Re: Classing It Up

1

*MoDo* writes columns attempting to emasculate Democratic politicians all the time.


Posted by: pointing out the obvious | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 9:38 AM
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Oh, is that what he means? I don't typically read Dowd. Anyway, in this case, she's right.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 9:38 AM
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1: Yes, that column reads as if its writer had never read a Maureen Dowd column before.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 9:43 AM
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2: Right about what?

The whole column is bullshit wrapped in a right-wing narrative inside of self-denial (and yes in parts it is "sympathetic" to Obama). I mean in two thousand-fucking-eight she writes: Yet George H. W. Bush's attempts to paint over his patrician style with a cowboy veneer was a silly sort of masquerade, obviously engineered by Lee Atwater, who brought the props of pork rinds and country music. and leaves out any mention in the column of a more germane faux populist who also happends to have a last name of Bush? Suck my dick, Maureen.

One of these days the Times is going to reveal that the majority of its national political coverage since pigfucker Gerth broke Whitewater has been a complicated ironic joke that they really didn't expect anyone to take seriously. "Good one, eh guys? We really had the whole country going, didn't we?"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 9:58 AM
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I believe Maureen Dowd is responsible for nicknaming Obama "Bambi".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 9:59 AM
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4 - That might explain this, in which the New York Times invited people to write about the fifth anniversary of Iraq and chose the contemptible and possibly insane AEI hack Daneille Pletka, AEI hack and surge booster Fred Kagan, Paul "let's disarm the Iraqi military!" Bremer, newly-minted AEI hack Richard Perle, and useful idiot Ken Pollack to be a majority of the panel. (Liberalism was represented by hawk Anne-Marie Slaughter.) Exactly one person, realist former DoD official Anthony Cordesman, made the case for withdrawal. Thanks, liberal New York Times!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:07 AM
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I don't read Dowd, but did she mention Carville's gross and idiotic comment the other day that if "Hillary gave one of her balls to Obama, they'd both still have two"?

He's foetid.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:07 AM
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Everytime I read Modo I get the impression she is writing elaborate put-ons.

"The lioness of Chappaqua is hot on the trail of the Chicago gazelle"

"Now he must go into reverse and stoop to conquer with cornball photo ops."

This is consistent with what I've read before. Expression so hackneyed & cliched you have to assume its intentional, written with a sneer.

And the constant undercutting of her own message, complaining about some trope or trend, while reinforcing it with her own prose.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:09 AM
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Writing this mostly to be contrary: But surely GW Bush's two elections are proof enough that getting elections in this country are horrible processes. Also, the Democratic party isn't what it used to be. I went to a Young Democrats convention the other week, and they were wearing suits. Suits!

I haven't liked a lot of what Hillary's done. But when has a principled, moral campaign won? And campaigns are won by appealing to low-info voters, not you folk. Cf. McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis.

I'm feeling pretty cynical lately, as a result of some personal experiences. We're a country of stupid hicks, and most of them aren't aware of it. Some of them even think they're educated and urbane. We're a country of negligent and abusive parents and clueless educators. It's a wonder we function at all. Trying to get that morass of moral and intellectual failings we call the American public to elect a principled leader just seems like a bit much, honestly. We could be doing worse. We're still living in a dark age. Physical, mental, and emotional abuse is commonplace among us, as is ignorance and incompetence.

Does this reality necessitate shameless leaders with bags of dirty tricks? Sometimes, it seems like it, unless extraordinary circumstances prevail. (Nixon-Ford leading to Carter) But the point remains that the collective American id has a real dark, ugly streak which we've seen a lot of in the past 7 years. And it seems to prefer darker, uglier politicians.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:11 AM
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I thought the point of the LGM post was to highlight the irony of a woman asserting a lack of masculinity as being a character defect.

(MoDo's lame language contributes to the confusion, describing emasculation as a "theme" rather than a "tactic.")


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:15 AM
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And campaigns are won by appealing to low-info voters, not you folk. Cf. McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis.

I'd be more willing to sign onto this if she were ahead in delegates. "One has to be nasty to win" is easier to believe if one is actually winning.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:15 AM
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But when has a principled, moral campaign won?

Carter in '76. Truman in '48? Coolidge.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:15 AM
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Wait. Did Coolidge run against Al Smith in '24? Was that the campaign that spread anti-Catholic filth in Florida, the '28 campaign, or both?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:17 AM
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Carter in '76. Truman in '48? Coolidge.

Gore in 2000.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:21 AM
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And it seems to prefer darker, uglier politicians.

Well, the "darker" part ,at least, would be in Obama's favor, right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:21 AM
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Al Smith lost to Hoover in '28. Silent Cal whupped up on Solicitor General John Dawes, who had been too vocal about the sins of the KKK (and had successfully argued to overturn Oklahoma's poll tax), although Coolidge didn't run a particularly race-baiting campaign.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:27 AM
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11. talking about the general. Democrats are marginally more decent than the larger populace.

12. Coolidge???

14. Gore- Too nice and principled, didn't become President, despite benefiting from extraordinary circumstances (teh economy).


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:33 AM
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6: That lineup—what stunningly bad or willfully evil judgment. I couldn't bring myself to read any of it, but I think I can pretty much guess the content. As for Dowd, it's not worth reading her to try to figure out the particulars of her pathology, but for years she's been writing as though she's stoned; her columns are collections of random thoughts and weirdly inappropriate snark that evidently strike her as brilliant aper├žus and sparkling bons mots.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:36 AM
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Also, re. Gore, he ran pretty tough at Bradley. Definitely played some hardball as I recall. And of the two, doesn't everyone agree that Bradley was even more of the principled politician? And he wasn't an total outside shot, if you'll recall, he was leading Gore in the polls for awhile.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:37 AM
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Coolidge ran in a three way race against the Democrat, Wall Street lawyer and former Congressman and Ambassador John W. Davis, and Republican Senator Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin, who ran as a Progressive.

Davis had been selected as a dark horse on the 103rd ballot at the famously hellish Democratic convention in New York, which saw pro-KKK pro-prohibition elements of the party, who supported former Treasury Secretary William G. McAdoo (Wilson's son-in-law) deadlock against anti-KKK, anti-prohibition elements of the party who backed Al Smith. (The Democrats still required a 2/3 majority for a nominee to be chosen). He performed rather terribly - only 29% of the vote, the worst of any major party candidate other than Taft, I think (ignoring the confusion of the 1836, 1856, and 1860 elections). Davis went on to be the lawyer for segregationists in one of the companion cases to Brown v. Board, and was portrayed in the 1991 TV movie Separate but Equal by Burt Lancaster. (also starring Sidney Poitier as Thurgood Marshall).

I'm not sure why Bob finds Coolidge's campaign to be particularly principled and moral, though.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:38 AM
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didn't become President

But still won.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:38 AM
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I thought the point of the LGM post was to highlight the irony of a woman asserting a lack of masculinity as being a character defect.

I think that irony has been cutting against Clinton for about six months.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:40 AM
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21: the popular vote. There's a difference.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:42 AM
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21: the popular vote. There's a difference.

The electoral vote, too, had Florida been counted properly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:43 AM
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21. i'm not giving up my cynical, foul mood that easily. The American public is rotten and Gore was a special circumstance!


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 10:43 AM
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7: I don't read Dowd, but did she mention Carville's gross and idiotic comment the other day that if "Hillary gave one of her balls to Obama, they'd both still have two"?

Indeed she did, oud.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:08 AM
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This is deviating from my previous comments but this is the thread I'm commenting in, dammit. I know Hillary and McCain are supporting a gas tax holiday, a policy that all economists think is stupid and would just hurt the government and benefit big oil. I haven't been following the news much lately, though, and so this leaves me with a question: Why isn't Bush on this like white on rice?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:12 AM
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Hillary gave one of her balls to Obama, they'd both still have two

Hillary is Cheech!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:13 AM
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On the gas tax holiday, Congress is in session right now, right? Why haven't either Hillary or esp. McCain already proposed the bill?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:15 AM
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20:I was looking for a decent Republican campaign.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:21 AM
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I know Hillary and McCain are supporting a gas tax holiday, a policy that all economists think is stupid and would just hurt the government and benefit big oil.

ooh, wait. I've got a good metaphor here that I want to see in wider circulation:

The high price of gas is like a warning light on the dashboard. Its the market saying something that environmentalists have been saying for a while: We need to change energy sources. Now, when the "check engine" light comes on, some people take the car to the shop. Some people, on the other hand, put a little piece of masking tape over the light, so they won't have to think about it.

The gas tax holiday is like a little piece of masking tape put over the check engine light of the energy economy.

Yeah yeah yeah, analogy bans, whatever. I'm not trying to convince anyone who comments here. I'm certain you all agree with me. I just want to get some effective rhetoric circulating.

Please bring up this analogy in public places whenever possible.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:26 AM
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In payment I promise to circulate Cala's "He's likely to bomb Tehran if his bowels act up" meme.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:29 AM
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31: the really fun part is when the crankshaft seized up a few miles down the road.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:31 AM
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The gas tax holiday is like a little piece of masking tape put over the check engine light of the energy economy.

Nice. You need send that to Obama.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:36 AM
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Some people -- and I don't want to name names here, but you might know some of them as rob helpy-chalk -- think that the American economy is like a broken-down old car, that you might as well just leave by the side of the road for hobos to live in, because they have no faith in America or Americans. That's basically what they're saying.

I believe that the American economy is like a great big shiny manly SUV that never needs servicing, because JESUS is its fuel. Vroom!


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:47 AM
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Why haven't either Hillary or esp. McCain already proposed the bill?

Clinton has already done just that.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:49 AM
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36: It occurred to me that that might be the answer but was too lazy to check. Thanks.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 11:50 AM
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I believe that the American economy is like a great big shiny manly SUV that never needs servicing, because JESUS THE BLOOD OF MUSLIMS is its fuel. Vroom!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 12:43 PM
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I'd like to ban 'Gore lost because...'. He did get more votes, after all.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 12:50 PM
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40

Most revealing Unfogged post ever? I vote yes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 12:54 PM
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I thought it was interesting that when he said he didn't understand that post it was because he actually, due to lack of familiarity with Maureen Dowd, failed to understand the post.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:19 PM
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Most revealing Unfogged post ever?

Not even close, B.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:23 PM
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41 gets it right.

Usually on blogs when someone says "I don't understand what this person means", he means "I understand why this person is wrong".

There are other versions of this, particularly in the Crooked Timber comments. Beware anyone who starts their comment by saying "Interesting. But I would honestly like to know what you mean by..."


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:24 PM
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It's a philosopher thing, too. When Peter van I/nwagen writes 'I do not understand what this means' he means 'the other person's position is very wrong.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:27 PM
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When KH B-hrer says "that is very intelligent", I'm pretty sure he is also not saying "...but totally wrong".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:29 PM
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I mean, not saying aloud, but thinking.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:29 PM
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Ben, your comment 46 intrigues me, but I'm having trouble getting past the logical fallacies. Can you rephrase it in such a way that it can be fisked one sentence at a time?

What I'm getting from what you're saying here is that Jews should be seen and not heard. Or am I wrong in thinking that you're referring to the Kellogg-Briand Treaty?

http://auntfred.blogspot.com/


Posted by: Aunt Fred | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:33 PM
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45 is perfectly correct on it's own, Ben. He is also not saying "Look at my ears! They're so roooooouuuuuund." and "The major industries in halifax include fishing, mining, and agriculture."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:33 PM
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Haha misplaced apostrophe you (motherfucking) little minx, you. (Die.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:34 PM
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Mean people suck.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:34 PM
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MeanMost people suck.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:40 PM
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A former colleague and I once had a conversation about the custom of beginning objections in philosophy by saying "I just have one concern..." or "one point troubles me..." My friend thought this was disingenuous, and that people should just say "Here's where you are wrong" or "This is the counter-example that kills you." I thought it was a good custom, creating a feeling of mutual inquiry. Like "we'd both be interested to learn if this theory you presented is true. Lets see what we can make of it."

"I don't understand..." seems to be the worst of both worlds. It is both disingenuous and it still assumes that the parties are still in conflict.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 1:59 PM
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"It's not clear to me that..."

is the one I've heard a lot of in my subculture.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 2:03 PM
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My friend thought this was disingenuous

You know who's pretty annoying? Analytic philosophers.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 2:18 PM
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*MoDo* writes columns attempting to emasculate Democratic politicians all the time.

Right. Even if you assume that "emasculation" is a "central theme" of the Clinton campaign (and a couple cherry picked quotes isn't great evidence), the argument of every single Maureen Dowd column is that Democratic men are women and Democratic women are men. (Cf. especially the columns about the "lactating" Al Gore in the runup to the trivial 2000 election.)


Posted by: Scott Lemieux | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 2:21 PM
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52: I think it's a good custom, but it does lead to some amusing colloquia, where we all know that when Professor X says 'can you help me here? Either you mean Y, in which case it's true, but trivially so, or you mean Z, in which case I can't possibly see how that follows.....' we know the speaker is totally pwned.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 2:22 PM
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56: Well, when Professor X asks you for information on your mental state, you know you're confused.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 2:50 PM
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"Can you help me here?" is vastly more obnoxious than "I just have one concern."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 2:53 PM
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But so much more fun.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 3:10 PM
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Not as much fun as deciding that 'No shit, Sherlock' should not go in the dissertation.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 3:19 PM
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I look forward to deciding what papers to reference in the dissertation. There are plenty of points in the background where I can plausibly reference whatever the heck I want, and since it's not peer-reviewed or edited for length, what's the worst that could happen?

I'm trying to get everyone I know in my field to cite these two and incredibly unimportant papers whenever possible. But it's rarely possible.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 3:25 PM
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My friend thought this was disingenuous

Your friend probably doesn't like Columbo, either.

I use "it's not clear to me" a lot. But my two high points in colloquia have undoubtedly been:

a. Telling the speaker I found his view distasteful.
b. Saying hey, it's your talk during a brief back-and-forth before my question was adequately posed.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 3:28 PM
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56: The really fun part is when professor X is doing this to student of Y to the point of collapse, because professor X doesn't like professor Y.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 3:31 PM
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The best talks are when Prof X and Prof Y get in arguments with each other while the speaker looks on.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 3:33 PM
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These things belong in the courtroom, where forcing the witness into acknowledging his own logical paradoxes through world-historical degrees of passive-aggressive faux-friendliness can actually accomplish something besides embarrassing and pissing off the person being questioned.


Posted by: Golem | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 3:33 PM
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On TV courtrooms, you mean.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 3:36 PM
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I don't know anything about real courtrooms.

But watching TV courtrooms must be where one gets the idea that this sort of passive-aggressiveness is acceptable.


Posted by: Golem | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 3:38 PM
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64: Especially if they throw things. If prof Y isn't there to defend the student though, it's usually no fun to watch.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 3:40 PM
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Not as much fun as deciding that 'No shit, Sherlock' should not go in the dissertation.

Cala, can you produce two versions of your dissertation, an official one, and one with all the good parts left in?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 5:15 PM
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I really should. One with all the appropriate chapter headers and fun descriptions:

Why my interlocutor is a little bitch--why little bitchery is deprecated--In which I say, 'No shit, Sherlock'--Incredulous stares and other irrefutable claims--Look, not all virtus dormitiva are bad --A Q&A dialogue conducted in a Most Snarky Fashion -- Conclusions, Accolades, &c.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 5:24 PM
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45. Yojosdfgnsj et al. (1992) Blksdfis: Fsfgsjofgjois diog fjiwoejfowfoks soidfgos. J. Sfewfpw. Wwd. 200: 40-50.
46. Your mom (2002-present), private communication


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 5:27 PM
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Incredulous stares and other irrefutable claims

That's great.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 9:11 PM
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I forgot the section on 'My Jolly Roger is unfurled' and 'Stamping the foot, banging the table: a new critical style.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 9:14 PM
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'What is it like to be struck by the calabat?'


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 5-08 9:17 PM
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