Odds are you didn't spend your undergraduate years steeping in all things Frankfurt School, but you might still find a punk song whose only lyric is "Every work of art is an uncommitted crime" pretty entertaining. More amusing background here.
In other Salon music finds, Woman King is actually very good.
This was my first post at Unfogged, more or less one year ago. The time flies, does it not? At this solemn moment, I thank Ogged for the invitation to tag in, I thank all co-bloggers for their fine work, and I thank the fantastically smart and hilarious people who comment here-- in particular the ones who keep us honest. So much love.
When I saw the picture over at Fussy, I thought, "Hey, that looks like the kind of woman I'd date." So I clicked on it, and waddya know...fuck you, Fussy. I so didn't need that right now.
Enough thinking about Ann Coulter. Over at Gwen's Petty Judgemental Evil Thoughts, there's a spot-on recreation of dialogue between a woman, her boyfriend, guy friend, dad, ex, and best friend. Try not to recognize yourself too much, eh? (I'm letting the gender stuff slide; I assume we all know crossovers.)
You know what? Some things are beyond the pale, even if Ann Coulter says them.
One of the things that fascinates me is people inventing the terms they need to describe things. Over at finslippy, they're talking about the tendency to discount other people's pain when it doesn't seem as significant as our own, and the oneupsmanship that flows from that. Two great terms in the comments: "oppression olympics," and "misery poker." I've always said, "Your toe? My knee!" But no one knows what the hell I mean when I say it.
Of course, right now I can't think of any other examples, but one of the things I love about blogs is that people are constantly inventing terms, and sharing them. [An aside for the philosophy geeks: John McCumber's Company of Words makes the argument that Hegel, particularly in the Phenomenology of Spirit, is describing and carrying out precisely this project of inventing language, and that this project is philosophy.] And new terms are a bit magical, because they can make you see things about your own life that you felt, but couldn't get a handle on. So, I'll start doing what I should have been doing all along: keeping track, and posting when I find neologisms. If you don't feel like posting the ones you find, email me!
OK: I can think of a few. John Holbo's "poetic justice as fairness" is terrific. Two more that are great, but not quite perfect, because they name, but don't describe: Belle's "and a pony" and the Poor Man's appropriation of "Mars, Bitches!"
Lots of good stuff to link to this morning, and rather than hogging the whole front page, I'll do a roundup.
1. Matt Yglesias has a post you really must read. If you'll recall, the other famous quote from the "reality-based community" article was by Bushie Mark McKinnon, who explained that Bush supporters "don't like you," meaning the "reality-based community," meaning, "the Left." That is, in fact, what unites folks on the right, even those who don't like Bush: more than anything, they don't like lefties. Matt lays it all out. Read it.
2. Brian Leiter notes that the U.S. ambassador to Canada reacted to Canada's refusal to join in the "missile defense" boondoggle by saying that Canada has "in effect give[n] up its sovereignty."
3. The apostropher has a roundup of his own, of profiles from Sean Hannity's Christian dating site.
Well well, the cute woman I've never mentioned was at the pool again tonight. I saw her there once before, a few months ago, and she's still cute. There was a moment when we were both in the deep end where I wanted to say, "Your email address wouldn't happen to be very easy to remember, would it?" But she didn't give me a big smile this time like she did last time, and the Swede was kicking my butt, so I just kept swimming. I'll spare us 100 comments of "Ogged, you wuss," and say, if I see her again, I'll ask her out. Ok?
(This despite the fact that she doesn't have a long, lean body of the type I usually favor. In fact, she's on the short side, and a bit curvy, but it's a really luscious short and curvy.)
My world is complete.
(I always feel a little bad about things like this, with respectable people like Jack O'Toole reading the site. Sorry, Jack.)
The apostropher catches a lie being born, and slams our buddies at the powerline, all in one great post.
Hello visitors: Our first Powerline post is here, and every third one up from then on is about their stupid names. We're particularly proud of the comments here, featuring the line for all time: "My superkoranic fellatio power will FINISH YOU ALL," by our own Fontana Labs (posing as Gayatollah Abu-Labs). Make sure you use it in everyday conversation. Have fun.
from the cuban, legally
[Update, of sorts. This post is too cute, and now I hate it. I'll leave it as-is, as a warning to myself and others. Thanks.]
I think Billmon is having too much fun.
Have you seen what the Looney Tunes characters are going to look like in 2772? This. Timothy Burke's kid thinks they're "really scary", but I find them comforting. Note that it's not just Bugs and Roadrunner wearing jetpacks and shiny jumpsuits. Bodies themselves are predicted to have changed over time. Descent with modification -- and evolution of macroscopic form. Evolution may be controversial in grade-school curricula, but at WB it's a won battle.
Odd evolutionary claim, though: in the future, animals will be pointier, and they will have eyes with no irises. And they will have attitude.
You might be tempted to inflate your whoopie cushion completely, thinking that it'll produce a louder or more sustained fart sound. Nope! Complete inflation is overinflation, and it can cause the bladder to press against the neck, restricting or preventing the outflow of air when compressed.
Inflate the cushion so that it's no more than an inch thick. You get a good sound, and anyway it's easier to hide under a seat cushion.
Unfogged: the one-stop blog for all your humor needs!
One thing that, it seems to me, has gone pretty unmentioned in this recent flap is that Harvard has long had a really shitty reputation when it comes to its treatment of women. Let's get personal: when I was visiting graduate schools to decide where to go for Classics, I took a trip to see Harvard, Michigan, and Berkeley in the same February week. (I wanted cold realism).
I went first to Harvard. It goes without saying that both the facilities and the professors were pretty fab. They got some nice library going on. After my chat with various professors, I was sent off for a dinner with various well-disposed grad students. All of whom happened to be male. Well, on their own nickel, they decided that I wouldn't really be getting the true picture if I didn't talk to some of the less gruntled grad students. So, they invited three women who were all leaving the program (one to join my future class at Berkeley). There we were, enjoying some Thai food and shit, and one girl just leaned me over and said: "don't come here. It's not worth it. Call me if you want to hear the gory details, but seriously, don't come here."
I ask you, is that a winning advertisement? (The gory details involved outright groping, and for someone just coming off a serious problem with a certain Roman History professor whom she might otherwise have asked for a recommendation, if she didn't want to avoid being in the same office with him at all costs, this seemed convinicing.)
In the end, it was something very trivial that decided me. By all rights I should have gone to Michigan. But, when the plane landed at San Francisco airport, and I had just come from the bitterest cold, and I saw these little yellow flowers blooming in the tall grass between the runways, I said, fuck it, I'm, coming to California. None of the partying my cousin and I did that night, or the superlative sushi we ate, did anything to dissuade me.
Hey, did you read that nutty stuff over at Powerline today? And every day? Here's my advice. When you find yourself reading something by Hindrocket, some rant about how irrational and traitorous the left is, or the MSM; just sort of pretend you are reading a Spider-Man comic, and Hindrocket is J. Jonah Jameson yelling at Betty Brant, or Robbie. Or Peter. About Spider-Man. Because why does he hate on Spidey so? Spidey is so obviously not a menace. He's good. It's too bad we all know who Atrios is now. Otherwise we could imagine: what if Atrios is really, like, Hindrocket's secretary?
That would be great, and Hindrocket would be all screaming "get me some more quotes from that America-hating bastard!" and his secretary would be all "yes sir!"
But I think we'll all feel even better about things if we start referring to them as Buttplug, ViagraSpam, and Da Preacher rather than Hindrocket, The Big Trunk, and Deacon. Are you with me? (And yeah, I was pretty hard-pressed to think of a more gay-porn sounding name than Hindrocket, but I did my best. Matt Weiner is welcome to do better in the comments.)
I'm running a moderate fever, and I'm at the end of a long day, but I'm finding that listening to the Hinderaker voice clip repeatedly is really hypnotic (doesn't CAYYYR about...doesn't CAAYYR about...doesn't CAYYYR about...all they cayrabout...alltheycayrabout...alltheycayrabout...). Questions: what computer goodies would I need to cut this up and turn it into some kind of acid jazz Kruder-Dorfmeister sort of thing? What are my chances of surviving the descent into madness that such a project would surely involve?
scmTim notes that we have a rare shot at getting posts from all five Unfogged contributors in a single day, so I post this to placate him.
Usually, parodies are all concept, no execution, but Faulkner does the Bush White House doesn't strike a single false note. Wow.
Thanks to Tom for the link.
There's a really fine post by Elizabeth Anderson at Left2Right, which sets the record straight on the Summers' controversy and puts it in context, as part of Summers' (and Harvard's) failure to address institutional problems. Excellent.
I can't decide which of these is more important.
1. The Powerline's Deacon, aka Paul Mirengoff, a labor attorney (who works at Akin Gump--and if you can look at akingump.com and not think "aching ump" and gay porn, congratulations to your parents) will be on MSNBC to discuss Bush's trip to Europe.
2. Paris Hilton's boyfriend is also named Paris. As my main man Spaztastik says,
You know she wants to scream her own name in bed
Check out PZ Myers' response to the Powerline folks.
A 38-year-old woman cuts off her husband's penis with a cleaver. Doctors reconstruct a penis for the man, and it measures about 3 cm. This is in Vancouver in 1997, and the woman's name is Kim Tran.
A 35-year-old woman cuts off her boyfriend's penis with a kitchen knife and flushes it down the toilet. The police and a municipal worker recover the penis, and doctors reattach it. This is in Alaska last Saturday, and the woman's name is Kim Tran.
Update: Vancouver KT also flushed the penis down the toilet.
Update: Tiger, not liger. It's what I get for not checking into these things in person.
Turns our stir-fry is still a mainstay for off-campus students who don't really know how to cook. I find it reassuring. Kids today pierce their eyelids, but they still make stir-fry. In grad school, just about all I or any of my friends made was stir-fry, homemade burritos, and the occasional Boboli pizza.
My prediction of the next big student food: okonomiyaki.
Forget their stupid politics. What would ever possess people to post their real names on their blog, but then make up stupid nicknames for themselves to post under? Deacon is okay I guess. The Big Trunk? Why not just blog under the name Monstro-Cock? And Hindrocket? Suffice it to say that it lends itself to parody.
Of course, not everyone can choose cool names like Ogged, Unf, Alameida, and Bob.
Peter Schjeldahl can't seem to decide whether to be grumpy or magnanimous about The Gates. Me, I'm gonna be grumpy. Yes, the project is something of an event-planning triumph, and yes, as my girlfriend points out, it's the biggest thing to bring New Yorkers together since the World Trade Center attacks. But it's still kind of lame -- and the hordes of cheerful, camera-snapping, esthete-wannabes that turned out the same weekend as cheerful, camaera-snapping, art-cynic-wannabe me didn't help the project, even as I admit that drawing enormous numbers of people to the park is part of the point. (Yes I have pictures, but I haven't had them processed. Yes, I still use film.)
I've only seen one other C/JC project, the California half of The Umbrellas in 1991. That was cool. The umbrellas were distributed neither uniformly nor randomly. They were spread along ridges, clustered across hillslopes -- in patterns that suggested the ordered-but-not-too-ordered spatial distribution of natural landscape features. The Umbrellas both seemed to grow out of the landscape and invited an altered perception of the landscape. It required effort to get there to see it, and even then (because half the project was in Japan) just part of it. It was definitely a Big Event, but it was also an effective exercise in composition and in synthesizing formal elements with elements of a landscape.
In contrast, The Gates seems to mostly be about placing rectangular curtains, spaced at even intervals, along the major paths of America's most famous public space. Aside from the (impressive) organizational and logistic accomplishment, there's nothing about the project that's not obvious. It's as wholesome as a walk in the park, it's as illuminating as trail blazes, and it's as radical a social instrument as the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Hooray for New York! Hooray for Art!
Via Digby via Yglesias, a video of our new wingnut whipping-boy, John Hinderaker (aka Hindrocket) of Powerline telling us who he thinks of as "the left" and what he thinks they're up to. The whole scene of two gut-tending guys sitting on a porch in some secluded suburb talking about "betrayal" is pretty funny and easy to dismiss, but these are, as Digby says, the folks behind Time magazine's "Blog of the Year." And Digby's right about this:
[the video shows a] very calm and reasonable sounding Hinderocket speaking the words of a paranoid totalitarian. It's quite chilling.
MORE: Decided to mosy over to Powerline to see what was up at the moment, and found blogger "stupid (again)" attacking PZ Myers for attacking Hinderocket for not believing in evolution. Naive leftist that I am, I thought the defense would be "of course he believes in evolution, learn to read you fucking lefty ignoramus..." but, instead, we get:
Call me stupid (again), but I have a tough time understanding why the views of Rocket Man on evolution are relevant to the quality of our poltical commentary and reporting. But this is the state of so much of today's left -- unwilling and/or unable to argue political issues (or scientific ones, as far as appears) on the merits. Under leftist logic, the fact that one of us doesn't believe a piece of scientific orthodoxy demonstrates, what, that our attacks on liberal political orthodoxies, falsehoods, and forgeries shouldn't be taken seriously?
My dear stupid (again), when someone shows himself unable to understand or accept overwhelming evidence for a theory that is conceptually rather elegant and simple, it does indeed throw his intelligence and judgment into question. Of course, that explanation doesn't help you, because you think the theory of evolution is a piece of "orthodoxy." Fine, I'm not going to change your mind, but why not take PZ up on his offer and debate him? Or, if you don't want to leave the house, try this: in all of America, find five biologists with PhDs who don't believe in evolution. Do you understand what a ridiculously low bar that is? And that you can't clear it?
And...: In the video of Hinderaker, you can practically see the invisible lefty in his head, who Hinderaker imagines, much to his own glee, turning red and indignant at Hinderaker's brazen truth-telling. The Rocket Man knows he's being outrageous, and feels the thrill of scaring us poor cowering lefties. So, I should be clear, Mr. Rocket: above, where I endorse Digby's "chilling," I don't mean it in the "suburban man put my name on a list and I'm good as dead" sense, but more in a "Holy shit! What if I lose my mind?? Will chicks still dig me?? Do you see any chicks in the video??? Aaaaa! Chilling!" sense. Please don't hurt me.
By the way, there are a lot of blogs in the world, and I know that I used to hop around blogrolls looking for good new blogs, but I stopped doing that a long time ago. The very best way to introduce your blog to others is to comment on other blogs, and link to them. Whenever someone new links or comments here, I check out their blog, and follow it for a while to see if it has the kind of stuff that I'd post here. (Sending links, which people don't do to us so often, is less effective in my experience--and most of my experience is as a sender, not receiver of links--because it makes people feel pressured.)
I can't tell just how reliable the numbers are, but Susan at Suburban Guerilla (thanks to Kevin Drum for opening my eyes to this, and other blogs by women) has done some very interesting digging on the casualty counts coming out of Iraq. The numbers and stories about "green card recruits," if true, are shocking.
Ok then, which are the good political blogs written by women? (With whatever definition of "political" the recommender operates.) I would answer with (and probably forgetting some):
World O'Crap (A woman, right?)
Uh: Chris Nolan reminds me that I forgot her.
I know, it's something your mom might send you in a mass email. I don't care -- it's still amusing.
Kevin Drum probably wishes he'd said something uncontroversial, like "Macs suck!!"
I don't want to dirty up the really smart comments to the post below, but Lance asks what I, noted ADA connoisseur, think of Annie Parisse, the new ADA on Law & Order. I haven't seen her enough to have an opinion about her acting, or her character, and clearly she's not the same type of tall, leggy, all-heads-turn beauty that L&O normally casts, but I have to admit: something about that woman inspires truly ungentlemanly thoughts in me. And I know it's Parisse, not her character, because when she appeared a couple of seasons ago as some trashy woman, I remember thinking, "Damn! Oddly hot!"
Once again: become part of the war-on-Iran machine, or keep mum about human rights abuses? I punt to Jack O'Toole.
I admit I'm feeling pretty guilty about the lack of political blogging here, but I think I see the reason for it now: Kos and Atrios make me roll my eyes almost as often as Insty and the Powerline. Maybe I was naive before, but it seems like we've gone from a political world in which there was some dim hope of changing someone's mind, or coming to an understanding, to one which is all about motivation and mobilization of the like-minded.
On the one hand, god bless Kos and Atrios for the work they are doing--they're among the few who are pushing back. On the other hand, it doesn't feel like my game anymore. I realize that what I want to do, what I like to think of myself as engaged in, is explaining, or changing minds, or laying out reasons. Bare political advocacy requires a certain faith in one's own rightness; a tight enough grasp on the end to think it justifies the means--and maybe I just don't have that. If I throw too much spin on something, I begin to doubt myself, and doubt my cause. That makes me suited for some things, but a crappy political advocate.
One of Mark Kleiman's correspondents makes a decent prima facie case for abolishing tenure, though Mark ultimately disagrees. I would just add, be mindful of the point James Wolcott makes, that this debate has broader and more menacing implications:
Andrew Sullivan tried to make it sound as if Summers Agonistes is a pivotal Galileo moment in the fight over free inquiry and the pursuit of ideas as one man with unpopular notions finds himself witch-hunted by wheezing lefties. But anyone who's been closely watching the weathervane knows that it is the Israeli-loyal right led by Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz who are spearheading the ideological purges of professors. John Kasich's weekend Fox News show recently had a segment called "Firing Tenured Professors," and that's the goal of conservative pressure groups, to drive out those political targets who would otherwise be protected by tenure. They began by picking a mostly obscure minor offender like Ward Churchill in the hopes of bagging him and moving on to bigger trophies.
Right. Abolishing or modifying tenure might seem like a good idea, but in the larger political game, tenure is the only thing keeping professors from being hounded out of their jobs en masse.
Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, accused George Bush of plotting to assassinate him yesterday, and warned that all Venezuelan oil exports to the US would stop in the event of his death.
"If I am assassinated, there is only one person responsible: the president of the United States," Mr Chavez said during his weekly radio and television show, Hello President.
He offered no proof of any conspiracy but said the Cuban president, Fidel Castro, had warned of a possible plot against him last week.
Sorry about the light posting--I've been sick. So husband X says, you've got a fever, why don't you read this Jim Woodring book Frank? I ask you, is that the act of a loving husband? He knows I'm crazy and have problems with eyes and little embedded beady things, not to mention extra teeth, and he gives me this stuff? I sort of recommend it, ish. I mean, it's clearly a work of genius and all. But, total number of nightmares I've had about it in the three days since reading it? Four. Let's say I recommend it if you don't have serious psychological problems or a fever.
I wonder...do I have a problem?
1 - Have you ever decided to stop
drinkingblogging for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
2 - Do you wish people would mind their own business about your blogging-- stop telling you what to do?
5 - Do you envy people who can blog without getting into trouble?
7 - Has your blogging caused trouble at home?
9 - Do you tell yourself you can stop blogging any time you want to, even though you keep getting bloggo when you don't mean to?
10 - Have you missed days of work or school because of blogging?
12 - Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not blog?
Ok, four of 12 makes AA think you have a drinking problem; I get seven...
TPM notes that this ad for USANext, the astroturf seniors' group, is running on the American Spectator website:
Seriously, I had no idea that the AARP loved gay people so much.
UPDATE: please be sure to check out Mithras' collection of reworked images. It's moments like these that make me proud to have a blogging problem.
The demise of a blog is ofen marked by the appearance of open threads. I'm just saying.
A good time to read this post, for a taste of what we'll be missing.
A: Why is it called "Suburban Station"? It's the most urban of the three stations.
B: Maybe it's because it's underneath the city.
Isn't that handy? Thank Matt Weiner (rhymes with "meaner"). Really, it does.
Roses are red, violets are blue
Now you know.
Ian Buruma ends his teaching assignment in the big house:
On my last day at Eastern, I turned back toward the prison as I was leaving. There, high above me, I could just make out a face, pressed against the bars of a cell. It was my youngest student, the one who knifed his foster father. As I drove off, I glanced into my rearview mirror. All that moved in the mass of brick and steel bars behind me was a pale arm waving.
I've always wanted to do something like this, and yet I spend time arguing about stupid Larry Summers instead.
Zach of Veiled Conceit has a nice bit of work on the recent wedding of John Layfield, professional wrestler, radio host, investment advisor, and immigration-reform activist. Several people have noticed a weird resemblance between Layfield and his disturbingly reflective bride:
So I wondered-- what would it look like if Layfield married himself as a shinier woman? A bit like this, I think:
Eerie. I'm not sure which look I prefer, to be honest.
The men of Unfogged: official apologists for Larry Summers. Every now and again in the current Summers brouhaha, someone mentions his "Let's dump pollution in Third World countries" memo as evidence of his moral callousness. Yeah, well, I defended that memo, back in the day.
And, on a narcissistic tangent, I read some of the other entries that week, and who the hell was the Ogged who wrote this long post on affirmative action? Good lord, I probably even thought someone would read it. (And note much-missed commenter Magik Johnson totally kicking my ass in the comments to that one. Ok Magik, it was a sop.)
Wouldn't it be hilarious if, in the middle of our argument about Larry Summers, all life on earth were destroyed by a massive cosmological explosion?
Link from DeLong.