Re: The plan keeps coming up again

1

How do you think I get to sleep every night?

Start out with a list of the things I would really need, then a plan of where to go and what to do. But I'm certainly not sharing them with you lot! Too crowded.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:33 PM
horizontal rule
2

I already live with my mom (for now), so if anything goes drastically wrong with my plans for the near future I could always come back for a while and start over with something else. I have a lot of flexibility at this point in my life, so I'm not overly concerned about what to do if that happens. I'd have several options to look at.

Longer-term, there's always the one trading post my family still owns. I've been idly thinking about possible ways to fix it up, and a big unexpected change in my life might be the perfect time to try something like that out.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:46 PM
horizontal rule
3

I keep a bag in my closet packed with a few sets of clothes, a pair of shoes, toothbrush etc., some cash. More out of superstition than anything else. I think I'm the sort of person who would dig a survival shelter if I lived in Montana or something.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:50 PM
horizontal rule
4

I didn't have a specific set of plans. Until now. What's your grandparents' address?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:51 PM
horizontal rule
5

4: 3.14159265 Lower Wacker.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:52 PM
horizontal rule
6

I used to have a specific set of plans, but now I don't need 'em.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:52 PM
horizontal rule
7

I have no idea. I'd say I'd move back to the Bay Area, but all my personal, can rely on for a while, connections are in southern California now. And I really don't like spending a lot of time there. (No offense to southern Californians; I understand the appeal of living there, but it's not an appeal to me.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:53 PM
horizontal rule
8

Having kids changes your set of options dramatically, of course. I'm supposed to head to the family ranch of my co-blogger Froz when the revolution comes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:53 PM
horizontal rule
9

That's awesome. TV shows should switch from their current policy of using 555-xxxx numbers for phone numbers to using famous mathematical constants.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:54 PM
horizontal rule
10

4: There are only so many suburban homes near Metra stops. If we map them all out, distribute them among commenters, and start knocking on doors, surely we can figure it out.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:54 PM
horizontal rule
11

Is 3 for real or is Matt F just funnin'? I've led the guy to a decent burrito, so I demand to know.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:54 PM
horizontal rule
12

I knew a guy who had an emergency kit in his trunk at all times, containing a canned food, marine batteries, radios bottled water, fatigues, hunting rifle, shotgun, extra shells and ammo, and I suspect at least one claymore mine.

Kind of a weird dude.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:57 PM
horizontal rule
13

I've led the guy to a decent burrito

When were you guys in CA?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 9:58 PM
horizontal rule
14

What does "everything went haywire" mean? Like, you suddenly find yourself with no money, and connections that would get you a job fall through? Or you just decide you need to be somewhere else, but nothing financially catastrophic has happened?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:01 PM
horizontal rule
15

What does "everything went haywire" mean?

A fair question. In the context of the conversation, I took her to mean losing job and all financial resources rather abruptly in an otherwise (relatively) stable economy. We weren't talking about the coming revolution, but I'm glad apo's gonna have wine for me when I make it out West to mooch.

That said, she might have also meant something else, like all your nearby friends/family dies in a tragic accident or something. I just though it an interesting thinkpiece.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:10 PM
horizontal rule
16

When were you guys in CA?

I said "decent", man. Cut me some slack.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:12 PM
horizontal rule
17

I have a plan of sorts. I think it's something about being in graduate school; I wonder what I would do when all my skills are declared useless and I have to start over from scratch.

I also used to have a much less realistic fantasy about moving to some central American country and living on the beach in a shack and fishing. That was better when I had a potential partner in mind that would have been perfect for said adventure.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:12 PM
horizontal rule
18

I didn't really just say "thinkpiece" did I? I did. Oh. I see. Crap.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:13 PM
horizontal rule
19

I've got a cache of rich friends myself. Thank you, private high school! All of my grand plans involve CA-MA drug arbitrage.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:15 PM
horizontal rule
20

Emu farming.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:18 PM
horizontal rule
21

I wonder what I would do when all my skills are declared useless and I have to start over from scratch.

See, I don't have to wonder about this. And it hasn't worked out so great so far. What I really should have done is take advantage of the grad school "schedule" to get experience as a volunteer or intern or something once I knew I wasn't interested in staying in academia. Now that I know what kinds of things I'd want to do in terms of volunteering, it all conflicts with my work schedule. I think I'm repeating myself from an earlier thread.

Anyway, I had a co-worker years ago whose universal back up plan seemed to be to take his savings and move to a country with a low cost of living and then figure out his next step.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:19 PM
horizontal rule
22

I figured I could maybe ride the rails for a while, get one of those hobo consultant gigs, but it's probably a pretty competitive scene. There's a place I could stay in Paris, but I'd have to fly there, and I can't stand all those goddamn recliners. I dunno, I'll figure something out.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:30 PM
horizontal rule
23

Stow away in one of those containers: Rail => Ship => Rail => Paris.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:33 PM
horizontal rule
24

12: I've got most of that in the trunk of my car. No guns, I don't want to have to explain possession or a stolen one to the cops. If there's a 'quake I'll grab one on the way out.

The car is usually parked on the street so it won't be trapped under the apartment. We can get water from the pool or wherever and I have one of those ceramic camping water filters in the kit. I probably should toss in some more clothes and blankets.

Anyway, lots of people have "Go bags", possibly even some urban liberals in NYC since 9/11.

If everything goes completely to hell? We'll probably head to Alabama to live with my daughter. The food chain is much shorter down there.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:33 PM
horizontal rule
25

23: just double check it's the right container.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:35 PM
horizontal rule
26

No guns

The key difference. His was mostly guns.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:35 PM
horizontal rule
27

one of those hobo consultant gigs

I sense I'm being mocked, and I approve.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:37 PM
horizontal rule
28

No guns

I intend to rely on my smoldering good looks and impeccable grammar to get me out of any potential unpleasantness on the way to the ranch.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:39 PM
horizontal rule
29

24: My parents-in-law are convinced that The End Is Near with all this financial stuff. They've offshored much of their savings (Europe, Australia) and have converted their front room into a cold room for food storage.

They've also purchased plywood for the windows, which suggests to me they think that The End will involve zombies.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:39 PM
horizontal rule
30

The key difference. His was mostly guns.

Never a good sign.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:41 PM
horizontal rule
31

I'm glad apo's gonna have wine for me when I make it out West to mooch.

This seems unlikely.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:44 PM
horizontal rule
32

In the context of the conversation, I took her to mean losing job and all financial resources rather abruptly in an otherwise (relatively) stable economy

Hmm. It's an interesting question. I could probably impose on my parents briefly (promising to pay them rent when able) while job-hunting, but surely there's something more interesting I could do. I can't think of any friends I could tolerate staying with for more than a week, but then I'm misanthropic that way and generally weird about sharing space with other people.

If I were going to change careers, most of the things that come to mind are other academic options, and yet there's no way in hell I would go back to school. (For that matter, grad programs tend not to want people who already have PhDs in something else, don't they?)

Actually I think if I had to start over at this point, I would try to find something to do that's less useless and more in line with my political/environmental opinions. Which I generally feel guilty about anyway.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:46 PM
horizontal rule
33

They've offshored much of their savings

About that...


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:46 PM
horizontal rule
34

It occurs to me that I am arguably in the midst of executing my plan right now.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:48 PM
horizontal rule
35

||

Oh dear god, I am so sick of grading. All I have left are three papers, likely C's or lower (the late ones oh so rarely turn out to be decent) and I just want it to ennnnnnnnd. I've graded nearly 20 others today, which isn't that many in the scheme of things but sorely tries my patience.

|>


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:50 PM
horizontal rule
36

35: well, look, I'm sick of doing homework. Maybe we can make a deal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:52 PM
horizontal rule
37

What is it? I'd so trade.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:53 PM
horizontal rule
38

Now I feel sort of uncomfortable that I can't come up with a fairly specific plan like yours after a little thought, because I realize I have essentially no practical experience in what it's like to try to get a job outside of my very specialized niche. Somehow I just sort of followed the path of least resistance to doing precisely the sort of thing I decided I wanted to do when I was, I don't know, 16?, and never stopped to give it much thought.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:53 PM
horizontal rule
39

Somehow I just sort of followed the path of least resistance to doing precisely the sort of thing I decided I wanted to do when I was, I don't know, 16?, and never stopped to give it much thought.

This sounds like me too, though my career path wasn't defined so much beyond go to college -> grad school (in some field) -> get a job. And I'm only on stage two, so we'll see. I've some experience working in the service industry but I'd probably go crazy if I went back to that.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 10:55 PM
horizontal rule
40

And I'm only on stage two, so we'll see.

Yeah, I'm on stage, uh, 2.5? In a temporary postdoc job which is really rather nice but will eventually end, at which point I'll have to try for a faculty job or some other postdoc position. So still at least two opportunities to get derailed from this course. And now I'm troubled by how little thought I've given to exit strategies, voluntary or not.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:02 PM
horizontal rule
41

My backup plan is to get a fellowship to read unfogged comments.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:06 PM
horizontal rule
42

Huh, this is a pretty interesting question. If the revolution came, I'd be pretty near fucked. I don't know anyone in rural areas, there's nothing remotely close to a "compound" until I go back a couple generations and out a couple branches to the Texas cattle ranchers on one side of my mom's family (they were the first generation out of Brooklyn, and they went where?!). It would totally be a wits-and-wiles situation.

If I just ended up having to leave town, or lost everything, but society still held together and I wasn't being tried for major crimes against humanity, I'd be just fine. It'd actually be kind of cool to get shaken out of my cozy nook here, but I'd probably end up in NYC, DC, or London trying to find jobs. Lots of friends whose couches I could crash on, plenty of potential jobs in my line of work, and loads of service jobs if any of that falls through. I don't have any specific backup careers I could hop into, but there are enough jobs in modern capitalism that fit under the nebulous "analyst" title that I could probably get by.

I really should develop a plan B that involves more tropics, though.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:07 PM
horizontal rule
43

I think Apo nailed it when he said that kids change everything. I don't even have a girlfriend at the moment, and my friends are still pretty much in a state of move-about-the-country flux, but this is a level of freedom that can't last for too long. If asked this question in 10 years, I'm probably have an answer much closer to "Fuck if I know."


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:09 PM
horizontal rule
44

"I'm probably"? Yeah, I'm real employable. I'll just land on my feet, no worries.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:11 PM
horizontal rule
45

Stanley's backup plan is to make other people super worried about their backup plans. Essear, you're going to make that man a mint.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:16 PM
horizontal rule
46

Tweetface: you're ruining my plan. Shhhhhhhhh!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:19 PM
horizontal rule
47

This thread is actually making me more confident in my backup plan(s).


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:26 PM
horizontal rule
48

Tweetface? Really?

Currently about 2/3 through reading The Road which is oddly appropriate for this thread.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:28 PM
horizontal rule
49

47: "At least I'm not as fucked as those poor sad bastards"?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:28 PM
horizontal rule
50

I need a backup for my backup for my backup. It's backups all the way down.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:29 PM
horizontal rule
51

It occurs to me that I am arguably in the midst of executing my plan right now.?

"Ok, I'm a DJ and thus have unlimited pussy. How can I arrange my life such that I may restrict myself to a unique orifice? If I should succeed, I will then flee the orifice for 3000 miles, if need be. Then I will do homework, and bitch."

Brilliant!


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:29 PM
horizontal rule
52

My first Plan B is to move to a cottage in Cape Breton, which admittedly isn't very realistic.

My second Plan B is to move to Chicago, which I just visited last weekend because one of my sisters just moved there from Canada, and they're so friendly there! and the sandwiches are so cheap, and people on the trains will actually talk to you, non-suspiciously, if you happen to catch their eye.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:29 PM
horizontal rule
53

Tweetface? Really?

It's a term of endearment!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:30 PM
horizontal rule
54

49: Pretty much, yeah.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:34 PM
horizontal rule
55

54: Enjoy your youth.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:35 PM
horizontal rule
56

Whoever's compiling the list of band names can add 'Tweetface Thinkpiece'. Stanley gets to be the drummer.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:35 PM
horizontal rule
57

56: Deal. Who is compiling that list, by the by? Someone should, and my finger is firmly placed upon my nose.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:37 PM
horizontal rule
58

Yo, Jetpack, what good is one Claymore mine? I mean, with, like, six, you can establish a perimeter. But just one? Kind of useless.

As for a backup plan, if you're Canadian you don't need one.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:38 PM
horizontal rule
59

This happened. I remarried. It worked out well.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:38 PM
horizontal rule
60

Ari seems feisty tonight.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:39 PM
horizontal rule
61

Speaking of needing backup plans because of the coming revolution, did people see that Obama went to Ford's Theater tonight? Dude's trying to give me nightmares.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:39 PM
horizontal rule
62

60: You looking for action, sailor?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:40 PM
horizontal rule
63

I think the line forms behind Megan, ari.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:41 PM
horizontal rule
64

Ok, new plan b: marry wrongshore's new wife.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:41 PM
horizontal rule
65

61: Besides your nightmares, how did he enjoy the play, ari?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:41 PM
horizontal rule
66

Is this the "I'm wasting my life in grad school" thread? Because I am. I am.

As for what I'd do come Armageddon, well, it'd probably be a lot like grad school. Eat a lot of pasta, not have a job, sleep late, move apartments all the time, crash at friends' places, write up equations in LaTeX.


Posted by: Alex F | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:41 PM
horizontal rule
67

The word sailor looks a bit like a boat.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:42 PM
horizontal rule
68

64: Now that's a plan I can recommend. From personal experience.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:43 PM
horizontal rule
69

58: it's a perimetini.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:45 PM
horizontal rule
70

I've basically decided to go elsewhere, but I'm still sort of hoping to hear from the Canadian school I've applied to before I'm really completely committed to going elsewhere. (Changing my mind right now is probably still possible, but complicated.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:48 PM
horizontal rule
71

perimemini: you all are surrounded.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:48 PM
horizontal rule
72

Can a locale's history really dissuade a presidential visit? Dallas misses presidents (except when it doesn't).


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:50 PM
horizontal rule
73

70: You asked a question about a Canadian school the other night. Is that the school from which you're waiting to hear? Because if so, that's the most beautiful campus of any university in North America. I used to dream of teaching there, even though being an Americanist at a Canadian university is like, um, [insert apt point of comparison here].


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:52 PM
horizontal rule
74

Actually, come to think of it I'm already on plan D if not E.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:53 PM
horizontal rule
75

73: Yes, that's the one. It's a looooooooooooong degree program (largely because the MLS and the archives are done jointly but separately and I don't want just one or the other). Nice place to spend time, though.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:56 PM
horizontal rule
76

75: Is it a well-respected program? Do they have funding? If the answers to those two questions are yes, you should go there. Unless the weather will bum you out. In which case, you shouldn't. I suppose it also matters what your other option is.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-11-09 11:59 PM
horizontal rule
77

75: You were totally clamoring for my ill-informed advice, right? Honestly, I think I piped up because the presence of you and Teo in this one thread is causing me to grapple with all kinds of what-ifs.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:02 AM
horizontal rule
78

I've got my shit correct; there are men on multiple continents convinced I'm Amy Sullivan come again. Teaching english is the way to go: hell, you might turn out to be good at it. Even if you aren't, you'd be better than a lot of these fucks.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:04 AM
horizontal rule
79

I know it's uncouth to request post-title comments, but no one? Really? Nothing? Share we not musical tastes?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:09 AM
horizontal rule
80

It was a complicated allusion to Tindersticks' "People Keep Comin' Around", right?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:13 AM
horizontal rule
81

80: No.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:16 AM
horizontal rule
82

Share we not, it seems. Unless by "we" you meant you and this Stanley, who seems familiar with the reference.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:18 AM
horizontal rule
83

82: I thought I'd used that title before. Damn.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:21 AM
horizontal rule
84

Spackerman uses the same one six times daily. You're doing fine.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:24 AM
horizontal rule
85

What is this "plan" of which you speak?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:46 AM
horizontal rule
86

85: It's a Built to Spill reference. A good band. Look up and buy their tunes.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 2:18 AM
horizontal rule
87

Stanley has covered himself in caustic resin.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 6:15 AM
horizontal rule
88

I'll admit to keeping emergency stuff in the car and the house. (Reading the Road didnt help.)

I have extra water, an emergency radio, cash, food, and my family has a basic idea of where to try to meet up. My problem is that the kids are with me half the time and with their mom half the time, so there is a distinct possibility that I have to make my way to them first.

Speaking of which, anyone see that ted.com video about surviving a nuclear explosion?

With regard to work disasters, the kids complicate the situation dramatically as my first responsibilities are to them. If it were just me, neither my needs nor my pride would prevent me from bumming a sofa or some floor space from a friend.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 6:43 AM
horizontal rule
89

aw, man, I was just a little too late to give Stanley the song-reckanizing tribute he'd hoped for.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 6:43 AM
horizontal rule
90

I maintain a wide variety of plans for a various disasters. I tend to think more about social collapse scenarios, because in my head at least, they are fun and adventurous. For some reason, I often imagine people migrating to where we are, rather than holing up with someone else. I suppose it is more gratifying to imagine yourself the provider.

The more realistic scenarios come up sometimes too. If I lost my job, we'd move to back to Canton where the cost of living is low and rely on Molly's income. Maybe raise chickens.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 6:58 AM
horizontal rule
91

I have a flashlight, but no batteries. I'm doomed.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:14 AM
horizontal rule
92

but mcmc, you have a battery operated bike so you are set when gas disappears!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:17 AM
horizontal rule
93

92: That's true. I can just keep moving, and recharge on the downhills.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:22 AM
horizontal rule
94

CA plans for disasters. He likes to keep a semi-large wad of cash about "in case they close the banks for a week." I tease him about it, but he really is the ant to my grasshopper. In fact, one of his Christmas presents from me was a solar and hand-crank powered am/fm radio/flashlight/cell phone charger. I thought this was hilarious ("so you're ready for the endtimes!"), but he was very pleased with it.

My social-collapse disaster plan involves finding my friend Lee, who can farm and build things and wire things and is the most all around handy person I have ever met.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:34 AM
horizontal rule
95

My only Plan B involves groveling to some awful, gigantic, corporate architecture firm for work if my practice utterly fails. No go bags, no rural connections, and sure as hell no extra cash (well, there is a $2 bill that I hold onto...).

I do have good practical skills, and, if I ever have a couple good years put together, I expect to have some rural property of my own to flee to. But for now....

Oh wait, there's this one: move to Austria to live with AB's cousins and work with/for the one who is an architect. Obviously not a societal collapse scenario.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:35 AM
horizontal rule
96

Invest in grocery chains, the post-apocalyptic Exxons. Canned food + lots of shopping carts = total win (if their management has had the foresight to stock up on ammo and guns). "This time around it's the checkout attendants turn to be on top."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:36 AM
horizontal rule
97

Not so much a plan, but I have my eye on a refuge. I may be too far from any family if things get really bad, so I'm hoping I can crash in my friends' spare bedroom. Although they are currently separated, and he's crashing on my sofa at the moment. So I've been thinking and worrying about this very thing!

The next option is a monastery. I'm more Buddhist than Catholic, but I have more skills to offer the latter. I'm probably too old for Shao Lin. Still shopping for one of those.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:40 AM
horizontal rule
98

I have no plan for realistic disasters like losing my job, other than "Get another job." The kids/family/mortgage thing means that any response would have to be totally disaster-specific, so I'm planning to play that by ear.

For unrealistic disasters like the total collapse of civilization, we go stay with a friend of Buck's from grade school who's a cross between Megan with guns and Cro-Magnon man (in a charming and personable way. Of course, I went to a party at his house once, and every single person there had a major childhood scar, still visible, that was all this guy's fault. Buck's is across his scalp, so it wouldn't show if he had hair.) Big garden, fruit trees, beehives, dead animal heads nailed to his walls, lots of various bows and arrows and guns and such. We've arranged to show up on his doorstop and do stoop labor while he reinvents feudalism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:44 AM
horizontal rule
99

I have no plan for realistic disasters like losing my job, other than "Get another job."

Ditto.

End of civilization stuff, I don't think I've ever seriously thought about it. My wife's family have a fairly big house and a garden that can grow enough food to support a family. There's always central Scotland -- which isn't that densely populated, is fertile, and I know it. But I can't really say I've ever really thought about it. People with graduate degrees and decent IT skills aren't likely to be in huge demand come the 'end times'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:51 AM
horizontal rule
100

i think that there is a difference between planning for an event like the one in The Road and some planning and kid educating about what to do in the event of a large explosion near you. (See http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/irwin_redlener_warns_of_nuclear_terrorism.html)

The large explosion possibility seems possible enough that I would want to have done some minimal preparation for it. Not constant, obsessive preparation, but enough planning so that my family has some knowledge of what to do and some hope for surviving for a couple of weeks.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:51 AM
horizontal rule
101

Everything is gonna be alright, Stanley.


Posted by: toops | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:52 AM
horizontal rule
102

94: I also got one of those hand-cranked radio things for Christmas. Not worried about the end times, but old trees, power lines on poles and minimal maintance from the power company. We lose power quite frequently.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:52 AM
horizontal rule
103

Are these taxidermed animal heads, or decaying organic natural animal heads with a big spike driven through the eye socket and out the back?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:53 AM
horizontal rule
104

Well, yes. My actual plan for the end of civilization is Step 1: Starve; Step 2: Die. I don't have high expectations for my ability to survive in the wild.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:54 AM
horizontal rule
105

103: Some taxidermy, some skulls, nothing currently rotting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:54 AM
horizontal rule
106

I have the option of dying of old age any time I want, which strikes me as the best Armageddon option.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:55 AM
horizontal rule
107

Turn tricks and move into an SRO.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:56 AM
horizontal rule
108

The next option is a monastery. I'm more Buddhist than Catholic, but I have more skills to offer the latter. I'm probably too old for Shao Lin.

If you can make brandy, jelly, or fruitcake, there's a Catholic monastery somewhere that's right for you.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:56 AM
horizontal rule
109

105: Does he have a blank spot on the wall where he plans to mount the head "of the greatest prey of them all!"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
110

102: Hee! Well, yes. That is the real story -- CA's power goes out many times a year. But I like to think that we can still charge his RAZR after the collapse of the capitalist system.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
111

Trappists make good carmels, if that's in your skill set.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
112

and move into an SRO

luxury!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
113

109: Oh, I don't think he's all that interested in killing anything he can't eat. Admittedly, the range of things he can eat is broad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:59 AM
horizontal rule
114

107 is useful because it works for either a personal economic downturn or a near total social collapse.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 7:59 AM
horizontal rule
115

110: Before relying on the hand-crank thing to charge you phone, check the instructions (mine says 15 minutes of cranking for one minute of talk time) and the plug (mine doesn't even fit). Maybe I got a crappy one.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:00 AM
horizontal rule
116

Admittedly, the range of things he can eat is broad.

The situation in 104 step 1 would show you your own constraints this way.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:00 AM
horizontal rule
117

The first thing we'd do is check to make sure it wasn't me forgetting to pay the electricity/water bill again.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:01 AM
horizontal rule
118

115: hand cranks are pretty limited. Someone should market an exercise bike/personal generator.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:01 AM
horizontal rule
119

I'm (mostly) kidding about the turn tricks part, but I do feel some comfort in knowing the addresses of 4 or 5 SROs in the city that will take you, pay weekly, no questions asked. I advise people not to go to the one where there are no ceilings, only chicken wire. That one's men-only, anyway.

My real plan involves selling my car and anything else I own that's worth anything (guitar, pretty nice bed), and taking some menial cleaning or dishwashing job. Staying with one's parents is nice, but when it costs you over a grand to get to one's parents, not such a great plan.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:01 AM
horizontal rule
120

114: Right, a near total social collapse would probably loosen zoning regulations, making SROs more common. It'd be libertarian utopia! I can't see attempting to turn tricks with a straight face, though. Actually, I can't see prospective customers keeping a straight face. Possibly I could work out some combination of prostitution and standup comedy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
121

115: Mine came with a little mail-card where you mark your cell-phone model and send off for the correct tip. I got him this one.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
122

otoh m. leblanc, the cost of travel drops precipitously once you reach the point where a) you can carry pretty much everything you own and b) you don't have to be there quickly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
123

re: 100

I grew up within a couple of miles of a major chemical plant [2 actually]. A couple of times it came close to blowing up and we had the police warnings.* The general advice seemed to be "shut the windows".

* I mean, it blew up fairly regularly,** but it came close to blowing up one of the bits that you don't want to have blow up, a couple of times.

** 50 tonne hydro-cracking towers shooting 500m in the air, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:04 AM
horizontal rule
124

122: Well, I can't really swim across the Atlantic, and boats are still pretty pricy, so I think it's still going to cost me a pretty penny to get to Cairo.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
125

it blew up fairly regularly

I thought Scots were supposed to be good at industrialism and such. Did anyone consider investigating ways to run a chemical plant that might incorporate less in the way of explosions?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:06 AM
horizontal rule
126

111: Caramel is regrettably not in my skill set. And with that, I was enlightnened. Thank you, guru.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:07 AM
horizontal rule
127

121: Thanks. I may have missed something in the box or thought it was just a warrantee card. I'll look again.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:07 AM
horizontal rule
128

126: I'm pretty sure it's just a matter of heating sugar and water to a certain temperature. Bear in mind that Trappists take vows of silence. You can talk if it is necessary (i.e. about how to make carmel, at mass), but not about trivial. Which isn't part of my skill set.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:10 AM
horizontal rule
129

124: Oh, come on. Walk to Alaska, get a small boat across the Bering Straight, walk the length of Asia diagonally, and Bob's your uncle. Show some initiative.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:10 AM
horizontal rule
130

Yes, enlightnened. I've truly lost my innonence.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:11 AM
horizontal rule
131

124: Maybe you could work passage, it might just be a bit 'round about journey. At least, I know people who've done this (typically private, not commercial) but I suspect their particular methods would fall apart with a significant collapse, so who knows.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:11 AM
horizontal rule
132

re: 125

Refineries and cracking plants seem to blow up quite a lot. The plant is enormous, so there's a lot to go wrong.

http://www.take-a-view.co.uk/images/2007winners/AY_0001265.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/5/5476199_851f906954.jpg?v=0

[from the opposite bank of the river]

The one time that things genuinely got hairy, there was a tank fire within 100m or so of the cyanide plant.* One guy died, I think. I knew the firemen who went in, which must have been a scary scary job.

* I worked for a contractor at the plant at the time.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:11 AM
horizontal rule
133

128: Sure it sounds easy. Then you learn that they do it the old-fashioned pre-thermometer way.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:12 AM
horizontal rule
134

That's some dark Satanic mills you've got going there. Very impressive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:12 AM
horizontal rule
135

134: Come the social collapse, OSHA gets in the neck right quickly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
136

In terms of things going haywire personally, like losing my job and being unable to find another one due to some screw-up, I'd move back in with my parents in Vermont. They always told me that I was welcome to move back in so I assume the offer still stands, and I still have more personal connections in that area than here, so I'd have at least decent chances of finding a paying job.

In terms of things going haywire economically, like losing my job during another Great Depression, I might move back in with my parents. Again, I assume I'd be welcome, and they have a house out in the sticks. They're nowhere near self-sufficient, but food from the garden two months of the year is better than none. They have a wood stove, plenty of candles, and I think they have a hand-cranked flashlight/radio too. This option will probably be available all my life - they'll probably never sell the house - but five to 10 years from now they'll be old enough that in an economic collapse they'd need help more than I would.

In terms of things going haywire societally, like biological warfare or the economy degenerating to the point of a Mad Max scenario, fuck if I know. I don't have a car, I don't own a car or a gun and my most useful skill is proofreading. On the bright side, I live in the DC area, so I'm either at the epicenter of the initial collapse and it's over quickly for me, or I'm in one of the places best prepared for it.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:14 AM
horizontal rule
137

133: Memo to self: Keep old-style non-electric thermometers well stocked.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:14 AM
horizontal rule
138

re: 134

Yeah, the plant is about 3 miles end to end. Maybe a bit longer.

http://www.emersonprocess.com/home/news/resources/images/bp-grangemouth1_hires.jpg

At night the whole thing looks like it's on fire.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
139

What's a SRO?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
140

or the economy degenerating to the point of a Mad Max scenario.

In this case, you can always take up punk hair styling or leather tooling.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
141

SRO = "Seriously Rat-infested Old" hotel


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:18 AM
horizontal rule
142

140: I was actually picturing leather and bandoliers filled with red pens and tape flags. Cyrus, Rogue Copyeditor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:19 AM
horizontal rule
143

SRO = "Seriously Rat-infested Old" hotel

local food!


Aside to Cyrus, stands for single room occupancy.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:20 AM
horizontal rule
144

My strategy for dealing with the total economic collapse so far has been to keep my job and hope the stimulus package money trickles down to Ohio community colleges.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:21 AM
horizontal rule
145

Speaking of trickle down, it might be good to start to practice the whole 'squat' thing for when the sewers stop working.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:24 AM
horizontal rule
146

144 sounds like the best option, followed by 106.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
147

It's never too late to die of old age.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:33 AM
horizontal rule
148

Tell that to an 19 year old passing the tenth floor of the Empire State Building on the way down.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:36 AM
horizontal rule
149

148: falling in a blind panic ages one, don't you think?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:38 AM
horizontal rule
150

I live far enough from DC and Baltimore to be out of the blast radius, but, depending on the wind, I could be screwed by the radioactive fallout. I think my best bet is to head for West Virginia.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
151

Belated props, Stanley, for the post title. I've had the song in my head all morning, a good thing.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:56 AM
horizontal rule
152

My actual plan for the end of civilization is Step 1: [Rob a liquor store;] Step 1[A]: Starve; Step 2: Die.

In the event of a less, uh, catastrophic, catastrophe, such as losing my job, I'd probably just try to hang on as best I could. Maybe I'd try to get a job with a friend of mine who runs a gardening/landscaping business. Or maybe I'll be that homeless-looking guy I see every morning, the one who sits on a bench with his backpacks and reads blogs on his laptop. (Really. I don't know what that cat's story is.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
153

Or maybe I'll be that homeless-looking guy I see every morning, the one who sits on a bench with his backpacks and reads blogs on his laptop. (Really. I don't know what that cat's story is.)

He's probably in this thread.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
154

Layoff: Devote all waking hours to learning everything there is to know about Asterisk, as literally everything interesting that's likely to happen in this industry seems to use it.

Movie plot threat: Improvise, adapt and overcome, because in those scenarios none of your prior planning is likely to remain valid anyway. Although I grew up in the countryside, there's no way I'm going back to my home town - I pissed way too many people off.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
155

That's exactly why you'll end up going back there in the movie version, Alex. So dramatic! So many amends to be made!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
156

I was thinking. Just when you think you've successfully restarted civilization, cue the grade-school nemesis.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:17 AM
horizontal rule
157

Alex sure has a purty mouth.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
158

I was imagining the montage of Alex working together with people he had previously been at odds with (all of whom he'd had prickly encounters with near the beginning of the film, soon after his arrival back home). They're plowing a field, they're getting that old abandoned grist mill in working order again.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:20 AM
horizontal rule
159

They're plowing a field, they're getting that old abandoned grist mill in working order again.

Alex earns new respect when he cobbles together a hand-cranked local telephone system (if I understood the "Asterisk" reference correctly).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
160

154: Asterisk is pretty sweet. Which industry is it taking over?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
161

They start brewing up an herbal potion that gives them the superhuman strength necessary to withstand the Romanslooters (if I understood the "Asterisk" reference correctly.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
162

When I was a little kid, I and all the other littles took great solace in living near the Earle Naval Weapons Base. We hoped that, when the bombs fell, we'd be gone instantly.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
163

I did not catch the title reference, but now that it has been pointed out, I can't get that song out of my head.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:29 AM
horizontal rule
164

I had a colleague whose wife was intent on preparing for the apocalypse (she was Mormon, is that a common theme in Mormonism or just coincidental?). During the time I knew them, they had 4 different homes in 3 different cities and he spent nearly all of his free time making complicated modifications to each. When I first marveled at this, he pointed out that I probably did not feel the need to provide dry pest-free storage for a year's worth of wheat. Another time he drily noted that, "It is not a hobby I myself would have chosen."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
165

It is a LDS thing to have a year's worth of supplies. I believe that the Church has significant disaster supplies.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
166

Normal LDS people just get a month or two's worth of emergency supplies and feel vaguely guilty about it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
167

So it's the Mormon Church that has teamed up with Japan to stockpile grain and drive up food prices.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
168

My parents have many cans of wheat in their basement. I don't know what they would do with this wheat in the event of an unspecified disaster and/or the Second Coming. I suspect they don't even have a hand-cranked wheat grinder. But they have wheat.

My plan involves doing whatever I can not to have to move back in with my parents.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
169

Is this an apocalypse thing or the shared memory of being exiled out west and having to survive on their own?

If it is an apocalypse thing, why don't they count on being raptured or God providing manna like ordinary Christians?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
170

164: Just out of curiousity, where to you buy grain in quantities large enough to feed a family for an extended period but small enough that it isn't worth getting your own grain bin? Do they sell 50 pound bags or something?


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
171

If you have all the resources of a church, wouldn't it make more sense to run grain farming operations that don't rely on many outside inputs than to simply stockpile grain?

I suppose they might do that as well.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
172

Hey, I have a hand-cranked wheat grinder! I should even use it some day.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:55 AM
horizontal rule
173

Wouldn't flour be more convenient than wheat?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:56 AM
horizontal rule
174

There's a big granary in downtown Salt Lake City that holds some of the church's grain stores.

Individual congregations often organize group buys, and the church owns canneries where members can preserve the stuff.

I think my parents have a bunch of canned pinto beans, too.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:56 AM
horizontal rule
175

I wonder if the survivalism thing is a reaction to LDS history, founding a state in the desert and all that. I generally think of Mormons as yet another scripture-themed PAC, only different from, say, the Southern Baptists in details like ascetism and stuff, but it's a fair point that the group's history is different from most.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
176

An article on it here from the Sacramento Bee.

The Mormon food program has been in practice for more than 60 years, say church officials. No one knows for sure how many church members participate. "But I would say that those active in the church have some kind of personal supply," says Paul McIntyre, public affairs media assistant for the church in the Sacramento area.
Much of the food storage program is based on a verse from "The Doctrine and Covenants," a collection of revelations given to the prophet Joseph Smith and accepted as one of the church's scriptures. In this book, church members are told that, in uncertain times, it is "abundantly clear" to be prepared. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:03 AM
horizontal rule
177

175: Theologically, LDS is very different.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:03 AM
horizontal rule
178

It looks like it has been part of the faith since the beginning, the 60 years above may be just the formal program.

Today, the church owns nearly 100 warehouses throughout the country. Church-owned farms and factories produce wheat, dehydrated fruit and vegetables, beans, and other long-term pantry items. Short-term storage items, such as canned chili, cocoa mix and pancake mix, are produced under the Deseret brand, based in Salt Lake City.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:06 AM
horizontal rule
179

Wouldn't flour be more convenient than wheat?

Won't store as well.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
180

The nice thing about being Mormon is, your local bishop can give you some money from church welfare funds if you fall on hard times and let you have some food and stuff from the Bishop's Storehouse, which is like a way-stripped-down Costco. There's your plan, Stanley.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:09 AM
horizontal rule
181

Bulgar wheat probably stores OK and can be cooked by boiling, like rice.

Mormons are heretics! Baptists are just defective Protestants.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:11 AM
horizontal rule
182

177: Oh, I know there are a lot of differences in beliefs, I was talking more about its role in society and stuff. James Dobson and William Donahue probably disagree about transubstantiation and a lot of other stuff, but somehow when they're on TV they're almost interchangeable. (And rereading it, my comment comes off as more dismissive/derisive than I like. I meant to be dismissive and derisive, I admit, but not that much.)


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:11 AM
horizontal rule
183

"Dear Bishop: I've been thinking about coverting to your church for a long time......"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:12 AM
horizontal rule
184

I don't know how I got out of the service-in-the-church-tuna-canning-plant that my sisters had to do. Maybe it was because around my age group there were only three teenagers, including me, and that's just not enough to organize a car trip.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:12 AM
horizontal rule
185

There is an LDS/ survivalist store in town. Cool stuff for your go bag/ earthquake/ endtimes preparations.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
186

I've had arguments about theology many times. People not raised as Christians don't understand the Adventists, Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Mormons, and Unitarians are heretical spinoffs of Protestantism, not accepted by theologically orthodox Christians. So Baptists and Greek Orthodox might just barely accept one another, probably not, but neither would accept the five sects I named.

And I don't care about theology, obvs. But nonetheless I always need to say that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:16 AM
horizontal rule
187

Offer to marry a nice Mormon spinster, John. They'll get you in the water right quick.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:17 AM
horizontal rule
188

My plan is to have people buy me beers while I tell them all about the secrets of the Mormon underwear.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
189

In short, while it makes me sad that, supposing Christianity were the one true religion, and supposing that JM both returned to our ancestral faiths, that JM would be thrown into the Hell of fire for all eternity, and I wouldn't, those are just the facts of the matter.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
190

166 is great.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
191

My plan is to become a seventh concubine right quick.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
192

Adventists, Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Mormons, and Unitarians are heretical spinoffs of Protestantism, not accepted by theologically orthodox Christians.

I've argued with John about this issue before, but I don't actually disagree with this formulation. I think the root disagreement is just that I, as a non-Christian, define the word "Christian" as including Christian heretics, while John defines it as excluding them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:22 AM
horizontal rule
193

I'm sure there are some hott bishops.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:23 AM
horizontal rule
194

That's OK, Teo. Chinese tend to lump Muslims and Jews and don't realize that Catholics and Protestants are both Christians.

Very few Chinese have any concept of exclusive belief. Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism get all jumbled, and somethimes aspects of Christianity or Islam are blended in.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:26 AM
horizontal rule
195

I think exclusive belief is mainly an idiosyncratic aspect of Western (i.e., Abrahamic) religions.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:38 AM
horizontal rule
196

Aren't there any non-Abrahamic monotheisms? Come to think of it, I can't think of any (well, Zorastrianism, kinda?) but I'd think there must be some.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
197

Zoroastrian, along with everything Persian, doesn't get the attention it deserves. The Persian influence on Judaism, Hellenism, and Christianity was enormous.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
198

197: The Persain influence on the Jews does get some play in the Bible.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
199

Aren't there any non-Abrahamic monotheisms?

Depending on the precise definition of monotheism, many Hindus might or might not claim to be monotheistic.

And at least historically there were others -- like the one Akhenaten tried to impose in Egypt.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
200

JM, you can be my first concubine.

Aren't there any non-Abrahamic monotheisms?

Mithraism?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:53 AM
horizontal rule
201

194.2 is why something as cool as Journey To The West could be written in the Chinese court back in the 1590s, while Europeans were still all about imprisoning astronomers who thought maybe the earth might go around the sun rather than vice-versa. It's pretty sweet.

196: Wikipedia is not immediately helpful, except that it lumps the religions that sort of equate creation itself with the creator (some notions of Hinduism, Sikhism, etc.) in with monotheism. It also waves in the direction of "There were probably some other Semitic tribes that believed in monotheism. We just don't know about them." Really surprising, I hadn't thought much about that before.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
202

185: Where is this place, TLL? I've lately been lax in my preps, I have a shotgun magazine extention tube I haven't even installed.

Really, I don't know which is nuttier, possessing the tools to fix the tools needed to maintain the gear, or playing ostrich. Either way one dies eventually and my kids are grown.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
203

The more I look into Zoroastrianism, the less I understand it. Dualism! Eternal flames! Divine Monarchy! Jumping over bonfires! Seven items that start with the letter s arranged in a household shrine will bring you luck for the new year!

I don't really get how these things fit together.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
204

94: huh, I know a guy like that named Lee, too. Does he go to burning man?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
205

94: huh, I know a guy like that named Lee, too. Does he go to burning man?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
206

Only the one guy, really.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
207

Even the phrase "exclusive belief" isn't all that clear. Parts of the Old Testament seem to say that other gods exist, and YHWH is special just because he's the god of the Hebrew people and there might not be anything wrong with people of other tribes worshipping their own gods. In conservative or pre-Enlightenment Christianity, God is unique and the other gods people worship are either delusions or demons. And in some liberal branches of Christianity, belief in other gods might be mistaken in the details but still reflects part of a universal truth. There are mutually exclusive meanings of "exclusive."


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:03 AM
horizontal rule
208

The philologist Max Müller coined the term "henotheism" to describe religions that allow for the existence of many gods, but say that only one is worthy of your personal worship.

There is not a single passage in the Hebrew bible that unequivocally supports monotheism and not henotheism.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:10 AM
horizontal rule
209

the term "henotheism" to describe religions that allow for the existence of many gods

Or, depending on context, to describe the worship of chickens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:11 AM
horizontal rule
210

I'm a cockotheist.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
211

Hear, O Israel, the Rhode Island Red thy God is one God.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
212

In conservative or pre-Enlightenment Christianity, God is unique and the other gods people worship are either delusions or demons.

I seems to me that, in as much as a demon is a supernatural entity, which isn't really so much different from a "divine" entity, except for its place in the pecking order. So a belief in daemons, (and angels, also) isn't really consistent with monotheism in the frame of "only one god exists." So holy rollers who cast out daemons are a lot more consistent with "henotheism" than with monotheism.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
213

I have a shotgun magazine extention tube I haven't even installed.

I'm pretty sure the mailman will just put your shotgun magazine right in your regular mailbox, even after you extend your subscription.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
214

People not raised as Christians don't understand the Adventists, Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Mormons, and Unitarians are heretical spinoffs of Protestantism, not accepted by theologically orthodox Christians.

I'm not sure I would have included the Adventists on the list, but I was raised Catholic, so even the Anglicans seemed pretty marginal from my POV.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
215

Saturday Sabbath.

When Roman Catholicism absorbed Irish Catholicism, the two big issues were how monks should cut their tonsure, and how Easter should be calculated. The two ways of calculating easter, IIRC, coincided most of the time, but not all.

When the Old Believers left the reformed Orthodox Church, a big question was whether to cross yourself with two fingers or three.

The Old Believers survive in Oregon, among other places.

Little things mean a lot.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
216

Last semester I had a student write a paper arguing that the Chinese Tian was identical to the God of the Hebrews. It wasn't a good paper, but the thesis itself raises issues in reference that I haven't been able to shake from my head.

In some ways the question "is Yaweh the same as Tian" is like the question "are Democritus's atoms the same as Nils Bohr's?" In other ways it is like the question "is Sean Connnery's James Bond the same as Timothy Dalton's."

I get other related questions in my head. "Can we say that Zeus is the same as Jupiter, but not Thor or Indra?" "Is the Marvel Comics Thor the same as the Norse Thor?"

Sadly, I don't know enough theory of reference to begin to sort these questions. My student had definite, if weird, ideas about what would count as proof of Yahweh = Tian. He started with the assumption that the Bible is literally true history, and then attempted to show through linguistic similarities and numerology that the Chinese concept of Tian had a historical connection to the stories of the Hebrew bible.

He seemed to be assuming a Kripkean theory of reference for the names of God, with the appearance of God to the Hebrew patriarchs as a baptismal event, and a requirement that all other names of God be causally related in the right way to this naming event.

Weird.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:10 PM
horizontal rule
217

212: Well, there are polytheistic belief systems that differentiate between gods and other supernatural entities, so I don't see any reason a monotheistic belief system couldn't do the same.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
218

216 has enough internet flameworthy material to be classified as Class F


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
219

218: Is that good or bad?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
220

The Old Believers have some rockin' choral music.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:24 PM
horizontal rule
221

And I don't care about theology, obvs.

That's not at all obvious to me, Emerson, though of course it's clear you don't believe in any of it.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
222

Old Believers, Orthodox, Catholics, Adventists -- don't take it personally. It's not you I hate, it's God. Chill.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
223

Speaking of Catholicism, I had not realized that indulgences have been making a comeback until my wife pointed me to this NYTimes article.

You cannot buy one -- the church outlawed the sale of indulgences in 1567 -- but charitable contributions, combined with other acts, can help you earn one. There is a limit of one plenary indulgence per sinner per day.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:34 PM
horizontal rule
224

218. Oh, all to the good. Frex, Why the heck would the Norse God of Thunder disguise Mjollnir as a walking stick, so some lamo MD can become a superhero. Even the writers couldn't figure that one out, so the went into erzatz Norse mythology storylines. So Marvel Thor was not Thor, until he was.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:39 PM
horizontal rule
225

223. I thought carbon offsets were the modern equivalent of indulgences.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
226

That's the hard part. At some level I do care, as though I had learned to judge cattle according to some arbitrary and useless system that I no longer believed in. "No, look! See how one ear is noticably larger than the other? That's ten points right there! And I can see other points off too!)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
227

One of the most common questions I was asked as a missionary in Ukraine was whether Mormons crossed themselves with two fingers or three.

Answering the question was complicated by the fact that the Russian word for "cross oneself" (which Mormon's aren't into) is the same as the Russian word for "be baptized" (which was the whole reason I was talking to these people).


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:42 PM
horizontal rule
228

226 - I'm also fascinated by theology despite being a confirmed atheist. There's some really cool stuff to think about, plus from time to time the arguments devolve into brutal violence, which helps keep things interesting.

Right now I'm learning a bit about the theology of Islam, which ought to be helpful now that the country is being run by a secret muslim. I'll be pre-reeducated, so I won't have to go to the camps like you lot.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
229

the Russian word for "cross oneself" (which Mormon's aren't into) is the same as the Russian word for "be baptized"

Awesome.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
230

I was just reading an interesting essay by Immanuel Wallerstein about the connection between Calvinism and the scientific method. Basically, you can't tell if you're saved/right, but you can tell if you're damned/doing bad science.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:48 PM
horizontal rule
231

One of the most common questions I was asked as a missionary in Ukraine was whether Mormons crossed themselves with two fingers or three.

What, not left-to-right versus vice-versa?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
232

What, not left-to-right versus vice-versa?

Some things are beyond the pale.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
233

I started to get into the Eastern churches before I fizzled out. There are two major classifications of Eastern Churches, roughly the one where Jesus has two natures, and the one where he was human and not divine (rather like Unitarianism: Armenia, Ethiopia, South India, and Iraq). Both are a little intelligible compare to the Chalcedonian trinity. But there are all kinds of little variations on each, and many Eastern churches cut deals with the Catholics, Orthodox, or even Protestants. And then there are various mixed sects, and the Mandaeans who honor John the Baptist over Jesus, and so on.

And that's all garbled up.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
234

231: The only difference these people could imagine was the finger thing. Reversing the lateral order was waaaaay too out there.

When I got back to the U.S., I actually ended up asking a Catholic whether they use two or three fingers, and they thought it was a weird question. I guess Catholics use the whole hand, maybe kinda scrunched up?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
235

Mandaeans who honor John the Baptist over Jesus, and so on

Interesting!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
236

Already during Calvin's lifetime French Huguenot pirates were pillaging Spanish American.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
237

The only difference these people could imagine was the finger thing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 12:57 PM
horizontal rule
238

Catholics cross themselves like THIS, but Christians who cross themselves like THIS . . . .


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
239

Dammit apo!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
240

232 is very good.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
241

Already during Calvin's lifetime French Huguenot pirates were pillaging Spanish American.

IIRC, Dampier thought it was OK to raid the Spanish because they were Papists. The booty was incidental.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
242

Ok, the conversation has completely moved on, but multiple comments on this thread reminded me that growing up next to a nuclear power plant, we were consistently indoctrinated with the idea that any day could be the Chernobyl day. We spent much time in class and PTA meetings and the like making sure we all had family plans of what to do in case of an accident (meeting places, iodine (? I can't remember) pills to protect you a tiny bit, the duck and cover drill, emergency busing procedures). All of us little kids were fairly well convinced that this was just a big scheme to make us feel a little better about the (small) possibility we would all die very quickly without much of a chance to do anything about it.

Then there was the day I was home alone (4th grade or so) and the warning sirens went off. I panicked, thinking I was going to die alone, and then remembered my training and calmly turned on the radio to be informed that it was just a test. Thanks, Mom, Dad, for telling me about that.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
243

242: Reminds me, San Onofre, one of my favorite beaches when I lived in SoCal. I think it was shown briefly in Koyanisqaatsi.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:18 PM
horizontal rule
244

That's OK, M/tch, because I read 238 as the old "White guyys drive like THIS..." bit, and so chuckled.

I guess Catholics use the whole hand, maybe kinda scrunched up?

Post Vatican II, I don't think there was a prescribed method; I mean, I went to Catholic school for a couple years in the '70s, and there's all sorts of old-fashioned shit I never had a clue about. But we went to the "folk" Mass with the acoustic guitar songs. Anyway, what I have seen older Catholics do is to make a loose fist with the thumb out (kind of like Bill Clinton's gesture) and use that thumb. When I was a kid I just used an open hand and more or less all the fingers.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:20 PM
horizontal rule
245

The Huguenot pirates mad a special point of desecrating Catholic churches.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:21 PM
horizontal rule
246

When I played Pope Joan, I wandered around making the sign of the cross with two fingers. That's how all the popes and Jesus and the saints do in in Western European art, anyhow.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:24 PM
horizontal rule
247

245: The Spanish did get their revenge.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
248

That's what the heretic lady would have us believe, anyway.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
249

When did you play Pope Joan, Jack?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:31 PM
horizontal rule
250

One of the more hilarious things about being an Episcopalian is watching people make half-heated signs of the cross in various manners. Like so much else about the religion, it's kind of half-hearted gesture to tradition that no one's really learned the details of or takes that seriously.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:34 PM
horizontal rule
251

2005? It was a production of Caryl Churchill's play Top Girls.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:34 PM
horizontal rule
252

Jackmormon is Liv Ullmann.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:35 PM
horizontal rule
253

250: Like the reclining pews.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:36 PM
horizontal rule
254

Like the reclining pews

I remember being quite envious of the padded kneelers at my friend's Episcopal church, whereas the RC church I attended as a lad were strictly wood.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:44 PM
horizontal rule
255

pew! pew! pewpewpew!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
256

No jokes about the man breaking wind in the church, Ben?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 1:53 PM
horizontal rule
257

They keep killing our Lord.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 2:07 PM
horizontal rule
258

I think ben is pretending that he's shooting Catholics with his finger gun.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 2:17 PM
horizontal rule
259

The philologist Max Müller coined the term "henotheism" to describe religions that allow for the existence of many gods, but say that only one is worthy of your personal worship.

Cyrus Gordon uses 'monolatry'.

Mithraism?

But nobody knows what Mithraism was about. (Except the hints from the symbolism, involving a bull, a lion, a scorpion and man, just like both the Babylonian calendar AND the Merkabah.)

Dualism! Eternal flames! Divine Monarchy! Jumping over bonfires! Seven items that start with the letter s arranged in a household shrine will bring you luck for the new year!

There's the bad dude, who brings all bad things, and the good dude, who brings all good things, and one of the good things is the cleansing fire. Light is full of goodness, and dark is full of badness (when you go to Heaven you cast no shadow). So you keep an eternal flame burning, and the newlyweds do the fire thing. The letter s thing is observed by Zoroastrians, but isn't integral, since that holiday comes (like everything else) from Babylon.

Note tho, all that is sorta smearing over to Manicheanism. (Mani playing the part of Jesus to Zoroaster's Moses.)

Sadly, I don't know enough theory of reference to begin to sort these questions. My student had definite, if weird, ideas about what would count as proof of Yahweh = Tian. He started with the assumption that the Bible is literally true history, and then attempted to show through linguistic similarities and numerology that the Chinese concept of Tian had a historical connection to the stories of the Hebrew bible.

Well, gee. A bunch of Nestorians fucked off to China back in the day, so the modern conception of Tian might be influenced by Christians (or not, I don't know). So he might be on the right track, but totally wrong as to his methods and his time frame.

I get other related questions in my head. "Can we say that Zeus is the same as Jupiter, but not Thor or Indra?"

We can split that one up into four questions: Did the Romans adopt near-identical cultic practices around the worship of Zeus to worship the god they called Jupiter? Yes. Did the practioners of the cult of Jupiter indicate that they themselves perceived that they were worshipping the same entity? I think that gets a qualified yes. Then we have a different question which is whether Zeus exists or not. If he does exist he either is or ain't Jupiter, and I think you would need to ask him. So that's kinda indeterminate. That leaves the the question of the conception of Zeus (or Jupiter) that exists in each praticioner's head. Unless Zeus (/ or Jupiter) is beaming his conception into the heads of his worshippers, then presumably each person's conception is individual, so nobody is worshipping exactly the same conception, even if they understand themselves to be doing exactly that. (Even if Zeus / or Jupiter exists.)

max
['Hackity hack hack.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 2:23 PM
horizontal rule
260

"Is the Marvel Comics Thor the same as the Norse Thor?"

I seem to recall a storyline where people are explaining to Thor that he isn't the Norse god because the Norse god had red hair, not blonde. And somehow he meets up with the "real" red-haired Thor. This would have been sometime in the mid-90s, probably? But Google isn't turning up confirmation about this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 2:45 PM
horizontal rule
261

essear you could ask the god himself:
http://www.askthor.com/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 3:37 PM
horizontal rule
262

Plan B (personal financial catstrophe, the rest of the world keeps spinning): go live with my dad or Mr. B's mom.

Plan C (total armageddon in the next, say, ten years): as the boyfriend says, I'm pretty enough not to starve.

Plan D (armageddon after the age of, say, a hot experienced 50 year old): be a millstone around the neck of my smart healthy and adoring son.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 5:01 PM
horizontal rule
263

But you only have one son.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
264

Who is smart, healthy and adoring, yes.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 5:13 PM
horizontal rule
265

At some level I do care, as though I had learned to judge cattle according to some arbitrary and useless system that I no longer believed in.

John, here's what I suspect:

You probably believe that in the long run we'd all be better off if people just gave up on belief altogether. But you're not strident about it, and you certainly feel no call to preach the gospel of atheism to your Woebegone neighbours. And anyway, in its socio-cultural-historical aspects, religion is of great interest to you.

Meanwhile, your socio-cultural-historical interest in all things religious has made you a bit of a theology snob. In particular, you have a palpable disdain for a specifically American version of Christian, which seems rather light on theological content and which also seems to lack a deep tradition or even a sense of history that goes back further than a generation. In the face of the mushy "be happy" and "be the best that you can be" message of the new megachurches, you find yourself oddly compelled to draw some lines and to make some distinctions (even though, of course, you don't believe in any of it!). So Lutheranism (Catholicism/Anglicism/etc) are wrong just because they are religions, but as religions, they can at least give a coherent (if ultimately wrong) account of themselves.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:50 PM
horizontal rule
266

Do me next, MC!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:53 PM
horizontal rule
267

The word sailor looks a bit like a boat.

I quite like this observation.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
268

mushy "be happy"

I got handed a booklet today just outside a metro station that looked like some mushy religious thing and had "happiness" and "life" in the title. I walked away with it but tossed it in a garbage can without opening it.

I was also handed a menu for a restaurant that looked like it was aiming for the take-out crowd. But when I sat down at work and looked at it, I discovered that it was too far from the office and not at all near where I live, making it completely useless.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
269

266: First you want doughnuts, now you want a capsule summary of your attitudes toward the various sects that may or may not fall under the rubric of Christianity? What's next, Ari?! You want me to start reporting the hockey scores for you?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:14 PM
horizontal rule
270

269: oh, it's easy. Jewish Canadian, bam, done.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:17 PM
horizontal rule
271

269: You know what I really want? Calvin and Hobbes to come back. Failing that, a maple donut would be pretty nice.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:21 PM
horizontal rule
272

You know what I really want? Calvin and Hobbes to come back.

Just to be clear: you mean the comic strip, right?

There's more than one variation on Jewish Canadian, Sifu. For example, there's Montreal, and then there are the suburbs (sort of like: there's New York, and then there's Long Island).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:34 PM
horizontal rule
273

The Ripples Jews


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:35 PM
horizontal rule
274

The anti-Israel, anti-Zionist Fredericton Palestine Solidarity group is holding a public vigil in support of the victims of Gaza on Saturday in Fredericton. As always with this group, the Israelis are the villains and Hamas and the Palestinians are the .


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
275

Ned, how did you find that stuff?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
276

No no, identifying somebody as Jewish Canadian is more than enough to establish the entirety of their outlook on other religions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:39 PM
horizontal rule
277

Whenever someone mentions something in Canada, my first impulse is to look for the microcosm of that thing in Fredericton or at least New Brunswick. Have always wanted to visit there.

Why, are you a member of the Sgoolai congregation? If so, your website is riddled with typos and sentences that have blanks where important information should be.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:44 PM
horizontal rule
278

277. 2: My dad's the rabbi there. No problem, though; the congregation's webmaster is pretty incompetent.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:47 PM
horizontal rule
279

The word sailor looks a bit like a boat.

And choo-choo looks like a train, in particular a pair of 4-4-0 steam locomotives deadheading it back to the yard after a helper run.


Posted by: JP Nerdcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:49 PM
horizontal rule
280

279: You must speak to an awful lot of hobo consultants to have that level of specific knowledge.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:50 PM
horizontal rule
281

I was thinking that the people who try to hide in the wheel wells of airplanes might have a unique perspective on the recline/no-recline question.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:56 PM
horizontal rule
282

278: what the... really?

That's the weirdest coincidence of all time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:58 PM
horizontal rule
283

The least you could do is make fredshul.ca part of the EOTAW network, for pete's sake.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:58 PM
horizontal rule
284

Wait, okay, seriously, what the hell is going on here? Ned, why did you google Fredricton?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 9:58 PM
horizontal rule
285

277 to 284.

I'm unclear as to whether ari's serious either. Google suggests that no such rabbi shares his surname.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:00 PM
horizontal rule
286

282: Dude. Doooooooood. My dad is a retired psychologist living in Shaker Heights, Ohio. I have, however, been to New Brunswick. Which is more than you can say, I bet.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:01 PM
horizontal rule
287

Why does the wind blow? Why do flowers grow? The guy's cryptic, Sifu. It's right there in the name.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:01 PM
horizontal rule
288

Ned, you may be the only non-Canadian I have ever encountered on the internets who has even heard of Fredericton, much less expressed an interest in the place. I went there once, when I was about seven years old, to visit some cousins (who now live in Toronto). I've always wanted to go back.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:01 PM
horizontal rule
289

All Jews look alike to you people, don't they?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:02 PM
horizontal rule
290

Hey, while the Canadians are around: How is "Newfie" used? I've heard it used seemingly as an insult and also seemingly as an in-group self-identifier.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:03 PM
horizontal rule
291

I'm so confused.

Unlike the other 30 or so women at the conference, [Ilana] Kelman is not married to a congregational rabbi, although her husband, Rabbi Jay Kelman, was spiritual leader of Toronto's Beth Jacob V'Anshei Drildz Congregation for nine years. He is a founding director of Torah in Motion, a modern Orthodox adult education organization in Toronto. Both at the synagogue and with Torah in Motion, Kelman has taken a "behind the scenes" role, mostly helping out with programs."

I thought I googled a Kelman as the rabbi at Sgoolai or like the rabbi emeritus or... so confused.

I've never been to Shaker Heights or New Brunswick. Unless by "New Brunswick" you mean "Maine".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:03 PM
horizontal rule
292

Whats so awesome about Fredericton?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:04 PM
horizontal rule
293

282: Shorter Sifu:

Ari? ....Son?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:04 PM
horizontal rule
294

Or in my case, unless by "New Brunswick" you mean "New Jersey."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:05 PM
horizontal rule
295

No backpedaling now, we all know your father is Rabbi Kenneth Zisook.

Learn more about him here. As a longtime US army chaplain, he was recently the only rabbi in Korea.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:06 PM
horizontal rule
296

Hey, while the Canadians are around: How is "Newfie" used? I've heard it used seemingly as an insult and also seemingly as an in-group self-identifier.

So, the N-word then.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:07 PM
horizontal rule
297

290: Well, since it's just us kikes talking, I don't mind telling you that, like many insults, it's used as both.

291: I say again: doooooooooooood. There are no rabbis anywhere in my family. And my family is small enough, thanks to Hitler*, that I'd know if there were.

* ftw.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:07 PM
horizontal rule
298

297: well, okay, fine. Thank you Mr. Hitler. Geez.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:08 PM
horizontal rule
299

Kenneth "Sifu" Zisook was also the officiant at Gaijin Biker's wedding.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:10 PM
horizontal rule
300

Well, since it's just us kikes talking

Not that I mind your in-group camaraderie, but you do that I'm (among other things) of Polish-Catholic descent, no?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:10 PM
horizontal rule
301

Maybe it's your spiritual father?

I wish MC would just end the suspense and explain all this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:10 PM
horizontal rule
302

Hitler uses a condom?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:10 PM
horizontal rule
303

The authenticity of sunsets around the world starting in Canada, a photo essay by Ari's dad.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
304

I watched the video of "Springtime for Hitler" the other day. Funny!

So was the Letterman/Phoenix debacle a hoax? Or what?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
305

So anyway, Sifu, what are the Hamas and the Palestinians, according to Hamas? You sort of let that sentence trail off.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:12 PM
horizontal rule
306

It's really immature of me that all I can think of is "Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Torah in Motion," isn't it?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:12 PM
horizontal rule
307

300: Dooooooooood. Yes, I know that, Kowalski. Seriously, I'm having one of those days where all of my jokes are going over people's heads/falling flat.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:13 PM
horizontal rule
308

We're not done talking about Fredericton by long shot.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:14 PM
horizontal rule
309

I've been to Fredericton, in the sense that going through Fredericton necessarily entails being in Fredericton. More important, I've been to Shediac.

I hope it's okay for me to comment in this part of the thread. I'm Catholic, but I've been mistaken for Jewish many times.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:15 PM
horizontal rule
310

That blog is going right in the RSS feed. This is the sort of thing that will cheer you right up when you read it over breakfast.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:15 PM
horizontal rule
311

Huh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:17 PM
horizontal rule
312

I'm Catholic, but I've been mistaken for Jewish many times.

The "Jesus" thing pretty much pigeon-holes you as That Jewish Guy or a Mexican.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:19 PM
horizontal rule
313

Most Newfie jokes (and there are a lot of them) are just boilerplate Paddy jokes, with a few of the geographical references changed for local colour. Absolutely, "Newfie" is both a term of disparagement and also an in-group self-identifier. Just watch the O'Toole brothers (Seamus and Jimmy: get it?) reading the news on Codco...


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:19 PM
horizontal rule
314

312: My first car insurance agent was a Filipino guy named Jesus.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:22 PM
horizontal rule
315

This is interesting: the beginning of the end of the New England/Mid Atlantic Republicans in the Senate.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:24 PM
horizontal rule
316

What about Drummondville, then? It used to be famous on Croc. Despite the name, it's a French town, apparently populated by the stupidest and most boring Frenchpersons ever.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:25 PM
horizontal rule
317

There's a little girl in my son's class whose name is Heaven. No word of a lie.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:25 PM
horizontal rule
318

I can't find any evidence that there are any rabbis named Jesus in any of the maritime provinces. Why are you changing the subject?

30£ from the government for a Mikmaq scalp - the law is still in effect and who knows how many people are going to take advantage of it in this desperate economic time. Explain that, you barbarians.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:25 PM
horizontal rule
319

There's a little girl in my son's class whose name is Heaven. No word of a lie.

Are you making fun of my future daughter's name?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:28 PM
horizontal rule
320

Careful heebie: these people are anti-Semites.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:29 PM
horizontal rule
321

315: Speaking of which, was there ever an argument in favor of Gregg as Commerce Secretary. With all the talk about the Senate numbers, I can't remember reading or hearing a single word explaining why - aside from the Senate numbers - anyone, Republican or Democrat, or unlikely third party winner, or foreign benevolent dictator taking over the U.S. in a receivership arrangement - would ever appoint Gregg to the cabinet. Not that there was anything against him - aside from party affiliation in a Democratic administration - but was there anything special he could have brought to the position? Skills? Ideas? Pastries?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:29 PM
horizontal rule
322

Much less stupid than Neveah.* Which is the name of some celebrity's kid, I forget whose.

*Heaven backwards. Used as a name explicitly for that reason.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:30 PM
horizontal rule
323

Too many dashes in that comment.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:30 PM
horizontal rule
324

319: Forgive me for my inattention, but is it a confirmed daughter?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:30 PM
horizontal rule
325

fm is trying to make a move on your daughter in utero, heebie.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:31 PM
horizontal rule
326

324: It is! But not named Heaven.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:31 PM
horizontal rule
327

Isn't confirmation an adolescent thing? (I'm not Catholic, so I don't know.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:32 PM
horizontal rule
328

She is absolutely not allowed to fool around with boys until she is born.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:32 PM
horizontal rule
329

320: You know you're jewish when...
You know you're from Newfoundland when...

- You only know three spices - salt, pepper and ketchup.
- You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
- The mosquitoes have landing lights.
- You have more miles on your snowblower than your car.
- You have 10 favourite recipes for bottled moose.
- Canadian Tire on any Saturday is busier than the toy stores at Christmas.
- You live in a house that has no front step, yet the door is one meter above the ground.
- You've taken your kids trick-or-treating in a blizzard.
- Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled in with snow.
- You think sexy lingerie is tube-socks and a flannel nightie with only 8 buttons.
- You owe more money on your snowmobile than your car.
- The local paper covers national and international headlines on 1/4 page, but requires 6 pages for local softball scores.
- At least twice a year, the kitchen doubles as a meat processing plant.
- The most effective mosquito repellent is a shotgun.
- Your snowblower gets stuck on the roof.
- You think the start of salmon fishing season is a national holiday.
- You frequently clean grease off your barbeque so the bears won't prowl on your deck.
- You know which leaves make good toilet paper.
- You find -40C a little nippy.
- The trunk of your car doubles as a deep freeze.
- You can play road hockey on skates.
- You know 4 seasons - Winter, Still Winter, almost Winter and Construction.
- The municipality buys a Zamboni before a bus.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:32 PM
horizontal rule
330

Well that just fucks it all up, doesn't it, Sifu.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:33 PM
horizontal rule
331

321: He has access to all manner of granite. And the Obamas are considering redoing the kitchen in the Oval Office.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:33 PM
horizontal rule
332

You know you're jewish when...

...your mother is of Jewish descent?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:34 PM
horizontal rule
333

321: As I explain at my URL, between the Schumer left and the McConnell right Obama has found the vital Specter center.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:34 PM
horizontal rule
334

I thought the idea was to remove a Republican from the Senate and put him in a useless job with no responsibilities. Then they found out the Census was important and Gregg wanted to have some impact on it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:35 PM
horizontal rule
335

Theodora, perhaps, name-wise?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:36 PM
horizontal rule
336

There's a kitchen in the Oval Office? Geez, it's like you historians know everything.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:36 PM
horizontal rule
337

336: a kitchenette, really. It's where Nixon cooked up Ketamine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:37 PM
horizontal rule
338

Foetuses are hard to sex. There are a lot of unexpected boys and girls around.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:37 PM
horizontal rule
339

||

Sobering news: commuter plane crash in Buffalo. Details still coming in.

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:39 PM
horizontal rule
340

I think the point was to set the NH senate seat up for a Dem takeover in 2010.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:40 PM
horizontal rule
341

you do that I'm (among other things) of Polish-Catholic descent, no?

So what you're trying to say is that your grandparents killed ari's grandparents?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:40 PM
horizontal rule
342

I'm sorry, but I have to, all Emerson-like, object to Neveah as a name, just on grounds of theological stupidity. No doubt Ari (who always wanted to name a daughter Esidarap but who never quite got around to it) will accuse me of anti-Semitism for this principled stance, but sometimes it's important to draw a line in the sand.

Heebie, that's great! Very exciting.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:42 PM
horizontal rule
343

342: Oh, I've known I'm of Jewish descent for a long time now. But thanks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:43 PM
horizontal rule
344

What about Nede? Or Muisyle?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:44 PM
horizontal rule
345

341: My grandparents lived at the time and live now in Chicago. Although, my grandpa used to be a mail-carrier, so I guess there's an oddball chance of some ricin letter or something. So: maybe.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:45 PM
horizontal rule
346

342: All of my boys are named Ari. We drowned the girls at birth.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:45 PM
horizontal rule
347

So the answer to 321 seems to be "no, it was entirely about Senate numbers." In which case my suspicion that once it was clear another Republican would be appointed, people would be trying to find ways out of the deal seems to have been on the right track. Or would be, if the census explanation wasn't out there. But at least with the census it looks like they're talking about policy and not about distasteful old politics vote counting.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:45 PM
horizontal rule
348

My grandparents lived at the time and live now in Chicago.

That's pretty much what this guy claimed, Stanley.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:48 PM
horizontal rule
349

347: Apparently you didn't hear me mention the granite.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:50 PM
horizontal rule
350

Then there's this guy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:51 PM
horizontal rule
351

No, I ignored you.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:51 PM
horizontal rule
352

350: Grandpa? Oh well, there goes my Plan B.


Posted by: (not) Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:53 PM
horizontal rule
353

eb you don't buy the general left-blogosphere theory that he got leaned on by some GOP somebody-or-other?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:53 PM
horizontal rule
354

341: Coincidentally, I'm talking this very moment to a guy who knew America's first ricin terrorist and his wife. I ahve to drop every name I can.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:54 PM
horizontal rule
355

Foetuses are hard to sex.

Eh, there's no real difference for the first year and a half or so. Eventually the boys develop a tendency to produce smelly socks, which may or may not stem from a biological imperative which favours stinky feet. Nature or nurture?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:54 PM
horizontal rule
356

352: and clearly there's more to the story here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:55 PM
horizontal rule
357

353: Not exactly. The whole appointment never made sense to me from any angle. So I've been figuring everyone wants to back out with whatever reasons come to hand.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:57 PM
horizontal rule
358

352: Hey, none of that sock puppetry/imitating stuff. It's like the only rule we enforce with some consistency. So I edited.

Plus it's a different grandpa, so nyah!

Plus Polish. Hitler invaded Poland, history boy!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:57 PM
horizontal rule
359

Foetuses are hard to sex.

Also, there's not much room in utero. And their parts are tiny.

I'll be here all week.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:58 PM
horizontal rule
360

(any angle except Senate numbers, but then I don't know why Gregg would have been for that)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 10:58 PM
horizontal rule
361

359: Like trying to smell mothballs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:00 PM
horizontal rule
362

358: Um, history boy, the Poles weren't so great to the Jews during WWII. You can look it up in a book and everything. Also, sorry about the sock puppet thing. I thought it was okay in jest, so long as it was clear that the puppeteer was kidding.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:00 PM
horizontal rule
363

Also I hate you and want you dead, Stanley.


Posted by: (not) ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:01 PM
horizontal rule
364

It's the only actual, enforced rule.


Posted by: Oogged | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:01 PM
horizontal rule
365

Uh oh!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:02 PM
horizontal rule
366

362: More nuanced history, jeez.

Hitler, bad! Populists, good!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:02 PM
horizontal rule
367

The Chicago/Nazi nexus takes on another, sinister dimension.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:03 PM
horizontal rule
368

367: It's worse than Buenos Aires, isn't it?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:05 PM
horizontal rule
369

Also, sorry about the sock puppet thing.

No worries. Just don't do it again, or I'll sic my Polish grandpa on you.

(Too soon?)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:06 PM
horizontal rule
370

It's never too soon for a Polish grandpa. I've got one myself, you know.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:07 PM
horizontal rule
371

Or Muisyle?

If your going to name your child after a whole grain cereal, I'd just go with Granola.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:08 PM
horizontal rule
372

Comity!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:08 PM
horizontal rule
373

+'+e


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:08 PM
horizontal rule
374

I read something about Anne Frank recently. It pointed out that she was ambitious and talented and that if she had lived, her diary would be juvenilia and she would be remembered for other things.

Audrey Hepburn lived near Anne Frank and, IIRC, knew some of the same people. Hepburn's birth father was a Nazi and her maternal uncle was murdered by the Nazis. Many Dutch starved during the occupation and Hepburn was undernourished enough to have health problems.

So does that ruin her faery gamine image, or make it more interesting?

Katherine Hepburn was an entirely different story.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:09 PM
horizontal rule
375

||

I see.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:09 PM
horizontal rule
376

One of my nieces has a Polish grandpa. Jewish, even.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:11 PM
horizontal rule
377

So does that ruin her faery gamine image, or make it more interesting?

I wouldn't kick her out of the attic.

I ban myself. On second thought, I blame ari.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:12 PM
horizontal rule
378

362: Yeah, you and Josh are quite right and all, but maybe it's a theme that's altogether too fraught with burdens that nobody could reasonably be expected to assume in a comment thread at a blog named Unfogged and such?

Which I see your 363 nicely, and humourously, gestures toward, so never mind, and forget I even said anything...

Smithers, who is this Oogged character?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:13 PM
horizontal rule
379

The Polish People's Party seems to have joined left wing parties together*, but the National Populist Union seems to have been a combination of right wing parties. I think there might have been a point in the 1920s when Poland had dozens and dozens of political parties.

*Wikipedia says supported the resistance, also supported Mikolajczyk against the Communists.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:16 PM
horizontal rule
380

Boy, ari sock-puppets and gets reprimanded, I sock-puppet and it gets warmly embraced by Mary Catherine. Talk about anti-semitism!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:18 PM
horizontal rule
381

362: Poland in WWII is a bit of an Enigma.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:19 PM
horizontal rule
382

378.1 is confusing me. Is it your view that I really offended Stanley? Or maybe something else is going on?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:27 PM
horizontal rule
383

375 to 382.

There! That clears things up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:28 PM
horizontal rule
384

380: The record now reflects your knavish deceit. DON'T DO THAT.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:29 PM
horizontal rule
385

Stanley, if I offended you, either with my sock puppeting antics or by impugning your bubbie's integrity, I am sorry.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:31 PM
horizontal rule
386

384: While Unfogged slept, one man, alone and unappreciated, held back the forces of chaos and anarchy through the judicious use of social shaming and the edit function.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:34 PM
horizontal rule
387

385: You didn't offend me, and the sock-puppeting just gets confusing and is thus thoroughly deprecated. Beyond that, you're a snowflake.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:35 PM
horizontal rule
388

Maybe you could use sockpuppet consultants to help the blog run better.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:35 PM
horizontal rule
389

388 is possibly my favorite comment ever—assuming it's really from that Stormcrow fellow...


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:38 PM
horizontal rule
390

Oh dear. Now I'm fretting over 382's fretting over my 378.1. Ari! No, I'm pretty sure Stanley's not offended, but if I offended you, I am sorry.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:38 PM
horizontal rule
391

387: dude, the guy hates you and wants you dead.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:41 PM
horizontal rule
392

389: This is a terrific comment. You said exactly what I was thinking but phrased it much more elegantly and graciously than I ever could. Thank you so much for writing it!


Posted by: Sprezzatura | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:42 PM
horizontal rule
393

"Do you see what happens, Larry?! Do you see what happens when you [pretend to be someone else on the internet]?!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:43 PM
horizontal rule
394

Children, quiet down! Sit in your seats! You're being impossible!


Posted by: MC Canada | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:44 PM
horizontal rule
395

I was once an innocent masturbatory aid. Now I'm associated with fraud and deception. Damn you, internets!


Posted by: Sock Puppet | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:53 PM
horizontal rule
396

There's a special warm feeling in my heart every time several people within an hour mock me. You guys really should try harder to make that feeling happen more often. Heartless bastard of a Mineshaft, if you ask me.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-09 11:54 PM
horizontal rule
397

Whether or not the administration intended to open up the NH senate seat in 2010 for a Dem win, they seem to have effectively done so. Now everyone hates Gregg, who has decided not to run for reelection. And with NH trending the way it has been, that's clearly good news for the Dems.

Obama seems pretty pissed at Gregg for withdrawing, though, so this probably was not the plan. I have no idea what the plan could have been, though. It all just seems so screwy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 12:15 AM
horizontal rule
398

379 Polish People's Party, aka Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe, generally translated as the Polish Peasant Party. Don't quite get the relevance of the comment but it was a center-left party representing the interests of the peasantry. It was Mikolajczyk's party. In opposition and semi-underground in the thirties, in a coalition government with the semi-fascist right in the mid twenties before Pilsudski's coup, moved towards the Socialists afterwards. The central party of the uneasy broad coalition that formed the Government in Exile in WWII, the closest supporters of its first PM, Gen. Sikorski, previously head of the illegal anti-government opposition. Attempted to work with the Communists right after the war, got suppressed and its leaders either fled or got killed. My great-grandfather was one of its top leaders from 1930 on, after its previous leadership found itself arrested right before a parliamentary election. Need more info?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 12:16 AM
horizontal rule
399

379 The National Populist Union/Confederation (Zwiazek Ludowo-Narodowo was the mid twenties incarnation of the National Democrats, commonly known as the Endecja. That movement started off as a populist right wing organization in the 1890's with proto-fascist elements. By the 1930's it was straight up fascist and extremely anti-semitic. Founded and long led by Roman Dmowski who started off as a very interesting analyst of Polish affairs and political organizer, and then became progressively stupider as his hatred of Jews gradually ate his brain. It or the PSL(s) generally had a plurality of popular support among ethnic Poles during the early twenties. Again, more info if you want it.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 12:24 AM
horizontal rule
400

Secretary of Commerce really doesn't seem to do anything. At least, the Wikipedia pages for the last four Secretaries of Commerce fail to mention anything they did while Secretary of Commerce


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 12:41 AM
horizontal rule
401

Yglesias seems to have stopped his daily profiles of past Secretaries of Commerce, but they were pretty funny. Basically, yeah, nothing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 12:52 AM
horizontal rule
402

So does that ruin her faery gamine image, or make it more interesting?

By her own account it contributed to it, as she claimed that it caused her to be smaller and less, er, buxom than she would otherwise have been.

If anybody called a kid Neveah over here, everybody would think she was named after a skin cream.

I once met a guy whose business card said (inter alia) "Past President of the Young Men's Zoroastrian Association". No word of a lie.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 1:51 AM
horizontal rule
403

re: 402

There must be a non-zero number of sort of Zoroastrians in the UK, I imagine; given the number of parsi immigrants.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 3:53 AM
horizontal rule
404

Googling famous Parsi, I didn't realize the first Asian MP was elected in the 19th century, and refused to swear on the Bible [as a zoroastrian], and swore on the 'Avesta' instead.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 3:55 AM
horizontal rule
405

and swore on the 'Avesta' instead

That would do the American fundies heads in!

I didn't actually meet the ex-YMZA official in Britain. I was living in a house 5 minutes walk from a tower of silence (One tried not to think too much about the odd bits of bone one saw lying around in the road). He was the only person I've ever met with an 8 page business card.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 4:40 AM
horizontal rule
406

re: 405

My grandfather was in the India throughout the 1920s and 30s. He was a really keen amateur photographer, and in his albums there are photos of towers of silence. Complete with vultures.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 4:51 AM
horizontal rule
407

Yeah, you get used to them. All the vultures in India are being killed off by some toxin used in agriculture, and Parsi traditions are completely borked.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 5:04 AM
horizontal rule
408

re: 407

Yeah, they are being killed off by a painkiller. Diclofenac: the stuff in 'Voltarol'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 5:18 AM
horizontal rule
409

I guess that I'd move to Canada and get married. My boyfriend's parents are a lot more helpful than mine are.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 5:19 AM
horizontal rule
410

The Adventists are weird theologically, but culturally they seem less other than the Jehovah's Witnesses.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 5:24 AM
horizontal rule
411

So, back on topic:

1. If I lose my job: I will pay off my house, which I can afford to do, and survive on what pension funds I have left;
2. If civilisation as we know it goes tits up: I will die in short order;
3. If the world comes to an end: Apparently this is already happening, and my response seems to be to kick in a few quid to Oxfam and MSF. Probably this is not commensurate.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 5:40 AM
horizontal rule
412

||

Meanwhile, we can all stop masturbating to Estelle Bennett.

|>


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 5:51 AM
horizontal rule
413

I think that Susan Collins might be beatable, though my judgment is off because I had real hope that she would lose last time, but Snowe will only be gone when she chooses to retire.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 5:52 AM
horizontal rule
414

I think that Susan Collins might be beatable, though my judgment is off because I had real hope that she would lose last time, but Snowe will only be gone when she chooses to retire.

If Collins didn't lose this year, facing a well-funded opponent in a year when voters basically wanted to set Republican candidates on fire, she's not going to. It wasn't even particularly close.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 6:00 AM
horizontal rule
415

Don't quite get the relevance of the comment

379 was brought up by the discussion of Poland + the reference to populism in 366.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 6:47 AM
horizontal rule
416

You're right,Gabriel, and Tom Allen was a pretty strong candidate, though his being from Portland may have alienated more Northern voters.

All I'm saying is that Olympia Snowe is more powerful than Susan Collins.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 6:54 AM
horizontal rule
417

404: The Mehta family (Zuben, the conductor; Bejun, the countertenor, etc.) are Parsi.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 7:32 AM
horizontal rule
418

Small-state senators are like gold for lobbyists. Small states are cheaper to pork up, and small-state elections are cheaper too. Daschle, Byrd, lots of examples.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-13-09 8:20 AM
horizontal rule