I am as bored by John Lennon as I am by Marilyn Monroe (that is, I have no desire to talk about the significance of either) but Harry at CT has some links, if you're into that kind of thing.
If you want a post about bras, this is it. Reading it makes me feel the way I do when I'm talking to my tailor: I happen not to care so much about the details, but I'm glad somebody else is an expert.
As the raid on Smith commenced, some officers - including Jones -- went around to what they thought was a side door to Smith's residence, looking for a larger stash of drugs. The door was actually a door to Maye's home. Maye was home alone with his young daughter, and asleep, when one member of the SWAT team broke down the outside door. Jones, who wasn't armed, charged in, and made his way to Maye's bedroom. Because police believed Maye's side of the duplex was still part of Smith's residence, they never announced themselves (Note added on 12/0/05: Police said at trial that they did announce themselves before entering Maye's apartment -- Maye and his attorney say otherwise. I'm inclined to believe Maye, for reasons outlined in this post. However, even if they did, announcing seconds before bursting in just before midnight, isn't much better than not announcing at all. An innocent person on the other end of the raid, particularly if still asleep, has every reason to fear for his life.). Maye, fearing for his life and the safety of his daughter, fired at Jones, hitting him in the abdomen, just below his bulletproof vest. Jones died a short time later.
Maye had no criminal record, and wasn't the target of the search warrant. Police initially concluded they had found no drugs in Maye's side of the duplex. Then, mysteriously, police later announced they'd found "traces" of marijuana and cocaine. I talked to the attorney who represented Maye at trial. She said that to her knowledge, police had found one smoked marijuana cigarette in Maye's apartment. Regardless, since Maye wasn't the subject of the search, whether or not he had misdemeanor amounts of drugs in his possession isn't really relevant. What's relevant is whether or not he reasonably believed his life was in danger. Seems pretty clear to me that that would be a reasonable assumption.
It also sounds like Maye's had some bad representation. I don't know all the facts of the case, of course, but this is an interesting story.
In just a bit, after I leave work, I'll be offline for a few days and won't be able to post or (likely) check email until just before the meetup in NY. Information on the meetups is here. Lurkers welcome, no RSVP required. Hope the nose job has healed by Sunday...
Whatever, Jesus. Let's talk about something really important, viz., whether anyone should see the Johnny Cash movie. My thirty-second take before getting back to grading: not bad, has its moments. Not really Johnny Cash's fault that chunks of his life followed a standard narrative arc. But the script doesn't give the actors (Witherspoon in particular) enough to work with, so I was left thinking that I'd seen this movie a bunch of times before, only this time I liked the songs better.
What are you going to see instead? Narnia?
Because here in Narnia is the perfect Republican, muscular Christianity for America - that warped, distorted neo-fascist strain that thinks might is proof of right. I once heard the famous preacher Norman Vincent Peel in New York expound a sermon that reassured his wealthy congregation that they were made rich by God because they deserved it. The godly will reap earthly reward because God is on the side of the strong. This appears to be CS Lewis's view, too. In the battle at the end of the film, visually a great epic treat, the child crusaders are crowned kings and queens for no particular reason. Intellectually, the poor do not inherit Lewis's earth.
This is all by way of preemptive defence, however, so that I can confess that I really do feel for Western Christians these days. What can one do with opponents so resolutely stupid? That Monotheism is a difficult, dubitable doctrine does not excuse the simple ignorance displayed by Toynbee and a host of other, similar commentors. Hey, I'm not a Christian, but I have managed to grasp the that it's a basic Christian precept that every human -- every one! -- is important to God. This just comes with the territory. That's why ordinary middle-class kids get enthroned at the right hand of Aslan (and in later books, a London cockney cabbie), that's why the meek get the earth, that's why the poor (who are often dirty, and do not know anyone famous) get the kingdom of heaven. One way to make this point in a didactic Christian work is to show that the character(s) with whom the reader identifies (in a children's book, children, not talking moles, or the least advantaged Faun) capable of exaltation.
First, one might think it's a little bit weird to symbolize a radical egalitarianism by making people kings. I understand: we're all kings and queens in a sort of spiritual sense, but we're just too sinful to see it.* Sorta cheapens the honor, though, if everyone gets it.** But this isn't really Toynbee's point. The bigger issue is that Christianity (from what little I understand, at least) is all about this working-class reformer from Galilee who doesn't appear majestic and powerful (at least to the untrained, spiritually myopic eye); it's cheating if it's apparent to everyone that this is the Main Man. Or lion. What I think Toynbee is complaining about is something that Christians themselves might have grounds to complain about. The lesson of Christianity "subverts hierarchies"***-- every valley shall be exalted, the rough places plain, and so on-- while the Narnian incarnation gives you a visual affirmation of the metaphysical order. The big majestic-looking guy turns out to be, surprise surprise, both big and majestic. It's this Jesus as Super Honky imagery that seems to really get things wrong. Then again, I'm not Adam Kotsko, so what do I know?
*apologies to Rex Mottram.
** Is everyone else King of Narnia too? I refuse to read the book to find out. I might see the movie-- maybe we should take up a collection.
***I can't believe I just wrote that.
Via Smasher in the comments, this not at all funny compilation of Web Hits, including the classics, "Is Anyone Reading This? (0) Comments" and "Let's All Meet Up For An Uncomfortable Pint."
Here's a funny post from Atlas Shrugged. Awesome juxtaposition: after a photoshop of Howard Dean (with a Hitler moustache) in front of a swastika banner, we get this helpful update:
I never said he was Hitler, never even called him a Nazi...Conversely, when the left calls Bush Hitler, they are dead serious.
Perfidy is when you do it, comedy is when I do it. Sweet.
It can't be a proper gathering without a crazy uncle, and even at his advanced age, John Emerson is willing to make the trip from the Tundra to The City, so that our gathering can be, in fact, proper. Plane tickets are a few hundred bucks so if everyone gives just a little bit, we ought to be able to cover most of John's cost. Just click on his monkey Paypal button below, and we're off. I'm in for $30. New York or bust!
And many thanks to annie for offering to put John up. If anyone has a room closer to the event that they can spare for a couple of days, that would be great.
I'll leave this post up top for a while. New stuff below.
Remember in my personal ad, where I said that my most humbling moment was swimming and playing basketball with people who do those things professionally? Suddenly, that's how I feel about Mineshaft-blogging now that I've read this RuPaul post.
In this thread, where they're talking about counting strokes in breaststroke, do you figure they mean with a pullout, or without? There must be a standard way to measure, right?
I'm not sure if we've linked to this, but I do so here in hopes of annoying Farber. Biodata: heh. Too bad it's more subcontinental instead of Persian, or we'd have an explanation for the Tivo.
(I have to say I'm completely mystified by interest in Marilyn Monroe--it's not so much that I "don't get it" but that I "don't care." Also, my thread is, at least at time of posting, longer than Ogged's.)
I don't see what the big deal is about Marilyn Monroe.
I think a lot of people around our age and in our social circle don't really "get" Marilyn Monroe, and I didn't get her for a long time. Marilyn Monroe is a woman who desperately wants your cock, won't make fun of it no matter what, and has absolutely no needs of her own, other than more of your cock. And she's hot (safe for work) (And here's a rather lovely picture of her that's unlike any others I've seen.)
The reaction of some people to those traits is a lot like what Ted H. described, back in the day.
Within my world -- academia, but I think this is true among professional people more broadly -- it raises serious questions about a man's character if he is involved with a less accomplished or (god forbid) a submissive woman.
Having a less accomplished girlfriend or wife is literally courting mediocrity. It's unprofessional.
Having a submissive girlfriend or wife is a sign of moral if not mental illness. One of my best friends in grad school hooked up with a submissive woman for a few months, and it completely screwed up the friendship. I didn't know how to act around such a creature, and I couldn't imagine how he would know.
My favorite stranger cock-handling moment came the first time my heart was fibrillating. In preparation for jolting me with the paddles, they had literally strapped me down, so I couldn't move my arms or legs. (I also had tubes up my nose and an IV in my arm, but those aren't strictly relevant here.) Being then ignorant of what my heart was up to, I'd thought that drinking water might help, so I'd been drinking water all day, and hadn't, what with being taken to the hospital, having tests done, etc, had a chance to pee. In a way, this was a blessing, because despite knowing that my mom was crying in the next room, and being strapped down in preparation for getting an electric shock sent through my body, all I could think was "Great JESUS, I gotta piss.". When I'd strained my "be polite, don't be difficult" reflex way past the breaking point, I finally told the only guy around that I really had to go. I don't know if it was a good or bad thing that the only person around at that moment was frat-boy resident doctor, just about exactly my age. He produced some plastic container with a spout, but he wouldn't unstrap me, so he had to...guide my member into place. Fantastic! Except that, you'll recall, I'm pee shy. He and I shared some long and special moments--maybe the longest and most special moments of my life--until I gave up. I take heart knowing that he'll never tell anyone this story, ever. And I learned, on behalf of us all, that when you feel like you have to go so badly that you're sure it'll kill you, well, you can keep holding it for hours.
It feels a little absurd to post about this, but since most of the males in the Unfoggedetariat are in the key age group, and there's a post on another blog about it right now, here goes: testicular cancer can kill you quick. Here's your cautionary tale, and instructions for feeling yourself up. Report back.
John Perry pats his profession on the back:
Secondly, a thought about this wonderful and interesting group of people, my philosophical colleagues. I have a very distinct memory of arriving at the Eastern Meetings of the American Philosophical Association some years back, when they were held at a hotel in Baltimore. The meetings began just after a National Football League playoff game had been played in that city, and the previous occupants of the hotel seemed to be mainly people connected with this game. Since I was flying from the west coast, and had to attend some meeting or other in the early afternoon of the first day, I arrived the night before most of the other participants. I was able to watch the amazing transformation that took place as the football crowd checked out and the philosophy crowd checked in. The NFL people were large, some very large, most quite good-looking, confident, well-dressed, big-tipping, successful-looking folk; the epitome of what Americans should be, I suppose, according to the dominant ethos. We philosophers were mostly average-sized, mostly clearly identifiable as shabby pedagogues, clutching our luggage to avoid falling into unnecessary tipping situations. We included many bearded men--- some elegant, some scruffy--- all sorts of interesting intellectual looking women; none of the philosophers, not even the big ones and the beautiful ones, were likely to be mistaken for the football players, cheerleaders, sportscasters and others who were checking out. The looks from the hotel staff members, who clearly sensed that they were in for a few days of less expansive tipping and more modest bar-tabs, were a mixture of curiosity and apprehension. The talk, as philosophers recognized each other and struck up conversations, was unlike anything that ever had been or would be heard in that hotel lobby: whether there are alternative concrete possible worlds; whether there is anything in Heidegger not better said already by Husserl; whether animals should be eaten; not to mention topics that aroused truly deep passions, mostly related to proper names.
True enough, in part: it's nice that there's room in the world for these sorts of people. And there's a soft spot in my heart for the old tweedy codger who bumbles around nice hotels. But every time I go to an APA, I see something that makes me ashamed of my profession. Reliably, someone will make an unhelpful fuss at the front desk while I'm waiting to check in; this will usually involve yelling at a clerk with no ability to make things better. If I'm lucky, I'll get some academic name-dropping about how important it is for Professor McX to get the suite he requested, as if anyone cares. Almost as often, I'll see someone mistreating some of the support staff. A suggestion, oh my colleagues: when the waitress with a marginal command of English brings you the wrong color wine, don't publically berate her for not knowing about merlot. No one owes you deference because you're a little bit clever.
See you in New York, my colleagues. Be nice.
Innocent people the victims of "erroneous renditions;" contractors in Iraq videotaping themselves shooting civilians for fun; meanwhile, real Al-Qaeda picking locks and letting themselves out of custody. Stuff that makes you want to scream, thanks Kevin.