Re: Millympics-Vanillympics

1

Between this and faking the footsteps it's like the whole olympic opening ceremony was nothing but artifice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:05 PM
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The Chinese gymnastics team that just won the gold? Entirely CGI.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:07 PM
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I don't buy this so-called "Water Cube" for one bit. How could they keep it frozen?


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:08 PM
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I miss the days when they would make political statements with their airbrushing. Say....


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:10 PM
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Oh, wank, wank. Does anyone honestly believe nothing like this has ever happened before, or can fake showy bullshit only happen in Big Evil Countries that Hate Freedom?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:10 PM
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4: I'm astonished by how drunk he was during all of that. You'd think somebody would keep him away from cameras.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:11 PM
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or can fake showy bullshit only happen in Big Evil Countries that Hate Freedom?

It's just particularly delightful when it involves calling a sweet 6-year-old girl "ugly".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:12 PM
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I totally called the lip-syncing during the opening ceremonies.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:12 PM
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Wow, I had completely missed all those political undertones in Heebie's post. Thanks for pointing them out, stras.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:13 PM
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Sorry about the jingoism, strasmangelo. We are chastened and embarrassed. You can go.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:13 PM
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6- That's unpossible, everyone knows he quit cold turkey at 40. Although the National Enquirer has often said he's drinking- why isn't Kaus on the case?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:14 PM
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The meanest thing ever.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:15 PM
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Technically I don't think he's holding it incorrectly. The stars go closest to your heart, even if that means that the stripes go to the right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:16 PM
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9: to be fair, Heebie did mention one of the few other lip-syncing scandals that took place in a country in America's disfavor (I honestly thought Milli Vanilli should have been allowed to keep their Cuban Grammy).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:16 PM
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Maybe all of the athletes are actually just lying in pods over there providing energy for the manufacture of killer toys to be sold to unsuspecting Americans. Michael Phelps is our Neo!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:17 PM
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13- If he were in front of a mirror it would look right.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:17 PM
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I heard if the gymnasts don't get gold they're going to paint them with lead paint until they die, Goldfinger style, and then package and sell them as limited edition Bratz figures.

Is what I heard.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:18 PM
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16: Don't make me explain about the optics.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:18 PM
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9: The linked post is called "Oh, China."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:19 PM
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16: but then Bush would be upside down. Oh, wait!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:19 PM
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19: strange, since the opening ceremonies were held in Milwaukee.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:20 PM
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10: And as usual, Fatman, you can go fuck yourself.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:23 PM
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What really annoys me about this is that I want to protest on behalf of the actual singer "But she's not ugly!" And that's still wrong -- if she's there to sing, so what if she were ugly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:24 PM
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19: Then comment in the thread over there.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:27 PM
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Also, a seven year old cannot be ugly. They're cute by virtue of their innocence and shortness.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:27 PM
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23: and she's six, for god's sake. How can a six year old be ugly? It's like saying "that is one bitter goddamned puppy."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:28 PM
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Pwned, but who got her age right? I dunno about anybody else, but I'm on pins and needles.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:29 PM
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25, 26: Is she six or seven? I for one will not rest until I see her birth certificate.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:29 PM
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Ugly... on the inside.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:31 PM
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"Millympics-Vanillympics" is kind of an awkward title, but "Mirri-Vanirri" would have been kind of racist, so good call, HG.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:31 PM
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I'm going to be generous and say that an eight year old also cannot be ugly. Unless it's a boy and he's trying to dress like Eminem.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:31 PM
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You can certainly make a six-year-old ugly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:33 PM
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Seriously, stras. You should know that this crowd would be talking exactly the same way if it happened in the L.A. or Atlanta games. It's what we do.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:34 PM
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33: I think he just felt like it was time to be a dick in some thread or other. Who among us can't empathize?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:35 PM
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33: Yeah stras, it's not like we're inscrutable or something.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:36 PM
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Spreadin' the love as always, Sifu.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:36 PM
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a seven year old cannot be ugly

Oh, sure they can. It's just bad form to acknowledge it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:39 PM
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34: Who among us can't empathize?

The same bastards who don't like NASCAR that's who.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:40 PM
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Me. I can't empathize.

And I hate puppies and cute kids that sing & smile simultaneously. Always hated the lil' monsters. Strangle 'em before they're old enough to play Annie. Like, tomorrow.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:43 PM
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Oh, sure they can. It's just bad form to acknowledge it.

Oh, Apo, they didn't know you were listening. And you had a great personality for a seven-year-old.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:43 PM
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I also thought that Kathy Selden was so much cuter than Lina Lamont.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:44 PM
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24: To connect the dots for you, the post linked from this one is called "Oh China." The subtext behind much Western commentary on the Beijing Olympics has involved the dictatorial nature of the Chinese regime, its secretiveness and its suppressive nature, etc. Not coincidentally, the notion of the sneaky, secretive Asian is a very old stereotype, was at the heart of Western fear of the "yellow peril" and remains the core of anti-China paranoia today. When people make a big deal of lip-syncing going on in a Olympics ceremony, and automatically attribute the lip-syncing to "China" within the current cultural and political context, it's perfectly legitimate to say that there's nothing uniquely Chinese about this.

And really, Fatman, I'm going to comment here when I want to comment here, whether you like my political views or not, and whether you insult me or not. So get over it.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:45 PM
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And Bob's completely right in 39.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:46 PM
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Bob's completely hilarious in 39. Tomorrow! I love ya!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:47 PM
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Say, stras, maybe they expected better from China, as opposed to stupid ol' US! Maybe they didn't think about the implications? Maybe none of that has anything to do with heebie's post? Or maybe, just maybe, being pointlessly dickish right out of the gate, assuming people will figure out from context what the fuck bad behavior you're ascribing to them this time, is no way to accomplish anything other than assuaging your own desire to feel superior?

But I guess you knew that. So much the better! Commenting 'r fun!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:49 PM
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Seriously, you people who claim there's no such thing as ugly children have clearly never worked in food service.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:49 PM
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And as far as Fatman's comments go, while I doubt he'll get you to stop commenting here, I'm sure as hell somebody else thought to mention how utterly, pointlessly toolish you were being. Because, hey, sharing is important!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:50 PM
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1.3 billion people, and they couldn't find a good singer who was also super-cute*? Was the song really hard, or what?

* I'm not really disputing that all little kids are basically cute, but everything has degrees. If these 2 girls were the only choices, I could see where it's a hard decision. With 50 million other girls standing outside the stage door, it seems like they could have avoided the whole issue.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:55 PM
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45: Sifu, give me a break. 17 is a funny joke and all, but it more or less makes my point for me. We're all aware that one of the main storylines being offered by our media on the 2004 Olympics has been that the Chinese are creepy weirdos who're capable of anything.

As for "being pointlessly dickish right out of the gate," given that you were going to declare what I had to say "pointlessly dickish" regardless, when was a good time to be pointlessly dickish?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:56 PM
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If these 2 girls were the only choices, I could see where it's a hard decision.

Really?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:56 PM
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The Chinese are in fact creepy weirdos who're capable of anything.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:57 PM
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how utterly, pointlessly toolish you were being

Would you mind explaining to me how I was being "utterly, pointlessly toolish"? Really, I'd like to hear what norm of Unfogged I violated here that was beneath the standards of, say, Ogged or BitchPhd.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:58 PM
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I think the idea that substituting in a more-attractive performer to lip-sync is somehow non-optimal is not an idea with a lot of currency, like, anywhere. It's just that the Milli Vanilli scandal has convinced the music industry in this country that you need to either be low-key about your stand-ins or use the NASA Studio Magic to preprocess the fuck out of the putatively attractive performer and then have them lip-sync to that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:58 PM
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52: I would mind that, yeah. It's obvious to me and everybody else, so maybe you should figure it out all on your own.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:59 PM
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The Chinese are in fact creepy weirdos who're capable of anything.

See, now we're cooking.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 3:59 PM
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I would mind that, yeah.

Why would you mind? Are you unable to articulate this? What, exactly, have I done that's such a terrible violation here? Don't tell me that it's "going off-topic," because we go off-topic all the time here. Don't tell me that it's going political, because Bitch went political early in dozens of the feminism threads. So what rule did I break here?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:01 PM
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Is it because I'm fragile?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:02 PM
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Stras's needless antagonism masks a very good point about the coverage. As Ogged used to say, you catch more flies with butter than with phlegm.

I fear that these two Chinese girls will stick together, forming a team not unlike Sydney Carton and his flashier senior Stryver from Tale of Two Cities, until the honey-throated ugly girl sacrifices herself to win the freedom of another, similar-looking ugly girl.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:06 PM
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You'd be surprised how many flies you can catch with phlegm.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:08 PM
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Really?

Sure. I mean, I know which way I'd go, but I value authenticity, which I hear is deprecated.

The group that has to make the decision will inevitably split between the "everything must be perfect" people and the "we shouldn't lip-synch, she's cute enough" people. I don't think that the kind of folks who coordinate massive spectacles like this tend to be the sort to eschew minor aesthetic distinctions.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:08 PM
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Stras, we don't really have rules. We have griping at each other. You griped about the post, Sifu griped about your griping, you're now griping about his griping about you -- it's the circle of life.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:09 PM
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59: stras is a world-class spitter. His alleged toolishness in this thread is really just displaced bitterness at being excluded from the US Spitting Team for transparently political reasons.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:11 PM
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"Oh, wank, wank. Does anyone honestly believe nothing like this has ever happened before, or can fake showy bullshit only happen in Big Evil Countries that Hate Freedom?"

Heebie's post refers to Milli-Vanilli. The linked post probably is titled "Oh, China", and attributes the lip-synching thing to China, not because it's attempting to spread U.S. gov't propaganda about how China hates freedom, but because this decision was apparently was made at the insistence of a Chinese Politburo member who argued that it was necessary in "the National Interest." I don't think heebie or anyone else remotely suggested that this just goes to show you can't trust those Asians, and I think you have to be: (1) paranoid, (2) kind of a dick to get that from this post. Deciding that only a seven year-old with perfect teeth who has commercial experience will look good enough on TV strikes me as at least as characteristic of the decadent West as the mysterious, inscrutable East. There does seem to be a creepy level of gov't obsession with the Olympics, but of all the ways to get your imperialist jollies, I prefer obsessive, oppresive opening ceremony choreography to what Russia's doing in South Ossetia to invading Iraq. But they should've let the girl with the good voice do it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:12 PM
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The important thing is this: the Chinese chose the right kid to represent them visually. The one on the right looks like she's trying to pee and having a hard time of it. "Wet oneself" is not the image China is trying to convey.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:14 PM
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Cute is the wrong metric. Perky is what we were going for here.


Posted by: Zhang Yimou | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:14 PM
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The Olympics: basically fake. Except we're they're in Greece and then they're only sorta fake.

The subtext behind much Western commentary on the Beijing Olympics has involved the dictatorial nature of the Chinese regime, its secretiveness and its suppressive nature, etc.

That's because they're oppressive communists. The problem is not in correctly describing the government of China, the problem is in incorrectly describing the United States, which is trying really hard for "authoritarian capitalist"... just like the Russians. Or the Chinese. (They've got the authoritarian part down, still trying for capitalist.)

Not coincidentally, the notion of the sneaky, secretive Asian is a very old stereotype, was at the heart of Western fear of the "yellow peril" and remains the core of anti-China paranoia today.

As opposed to notion of the savage, brutal and uncivilized colonial oppressors heartlessly exploiting six-year-old Chinese girls that remains the core of anti-Western/democratic paranoia in Asia.

WHEE!

When people make a big deal of lip-syncing going on in a Olympics ceremony, and automatically attribute the lip-syncing to "China" within the current cultural and political context, it's perfectly legitimate to say that there's nothing uniquely Chinese about this.

There's nothing uniquely Chinese about faking shit for the Olympics. It's still obnoxious when anybody does it.

max
['But I quit watching the Olympics years ago because it was fake and shit.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:24 PM
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Perhaps I'm wrong, but what I think is most depressing is 1) this is clearly part of the US trend of "let's have cute kids do patriotic things" and 2) they chose the kid that's a little more Western-looking. Sigh.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:27 PM
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Cute is the wrong metric. PerkyPesky is what we were going for here.


Posted by: Scooby-Doo Villain | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:31 PM
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They fill me with American pride and kind of make me teary because I just want other nations to like us again.

That blog is pretty wanky. If you want the world to like us again, you could start by not having the athletes dressed by a designer whose favorite fantasy is of a golden age of imperialism, and whose second favorite fantasy it that everyone in the US is a chet or wants to be one.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:34 PM
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I was one of those little kids who hit a really, really funny-looking stage at around 6 or 7. It was one of the not-infrequent phases of my growth when my nose outpaced the rest of my face, and then I had also learned that I could get my mother to stop brushing my hair by screaming and crying. I may have stopped bathing at around that age, judging from the pictures. Anyway, I looked like a little angel (complete with a halo of blond poof-fro) at about 4, and like an abandoned street hellion at about 6. It happens.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:43 PM
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Also, my adult teeth grew in at around then, with my front teeth at right angles to each other. Not quite ready for TV.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:44 PM
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69: I can't believe I actually read this post. The blog author wrote two books?! Then again, check this book out.

And this one: Bosnak digs herself into a more than $20,000 hole in less than a year. With stars in her eyes, she blindly plunks down $778 on lingerie here and $387 on a cut and color there. She justifies her frivolity as "emergencies" and "investments" in herself. "I was twenty-seven years old and I wasn't going to be a spring chicken much longer. So I needed these nighties to look as sexy as I could because I needed to land a man. So they were kind of like an investment. An investment in my sex life and an investment in my future.". Her solution is to beg on the internets, because her "low six figure" income was not enough to get her out of debt.

I am filled with despair. Ah, so this is chick lit. I am also 27, and in two short months turning 28 (emergency!). I guess I better add to my educational debt and get me to a lingerie store. I'm no spring chicken!


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:45 PM
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That blog is pretty wanky.

It's a fact. Also, holy shit, man, those fucking hats!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 4:54 PM
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Ah, so this is chick lit.

From the Booklist review of her other book, 20 Times a Lady:...blah blah blah she has the expected loopy single-gal freak-out blah blah blah...

Shit! So that's what's wrong with me. I could have saved so much money on therapy if I'd only realized that I Was Single! And a Gal!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 5:02 PM
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70: Huh. That happened to me too. Adorable until five, then downhill until 13, when a slow recovery was made. I have blamed late-childhood weight gain and bad hair and clothing fashions, as well as some damn ugly glasses that bridge that period, but there was also something pretty funky about my face.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 5:03 PM
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Me, too. Cute till six, pretty ugly until 19 or 20.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 5:15 PM
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As for "being pointlessly dickish right out of the gate," given that you were going to declare what I had to say "pointlessly dickish" regardless, when was a good time to be pointlessly dickish?

I never thought I'd see you advocate the right-wing attitude towards public diplomacy, stras.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 5:17 PM
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AT THE BUZZER: Dikembe Mutombo appears to utter a line in that ubiquitous Charles Schwab commercial, but the director apparently wagged his finger at the Atlanta center. Mutombo's voice is dubbed over by a faceless extra. ``I guess they decided they couldn't understand me,'' Mutombo reasoned.

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 5:27 PM
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They got someone *else* to say "Who wants to sex Mutombo?"?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 5:29 PM
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I hit my precipitous fall from cute at about eight. Adieu, adorable, âllo awkward.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 5:34 PM
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I was incredibly cute at eight. Puberty ruined me for life, in more ways than one.

||
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Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 5:41 PM
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I was a nightmare from 7 - 16.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 5:49 PM
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I hit my precipitous fall from cute at about eight.

One tries not to track exactly when it happened. It took 10 or 15 years to iron itself out, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 5:50 PM
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I'm feeling much better now! I love you, Stras! I love you, aesthetic decisions on the part of the people who put the opening ceremony together!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 6:03 PM
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The kid on the left is freakish. She reminds me of the inventor guy from The Specials and his smiling machine at the end of the movie. Ugh. Shudder. That's what I say.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 6:08 PM
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49: when is a good time to be pointlessly dickish?

It's like shitting or masturbating, and best not shared. But different people have different values, of course.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 6:26 PM
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I was kind of an ugly baby, an absolutely adorable toddler, then began my long, slow decline.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 6:56 PM
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Cute till six, pretty ugly until 19 or 20.

Pretty ugly or prettyugly? There is a difference, after all.

And while we're talking about the awkward phase, I have to say that those wire-rimmed "granny glasses" I had in early adolescence didn't do me any favours: they made me look like John Denver.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 7:02 PM
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The problem is not in correctly describing the government of China, the problem is in incorrectly describing the United States

Thank you, max.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 7:06 PM
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It is true that the moralistic tut-tutters talking about China (you know, the ones not in this thread) would find any lingering reputation for thoughtfulness they may retain by not going on about China like a strange, totalitarian dystopia so very unlike our beacon of democracy. A big, industrialized country with problematic governance: where have I heard that one before?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 7:30 PM
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10 runs in the bottom of the first? This game could be fun.

Ha-Ha!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 7:42 PM
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91: Fuck. Boston deserves to lose.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 7:49 PM
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91: so much for Zink.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 7:51 PM
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I wondered if there was some kind of sound delay going on when I noticed the little girl's voice wasn't synching with her lips. (I noticed a similar out-of-synch effect when Sarah Brightman and Liu Huan sang later on.) It's not that big a deal that she was lip-synching, and it's fascinating -- and completely understandable -- that there was that much high official interest in such relatively small details of the ceremony.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:04 PM
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Really, I'd like to hear what norm of Unfogged I violated here that was beneath the standards of, say, Ogged or BitchPhd.

None. The difference is that ogged and B. earn their dispensation by being occasionally insightful or witty, respectively.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:06 PM
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This thread reminds me of this thread.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:21 PM
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I challenge everyone to an awkward phase duel--no, an awkward phase Olympics--on the flickr group.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:37 PM
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The difference is that ogged and B. earn their dispensation by being occasionally insightful or witty, respectively

This is not the difference. The difference is hierarchy, or, if you'd like, tenure.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:37 PM
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98: you've been around quite a while, stras. Can it really simply be that circumstances have aligned against you, the brave truth teller?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:39 PM
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There can be no substitutes for Kobe, singing or otherwise.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:41 PM
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||
YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUK! This has turned out to be a fun game.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:43 PM
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Those pictures linked in 69 are horrific, exactly the sort of thing that makes me avoid the Parade of Nations. Oh look, here's the American team, just wandered over from glee club practice.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:43 PM
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The difference is hierarchy, or, if you'd like, tenure.

Or the ghost of a sense of humour, and some inkling of when to let something go.

Okay, not really the latter. But the former.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:44 PM
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I guess they decided they couldn't understand me,'' Mutombo reasoned.

I'm pretty sure I've never heard this guy's voice, but this sounds kind of unbelievable. Is he joking? He's lived in the US for a long time, right?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:45 PM
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Leaving aside whether he's being dickish here, I just want to be on the record as saying that I often find Stras both funny and insightful. Really, I'm not trying to take sides. And I know that I don't have the institutional memory to make such a ill-conceived move meaningful. Come to think of it, I probably should have just kept my mouth shut. [slinks away]


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:45 PM
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an


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:46 PM
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I just want to be on the record as saying that I often find Stras both funny and insightful.

I often find Stras insightful, and I don't think everyone has to be funny. I do find Stras unintentionally so when he wanders into a thread and stars lecturing somebody, on the slimmest possible excuse (like "linked to a Bible humour article" or "linked to an article that said 'Oh, China'") about their supposed connivance with imperialism and jingoism.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:49 PM
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"stars" s/b "starts"


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:50 PM
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I've long since slunk away, DS. So I don't know who you think you're talking to.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:55 PM
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99: I've been around for a while, but my opinions have been marginal the whole time. I've never known or met another commenter in person, I've never been to a meetup. While I've done some commenting in non-politics threads, politics are what primarily interest me, so I've spent less time cultivating a "funny" persona here. The result is a lot of regulars who "know" each other better than they "know" me and disagree with a lot of what I say, and whose first instinct is to disagree with me in a way they wouldn't disagree with a lot of other commenters.

Responses are to commenters as much as they are to comments here; I think that's fairly obvious. Really, was the single comment I made in 5 so egregious that it demanded the pile-on of personal jabs that started in 10 and rolled on intermittently throughout this thread? If apo had written 5 I doubt anyone would've blinked, but apo can get away with saying a lot more than I can. That's just the nature of this place: it's based on a sense of shared camaraderie, and some comrades share less camaraderie than others.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 8:58 PM
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Stras, I like what you have to say and don't agree with KR. I think you don't appreciate that most people here agree with the content of your comments some of the time, and quite a few people agree with the content of your comments most of the time.

So your comments often ring of an aggrieved jeremiad, as if you're hollering at us that we still don't get that soylent green is people. While there are a few people who don't believe that soylent green is people, most of us just aren't eating soylent green right now and probably won't soon.

I, for one, am entertained by your constant, pained outrage, am frequently provoked to thought by your critical politics, and have never had occasion to take your style personally.

It would be less interesting without you.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:00 PM
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107 gets it right. I like you, Stras! Really! That's a small part of why it's so frustrating when you land in a thread like a constipated turd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:00 PM
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111 gets it approximately right, too, in that I mostly agree with Stras. Just, y'know, think of us as fellow travelers, rather than faceless Cheneybots.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:02 PM
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Dude, I totally started writing 111 before the stras-love pile-on started.

Really, was the single comment I made in 5 so egregious that it demanded the pile-on of personal jabs that started in 10 and rolled on intermittently throughout this thread?

No. No, it was not.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:03 PM
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This is disgusting to watch, by the way.

I'm in the moderately pro-stras camp, though partly because a wise man taught me to find the hair-trigger outrage amusing rather than bothersome. On the other hand, "the single comment...in 5" is written by the very same person who harangues like others breathe, so it's not too surprising that people react differently to it than they would to the same comment from someone else.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:07 PM
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and I don't think everyone has to be funny.

Well, Jesus, that's a relief. Because so many of us so often aren't. Funny, I mean, by which I may or may not mean 'funny ha ha.'

Ari, please stop slinking away, it's bad for your posture.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:08 PM
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and I don't think everyone has to be funny.

As long as they find me funny! Just kidding. No I'm not.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:11 PM
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I'm astonished by how drunk he was during all of that.

I'm more astonished by how drunk I was during all of that.

So I didn't see the little kid. But I am disappointed to learn that Sarah Brightman and "some Chinese pop-star" performed at the opening ceremonies. Sigh. Sarah Brightman? What? The cast of Cats cost too much?

Anyway, given that the Chinese government has already run thousands of people out of the neighborhoods they razed to make room for the Olympics, I'm not going to quibble over a little lip-synching.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:11 PM
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115: well, right. If Witt had written 5 people would have rightly assumed she'd been unknowingly injected with high quality angeldust. But since it was our beloved strasmangelo "why won't you fucking fools look around you?" jones, people (meaning, among others, me) felt a little like, hey, let us act like assholes first, right? Then call us on it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:14 PM
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As far as your complaint about camaraderie -- a lot of that may be that you haven't shared a lot about yourself personally. I don't know what you do for pay, whom you screw, where you went on vacation, or what made you sad (besides oppression, to be fair). All I have to go on is your impressive haranguing. I think a lot of the feelings of sociability come from people knowing stuff about each others' kids, sex lives, eating habits, etc.

You're not wrong that there are weird statuses and in-groups here, but I don't think they're very pronounced or dominant. And you're under no obligation to reveal a lot about yourself personally -- but you might feel more personally appreciated if you did.

You know how they tell kidnap victims to tell their captors about their families to humanize themselves in their eyes? You could think of Unfogged as your kidnapper.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:14 PM
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Also, I love Stras. Like a fucking brother, man.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:14 PM
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You're not wrong that there are weird statuses and in-groups here

My god, you mean... there are people here?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:17 PM
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I, for one, am strenuously pro-stras.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:19 PM
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I am anti-slol.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:20 PM
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My god, you mean... there are people here?

More than that, Josh: it's full of stars.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:20 PM
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I am anti-slol.

You're too white to be the anti-slol.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:22 PM
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More than that, Josh: it's full of stars.

No, that was Wrongshore's point: some of us are D-listers.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:22 PM
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If you people make me the anti-stras I'm kicking some kind of adorable puppy-shaped object.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:22 PM
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109: Ahhh, but slinking is a notoriously slow process, Ari.

116, 117: Were I a bigger man, I'd take this opportunity to admit that you're both funnier than I am. Alas, I am a petty man. A deeply petty man.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:23 PM
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Seriously, Sifu, why do you have to be such a dick? Why do you have to hate?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:23 PM
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I think stras left once he realized we truly love him.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:24 PM
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I sort of loved the Parade of Nations. It was fun to watch with my mom.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:25 PM
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Don't leave, stras. I hate you.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:25 PM
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I am neither pro- nor anti-stras on principle, but reserve the right to reserve judgment, on principle.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:25 PM
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I may be white, slol, but I read Coates' blog, and that totally makes up for it. Except when he posts about D&D, which is just freaky.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:25 PM
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130: I learned it from you, dad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:26 PM
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Except when he posts about D&D, which is just freaky.

Now you're being totally racist. Stras, come yell at Labs for being racist, will you?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:27 PM
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I find stras inscrutable.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:27 PM
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135: omg I love his blog. It's like the secret Cosby/nerd history of The Wire.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:28 PM
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I find scrute instrasable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:28 PM
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I find stras inscrutable.

I find he contains stras-itudes, and I don't even know what that means.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:28 PM
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132: I just don't understand how people stay awake. I recorded the Opening Ceremonies just so I could fast-forward through all of that.

(133 is, of course, edgy humour!)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:28 PM
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133 is, of course, edgy humour!

Well it was.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:30 PM
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Sifu, the contrast between "let me tell you about my days as a Black Nationalist" and "hmm, roll a d20, or you're hit by kobolds" was so great. It's like he's got meta-street cred.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:30 PM
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143: I know, I know. A necessary sacrifice.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:31 PM
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#129. Were I a bigger man, I wouldn't admit that your neglect of 118 stabbed me to the heart. Alas, I am so deeply petty I should've been named "Richard."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:31 PM
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I think 134's very funny, though I worry that you're secretly sneering at me. For slinking, I mean.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:32 PM
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140: I find scrute instrasable.

I find strudel inabakery.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:32 PM
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146: 118 was a summation of parts working together in such a way that nothing needed to be added, taken away or altered.


Posted by: Strudel Inabakery | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:39 PM
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Come back Stras!

I think a lot of the feelings of sociability come from people knowing stuff about each others' kids, sex lives, eating habits, etc.

I'll type it up overnight and post it in the morning. Won't be that long, there's a lot of overlap. Always needing new dogs...


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:43 PM
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144: he like unites all subcultural nerdiness; "as a d&d nerd who grew up on the corners of West Baltimore at the knee of my black panther father, let me discuss with you McMegan's theories on affirmative action in the context of Public Enemy's later work.". So, so awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:43 PM
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151: I know, I think I should stop reading before the perfection is ruined.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:47 PM
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#149. Thanks. Pastries have never been so kind to me.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 9:57 PM
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is Oscar Wao.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 10:30 PM
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154: except not dead, and black.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 10:31 PM
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I'm in the moderately pro-stras camp, though partly because a wise, bearish, leather-clad man taught me to find the hair-trigger outrage amusing rather than bothersome sausage.

It's the best I can do at this hour.

What I love-hate is when threads turn into Processing Threads in which people must deeply examine how they relate to their own belly-buttons. It's like one eighth grade wasn't enough.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 11:06 PM
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Ladies and gentlemen, stop that girl, that four-year-old girl running up the aisle. Stop her! That's the girl whose voice you heard and loved tonight. She's the real star of the opening ceremony. Yang Peiyi!


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 11:51 PM
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I probably should be glad that I'm not watching the coverage too closely. I just learned that the Great Wall was for centuries a symbol of China's attempt to isolate itself from outside forces. And that 40 years ago Beijing was a forbidden city, but you'd never know it today! Oh China, for so long unchanging; now, so changed!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 11:57 PM
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You all already heard that China CGI'ed in extra fireworks for the TV broadcast of the ceremony, right?


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 12:14 AM
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Admit it, everyone. You really think that the actual little singer is plenty cute enough because they all look alike anyway.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 12:20 AM
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52: Actually he difference between me and Stras is that I fight straight up and don't try to hide behind the "but s/he's as bad as I am!!!" whine. But hey, whatever.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 12:27 AM
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they chose the kid that's a little more Western-looking. Sigh.

I was thinking of her as something vaguely like 'more commercial-looking', but it might come down to the same thing. I keep thinking that the girl on the right is cuter, because she looks more like a normal little kid.

But then I'm falling into the trap of 'but she is too cute!' that LB mentions in 23, and, meh.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 3:07 AM
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bitch, why don't you at least let us be assholes before...what? oh.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 4:04 AM
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I'm pretty sure I've never heard this guy's voice, but this sounds kind of unbelievable. Is he joking? He's lived in the US for a long time, right?

True blue American daughters, on hearing the power and virility of the black man's deep bass tone, would be overcome with the unstoppable urge to sex Mutombo.

[IIRC Mutombo still has a fairly thick African accent, as well as some serious bass.]


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 5:14 AM
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Blume in 162: I keep thinking that the girl on the right is cuter, because she looks more like a normal little kid.


Yes! She should have been allowed to sing even if she were ugly, but I actually prefer looking at the one on the right.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 7:18 AM
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Has anyone ever seen Obama and Mutumbo in the same room?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 7:42 AM
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162, 165: those are good points, but they also made me realize that the one on the left isn't Jon-Benet Ramsay-style tarted up, which is a relief. At least in the still, she looks plausibly like a real child fancied up by her parents, not the product of salons and stylists.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 7:56 AM
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167: When Lin Miaoke first walked out, M/tch said that she exemplified the Chinese tendency to highlight perfect-looking children smiling so exuberantly that it can seem forced.

Front page of the Times today, BTW.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 9:07 AM
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Oh good lord.

All this tut tut tut makes me want to barf. I really wish people would get off their high horses and toughen up a bit. This is the kind of stuff that give "PC" a bad name.

You send your best athletes to the Olympics. You pick your best singer. You give her the best face. Sheesh.

Big frigging deal. Some people need to grow up and learn the difference between real problems and phony problems.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 9:09 AM
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Yes! She should have been allowed to sing even if she were ugly, but I actually prefer looking at the one on the right.

This is kinda what I was getting at. There is a big difference between "allowing" someone to sing and giving someone center stage at the huge global event the opening ceremonies were.

They chose to present what they considered were the best voice and the best face. These kinds of judgment calls are all over the Olympics. Do coaches choose the solid veteran with the slower time or the unreliable but potentially better rookie?

It is real easy to tut tut and second guess but I consider that rather petty.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 9:15 AM
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They aren't elite athletes and there aren't any medals or endorsements at stake; they're little girls. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it's mean to both of them.

How would you feel if your daughter were told she wasn't cute enough to sing in public? Or if your daughter were picked to sing and then told at the last minute, sorry we changed our mind. (Although it isn't actually clear she knew until all the hubbub began; sorry, you thought your singing was being applauded, but your mike was turned off.) If someone did that to my nieces or nephew, I'd kick their ass into next week.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 9:21 AM
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I think I agree that the voice-over is not so bad, done as it was in the spirit of pageantry. I was more put off by the fake/videophotoshopped fireworks during the opening ceremonies, since the fireworks were orchestrated by Cai Guo-Qiang and what makes them stunning is that he can do so much with a basically familiar medium. I don't believe the viewer at home has any "right" to some standard of authenticity in televised, highly orchestrated pageantry.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 9:21 AM
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171: Mel Brooks's distinction between comedy and tragedy is particularly important in any such evaluation.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 9:24 AM
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172: well, apparently they actually did the fireworks, they just faked the helicopter shot.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 9:27 AM
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No one seems to have pointed out that the girl on the right is plenty cute, but has bad teeth. Whether they're just growing in or whether she need orthodenture I don't know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 11:15 AM
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Sir Kraab,

How would you feel if your daughter were told she wasn't cute enough to sing in public? Or if your daughter were picked to sing and then told at the last minute, sorry we changed our mind. (Although it isn't actually clear she knew until all the hubbub began; sorry, you thought your singing was being applauded, but your mike was turned off.) If someone did that to my nieces or nephew, I'd kick their ass into next week.

Apples and oranges. If my little girl was registered with a legitimate talent agent and was told her voice would be used at the frigging Olympic opening ceremonies being lip-synced by some other little girl I'd be frigging thrilled.

Same thing if the girl on camera knew she was lip-syncing someone else's voice.

Why do you invent these possible scenarios where someone's feelings were hurt? To me that looks like the "Where's Waldo" of being offended. "I see offense here, I see offense there." It diminishes the cases of actual legitimate offense.

They didn't simply go into people's houses and tell them their baby is ugly.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 12:59 PM
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175:

The singer needed darker eyebrows and more of a chin. The teeth themselves would have probably been OK.

Actually since some people are offended by someone who looks 'too good' they would have probably left the teeth as is. That way people can enjoy her looks guilt-free and yet not feel jealous of them.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 1:02 PM
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I was more put off by the fake/videophotoshopped fireworks during the opening ceremonies

The only thing that pisses me off about that is NBC's contention that they clearly conveyed to the viewers at home that the fireworks were CGI. No, you didn't, you fuckers.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 1:04 PM
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178: ayuh. All that coughing and "uh, well in a way this is really like live cinema" nonsense was... insufficient.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 1:05 PM
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How would you feel if your daughter were told she wasn't cute enough to sing in public?

She's a vile girl, and uglier than mortal sin-
Just seeing her has put me in a tearing bloody rage,
Which sufficed, Mrs Worthington,
Christ, Mrs Worthington!
DON'T PUT YOUR DAUGHTER ON THE STAGE!


Posted by: Noel Coward | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 1:07 PM
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177 is another in the serious of tripps to bizarro-world, populated by straw people.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 1:10 PM
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serious s/b series.

i should give up this afternoon.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 1:11 PM
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They didn't simply go into people's houses and tell them their baby is ugly.

It's not beyond the Red Chinese. Especially hurtful under the one-child policy.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 1:17 PM
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Like the old gag about the priest who was asked how he dealt with talking to parents about their infants before he baptised them, without being untruthful:

Now, if it's a lovely child, sure I say, "Well that's what I call a baby!"; if it's a bit less than perfect, I say, "Now that's something like a baby"; but if there's no help for it, I say, "Is that a baby!"


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 1:25 PM
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It's not beyond the Red Chinese. Especially hurtful under the one-child policy.

Well then let's save our offense for that, shall we?

Our priorities are all screwed up.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 1:32 PM
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177 is another in the serious of tripps to bizarro-world, populated by straw people.

Could you be more specific?

I agree that I should not have said people are offended by perfect looks. In general the "perfect look" appears phony - too western or too commercial. The looks are not offensive, but not compelling.

I still think that the charge of 'lookism,' when made against the entertainment industry, is driven by envy and jealousy.

Yes, lookism does not legitimately belong in other jobs, but in the entertainment industry it does.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 1:40 PM
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Speaking of straw people, no one "made a charge of lookism." You and stras ought to go on the road together, castigating one another for things he didn't say.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 3:28 PM
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Tripp, sometimes your contrarianism is interesting and significant, and sometimes it's just throwaway BS. And sometimes you have a strong point, and other times you just seem to be making noise.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-13-08 4:03 PM
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Be all that as it may, Tripp is right. The entire premise of pageantry is that it's about appearances.

I don't see how little Miaoke is "more Western," either. The basic distinguishing trait of Eastern from Western would be the epicanthic folds, and hers are more pronounced. The big honking ears could go either way. Are more even teeth and regular features supposed to be "more Western"? Why?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 1:20 AM
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