Go To Main Page

About Unfogged
About Unf
About Ogged
About Bob
About Fontana Labs
About Alameida
About LizardBreath
About Tia
About Apostropher
About Becks
About Ben
About Heebie-Geebie
About Stanley
About Standpipe Bridgeplate
Email to blogger name at domain dot com

Site design gratefully adapted from Burke & Wells

Fewer cock jokes at the Unfogged Reading Group.
Search Blog
Archives
11.17.13-11.23.13
11.10.13-11.16.13
11.03.13-11.09.13
10.27.13-11.02.13
10.20.13-10.26.13
10.13.13-10.19.13
10.06.13-10.12.13
09.29.13-10.05.13
09.22.13-09.28.13
09.15.13-09.21.13
09.08.13-09.14.13
09.01.13-09.07.13
08.25.13-08.31.13
08.18.13-08.24.13
08.11.13-08.17.13
08.04.13-08.10.13
07.28.13-08.03.13
07.21.13-07.27.13
07.14.13-07.20.13
07.07.13-07.13.13
06.30.13-07.06.13
06.23.13-06.29.13
06.16.13-06.22.13
06.09.13-06.15.13
06.02.13-06.08.13
05.26.13-06.01.13
05.19.13-05.25.13
05.12.13-05.18.13
05.05.13-05.11.13
04.28.13-05.04.13
04.21.13-04.27.13
04.14.13-04.20.13
04.07.13-04.13.13
03.31.13-04.06.13
03.24.13-03.30.13
03.17.13-03.23.13
03.10.13-03.16.13
03.03.13-03.09.13
02.24.13-03.02.13
02.17.13-02.23.13
02.10.13-02.16.13
02.03.13-02.09.13
01.27.13-02.02.13
01.20.13-01.26.13
01.13.13-01.19.13
01.06.13-01.12.13
12.30.12-01.05.13
12.23.12-12.29.12
12.16.12-12.22.12
12.09.12-12.15.12
12.02.12-12.08.12
11.25.12-12.01.12
11.18.12-11.24.12
11.11.12-11.17.12
11.04.12-11.10.12
10.28.12-11.03.12
10.21.12-10.27.12
10.14.12-10.20.12
10.07.12-10.13.12
09.30.12-10.06.12
09.23.12-09.29.12
09.16.12-09.22.12
09.09.12-09.15.12
09.02.12-09.08.12
08.26.12-09.01.12
08.19.12-08.25.12
08.12.12-08.18.12
08.05.12-08.11.12
07.29.12-08.04.12
07.22.12-07.28.12
07.15.12-07.21.12
07.08.12-07.14.12
07.01.12-07.07.12
06.24.12-06.30.12
06.17.12-06.23.12
06.10.12-06.16.12
06.03.12-06.09.12
05.27.12-06.02.12
05.20.12-05.26.12
05.13.12-05.19.12
05.06.12-05.12.12
04.29.12-05.05.12
04.22.12-04.28.12
04.15.12-04.21.12
04.08.12-04.14.12
04.01.12-04.07.12
03.25.12-03.31.12
03.18.12-03.24.12
03.11.12-03.17.12
03.04.12-03.10.12
02.26.12-03.03.12
02.19.12-02.25.12
02.12.12-02.18.12
02.05.12-02.11.12
01.29.12-02.04.12
01.22.12-01.28.12
01.15.12-01.21.12
01.08.12-01.14.12
01.01.12-01.07.12
12.25.11-12.31.11
12.18.11-12.24.11
12.11.11-12.17.11
12.04.11-12.10.11
11.27.11-12.03.11
11.20.11-11.26.11
11.13.11-11.19.11
11.06.11-11.12.11
10.30.11-11.05.11
10.23.11-10.29.11
10.16.11-10.22.11
10.09.11-10.15.11
10.02.11-10.08.11
09.25.11-10.01.11
09.18.11-09.24.11
09.11.11-09.17.11
09.04.11-09.10.11
08.28.11-09.03.11
08.21.11-08.27.11
08.14.11-08.20.11
08.07.11-08.13.11
07.31.11-08.06.11
07.24.11-07.30.11
07.17.11-07.23.11
07.10.11-07.16.11
07.03.11-07.09.11
06.26.11-07.02.11
06.19.11-06.25.11
06.12.11-06.18.11
06.05.11-06.11.11
05.29.11-06.04.11
05.22.11-05.28.11
05.15.11-05.21.11
05.08.11-05.14.11
05.01.11-05.07.11
04.24.11-04.30.11
04.17.11-04.23.11
04.10.11-04.16.11
04.03.11-04.09.11
03.27.11-04.02.11
03.20.11-03.26.11
03.13.11-03.19.11
03.06.11-03.12.11
02.27.11-03.05.11
02.20.11-02.26.11
02.13.11-02.19.11
02.06.11-02.12.11
01.30.11-02.05.11
01.23.11-01.29.11
01.16.11-01.22.11
01.09.11-01.15.11
01.02.11-01.08.11
12.26.10-01.01.11
12.19.10-12.25.10
12.12.10-12.18.10
12.05.10-12.11.10
11.28.10-12.04.10
11.21.10-11.27.10
11.14.10-11.20.10
11.07.10-11.13.10
10.31.10-11.06.10
10.24.10-10.30.10
10.17.10-10.23.10
10.10.10-10.16.10
10.03.10-10.09.10
09.26.10-10.02.10
09.19.10-09.25.10
09.12.10-09.18.10
09.05.10-09.11.10
08.29.10-09.04.10
08.22.10-08.28.10
08.15.10-08.21.10
08.08.10-08.14.10
08.01.10-08.07.10
07.25.10-07.31.10
07.18.10-07.24.10
07.11.10-07.17.10
07.04.10-07.10.10
06.27.10-07.03.10
06.20.10-06.26.10
06.13.10-06.19.10
06.06.10-06.12.10
05.30.10-06.05.10
05.23.10-05.29.10
05.16.10-05.22.10
05.09.10-05.15.10
05.02.10-05.08.10
04.25.10-05.01.10
04.18.10-04.24.10
04.11.10-04.17.10
04.04.10-04.10.10
03.28.10-04.03.10
03.21.10-03.27.10
03.14.10-03.20.10
03.07.10-03.13.10
02.28.10-03.06.10
02.21.10-02.27.10
02.14.10-02.20.10
02.07.10-02.13.10
01.31.10-02.06.10
01.24.10-01.30.10
01.17.10-01.23.10
01.10.10-01.16.10
01.03.10-01.09.10
12.27.09-01.02.10
12.20.09-12.26.09
12.13.09-12.19.09
12.06.09-12.12.09
11.29.09-12.05.09
11.22.09-11.28.09
11.15.09-11.21.09
11.08.09-11.14.09
11.01.09-11.07.09
10.25.09-10.31.09
10.18.09-10.24.09
10.11.09-10.17.09
10.04.09-10.10.09
09.27.09-10.03.09
09.20.09-09.26.09
09.13.09-09.19.09
09.06.09-09.12.09
08.30.09-09.05.09
08.23.09-08.29.09
08.16.09-08.22.09
08.09.09-08.15.09
08.02.09-08.08.09
07.26.09-08.01.09
07.19.09-07.25.09
07.12.09-07.18.09
07.05.09-07.11.09
06.28.09-07.04.09
06.21.09-06.27.09
06.14.09-06.20.09
06.07.09-06.13.09
05.31.09-06.06.09
05.24.09-05.30.09
05.17.09-05.23.09
05.10.09-05.16.09
05.03.09-05.09.09
04.26.09-05.02.09
04.19.09-04.25.09
04.12.09-04.18.09
04.05.09-04.11.09
03.29.09-04.04.09
03.22.09-03.28.09
03.15.09-03.21.09
03.08.09-03.14.09
03.01.09-03.07.09
02.22.09-02.28.09
02.15.09-02.21.09
02.08.09-02.14.09
02.01.09-02.07.09
01.25.09-01.31.09
01.18.09-01.24.09
01.11.09-01.17.09
01.04.09-01.10.09
12.28.08-01.03.09
12.21.08-12.27.08
12.14.08-12.20.08
12.07.08-12.13.08
11.30.08-12.06.08
11.23.08-11.29.08
11.16.08-11.22.08
11.09.08-11.15.08
11.02.08-11.08.08
10.26.08-11.01.08
10.19.08-10.25.08
10.12.08-10.18.08
10.05.08-10.11.08
09.28.08-10.04.08
09.21.08-09.27.08
09.14.08-09.20.08
09.07.08-09.13.08
08.31.08-09.06.08
08.24.08-08.30.08
08.17.08-08.23.08
08.10.08-08.16.08
08.03.08-08.09.08
07.27.08-08.02.08
07.20.08-07.26.08
07.13.08-07.19.08
07.06.08-07.12.08
06.29.08-07.05.08
06.22.08-06.28.08
06.15.08-06.21.08
06.08.08-06.14.08
06.01.08-06.07.08
05.25.08-05.31.08
05.18.08-05.24.08
05.11.08-05.17.08
05.04.08-05.10.08
04.27.08-05.03.08
04.20.08-04.26.08
04.13.08-04.19.08
04.06.08-04.12.08
03.30.08-04.05.08
03.23.08-03.29.08
03.16.08-03.22.08
03.09.08-03.15.08
03.02.08-03.08.08
02.24.08-03.01.08
02.17.08-02.23.08
02.10.08-02.16.08
02.03.08-02.09.08
01.27.08-02.02.08
01.20.08-01.26.08
01.13.08-01.19.08
01.06.08-01.12.08
12.30.07-01.05.08
12.23.07-12.29.07
12.16.07-12.22.07
12.09.07-12.15.07
12.02.07-12.08.07
11.25.07-12.01.07
11.18.07-11.24.07
11.11.07-11.17.07
11.04.07-11.10.07
10.28.07-11.03.07
10.21.07-10.27.07
10.14.07-10.20.07
10.07.07-10.13.07
09.30.07-10.06.07
09.23.07-09.29.07
09.16.07-09.22.07
09.09.07-09.15.07
09.02.07-09.08.07
08.26.07-09.01.07
08.19.07-08.25.07
08.12.07-08.18.07
08.05.07-08.11.07
07.29.07-08.04.07
07.22.07-07.28.07
07.15.07-07.21.07
07.08.07-07.14.07
07.01.07-07.07.07
06.24.07-06.30.07
06.17.07-06.23.07
06.10.07-06.16.07
06.03.07-06.09.07
05.27.07-06.02.07
05.20.07-05.26.07
05.13.07-05.19.07
05.06.07-05.12.07
04.29.07-05.05.07
04.22.07-04.28.07
04.15.07-04.21.07
04.08.07-04.14.07
04.01.07-04.07.07
03.25.07-03.31.07
03.18.07-03.24.07
03.11.07-03.17.07
03.04.07-03.10.07
02.25.07-03.03.07
02.18.07-02.24.07
02.11.07-02.17.07
02.04.07-02.10.07
01.28.07-02.03.07
01.21.07-01.27.07
01.14.07-01.20.07
01.07.07-01.13.07
12.31.06-01.06.07
12.24.06-12.30.06
12.17.06-12.23.06
12.10.06-12.16.06
12.03.06-12.09.06
11.26.06-12.02.06
11.19.06-11.25.06
11.12.06-11.18.06
11.05.06-11.11.06
10.29.06-11.04.06
10.22.06-10.28.06
10.15.06-10.21.06
10.08.06-10.14.06
10.01.06-10.07.06
09.24.06-09.30.06
09.17.06-09.23.06
09.10.06-09.16.06
09.03.06-09.09.06
08.27.06-09.02.06
08.20.06-08.26.06
08.13.06-08.19.06
08.06.06-08.12.06
07.30.06-08.05.06
07.23.06-07.29.06
07.16.06-07.22.06
07.09.06-07.15.06
07.02.06-07.08.06
06.25.06-07.01.06
06.18.06-06.24.06
06.11.06-06.17.06
06.04.06-06.10.06
05.28.06-06.03.06
05.21.06-05.27.06
05.14.06-05.20.06
05.07.06-05.13.06
04.30.06-05.06.06
04.23.06-04.29.06
04.16.06-04.22.06
04.09.06-04.15.06
04.02.06-04.08.06
03.26.06-04.01.06
03.19.06-03.25.06
03.12.06-03.18.06
03.05.06-03.11.06
02.26.06-03.04.06
02.19.06-02.25.06
02.12.06-02.18.06
02.05.06-02.11.06
01.29.06-02.04.06
01.22.06-01.28.06
01.15.06-01.21.06
01.08.06-01.14.06
01.01.06-01.07.06
12.25.05-12.31.05
12.18.05-12.24.05
12.11.05-12.17.05
12.04.05-12.10.05
11.27.05-12.03.05
11.20.05-11.26.05
11.13.05-11.19.05
11.06.05-11.12.05
10.30.05-11.05.05
10.23.05-10.29.05
10.16.05-10.22.05
10.09.05-10.15.05
10.02.05-10.08.05
09.25.05-10.01.05
09.18.05-09.24.05
09.11.05-09.17.05
09.04.05-09.10.05
08.28.05-09.03.05
08.21.05-08.27.05
08.14.05-08.20.05
08.07.05-08.13.05
07.31.05-08.06.05
07.24.05-07.30.05
07.17.05-07.23.05
07.10.05-07.16.05
07.03.05-07.09.05
06.26.05-07.02.05
06.19.05-06.25.05
06.12.05-06.18.05
06.05.05-06.11.05
05.29.05-06.04.05
05.22.05-05.28.05
05.15.05-05.21.05
05.08.05-05.14.05
05.01.05-05.07.05
04.24.05-04.30.05
04.17.05-04.23.05
04.10.05-04.16.05
04.03.05-04.09.05
03.27.05-04.02.05
03.20.05-03.26.05
03.13.05-03.19.05
03.06.05-03.12.05
02.27.05-03.05.05
02.20.05-02.26.05
02.13.05-02.19.05
02.06.05-02.12.05
01.30.05-02.05.05
01.23.05-01.29.05
01.16.05-01.22.05
01.09.05-01.15.05
01.02.05-01.08.05
12.26.04-01.01.05
12.19.04-12.25.04
12.12.04-12.18.04
12.05.04-12.11.04
11.28.04-12.04.04
11.21.04-11.27.04
11.14.04-11.20.04
11.07.04-11.13.04
10.31.04-11.06.04
10.24.04-10.30.04
10.17.04-10.23.04
10.10.04-10.16.04
10.03.04-10.09.04
09.26.04-10.02.04
09.19.04-09.25.04
09.12.04-09.18.04
09.05.04-09.11.04
08.29.04-09.04.04
08.22.04-08.28.04
08.15.04-08.21.04
08.08.04-08.14.04
08.01.04-08.07.04
07.25.04-07.31.04
07.18.04-07.24.04
07.11.04-07.17.04
07.04.04-07.10.04
06.27.04-07.03.04
06.20.04-06.26.04
06.13.04-06.19.04
06.06.04-06.12.04
05.30.04-06.05.04
05.23.04-05.29.04
05.16.04-05.22.04
05.09.04-05.15.04
05.02.04-05.08.04
04.25.04-05.01.04
04.18.04-04.24.04
04.11.04-04.17.04
04.04.04-04.10.04
03.28.04-04.03.04
03.21.04-03.27.04
03.14.04-03.20.04
03.07.04-03.13.04
02.29.04-03.06.04
02.22.04-02.28.04
02.15.04-02.21.04
02.01.04-02.07.04
01.25.04-01.31.04
01.18.04-01.24.04
01.11.04-01.17.04
01.04.04-01.10.04
12.28.03-01.03.04
12.21.03-12.27.03
12.14.03-12.20.03
12.07.03-12.13.03
11.30.03-12.06.03
11.23.03-11.29.03
11.16.03-11.22.03
11.09.03-11.15.03
11.02.03-11.08.03
10.26.03-11.01.03
10.19.03-10.25.03
10.12.03-10.18.03
10.05.03-10.11.03
09.28.03-10.04.03
09.21.03-09.27.03
09.14.03-09.20.03
09.07.03-09.13.03
08.31.03-09.06.03
08.24.03-08.30.03
08.17.03-08.23.03
08.10.03-08.16.03
08.03.03-08.09.03
07.27.03-08.02.03
07.20.03-07.26.03
07.13.03-07.19.03
07.06.03-07.12.03
06.29.03-07.05.03
06.22.03-06.28.03
06.15.03-06.21.03
06.08.03-06.14.03
06.01.03-06.07.03
05.25.03-05.31.03
05.18.03-05.24.03
05.11.03-05.17.03
05.04.03-05.10.03
04.27.03-05.03.03
04.20.03-04.26.03
04.13.03-04.19.03
04.06.03-04.12.03
03.30.03-04.05.03
03.23.03-03.29.03
03.16.03-03.22.03
03.09.03-03.15.03
03.02.03-03.08.03
02.23.03-03.01.03


Creative Commons License
Go to Unfogged.com home

 

Just Nuts

Posted by Ogged
on 11.19.04
Once again, Ron Artest is crazy. Not metaphorically crazy. In need of treatment crazy. There's no excuse for keeping him in the league. MORE: A minor point, but one of those things that makes you doubt the newspapers. Here's MSNBC's recap of a few seconds of the incident.
Several [fans] came onto the court and one took a fighting stance against Artest, who dropped him with a punch. O'Neal ran over and floored another fan with a righthanded blow.
Here's the AP version from the Times.
Later, a man in a Pistons jersey approached Artest on the court, shouting at him. Artest punched him in the face, knocking the man to the floor before leaving the court. Artest was pulled away, and the fan charged back. Jermaine O'Neal stepped in and punched the man.
Not only do they differ, they're both wrong. Artest punched the guy (who didn't go down) and backed away, and part of the melee ran into the guy, and only then did he and a few other people go down on what was a wet and slippery floor. Then, after the guy stood up, Jermaine O'Neal came over and punched him, and they both went down; the guy because it was a solid punch, and O'Neal, because the floor was wet. Good Call: Ron Artest has been suspended for the season.

 

horizontal rule

 

Statistically Significant

Posted by Ogged
on 11.19.04

I know most of you read Crooked Timber anyway, but holy shit.


 

horizontal rule

 

Just A Little Something I Threw On

Posted by Ogged
on 11.19.04

I'm a big fan of profgrrrrl's site, and, besides PZ Myers, I should be the last guy to discuss fashion, and maybe I still have the taint of the rural upon me, but at which university on what planet (nevermind city) is that ensemble "no biggie?"


 

horizontal rule

 

I Did

Posted by Ogged
on 11.19.04

There seems to be agreement on one point in the high school thread: everyone had a bizarro awful too-long early relationship, whether in high-school or college. I've seriously dated three women; for the first one, I'm sure I was her awful first, the second one seemed to have had a perfectly nice first relationship, but then made up for lost time with a vengeance, and my most recent ex also dated a nutcase to start.

And, from experience, and the comments, I get the sense that we're all talking about some pretty bad stuff; fears of suicide, violence, insanity, serious emotional abuse and manipulation, etc. What's up with that?


 

horizontal rule

 

Yes, Again

Posted by Ogged
on 11.19.04

Atrios is right about this (though some in Iran would disagree that the "Axis of Evil" speech was a bad thing). Nevertheless, this is the dynamic to pay attention to.

once you make the case that something is a serious threat, and once the people in power reduce the options to "war or not war," suddenly we'll find war once again presented as the only "serious" option.

But, am I missing something? Invade Iran? With what army?


 

horizontal rule

 

Bigots

Posted by Ogged
on 11.19.04

He's right, I didn't know. And I didn't think I could get any more angry after that election.


 

horizontal rule

 

Call Suge

Posted by Ogged
on 11.18.04

Hip, hop,

I said one God,

Jihad

Aw, don't spare the rod

Gonna run roughshod

A hip, a hop,

Abu,

Abu Musab

Mr. Zarqawi, who has a $25 million bounty on his head, recently changed the name of his group from One God and Jihad to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

 

horizontal rule

 

Alienation

Posted by Ogged
on 11.18.04

You know, generally, I feel perfectly at home here in my adopted country, but nothing says Iranian immigrant like buying a nose clip to help practice my flip turns and finding that the clip is too small to plug my whole Iranian nose, and bringing home those fancy low-profile, anti-fog goggles to find that my eyelashes rub against the inside. Fucking Europeans.


 

horizontal rule

 

The Uncanny Valley

Posted by Ogged
on 11.18.04

I don't know what I think about this. As a technical/aesthetic challenge, it's nifty. But the stuff about "personality" and "date of birth" gives me the willies. The more people treat the unreal as real, the less real I begin to feel, in their gaze, as it were. Don't you see the big difference between me and that!? (This, I would guess, is quite like the thoughts of people who get upset about gay marriage.)

That aside, I'm thrilled to have a new term:

CG artists call this the "uncanny valley," the point at which a near-human model looks so real that every flaw and shortcoming is thrown into high relief. (Ever seen a child terrified of mannequins? Blame the uncanny valley.)

Finally, a way to explain how Fontana felt about this.


 

horizontal rule

 

C'Mon, It'll Have Been Fun

Posted by Ogged
on 11.18.04

In a thread about Buffy over at John & Belle's, one thing keeps coming up: everyone hated high school.

Unf can set me straight here if I'm misremembering, but I thought high-school rocked. Smart peers, generally cool teachers, my mind still worked, I could play basketball to my heart's content, I had cool friends, we had time to hang out, there was a lot of boy-girl drama, and the world seemed big and exciting.

Right?


 

horizontal rule

 

Giants

Posted by Bob
on 11.18.04

This could be great! Especially for those of us who work at institutions whose subscriptions are mostly to so-so database services.


 

horizontal rule

 

Please go with the Mountie, Mr. Bush

Posted by Bob
on 11.18.04

I'm having a fun morning daydreaming about this. In my mind:

------------

Canadian passport control. Ponytailed man in a Roots parka takes his newly stamped passport from the officer and walks on into baggage claim. George W. Bush, faded Gap duffel in one hand, overstuffed US passport in the other hand, steps up to the booth.

Passport control officer: Passport, please.

George W. Bush: Here ya go.

PCO: Reason for visiting Canada?

GWB: I'm here for a, uh, meeting with your president. Or prime minister. Whatever you call that guy Marty, heh heh. And maybe try some of that poo-TEEN.

PCO: And how many days will you be spending in-- (PCO's computer bleeps loudly.) Is this your passport, sir? Are you George Walker Bush of Washington, DC?

GWB: Crawford, Texas, but that's me. You got some problem?

Mountie steps up to the booth.

PCO: I'm going to have to ask you to go with the Mountie, Mr. Bush. It seems you're suspected of having violated Canada's Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act.

Mountie takes GWB by the elbow. GWB jerks it away.

GWB: What?? Canada's what? I ain't no criminal. We can torture 'em if we don't kill 'em. Al Gonzalez told me so!

PCO: (Typing quickly and squinting at screen) Alberto Gonzalez? Is he here with you? We'd like to have a word with him too.

Second Mountie steps up, and the two Mounties take GWB by both arms.

GWB: What is this?? I'm George Dubya Bush! You can't do this to me!

GWB struggles, and a plastic packet of white powder falls out of his pocket. Police dogs dash up to the packet, sniffing and barking urgently. The Mounties drag GWB away.

GWB: I'll declare war on you, you stupid cheeseheads! Rummy! Uncle Karl! Condicakes! They're not respecting the will of the people! Unkie Dick! Will of the people!!

------------

Alas:

But a Canadian war crimes charge...would face many hurdles. Bush was furious last year when Belgians launched a war crimes suit in their country against him — so furious that Belgium not only backed down under U.S. threats but changed its law to prevent further recurrences.

As well, according to a foreign affairs spokesperson, visiting heads of state are immune from prosecution when in Canada on official business. If Ottawa wanted to act, it would have to wait until Bush was out of office — or hope to catch him when he comes up here to fish.

And we all know that Bush is only a fake sportsman.


 

horizontal rule

 

Bliss

Posted by Ogged
on 11.17.04

Awesome.

via profgrrrrl


 

horizontal rule

 

Brown. No, Wait.

Posted by Ogged
on 11.17.04

Did you know that there's a hidden arrow in the FedEx logo? I didn't.

via ben hammersley


 

horizontal rule

 

History

Posted by Ogged
on 11.17.04

Jim Henley writes,

Annals of Rejected Travel Promo Themes - "What Happens in a Greyhound Bus Station Men's Room, Stays in a Greyhound Bus Station Mens Room."

It wasn't quite the men's room, but several months ago, I found myself at the Greyhound bus terminal on Main Street in Columbia, South Carolina. I was one of the few white people milling about, waiting for my bus. After a bit, a (60-ish, white) man who was also standing around started chatting with me. I told him I was headed to Charlotte, and was treated to some very long, very paranoid advice about the dishonest cabbies there, and some button under the dashboard that I should be sure they never press.

Then he told me a very sweet story about his girlfriend in Charlotte, who collects stuffed-animals, and how he always takes her a teddy bear when he visits. He was a daft, but friendly guy, and we kept chatting, and got on to politics, and, out of absolutely nowhere, he said, "There's a colored guy running for President, isn't there?" Yes, that would be Al Sharpton. "Another colored guy ran once, and they shot him," he said, with a smile. Oh, crikey. I think he was talking about Martin Luther King. I don't remember what I said to that. Some vaguely worded reservation, I think. Then I said something like, "I think your bus is about to leave," and shuffled a few feet away.

I haven't spent much time in the South, and I have no idea whether that's a typical interaction, but it sure knocked me upside the head.


 

horizontal rule

 

Way Back When

Posted by Ogged
on 11.17.04

I was just going through some old posts, looking for something, and realized that we were linking to Ana Marie Cox back when she was the Antic Muse, writing about ass-fucking in complete sentences, before her days as Wonkette. Good stuff. I think I liked her better then.


 

horizontal rule

 

More on Fellow Voters

Posted by Ogged
on 11.17.04

For some reason, it's said to be bad form to quote/link yourself, but I'm about to do a lot of it in this post so feel free to skip if you're a net etiquette stickler.

One of my reactions to the election result was plain incredulity. The polls had been close, and I'd been expecting the incumbent effect--undecideds breaking for the challenger--to put Kerry over the top. But that didn't seem to happen, and I couldn't figure out why.

Bob's comment to this post flipped a switch for me. He writes,

many undecideds know what's the right thing to do, but they can't muster enough moral courage actually to do the right thing and press the touch screen next to Kerry. Whatever has them drifting Bushward -- fear, bigotry, greed -- it's not something they can defend out loud. So they claim to be undecided when in their hearts they're for Bush.

Well damn, didn't a very smart blogger predict that way back when?

Hello lefty buddies, it's a strategy to win the presidency, not just anachronistic homophobia. Just as, in Louisiana, people tell the pollsters that they'll be voting Republican, but can't bring themselves to pull the lever for a guy who's a bit too brown, national "support" for gay marriage will turn out to be a mirage. Insofar as gay marriage is a national election issue, it helps the Republicans, who, once again, are the ones who understand what people are really thinking.

A very smart blogger with a very bad memory (someone had to remind about that post, and I forgot again until Bob's comment). But what I didn't see, and why I think that New Republic article is so interesting, is the lack of understanding among voters about what constitutes a political issue. That's not the same as, or, at least, is a much more specific diagnosis than, saying voters are dumb. This was my take on dumb voters, back when Bob linked the much-discussed New Yorker article on voting.

I don't think...reasons sway voters, they just serve as social cover for their prejudices. So, Joe is predisposed to vote for X, because all of Joe's friends prefer X, and because Y really rubs Joe the wrong way, but Joe needs to feel like a rational, in-control decision-maker, and the job of the campaign, through the press, is to give Joe some reason he can use: X seems strong on defense; X cares about the little guy. If that reason resonates with Joe's prejudices, so much the better, but if not, it might yet be good enough.

What I got wrong there is the assumption that voters care about the reasons at all; that they even know what's "at issue." Some voters do, sure, but a significant chunk is operating with conceptions we haven't really begun to figure out. The basic question seems to be: What do voters think they're voting for? What do they think the President does? This is fundamental; because even if we come up with wonderful terms and a grand Democratic narrative, it might not have anything to do with how people vote. I don't have any answers, but it seems worth pointing out that we might be shooting for second-order solutions, when the first-order stuff is still a mess.


 

horizontal rule

 

My Shame

Posted by Unf
on 11.17.04

Ogged's recent ranting about pictures of bloggers, as well as the various comments, made a question come to mind. How many of our (adult, male) readers couldn't grow a beard even if they wanted to? And if you can't, do you feel oddly inadequate about it?

On various occasions I've attempted to grow a beard. Never had a lot of luck - it comes in in different colors (blond, brown, and, very mysteriously, red) and never quite covers all the necessary areas. And yes, this has always made me feel a little inadequate. Plus, I've never been a big fan of shaving, so a nice full beard would be a good way to save some time in the morning.

I don't know about FL or Bob, but Ogged's been able to grow a beard since he was 7.


 

horizontal rule

 

My Fellow Voters

Posted by Ogged
on 11.17.04

I don't think it's behind their subscription wall, and this New Republic article about undecided voters is excellent (and, unfortunately, pretty funny). Among the insights, "Undecided voters do care about politics; they just don't enjoy politics," "A disturbing number of undecided voters are crypto-racist isolationists," "The worse things got in Iraq, the better things got for Bush," and the one I found most interesting, "Undecided voters don't think in terms of issues."

...when I asked undecided voters what issues they would pay attention to as they made up their minds I was met with a blank stare, as if I'd just asked them to name their favorite prime number.

...

Often, once I would engage undecided voters, they would list concerns, such as the rising cost of health care; but when I would tell them that Kerry had a plan to lower health-care premiums, they would respond in disbelief--not in disbelief that he had a plan, but that the cost of health care was a political issue. It was as if you were telling them that Kerry was promising to extend summer into December.

I like to believe that truly ignorant, not-quite-rational voters cancel each other out, but it's possible that most voters are deciding this way. Sure, that's scary, but what's to be done? (And, recalling Magik Johnson, is it scary? Is there anything wrong with deciding this way?)


 

horizontal rule

 

I Ask You

Posted by Ogged
on 11.17.04

I know I have no ass, and I'm aware that I'm not built for running. But do I really need to be told that it all adds up to "You're an ape?"

Among the features that set humans apart from apes to make them good runners are longer legs to take longer strides, shorter forearms to enable the upper body to counterbalance the lower half during running and larger disks which allow for better shock absorption.
Big buttocks are also important.
"Have you ever looked at an ape? They have no buns," said Prof. Bramble.

 

horizontal rule

 

Public Reason

Posted by Ogged
on 11.17.04

Eugene Volokh has a couple of posts up about using religious reasons to justify public policy. His posts suffer from some of the same confusions I've seen elsewhere, so, a bit of clarification.

Volokh writes,

I keep hearing evangelical Christian leaders criticized for "trying to impose their religious dogma on the legal system," for instance by trying to change the law to ban abortion, or by trying to keep the law from allowing gay marriage. I've blogged about this before, but I think it's worth mentioning again.
I like to ask these critics: What do you think about the abolitionist movement of the 1800s? As I understand it, many -- perhaps most or nearly all -- of its members were deeply religious people, who were trying to impose their religious dogma of liberty on the legal system that at the time legally protected slavery.
Or what do you think about the civil rights movement? The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., after all, was one of its main leaders, and he supported and defended civil rights legislation as a matter of God's will, often in overtly religious terms. He too tried to impose his religious dogma on the legal system, which at the time allowed private discrimination, and in practice allowed governmental discrimination as well.

But there's nothing wrong with religious motivations, or religious rhetoric, in the public arena, as long as the policy goals are available to justification and articulation in shared terms. (Note two things: this isn't just a confusion suffered by the religious; the anti-religionists among us sometimes seem to believe that any religious motivations or rhetoric are out of bounds in the political sphere. But that's like asking someone to give up his language before he comes to the debate. Having a secular society doesn't mean banishing religion, it means that religion has to make peace with secularism, and, if it can't, then it's religion that has to give way. Second, none of Volokh's examples involve the President using explicitly religious rhetoric and reasons. That's a more problematic case, insofar as the President, quite unlike eg John Brown, can be seen as speaking for the nation, or to be espousing the official position of the government.)

So, the civil rights movement and abolitionism were deeply religious movements, yes, but they were also rooted in and compatible with the founding documents of the country (Of course, there are tensions, even in those documents: "all men are created equal," but black men will count as 3/5 of a person, etc., but there's no question that the liberation movements could find vindication in the Declaration and Constitution.) And that's the answer to the obvious question: What shared secular terms? In Volokh's second post, he argues,

I sympathize to some extent with the correspondent's point; for instance, if we don't hear a compelling reasoned justification for a proposed law, that certainly is reason for us to reject the proposal.
But the trouble with the correspondent's broader notion -- "that it's illegitimate . . . to justify one's decisions about how society should be run based on assumptions one cannot defend reasonably" -- is that ultimately most of the moral principles that each of us has can't be defended purely reasonably.

Pure reason isn't where we start from. The nation has founding documents that delineate quite beautifully the shape of our fundamental reasons. We also have a rigorously democratic and increasingly egalitarian tradition of law and practice upon which we draw. The political space defined by our documents and tradition is the arena of public reason. That space functions like the "official language" of political discourse, and though speakers of all languages are welcome, ultimately, for decisions to be made deliberatively, they all have to translate their desires into our public language. Sometimes that's very easy..."are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..." sometimes it's very hard..."God hates fags."


 

horizontal rule

 

All Light Bulbs Are Not Created Equal

Posted by Ogged
on 11.16.04
At the barber shop the other day, I decided to broaden my horizons a bit, so instead of reading a news mag while I waited, I picked up a copy of Hunting magazine. After a few minutes of reading about "wound channels" and Vital-Shok bullets, I figured I had the gist of the sportsman's mindset. Not hardly.
Hunters soon may be able to sit at their computers and blast away at animals on a Texas ranch via the Internet ... The idea came last year while viewing another Web site on which cameras posted in the wild are used to snap photos of animals.
"We were looking at a beautiful white-tail buck and my friend said 'If you just had a gun for that.' A little light bulb went off in my head," he said.
Who knew there was a land beyond the reach of snark?

 

horizontal rule

 

Christ & The Win-Win

Posted by Ogged
on 11.16.04
[This is a hoax (thanks john in comments). I fell for it. I blame the country.] Gosh amighty, this is the kind of religious nuttery that makes me love America. More like this, please.
John Hostettler, the Congressman representing the 8th district of Indiana, has been convinced by local religious groups to introduce legislation in the House that would change the name of an Interstate 69 extension to a more moral sounding number.
There are plans to extend the interstate from Indianapolis through southwestern Indiana all the way through Texas into Mexico in the coming years. While most believe this highway will be good for the state's economy, religious conservatives believe "I-69" sounds too risqué and want to change the interstate's number.
Hostettler, a proponent of the interstate extension, agrees. "Every time I have been out in the public with an ‘I-69' button on my lapel, teenagers point and snicker at it. I have had many ask me if they can have my button. I believe it is time to change the name of the highway. It is the moral thing to do."
As a matter of fact, naming the highway's extension I-69 is a violation of the Interstate Highway System's rules for numbering roads. Interstates numbers are to increase from west to east. If the extension through southern Indiana is named I-69, then 69 will be west of I-65, a direct violation.
"Naming the road I-63 not only follows numbering guidelines, it doesn't have the sexual undertones that I-69 has," says Hostettler, "It is a win-win situation."
via backword dave

 

horizontal rule

 

Not That I Object Or Anything

Posted by Ogged
on 11.16.04

Damn, what's the deal? I thought we agreed: no pictures of bloggers. Scroll down those comments and you have Jacob Levy (twice!) posting pictures of himself and Russell Arben Fox too. And every one has facial hair? Good golly, I didn't know facial hair was even still legal, let alone ubiquitous.

As far as I know (yeah, there's a picture of you online, Labs), we at Unfogged are facial hair free.


 

horizontal rule

 

Four for Four

Posted by Unf
on 11.16.04

Bob is complaining about the environment, FL is complaining about his students, and Ogged is complaining about how he isn't getting any. All seems right with the world, don't you think?

Since everyone seems so intent on posting today, I thought I'd join in. If you haven't already, go and see The Incredibles. Suffice it to say that it is a work of surpassing genius. Some think it has a sort of Leo Strauss-y/Paul Wolfowitz-y thing going on, but I choose to interpret my art without reference to current events.

Plus, Sarah Vowell is the voice of Violet.

UPDATE: Here's an article about Sarah Vowell and her role in the movie. Needless to say, I can't wait to get the DVD.


 

horizontal rule

 

Enough

Posted by Bob
on 11.16.04

James Gorman in the NYT:

Guilt, science and faith all have their place. But there are millions upon millions of Americans whose lives are based on sex and shopping. Millions and millions more people around the world dream of coming to America to lead lives based on sex and shopping. Call them the shallow majority.

Where's the environmental movement for these people? Who is recruiting them to drive hybrids instead of Hummers? When is the environmental movement going to capture the shallow majority? And how?

The answers I hope are "now" and "sex." Plenty points the way....

It's an article about Plenty, a new magazine which uses sexy models and flashy consumerism to push environmentally friendlier consumption. My first response: bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity, and same with promoting consumerism for the environment. The last thing anyone needs is more encouragement to confuse sleek product design and spa-style self-pampering with the hard work of reducing consumer waste. We don't need a print version of Whole Foods Market. My second response: I do get all my produce at Whole Foods. And that cover model is pretty cute. My current take: I'm tired of fighting good fights for now. Pass me a Pom.


 

horizontal rule

 

Self-parodists, unite & take over

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 11.16.04

Here's a recipe for dissecting the efforts of a famous cultural observer. Quick-- whose work is on the chopping block?

First, out of the thousands of sociological details [he] gets right, you pick out some he gets wrong (thus establishing your superior hipness). You mention that he obsesses over the superficial details of life while you ignore his moral intent (thus hinting at your own superior depth). Then you graciously allow that many of [his] scenes are hilarious, while lamenting that his characters are not fully developed.

If you said David Brooks--thinking, perhaps, of the Red Lobster Fiasco or Patio Man or any other bits of his nonsense-- you're half-right. It's actually David Brooks defending Tom Wolfe's new book, though I get the sense he's not really talking about Tom Wolfe at all.

Wolfe, apparently, is taking on the Moral Depravity of Campus. His book is full of such trenchant observations as these:

The social rules have dissolved because the morality that used to undergird them dissolved long ago. Wolfe sprinkles his book with observations about how the word "immoral" now seems obsolete, about how sophisticated people now reject the idea of absolute evil, about a hypermaterialistic neuroscience professor who can use the word "soul" only when it is in quotation marks.

Remember Lingua Franca and the culture wars? How they seemed so mid-90s? Jacques Derrida is dead; the era is over.

The most serious problem, of course, is that this is just stupid. I use the word "immoral" every five minutes when I teach. Evil is so big, one of our readers has a theory about it.


 

horizontal rule

 

Life, liberty, and 35 in a 25 zone

Posted by Bob
on 11.16.04

Demian Bulwa in the SF Chronicle:

In a move unprecedented in the Bay Area, the city's traffic engineers have created a traffic signal with attitude. It senses when a speeder is approaching and metes out swift punishment.

It doesn't write a ticket. It immediately turns from green to yellow to red.

[...]

It's all a little too much for Ken Pattee, a 52-year-old construction inspector from Livermore who sometimes rides his Harley-Davidson down Vineyard Avenue. He said he doesn't feel good about the electronic eye.

"It's depriving you of another one of your liberties -- going fast," Pattee said. "If they implement it everywhere, there will be nothing but red lights. Nobody does the speed limit."

Speeding is one of our liberties -- everyone does it, everyone should, and no one should do anything to stop us. Running reds, in contrast, is so taboo that even the leadfooted scofflaws won't consider doing it. They've conditioned us so well; now they get to use it. Reminds me of a conversation I had a couple summers ago with a couple of lemonade-stand kids in Palo Alto:

Me: That's all you have? Lemonade? Don't you have anything more refreshing, like soda?

Kids: No.

Me: Beer?

Kids: No, no beer.

Me: How about a cigarette?

Kids: NO!! Cigarettes are BAD!

Me: Oh, okay. One lemonade, then.

(Via Boing Boing.)


 

horizontal rule

 

Lactated Ringers, baby!

Posted by Bob
on 11.16.04

David Lee Roth, now fifty years old, is training to become a paramedic. As someone who spends 60% of his time at work daydreaming about alternative careers, I think that's great.


 

horizontal rule

 

I Feel You

Posted by Ogged
on 11.16.04

I've been denial-ishly not counting the number of hours I spend in front of a computer every day. Like a lot of folks, my work day is spent entirely at a keyboard, but then I come home, and there's this here laptop and it sits on the little table in front of me when I eat, and when I watch tv, and sometimes--apologies--when I'm on the phone. Count all that up, and I'm at a computer about twelve hours a day. But it's even worse than that, because my place, while nice, thank you, isn't so big, and I can always hear an email arrive, so if I'm chopping something in the kitchen, or even reading on the couch, it's no big thing to walk over and type a reply, or see the latest comment. Good lord, I really am plugged into the net for most of my waking hours.

(Of course, this isn't true on days I go out, etc. But there are more days that I don't go out, than days I do.)

(And, I'm quite aware that I'm very very lucky to never have had any trouble with repetitive stress injuries.)


 

horizontal rule

 

No More Mrs. Nice Swede

Posted by Ogged
on 11.16.04

It's one thing (and not at all unpleasant) to have the hot Swedish swim instructor make you do drills that are new, and awkward, but satisfying to master. It's quite another when this woman you barely know works you harder than anyone since your high-school basketball coach has worked you, and to be swimming the umpteenth lap where you aren't allowed to kick and can only breathe on every third, then fifth, then seventh stroke (no stopping!), thinking for sure that you're going to die numb-armed among these strangers and then to realize that you're paying for this.

But today we did flip turns!


 

horizontal rule

 

Good as Free

Posted by Ogged
on 11.15.04

The Economist, like Salon, now offers "day pass" access to premium content in exchange for watching an ad. And just after I let my subscription lapse. Cool!

(I would edit it, but I'm going to leave my totally unselfconscious use of the phrase "premium content" there as a testament to...something.)


 

horizontal rule

 

Just War

Posted by Ogged
on 11.15.04

If you care about just war doctrine, or just want to read something intelligent about the war, Garry Wills' review of Michael Walzer's latest book is excellent. I particularly liked this.

Walzer, in similar vein, says that all war overrides certain moral rules; but even when they have to be overridden, they remain moral rules: "Overriding the rules leaves guilt behind as a recognition of the enormity of what we have done." "The tradition" often implies that belligerent acts in a just war are themselves moral—which is the basis of triumphalism and patriotic smugness. Walzer denies the right to such self-congratulation. Even a just war, he says, "invites—and then only insofar as it also requires—an immoral response: we do what we must (every legitimate alternative having been exhausted)." Paradoxically, then, a person who tries to act morally in war sees his own immorality.
Is this an impossible ideal to expect? One might think so but for the example of Lincoln. While most war leaders ratchet up hatred, he tried to ratchet it down, in recognition of the evil being done on both sides. That was the theme of his Fast Day proclamations, asking people to wage a repenting war, "in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes."[14] During the Vietnam War, Senator Mark Hatfield introduced a resolution calling on the nation to repent its own war crimes. He was attacked as unpatriotic, as treasonously giving aid and comfort to the enemy—till he revealed that he had been directly quoting Lincoln.

 

horizontal rule

 

Dynamically Rendered, Baby

Posted by Ogged
on 11.15.04

If you book travel online, you'll want to check out a new site called Kayak that aggregates fares from several sites, and has the niftiest interface I've seen. Here's a screenshot. On the left, you can play with the sliders to set your flight options, and flights are dynamically added or taken away on the right. Beneath the other dropdowns, you get options to include/exclude nearby airports, various airlines, and flights based on number of stops. Very cool. I just used it to find flights to Chicago for Christmas (get your party shoes on, W-lfs-n). There's a good roundup of Kayak and a few other fare aggregators here.


 

horizontal rule

 

Edgy Never Is

Posted by Ogged
on 11.15.04

What's up with Slate today? Can it be an accident that two articles published there on the same day both mention the Mangaia of the South Pacific? On Mangaia, you'll be pleased to learn,

Boys about the age of 13-14 go through sexual instruction: emphasis placed upon techniques of coitus, cunnilingus, kissing, sucking, & bringing their female partners to orgasm several times before they ejaculate. The pubertal boys are taught this through physical instruction by older women in the society.

This, of course, sent me scurrying across the web, looking for pictures of Mangaian women. As luck would have it, I found a candid of the queen. Yup, she looks pleased as punch (and straddles the bench in a way we wouldn't describe as quite ladylike).

But that's not what this post is about; it's about this claim in one of the articles, from an author who seems to be a thirty-something from Massachusetts.

My culture, in some vague and vestigial way, still considers cunnilingus a no-no, which makes performing it feel like a little transgression.

What culture is that? I'm reminded of Belle Waring's post from a while back.

Look, if a guy thinks it would be "nasty" to go down on you, then he shouldn't be getting any oral sex from you, at all, ever. If you're not comfortable with a guy going down on you, then you don't want to have an orgasm, and thus you don't want to have sex. Period. End. Of. Story. If letting some guy just show up at your house so you can suck his dick is empowering, then I'm Henry Kissinger.

Note: Belle is not Henry Kissenger.

Unless we're defining culture very broadly to include, say, red states, I don't see how the claim is credible. Some guys might think it's nasty, but I don't know anyone who thinks it's a transgression.

p.s. It's ok, I know they're having the most pervy sex in the red states.


 

horizontal rule

 

Ten Regions

Posted by Ogged
on 11.15.04

I assumed everyone had already seen this, but maybe not. It's a ten-region, rather than two-color, grouping of political regions in the U.S. Quite helpful. And here's a post-election analysis based on the regions. A taste:

The 10 Regions approach also puts the perplexing question of what the Democratic Party needs to do about the South in a different light. Right now, common wisdom is that the party must reduce the Republican margin in Appalachia by somehow neutralizing the "guns, God, and gays" issues that have doomed Democrats in rural areas. But it could be just as important to build on the party's foundation in Southern Lowlands, which is more urban, better-educated, and more heavily minority than the other Southern regions (indeed, Southern Lowlands has the highest percentage of blacks in the population, nearly 28 percent, of any of our 10 regions).
This choice isn't obvious on the red-and-blue map, which simply screams "Look South" or "Go West" to the Democratic party. But it would be foolish to assume there's only one way to court the South -- just as it would be short-sighted for the Republicans to believe that voters on the West Coast and in the Maine-to-Minnesota corner of America move in lockstep. If the parties want to understand the American electorate in 2008, they're going to have to go beyond red and blue.

It's heartening, at least, to have an analysis that allows us to imagine real people, as opposed to strange evil, lurking in those red states.


 

horizontal rule

 

Power/Knowledge

Posted by Ogged
on 11.15.04

Thomas Lacquer, who knows about these things, informs us that

Fist fucking [is] the only sexual practice invented in modern times....

I guess that makes up for the death of God.

UPDATE: The ancient jade dildo...really.


 

horizontal rule

 

Work and Fairness

Posted by Ogged
on 11.14.04

I knew if I waited long enough, someone would write my "what the Democrats should do" post for me, and, thankfully, he's done it much better that I would have. And since I'm posting the sneaky email link to get you around the subscription wall, please read the whole thing. It's smack dab correct.


 

horizontal rule

 

The Volunteer

Posted by Ogged
on 11.14.04
So, is this irony?
On the afternoon of Aug. 9, John F. Kerry stood on the lip of the Grand Canyon, about to make one of the biggest mistakes of his three-year quest for the presidency. A stiff wind was blowing across the canyon, and Kerry, whose hearing was damaged by gun blasts in Vietnam, had trouble understanding some of the questions being thrown his way ... Would Kerry have voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq, one reporter asked, even if he knew then that Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction? "Yes, I would have voted for the authority; I believe it's the right authority for a president to have," Kerry replied, as aides stood by, dumbfounded ... The senator explained to aides that part of the question had been lost in the wind; he thought he was answering a variation on the same basic query he'd been asked countless times: Was it right to give Bush the authority to go to war against Iraq? Kerry had simply given his standard "yes," with the proviso that he would have "done this very differently from the way President Bush has" -- yet the misunderstanding now muddied Kerry's message.
Lose your hearing in a war you volunteered for, which, thirty years later, causes you to answer a question in such a way that helps hand the presidency to your draft-dodging opponent. It's almost--almost--funny.

 

horizontal rule

 

Observed

Posted by Ogged
on 11.14.04

Diane Lane is really hot. So is the woman in the three-stone-ring diamond ad.


 

horizontal rule

 

Friends and Loners

Posted by Ogged
on 11.14.04

This week's Public Editor column in the Times is quite good--echoing the calls of blogdom that journalists drop faux "objectivity" and write stories informed by what they know to be the case.

So it's particularly too bad that Atrios mentions the article only to slam Okrent for the following sentence.

Reporter Jodi Wilgoren provoked a flood of complaints when she described John Kerry in April as "a social loner" without attributing her characterization to anyone - as if her own experience covering the senator, and discussing him with scores of his friends and associates, were not evidence enough.

Atrios says loner-w/friends=contradiction, but surely that's a pretty narrow view of character and interaction. Don't we all know people who can be gregarious and social, and are still loners? And is it really surprising that a politician, who has to socialize professionally, could have dozens of "friends" and still be a loner?

It's a minor point, but there's no anti-Kerry bias in that sentence, and it's a good column. Let's encourage the guy, eh?

MORE: Brad DeLong disagrees.

I know some "social loners." Some social loaners are friends of mine. No one who is a social loner has "scores of friends and associates"--to not have scores of friends and associates is what it means to be a social loner. No one who is a social loner could ever get elected a United States senator, just as nobody petrified of heights could make a career as a trapeze artist.

I'm not sure if Brad is misreading the phrase "social loner." "Social" does not modify "loner," rather, "social" and "loner" both describe John Kerry. Let's get pedantic. "Social" is equivocal insofar as it can describe a mode of behavior or a temperament. "Social loner" is not an oxymoron insofar as one can master the behavior while lacking the temperament.

There are people who seek out other people, are invigorated by the company of friends and strangers, and who enjoy all manner of interpersonal interactions. From what we can see of John Kerry, he is not one of these people. Nevertheless (like many of the Yalies I know, in fact) he has overcome his nature as a loner and attained some mastery of "being social."


 

horizontal rule

 

Powered by Movable Type