Re: You, me, and our narrative form a stable little tripod.

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I've noticed this as well in my relationships and in close friends/family. I think it is in particular related to the people you know, not necessarily the way the larger world works. At least, it is in the latter that I notice the most disagreement.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 1:19 PM
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A whole lot of constancy in long-term relationships. A constant kindness can make the disagreements unimportant and unactionable, and eventually the differences are beneath notice. Always moving past, to the next encouragement or reassurance.

The...disagreeable...person is what, insecure, frustrated, ambitious, impatient? The agreeable person is not without convictions or causes, but has somewhere lost her urgency.

I don't know if perceptions merge as much as priorities.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 1:36 PM
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Happened just the other night, she had a furor over outside hassles that I thought overwrought and unnecessary...

...but I held my peace.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 1:42 PM
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The firehouse effect holds that firemen with much downtime who talk to each other for too long come to agree on many things that an outside, impartial observer would find ludicrous (they develop political ideas that are very similar).


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 1:57 PM
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4:We may be mistaking a shift in derivations for an adjustment of residues.

Did Republicans agree on the awesomeness of Sarah Palin based on millions of coincident objective assessments, or because they were Republicans?

Consent is manufactured, not with argument or observation, but with bonding.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 2:25 PM
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I bet it's diagnostic of a stable relationship

See, I'm am trying to map hb's story onto Matalin & Carville, or the many couples I have seen smiling tolerantly at each other, I am thinking the agreeableness precedes and controls the agreement


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 2:49 PM
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This reminds me: when I was in Chinaleveland single-handedly assuring the election of Obama, it was a lot of fun one night to get to watch a debate on Joss Whedon between Team Molly/rob helpy-chalk versus Team snarkout/redfoxtailshrub.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 2:53 PM
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6: I'm always totally shocked by Matalin/Carville relationships, though. Maybe I'm just describing how I function in a relationship.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 2:53 PM
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it was a lot of fun one night to get to watch a debate on Joss Whedon between Team Molly/rob helpy-chalk versus Team snarkout/redfoxtailshrub.

And no one thought to record the debate and put it on YouTube for all to see? For shame!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:01 PM
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C and I hadn't been together that long when we got married, and for years we kept being surprised at how much we agreed on things. Not sure how that fits in with your theory.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:04 PM
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I think is totally spot-on, heebie. I think it also has to do with a certain kind of relationship, i.e. the ones where you know a lot of the same people, have similar worldviews etc. I think it's more that you start out the same and develop pithy and insightful consensuses (consensi?) about things, some of which stick.

I can't tell you how many times I've had conversations with friends where they've said, after I opined about something, "that's what [Mr. Leblanc] said."


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:06 PM
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That's what she said!


Posted by: [Mr. Leblanc] | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:08 PM
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I think also one of the things that can bring people together is if they tend to agree on people, which is often the thing that you see the most agreement/parroting of analysis on. I remember one morning just a few days after my boy and I got together, where I was listing people in a class we were in together as possible partners for a research project. My dude was brushing his teeth and as I mentioned the name of a particular classmate, he gave a wordless, emphatic thumbs down and I was like "I hate that guy too!"

I remember at the time being thrilled that both of us had formed instantly negative opinions of someone both of us barely knew. Pretty silly, huh?

But after several years of being together I don't think there's a single person we've jointly known that one of us liked and the other didn't. That kind of compatibility is important to some people (i.e. me, and it sounds like you).


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:10 PM
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I notice that more in partnerships than in families. Like, my brother and sister-in-law are relatively similar in their worldviews and assessments of people. But my siblings all totally disagree with one another, even though we were raised by the same parents and have the same brother we all talk about. We just talk about him differently.


Posted by: belle lettre | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:11 PM
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10: Cousin marriage via an unacknowledged child.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:14 PM
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Hmm. My parents are pretty different from each other in some ways, but they do tend to have the same opinions of friends and relatives.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:15 PM
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13: I totally feel like the relationship has been validated in some way when Jammies and I independently have the same opinion of someone. And it's often been a total relief now that Jammies has met my family and has validated my perspective when they're pulling childish crap.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:21 PM
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OT: W-lfs-n and I are going here for lunch on Saturday. Sounds delish, does it not? He is the hardest person to shop for. Can you imagine trying to buy him a book that he hasn't read or formed some opinion about? Or making him a mix CD when you are the type of girl who listens to Mariah Carey? Maybe I'll just buy him a belated birthday drink.

(Yes, Ben, I am totally baiting you in the comments).


Posted by: belle lettre | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:24 PM
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Sir Kraab and I bond over our mutual opinions on many, but not all, Unfoggeders.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:24 PM
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He is the hardest person to shop for.

Not if you don't buy him anything.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:26 PM
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My boyfriend doesn't get Unfogged. At all. But we do have the same assessment of friends even if non-mutual. Like his friend the plastic surgeon who's dating his patient coordinator, and she has a 7 year old child. They moved in together after 6 months. The child is very sweet and easily attached, and she calls everyone Auntie and Uncle. We both agree that this sounds like a recipe for disaster with the kid in the balance, but we all fervently hope everything works out for the best and that they stay together forever and ever and form a nice new family for the kid. We only disagree on the probability of outcomes, because my hope overrides my fear that the serial dater doctor can settle down.


Posted by: belle lettre | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:30 PM
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My boyfriend doesn't get Unfogged. At all.

Obviously, he's just not that into you.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:35 PM
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I'm scared to tell my fiancee about unfogged. Who knows what she'll think?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:38 PM
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They moved in together after 6 months.

Is that quick? We were married and knocked up within 5. And it's been an unqualified success if I do say so myself. C is less tolerant of people than I am, but we like and dislike the same people for that same reasons, it's true.

Arranged marriage, Emerson. The Welsh have strange ways.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:46 PM
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I don't think that 6 months is necessarily a short or long time before moving in together, but that with certain people it smells way too fast, whereas with others it smells like a sensible, loving decision.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:48 PM
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25: Maybe it's that. Or maybe he's finally figured out what he wants. He had a string of 1-2 year relationships which ended when he couldn't make that last commitment, so since they've just crossed the 1-year mark, we're hopeful it's not like in the past, given that it seems as though they already have a family dynamic formed. Of course, we know nothing really about what's going on, as most outsiders do. She's really nice, if not as challenging intellectually as this other girl he used to date, and he describes her as the first "normal" girlfriend he's had. Which may mean "undramatic." Which is always a good thing, right?


Posted by: belle lettre | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:52 PM
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23: Who knows what she'll think?

My guess? Who is this Blume woman?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:53 PM
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24: If I had known that you were Welsh I wouldn't have needed to ask.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 3:59 PM
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23: Isn't Blume a specialist in Nazi studies? I've heard that they have an amazing tolerance for beer, sausage, oafishness, and murderous cruelty. You should be home free.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 4:03 PM
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28 - that's a great article. I only married a Welshman though - obviously I was chaste before then.

25 - a sensible, loving decision is a very nice way of putting it. Nicer than most people put it at the time.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 4:19 PM
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He must have been terribly disappointed in you. We really have to respect him for sticking with a foreign woman with strange ways.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 4:24 PM
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Hmm. My wife and I have converged a bit in our worldviews over the 20 (!) years we've been together, but we started out very different and remain significantly so. One of the advantages is that it's helped both of us strip away things we knew about the world that weren't particularly true or helpful, and I think we're both better, happier people than we would have been without being challenged by each other along the way, but it's been painful at times. YMMV.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 5:14 PM
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It's like when you talk to the same person for years and years, a lot of that conversation just reinforces and cements the same story, and a big structural component of the relationship is agreeing on "Here's how the world is." It's kind of nice.

"I'm struck in meetings by the fact that when [A] says something, it was exactly what I thought needed to be said," [B] said. He added that they can often finish each other's sentences and communicate through a single glance. "We often look at each other and the look says, 'What somebody is saying isn't really viable in both of our views' or . . . 'that basically feels right.' "
_____

[A] = Tim [Geithner]
[B] = [Larry] Summers
(link)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 6:24 PM
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Sir Kraab and I bond over our mutual opinions on many, but not all, Unfoggeders.

Heh. This makes me think, though, that it's not as much shared opinions or judgments about other people, as it is a shared sense of what's relevant in making the judgment.

I've been in one long-term relationship with a guy who was practically my clone, in the sorts of things we each found interesting, the judgments we made about others, and in aesthetic matters. It eventually became ... static? And have been in a relationship with someone who was rather my opposite on a number of fronts. Both can work or not work. It's the whole opposites attract vs. like attracts like conundrum.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 6:38 PM
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33: Poor, poor Jared Bernstein.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 7:22 PM
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OT: This is more of a complaint post than an advice post. I got drawn in, yet again, to another blogospheric flame war. This time involving our favorite drama-magnet friend, SEK. One of my former blog friends, who has somehow descended into madness and misanthropy as the result of a rejection and is now articulating all sorts of nasty theses against love, humanity, the reading of fiction, etc. Whose side did I choose? SEK's, of course. It was one final nudge into sides-taking, because of something that happened with another friend. I had tried to "stay neutral", but it became impossible, even as I understand that what FBF did was out of anger and pain. I could forgive the early nasty behavior, but not the ensuing narcisstic wallowing and scape-goating, especially having to read it all the time (so I stopped reading).

So what happened when I made it clear I supported SEK? I am promptly unfriended on Facebook and Twitter. Tools of the devil, these social networking things. So I'm in general cool with the result, since the friendship with the former blog friend has mostly been destroyed by other drama involving me but other appalling behavior towards others, except that I am upset in general at the loss of yet another friend, yet another misjudgment of character, yet another bit of drama. You're never too old for this, it seems, or too old to make the same mistake year after year and have another friendship fallout. Because I have other very loyal, non-dramatic friends, I know that this is not entirely my fault, especially in this case because I didn't do any of the bad behavior. But it still feels wearying to be drawn into it, and have my judgment constantly called into question, and to keep having this happen.

I am reminded of AWB's recent post (which may have been taken down) on friendship losses and how exhausting they are. So, while it was inevitable that any formal ties would be cut and attempts at pretending at friendship would end, and while there was no friendship to speak of at this point, it still feels kind of painful to have that really clearly demonstrated by the formal severing of ties. In the days before Facebook and Twitter, you just faded away. Now it's really obvious! I wish I could ask you whether it gets better or less dramatic with age and experience, but the comments to AWB's post make it clear that it doesn't.


Posted by: Edith Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 7:27 PM
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Some people love to find the drama.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 7:49 PM
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One upside to depression is that you're basically indifferent to this sort of DRAMA!


Posted by: Mary Todd Lincoln | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 7:49 PM
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Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the DRAMA?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 7:51 PM
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who has somehow descended ascended into madness and misanthropy

There. And this is ornery enough to keep me from searching blogs & threads for a great fight.

38:I'm saved!!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 7:51 PM
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I think you should provide links to the drama.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 7:58 PM
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I think not--SEK drama is drama you want none of. He has the most unbelievable luck.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:00 PM
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I think you should provide drinks to the llama.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:00 PM
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41: Just check out Acephalous. The top posts are all about the dramz. It is not even major drama. But it's like the last straw of drama, and the drama heretofore was insane. I can't speak of it without violating confidentiality though. But it's like SEK x 0.75.


Posted by: Edith Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:02 PM
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33, 35: hilarious. But I think Geithner/Summers were right on the deficit cap.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:03 PM
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36 should read: "drama involving NOT me but other appalling behavior towards others." Dang, you miss a word and it changes everything.


Posted by: Edith Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:03 PM
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43: here you go.


Posted by: Edith Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:05 PM
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llamas are nasty creatures that like to spit.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:08 PM
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This was a big problem in one of my longest friendships, that our stories and judgments never matched up, ever. He denied my right to tell stories about how we met, because that's not AT ALL what he experienced. And whenever I talked about things we'd done together, they were totally different from his experience of the stories. We're not friends anymore.

Another friend, who I met when I was 19, has continued a as a friend. He was coming to town, and I was telling a newer friend a very private story about my longterm friendship right before they met. It was totally delightful when my longterm friend showed up and, on some odd cue, started telling exactly the same story. I felt weirdly loved.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:08 PM
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Speaking of varied perspectives, my son walked by earlier and said "my mother is a fish."


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:15 PM
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Dammit, we just had a vote over at EotAW, or rather those who aren't banned had a vote, and SEK said he was going to crosspost.

The Watchmen posts aren't at the Valve, either. SEK, was funny, he had everybody like Mallrats "looking for the ship" in a comic panel.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:15 PM
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Both Mrs. Roosevelt and her FBF are drama queens but fundamentally pretty nice under it. They will soon be back together and will remember this little tiff over drinks in years to come.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:15 PM
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Alternatively, FBFs romantic rejection has fundamentally destablized his "best friends with cute but taken girl" relationship with E. Roosevelt, and he will not be able to reenter it until he has entered successful romantic partnership himself. His dramatic breakup with her is driven by semi-conscious recognition of this fact.

Ah, reading the minds of pseudonymous others is so difficult and trying.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:20 PM
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50: pwned


Posted by: Vardaman Bundren | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:20 PM
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It isn't actually a ship. It is a set of symbols. I paused to check.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:21 PM
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PGD: do you know FBF?


Posted by: Edith Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:21 PM
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Oh I see. You were speculating. Nope, no entanglement with me.


Posted by: Edith Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:22 PM
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Whose side did I choose? SEK's, of course.

Oh dear.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:25 PM
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Edith, a proper lady does not notice when she's dropped from Facebook and Twitter. (Nor, of course, does a proper gentleman).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:27 PM
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Motherfucker disses David Foster Wallace, he got to get got.


Posted by: OPINIONATED OMAR LITTLE-ARY | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:30 PM
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59:

Now you tell me. I guess I should stop sending out the messengers begging to please re-friend me.

Please, Charley? Take me back?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:34 PM
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56, 57: I read both of your blogs occasionally, so it's vaguely informed speculation. The blogs make you both seem somewhat inclined to dramatic interpretations of events but fundamentally nice under it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:34 PM
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62: Next time I'm in your part of the country (I have sort of guessed who you cross-comment as), we must simply meet up and compare notes.


Posted by: Edith Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:38 PM
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61 -- At your age, Will, it's perfectly acceptable to send a message along the lines of 'gosh I don't know how I did it -- I'm not really all that good at this internet stuff -- but I seem to have deleted you as a friend. Should I send you a new request, or do you have to send me one?'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:40 PM
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Now, you tell me this, after I've been begging for forgiveness for not returning Marshall yet.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:43 PM
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I print out twitter messages on social cards and hope to be received on @home days.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:45 PM
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The blogs make you both seem somewhat inclined to dramatic interpretations of events but fundamentally nice under it.

That was very well put, PGD.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:45 PM
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Well I thought he was wildly overstating my propensity for dramatic interpretation (bangs table with fist, flounces hair, turns on heel with a swoosh of skirt and bustle, slams door shut emphaticaly).


Posted by: Edith Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:54 PM
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Well, I certainly don't know who Edith is or her FBF so I cannot comment.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:55 PM
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I have always longed to wear a dress with a bustle.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:57 PM
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It's kind of a funny little ripple from the OP: I recognized the author of 36 before finishing the first paragraph, as last time she, he, or it posted extra-pseudo.

62 -- Get a blog, P. Maybe people will say the same of you as well.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:57 PM
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I really have no idea what's going on here.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 8:58 PM
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72:

Carp is trying to pretend that he is not the drama queen in 36.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:01 PM
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I wasn't only talking about this thread. It's a generally true statement. I should put it on a t-shirt.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:02 PM
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Me either, essear.

I'm still thinking about the post and trying to decide if all the long-term couples I know well do this.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:02 PM
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||

Jesus, people are saying nice things about Douthat. Is there some kind of exclusive Young Journalist Daisy Chain, with a blood oath or something?

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:05 PM
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I know what's going on! I feel so cool. Or lame, I guess. And I'm wondering how it got to be 8 o'clock when I got home two hours ago, resolving to start my run before dark.

Poor Edith, her cloak of First Ladyness so thin.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:05 PM
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But she's got a bustle, Otto! Surely the cloak need not be too thick, or it would get in the way.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:07 PM
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Excellent point. It is hard to fit a cloak around a bustle. Plus, as a First Lady, she probably doesn't spend a great deal of time outdoors.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:12 PM
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Excellent point. It is hard to fit a cloak around a bustle. Plus, as a First Lady, she probably doesn't spend a great deal of time outdoors.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:12 PM
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73 -- It didn't take SEK to break me up with FBF.

On the OP, my wife and I have some very different assessments of a great many things. Not opposites, exactly, but knowing the view of one or the other of us on some topic or other is a very bad predictor or the views of the other. The kids try to play this for advantage, but it doesn't work often.

Boy that Maria Riesch can go.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:12 PM
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I'm assuming that Douthat gives good head until I hear a more convincing explanation.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:19 PM
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The firehouse effect holds that firemen with much downtime who talk to each other for too long come to agree on many things turn gay to a degree that an outside, impartial observer would find ludicrous



Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:21 PM
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Am I the only person who pronounces Douthat as Douche-Hat?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:21 PM
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I'm sticking with "doubt that", which is both conveniently close to the actual pronunciation and an appropriate response to his writing.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:26 PM
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Is there some kind of exclusive Young Journalist Daisy Chain, with a blood oath or something?

Yes, it's called the Harvard College Alumni Association.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:32 PM
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63: sure, love to, drop me a line at the linked email.

I find Douthat infinitely preferable to the odious McArdle.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:42 PM
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"Anything But Love" tells you how to pronounce his name.

How did McMegan crash the chain? U Penn.

No one needs to answer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:46 PM
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I'm not mathematically equipped to handle the chain of infinities I need at this point. There's at least one or two infinities between Douthat and Yglesias, and a couple more again before I'd get to someone I'd hope to learn something from.

Usually I just throw in orders of magnitude to block out my political space, but PGD has a more advanced and sophisticated system.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 9:50 PM
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I've come to think of the New York Times op-ed page as that mildly interesting feature attached to Paul Krugman's blog. Kind of like a reading group, but without color-coded titles.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-12-09 10:57 PM
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Talking of pronunciations ... I just found out last night, watching the news, that Madoff sounds like Made Off. I chuckled away to myself for ages about that, with C looking at me like I was an idiot and asking how I had missed all the jokes already made. But I'd only read about him before.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-13-09 1:52 AM
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Reading Douthat reminds me of those cartoons where one character throws daggers or shoot bullets, and the other evades the missiles by twisting his body into C and S like shapes. Douthat is Evil Plastic Man - he wins arguments by ducking any major points his opponent makes (ref. his comments at Sam Harris and Michael Kinsley) and responding merely to the asides.


Posted by: LordKrishna | Link to this comment | 03-13-09 5:51 AM
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M/tch in 7 fails to mention how utterly ridiculous Shrub and Snark were being. They said that the problem with Whedon is that he likes his characters *too much* and is *unwilling* to write stories where they undergo too much hardship. WTF!?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-13-09 9:53 AM
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Yeah, helpy-chalk, like dying to save the world and then being ripped out of heaven by your supposedly loving friends is a hardship. Sheesh.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-13-09 10:32 AM
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90: Don't discount Bob Herbert. While rarely groundbreaking, he is a smart and compassionate soul. Also, Gail Collins is non-snarkily funny.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-13-09 10:37 AM
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like dying to save the world and then being ripped out of heaven by your supposedly loving friends is a hardship. Sheesh

Hey Amber Benson finally made it into the opening credits.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-13-09 10:42 AM
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95: They are very solid columnists - probably the only two I enjoy and read on a regular basis. (Well, I read Stanley Fish on a regular basis but that's only to get my blood pressure up). I also, um, have to admit that I've enjoyed David Brooks more in recent months.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-13-09 10:50 AM
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I've always been a defender of Bob Herbert; I don't know anything about Collins, who I don't think was writing much at the time I stopped reading the op-ed page. Basically, "select" drove me away, and I picked up Krugman's blog later, but as part of my attempt to spend less time reading op-eds (and fewer blogs), I haven't started reading the rest of the page again. So 90 was sort a literal description of my reading habits, though disparagement of the op-ed pages as a whole was intended.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-13-09 7:39 PM
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YOU FORGOT FRANK RICH!!!1!!!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED POLE | Link to this comment | 03-14-09 11:15 AM
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They said that the problem with Whedon is that he likes his characters *too much* and is *unwilling* to write stories where they undergo too much hardship. WTF!?

Noooo, it's not (obviously!) that he is unwilling to have them undergo hardship, that he keeps succumbing to the impulse to give them squishy hearts of gold. (Also that the attempted rape sequence in Buffy was not well wrought, but that was a separate issue.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-14-09 12:00 PM
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What's wrong with a squishy heart of gold? Are you some sort of Viennese?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-14-09 12:32 PM
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Some sort of gold-silicone colloid?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-14-09 12:34 PM
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M/tch in 7 fails to mention how utterly ridiculous Shrub and Snark were being. They said that the problem with Whedon is that he likes his characters *too much* and is *unwilling* to write stories where they undergo too much hardship. WTF!?

Filthy lies! We were saying that the problem with Whedon is that he likes his characters too much and is unwilling to make them genuinely objectionable people. (This was both less true about and less fundamentally a blow to the whole project in Buffy than it was with Firefly; I haven't seen the last two seasons of Angel, so I'll withhold judgment on that front.)

Firefly is written by a man who doesn't understand what a fuckup it is to let Greedo shoot first.

I believe we also objected to "Heart of Gold", but no man, woman, child, or trained macaw with an ounce of sense will defend that episode.

On preview: I can't understand how people claim that living together causes people's opinions to converge.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-14-09 12:56 PM
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What's wrong with a show where the characters have hearts of gold? If a show is not going to illuminate the human condition, a la The Wire, then why would you want to watch a show where the characters don't ultimately have hearts of gold?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-14-09 1:08 PM
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Nothing's wrong with a show where some of the characters have hearts of gold. But it's more interesting when their hearts are partially and inconsistently golden. The Whedon effect makes the characters disappointingly samey, and I'd prefer it if characters who are supposed to be ruthless and mercenary sometimes turned out to be genuinely, persistently ruthless and self-serving. It seems like this only happens in the Whedonverse with characters who don't appear enough times to get thoroughly domesticated, or who are on the short list of definitive Big Bads.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-14-09 1:22 PM
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Does Jayne have a heart of gold? Spike didn't have a heart of gold, but they had to give him one to give Buffy a reason for not killing him.

Plus, Mal threw an unarmed man who threatened him into a jet engine. If that isn't Han shoots first, I don't know what is.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-14-09 6:11 PM
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