself.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:54 PM
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Rational, and destructive, alas.

Or rational and protective. Sometimes, not having that fear can prove destructive.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:55 PM
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On review, 419 to 406 as well.

IDs are a real pain to get ahold of. It would be interesting to try and trace back the array of government papers that are necessary to get a valid photo ID like a state ID/driver's license and keep tracing them back to whatever is actually needed if you begin from scratch, with just your name and knowledge of where your birth or naturalization was registered (if one's birth was even recorded in the first place).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:57 PM
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and voilè

Who are you and what have you done with Jackmormon?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:57 PM
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EB, the only reasons I have any valid ID today is that 1) my parents fished my old card out of their files, and 2) my honey was willing to sign an affey-davey that I was who I said I was. I had reams and reams of expired photo ID, upon which the official looked with disapproval.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:58 PM
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the last thing this country needs is large influx of low information voters who can't be bothered with these basics.

Such as long-haul truckers who listen to nothing but Rush Limbaugh.

max
['HEY! They've got licensces!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 12:59 PM
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Once the government bar-codes everybody at birth, all this will be irrelevant.

Or maybe it will happen when they have all of our DNA on file.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:00 PM
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Oo! I also had a notorised birth certificate. That shit is really, really handy. I had one lying around, but I ordered some more by going through the web and then convincing a notory-public to sign an affey-davey that I was who I sad I was: she accepted expired ID, whoo-hoo!

428
and voilè

Fucking confusing html.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:01 PM
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419.1: See 423. Also, if you are in your 40s and look it, you're not likely to get carded. And I know it's hard to believe, but there really are people who don't fly very often or use credit cards.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:01 PM
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Jackmormon, low information voter.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:01 PM
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423: Wow, I didn't know there were major American cities like that. Chicago bars and convenience stores are so afraid of the fines that I've never seen anyone under 35 get away uncarded, and any lost or noticably faked ID is shit outta luck.

424: I wasn't implying that everyone should easily have an ID, John. That's why I was specifically surprised at JM and Mr.B not having one, but not that the Democrats would be so unfairly affected by this legislation.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:01 PM
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I have both a current (California) driver's license and a current passport. And my birth certificate should be with my parents' files.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:02 PM
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414:

I had a job which required that I show them my Social Security card. Previously, I'd just used my passport to show proof of citizenship and then given them my social security number, but this company's policy was to require that its employees show the actual card.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:03 PM
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I think I've showed my driver's license to people maybe ten times in the last year. Twice when pulled over when driving, and the rest to get into bars. Never when buying anything. I don't use a credit card very often, but they've never asked for an ID then either. And you shouldn't NEED a photo ID when using a credit card, right? Just a signature.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:03 PM
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The last thing this country needs is more people like JM voting.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:04 PM
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426: The thread has moved on, which is for the best. I just meant that people who seem to threaten to withdraw love if one doesn't measure up are bad people, and trying to measure up as a consequence, in order to avoid that withdrawal, is, or can be, self-destructive. That seems uncontroversial, even though the fear is rational. Comity?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:04 PM
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Also, shouldn't we require 2 different forms of photo I.D. to post on Unfogged? Or maybe a utility bill and a DNA swab?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:05 PM
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I've never seen anyone under 35 get away uncarded

It helps that I'm totally bangin'.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:06 PM
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I had to show my ID when I made a purchase yesterday with a debit card acting as a credit card (no keypad for the PIN).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:06 PM
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I will also admit to being disgruntled at having the ballot printed in languages other than English

Honest question, TLL: why?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:08 PM
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Mr. B. has always had photo id. It was my boyfriend that didn't.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:08 PM
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||

I interrupt this squabbling to note that tomorrow is free cone day at Ben & Jerry's!

Check here for a participating location near you.

|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:10 PM
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Will B&Js give you ice cream if you don't speak English?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:11 PM
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Also, shouldn't we require 2 different forms of photo I.D. to post on Unfogged? Or maybe a utility bill and a DNA swab?

Full body cavity search.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:13 PM
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B's BF is in food service, where they employ a lot of illegals.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:15 PM
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444. English is the lingua franca of the United States. Citizens need to be conversant in the language. But as I said, I understand that some people might be more comfortable in an other language, and at least in California the ballot sometimes contains a lot of information, especially regarding propositions.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:16 PM
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Will B&Js give you ice cream if you don't speak English?

I was reading this thread from the bottom up.

It spent 30 seconds trying to figure out what blow jobs had to do with ice cream.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:17 PM
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Honest question, TLL: why?

I'm not TLL, but I admit to having mixed thoughts about it. In my case, it's based on not very well founded ideas about national identity and what is probably the now-unpopular melting pot theory.

I don't think that encouraging citizens to not learn English is a good idea, but realize that there's a lot of space between "not encouraging" and "making life needlessly harder".


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:18 PM
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449 is true.

Citizens need to be conversant in the language. OVERNIGHT, DAMMIT.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:19 PM
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encouraging citizens to not learn English

Which they do over there in straw America.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:21 PM
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But as I said, I understand that some people might be more comfortable in an other language, and at least in California the ballot sometimes contains a lot of information, especially regarding propositions.

Good point.

Anyone is guaranteed to be a low information voter if the information is presented in a language they don't speak fluently.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:24 PM
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452: But it's not a matter of encouraging citizens not to learn English; it's about accommodating the needs of people to whom we extend citizenship. Their kids will almost certainly grow up speaking English. Anyway, TLL's 450 is an honest answer; I just don't understand why people get upset about what in the long run is a pretty simple accommodation.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:25 PM
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California propositions are deliberately written in obfuscatory language.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:26 PM
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I know you're kidding, Bitch, but one hardly becomes a citizen overnight. The residency requirement alone should enable one to become conversant, let alone that it is a requirement to apply.

http://www.us-immigration-attorney.com/citizenship.htm

NB the habitual drunkeness might cause a problem for some, if they had not been native born.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:28 PM
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When does needless complication in ballot initiatives become a problem for glorious English communication? Does that upset anyone upset at manténganse alejado de las puertas?

This constitutional amendment establishes the right of a party who did not request in banc review by the circuit court to appeal an adverse decision by the in banc court to the State's intermediate appellate court, the Court of Special Appeals. The amendment provides that a party in a circuit court trial conducted by less than three circuit court judges is eligible for in banc review. The amendment establishes that three judges of a circuit court constitute a circuit court in banc. The amendment repeals the authority of the circuit courts to regulate the rules governing in banc circuit court appeals, and establishes that the Maryland Rules are to provide the procedure for such appeals. The amendment also eliminates obsolete language pertaining to writs of error from this provision of the Constitution.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:29 PM
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I just don't understand why people get upset about what in the long run is a pretty simple accommodation.

Because Spanish is such an irritating and offensive language, Jesus.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:29 PM
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IS free cone day once a year. I went once in California, but I haven't tried on the east coast.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:31 PM
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But it's not a matter of encouraging citizens not to learn English; it's about accommodating the needs of people to whom we extend citizenship. Their kids will almost certainly grow up speaking English. Anyway, TLL's 450 is an honest answer; I just don't understand why people get upset about what in the long run is a pretty simple accommodation.

Yeah, enabling would have been a better word than encouraging. And sure, it's a minor accommodation. And since the realistic alternative to "ballots in five languages" is not "a much larger effort to teach English to anyone who wants to learn it", but "people who don't know English still have trouble navigating American culture and also can't read whatever the hell it is they're voting for", having multilingual ballots is a good thing.

But it's still a reminder that things are not all the way I would like them to be. It doesn't really bother me, but as someone who notices it and thinks "that's kind of annoying", it's pretty easy to see how it could bother someone who cared more.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:32 PM
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458: What if one is married to someone who is a citizen? Or if one was born here but has lived abroad most of one's life? Or shit, if one was born here to a family that's been Spanish-speaking since 1850? (Okay, that last one is a pure hypothetical, as such people are actually native English speakers, but if we're going to indulge the "the government shouldn't encourage people not to learn English" theory....)

And again, you know, it's just remarkably easy to talk about what other people "should" be able to do, isn't it? How fluent are you in a second language?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:33 PM
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460- If it were only Spanish.

For example, Los Angeles County provides ballots, sample ballots, and other materials, as well as oral assistance in seven languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese. Some jurisdictions, in response to local need, provide written and oral assistance in other languages. This adds to the challenges of conducting an error-free election.

From Ca Sec of State


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:34 PM
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462: I am going to continue to be offended by people whose idea of "the way I would like things to be" is "I shouldn't have to look at things printed in languages other than English."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:35 PM
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It doesn't really bother me, but as someone who notices it and thinks "that's kind of annoying", it's pretty easy to see how it could bother someone who cared more.

Funny. I look at the ballots in different languages and think, hey cool! Let's see, there's Korean, and there's Chinese, and hey, the Spanish is pretty easy! and, hm, no French, well I guess that makes sense, and then it's my turn to vote and hooray!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:35 PM
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And i have cast provisional ballots on two occasions, because I was at the wrong polling station. Not intimidating, but then again I am not easily intimidated by blue haired old ladies.

There are plenty of documented incidents of voters not being told provisional ballots are even an option. You know your rights and the voting laws, you have a sense of middle-class entitlement (I don't mean that pejoratively in this context) to exercise your franchise, so you're going to insist. People who don't know (hell, I didn't know about them until the voting debacles of the past decade) and/or are used to being denied services* aren't necessarily going to.

*One of my favorite cases in point: In the working class black neighborhood I lived in several years ago, there was a wreck of a car -- no wheels or windows, bright orange "Tow" stickers -- that sat on the street for at least a year despite calls to the city.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine moved to town and parked his car in an upscale neighborhood with 3-day parking restrictions. After not checking in on it for 4 or 5 days, not only had it been towed, but the car -- in good shape, with several boxes of his possessions in it -- had been considered "abandoned" and crushed into a small metal cube.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:38 PM
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English is the lingua franca of the United States. Citizens need to be conversant in the language.

I wonder if English-speaking Americans are aware of how rich and diverse life is in non-English speaking places in America. My grandmother has lived in L.A. for about twenty-five years now, speaks about five sentences in English. She gets awesomely well, and has a tremendously active and interesting life.

Not that she hasn't tried to learn English -- she took classes for years and years -- but for some reason it never really took. I guess it's hard when you start at age 60. Also, she knows three languages already, so maybe she's maxed out or something.

She became a citizen a few years ago, and is about the most pro-America person I ever met. She votes in every election, thanks to translated ballots. She's pretty well-informed, thanks to the fact that there's lots of media here in L.A. in her language. I, for one, think it's pretty neat.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:38 PM
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Sir Kraab, did you get your free cone today? The Boston Globe says that free cone day is Tuesday April 29.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:38 PM
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464: OH NOES THERE ARE CITIZENS IN AMERICA FROM PLACES LIKE VIETNAM IT'S SO HORRIBLE AND OFFENSIVE.

Seriously, TLL. It's really pretty inexcusable to be offended by this.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:39 PM
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462: I am going to continue to be offended by people whose idea of "the way I would like things to be" is "I shouldn't have to look at things printed in languages other than English."

Nope, he was referring to the way he would like America to be, not the way he would like his life to be. Not that I agree with him on how America should be.

No more putting words in people's mouths, please. It doesn't help.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:39 PM
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468: It's not possible for her to be well-informed or intelligent, JMS. Or she'd speak English.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:41 PM
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Because Spanish is such an irritating and offensive language

Pero...Dios es amor! Anyway, that bugs the shit out of me too, and it seems a central irony of American life that a nation (mostly) of immigrants has such a hard fucking time with the idea of multilingualism.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:43 PM
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469: Yup, it's tomorrow.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:44 PM
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I am going to continue to be offended by people whose idea of "the way I would like things to be" is "I shouldn't have to look at things printed in languages other than English."

You can find offense wherever you look for it.

I think that living in a country where you don't speak the language has to make things a lot harder, and I that the way the world is makes knowing English incredibly useful. The way that I would like things to be is for people to not have to live somewhere that they don't speak the language and for people not to be at a huge disadvantage because they don't speak what's currently the closest thing to a global tongue.

Having to look at things not printed in English is not inherently annoying.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:44 PM
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I know someone's grandmother who has lived in the same neighborhood in Queens for about 55 years, and who used to be part of a vibrant community there. However, she can't communicate with any of the people she sees in a given day, because it's hard to learn Spanish over the age of 60 or so.

That is to say, jms's grandmother is lucky to a certain extent. The grandmother I have in mind could have gotten along fine speaking only Ukrainian and Russian for maybe her first ten years here. But then she had to learn English.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:45 PM
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471: Actually, Fatman, "things" and "it" are rather vague referents. But thank you for the instruction on how to properly conduct myself.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:45 PM
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Bitch, I am not offended. I said I was disgruntled, mostly at the expense. I would rather have citizens making informed decisions in a language they are comfortable with than trying to guess in English. this is not a Dem vs. Rep. issue.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:46 PM
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I wonder if English-speaking Americans are aware of how rich and diverse life is in non-English speaking places in America. My grandmother has lived in L.A. for about twenty-five years now, speaks about five sentences in English. She gets awesomely well, and has a tremendously active and interesting life.

Not that she hasn't tried to learn English -- she took classes for years and years -- but for some reason it never really took. I guess it's hard when you start at age 60. Also, she knows three languages already, so maybe she's maxed out or something.

Good for her!

Contrast that with most Americans who never really learn any languages.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:48 PM
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475: In which case, I apologize for misunderstanding you; I was reading your comments in light of your (qualified, to be sure) agreement with TLL's statement that he was "disgruntled" by other-language ballots.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:49 PM
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477: No problem. I like to encourage people to give each other the benefit of the doubt, instead of searching for opportunities to denounce each other as representatives of the unenlightened oppressor class.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:50 PM
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466: Me, too. Sometimes I try to use an ATM in French or Spanish, but if it's a unfamiliar set-up, I end up not being sure if this button will give me $40 from my checking account or transfer my entire balance to a deposed Nigerian royal.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:51 PM
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478: Who said it was a DvR issue? Being disgruntled at the expense of enabling free and fair elections in a democracy seems pretty objectionable to me.

I shall continue to unapologetically bristle at people who object--for whatever reason--to multilingualism.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:51 PM
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474: Thanks, Sir Kraab, and thanks for not pointing otu that I can't read.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:52 PM
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481: And I like to encourage people to give those who aren't present and able to speak for themselves the benefit of the doubt. I'm funny like that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:52 PM
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My grandmother has started to speak little bit of Spanish, too, and her Spanish is much better than her English. I've started practicing Spanish with her lately. It's been going a lot faster than our English lessons.

It's probably more useful to her than her English. So, TLL, it's not like she's not assimilating -- she's melting, right into the Korean/Spanish L.A. polyglot pot.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:54 PM
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or spell in (484).


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:55 PM
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Seriously, how does any middle-class adult get by without one for more than a few weeks?

I know this has been addressed, but it's worth pointing out that when you get carded, they're not usually checking your residential address or your married/birth name changes. Even if they're competent enough to check DOB and expiration date of the ID, no bartender gives a hoot if you're Mary J. Smith versus Mary Jones. Whereas you can be prevented from voting if you have any kind of "non-updated" error like that.

To 437, IANAL, but I'm 99.99% certain that Bgirl's company was acting illegally. The latest version of the federal I-9 form is crystal clear that the employer is not allowed to request specific documents* from the employee, and a US passport is perfectly sufficient to show work authorization. No SS card required.
*Among those on the approved list.

Also, to Ben upthread, it should be noted that a few states do actually permit felons to vote. I doubt that Indiana is one of them; they're mostly in New England.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:55 PM
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searching for opportunities to denounce each other as representatives of the unenlightened oppressor class.

No more putting words in people's mouths, please. It doesn't help.

It appears that the objection isn't, actually, to "putting words in people's mouths," but to something else entirely.

Just sayin.'


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:55 PM
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485: Which people? Water moccasin? He is here. And I gave him the benefit of the doubt. And you didn't. Although then you apologized.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:55 PM
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486: Spanish is a *lot* easier to learn than English.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:56 PM
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489: Nope. Both objections involve assuming someone is saying something that they aren't.

Personally I now feel bad about assuming that water moccasin is to be referred to with male pronouns.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:57 PM
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Fatman, let me make myself clear: I do not require your helpful advice. 'Kay?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:57 PM
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I gotta throw in my lot with water moccasin on this. I just generally think it would be awesome if everyone spoke a common language, and in the US (and even the world) the closest we have to that is English. Sure, we need to be able to provide services and ballots in other languages, since people speak other languages and a good number of citizens may not speak English very well for a while, but that doesn't change my feeling that people who are in the US long-term should move toward fluency in English even if that's an utterly unenforceable (in any sort of ethical way) policy.

But hey, I'm someone who feels multilingualism is a mostly pain in the ass, which I know puts me in a very minority position.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:58 PM
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493: I don't think he's actually giving you advice, B. I think he's complaining about you.

(Just in case: 500!)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 1:59 PM
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I shall continue to unapologetically bristle at people who object--for whatever reason--to multilingualism.

Ok, this may be out there, but multilingualism needs to be kept private. One of the strengths of the United States has been the ability to assimilate waves of immigrants. I know that there are people who think of this assimilation as a "whitewash", and that one reason for the struggle of blacks in this country is that it very hard to assimilate when one is so obviously "other", but assimilation in necessary. The "melting pot" is stronger than the "mosaic".


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:01 PM
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Ok, this may be out there, but multilingualism needs to be kept private.

Wait, what?

Non-English speakers should, what, remain silent at all times outside the home?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:02 PM
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To 496, it bears noting that the pace of English adoption is faster now than at any time in American history. Data from the Pew Hispanic Center, the US Census Bureau, and others show that total fluency is widespread in the 2nd generation, rather than in the 3rd as was common in the 1950s, 1910s, 1890s, etc.

("Total fluency" in this case meaning that English is the language that people choose to speak at home.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:03 PM
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The "melting pot" is stronger than the "mosaic".

How about a stew, with big hunks of potato that haven't been broken up. And whole chillies. Mmm. I'd like a beer with that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:04 PM
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A double post, separated by 76 minutes?

A technical glitch caused by a fat-fingered grip on my blackberry.

How much supposed voter turnout is reduced by requiring a photo ID? It doesn't seem like a huge burden. One needs a photo ID to do just about anything anymore.

I assume TLL will have no objection to my proposed reform to crack down on absentee ballot fraud.



Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:04 PM
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498: Whoo hoo!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:04 PM
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Spanish is a *lot* easier to learn than English.

Tell me about it. I teach literacy to adults, some native English speakers, some native Spanish speakers (it's not an ESL class, so their spoken English has to be pretty good to start with). I constantly remind them that spelling and pronounciation are without much rhyme or reason, that grammar is overly complicated, and that homophones and different language roots (Latin v. German) make English freaking hard. It can be very discouraging for even a native English speaker to try to learn to read or write well.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:06 PM
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multilingualism needs to be kept private.

Okay, I'm trying hard not to be offended, so I'll just ask you, TLL, what do you mean by "needs to be kept private"? I'm going to hope you don't mean that people who don't speak English shouldn't speak outside the home.

As for this:

One of the strengths of the United States has been the ability to assimilate waves of immigrants. I know that there are people who think of this assimilation as a "whitewash"

Your first sentence is not supported by history; your second sentence gets it right.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:06 PM
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497. No, not silent, Sifu. But there was an interesting case here a while back where a local hospital was trying to enforce an "English only" at work policy. Seems some Filipino nurses would speak in Tagalog on break, and the supervisor thought that she was being "dissed". I don't remember the result.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:07 PM
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If it were a ceramic melting pot and it had been heated unevenly I could actually see it breaking apart pretty easily. Conversely, you can mount a pottery mosaic (say) in concrete; seems pretty indestructible to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:07 PM
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504: the supervisor hadn't yet been dissed, but subsequently was?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:09 PM
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whole chilies

My local bodegas sell like 6 kinds of Ancho/serrano families of chilies. I've seriously considered having them fingerprinted and trying to set up single-source brand identities to sell to yuppie markets. Has anyone tried growing these varieties in the US? I'm in zone 7.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:09 PM
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500. Lazy absentee voters should be made to walk to the ballot drop off site, Knecht.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:10 PM
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I want stew! But it'll have to be leftovers tonight, again.

Seems some Filipino nurses would speak in Tagalog on break, and the supervisor thought that she was being "dissed".

Oh. My. God. If you can't speak whatever language you want on break, then the employer really is fucked up.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:10 PM
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One of the strengths of the United States has been the ability to assimilate waves of immigrants.

Your first sentence is not supported by history

Either I'm misreading you, jms, or you and I have very different perceptions of U.S. history. I'm completely in TLL's corner on this one. As imperfect as our history has been, I shudder at the thought of a country that is working on 3rd generations that are still ghettoized and isolated. It's happening a bit now, especially with the Hmong and Cambodians, but by and large it is one disaster of immigration that the US has managed to avoid.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:12 PM
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495: Yes, so do I. But he's concern-trolling me, which he can knock the fuck off with.

Look, people. It is condescending to feel sorry for people who don't speak English, or who "have" to live in countries where they don't speak the dominant language. Why, when Americans go live in countries where they don't speak the dominant language, we often express envy at the opportunity!

And it's both condescending and self-serving to think gosh, wouldn't it be nice if everyone spoke the language that I just happen to speak. Break me a give. If you're so very concerned about people being able to communicate, go learn some foreign languages.

And when we're talking specifically about *government services* or voting, in a democracy, then it is flat-out anti-American to wring your hands over things that facilitate participation. It becomes offensively so when you're doing so while blathering on about how Great America Is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:12 PM
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505: Nice.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:13 PM
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505: Lets stick with food metaphors. I think the country should be like an Ethiopian meal, where you get lots of little piles of interesting things, and then you can scoop them all up with the spongy bread.

The spongy bread is procedural liberalism.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:13 PM
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Thanks a lot, rob, you're making me ravenously hungry.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:14 PM
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OMIGOD I WANT SPONGY ETHOPIAN BREAD


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:15 PM
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I shudder at the thought of a country that is working on 3rd generations that are still ghettoized and isolated.

Like oh, say, American blacks, or Indians.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:15 PM
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In Astoria, Oregon a Chinese family made a diligent effort to learn the local language. Unfortunately they lived in a Finnish neighborhood. One of the kids became reasonably fluent, and he was locally famous as a Finnish speaking Chiese postman.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:15 PM
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Ooh, and then they passed notes and spoke in pig Latin!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:15 PM
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518 to 504


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:17 PM
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On the up side, this thread will be easily to hand the next time we have an argument about whether or not one's "feelings" and "thoughts" can be morally blameable, even if one doesn't act on them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:18 PM
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My local bodegas sell like 6 kinds of Ancho/serrano families of chilies.

For good chilis.

I've seriously considered having them fingerprinted and trying to set up single-source brand identities to sell to yuppie markets.

I'm assuming patenting (?) them?

Has anyone tried growing these varieties in the US? I'm in zone 7.

They may well be from the US, dude. Zone 7 should be ok, IF you get lots of sunlight and not too much rain (and not too little). (If you do, they'll still grow, they just don't grow well.) They won't survive any freeze, or frost.

The real problem is with the fingerprinting (guessing), since peppers cross-pollinate like a motherfucker. You could have bells growing half a mile away from some habenero and wind up with bland habeneros and incendiary bell peppers.

max
['Hrmm.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:20 PM
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513: If you weren't so hopelessly monolingual, you'd know that it's called injera.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:20 PM
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Why, when Americans go live in countries where they don't speak the dominant language, we often express envy at the opportunity!

No, I don't. I think it's pretty daft to go live somewhere without at least knowing some of the basics of the language or having a plan in place to pick it up quickly. Most people I know who've moved elsewhere either knew the language or found themselves nearly fluent for day-to-day purposes within months. Those who just spend a year abroad and hang out with only other Americans to avoid learning the new language are kinda missing the point.

If you're so very concerned about people being able to communicate, go learn some foreign languages.

There's no other single language anywhere near as useful to me in terms of additional people I can communicate with on a daily basis as learning English would be for the vast majority of people living in America. It's convenient enough to say that I should learn a foreign language, and I probably should, but none of them have been useful enough to be worth the time. Any American citizen who feels similarly about English must be keeping to a fairly narrow set of neighborhoods, which just seems odd to me, but hey, nothing I can do if it works for them.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:21 PM
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516: Without minimizing the dreadfulness of being trapped in a high-poverty inner-city or reservation area, I don't actually agree that as a group we have failed African Americans and Native Americans so utterly. It's an extremely mixed picture, and for some folks legitimately dreadful, but *as a group* I don't think we're talking about a no-way-out scenario.

Narrow it to, say, groups such as people in the Badlands -- either in South Dakota or North Philadelphia -- and I fully agree with you.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:22 PM
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517: A friend of mine's mother hails from one of the Finnish communities of the Upper Peninsula. Her (the mother) father was friends with a fellow who later became a very famous sci-fi writer and the father's very Finnish surname became the name of a family of evil people in this author's extremely famous books. To compensate for giving his last name to a baddie, the author gave the good guy his first name. Guess who!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:23 PM
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Data from the Pew Hispanic Center, the US Census Bureau, and others show that total fluency is widespread in the 2nd generation

Exactly. Monolingual anglophones may be surprised by the news that English is a pretty difficult language for many adults to acquire, but the second generation generally adopts it easily. I know an immigrant from Sarajevo who speaks Bosnian, Turkish, Russian and German, plus a fair bit of Italian and Arabic. Picking up English has been rough, but for crying out loud, he's in his late 60s, he's done his time in Babel.

Seems some Filipino nurses would speak in Tagalog on break, and the supervisor thought that she was being "dissed".

I met a redneck Coloradan who was all in a lather about going into his local Wal-Mart and hearing people speaking Korean in the aisles. "If we were in France", he said, "we'd speak French, right?" Well, no, you twit, not if we were speaking to each other. I think there are some control issues at work here.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:23 PM
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incendiary bell peppers.

Awesome! Now we just need to develop fragmentary bell peppers and we can attack Lileks in his bunker.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:26 PM
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I think it's pretty daft to go live somewhere without at least knowing some of the basics of the language or having a plan in place to pick it up quickly

This describes the vast majority of Americans living abroad, IME.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:27 PM
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I love injera. Yummy Eithiopian food. delicious.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:27 PM
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Either I'm misreading you, jms, or you and I have very different perceptions of U.S. history.

Witt, I'm generally suspicious of claims that America does a great job of assimilating immigrants, if only they'd be willing to assimilate.
America has done a good job of assimilating white European immigrants. Its record in assimilating immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America has been less stellar.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:28 PM
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I think there are some control issues at work here.

IME, people who go ballistic over "Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish," or who don't want other people to be allowed to speak "foreign" languages on break, are often unaccustomed to feeling left out of anything, and resentful of the idea that anyone should be allowed to leave them out.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:30 PM
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517: Does everybody already know the joke about the Chinese waiter that speaks perfect Yiddish?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:30 PM
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This describes the vast majority of Americans living abroad, IME.

My point remains. The vast majority of people are daft, and the only thing special about Americans on this count is that they are more likely to be among an English-speaking upper-class when they emigrate. Doesn't change that they're missing out on the civic culture of whereever they move to in an important way.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:31 PM
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525: L/eto H/arkonnen, eh?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:34 PM
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532: Nope.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:34 PM
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Our friends in Costa Rica laugh at the Americans who expect everyone to speak English.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:34 PM
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No, I don't.

Nonetheless, you *are* aware that many people do, yes?

It's convenient enough to say that I should learn a foreign language, and I probably should, but none of them have been useful enough to be worth the time.

Indeed. It's convenient enough to say that you "feel" other people "should" learn English, too. The differences are: (1) the vast majority of non-native speakers do learn English in the US, whereas you can't be bothered to learn a foreign language; (2) you feel okay expressing your feeling about what other people "should" do while shrugging your shoulders about things you "probably should" do but don't really care enough about to express feelings on; (3) you're concern-trolling with this stuff about how it would be easier and more practical for them to do the thing that you yourself can't be bothered to do.

Yes, of course learning English is practical in the US. Most people do it. The only real point, or at least effect, of saying that people "should" do it is to imply otherwise and/or to implicitly disparage immigrants.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:36 PM
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534: Yep! But Paul.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:36 PM
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my Indian coworkers speak English between them especially if someone is around, they feel they should not speak on their language if somebody does not understand it coz it's rude they explained to me
in our case, we, i would speak only Mongolian to a Mongolian regardless where we are, coz if we'd speak English or Russian it would sound not natural and pretentious, even if we know the language fluently, may be, then translate it to someone who is around if asked
so different attitudes, it depends on the background culture i suppose


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:36 PM
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531: What's really annoying is people like LizardBreath that use the Spanish voicemail option to learn the language and listen to it over and over and jam up the phonelines.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:36 PM
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patenting (?) them

No, just doing labels and whatever QC's practicable so that nicely packaged chilies from Chetumal (2011 planting) would command an astronomical premium from foodies. Fingerprinting is RFLP, very cheap reagents and equipment for strain assessment. I can barely manage tomatoes and basil in my front yard and have no food-wholesaling connections, so it won't be this year. It's a downscale version of the vineyard fantasy that would make a winter place in Quintana Roo a business expense.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:37 PM
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In Portland I met a guy who was fluent in an obscure Caucasian language plus Georgian, Russian, and German, but his English was poor. He just wore out, I guess.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:37 PM
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America has done a good job of assimilating white European immigrants. Its record in assimilating immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America has been less stellar.

Race is a difficult thing to wish away. One look, and the "You're not from around here, are you" comes into play. Of course, the United States is not unique in this regard.

I have never felt as ignorant in my life as when I was in a medium sized city in South Korea. No English anywhere, very intimidating. Profoundly disturbing not being able to read.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:38 PM
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530: Hm. This is probably a longer conversation than we have time to have here. My shortish answer is:

America has done a good job of assimilating white European immigrants

Although a lot of them were not initially defined as "white." Turn-of-the-20th-century descriptions of Italians Irish, Poles, Germans, and (especially) Jews are pretty staggering. Most of the dirty/diseased/swarthy/alcoholic/lazy/overbreeding steretotypes play a big role.

Its record in assimilating immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America has been less stellar.

Kinda agree, kinda disagree. Africans who were involuntarily "migrated" here are in many ways exceptionally well integrated (and in other ways not very well at all). Japanese-Americans have high levels of education, income, social class, etc. They are also one the longest-standing Asian immigrant groups in the U.S., adding weight to the time = better integration (even allowing for internment!).

The vast majority of other African, Asian, and Latin American immigrants did not come into the U.S. until after 1965, so we're talking an extremely limited period of time (barely two generations) and I'd say that integration (good) and assimilation (not always so good) are both happening extremely rapidly.

I dunno, maybe this is a disagreement about terminology. I'm thinking income, education, mobility, English fluency, out-marriage, lack of incarceration, etc. are reasonably good proxies for being successfully integrated into a society.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:39 PM
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535: Shhhhhh! He thinks it's English.

(that's the punchline -- you should be able to figure out the rest)


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:40 PM
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538: oh, I was thinking the first name was Finnish, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:41 PM
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Not being able to read is indeed a very odd feeling. (And for god's sake, knowing this, I'd think you'd feel empathetic relief, or at least civic pride, when you see ballots printed in other languages. Jeez, man.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:42 PM
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Although a lot of them were not initially defined as "white." Turn-of-the-20th-century descriptions of Italians Irish, Poles, Germans, and (especially) Jews are pretty staggering. Most of the dirty/diseased/swarthy/alcoholic/lazy/overbreeding steretotypes play a big role.

But part of the inaccurate stereotype was that they looked different. But they didn't really look different, given similar upbringings and education. Making it much easier to assimilate.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:43 PM
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Race is a difficult thing to wish away.

Although, as noted above, the US has done an astonishingly good job of defining it away in a number of instances. (As well as defining it into existence.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:43 PM
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Most people I know who've moved elsewhere either knew the language or found themselves nearly fluent for day-to-day purposes within months.

That sounds like survival level, not fluency. I believe that most immigrants attain that, unless they live in monolingual immigrant communities.

One of my son's best friends was from a Hong Kong Chinese immigrant family. The parents never learned English because they spent all of their time either taking care of the kids or working. They raised three kids who are fluent in English, culturally American, and upper middle class professionals, or nearly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:44 PM
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Ugh. Pet peeve. There are plenty of reasons already to learn English in the United States. Economic and social mobility. Culture. Etc. In fact, these reasons are so compelling that people who are able to - young immigrants, first generation Americans whose parents immigrated - do so. And people may indeed want to move to a new country where they don't speak the language for plenty of good-for-the-US reasons.

Therefore, worrying that having a form available in Spanish (I believe, though might be wrong, that most if not all federal forms can be requested in any language) will be the one thing that prevents assimilation and forces us to eat tacos instead of hamburgers is close to the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Federal forms have been available in multiple languages for a very, very long time. (No one seems to have a problem with tax forms being in Spanish.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:44 PM
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547: I guess this is the place to admit I never learned to read.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:45 PM
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548: I think we're going to have to agree to disagree.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:46 PM
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547.I'd think you'd feel empathetic relief, or at least civic pride, when you see ballots printed in other languages

Nope. But I wasn't trying to be a Korean citizen, either.

Anyway, a little honesty brings out the thought police, so I will shut up.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:47 PM
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551: I tell you what, though, native Klingon speakers should just suck it up and learn English.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:47 PM
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Re: voter suppression: Only about ten states permanently disenfranchise felons, and the movement is away from that.

Link


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:50 PM
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But part of the inaccurate stereotype was that they looked different. But they didn't really look different, given similar upbringings and education.

What you're missing here is that what counted as 'looking different' changed. Having curly hair used to mean you were dangerously ethnic (to take one example.) Now, not so much (though you can still see women straightening their hair to look 'professional.') It's not that everyone intermarried and there's no longer anyone with wild curly hair, it's that we don't consider that a sign of being a new dirty Catholic lazy non-hardworking Jewish Polish immigrant.

It's not just 'looks the same and therefore passes' because that doesn't explain enough.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:50 PM
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I heart Cala.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:51 PM
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552: Frankly, it shows in your performance.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:52 PM
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548: I don't know that that's true. Italians often look Italian, Jews often look Jewish. Everyone knows someone of Irish descent who looks Irish, etc. Even though our cognitive categories have changed--i.e., we've decided that x ethnic background is "white" aka invisible--you can still see difference, if you're inclined (or attuned) to look.

Not always, but certainly often enough. And there are a lot of American "blacks" or Latinas, etc., who are accustomed to being asked "what are you?" which suggests that a lot of the belief that *those* differences are "real" (as in "really"--I'm not putting words in your mouth, Fatman, please note) depends on defining and policing boundaries that aren't, in fact, "really" there.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:52 PM
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Nonetheless, you *are* aware that many people do, yes?

I wouldn't really say so, no. Not among my group of friends, at least, they tend to be either multilingual or at least self-aware enough to poke fun of the person who "lives abroad" but then just runs in the ex-pat crowd even if it's themselves.

That said, you're certainly right that the vast majority of immigrants to the US know or learn English. Even if they don't, their kids do. And you're right when you say that the typical implication of saying immigrants should learn English is:

to imply otherwise and/or to implicitly disparage immigrants.

I mostly say it because I've always somewhat believed that the fracture and proliferation of languages is kind of a curse. It's probably the only part of the Bible I give creedence. Any movement toward more universal communication is a positive one, and thanks to network effects of this day and age, learning English is not only the biggest possible gain in new communication ability for the typical person, but it's also probably the single most valuable piece of human capital anyone in the world can have.

Now, since my previous comment once again suggests that I should learn a foreign language, yes, I'm planning on it as I get some time and start planning on more trips to China to get additional practice with my Mandarin. But I still find living in a country and not speaking the local language to be more perplexing than not speaking a foreign language by a long shot.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:53 PM
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Anyway, a little honesty brings out the thought police, so I will shut up.

No, it's this: if people know that you disagree with them on multiple fundamental points, they're less likely to give you a fair or sympathetic hearing.

By and large we're dealing with an excessive response to a non-problem or very small problem, and people are revealing the gut feelings motivating that excessive response. But most of us don't share that gut feeling and think it's petty.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:54 PM
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557: But lots of German people and Scottish people have curly hair too. Maybe they were stigmatized as looking too much like immigrants, but at the same time immigrants could be anti-stigmatized because their theoretically bizarre appearance did not actually mean they could be distinguished from acceptably white people.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:54 PM
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Anyway, a little honesty brings out the thought police, so I will shut up.

No, it's this: if people know that you disagree with them on multiple fundamental points, they're less likely to give you a fair or sympathetic hearing.

By and large we're dealing with an excessive response to a non-problem or very small problem, and people are revealing the gut feelings motivating that excessive response. But most of us don't share that gut feeling and think it's petty.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:57 PM
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544:

I dunno, maybe this is a disagreement about terminology. I'm thinking income, education, mobility, English fluency, out-marriage, lack of incarceration, etc. are reasonably good proxies for being successfully integrated into a society.

I think you're right -- we're mostly having a disagreement about terminology. I'm thinking security checkpoints in San Diego County that stop you on suspicion of being brown, and school administrations that look the other way when kids are bullied for wearing headscarves. I'm thinking about the fact that when I went to the grocery store with my mom yesterday, in southern California in 2008, for chrissakes, the friendly talkative grocery checker, who chatted up all of the customers in line in front of us, suddenly -- and very obviously -- went dead silent when it was my mom's turn. I'm thinking about the fact that for decades, and until my dad's retirement, he got constant low-level shit for having a slight -- to my ear, nearly undetectable -- accent. This despite the fact that he has, like, perfect grammar and spelling! I'm thinking about my family's disastrous -- though very educational! -- attempt to have a road-trip across the country when I was a kid.

I know this is all just anecdata, and doesn't measure up to statistics about out-marriage and income and whatever, but seriously, this is the world that I live in and I am Asian and living in L.A., so I know I have it better than, like, 99.99% of other non-white immigrants in America. It makes me crazy when people are all, if you people would only stop being so stubborn and lazy and integrate already, America would be so happy to assimilate you, because it is So. Not. True.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 2:59 PM
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566

a little honesty brings out the thought police, so I will shut up.

Oh, gimme a break. If you can be thought-policing people who speak other languages, you're not really in a position to gripe about my telling you you're being an asshole for doing so.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:02 PM
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567

I've been taking the F train, Coney Island direction, a lot lotly, and have recently discovered in myself all kinds of nasty prejudices about recent Russian immigrants, despite having known and even completely lusted after a number of Russian-Americans in my college days. I'm sure that the instantly identifiably Russianness wears off after a generation or a decade or something, but right now---I can spot 'em a train-car away.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:05 PM
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563: First point: we worried about Germans not being good proper Americans, too.

But beyond that, I am skeptical, because I can look at my cousins, who take very strongly after my grandfather's side of the family, and see that they all look Sicilian (and like pictures of relatives on that side of the family), but it's never going to cross my mind that they're not white. And that doesn't have to do with some sort of mutt theory of successive generations, but that being of Italian descent isn't something that disqualifies you from being white (in the sense of 'our kind of people') any more.

Not that intermarriage and such hasn't helped (opposed to my cousin's looks are those of me and my sisters, who are pretty much unidentifiable Western European mutts), or made some differences not apparent, or that it wouldn't be harder given greater physical differences. But it's not because we moved closer to some unchanging ideal of WASPyness. It's that what counted as 'what an American looks like' moved. (In some ways, the bedwetters of the previous century were right: they came here, they bred, and overran us, but disaster didn't follow.)

There's the Irish shop I used to know that has goofy little shot glasses of all of Irish crests and lastnames, and what always struck me about the display is how I thought of most of the names as American names, not particularly ethnic ones. I'm sure that wouldn't have been the case 100 years ago when my friend's family dropped the O' from O'Sullivan so they wouldn't look as Irish.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:07 PM
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I just re-read my comment, and I'm sorry for being ranty. Also, Witt -- the rantiness is not directed at you; I was just set off on a particular stream of thought by your comment.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:08 PM
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I just re-read my comment, and I'm sorry for being ranty. Also, Witt -- the rantiness is not directed at you; I was just set off on a particular stream of thought by your comment.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:08 PM
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I just re-read my comment, and I'm sorry for being ranty. Also, Witt -- the rantiness is not directed at you; I was just set off on a particular stream of thought by your comment.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:09 PM
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I just re-read my comment, and I'm sorry for being so ranty. Also, Witt -- the rantiness is not directed at you; I was just set off on a particular stream of thought by your comment.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:09 PM
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561: I know a lot of people who have been stationed overseas for jobs. Not quite the same thing as backpacking through Europe.

I mean really, it doesn't take a *lot* of imagination to think of situations where someone's going to end up living somewhere where they're not fluent in the local language.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:10 PM
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567: I know two brothers my age who grew up on Coney Island, and they all hate the place because the Russians and Russian Jews have taken over. The three of them are Russian Jews themselves by American standards, but they don't speak Russian any more.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:12 PM
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567: I know two brothers my age who grew up on Coney Island, and they all hate the place because the Russians and Russian Jews have taken over. The three of them are Russian Jews themselves by American standards, but they don't speak Russian any more.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:14 PM
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569: No apologies necessary. I found 565 very enlightening.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:14 PM
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jms is really really sorry, and repents utterly.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:15 PM
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"Two brother and their mother"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:17 PM
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jms, no need to apologize. Rantiness is good. And I think it was about terminology, although maybe more about "assimilation." As you point out, there are a million subtle and not-so-subtle ways to be reminded that you are not socially assimilated, even if you achieve the basics of homeownership, kids attending college, etc.

I think of it as a continuum. If you're not managing the above, it seems like a greater failing on our part as a country. That's why I cited the Cambodians -- when young folks in the third generation are illiterate, not finishing high school, joining gangs, etc. that's a pretty strong signal that assimilation isn't working.

OTOH, you can be achieving all that stuff and still your teenage son is routinely stopped in your own neighborhood because he's a young non-white guy driving a decent car. Even less problematically, you can have achieved a whole mess of accomplishments and still be socially snubbed because you didn't go to the right prep school or practice the right vanilla variety of Episcopalianism. Lots of different kinds of ways to measure assimilation and who doesn't "belong."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:18 PM
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"Two brother and their mother"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:19 PM
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Sorry about the multiple post. I just can't stop apologizing today.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:21 PM
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Give up, John.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 3:30 PM
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I on the other hand make no apology whatsoever.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 5:27 PM
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Also, to Ben upthread, it should be noted that a few states do actually permit felons to vote.

From that article I linked above:

Work had become hard to find after he picked up a felony drug charge five years ago. His cousin found him the gig at the printing shop, but it can offer him only 30 hours of work each week. Robertson dreams of opening his own shop, or applying for one of those cushy jobs printing for the state. "It's crazy," he said. "They're paying, like, $15 an hour."
Robertson always thought the felony charge disqualified him from voting, until his girlfriend picked up a registration form last month at a hair salon and read the fine print (ex-felons may vote in North Carolina if they complete all terms of their sentence, such as probation or parole). She brought it home to the two-bedroom apartment they share with their four children and told him to fill it out.

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 6:31 PM
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Also, the Pennsylvania Dutch really need to get with the Americanization program already. None of this we've been here since before there was a United States BS.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 6:33 PM
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Anyway, a little honesty brings out the thought police.

Imagine an unfogged comment thread in your face ... forever.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 6:55 PM
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And since this is my thread now, I can comment as much as I want. So...

On America's history of assimilation, it seems true that 1) the record is fairly good and 2) on the historical question there's substantial evidence that European immigrants, despite the variations in understandings of whiteness,* have in fact had an easier time with assimilation. And I'm not even talking about comparing pre-1965 and post-1965 immigration.

A law of 1790 limited naturalization to "free white" people; Europeans were never non-white enough to not be covered by that law. Japanese and Chinese immigrants were determined to be non-white, so unable to be naturalized. Then you add in things like Chinese exclusion**, alien land laws targeting the Japanese, etc. and you get different pictures of pre-1965 assimilation among different immigrant streams.

*Which can be, and has been, overstated in the historical literature. See the various review essays and forums critical of whiteness studies in the past few years, citations for which I'd have if I were still a grad student.

**The first border patrols on the Mexican border were there to keep the Chinese out.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:05 PM
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All but ten states restore felon voting rights by the time their jail sentence, parole, and probation are over with. Two states let felons vote from jail. Even some of the ten states disenfranchising felons have provisions for restoring voting rights.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:10 PM
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589

What happened to my pretty thread?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:12 PM
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Also, a number of states in the early 19th century allowed (white) noncitizens to vote. In some cases the expansion of suffrage was aimed at increasing immigration to that state.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-08 7:14 PM
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