Re: Quick 'n' Dirty

1

Kotsko shows his centrist colors.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 10:06 PM
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I was going to say the same about Stanley, Mr. "I want political discussion to be full of nuance and people arguing reasonably with one another."


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 10:11 PM
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ari, for all his faults, types very well.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 10:13 PM
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I know how this is going to come across—yeah, yeah, I don't even have a blahblahblah—but Mother of God, is TV like that all the time now? How do people stand it?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 10:17 PM
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In vaguely related political news, I just read that Perriello officially beat Goode in my district. Goode was the douchenozzle, in case you've forgotten, who gave Rep. Ellison shit for swearing in on a copy of the Koran—Thomas Jefferson's copy, as it turned out. What a turd, and good riddance.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 10:22 PM
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Wait, you're a moderate Mooslim lover? Now that's just weird.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 10:27 PM
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Norm Coleman's lawyer has pissed off the Minnesota Supreme Court. "Minnesota is not Florida".

Here you have thousands of nice church ladies all over the state volunteering their time to have an honest election -- at fifteen below zero -- and then Coleman's mouthpiece talks about Florida?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 10:30 PM
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And our Supreme Court Justice can whip your Supreme Court Justice.

Trivia: if the DFL had any nerve at all Alan Page would have subbed for dead Paul Wellstone, and no one outside Minnesota would need to know who Norm Coleman is. I still claim Coleman is the creepiest Senator.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 10:35 PM
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4: Yeah, yeah it is. Jon Stewart's show does clip montages that are perfectly accurate. I haven't watched the TPM clips, but similar?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 10:39 PM
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But then you're an anti-Semite, John. Which, I suppose, probably adds to your authority on the subject. More seriously, Page would have been an ass-kicking choice for Wellstone's seat. I wonder if he didn't want it. Being a judge is a pretty good gig, what with the not-having-to-run-for-office-or-raise-money perks of the job. Come to think of it, do MN Supreme Justices have life tenure? Or does he have to campaign?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 10:43 PM
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6: Everyone loves moderate Muslims. Well, almost everyone.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 11:19 PM
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I don't love moderate Muslims, though I do find them very attractive. It's more of an infatuation than true love.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 11:32 PM
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I still claim Coleman is the creepiest Senator.

Arlen Specter? Mitch McConnell?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 6:34 AM
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8: I thought it was said at the time that Page didn't want the job. He certainly would have been a better choice than one of the most famous losers in modern American politics.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 6:38 AM
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I used to love moderate Muslims, but then I decided that I needed a little bacon space for myself. I still meet them for brunch on occasion.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:11 AM
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Coleman just has an unhealthy complexion, a weird shaped face, sort of limp posture, and sick, dead eyes. He didn't look much better when he was young.

I have the luxury of being able to cover my anti-Semitism by supporting a more stereotypically Jewish candidate. Minnesota has had a Jewish Senator continuously for two decades or so.

I suppose that I'm a homophobe too. There are also abundant rumors that Coleman is gay, though the other theory is that he isn't, but keeps finding homosexuals having sex with him. His putative wife has retained a separate lawyer from him for their family graft case. Perhaps taking a fall for him wasn't in her contract.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:43 AM
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13: Specter has both the creepiness and the name to go match.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:46 AM
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Why do these homosexuals keep sucking my Coleman?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:56 AM
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On the topic of Minnesota, 538.com has become too much for me to bear.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 11:57 AM
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Seems pretty bland to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 12:00 PM
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I always new that Kotsko would crap out when the chips were down.

In reality, no one should be following this, since hardly anything ever happens. I do it because I feel it's my duty to shoot down the "stolen election" meme when it appears.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 12:18 PM
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8: Background on Alan Page, please?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:12 PM
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We've been putting up our "Day in 60 Seconds" videos for a while. And people like them. Are they videos? Probably. That's what we're hearing, anyway. Now, am I calling them "amazing?" Since I don't know if they are amazing or not, it would be too soon to say. But that's what I hear. And what I think. Just saying.


Posted by: Joshua Micah Marshall | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:20 PM
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I call foul on 24. I saw "Joshua Micah Marshall comments on..." on the front page and rushed right over to witness our humble blogospheric abode being graced by the presence of the founder of TPM. I went so far as to wonder whether we should tidy up a bit (Does Josh appreciate a good cock joke? Surely he must! But will he understand that the charges and acknowledgements of antisemitism being thrown around are only in jest? And might he be turned off by the pedophilia jokes in the other thread?).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:28 PM
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I call foul on 25.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:31 PM
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It's pretty spot-on, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:33 PM
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Is it justified to call foul? We've heard some people saying yes. And let me be clear: there are people imitating other people on the internet. Is this OK? Sometimes. And sometimes not. We've been thinking about this. Let me be very clear: Not coming to a conclusion, just thinking. And in this instance? OK? Yes. Let me be clear.


Posted by: Joshua Micah Marshall | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:33 PM
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As if JMM doesn't already comment her under a pseudonym. (Looking at you, "ari".)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:37 PM
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22: Alan Page-
http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.jsp?player_id=171

Also, he's been on the Minnesota Supreme Court since 1993.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:37 PM
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doesn't already comment her

That's what she said!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:38 PM
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Hair-trigger reaction. At the latest when he helped rally the troops to block the gutting of Social Security, JMM earned a spot on my list of "people to whose defense I will automatically jump on the internet, so watch the fuck out".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:38 PM
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No more masturbating to Paul Weyrich.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:42 PM
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33

God Damn!!!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED HORNY-ASS HERITAGE SOCIETY INTERN | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:45 PM
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I'm also angered by this!


Posted by: OPINIONATED HORNY-ASS HERITAGE FOUNDATION INTERN | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:45 PM
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35

Wait, who?


Posted by: OPINIONATED HORNY-ASS HERITAGE KAYAKS INTERN | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 2:55 PM
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36

An Eskimo just came inside me!


Posted by: SATISFIED HORNY-ASS HERITAGE KAYAK | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 3:08 PM
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36: Anti-semitic pedophile!


Posted by: Skræling Hammer Protocol | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 6:16 PM
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No more masturbating to Nurse Chapel.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5je7I8T2di7PvaK8GamP14iZzuqhgD955BPH81


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 6:25 PM
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36: That's Inuit, racist Heritage twit.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:14 PM
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40

Yglesias is becoming more and more prone to the "start a sentence with a conjunction" thing as well, but instead of using it in the course of not wanting to come out and say what he's saying it, he uses it to hammer home the same points over and over: "Parking is valuable. And valuable things shouldn't be given away for free." The choppiness comes off as patronizing, as though he's dicing his argument into bite-sized chunks so that even his stupidest readers can understand. It's becoming really grating, even more than the repetition itself.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:53 PM
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40: but that way they do understand. And they're really stupid. And these are his readers. And this is the way he has to do it. But of course you're complaining. You aren't stupid. And still read Yglesias. So maybe you are stupid? It's very complicated. And I read a book about it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:00 PM
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42

PINKY WHITEHEAD HAS NOT CHANGED. AND PINKY WHITEHEAD WILL NEVER CHANGE.


Posted by: Harriet the Spy | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:01 PM
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All that said, Yglesias and JMM both do a pretty great job of turning out big piles of readable prose on relatively complex topics every day, without being constantly wrong. Not so easy!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:03 PM
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And valuable things shouldn't be given away for free.

??


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:03 PM
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45

My love is valuable and I give that away for free.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:05 PM
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SIFU TWEETY IS A PWNING JERK.


Posted by: Harriet the Spy | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:06 PM
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47

Yeah, look in Yglesias's comment threads for stupid.

They're the only commenters anywhere I've never been able to get a rise out of. Either they have no sense of humor or they disapprove of jokes. Or maybe they're so smart that they can't be trolled. Who knows?

I love the way Yglesias can get in and out of a topic quickly, in just a few words. I'd still like to see him age for a few more years.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:09 PM
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I'd still like to see him age for a few more years.

If only.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:10 PM
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45: WELL YOU SHOULDN'T.


Posted by: OPINIONATED YGGLES | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:11 PM
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Now that I see that I am 4 months older than Yglesias, I join in saying: Yeah, what that boy needs is some life experience!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:18 PM
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I'm younger than Yggles, but I still think I can justifiably demand that he get some LIFE EXPERIENCE, because my formative years took place outside of the New York/Boston "bubble"—indeed, my most formative years took place in Missouri.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:25 PM
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Yeah he should at least move to SF for a while. See how the other half lives.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:26 PM
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53

Or Buenos Aires.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:28 PM
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54

Yeah, look in Yglesias's comment threads for stupid.

They're the only commenters anywhere I've never been able to get a rise out of. Either they have no sense of humor or they disapprove of jokes. Or maybe they're so smart that they can't be trolled. Who knows?

For some reason there are large numbers of racists in Yglesias comment section, who always make their voices heard on social and especially economic issues. The non-racists therefore find it hard to get trolled by anything short of the ultimate evil, racism.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:28 PM
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I thought this blog had fixed the thing where all HTML tags automatically end at the end of a paragraph. The first two paragraphs in 54 are both quotes.

Anyway my point was that the commenters are definitely trolled by racism, though maybe not by a lot of other things.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:31 PM
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40: You were once a dick to me about this very thing. And don't think of forgotten. Because I'll get you, I will.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:35 PM
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PINKY WHITEHEAD HAS NOT CHANGED. AND PINKY WHITEHEAD WILL NEVER CHANGE.

xoxox


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:37 PM
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58

Man, I'm tempted to make a mega-dickish comment in response -- one that would cast my dick-net farther than anyone could possibly imagine.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:37 PM
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55.1: I think ben said no. Or ogged did.

I haven't been able to find the comments interesting in many places. Maybe it's just my mood lately. Awful lot of reactionary stupid or yea-saying out there, seems like. I'm down to something like 3 or 4 blogs whose comments I read.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:39 PM
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58: No need. You were right, of course. It's a stylistic tic that should be employed sparingly, if at all. I used and use it in blog comments because I'm lazy. And that hasn't changed, I'm afraid.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:42 PM
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Still, a net fashioned entirely of dicks is something I'd like to see.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:45 PM
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56: Oh, do try not to take it too personally, Ari. In the Republic of Letters Blogistan, any and every potential reader stands ready and willing, if not necessarily able (not that I mean Kotsko, of course), to assume the functions of an editor. That's reader response in an internet age.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:50 PM
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60 and previous: This is interesting, actually. Getting rid of the opening "And" of the final sentence there would lend a much more formal tone to the language. A flat "That hasn't changed, I'm afraid" sounds much drier.

It's not unlike the effect of stripping out any "I think that" sorts of phrases from one's openings. Get rid of those, and you sound more opinionated, dismissive perhaps, certainly more assertoric. That's not advised for blog commenting in certain arenas. So we add these softening openers.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:53 PM
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OT PSA: I didn't totally get it when Becks first posted about Ta-Nehisi Coates, but I just watched (well, mostly listened to) his Bloggingheads segment with Brian Beutler, and holy wow. The topic is ostensibly Beutler's semi-recent mugging and white people's fear of crime in general and black perpetrators in particular, and they do spend the first 40 minutes or so on that.

But the last 10-12 minutes just gather momentum like you wouldn't believe. Coates describes what it feels like to be a black teenager (especially male) afraid for your safety, and the way he does it is just extraordinary in how it evokes a leap of the imagination. He's talking about having attended a school that was later used as the model for "The Wire":

I was at this inner-city middle school, one of the more violent ones in the city.... I was in a gifted and talented program....which is sort of like the worst of the worst, you know. It's bad enough being a nerd, but to be a nerd in that situation [laughs]...
We were constantly, constantly afraid. And everybody I knew had gotten jumped, except people who had fallen in with other people who would prevent you from getting jumped. They were the only people who were sort of spared that. It wasn't so much that it was really going to happen that often, you know--
Nobody likes to have, essentially, their body taken from them. You know what I mean? Nobody likes to be in a situation where they're controlled by someone else. It dictates so much of who you are. It changes the way you look at the world. It changes how you look at other people. It changes your willingness to be sensitive. It ruins your access to certain emotions. To the extent that...once you go out to the adult world, you have great difficulty... transitioning in. Because the rules of what will keep you safe in one place are not the same as what will keep you safe in another place...
It's a very different thing to have rules to protect you when you're walking down the street. You gotta look a certain way, don't smile, walk like you know where you're going, preferably have about 10 people with you. [In contrast,] you can't show up to a job with 10 people! It helps to smile a little bit, you know, and look at people. It's a different rule set.

Seriously, I think it is the most accessible explanation of how young people in high-violence neighborhoods may feel that I've ever heard. It's easy enough to spout statistics but that doesn't evoke the same kind of empathy. I literally clicked right over to buy his memoir, because I can think of about four people I want to read it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:54 PM
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62: I'm not sure I did at the time, even though I was new to the workings of the rough-and-tumble blogosphere. Anyway, I certainly wouldn't now.

63: That seems right. More to the point, for my purposes at least, I'm not willing to be bound too tightly by rules of usage, grammar, or syntax when writing blog comments. W-lfs-n will be displeased by this, I know, but there it is. I spend my entire day writing*, and I like to let my hair down** at the local blogs in the evenings and late at night.

* Well, in a fictional universe I spend my entire day writing. In the here and now, I spend my entire day grading, wading through administrative crap, and answering student e-mails.

** This would be laugh-out-loud funny if you had ever met me in person. Okay, it wouldn't. But you might chuckle.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:00 PM
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Ari and MC seem to be on Canadian time. You only see them when normal people are going to bed. I had not been aware that Canadians are creatures of the night.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:07 PM
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65.2: Right. The only thing about this is that for some people, letting their hair down involves using qualifying, friendly-sounding openers; but I've actually had to learn to use those. Probably actually had to re-learn how to use them, since women in particular are trained to use them initially, and I'd fallen off that.

Anyway, this doesn't take issue with what you say; just interesting to me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:08 PM
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Get rid of those, and you sound more opinionated, dismissive perhaps, certainly more assertoric.

,i>women in particular are trained to use them initially

Indeed, there are 700-comment threads on this very blog that were inflamed by the lack of such conversational niceties and qualifiers, and at the risk of kicking off another one I'd say that a high percentage of them were caused by a female commenter failing to hedge as much as her audience felt they had a right to expect.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:13 PM
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Right, so let's just pretend I did the italics properly there.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:14 PM
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Speaking for myself, John, I show up after my kids are asleep and I've gotten a bit of work done. Then I leave to tap the maple trees, skate the canals, and hone my inferiority complex.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:15 PM
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68: Yeah, I know. And I can't believe you said that!

Ta-Nehisi Coates is great.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:17 PM
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I'm sure that my relative lack of softening qualifiers goes a long way toward explaining why I am so often "concerned trolled" about how much I abuse my commenters. Maybe I should shock them by going all Tim Burke on their ass.

(Early confession: I use too many em-dashes. That has been my struggle since early high school.)


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:17 PM
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Look, Witt, there's no need to be aggressive. Or standoffish.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:17 PM
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72: Also, an over-reliance on the word "early". And really, if you Tim Burked your commenting for a week or two, the world might collapse in upon itself. Please don't do it.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:19 PM
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I use too many em-dashes

Christ, man, I use too many semicolons. I can't bring myself to struggle over it.

I take it Tim Burke is all friendly qualifying opener using, hedge-like. I'd never noticed that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:25 PM
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is great.

Sometimes I think so. Sometimes I don't. When discussing race, for example, he seems to lean pretty heavily on idiosyncratic rather than structural explanations. Maybe he's right. But I'm not buying it.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:25 PM
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Your eagle eye is invaluable, Ari. Keep me accountable.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:27 PM
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72: That has been my struggle since early high school. That and the temptation to be a mega-dick, of course.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:27 PM
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71, 73: Yeah, you know, you guys, I'm really trying to get something clear here, and, well, I just -- I mean, it's a hypothesis, it's really just some thoughts, I, well, I'm thinking out loud -- not to suggest this is the truth or something.

I've gotten a lot blunter over the years. Mixed results. By the time I'm 90 I'll probably have alienated half the human race. Not the end of the world.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:28 PM
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Tim Burke is a reasonable man.

Ari writes like the parody of Josh Micah Marshall.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:28 PM
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Ari and MC seem to be on Canadian time.

Well, Canadian time = sudden death overtime, John. And while I can't tell you just when that final goal will be scored while youse has got yer star player in the penalty box (because that's just how we roll, we fifth columnists...), and nor yet can I tell just by whom (because that's just how we roll, up in Canada), I can assure you quite assuredly, and on principle, even, that it's later than you think.

Witt, this is very powerful:

Nobody likes to have, essentially, their body taken from them. You know what I mean?

I'm sure I don't know in quite the same way, but a few analogies do suggest themselves. Very poignant, and thought-provoking, and thanks for posting.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:28 PM
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76: We're having a crush here, ari. Keep away with that "maybe" and "sometimes" and "not" business.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:29 PM
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80.2: I didn't do the JMM parody upthread. Really, I didn't. I don't make fun of Josh. There's no margin in it for me.

82: I would never try to tarnish the apple of your eye.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:38 PM
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I wonder if my Tim Burke-ification would go any better than Dr. House's attempt to be nice in the last episode.

There's no better time than the present, though: I understand that there are reasons to start a sentence with a conjunction. I've been known to do it myself. In this bleak and lonesome life, do we need to deprive people of ways to start sentences? I'm not in the business of policing people's language, certainly. Ari, Josh Marshall, and Matt Yglesias all do fine work. There are always going to be disagreements, and I'm probably even in the minority here. What we need to do is figure out a way to get along in spite of those disagreements, and where that needs to start is for people who are object to the overuse of conjunctions to start sentences to stop being dicks and alienating those who are more comfortable with a loose approach to conjunction-initiated sentences. Part of that is using more couched language. Part of it is simple patience and the recognition that we're all human. Part of it is having a certain humility about the limits of persuasion. We've all got to live in this blog, after all.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:38 PM
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We've all got to live in this blog, after all.

Speak for yourself, dude.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:41 PM
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84: If you're going to have Rick Warren speak at your inauguration, it's on, bitch.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:42 PM
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No, you too, Witt. You may not think so, but it's true.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:43 PM
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Check me out: commenting on unfogged, from a different coast!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:43 PM
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Latest on the Minnesota recount: it will be decided in the last two weeks of January, and Al Franken will win by about 100 votes. I'll be updating this report daily.

Hold your breath, folks, it's going to be a very slow ride!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:45 PM
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I still feel that the excitement of Canadian life is most perfectly embodied in curling.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:47 PM
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89: And via TPM, Alan Page pointing out the limits of comity to his fellow justices (pdf, pg. 6).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:50 PM
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Man, if we couldget Carl Eller on that court, it would be dynamite.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:56 PM
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I still feel that the excitement of Canadian life is most perfectly embodied in curling.

Sweeping the ice and pushing stones around. Not a bad metaphor for my childhood, I'll grant you.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 10:02 PM
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92: They'd probably get to be the 2nd best court in the league country.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 10:07 PM
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My brother's so Canadian I bet he cheered for Canadia in the 2006 Olympics when they played against Minnesota.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 10:22 PM
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