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Weekend Happenstance

Posted by Ogged
on 07.16.05

The Ex met the Swede! Pure luck, actually: Ex is in town and we were in the Swede's neighborhood and way down the street I saw something white and round. "Is that a hat or someone's uncovered head?" Ex said it was a head. "That's gotta be the Swede!" Indeed it was. Ex opines that the Swede has very long arms, and looks strong. These things are true. Nice to bring those two parts of life together.

Tonight, we read Harry Potter. Hope you're doing the same.


 

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Weekend Happiness

Posted by Ogged
on 07.15.05

When I was a kid, I hated it when they let retarded and disabled kids play organized games with the rest of us. When you're playing with a disabled kid, you can either treat him like a normal kid, in which case everyone thinks you're a complete asshole who likes to abuse the disabled, or you can ease off, in which case the game becomes a charade. So yeah, I admit it, whenever a retarded kid got the ball, I'd steal it from him, because the least I could do was shock the consciences of the god damned adults who put him in.

That said, this is going too far.


 

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This Is Going To Hurt Me More Than It Hurts You

Posted by Ogged
on 07.15.05

Yglesias confesses.

One of my secret shames is that I kinda sorta like Jagged Little Pill

Ok, I'll do it. You know what song I like? What might be the most earnest song ever sung: The Call's Let The Day Begin. I can't fucking believe that I'm doing this, but here are the lyrics.

No, you don't have to respect me anymore.


 

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Fontana Labs: unmasked

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.15.05

I AM IRON MAN.

Thank you.

UPDATE: I am hungover-man. Still, I thank you.

PS: That Call song is what I would call gay if I weren't opposed to that sort of thing.


 

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High Theory

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.14.05

Jesus, but Tim Burke is smart. Read this if you're interested in what I think of as vaguely Holbonian issues.


 

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The Real

Posted by Ogged
on 07.14.05

Ok, look, I admit it: there's a part of me that believes that some people who call themselves feminists won't be happy until catalogs and magazines are full of the ugly and cellulite-ridden. So tell me ladies, Dove's "Campaign For Real Beauty..." Is it progress? Satisfactory? A nice gesture that makes no difference?


 

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Execution

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.14.05

I'm not completely convinced that the possibility of wrongful execution should be so significant in debates about the death penalty. Nonetheless, this consideration seems to move a lot of people, and so I wonder about the implications of this story, which provides good evidence that Larry Griffin was executed for a murder he didn't commit. I thought, prior to this case, that the probability that there was such a case floating around somewhere was close to 1, but sometimes it helps to put a face on the problem.

Sorry, dude. Our bad.


 

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No You're Not

Posted by Ogged
on 07.14.05

It's notoriously difficult to say anything intelligent about humor. I knew a guy working on a dissertation on the "philosophy of humor." Then he quit and became a stand-up comic. Now he's working PR. Nevertheless, we have to try to answer silvana's question.

why is it that so many guys are desperately looking for women who will laugh at their jokes?

The answer to that specific question is pretty simple: because it makes the guys feel good. But there are two related questions to which I don't have answers. 1. Why do guys feel such a powerful need to be funny? 2. How do so many guys who aren't funny get through life believing that they are?

Ideas?


 

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It's Hard Work!

Posted by Ogged
on 07.13.05

When Unfogged stopped being a blog and became a web magazine, Profgrrrrl asked to be the official pinup girl. Then, she went away to consider her next move. She hasn't been heard from since.


 

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Get Radical

Posted by Ogged
on 07.13.05

I didn't know that Sayyid Qutb's Milestones can be read online for free. I can't vouch for the authenticity of the text or the fidelity of the translation, but there it is.


 

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One For The Ladies

Posted by Ogged
on 07.13.05

Ladies, women, sweet little chickadees, take a look at this personal ad and tell me that you would never ever date this man. It's not a freakshow, or a big ol' joke--no, somehow this guy has crafted the perfect serious-but-annoying-in-every-way personal ad, with the irony attempting to undermine, but only reinforcing, the narcissism.


 

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Minor Questions For The Readership

Posted by Ogged
on 07.13.05

1. Has someone yet figured out how to get comments over at the TPM Cafe to appear in chronological order?

2. Text, an update on your shoe experience, please.


 

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A thousand thanks to that noble Savage

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.13.05

Forging a link between the word "santorum" and its new referent is like a high-yield comedic investment: it keeps paying off big, time after time. For example, this press release: "Kennedy defends Boston from Santorum attacks." I keep thinking of Edward Kennedy as our last best hope against some filthy alien invasion, as if War of the Worlds were gay porn, instead of just a movie with Tom Cruise. Now imagine the dialogue from that hypothetical movie spoken in Kennedy's accent. I dare you.


 

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Do You Know?

Posted by Ogged
on 07.13.05

What's better than your blog going down? Your blog and your company's website going down at the same time! Luckily, my good cheer is infinite, fuckers.


 

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I Don't Know, What Do You Wanna Do?

Posted by Ogged
on 07.13.05

Are you also getting the impression that the typical suicide bomber's pre-zealot life is marked by dissipation? They seem to have figured out who the London bombers were--young British-born guys with Pakistani parents--and we're hearing things about them that I recall hearing about some of the 9/11 bombers, specifically, that they weren't religious. Or, at least, that they weren't religious before they became religious. There are young men who want the rigor and discipline that only a severe religious doctrine can provide. And generally, feeling that lack isn't the result of any geopolitical turnings, but of more personal and local factors. Add to it a sense of dislocation--a pretty common feeling in first or second generation immigrants--and you have both the problem, and the ready-made hook for those young men to be converted into blindly focused believers.

In fact, we all know people who are susceptible to becoming true believers. Sometimes they join Greenpeace, or PETA; usually they get over it. But if there were people determined to take advantage of that susceptibility and turn those young men into holy warriors, it wouldn't be very difficult.

The problem for us is that none of the three conditions--dissipation, dislocation, conversion--can be "fixed." The first two are just facts of life for many young men, and the third is difficult to stop without feeding the narrative that sustains it, and without undermining our beliefs about freedom of speech and religion. (Of course, they can all be addressed: by jobs, integration, better information, etc., but some people will always fall through....)

Of course, this is just speculation about one manifestation of the problem of Al-Qaeda: the native-born suicide bomber. People who play other roles in the organization have different stories and motivations. Even so, I think it's good to try to figure out this part.


 

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'Ducky'

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.12.05

Every so often I run into sentiments like the one expressed at the end of this post: At the conclusion of Pretty in Pink, Andie should have been with Ducky, not with Blane.

What [nonsense]. Ducky exemplifies a sort of disgusting "cuteness," bordering on stalkerish obsession, that should never be rewarded romantically. We must torment, not reward, the egregiously eccentric.

The contrast between this post and the one below it amuses me.


 

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True Believer

Posted by Ogged
on 07.12.05
For some people, it's very simple.


 

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High Yella

Posted by Ogged
on 07.12.05

I was listening last night to Son House's "Am I Right Or Wrong," and some of the lyrics caught my attention.

...you think because I'm black I'm gonna beg you to take me back...
...think because you're brown, I'm gonna let you dog me around...
...think because you're yella, I'm gonna give you my last ?? dollar...

Huh. Hardly an unknown topic, but I couldn't think of another song that brings it up.


 

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Every Culture Has Its Own Problems

Posted by Ogged
on 07.12.05

I notice that in the World Series of Poker, Hung La and Bing Wang are still in the running. It must be really hard to come up with Asian porn star names that don't make people say, "Hey! He's got the same name as a guy in my village!"


 

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Grr

Posted by Ogged
on 07.12.05

Well that was annoying. Not sure what happened. We're back, in any case.


 

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Get Out

Posted by Ogged
on 07.12.05

We've been talking about trying to understand terrorists' motivations, and this whole interview (via drum) with political scientist Robert Pape is worth reading, but this bit in particular is notable:

RP: Many people worry that once a large number of suicide terrorists have acted that it is impossible to wind it down. The history of the last 20 years, however, shows the opposite. Once the occupying forces withdraw from the homeland territory of the terrorists, they often stop and often on a dime.

Jim Henley makes the point with his customary force.


 

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News

Posted by Ogged
on 07.12.05

Given that when I saw him a couple of days ago he said, "So how's the blog going?" it's probably a good guess that you won't hear it from him: Congratulations to Unf on getting engaged. And she's not even a shrew. Hooray!

Better still, they're cooking up plans to move from Chicago to Top Secret Oggedville, which will become, of course, the Locus of Unfogged.


 

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A Couple Of Rove Questions

Posted by Ogged
on 07.11.05

1. What difference will it make if Bush boots Rove?

Will Rove be unable to offer strategic advice? And keep in mind that most people have never heard of Karl Rove, so in their minds, the president will have gotten rid of some malefactor; good for the prez.

2. How did Rove know about Plame?

If information about her status was in fact secret, and if Rove knew, how did he know? What security clearances does Rove have? Did someone tell him? If so, was that illegal? (This question comes from a commenter.)


 

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The Nominating Committee

Posted by Ogged
on 07.11.05

It's good to be reminded that some people just don't like me. About the post immediately below, James Joyner writes,

Ogged, perhaps alone among bloggers, is working to make his site invisible to Google.

One of his commenters responds,

Considering what he usually has to say, this is a service to Mankind.

I guess I'l retire and wait for my Nobel.


 

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Keep Your Head Down

Posted by Ogged
on 07.11.05

I'm trying to balance my desire to have people's words archived forever against their will with more altruistic impulses. Google, if not every search engine, does respect the "noarchive" tag. If you look at Unfogged's source code, you'll find <META NAME= "ROBOTS" CONTENT= "NOARCHIVE"> near the top. And if you google us, you'll see that there's no cache of the site available. I expect that you can keep your pages out of google entirely if you also use the "noindex" tag. Google's own instructions are here.


 

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Cheating!

Posted by Ogged
on 07.11.05

Does anyone else think that the use of sunglasses in poker tournaments is really lame?


 

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Revealing

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.11.05

This says perhaps more than it intends about how the academy works. Lesson: don't blog under your own name if you plan on getting a job.

Professor Shrill ran a strictly personal blog, which, to the author's credit, scrupulously avoided comment about the writer's current job, coworkers, or place of employment. But it's best for job seekers to leave their personal lives mostly out of the interview process.

Did Professor Shrill bring it in? Or did you google it? How dare you have a hobby, Shrill.

Another argument for anonymity.


 

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A good day for irony

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.11.05

Via Majikthise-- I wanted to see if I'd beaten her to the Russellian punch re Plame-- comes this item: the guy who created "Charlie the tuna" has died:

He drowned while swimming alone in the family's backyard pool.

Aristotle, Poetics:

Even matters of chance seem most marvellous if there is an appearance of design as it were in them; as for instance the statue of Mitys at Argos killing the author of Mitys' death by falling down on him when a looker-on at a public spectacle; for incidents like that we think to be not without a meaning.

UPDATE: link added. Pedants.


 

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Plames are rigid designators

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.11.05

This Rove story is getting too good to be true. First, we learn from the NYT that when Cooper said he'd received a personal communication from the source, he didn't really mean "personal" in the sense we all assumed:

Mr. Cooper and his personal lawyer, Richard A. Sauber, declined to comment on the negotiations, but Mr. Sauber said that Mr. Cooper had used the word "personal" to mean specific.

And the communication would be in the form of...spin in the Wall St Journal!

"If Matt Cooper is going to jail to protect a source," Mr. Luskin told The Journal, "it's not Karl he's protecting."
That provided an opening, Mr. Cooper said. "I was not looking for a waiver," he said, "but on Wednesday morning my lawyer called and said, 'Look at The Wall Street Journal. I think we should take a shot.' And I said, 'Yes, it's an invitation.' "

What? That was a purely ceremonial utterance, you fool! It's delicious that Rove is undone (well, let's pretend) by this sort of empty spinning-- by someone taking his lawyer's words at face value. Cooper: "Well, yerhonor, I thought he said what he meant and meant what he said."

And now the icing on the cake:

While Mr. Rove did identify the operative in a conversation with Mr. Cooper, Mr. Rove did not use her name - Valerie Plame, as she has been called in news accounts, or Valerie Wilson, as she prefers - or refer to her covert status, Newsweek said.

"I was using a definite description! It's got different modal properties!" This is just beautiful.


 

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Let's Ride A Train

Posted by Ogged
on 07.10.05

The Incompetent Attorney writes about last summer's fling.

She was incredibly sexy. I was convinced that she attended some seductress school that taught her how to smile and how to walk. She rarely raised her voice above a coarse whisper. She walked like a runway model who wasn't in a hurry. She would randomly start speaking French. She acted like (and therefore was) the hottest woman in Manhattan. She made love like she was showing you how foolish you were for ever being with another woman.

Sounds like he enjoyed himself. But if I were with a woman who randomly spoke French, I'd get pretty annoyed.


 

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Stability

Posted by Ogged
on 07.10.05

For a bit of perspective, take a look at this list of bombings in Iraq.


 

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