Re: And That, My Fellow Americans, Is Why We Need A Fence

1

We don't need a fence to keep out the Greeks, ogged. There's a whole ocean.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 11:49 AM
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He meant a fence across the middle of Turkey.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 11:53 AM
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You mean a fence across the middle of Cyprus.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 11:53 AM
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No I don't.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 11:56 AM
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Do I?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 11:56 AM
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I have absolutely no idea what you're saying in this post.

But I'm going to argue with you anyway: the kind of things the old Greek guy said aren't about being in shock, necessarily. It's the kind of stuff anyone says when they're embarrassed but actually need the help.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 11:58 AM
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When the paramedics arrived, did you puff your chest out a little and suck your stomach in?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 11:59 AM
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Surely, you mean a fence along the Gulf of Malis.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 11:59 AM
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Out of the pool and toward the building?

This gym-club pool is not inside a building?

I can't even imagine the weather that would allow that to be open for more than half of the year.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:01 PM
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We all have people, or situations, that have this effect on us--it goes beyond being flustered to actually making you inhabit the role of dumb person.

Commenting on Unfogged can do this, for example.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:02 PM
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Goddamned classicists. Or Frank Miller fans. Whatever you are! The wall goes down the middle of goddamned Turkey: it's the 21st century!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:02 PM
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Isn't there already a UN force in the middle of Cyprus?


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:03 PM
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combative and self-satisfied

I resent that. I'm doing fine without your asinine opinions, anyway.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:05 PM
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The other thing this post reminds me of: how much of ogged's time at the pool is actually spent swimming? Every post he's hangin' out, bullshitting, rescuing legless greeks, observing wingnuts escorting geezers. Ogged, do you actually even get in the pool?

Is this normal? Is that how swimming works, you hang around chatting and then leap in, do a couple laps, and back out to the peanut gallery?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:08 PM
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"I thought about situations that make people much dumber than they normally are."

For many people it's almost any situation after getting out of bed. For me it used to be being around large supplied of hard drugs I didn't have to pay for. That really did me in for a while. Then I got away from the big supply of hard drugs and things were fine again. Still, there are probably certain jobs I ought not take.


Posted by: matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:09 PM
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14 is meant half-genuinely, even. Do people really spend so much of their limited workout time shooting the shit? Is that why it's rewarding to go to gyms and whathaveyou?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:09 PM
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Is this normal? Is that how swimming works, you hang around chatting and then leap in, do a couple laps, and back out to the peanut gallery?

Well, it's not like it's a real sport, right?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:09 PM
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15: you could always do more, it's true. I've run into that conundrum.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:10 PM
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The wall goes down the middle of goddamned TurkeyBerlin: it's the 21st 20th century!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:10 PM
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19: I don't know that communists were so focused on keeping the greeks out, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:11 PM
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When I used to go to the pool I didn't talk to people much. This didn't mean I was some sort of lap machine- I had to stop after somewhere between 4 and 15 laps, depending on how I was doing at the time, and catch my breath- plenty of time to talk. But no one was keen on talking. Then again, I'm not so friendly myself.


Posted by: matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:11 PM
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Silly commenters, ogged obviously means that we need a fence between the pool and the building.

An electric fence, of course.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:12 PM
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Being uncomfortable in a social setting can lead to embarrassing situations to be sure. In the sitcoms this is usually handled by "not mentioning Aunt Maude's mole", which is the size of her nose. I don't know how much language barrier/ immigrant status has got to do with it, I think it happens to all folks.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:12 PM
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The wall goes down the 39th parallel. It's the 21st century!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:13 PM
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13: I'm on a conference call reading this and having to suppress giggles. Thank you, you bastard.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:13 PM
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23: you know, maybe if somebody did mention the massive melanoma on Aunt Maude's face one of these days she would get some treatment.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:13 PM
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Do you really actually think that running at the pool is the kind of uncharacteristic acute foolishness brought on by being in a foreign land? Making rash business decisions, falling prey to confidence tricks, walking in dangerous neighborhoods alone at night, even driving your car stupidly, sure -- but that all sort of goes with "I'm here, I should be bold now!" or "The cues telling me that this is a bad idea are not my accustomed ones, so I don't pick up on them so well." Running at the pool, though, seems a little more... unusual as a manifestation of wild-and-crazy immigrant syndrome.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:14 PM
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27: in America, everywhere is non-slip! It is land of sure footing!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:15 PM
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Every post he's hangin' out, bullshitting, rescuing legless greeks, observing wingnuts escorting geezers.

I picture ogged sitting around with a bunch of guys, feet dangling in the water, braiding each others' body hair and trading waxing tips.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:15 PM
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almost any situation after getting out of bed

In my marriage, Mr. B. is stupid on waking up, and I'm bitchy. Makes for an absolutely marvellous combination. I highly recommend it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:15 PM
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For many people it's almost any situation after getting out of bed.

That makes me feel better...I thought it was just me.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:17 PM
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you know, maybe if somebody did mention the massive melanoma on Aunt Maude's face one of these days she would get some treatment.

Except not in this country, because it's an excluded line item in the 300 page HMO agreement. Which she's about to lose anyway, because of this unreported previous condition.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:18 PM
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I always feel really dumb when I injure myself. It doesn't help that when you hurt yourself people act like you're dumb, but it doesn't mean one isn't acting dumb.

Once, right before a big housewarming party for my first apartment, I was slicing the sponge out of some red peppers and plunged the blade deep into the flesh of my thumb. I felt so stupid I just wrapped it up in paper towels and continued cooking. I did exactly the same thing (bad knife bounced off the bread and sunk itself in my fingers) a few T-givings ago---wrapped it up in paper towels, drank a beer, and went on with the evening.

What I'd like to know is if there's any way to be cool about having been injured, so as to convince your friends you're not dying so they'll calm down, without becoming a moron about your own health needs. I tend to react to any major injury with "I'm fine!! I'll just walk it off here for a moment!" instead of "Hey, let's do some reasonable thinking about how bad this is."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:18 PM
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otoh, some people can do stupid things while still in bed ....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:19 PM
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27, 28: I'm believing that the guy really did have diarrhea, but that when he fell and broke his hip, his sphincter tightened up. And he said he just wanted to go for a jog b/c admitting he had the shits would have made it *even* more embarrassing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:19 PM
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27: in America, everywhere is non-slip! It is land of sure footing!

Everyone is mountain goat! With no mountain!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:20 PM
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37

35 sounds plausible. Some people are socialized to pretty extreme shame about bodily functions.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:20 PM
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In my marriage, Mr. B. is stupid on waking up, and I'm bitchy. Makes for an absolutely marvellous combination. I highly recommend it.

Sounds just like my marriage!

Of course, I continue to be stupid all through the day until I go to sleep at which point I achieve average intelligence until I wake up and am stupid again.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:21 PM
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33: I totally played it cool the time I gashed my forehead open (by leaping up excitedly in a low-ceilinged basement) in high school. I casually strolled up the stairs and said, hey, I'd hit my head. Somehow, the fact that my face was covered in blood belied my pose of relaxed savoir-faire.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:22 PM
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37: you want to grease up before have shower? Is no problem!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:22 PM
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33: Stay calm, finish the immediate task you're doing if you can, and go take care of it. Maybe, like, ask someone to stir X while you go put a bandage on. It's the not taking care of it (e.g., papertowels) that makes ppl keep flipping out.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:23 PM
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I'm mensa while I sleep, but less so when awake.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:24 PM
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What I'd like to know is if there's any way to be cool about having been injured, so as to convince your friends you're not dying so they'll calm down.

For all their faults, athletes, particularly ones who have been serious about it for a while, have this half-way right. Being pretty in tune with their bodies, they're good at figuring out if it's a serious hurt or not. If it isn't serious you then have to be all bs-macho about it, but that's a signal for the others there that it's not bad. If you don't do this, they'll worry/stop play/call ambulance/whatever.

Cooks, on the other hand, are pretty dumb about cuts.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:25 PM
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39: That happened to me at an Unfogged meetup a year ago, as many will recall. Except I was pretty drunk, and fell against the corner of a wood-paneled wall, and I kept saying, "It's fine! I just fell! I'm OK!" I had the hiccups!" as a huge group of people gathered around me to inform me that there was a three-inch gash in my forehead bleeding freely. They assumed I was on drugs, but I was just trying not to look dramatic, thus making the situation far more dramatic.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:26 PM
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uh, extra "


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:26 PM
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I always feel really dumb when I injure myself ... denial
Me too. I think the stance to take with other people depends on whether they know that you are, what was it, combative; if they do, they will discount everything you say as pointlessly self-serving, so you have to try twice as hard, an effort made more difficult by the shooting pains and taste of copper in the back of your mouth.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:26 PM
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39: I'm probably not the right person to comment about any of this, having self-medicated too many times (including stitches)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:26 PM
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Is this normal? Is that how swimming works, you hang around chatting and then leap in, do a couple laps, and back out to the peanut gallery?

Yes.

I wonder what the other people call Ogged on their blogs?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:26 PM
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The fact that my face was covered in blood belied my pose of relaxed savoir-faire

"Relaxed sang-froid" would have been an especially appropriate word choice in this case.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:28 PM
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Cooks, on the other hand, are pretty dumb about cuts.

Dumb how?

I bore witness to a short order cook of my acquiantance (I guess he's since been fired, but anyhow) slice his finger like a year ago and holy crap was he a big baby about it. Ashen, whiny, desperately keeping his finger elevated, initiating lengthy discussions with one and all about whether or not he needed to go to the hospital.

Is it ever appropriate to say to somebody who's just injured themselves "dude, quit being such a fucking baby"?

On the other hand, he whined his way into a significant quantity of vicodin, so maybe I'm the sucker.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:28 PM
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49: yes well it's not what I meant, so nyah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:29 PM
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I think the stereotypes are usually correct.

Women are really tough when they injure themselves.
Men are often huge babies.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:33 PM
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Dumb how?

In the kitchens I worked in (ages ago now), there was a lot of bullshit macho pressure, which led to far worse scarring (sometimes affecting motion) than should have been due to cuts that ought to have had attention. These guys pretty much need dismemberment or obvious nerve damage to consider it worth a quick trip to the clinic/ER.

It seems mileage varies.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:34 PM
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50: That seems uncharacteristic to me. Anyone who cooks a lot has scars on their hands, and is very used to the thought, "Is this something I can wrap up and continue cooking?"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:34 PM
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Is it ever appropriate to say to somebody who's just injured themselves "dude, quit being such a fucking baby"?

I say this all the time to my kids. I said it even more when they were babies.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:35 PM
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When I broke my ankle about 18 months ago, I didn't even fall to one knee because I was so embarrassed to have been injured, though I was in a cold, nauseated sweat from the pain. Told myself it was just a sprain. The pain made me a little curt at dinner that night. I waited until the next morning to tell the friends with whom I was traveling.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:35 PM
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as many will recall.

No, of course not. No one noticed at all.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:36 PM
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Is it ever appropriate to say to somebody who's just injured themselves "dude, quit being such a fucking baby"?

I do it all the time.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:37 PM
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and is very used to the thought, "Is this something I can wrap up and continue cooking?"

Yes, but as above, my experience suggested that the answer "yes" was sometimes given too easily.

Could just be bad sampling. I only mentioned it as an example of another injury-prone occupation that I had not found to be as introspective about it. Or at least as accurate.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:37 PM
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53, 54: well, he did get fired. Your analysis makes more sense to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:37 PM
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58 continued: but not to my child. TLL is a monster.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:38 PM
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61: Sexist.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:40 PM
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59: No, I'd say that's right. I have no doubt I'd do the same. When you're all covered in blood anyway, it's hard to tell how deep the thing is unless you've actually lost a finger, so you might as well wrap it up really tight, wait for the bleeding to slow down, and make a decision after dinner's ready. And then maybe after you've eaten. And had a few drinks. By then, you're fine!

I should have gotten stitches in my head so as to minimize scarring, but, over a year later, the scar is nearly invisible. For about six months, it looked like a deep pink dent in my forehead. Very unsexy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:42 PM
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Oh, and Bitch, PhD I make sure to make a big fuss when the either of the girls get hurt, but tell the boy to "rub some dirt on it". Gender norms don't come from nowhere, ya know.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:42 PM
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For about six months, it looked like a deep pink dent in my forehead. Very unsexy.

Or just unsexy to the wrong sort. I'm sure apo can find the appropriate website. I'm at work.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:44 PM
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Sadly, it's all too natural for fathers to try to toughen up their sons. I modify the comment: TLL is a typical father, and a monstrous parent.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:44 PM
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63: Along those lines, I knew a guitar teacher who as a young music student had worked in a sawmill every summer. The money was too good for him to pass it up, but he spent months with his hands in his pockets, freaked right the hell out about losing a finger/tip.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:45 PM
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64: Heh. In my house, Mr. B. is a huge, huge baby about being sick or hurt, and I'm not (also it drives me crazy that he's like that). Mostly I say things to PK like, "are you okay?" in a calm voice, and he says "yeah, I'm fine."

If he's really hurt, Mr. B. freaks out and starts yelling (*so* not helpful), and I, of course, do the soothing calm businesslike mama thing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:46 PM
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Sadly, it's all too natural for fathers to try to toughen up their sons.

I recommend keeping them in a kennel out back with the pit bulls. Then feed them all together.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:47 PM
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Django Reinhardt only had seven or eight fingers. The guy was being a big baby.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:47 PM
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69: to whom?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:48 PM
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69: My dad was all freaked out last time we visited about their pit bull (long story) possibly attacking PK. The dog's never attacked anyone in its entire life, and I kept trying to get dad to calm the fuck down. But no, he insists on trying to make PK be afraid of dogs. SIGH.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:49 PM
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71: Anyone with sons. You might lose a few, but the survivors won't be sissy-boys.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:49 PM
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||
My attention was just brought to this excellent BBC Science headline. Oh, BBC!
|>


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:49 PM
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Or just unsexy to the wrong sort. I'm sure apo can find the appropriate website.

This is a great book.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:49 PM
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72: Joking aside, that's really annoying.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:51 PM
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74: It's true. I'm much happier in Southern California than I was in Canada. So kind of the BBC to notice!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:52 PM
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73: to whom would you feed them, I meant.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:53 PM
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76: It is. Previous grandfather freakouts about black widows have definitely made PK an arachnophobe.

Which reminds me that I need to go thoroughly clean and vacuum his room, since he woke up yesterday with about six spider bites on his abdomen.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:54 PM
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Ever notice that from a US perspective, UK'ers complaining about the BBC is just like UK'ers complaining about the train/tube service?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:54 PM
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79: isn't he going to be confused when he develops the proportional arachnophobia of a spider.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:55 PM
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73: Oh. Tigers. They're noble, and sleek.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:55 PM
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That fear-of-dogs business is crap. Nothing brings out the latent biteyness in a dog than being around someone who's afraid of it.

I was attacked by a dog when I was a kid, and I was too bold with it, but it wasn't that I needed to learn fear; it was that I needed to learn dog-approaching etiquette.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:55 PM
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I, of course, do the soothing calm businesslike mama thing.

You mean "parent thing," right? Or are you trying to reinforce gender stereotypes?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:55 PM
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75: not the classic of scar fucking I thought you would point to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:56 PM
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79: it's probably not a bad idea to teach him not to play with black widows.

That said, make him clean his own damn room if he wants to spider bites to stop.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:56 PM
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81: It hadn't occurred to me to suggest that maybe the bites are the route to his new superpowers. Nice idea!

Of course, then he'll just start complaining about why don't the *mice* ever bite him.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:58 PM
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Which reminds me that I need to go thoroughly clean and vacuum his room, since he woke up yesterday with about six spider bites on his abdomen.

Hopefully, all of those babies spiders wont come out of those bites while he is at school.

How long is it supposed to take, a week or two?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:58 PM
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84: I am a mama. Therefore, when I do it, it is a mama thing.

Nice try, though.

86: I see. Is he also supposed to pull his bunk out away from the wall and vacuum thoroughly?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:59 PM
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87: shit get the kid some sewer rats, they'll bite him soon enough.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:59 PM
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89: No, you're supposed to buy him a roomba with scheduler. What sort of coastal elite are you?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:00 PM
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having self-medicated too many times (including stitches)

You poked an actual needle and thread through your own skin? Gah!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:01 PM
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We have a roomba, and in fact, the other day, PK said, "we should run the roomba more often."

To which my pissy husband answered, "we would, if *someone* wouldn't leave shit all over the floor." As if he weren't just as guilty.

Apo will be pleased to know, however, that I lost it a couple of weekends ago and insisted that NOTHING BE LEFT ON THE DINING ROOM TABLE AGAIN, EVER and that ever since I did this lo, the house is within acceptable parameters of familial messiness.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:02 PM
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God, I'm totally afraid of dogs now, and never was as a kid. No idea why.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:02 PM
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the bites are the route to his new superpowers

Well, of course.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:02 PM
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95: I laughed. Luckily we don't have those here, and since he's not dead, apparently they weren't black widows either.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:04 PM
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I'm totally afraid of dogs now, and never was as a kid

Same here. My fear dates to meeting a guard dog as a stoned trespasser, though I remember meeting him. Maybe you lost a few days somewhere? The body remembers what the mind forgets, sages say.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:06 PM
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92: Yeah, I've never been squeamish and I even had proper hooked needle and stitches. Did a 6" gash for a friend once where all we had was sewing needles etc. which was fiddly (getting sterile 10x more pain in the ass than the actual stitching)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:07 PM
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89: yes? How heavy is it?

93: I envy you. I've tried to insist on this sooo many times and yet our table is still constantly covered in my wife's junk. Like, so completely covered that we can't eat there. It's fucking ridiculous.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:09 PM
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Oh, I suppose some of my shit's on the table to, but it's her shit being there that bothers me.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:10 PM
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99: yet our table is still constantly covered in my wife's junk

There is some fruit that hangs too low to be picked.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:11 PM
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99.2: Yeah, that's what finally made me lose my shit. (I'd been asking for it for years.) Needless to say, I'm still putting Mr. B.'s laptop elsewhere most mornings, but it really does make a big difference.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:11 PM
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Luckily we don't have [tarantulas] here, and since he's not dead, apparently they weren't black widows either

Maybe so, but you've got something much, much worse.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:12 PM
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100: Yeah, see, there's your problem. ZERO TOLERANCE, baby.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:13 PM
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103: Brown recluses, not tarantulas.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:14 PM
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100 was mostly a joke.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:18 PM
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Brown recluses are generally much worse than tarantulas. I hate those things. Tarantulas can be sort of friendly.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:19 PM
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There is some fruit that hangs too low to be picked.

That kind of reconstructive surgery has been discussed previously here.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:19 PM
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75: That's the one with the "and suddenly there was titty everywhere" passage, right?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:20 PM
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Have I mentioend here before that I briefly had a pet tarantula as a kid, but one day lost it in our house? Holy shit was my mom mad, and I'm not sure she ever slept soundly in that house again. We moved a few yeard later.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:21 PM
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109: Indeed it is.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:21 PM
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Yuk. New Yorker abstracts.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:22 PM
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111: Memorable way of putting things, that Harry Crews. That one was better than The Knockout Artist and Muscle, as I recall.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:25 PM
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110: Thank god my kid only wants mammals as pets.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:25 PM
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And That, My Fellow Americans, Is Why We Need A Fence

And that, kids, is why you always leave a note!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:26 PM
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Memorable way of putting things, that Harry Crews.

I loves me some Harry Crews.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:26 PM
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93, 99, et seq.: My dining room table is covered in laundry. My kitchen table and living room coffee table are almost invariably covered in a combination of junk mail, paperwork, and half-finished arts and crafts. We mostly end up eating at the coffee table in front of the TV, because it's easiest to push all that onto the floor. The worst thing is, I have no one but me to blame. (Well, and Rory, but whose fault is it she hasn't learned to clean up after herself?) I did completely clean 2 out of 3 yesterday, but that's only because I have a looming deadline on a major brief. It won't last.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:28 PM
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||

I have become concerned that hotels have my musical taste recorded in a database somewhere, and set the radio accordingly when I check in. Am I paranoid? Should I be?

|>


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:31 PM
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118: nah, you're just predictably mainstream!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:32 PM
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119: There's no need to be insulting, Di.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:33 PM
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hotel music

Are you 33-37? If so, you can enjoy the novel experience of having your very own musical tastes become a commercially viable alternative to pop. Cool at first, then disturbing when you realize that the music of your spontaneous youth is now used (successfully, since you bought the latte) as a tool to peddle consumer goods. Enjoy it while it lasts, in a few years they'll be playing crap that only those damn kids that won't get off your lawn like.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:36 PM
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nah, you're just predictably mainstream!

I'm traveling for business in Santa Monica. The hotel I am staying in appears to cost several hundred dollars a night. The clientele in the restaurant for breakfast this morning was a mix of european tourists and what appeared to be wanna-be entertainment industry types. The radio was set to country music.

Same story in Vegas a few weeks ago.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:38 PM
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121: I remember the day when Portland's somewhat hip somewhat alternative station started running ads, and the first batch of ads including some for home cleaning supplies and other things new mothers need.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:39 PM
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You're a (possibly aging) hipster.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:39 PM
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Can they tell from your registration that you hail from somewhere like Nashville?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:40 PM
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123 is so totally sexist.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:41 PM
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A tavern in Portland I used to go to played jazz and alt country for aging hippies and hipsters, but the staff was more in the goth / speed metal direction. In the breaks between sets they would put their horrible music on the radio.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:41 PM
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Whenever I think of Harry Crews now I think of someone or other's piece on the Woodstock 2 concert (or whatever it was called), which contained the following song update:

She had rings in her nipples and celtic tattoos.
And I could tell without askin' that she read Harry Crews.

(And yes it is entirely my brothers' fault that I recognize the source material. Verily, I knew all the words to Scarlet Begonias by the time I was 5.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:41 PM
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Maybe lots of people listen to country music while on the road and missin' home.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:41 PM
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Real men don't clean, B. Especially not bachelors.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:41 PM
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123 is so totally sexist hilarious.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:42 PM
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Can they tell from your registration that you hail from somewhere like Nashville?

I don't think so. Mailing address is San Francisco, te registration made under the auspices of my employer (very large employer in SFBA, minimal presence elsewhere).

I guess I have some hipster tendencies (and some aging tendencies), but I don't think they're that obvious.

Maybe it is a coincidence.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:44 PM
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Scroobius pip is pretty funny. Expect to hear this in frozen foods in 9 years. Also Brad Paisley; the lyrics to his song "online" are hilarious, though the music's nothing special.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:44 PM
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You're a (possibly aging) hipster.

That depends on the country music. I don't think even the most diehard hipster in the Mission would listen to Toby Keith or Tim McGraw. There are some bridges irony can't cross.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:48 PM
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My son just got back from playing classic country for the Danes and Swedes. He'll be back there again in August.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:50 PM
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(And yes it is entirely my brothers' fault that I recognize the source material. Verily, I knew all the words to Scarlet Begonias by the time I was 5.)

Fault is a pejorative word. Didnt you mean to use a word with more positive connotations?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:53 PM
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That depends on the country music. I don't think even the most diehard hipster in the Mission would listen to Toby Keith or Tim McGraw.

FWIW, Tim McGraw is a proud Democrat, and Toby Keith has become increasingly critical of Bush.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:54 PM
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FWIW, Tim McGraw is a proud Democrat, and Toby Keith has become increasingly critical of Bush.

Their music still sucks.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:55 PM
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Toby Keith

Dude. Weed With Willie is a good song. But yes, you have a point.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:55 PM
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if you kill a spider there will be a thunderstorm
says our national superstition
i just do not talk to people in the streets first, that's the only difference between me myself and an exchange-self


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:55 PM
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Their music still sucks.

And this separates it from typical hipster tastes in exactly what way?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:56 PM
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And this separates it from typical hipster tastes in exactly what way?

The manner in which it sucks. Besides, people in flyover states listen to Toby Keith and Tim McGraw, and while hipsters may have "ironically" appropriated white trash cooking, most of them don't want to be reminded of the places they grew up in other ways.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 1:59 PM
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Why would I spell it "pheonix"?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:00 PM
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funny though, people keep asking me directions
the last time at the airport, the airtrain was delayed and the attendant announced something through the rupor or how it is called, an amplifier, speaking not very clearly
there were dozens people on the platform keeping quiet trying to get what she is saying and i got asked what did she say
i felt dumb, though i did get what she said


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:04 PM
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I don't know-- there's definitely a strain of self-deprecatory irony in country that's missing in metal and most hippety-hop.


She said: "I'm gonna' hire a wino to decorate our home,
"So you'll feel more at ease here, and you won't have to roam.
"We'll take out the dining room table, and put a bar along that wall.
"And a neon sign, to point the way, to our bathroom down the hall."

It's a fusion of this sensibility with hip-hop that makes Bubba Sparxx interesting.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:07 PM
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145: dude, what? There's no self-deprecatory irony in hip hop? How much have you actually listened to?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:08 PM
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And this separates it from typical hipster tastes in exactly what way?

It's earnest, in a modern rural sort of way. Even if hipster music fits the first criterion, it certainly won't fit the second. Alt-country isn't particularly earnest, as it acknowledges its own distance from the old-timey Americana it's trying to imitate. And as for the actual old-timey country and folk musics that some subsects of hipsters listen to, it sucks in a way almost completely irrelevant to modern rural living.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:09 PM
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people keep asking me directions

You probably look trustworthy, not combative and self-satisfied, so people turn to you. Better the risk of a wrong answer than rudeness.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:09 PM
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Also I downloaded Scroobius Pip and immediately downloaded it, I was so annoyed by it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:12 PM
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Immediately deleted it, stupid brain.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:12 PM
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I don't know-- there's definitely a strain of self-deprecatory irony in country that's missing in metal and most hippety-hop.

True enough... I'd be interested to see what sales of Trace Adkins' master work were like on the coasts.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:12 PM
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It's so true though, hip-hop never has any trace of self-aware irony.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:15 PM
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i like that people ask me and get just annoyed with myself for not being able to respond properly coz always like caught off guard


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:18 PM
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Nothing brings out the latent biteyness in a dog than being around someone who's afraid of it.

Dogs suck.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:19 PM
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And as for the actual old-timey country and folk musics that some subsects of hipsters listen to, it sucks in a way almost completely irrelevant to modern rural living.

Actual old-timey country and folk musics ("musics" here makes it seem as if you'd include, say, rembetika, and balkan music, though "old-timey" militates against that) do not suck, you shell ofa human.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:23 PM
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Dogs suck.

No, they bite. If they just sucked, nobody would be afraid of them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:23 PM
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And every male on the planet would own one.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:23 PM
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It's earnest, in a modern rural sort of way. Even if hipster music fits the first criterion, it certainly won't fit the second.

This rings true. Even the irony in pop country is earnest: redolent of humorous greeting cards or the aphorisms printed on laminated plaques in office cubicles.

The other qualities that define its suckiness (apart from its overproduced formulaic quality) are:
- preening humility: the quality of bragging about how humble you are
- hypocrisy worn on its sleeve: contemporary country oscillates effortlessly between wink 'n' nudge bad-boyism (often sung about in the past tense) and ostentatious moralism
- incest vibe: way too much carrying on about the special bond between fathers and daughters

It really does suck in a qualitatively worse way from most other pop music genres.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:24 PM
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Actual old-timey country and folk musics ("musics" here makes it seem as if you'd include, say, rembetika, and balkan music, though "old-timey" militates against that) do not suck

For real. This is crazy talk.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:25 PM
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Actual old-timey country and folk musics [...] do not suck

All the same, I'm very rarely tempted to listen to them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:26 PM
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And as for the actual old-timey country and folk musics that some subsects of hipsters listen to, it sucks in a way almost completely irrelevant to modern rural living.

I see that Ben and RFTS have already responded but this is so, so wrong.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:28 PM
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Actual old-timey country and folk musics ("musics" here makes it seem as if you'd include, say, rembetika, and balkan music, though "old-timey" militates against that) do not suck, you shell ofa human.

Yeah. Any self-respecting hipster must be familiar with the works of Greil Marcus, who never made any secret of his love for old-timey music.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:29 PM
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All the same, I'm very rarely tempted to listen to them.

I admit that my allegiances are more with folk revival singer-songwriters than the original source material but I would argue that both can be very good (while acknowledging that a lot of coffee house singer-songwriters are terrible).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:30 PM
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I hear dogs also lick.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:32 PM
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Y'all are hating on old-timey music now? Masterpieces like My Sweet Farm Girl?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:34 PM
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155, 159, etc. I concur that old timey country does not suck. I restrict my critique to pop country.

That said, there is probably a little bit of survivor bias at work here. The genius of, say, a Bill Monroe isn't representative of all the music of his era any more than Orson Welles is representative of the output of Hollywood in the 1940s. Sturgeon's Law and all that.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:37 PM
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Y'all are hating on old-timey

Just PMP, I'm tempted to say it was a troll.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:38 PM
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Hit a nerve here, I guess.

Public Enemy don't go in for self-deprecatory much, neither Schoolly D or fitty pence or Jay Z. NWA maybe, Kanye West maybe. There's plenty of irony, but not so much self-deprecation. Mocking someone else for being stupid isn't self-deprecation.

Country music never messes with god, country, or parenthood, and hip-hop never messes with machismo. Dunno-- maybe y'all listen to different hip-hop and there's a score of self-deprecatory lyrics; I don't know that El-P or Aesop Rock are really mainstream hip-hop, and they're sure both white. But even on say College Dropout, which is pretty thoughtful and introspective, I hear a lot more criticism of attitudes Kanye left behind or rejected than anything else.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:39 PM
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I hear dogs also lick.

I'm as phobic of this as of the biting, almost. (Dog spit! Gross!) Rory went through a "puppy kisses" phase when she was small that involved licking my face and then laughing hysterically at my revulsion. I'm scarred.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:39 PM
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The story of 20th century country is mostly the story of the southern Scots-Irish migration from intense rural poverty to suburban complacency. With musical quality inversely related to material well-being. There was great music (along with a lot of crap) being produced all the way from Jimmy Rodgers up to the 70s.

I do like contemporary country for the insight it gives into a certain kind of conservative suburban culture, though. It's intensely propagandistic and very anxiety-ridden -- sad songs, for instance, have been more or less banned. Presumably they tap fears that are no longer allowed into consciousness.

It's also generally pretty "feminist", not in the orthodox left-wing sense but in a pro-feminine way. Women are always portrayed as righteously asserting themselves and thinking positive. With an occasional exception, men are generally either apologizing or being rebellious in a boys-being-boys way that indicates that they really love their wives or will soon settle down. I think this is about the majority of the audience today being women. Country has always had something of a feminist streak (lots of strong women, etc.) but also lots of frankly sexist males. Of course, back in the old days it was just a more realistic and observant genre of music in general.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:40 PM
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Women are always portrayed as righteously asserting themselves and thinking positive. With an occasional exception, men are generally either apologizing or being rebellious in a boys-being-boys way that indicates that they really love their wives or will soon settle down.

This doesn't sound "feminist" so much as the standard "women as guardians of morality/civilizing influence" trope.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:41 PM
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168: so no, is what you're saying, you don't listen to much hip hop. Fair enough.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:44 PM
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155, 159, 161 - Bah, I was uses KR's frame of all hipster music sucking. The fact that I actually think old-timey music sucks was only marginally relevant (though my opinion is actually closer to apo's).

162 - I reject intellectual rock criticism and all its works. In fact, I reject pretty much any of the 1960s and 70s generation's obsession with hanging so much political and personal baggage on music.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:44 PM
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171: That's what PGD thinks "feminist" means, DK. Don't destroy the poor boy's entire belief system.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:45 PM
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The story of 20th century country is mostly the story of the southern Scots-Irish migration from intense rural poverty to suburban complacency. With musical quality inversely related to material well-being. There was great music (along with a lot of crap) being produced all the way from Jimmy Rodgers up to the 70s.

Exactly right.

It's intensely propagandistic
Mostly right

and very anxiety-ridden
Hmmm. I'd say it shines a light on anxieties only to reassure in the end. Like a romantic comedy.

sad songs, for instance, have been more or less banned.

No, no, no! Maudlin emotion is at least 25% of the pop country oeuvre. Nostalgia for the deceased father/mother/uncle/teacher who started the singer on the right path. Pining for the lover who was lost because of the singer's own foolishness/immaturity. Mourning for the local boy who went to war and didn't come back or came back physically or psychologically scarred.

That shit sells records.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:47 PM
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Maudlin emotion is at least 25% of the pop country oeuvre. Nostalgia for the deceased father/mother/uncle/teacher who started the singer on the right path. Pining for the lover who was lost because of the singer's own foolishness/immaturity. Mourning for the local boy who went to war and didn't come back or came back physically or psychologically scarred.

Don't forget Jesus.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:51 PM
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Authenticity sucks.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:51 PM
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much hip hop

Bad day? Who do you have in mind?



Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:55 PM
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With musical quality inversely related to material well-being.

It occurs to me that something like the same phenomenon afflicts hip-hop as well, no?

W/R/T pop country, two examples demonstrate PGD's point very nicely:

1. Mark Wills' Nineteen Something

Now I've got a mortgage and an SUV
But all this responsibility
Makes me wish - sometimes -
It was 1980 something, in the world that I grew up in.
Skating rinks and black Trans-Ams, big hair and parachute pants.
And looking back now, I can see me.
Oh man, did I look cheesy.
I wouldn't trade those days for nothin',
Oh it was 1980 somethin'.

He's a child of prosperity! His woes aren't cheatin' and drinkin', but late payment penalties!

2. Clay Walker, The Chain of Love

And though she didn't know her story,
And she probably never will
When the waitress went to get her change,
From a hundred dollar bill
The lady slipped right out the door,
And on a napkin left a note
There were tears in the waitress's eyes,
When she read what she wrote

The listener is expected to identify with a customer in the diner who left a $100 bill as a tip! It's a long way from Johnny Cash's Busted.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:58 PM
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Don't forget Jesus.

And to kill two birds with one stone, Hayes Carll's "She Left Me For Jesus".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:59 PM
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He's a child of prosperity! His woes aren't cheatin' and drinkin', but late payment penalties!

Perhaps you've never read John Cheever or John Updike, but it turns out that prosperous people cheat and drink too.

(moreover late payment penalties are a terrible problem for non-prosperous people)


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:07 PM
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It's also generally pretty "feminist", not in the orthodox left-wing sense but in a pro-feminine way.

I'm going to step up and defend PGD here. While it's true that traditional country took differentiated gender roles as axiomatic, it often expressed a critique of patriarchal double standards that is at least proto-feminist. Even Tammy Wynette (she of Stand by your Man) had it in her.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:14 PM
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178: oh, all sorts of rappers. From every era!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:14 PM
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181: Did Shearer ask you to cover for him on his coffee break or something, peep?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:16 PM
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And to kill two birds with one stone, Hayes Carll's "She Left Me For Jesus".

A common theme. See "Heavenly Design" on this page.

I think the earnestness is a big stumbling block to hipster acceptance, which is odd given the existence of emo...


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:17 PM
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No, no, no! Maudlin emotion is at least 25% of the pop country oeuvre.

No...maudlin emotion is entirely different from the sadness I'm talking about. Traditionally, the best country had a fatalistic acceptance of tragedy as part of life. That's gone, every song has a reassurance at the end, by an appeal to religion, positive thinking, etc. An obvious comparison is Hank Williams, where there's no reassurance, but even this monster hit from the heyday of soft 1970s countrypolitan still has some of that matter-of-fact fatalism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zAa72Isd3U

This doesn't sound "feminist" so much as the standard "women as guardians of morality/civilizing influence" trope.

Kind of. Traditionally country didn't question the patriarchy or anything like that, but it spoke up for women's interests within it. Ummm, as in "Don't Come a-Drinkin' with Lovin' on Your Mind". But I think today there's a level of emphasis on women's individual positive thinking and self-assertion that is new. It's also new that most male songs are directed toward supporting women in a way that women's songs are not directed toward men. I think a pretty substantial fraction of the audience is divorced women or single mothers.

There were a couple of truly great, flat-out feminist country songs in the 70s. Loretta Lynn, "The Pill" -- "I'm tearing down your brooder house, because now I've got the Pill". And quite a number by Dolly Parton. I remember I played this one during a long car ride with my mom and she turned to me at the end and said "that's exactly what it's like". Of course, she grew up in a different time, and this is in some ways a pre-sexual revolution song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8flWKQYQmF8

Speaking of rap and country, I've always thought a rapper should cover the old Jerry Reed hit, "She Got The Gold Mine, I Got the Shaft":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04RJyFCg7ks


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:18 PM
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184: Ha! That was obnoxious, wasn't it?

But I did have a point -- the problem with that song wasn't that the guy was well-off......the problem was that it was phony.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:23 PM
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And on traditional country and proto-feminism, you can easily trace it back to this great Kitty Wells song (and huge hit) way back in the early 50s:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMCUaVbgqe4

Once again, you have women defending their interests within the standard romantic system, but what a ringing defense -- "From the start most every heart that's ever broken, it's because there always was a man to blame". I know many women who still feel this way.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:23 PM
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I know many women who still feel this way.

Maybe you should stop, then.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:27 PM
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There were a couple of truly great, flat-out feminist country songs in the 70s...And quite a number by Dolly Parton.

Damn straight. Who could forget Nine to Five?

Workin' nine to five What a way to make a livin' Barely gettin' by It's all takin' and no givin' They just use your mind And they never give you credit It's enough to drive you Crazy if you let it Nine to five, for service and devotion You would think that I Would deserve a fair promotion Want to move ahead But the boss won't seem to let me I swear sometimes that man is out to get me

They let your dream
Just a' watch 'em shatter
You're just a step
On the boss man's ladder
But you got dreams he'll never take away


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:27 PM
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Yeah, Nine to Five for sure.

One thing you can totally trace in the history of country is white sympathy or identification with poverty -- poor people are depicted as somebody the singer or listener could actually be, something that is within family memory. Take even a funny novelty song like Roger Miller's "King of the Road" back in the 60s -- the protagonist is a hitchhiking bum and there's an assumed familiarity and sympathy with that life. Such a figure would be an unimaginable scary alien today.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:31 PM
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Traditionally, the best country had a fatalistic acceptance of tragedy as part of life. That's gone, every song has a reassurance at the end, by an appeal to religion, positive thinking, etc.

Daryl Worley's I Just Came Back From a War takes a tentative step toward reclaiming the Williamsian sense of tragedy, even as it makes concessions to the prevailing genre conventions that demand reassurance.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:35 PM
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Traditionally, the best country had a fatalistic acceptance of tragedy as part of life.

This is a good song, though (a) not precisely country in the way that's being discussed on the thread and (b) not engaged with the same sense of tragedy and fatalism.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:37 PM
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Good video, too!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:39 PM
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One thing you can totally trace in the history of country is white sympathy or identification with poverty -- poor people are depicted as somebody the singer or listener could actually be, something that is within family memory.

Continuing the meeting of the KR/PGD mutual admiration society, this hits the nail on the head. The worst part is that the genre implicitly lays claim to some elevated moral stature by virtue of having known or been close to poverty (descriptions of dad and granddad teaching the young 'uns what it means to go without are quite common), but the sympathy is all gone, replaced by resentment of the culturally alien. This is a broad brushstroke condemnation, and there are commendable exceptions, but the prevailing norms are no longer the shack in the holler, but the 3,500 square foot home in the suburban housing development.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:42 PM
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179

"The listener is expected to identify with a customer in the diner who left a $100 bill as a tip! ..."

Actually I think the listener is expected to identify with the waitress and her man.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:44 PM
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the attendant announced something through the rupor or how it is called, an amplifier, speaking not very clearly

The word is "loudspeaker", I think.


Posted by: Fatrman | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:44 PM
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This is a broad brushstroke condemnation, and there are commendable exceptions, but the prevailing norms are no longer the shack in the holler, but the 3,500 square foot home in the suburban housing development.

Does this reflect a decreased tolerance for the culturally different, or an actual change in the living circumstances of the audience? The country (and the lot of white southerners) has changed a lot since the 70s...


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:47 PM
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Thanks for the references. Since I came to DC, I drive a lot less, almost not at all (such an un-American place, DC, down to public transit!), so I'm falling behind current country.

Tammy Wynette (she of Stand by your Man)

I never read "Stand By Your Man" as anti-feminist exactly. It's a great song about immolating yourself on the pyre of love. Like Italian grand opera. It's tragic, about the pleasures of self-destruction, not, you know, a serious lifestyle suggestion.

Part of that might be how Tammy sang it. She always had a sob in her voice. What a magnificent singer -- she might be the best female country vocalist, better than Patsy Cline.

And her half-a-dozen divorces don't suggest that she was all that disposed to stand by her man if he was being a jerk.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:48 PM
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better than Patsy Cline.

heretic.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:51 PM
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Thank you, Mr. Fatrman.
i enjoy to read this thread very much
nice lyrics and explanations
in exchange, i'm not sure, but
killing two birds with one stone


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:51 PM
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two birds being identity-stealing and hiphop self-deprecation
here too, i, like, explained something :)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:55 PM
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200: Well, OK, I did say "might". Cline is supremely competent, for sure, and has a greater range than Tammy. But Tammy has some of that soft, caressing, sentimental catch to her voice, what the Italians call "morbidezza", that Patsy can't equal. And I'm a sentimental bastard.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 3:58 PM
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174 is insufferable.


Posted by: Pliggett Darcy | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 4:05 PM
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OT, but this is pretty amazing:

The women were former teachers, business owners and government officials who came to America in 1975 after the fall of Saigon and landed in a tent city for Vietnamese refugees near Sacramento called Hope Village.
Actress Tippi Hedren, drawn to the plight of Vietnamese refugees, visited every few days. The Vietnamese knew little of Hollywood, so Hedren showed them Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and pointed out her face on the screen.
Hedren was captivated by the refugees' stories of their homeland. They were, among other things, fascinated by her nails -- long, oval, the color of coral.
"I noticed that these women were very good with their hands," said Hedren, now 78. "I thought, why couldn't they learn how to do nails?"
So Hedren flew in her manicurist once a week to teach the women how to trim cuticles, remove calluses and perform nail wraps. She persuaded a nearby beauty school to teach the women and helped them find jobs.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 4:09 PM
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I never read "Stand By Your Man" as anti-feminist exactly.

It's susceptible to multiple readings, at least. I mentioned it because of the whole Hillary Clinton episode in 1992. But other works from Tammy's oeuvre are hard to call explain away: Apartment #9, Run Woman Run, Good Lovin' (Keeps the Home Together), and suchlike.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 4:12 PM
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"In stand-up comedy or prime-time TV, the spoof of a manicurist trying to tack on extra services in broken English is nearly universal." Well, that's perhaps going a wee bit too far, LA Times reporter.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 4:12 PM
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174 is insufferable. just B being B. Been here long?

206: Not trying to explain away. Masochistic surrender to the unfairness of love is essential to great romantic music. Apartment #9 is a great song. "Good Lovin'" isn't, but it's still not bad advice, if followed by both partners.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 4:20 PM
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205: People say that the Vietnam War had no purpose.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 4:31 PM
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To "The Pill" add Rated X which is about how people think you're easy if you're divorced. That whole Loretta Lynn album is a great one if you have that I-should-like-more-country NPR-listener thing going on.

A really good mix tape would intelligently cross Harry K. Smith's Anthology of American Music with its descendants, not just in, say, Bob Dylan's basement tapes a la the holy Greil, but in hip-hop, corridos and other odes to weird poor violent life.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 4:32 PM
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As far as swimming goes, two things:

1. I woke up in a hotel with a small pool, and though, "I'll try 10 laps, get some exercise." I was thoroughly winded after two.

2. Michael Phelps used to go to my chiropractor.

That is all I have to say about swimming.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 4:38 PM
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"Good Lovin'" isn't, but it's still not bad advice

Indeed:

Gotta' be a saint on Sunday morning, a devil on Saturday night. Then a little bit of lovin' will make everything all right.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 4:47 PM
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The problem is that when you're in an unfamiliar situation, dealing with it hasn't yet been fully bedded down and sedimented into second nature. So you do and say things because you're just pleased at being able to do something, anything, within the allowable range of possibilities. But if that range doesn't allow you to express the concepts and meanings you are used to working with, or if it does but you don't know how to articulate those concepts and meanings in the new idiom, you're going to come across as a 'dumb person' - or, as I like to put it, 'retard'. So you get all overly hearty and end up tripping over furniture. Of course, some of us deal with these unfluent situations with better grace than others. Take my mother - sharp and funny in Bengali; in English, not so much... but still kinda charming.


Posted by: Amit | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 7:46 PM
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Gotta' be a saint on Sunday morning, a devil on Saturday night. Then a little bit of lovin' will make everything all right.

Similar to the Charley Pride (love! love him!) song:

You've got to kiss an angel good morning / And lover her like the devil when you get back home.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 7:32 AM
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I tried toughening up my sprog by wrapping their skinned knees in treewrap and duct tape but my wife didn't like it.

But back to the slippery Greek - am I the first to whine because there is NO VIDEO?! What is this, BBS land?

You simply can not get on America's Funniest Home Videos without a video!

Standards have clearly fallen in my absence. Sigh.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:10 PM
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211

I woke up in a hotel with a small pool

Uh huh. That is illegal in five states that I know about.

Was there a "rubber ducky" involved? I tell you, kids these days.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:17 PM
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