Re: Interior Decorating, Blind Loyalty Edition

1

Is it too blindly loyaltastic to do so?

Yes.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:24 AM
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Maybe over the guest bed.

Or in the pantry or root cellar.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:25 AM
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I have a friend who has a Jimmy Carter election poster hanging up in his house, and it's awesome. I guess you need the hindsite of how the presidency unfolds before such things are awesome?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:27 AM
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I have a framed newsprint copy of this up in my house, which may be creepier.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:27 AM
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4: That is awesome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:28 AM
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I guess you need the hindsite

Are we talking about Heebie's rear again?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:31 AM
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go for full blown archival preservation. Don't hang it up. Keep it between two flat surfaces out of the light in a dry place. Bring it out in 8 years when you know what mix of pride and irony to show it with.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:34 AM
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Objectively, it's a great poster.

Heebie's self-references always are amusing.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:35 AM
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Heebie's self-references always are amusing.

It puts the lotion in the basket. It puts the lotion on its hindsite.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:37 AM
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Will it be a farce if you display it along with a painting of Pope Benedict XVI?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:41 AM
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The really creepy place to put it would be so that it inescapably confronted guests when they are seated on the toilet. And as a general principle you shouldn't let people get too comfortable taking shits in your house, anyway.

More seriously, I think a good place for it for now would be some rarely-glimpsed nook or cranny.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:48 AM
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Clearly, it needs to be taped to the head of the bass drum, and you can play the kit whenever he escalates the war in Afghanistan with another 20,000 troops.


Posted by: Byron the Bulb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:52 AM
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Jesurgislac was pretty much right about his one, if there was any doubt:

Richard Clarke, chief White House counterterrorism adviser: We went into a period in June where the tempo of intelligence about an impending large-scale attack went up a lot, to the kind of cycle that we'd only seen once or twice before. And we told Condi that. She didn't do anything. She said, Well, make sure you're coordinating with the agencies, which, of course, I was doing. By August, I was saying to Condi and to the agencies that the intelligence isn't coming in at such a rapid rate anymore as it was in the June-July time frame. But that doesn't mean the attack isn't going to happen. It just means that they may be in place.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:54 AM
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13: Breaking.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:59 AM
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I hate to admit it, but I have felt a little sympathy for Condi's inaction after trying to read Clarke's novels.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:06 AM
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Bathroom. Or on the ceiling of the living room.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:15 AM
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On the ceiling above your bed.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:21 AM
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"The ceiling needs painting a new poster."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:26 AM
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Next to the whiteboard.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:34 AM
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The problem is that right now, it seems vaguely creepy and Our Dear Leader-esque to hang a picture of the sitting president in your house. Is it too blindly loyaltastic to do so?

Yes. I'm not so sure it's such a great poster, designwise, anyway. There are much better Obama posters out there. I mean, definitely keep it and bring it out later, but it's not something I'd want on my wall if it weren't for the significance.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:42 AM
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ginger Yellow, I think the reason she's considering hanging it at all is as a souvenir/physical piece of memorabilia of an event she participated in. And the fact that it's so Obama-centric is the concern.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:48 AM
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Aren't you making this a bit too complicated? It's a poster that reminds you of an exciting time in your lives. Hang it in your bedroom if you think guests might be taken aback. Wearing a t-shirt from a great concert you attended is not a blind endorsement of everything the lead singer did or does. Same with the poster.

Besides, fifteen years from now, your kids will look at it and wonder how their parents could have been cool once.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:53 AM
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I'm not so sure it's such a great poster, designwise, anyway.

It's my favorite of the ones I've seen.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:58 AM
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Aren't you making this a bit too complicated?

Uh, it's just a post. I'm not losing sleep over it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:07 AM
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25

Uh, it's just a post.

Poster.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:10 AM
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26

Your mom's a poster.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:20 AM
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Surely the real issue is the clash between the French blue of the drumkit (a nice color, BTW) and the twilight blue of the walls.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:22 AM
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Shit, what I meant to say was:

BE NICE TO MY SON, YOU TRAMP!


Posted by: OPINIONATED APO'S MOM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:23 AM
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Hang it in your bedroom

Like the pictures of the Pope and JFK in Irish bedrooms of the 1960s and 1970s. They're looking at you.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:23 AM
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27: You are totally right. It's kind of a burr under my saddle.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:25 AM
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On the ceiling above your bed.

Sure, and just banish my NKOTB poster to the cellar? Monster.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:36 AM
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"Tramp" seems far less invidious than "slut": an adventurous, self-sufficient girl who wants to get out and see the world and have some fun. "Slut" just sounds nasty, squishy, smelly, and sort of depressingly passive.

If I had a daughter, I'd be OK with her to be a tramp for a few years while she was finding herself. She could come by from time to time and tell me about the freight trains she'd hopped and the odd jobs she'd had and the people she'd met and the sights she'd seen. And then she'd be out the door, off for new adventures.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:37 AM
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Any interesting insights into the railway system, H-G?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:41 AM
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34

It might look jazzy on a garage wall, provided you have a garage and it's not a disaster zone like mine.


Posted by: Ryan | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:48 AM
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What Goneril said. I'm even a little creeped out by the campaign-esque e-mails from the Obama people.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:56 AM
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36

Ffs, hang it in the living room, its awesome.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:58 AM
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37

It's not blindly loyaltastic to post if you draw a funny mustache on him first.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:00 PM
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I have never opened an Obama email. I finally spammed his emails. Not because I hate him. Generic communications to generic people are almost always unendurably boring.

I also never read editorial-board editorials, except when someone tells me that such and such an editorial amounts of a significant change of direction (e.g., if The Times were to call for U.S. neutrality between Palestiniand and Israelis.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:02 PM
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Any interesting insights into the railway system, H-G?

The passenger thing around Austin that got delayed indefinitely?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:04 PM
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Heebie, as I understand, all through the South there are turnip trains that you can hop and go pretty much wherever you want.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:07 PM
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Why is that preferable to our platform with the bi-lever hand powered thing?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:16 PM
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42

The turnip trains give you a superior tramp experience.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:17 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:25 PM
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We always had pictures of JFK and FDR on the wall when I was growing up. Never struck me as creepy, particularly, but I guess neither of them was president at the time.

I was recently in the house of an elderly woman who had a life size cutout of dubya. That was pretty creepy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:30 PM
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45

Maybe he's her flat daddy.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:36 PM
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46

I have a mass card for RFK on my refrigerator, which is kind of weird, for various reasons.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:43 PM
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47

Perhaps you could make it less dear leader-esque by framing it on a field of tiny unicorns.


Posted by: Hortense | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:44 PM
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48

What Gonerill said, in 1.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:45 PM
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I remember reading somewhere that many people put FDR portraits in their homes during the new deal, but I was just trying to search the books I thought I may have read it in and couldn't find anything.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:48 PM
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life size cutout of dubya

A friend of mine had one of those. It was a gag birthday gift from one of his roommates.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 12:51 PM
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1, 48: Our subject peoples object to our tastes in interior decoration. Well, boo effing hoo!

Maybe WWI wasn't such a good idea after all, eh, guys? It's only after you've lost world domination that you really appreciate it.

Think of the Swedes, forever mourning Poltava (300 years ago this year.) As we speak, the corrupt Ukrainian fascists are gloating -- the lovely Yulia among them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:07 PM
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49: I feel like it's something of a tradition, at least among some immigrant groups, but I don't feel like researching that question. I know that JFK and MLK portraits were quite common at one point.

There's that line in Jewel In The Crown about taking down Gandhi's portrait, but I probably shouldn't extrapolate very much from that.

Anyhow I don't think heebie's poster fits into the above nebulous category. The band poster analogy above is apt; it was a historic event that they were excited to have taken part in. Nothing weird about displaying a memento of the event.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:07 PM
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JFK and RFK were a feature among Hispanics in the SW, I've been told.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:08 PM
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re: 51

Sometimes, John, I can't tell if you are kidding or if you're not. You do sometimes sound as if 'the British' are one of your pet annoyances ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:17 PM
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Article in the LA Times from January—"Obama memorabilia displayed in homes".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:21 PM
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re: 52

The band poster analogy above is apt; it was a historic event that they were excited to have taken part in. Nothing weird about displaying a memento of the event.

While he is still the actual sitting President, really?

I mean, there are more heinous things to display, but it's still a little ... odd, no?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:23 PM
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"Think of the Swedes, forever mourning Poltava (300 years ago this year.) As we speak, the corrupt Ukrainian fascists are gloating -- the lovely Yulia among them."

Urainian nationalists love Mazipa, actually.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:26 PM
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There's a store on Haight near Fillmore that sells Obama devotional candles.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:26 PM
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I mean Mazepa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazepa

Apparently they even put him on Hryvnia notes.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:28 PM
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I read in Dallek's JFK bio that west virginian families in 1960 still had FDR on their walls.

(FDR jr helped Kennedy win the primary and prove hick protestants would vote for him.)


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:30 PM
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Now if it were this poster ...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:30 PM
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I mean, there are more heinous things to display, but it's still a little ... odd, no?

Doesn't strike me that way.

I used to have a poster of Nixon on the wall behind the toilet, so you'd have to stare at him when you were peeing. Now that was pretty odd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:33 PM
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Doing my part for the sitzpinkler revolution, I guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:34 PM
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36 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:37 PM
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54: I only ridicule blondish, mild-mannered, non-victim peoples such as Scandinavians, British, and Canadians. On the one hand, it's safer; on the other hand, the lump of hatred gets more evenly distributed that way, and the darker races catch a little break,


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:39 PM
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The Cossacs who supported the Swedes were impaled. Peter the Great was pretty much as terrible as Ivan the.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:41 PM
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Ivan killed his son in a fit of rage, Peter had his son tortured to death.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:45 PM
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I'm on the 'kinda weird' bench. If he'd lost, no problem, hang it up as a great memento. Eight years from now, pull it out and hang it. But during his presidency, it seems less like a cool poster, and more like a picture of the president, which if you're not a customs office or the IRS, is weird.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:46 PM
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re: 65

Ah, OK. I think I can more or less endorse this 'mock the mild-mannered non-victim peoples' policy.

And 68 gets it right.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:47 PM
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I confess I had no idea of the Byron Pushkin and Hugo poems of Mazepa and the Tschaikovsky opera.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:49 PM
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71

You people are so strange.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:49 PM
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Or that he occasioned a Ukrainian cultural flowering or that there was something called Ukrainian Baroque.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_Baroque


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:50 PM
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Or Cossack Baroque, which sounds cooler.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:51 PM
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I'm with LB. Cool poster, but having an image of the president hanging around would weird me out a little. Kind of a Turkish vibe.

||
Thanks to whomever recommended Nature's Great Events (asilon, maybe?). The cinematography is just breathtaking.
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Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 2:00 PM
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71 gets it right. And you know how cranky that makes me.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 2:06 PM
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Gogol's Taras Bulba, about Cossacks, is an amazing book, nothing like anything else of his. Gogol studied history fairly seriously (so did Musorgsky) and vacillated between Ukrainian nationalism and Russian nationalism.

Russian nationalists had a special problem, being an imperialist people and all.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 2:13 PM
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I used to have a poster of Nixon on the wall behind the toilet, so you'd have to stare at him when you were peeing. Now that was pretty odd.

Me too! But instead of Nixon, I had Michael Jackson.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 2:14 PM
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Though of course, I only ridicule the brutish Scots at a safe distance.

Twice I've run into groups of British military lifers in bars, once in Hong Kong and once in Portland. They were rough, hard-drinking sorts, and in 1983 I almost got beat up by a guy who remained furious about Eisenhower's behavior during the Suez crisis (1956).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 2:18 PM
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I used to have a 24x30 halftone photograph of L. Ron Hubbard in my bathroom, on the wall opposite of the toilet. I also had a 33x32 halftone enlargement of Dick Cheney's trademark snarl glaring down the main stairs.


Posted by: Light Rail Tycoon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 2:26 PM
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Photographers of politicians and political figures can be cool. It's specifically the fact that it's a photo of the sitting head of state/head of government that makes it odd/unsettling.

If someone had a bunch of Yousuf Karsh portraits of politicians on their wall, that'd be one thing. If it was the current Prime Minister, or President, that's another.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 2:37 PM
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The apartment of a friend features a Hall of Presidents, with pictures of all the 20thC presidents lining the wall. FACT!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 2:40 PM
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on the 'kinda weird' bench.

I will concede the point, LB, but this is a bit off-topic.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 2:43 PM
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83

put it in the guest bedroom, to discourage visitors from having sex.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 2:55 PM
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kind of a Turkish vibe

Racist.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:08 PM
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put it in the guest bedroom, to discourage visitors from having sex.

That was the role of the Popographs mentioned above, except of course they were in the bedrooms of the man and woman of the house.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:13 PM
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Yeah, it's a bit weird. And I quite like the poster, though Obama's face looks ugly.

More people should have cardboard cut-outs around the place. I used to have a cardboard baby when I was in college, and my parents (well, my dad) had a life-size Charles Darwin in their hallway for most of this year. (They've recently put him away as they're trying to sell their house.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:14 PM
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81 - that's so weird, it's become great.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:15 PM
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||

Last night, on the occasion of her 5th BDay party, I gave Iris the Feminism/Patriarchy talk*. Not using those words, of course. The proximate cause was a version of the "Medusa story" in which Andromeda has a previously-betrothed fiance who rather objects to Perseus' heroics. King Cepheus tells him to fuck off, as his cowardice would have allowed A to be taken by the sea monster. I pointed out to Iris that A had not been given any say in the matter; her first thought was that it didn't matter, since she obviously would have picked Perseus anyway, but I got her to see that no one but A should decide whom A would marry. Then we got into the whole women-as-property thing, and modern issues of fairness, etc.

Fairly successful talk, although it did shade into Iris wondering why Hera wasn't more accepting of Zeus' ladies. She suggested that perhaps if Zeus would only introduce the women/goddesses to Hera, they could be friends. When I pointed out that this likely wouldn't work and that, for example, AB probably wouldn't appreciate me bringing home other women, Iris got excited at the prospect of "more mothers and a house all full of people."

So, plus points for a communitarian spirit, minus points for polygamy. Also, after 27 months of hearing the story, she finally asked just what, exactly, Poseidon and Medusa had done to "disrespect Athene, right in her own temple." I went with "making babies, when Athene really just wanted people worshipping or praying in the temple."

* Not, I should be clear, during the party

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:23 PM
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88.2: Wow. Iris goes to a Waldorf school, you say?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:26 PM
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On the OP, I'm planning on making a little shadow box of election souvenirs, using voting stubs and a GOTV poster from the neighb. But, although it will include a pic of BHO, it will be pretty explicitly a commemoration of a historical event, not a glorification of BHO himself.

That said, I'm not 100% opposed to the putting up of pics of Presidents, even sitting ones - while I think Americans tend to be far too jingoistic, I think it oddly coexists with an unhealthy contempt for their actual elected officials. The "they're all bums" attitude is precisely what enables GWB and Cheney - if you refuse to see that there are better and worse leaders (and that those leaders will be politicians, not fantasy Unsullied Heroes), then you're susceptible to childish arguments about who would be more fun to drink beer with.

I should note, for the record, that we have a great big portrait of Lincoln in our stair hall (sort of a litho based on a photo), plus I have a t-shirt on which AB stenciled Abe. Deep down, I'm patriotic, even though, just like a cliched liberal, I can't imagine flying a flag.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:32 PM
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89: Yes, although the Greek stuff all comes from me. Apparently she likes to regale her classmates with the tale of Medusa, severed head and all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:33 PM
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That Marpessa took no crap, man. Be like her.


Posted by: Kobe minus eight | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:34 PM
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||

I just want to say I am continually amused by Talking Points Memo's stock photos of everyone, and how they decide to use the "sad Norm Coleman", "happy Norm Coleman", "confused Norm Coleman", "angry Norm Coleman", "confident Norm Coleman", etc., stock photo of the person, depending on whether the accompanying news story is good or bad news for that person.

|>


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:40 PM
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91: It was a small joke. Polyamory is actually a tough topic (to me), and I'm fascinated that Iris would come up with that so early on. I'd be seriously torn on how to answer her, except in terms of respecting your partner's wishes (for monogamy, in this case).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:41 PM
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That said, I'm not 100% opposed to the putting up of pics of Presidents, even sitting ones - while I think Americans tend to be far too jingoistic, I think it oddly coexists with an unhealthy contempt for their actual elected officials.

To an outsider that's really not how it looks. The, possibly erroneous, impression that I've always had is that (compared to most Europeans) Americans are almost comically respectful of their President (although perhaps not other officials).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:45 PM
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96

That's because
A) the president is the head of state, not just head of government
B) we're stuck with him until the end of his term, there is no chance for a vote of non-confidence or for anyone to "call an election" in the case that he becomes astonishingly unpopular as a result of evil and incompetence.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:48 PM
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On the OP, I find displaying a poster of a sitting president odd, yes, but it may be chiefly because my grandmother had a large airbrushed photo of Reagan (with large waving flag behind him against a blue cloudless sky) -- it almost looked colorized -- in the living room in the 80s. She presumably thought it was awesome.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:48 PM
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98

"presumably"? You mean there's a small chance she was being ironic? :-)


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:49 PM
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re: 96a

Yes, I get that. It still looks mental from the outside.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:51 PM
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96 gets it right, but I want to add that Reagan, Clinton, and Bush2 got no respect whatsoever from the opposition (adjusting for whom in the opposition you're talking about - it's rare for Senators to talk disrespectfully of anyone, including or especially their indicted brethren). Apolitical Americans are probably too respectful of The Office, and the press most certainly is*, but it's not as if, once someone is President, he suddenly is immune from criticism or mockery (hello, Chevy Chase).

* Unless, of course, The Office is held by a Dem, in which case it's not his place, and he should be careful not to trash it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:56 PM
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I think any system where the head of government is elected directly as one human competing against other humans will involve more "Respect for the Office" than a system where the head of government is determined by proportional representation.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 3:58 PM
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I dunno. I think De Gaulle had that, but no so much Chirac or Sarko.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 4:03 PM
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98: Ha! I did not question her on the matter. It's likely that she was simply honoring her leader, as all good patriots do.

On preview: grandma would have been honoring the holder of the office, regardless of his deeds.

It still looks mental even from the inside.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 4:04 PM
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I don't dispute that the head of state thing is a cause.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 4:05 PM
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105

In New Zealand people displayed pictures of Michael Joseph Savage, prime minister from 1935-40, for decades.

It was always the same picture, a photo cut out from the Women's Weekly.

Savage responded to accusations of socialism by describing Labour policy as "applied Christianity".


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 4:07 PM
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People accused the labor pm of socialism?


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 4:18 PM
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If I was a guest at a house with a picture of someone hanging on the wall, I would assume that the person was very important, in an emotional way, to the people in that household. I would be pretty reluctant to discuss that person in any substantive way (especially a negative way). So I could see the poster having a chilling effect on political discussions. But then, maybe that's a desirable thing, depending on the sorts of guests you get.


Posted by: j | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 4:28 PM
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106: Yes, funny how they got that idea. But Christianity is so much nicer as a basis for action than nasty political ideas.

Here's the photo by the way. Note the universal fatherly benevolence.


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 4:40 PM
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There is a link in 108. For some reason it displayed as plain text.


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 4:42 PM
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All right, there actually isn't a link. Here it is now, I hope.


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 4:45 PM
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OT: I assume that it's not just me seeing the weirdo spacing of lines separating comments, and commenters' names, at EOTW, and that they know about it, and they can't fix it for whatever reason. I hate to do this 'is it just me' thing, but it seems to be an ongoing thing. Maybe I am supposed to read it in Firefox or something.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 4:50 PM
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102: De Gaulle was kind of a special case, what with the war and all (and his withdrawal from politics until the end of the Fourth Republic). Not really a fair comparison.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 4:51 PM
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111: I don't get the weirdo spacing of lines there. I am using Firefox, but don't know if that's the difference.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 5:01 PM
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113: Okay. Thanks. It's probably a browser issue, then. It's nearly unreadable using IE.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 5:07 PM
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this is very easy: hang it up in a prominent position but have it facing the wall!

if things turn out badly you never turn it round; if they turn out well, win-win

(if you want you can put a handy corkboard on the back for family notices and shopping lists and stuff while you wait out history)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 5:09 PM
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Parsimon, I get the same issue when I try to read EotAW at my office computer which uses IE (comments misaligned with authors' names, weirdo horizontal lines), but on Safari or Firefox it reads OK.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 5:10 PM
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116: Has anybody told them? Are we not in favor of equal opportunity? I would not want to harass the dear people.

Anyway, yeah.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 5:15 PM
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117 --- liberal incrementalism in miniature


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 5:18 PM
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118: Fighting words, ned. I'm going to get the lentil soup started now, okay?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 5:21 PM
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but really, my cows


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 5:24 PM
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On the original post, I'm sure I've told the story here before of the history professor who each semester would ask for a show of hands of how many people's parents or grandparents had a portrait of FDR hanging on the wall. He'd been teaching since the '60s and said the percentage had been gradually going down, but it wasn't small to start with.

I think I still know more people with FDR or JFK on their walls than Reagan or GW, though -- although oddly enough the GW people mostly have a photo (a la the fundraising type) rather than a portrait. I don't know what that says; there have certainly been enough portrait-esque images of him that they could have framed. Didn't Time pick him as Person of the Year once?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 5:49 PM
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It seems to me that this could have been better done.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 5:59 PM
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B) we're stuck with him until the end of his term, there is no chance for a vote of non-confidence or for anyone to "call an election" in the case that he becomes astonishingly unpopular as a result of evil and incompetence.

Nixon?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:05 PM
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Also, speaking of enduring political loyalties, more confirmation that Faulkner was right:

With the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War coming up in 2011, efforts are underway in statehouses, small towns and counties across the South to push for proclamations or legislation promoting Confederate history.
Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Florida observe Confederate History Month in April. Georgia has recognized it by proclamation since 1995...
Most Southern states recognize Confederate Memorial Day as a legal holiday. Some celebrate it on the June birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, but Texas and Arkansas observe it on Jan. 19, the federal holiday for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Slavery is a part of American history, not just Confederate history," [Confederate activist] McMichael said. "The Confederacy has gotten a bad rap because we ended up on the losing side and therefore the wrong side of history." ...

But Georgia state Rep. Tyrone Brooks, a Democrat and longtime civil rights leader, said [...] "These Southern states really still have not come back into the Union.

Ya think? OK, I admit to being naively shocked that eight states are recognizing Confederate History Month (?!) -- somehow although I knew about the counter-scheduling to protest MLK Day, I didn't get quite how institutionalized and widespread the "commemorations" were.

Also, um, a bad rap? Were you guys or were you not traitors? And are you or are you not now wanting the rest of the country to celebrate your treason?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:06 PM
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Nixon?

Ford.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:07 PM
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Once the South was solidly Republican, a Virginia Republican (a Yankee transplant who just didn't understand) got the bright idea that a statue commemorating Lincoln might be a good idea, given that that place is crawling with statues of Confederate generals and statesmen.

And it actually was built, though not after a bitter fight -- possibly the only one in the South. I suppose this was the first sign that Virginia was moving toward the Democratic column.

Related, I'm reading Woodward's biography of Tom Watson, and it's the saddest thing you could ever imagine.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:16 PM
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123: It's standard doctrine, basically, that a President can't be removed except for crimes. Bad policy, lying to the voters, and garden-variety crookedness don't count.

Not everyone accepts this doctrine, examples being me and most Republicans (if the President is a Democrat). And as far as I know, the doctrine comes from nowhere.

Actually, the "high crimes and misdemeanors" part may be in the law. But what does that phrase mean in this context? Misdemeanors or only high misdemeanors? How high? Etc.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:22 PM
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Well, it's become a cliché among lefty bloggers to point out that Madison and the gang assumed presidents would be impeached for dozens of things they do routinely now, for far less serious things than high crimes.

The conclusion they usually don't draw is that the founders weren't actually that smart and the constitution isn't actually that great.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:37 PM
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http://www.constitution.org/jm/17890616_removal.htm

Madison: "Perhaps the great danger, as has been observed, of abuse in the executive power, lies in the improper continuance of bad men in office. But the power we contend for will not enable him to do this; for if an unworthy man be continued in office by an unworthy president, the house of representatives can at any time impeach him, and the senate can remove him, whether the president chuses or not. The danger then consists merely in this: the president can displace from office a man whose merits require that he should be continued in it. What will be the motives which the president can feel for such abuse of his power, and the restraints that operate to prevent it? In the first place, he will be im-peachable by this house, before the senate, for such an act of mal-administration; for I contend that the wanton removal of meritorious officers would subject him to impeachment and removal from his own high trust. "


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:40 PM
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124: Witt, "traitors"? "Treason"? I am not a historian, but it's not at all clear to me that the South were traitors, or treasonous. Hrm. Those terms have somewhat technical meanings; I honestly don't know how civil war, considered as a war of secession, fits there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:49 PM
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"Your misdemeanor must be taller than THIS to provide legitimate grounds for impeachment."

130: Hang 'em first and sort out the technicalities later.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:57 PM
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My dear woman, if someone is a traitor or not isn't a technical question. Liberals...


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:04 PM
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I'm perfectly comfortable calling Confederates traitors and treasonous in every usual colloquial sense of the word. I'm not a historian either and am not equipped to speak to particular technical definitions, but my experience is that many people who balk at this definition quickly move on to telling you that the war was not about slavery and that Southerners were just fighting for states' rights. At which point I decide they've exhausted my good faith.

On the other hand, because I don't have any professional need to focus on the nuances, I may be ignorant of the amount of thoughtful commentary that exists on this question. Immediate Googling produced a book, Is Secession Treason?:

Is Secession Treason? represents the pinnacle of Bledsoe's work. The centerpiece of his position is the critical distinction between the words "constitution" and "compact". Drawing from the texts of numerous political and philosophical documents, he presents ample justification for the assertion that the union of former colonies in the 1780s was voluntary and not perpetual, and their inherent independence was not taken away by their acceding to the "compact" that joined them.
[...] In the pursuit of honesty and openness, Bledsoe strives to present both sides of the debate, and states with great clarity and force the positions of Webster, Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, Calhoun and many others. After careful reflection and analysis, he arrives at two powerful conclusions: Secession was allowed under the Constitution, and the military attack by the Federal government on the Confederacy was illegal. So well-reasoned were his arguments, that his book proved to be a source of material for the defense of Jefferson Davis, President of the Southern Confederacy, from charges of treason.

The second link found in my very casual Googling goes to a DIY historian site, which may or may not represent any sort of canonical understanding. The Davis defender's piece hits all the notes I'm used to hearing, though.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:06 PM
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My dad had a weird friend in the early 60s, who like many other Queens Catholics, had a little plaster bust of JFK sitting in his living room. One day in early 1964, Dad was over at Frankie's house, and noticed something odd about the bust. Frankie had knocked the back of the head off with a hammer, and painted it red.

Seemed relevant to the thread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:11 PM
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Well, you know -- Catholics.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:16 PM
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133: Bledsoe's case seems eminently arguable.

I should be clear that I don't support any modern celebration of the Confederacy, insofar as it seems inextricably linked to a defense of slavery, or at least of racism. But I tend to be very careful around the words "traitor" and "treason".


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:27 PM
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I find it less arguable in the context of people who individually swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, which gets you most of the Confederate military leadership.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:36 PM
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Woodward's biography of Tom Watson

A great book, I think.

And I think further that 137 is right. I honestly don't have the slightest clue what you're on about, Parsimon. Be as careful as you want: Confederate leaders, many of whom were officers in the U.S. army or elected officials in Congress as late as the 1860 election, declared war on the United States after Lincoln was elected. It doesn't really get more treasonous than that.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:48 PM
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The soldiers of the Confederacy shelled a Federal fort. I really struggle to come up with a definition of "treason" that doesn't cover "armed battle against the duly-elected gov't."

I understand the pro-secession arguments, but it's remarkable how many of them include phrases like, "the military attack by the Federal government on the Confederacy was illegal," as if the South hadn't fired the first shots.

As one Unfogged commenter has noted elsewhere, good ideas don't need lots of lies told about them.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:48 PM
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LB-pwned!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:49 PM
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Well, you know -- Catholics.

Yes, I do know. And that's probably why I don't like the idea of political portraiture and statuary in the living room: it reminds me too much of reverence and religiosity and hagiography, which, when attached to political figures, makes me think of a civic religion.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:49 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:49 PM
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||

Waiting to see if the temporary dikes are going to hold or if your town is going to get flooded is a very odd mix of stressful anticipation and horrible boredom.

|>


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:58 PM
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137: Good point. I said I'm not a historian, and it's obvious.

138: ari, I was floating a question. It mostly had to do with technical definitions of treason.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:59 PM
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Part of the price of reconstruction is a perpetual kind of official, kind of unofficial "kind of were, kind of weren't" position on Confederate traitorousness. The American revolutionaries were clearly committing treason, but few care if you call them that, largely because it isn't relevant to current discussions of American or British identity.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:03 PM
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143: Shit, CJB, that's awful. Is there a time by which you'll know? Is it soon?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:05 PM
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Yowza, CJB, I hope you're somewhere safe. It's nice to have on-the-scene pictures for the Flickr pool and all, but ya aren't getting royalties from us.

Part of the price of reconstruction

One of the links I read said that Davis was indicted and imprisoned for a year but never tried for treason because of concerns that it would be "too divisive." You historians probably know all the details.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:11 PM
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Recent Fargo news has been relatively good, because there was a freeze for a couple of days.

But whichever way you look at it, Fargo has had anywhere from 150 years to 650 years worth of disastrous floods in 12 years or so.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:13 PM
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Is there a time by which you'll know? Is it soon?

The river is going to be high enough to cause major problems for at least another week. Obviously if the dikes fail we could know the outcome sooner then that.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:13 PM
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Note that none of the real estate I was selling was in Fargo. Fargo is the metropolis, and too expensive.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:15 PM
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141: MC is unflappable. God knows I try.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:16 PM
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CJB, you have your emergency provisions and all like that set up?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:27 PM
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Note that none of the real estate I was selling was in Fargo.

Duly noted. The Emerson Group, Residential Brokerage LLC: 'We put the provincial back into the provinces.'


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:41 PM
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CJB, you have your emergency provisions and all like that set up?

Yes, and I live in an area high enough to avoid any direct flooding so I am not fearing for my life or anything. The worst that would happen to me directly would probably be a basement full of sewage if they couldn't keep the water treatment system up. About half the city is in danger of direct flooding for the next week.

Last week wasn't so bad. There was stuff to do to prepare. This week is all waiting though and the mix of elevated background stress and nothing to do is really starting to eat at me. The city is basically shutdown with only grocery stores and hardware stores open.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:41 PM
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I say hang the poster.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:00 PM
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What'd heebie ever do to you, Charley?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:02 PM
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154: Maybe you have to invent new things to do! Like drumming into the quiet. If you have a sweetheart, play cards on the floor of the living room, along with a little picnic, and then have sex! If no sweetheart, listen to music, sort through your old photographs, watch some old movies (since you seem to have electricity and connectivity), and call a bunch of people on the phone. ?

My sympathies. The waiting sucks. My main experience of that is major New England weather events (blizzards, hurricanes), which tend to also involve the electricity being out for days and days.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:08 PM
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145 gets it right on Confederate traitorousness, by the way. I'd written this earlier:

145: Part of the price of reconstruction is a perpetual kind of official, kind of unofficial "kind of were, kind of weren't" position on Confederate traitorousness. The American revolutionaries were clearly committing treason, but few care if you call them that, largely because it isn't relevant to current discussions of American or British identity.

This has been my understanding. Hence my sense that flatly terming Confederate states traitorous is a serious non-starter.

They are part of these here States now, and therefore contribute to whatever the American identity might be, if you think there is such a thing. I imagine the rest of the country might like it if they engaged in a major mea culpa, but a number of southern states decline to do so, in an in-your-face way, even, and shooting back "traitors!" at them just revives the very issue we'd like to see put to rest.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:19 PM
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Hence my sense that flatly terming Confederate states traitorous is a serious non-starter.

It's almost as if you've never heard:
"Treason doth never prosper: what 's the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason."


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:26 PM
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watch some old movies (since you seem to have electricity and connectivity), and call a bunch of people on the phone. ?

For right now I think I am going to try and go to bed.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:32 PM
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158: See, I can see for reasons of national harmony not harping on the Confederacy=treason bit. But once you ask the question -- does engaging in military action against the government of the country that you were a citizen of your entire life make you a traitor to that country -- coming up with any answer but yes means you have to do violence either to the concept of treason or to the historical record. It's a hundred and fifty years ago, and it doesn't need to be a focus of current politics, but when it comes up, treason's treason.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:40 PM
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It isn't treason to defend onesself when a king breaks faith. Or otherwise acts to dissolve the political bands that have connected one people with another. Lincoln didn't take any such action in advance of secession: they left because he'd won, not because he'd dissolved anything. I might see it differently if emancipation had preceded the war, and maybe been enacted by force and without compensation. (And having won Dred Scott, the legal position of the South looked pretty good. If it wasn't for an oversensitive honor culture, they might well have contained Republicanism.)

I've used the word 'treason' to refer the the Civil War in casual conversation. And been called Northern scum back for it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:43 PM
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Part of the price of reconstruction is a perpetual kind of official, kind of unofficial "kind of were, kind of weren't"

As a son of California, I am not party to this agreement. Traitors, the lot of them

162: You're kidding, right? Lincoln offered the proto-CSA slavery in perpetuity in the south, if they'd keep it there.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:48 PM
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It's a hundred and fifty years ago, and it doesn't need to be a focus of current politics, but when it comes up, treason's treason.

Right. Not to be grouchy, but for those who didn't click through to the link in 124, it's an LA Times article that explains, among other things, that there's a bill in the Georgia state legislature that would make Confederate History Day an official state holiday.

I don't run around accusing neo-Confederates of treason willy-nilly; in fact, I'm pretty darn certain I've never once started a conversation on the subject. But when my fellow Americans want me to accept and endorse their desire to make their ancestors' long-ago treason a modern-day holiday, I most certainly do object.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:50 PM
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It isn't treason to defend onesself when a king breaks faith.

The King didn't actually do this. I know the declaration says he did, but if the British had won the war, it would have been determined that he kind of sort did, and kind of sort of didn't.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:51 PM
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163.1 is great.

And now, to bed.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:52 PM
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145 -- I'm not sure I really understand it this way. Lincoln's pardon proclamation of March 1864 and Johnson's of May 1865 aren't that ambiguous, are they?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:53 PM
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Anyway, I do think the Confederates [insert caveat relating to what position a particular person held in the Confederacy and what position they may have held in the pre-secession Union] did commit treason. But that's just what I think.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:54 PM
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it would have been determined

Yeah, and? OJ was acquitted. We're each free to have our own opinions, nonetheless.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:56 PM
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Good. Treason it is, traitors they were. The linked piece in Witt's 124 remains disturbing, and I don't think insistence on their historical treason addresses the problem, and in fact makes it worse.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:57 PM
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Lincoln's pardon proclamation of March 1864 and Johnson's of May 1865 aren't that ambiguous, are they?

My understanding is that Lincoln's successors deliberately muddled the whole thing.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:58 PM
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And I don't think the Massachsetts Government Act was a legitimate exercise of Parliament, or its enforcement a legitimate exercise of royal power.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:00 PM
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Obviously, the British disagreed. We can go around in circles, but I'm going to bed. I do appreciate attempts to define rebelling against a King as not treason (and of course it wasn't treason in the rebels' eyes).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:06 PM
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171 -- I just had to sort through some of that in the course of arguing that the government's interpretation of Section 5(a) of the Military Commissions Act falls afoul of the rule of United States v. Klein. The muddle doesn't seem to me to be in the direction of ambiguity about whether 'insurgents' had done wrong.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:07 PM
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I realize Witt's gone to bed, but this:

164: But when my fellow Americans want me to accept and endorse their desire to make their ancestors' long-ago treason a modern-day holiday, I most certainly do object.

It's not your state, the state of Georgia. They're not asking for your endorsement. Now, if this is becoming an anti-federalist argument, that's something else.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:08 PM
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173 -- I don't care what the king thought. He's not the author of comment 145.

Good night.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:10 PM
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Some Confederates having committed treason (and been pardoned for it), but the President of the Confederacy - among others - not having committed treason seems both muddled and kind of treason, kind of not treason to me.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:11 PM
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It isn't treason to defend onesself when a king breaks faith.

George III didn't actually break faith, according to the standards of the day, imho. And I say this as someone who is, for reasons of religion and ethnicity and such, not exactly inclined to give the Crown the benefit of the doubt, to say the least. But c'mon, now, all of that business about tyranny and treachery is just a way to justify what must be seen as basically a glorified tax revolt. Minutemen? Patriots R Us.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:16 PM
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Davis was pardoned while out on bail, having been indicted for treason. Nullification would have been a real risk, with a Richmond jury. I guess I've just missed the part of the story where non-southern politicians (Grant?) thought what he did wasn't treason.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:19 PM
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Ok, I'm still awake long enough to think it ridiculous that there's a Jefferson Davis Presidential Library.

The Jefferson Davis Presidential Library is a library and museum with the purpose of preserving, housing and making available, the papers, records, artifacts and other historical materials of Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis. Despite its name it is not an official Presidential Library.

And it better never become official.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:22 PM
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178 -- I think it took a lot of balls to face down trained regiments of the global superpower, and from the writings of the people who did the fighting, it's clear enough that it wasn't only or even predominantly about the money.

Geez, what a bunch or royalists you people turn out to be.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:22 PM
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164

... But when my fellow Americans want me to accept and endorse their desire to make their ancestors' long-ago treason a modern-day holiday, I most certainly do object.

You object to the Fourth of July holiday?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:31 PM
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Geez, what a bunch or royalists you people turn out to be.

O, the year was 1778,
(How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now),
A letter of marque came from the King,
To the scummiest vessel I'd ever seen.
God damn them all!

I was told we'd cruise the seas
for American gold.
We'd fire no guns, shed no tears.

Now I'm a broken man
on a Halifax pier.
The last of Barrett's privateers.
God damn them all!



Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:33 PM
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182: Shearer made another funny!

181 and previous: Unfogged hasn't had a good old-fashioned cross argument over the civil and revolutionary wars in, like, forever.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:37 PM
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"It's only rebellion if you win. It's treason if you lose."

I find this the best conversation-ender; people who wish to be Confederates and good Americans don't like the first half; people who wish to be Confederates and get out of the rest of the country particularly dislike the second.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:44 PM
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I appreciate the sentiment behind the 'it's only treason if you lose' argument, but I think it misses an important point. One doesn't say 'it's only self-defense if you're acquitted' or 'it's only murder if they catch you.'

I'm done though.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:50 PM
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185.1 -- kind of goes without saying. I say again, be careful about allegations of treason.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:52 PM
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I say again, be careful about allegations of treason.

Who exactly do you think needs this reminder?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:55 PM
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There's an analogy ban for a reason, Charley.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:55 PM
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Finding a definition of treason such that Jefferson Davis is a traitor and Jefferson, Thomas is not is pretty hard. You're either just lying to yourself or just accepting something like the win-loss distinction above.


Posted by: sim | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:56 PM
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but I think it misses an important point.

What's the point that it misses, beyond an American exceptionalist framework, I mean? I'm sure we're all agreed that murder is murder, more or less, but political loyalties are different from that.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:03 PM
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189 -- Agreed.

190 -- The difference is readily apparent to me. I don't think accusations of bad faith or self-delusion do much to advance the argument.

191 -- Not in the least. Ask me about the people who liberated the Bastille, or lopped off the head of Charles I, or shot the Tsar. Or led the 1905 Russian revolution, which did not succeed.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:30 PM
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Accusations of accusations of bad faith don't advance much either, Charley.

Putting that aside, however, the difference is going to come down to "one of them was doing something I liked", right? That's totally reasonable as a pragmatic position (as far as passing a positive/negative judgment on the person), but it's pretty poor as a definition of treason.


Posted by: sim | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:47 PM
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or lopped off the head of Charles I

But I don't see those people as unambiguously heroic, though (with all due respect to Emerson's Puritan ancestors, needless to say). It's not exactly crystal-clear to me that Cromwell's republic-of-virtue military dictatorship was a vast improvement over the (admittedly aristocratically corrupt) reign of Charles I, basically. Which I guess is what I mean by political loyalties, and the not-always cut-and-dried nature of said same.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:55 PM
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One doesn't say 'it's only self-defense if you're acquitted' or 'it's only murder if they catch you.'

Uh oh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:08 AM
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I used to have a poster of Nixon on the wall behind the toilet, so you'd have to stare at him when you were peeing. Now that was pretty odd.

We had Stalin.

It's not exactly crystal-clear to me that Cromwell's republic-of-virtue military dictatorship was a vast improvement over the (admittedly aristocratically corrupt) reign of Charles I, basically.

In and of itself, perhaps not. The point about CC's list, and Jefferson, T, is that, to the extent you feel that the world we live in is preferable to the middle ages, those people and events contributed, even in spite of themselves, to making it so. You don't have to be a raving Whig to accept this.

Charles I wanted to create an absolutist state based on the model of Mazarin - it was seen at the time as the progressive way to go. Parliament stopped that in its tracks, and also made it possible for future generations to discuss abolishing monarchy without being dismissed as barking mad. So that the restoration could only be achieved on the basis of certain constitutional guarantees.

The American revolution can certainly be interpreted as a tax revolt by a faction of English gentry, if you insist. But the fact that along the way they systematised the principles of constitutional government to a far greater degree than the Convention Parliament had been able to do counts for something, surely.

And so on. The great lesson of history is that the people who achieve positive change are not necessarily nicer guys than those who resist it. Nor do they usually achieve it out of pure unsullied motives.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 1:54 AM
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the american revolution was of course part iii of the english revolution -- 1642; 1688; 1776 -- in which a significant portion of british territory did away with kingships: "we" started it, "you" finished it

(the civil war is part iv and jimi hendrix is part v)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:47 AM
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re: 197

And I suppose theoretically, the counter-revolutions of 1715 and 1745...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:48 AM
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jimi hendrix is part v

Wrong. Miles Davis is part v. Hendrix is arguably part vi.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:06 AM
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Louis Armstrong?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:43 AM
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And Hendrix? Nope.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:44 AM
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My ancestors weren't Puritans, it seems. They were "strangers" (official classification) who came along for the ride.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 4:49 AM
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Strangers


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:06 AM
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I'm appled by the moral relativism here. If rebellion is treason rests on whether the cause is just or unjust.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:19 AM
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If rebellion is treason rests on whether the cause is just or unjust.

Isn't that the point of 192(3)?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:24 AM
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"Isn't that the point of 192(3)?"

I don't know.

In any case, I didn't mean to say that all or even most people commenting took a moral relativist line, sorry if someone took it that way.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:34 AM
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Whatever became of the Right to Revolution, anyway?


Posted by: Thomas Paine | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:58 AM
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I'm appled by the moral relativism here.

Fuji or Braeburn?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:04 AM
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I get that in general Americans are too reverential of authority; somehow, I think both JRoth in 90 and ttaM in 95 are right. But still, I wonder if people are forgetting that the past election actually was kinda special. Maybe it's because of all the problems in the news and the minimal press honeymoon for a Democrat.

First black president and for that matter the first president of any minority group. (12 percent of Americans self-identify as Irish, more than any other nationality other than German, so calling Kennedy a minority is very dubious, no offense.) Strongest victory by a non-incumbent in decades. First post-Bush president. And for any Virginia residents out there, first time Virginia voted for the Democrat since LBJ. There's reason to celebrate this stuff quite apart from the Dear Leader thing.

As for a chilling effect on talking about politics, that depends on the house. Do you tend to talk politics with guests, do you want to keep doing so, do you have guests who disagree with you about politics, would your guests understand what kind of criticism of the guy on the poster is acceptable, etc.

Also, I too am curious about how an unprovoked attack on Fort Sumter isn't treason. If using the term for anything at all is too draconian, the problem isn't using the term, the problem is too much respect for authority. Treason isn't that bad. (Follow that with as many caveats as are needed to exclude the CSA, acknowledge that any kind of violence should be a last resort, and generally prevent the Secret Service from knocking on my door.) The problem with treason in defense of slavery was the motivation.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:22 AM
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12 percent of Americans self-identify as Irish

African Americans are... 12% of the American population. I think Kennedy's minority status, such as it is, comes from being Catholic, not Irish.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:30 AM
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Dig 'em up and hang 'em.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:38 AM
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The Catholics or the Irish?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:40 AM
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Treason isn't that bad.
If you don't mind ending up in the ninth circle of hell, being nommed by Satan, of course.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:41 AM
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210: Catholics are 23.9 percent of the population. Fewer than Protestants as a whole, sure, but comparable to and probably more than any one denomination of them. But, fair enough, I guess I should have ignored Kennedy rather than trying to put together an argument for why he doesn't count.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:49 AM
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re 99: obvously revolution part v has to be the whole of the hippy-era american response to the brit invasion -- outwith hendrix seems metaleptically more er er lisible in this context than pete cosey's contribution to pangaea BUT yes, the argt cd indeed be made (and shd be)

armstrong plays a similar role in respect of garibaldi and the risorgimento (as you'll realise if you think abt it for a moment)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:56 AM
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obviously 215 was me, no one else has this kind of rubbish filling up their heads


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:57 AM
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Definitely larger than any other denomination, and even more so in JFK's day.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:58 AM
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re: 215

I 'spose. I know it's semi-heretical to say so, but I suspect Hendrix's influence -- as a guitar player -- has been over-stated.

Brilliant and innovative thought he was, the things that were innovative and brilliant about him weren't really things that found their way into the mainstream of guitar playing, and he is much less copied than I think people assume.

The things that Hendrix did do that did make their way into the mainstream weren't original to him, but things he had borrowed from Townsend, and Davies, and the rest...

There are other players like that -- brilliiant and innovative in their own time but sort of sui generis.


And Cosey, really?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:11 AM
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The biggest asterisk attached to JFK-as-groundbreaker is the privilege from which he came. Not only did BHO come from zero privilege*, but he also didn't spend much time accumulating a political base - Carter had peanut $$ plus had been gov., Nixon was in nat'l politics for years, Truman had the KC machine (and was a fluke anyway), etc. I don['t know if Lincoln is really a fair comparison, but he's in the neighborhood.

* I suppose having a white mother is privilege relative to some, but mixed-race-son-of-a-single-mother in the 1960s doesn't get you very far, I don't think.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:23 AM
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re cosey: OFE cited miles, i was just keeping it real

all the other things you say abt hendrix more or less make my point (aka "point"): viz that it needed latterly admired black americans to be seen to be eager to "copy" [/contentious description] white englishmen for this particular phase of this particular revolution to be seen to be manifest

(lots of other revolutions going on back then, to be confused with and by)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:25 AM
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218: This is Frank Lloyd Wright, as well. Although the ranch-style and split-level houses probably owe a lot to his Prairie houses, they're pretty weak echoes. Beyond that, very little that he did has been carried on, for reasons of taste and capability.

I don't think that in any way diminishes his accomplishments (which can be diminished on other bases, but not, IMHO, that one).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:27 AM
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re: 220

Yeah, but with Davis, the elephant in the room is McLaughlin, not Cosey.

Hendrix himself was always very open about his 'debt' to Townsend and others. His 'thing' was that combination of a sort of sweet chord/melody RnB approach [the sort of thing you hear Curtis Mayfield do] with the raw volume and energy of the Who and others.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:31 AM
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Oh, and I wanted to note that the Confederates certainly put a lot of effort into "proving" that their treason was in defense of liberty, as had been 1776. And Lincoln explicitly addressed these claims. Certainly it's harder to show how Lincoln was usurping Southern rights than to show how George III had usurped American/colonial rights. I have no idea whether there was historical grounding for Paine's Right of Revolution as such, but certainly Magna Carta lays the groundwork for the idea that the king might not usurp the rights of his (landed) subjects.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:31 AM
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re: 221

Actually, JRoth I thought of you the other day. I was looking at some of Julius Shulman's photos of houses by Richard Neutra and Pierre Koenig and wondered if you knew them [since you are the only architect I know on-line].

http://www.usc.edu/dept/architecture/shulman/image_collection/Chuey.html

http://www.usc.edu/dept/architecture/shulman/image_collection/CSH22.html


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:36 AM
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we are talkin past each other matt -- i am not denying who did what first, i am saying in the context of the transformation of british cultural blah blah blah, whatever white englishmen did on guitar in year x needed subsequent validation (by imitation, if that's the right word) by black americans in year x+1 for this phase of the british revolution -- the one that started when charles i had his head cut off -- to have fully manifested

the fact of echo is key to the (very silly and trolly) point i'm making


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:37 AM
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re: 225

Yeah, I think we are talking at cross purposes. Comity, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:40 AM
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haha i just worked up a massive connection between jroth's "the king may not usurp the rights of his (landed) subjects" and my own personal "theory of influence" in culture, how it should be understood and where the power lies...

luckily when i posted it it vanished into the cyber-aether forever so i don't have to pretend to defend it


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:01 AM
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223: That's really not a good way to think about it.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:03 AM
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Or it is, insofar as whether a regime is lawless and despotic or not is a factor when evaluating a rebellion. I take it back.

Some people's lawyerly way of evaluating treason is misguided. If you fundamentally accept the legitimacy of the regime's laws, you're probably not going to rebel against it.

Of course the 75 revolutionaries argued it was the regime that had turned lawless.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:13 AM
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I think the confederates' case was primarily that a state had the right to secede for any reason. The constitution is silent on the subject, but I don't think it's unreasonable. But the cause was unjust.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:17 AM
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I could try to be more coherent, but, y'know.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:18 AM
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219: I suppose that to you, being the Antichrist is just dogshit. To you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:20 AM
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Confederates - terrible cause, great fighters. Their apologists tend to focus on the second part. As a Pennsylvanian transplanted to Virginia, I'm somewhat amazed that some of R.E. Lee's descendants live in my town (which has a black mayor and went solidly for Obama).


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:28 AM
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according to wikipedia, the position of my own people on the antichrist is: "The first, that this Pope Urban the Sixth hath not the power of Saint Peter in earth, but they affirm him to be son of Anti-christ, and that no true pope was from the lime of Silvester pope."

"No true pope was from the lime of Silvester pope" would be a good T-shirt motto


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:28 AM
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re: Magna Carta, I think I mentioned it at the time, but I had one of them on my desk at work, a year or two back. Only temporarily, but still, history, etc.


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:44 AM
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224: Oh, the Case Study houses were/are so great. That image for the Koenig house is way iconic.

Mid-century Modern is a bit cliche at the moment, but I've been in love with it since I learned about the Eameses in college - so brilliant, such polymaths, so optimistic. It's the optimism that I love most.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:57 AM
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re: 236

Yeah, I love modernism in general: there seems to be a bit of a revival in appreciation of modernism at the moment, so I've been seeing a lot of articles/photographs/books, etc around.

I can get quite grumpy about how shittily unadventurous a lot of current stuff [in all of the arts] seems compared to 50- 80 years ago.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:02 AM
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What's also great is that Shulman, who took that photograph of the Case Study house, is 98 and still working.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:04 AM
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I think the confederates' case was primarily that a state had the right to secede for any reason.

That was the premise, but the case that they made, in their published polemics and public statements, was that the Fed Gov't was abrogating their rights by [mumblemumble], and so they were justified in seceding (and shelling Federal troops who had not fired a bullet).

If you were to concede that secession was/is possible, but only for cause, the South still didn't have a leg to stand on - the Feds had done nothing to harm their right to keep slaves, nor even to expand slavery into (some) territories.

They never tried to make the argument that secession was justified by losing an election, because no one would recognize that as a legitimate reason. But it was their reason. Hence, traitors.

To be clear: had Lincoln, for instance, abolished slavery without compensation, then I would accept the term "rebellion." But in this reality, they were traitors. And if their descendants don't wish to hear that word, then they should STFU about the war that their ancestors started and then lost.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:08 AM
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238: Damn.

237: Part of my frustration is that Modernism, in some ways, brought failure upon itself. The majority of it was co-opted (public housing, corporate boxes) or never worked well in the first place (dingy-looking concrete, leaky roofs, drafty rooms). But the energy and vision and, again, optimism.

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that Modernism shaded into Brutalism while it was still ascendant - that Brutalism, which is horrible in pretty much all respects, and anti-optimism, was developed by architects working within an environment in which Modernism was the accepted default. Was it just inevitable reaction within a movement, was it a response to what was going on in the larger world, or was it a misguided development coming from the flaws in M-cM?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:15 AM
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Yeah, I'm not 100% on everything that came out of the period, but the work in the graphic arts, in design and typography, in photography, in music, in architecture just seems so powerful, and, as you say, energetic and full of vision.

The past 30-35 years, with the possible exception of music, just seems so etiolated by comparison.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:29 AM
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Pope Gregory VII (c. 1015 or 29 - 1085), struggled against, in his own words, "a robber of temples, a perjurer against the Holy Roman Church, notorious throughout the whole Roman world for the basest of crimes, namely, Wilbert, plunderer of the holy church of Ravenna, Antichrist, and archheritic.

One thing is for sure: the name "Wilbert" no longer strikes terror in the hearts of men.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:57 AM
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One thing is for sure: the name "Wilbert" no longer strikes terror in the hearts of men.

Speak for yourself, John.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:04 AM
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239: Since when are rebellion and treason mutually exclusive? Isn't the latter a subset of the former, treason being a rebellion against some authority previously acknowledged as legitimate or something like that?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:09 AM
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244: You're right (I think), but treason has negative connotations that rebellion does not (at least in this country), and I'm not willing to concede the latter term to people guilty of the former.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:25 AM
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244. You miss the crucial distinction.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:28 AM
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246 you could have just referred to 159.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:43 AM
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Indeed I could, had I but known it was there.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:48 AM
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||
The first sentence quoted here is awesome, and sets the standard to which W-lfs-n should aspire.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 11:18 AM
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Urainian nationalists love Mazipa, actually.

Uranian nationalists are the real power behind the movement to have Pluto stricken from the list of planets.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:11 PM
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Also, yes, put up the poster.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 3:15 PM
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I'm not sure what to make of the fact that Modernism shaded into Brutalism while it was still ascendant - that Brutalism, which is horrible in pretty much all respects, and anti-optimism, was developed by architects working within an environment in which Modernism was the accepted default. Was it just inevitable reaction within a movement, was it a response to what was going on in the larger world, or was it a misguided development coming from the flaws in M-cM?

Brutalism isn't anti-optimism! I am currently sitting in a campus composed of mostly 60's Brutalism and then some crappy pomo stuff, and trust me, the Brutalist stuff is the most optimistic.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:41 PM
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252: Hi, Sifu Tweety.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:00 PM
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-- keir.

Er, i'm a bit rusty?


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:02 PM
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I had not been aware that there was something called Brutalism. Thanks, unfogged.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:24 PM
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255: Thank SEK and EotAW.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:25 PM
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256: Yet it turned out that JRoth invoked Brutalism upthread, and SEK and EotAW (laborious acronym, that) have nothing to do with it, though they could have. They could have.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:30 PM
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256, 257: The EotAW thread is what led me to assume it was ST in 252.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 7:50 PM
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258: Oh. Did ST say something in the EoaTAW thread? I can't really read the comments there, all ajumble, they are. IE problem.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:07 PM
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Uh, kindly substitute a correction of the acronym for Edge of the American West in my 259.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:09 PM
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Edge of a Totally American West


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:46 PM
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Brutal!

252 wasn't me.

I'm currently sitting in an apartment complex best described architecturally as late California stucco craphole.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:14 PM
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penis büyütücü hap


Posted by: penis büyütücü hap | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 2:08 AM
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göğüs büyütücü krem


Posted by: göğüs büyütücü krem | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 2:13 AM
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penis büyütücü


Posted by: penis büyütücü | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 2:13 AM
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penis büyütücüler


Posted by: penis büyütücüler | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 2:15 AM
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vibratörler


Posted by: vibratörler | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 2:16 AM
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Is it always like this around here, late at night? The place fills up with weird spam that evaporates when the sun hits it?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 2:22 AM
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Penis büyütücüler Sounds terrifying, like some sort of medieval torture device. If the rack and thumbscrews don't do the trick, büyütücüle the heretics penis! That'll show the bastard.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 6:46 AM
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But even more terrifying is the vibratörler. It'll törl you into the most intense orgasm you can imagine -- and then it will törl you to your death.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 6:50 AM
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The place fills up with weird spam that evaporates when the sun hits it?

Seems to be an unusually fine crop today. Probably to do with sun spots.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 7:00 AM
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Maybe Serdar Argıç has a new gig.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 7:26 AM
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272: Oh God, the memories. Argic was incredible. He's no Ludwig Plutonium, but he was special nonetheless.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-31-09 8:00 AM
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