I want to watch the fight tonight, but I'm not going to pay $55. You know what this is? Market failure.
It'll be liveblogged here.
I had never in my life not noticed whether someone was black or white. I felt an overwhelming sense of exhilaration. It was possible, then, to see someone as just another person, regardless of color. I felt good about myself.
I was reminded of this the other day watching Barack Obama. I realized that when I look at him, I don't see a person of color. I see a really smart, appealing, thoughtful person. There is something about his manner that seems to demand that he be seen for who he is and not for what color he is.
Kill Whitey. Kill Whitey.
I'm having one of those days where I'm amazed I haven't managed to accidentally kill myself. I rolled out of bed a little before noon (shut up) and made myself a cold leftover piece of grilled chicken for breakfast. About halfway through it, when more awake, I realized it had kind of a funny texture, due to the fact that it was still raw in most of the middle.
I then went to take a Sudafed and Claritinish equivalent to help with my allergies. I accidentally dropped the box of allergy medicine on the ground and two types of pills spilled out. At that point, I realized that when I put the allergy medicine away for the winter, I must have thought it was a bright idea to stick my leftover Sudafed in the same box. I also realized that this means that I've been taking two 12-hour Sudafeds a day on purpose and three more 12-hour Sudafeds a day when I thought I was taking allergy medicine for the last week. No wonder my nose was still runny and my allergies hadn't gone away and I've been twitchy and spastic and about to climb the walls (yet so fucking productive!)
Our elite pundits miss the point all around. There's a quite reasonable and non-condescending way to understand someone saying "I'm not fortunate enough to be a person of faith." If you see people around you having what appears to be a deep and meaningful experience to which you don't seem to have access, feeling unfortunate is perfectly appropriate. Chait and Yglesias make the standard secularist error of thinking that religion is something that one is convinced either to believe or reject, whereas--in a lot of Christian sects, anyway--faith is something that you can put yourself in a position to receive, but the reception of which remains a gift. Douthat defense, unfortunately, suffers from the same error and is clearly subject to the charge of condescension.
Update: I see Kotsko makes the same point in the comments.
The constant pleas of my local AM public radio station finally overcame my legendary stinginess, so I called the 800 number to make a pledge. Only at the end of the call did I realize that I'd just given money to a different station. I called back and talked to a woman who, I swear, sounded just like Pam Atlas "Geller" Oshry and who displayed equivalent levels of cluelessness, prompting me to give up any hope I had of directing my pledge toward the intended recipient. Apparently these stations have a common phone number; I'm guessing my cell's area code prompted some algorithm to identify me as a Pittsburgh listener. And now I see that WQED programs snooze-a-riffic classics lest you go for a day without Brahms, God forbid.
Paris Hilton is going to jail for 45 days.
Hilton, who parlayed her name and relentless partying into worldwide notoriety, must go to jail on June 5 and she will not be allowed any work release, furloughs, use of an alternative jail or any electronic monitoring in lieu of jail....
Real jail. Shockingly, the judge was unmoved by her appeal.
"I'm very sorry and from now on I'm going to pay complete attention to everything. I'm sorry and I did not do it on purpose at all," she told the judge before he announced the sentence.
With most other people, this would be around the time that sympathy would set in, but Hilton's unpleasantness and racism are countering that nicely. I do hope she doesn't get knifed or anything, as that would suck, but otherwise...adios!
This Friday Tonight. Let's make some plans.
UPDATE: Bumping to the top. The plan: Bar 9 starting at 6 PM. The address is 807 Ninth Avenue and the closest subways are the 50th Street 1/2/3 or C/E stations. And! It's conveniently located near the St. Vincent's Midtown Hospital ER and St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital ER if things get out of hand.
Do you know the song "Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down," by Bozie Sturdivant? You can click in the sidebar here to listen to it. My knowledge of music isn't exactly encyclopedic, but the performance seems to me extraordinary, as in incredibly good but also as in I've never heard anything quite like it. It's like a show-offy demonstration of vocal ability that also happens to be a moving song. But I'm not explaining well what's unique about it. Give it a listen.
I love this picture, and now I think I love Bruce Willis a little bit.
Listen. Listen closely. You hear that exploding sound in the distance? Those are heads.
Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) has introduced a bill that would allow the Attorney General to directly block gun sales to anybody on a terrorist watch list. The administration, always eager to further consolidate its power, has offered no objections. As the linked post notes:
This leads to a double-bind for the GOP--if they support the bill, they do the following:
1. betray their rabidly pro-gun base in favor of federal power to prevent gun ownership, and
2. give the Democrats a legislative anti-gun victory in the wake of the shootings at Virginia Tech;
If they oppose the bill, they:
1. Deny the Executive authority in an issue of national security; and
2. Put themselves on record as saying that dangerous firearms should be in the hands of known terrorists.
Ah, sweet, sweet wedge issues. Over at Free Republic, the spittle-flecked ranters are apoplectic. As I've said before, I honestly couldn't care less about gun issues and don't feel an affinity for either side of that debate. But this is some mighty masterful politics by Lautenberg.
I Don't Pay asks:
I think it's time to try a no-particular-occasion-open-to-all Chicago meetup. The Bostonians have had 2 of those, and the second was more fun, which is a good sign.
There must be at least a dozen regular commentators in Chicago, some of whom I've wanted to meet for a long time. I haven't seen anybody I met since last year, although our paths must nearly cross all the time. I don't go to bars much outside my neighborhood, so I'm not a good person to do the planning, although I expect a place in Lincoln Park, or maybe Lincoln Square, would be most convenient for the largest number.
What say you?
Of course the Republicans are all about hunting and hiking. Kucinich goes with "walking fast", just barely managing to out-masculine "Jazzercise".
32 comments at B's place and no one points out that one of her links goes to the wrong place.
In other news, and in honor of Fontana Labs, I note that Jason Lezak has great pecs.
1. I am trying out a new form of birth control: the IUD. I was always interested in the idea, since I had a lot of trouble adjusting the hormonal levels in the Pill, and had significant breakthrough bleeding for years (basically like having two periods a month.) Then I was breastfeeding (which really did squelch my period for ages) and generally being sketchy with barrier birth control. It was actually one of the big fears that pushed me into rehab: I was worried I'd accidentally get pregnant and then...what? I knew I wouldn't be able to stop drinking while pregnant this time, and even if I did, that would have been a rough first month for the little creature. In the case of developing fetuses, stuff that doesn't kill them can fuck them up real bad, rather than making them stronger. Ironically, I had a pregnancy scare just recently, the month before I had the IUD inserted. Fuck! I learned that a) I didn't want to be pregnant and b) I couldn't have an abortion. Wouldn't, let's say. It would have been fine, might have been a blessing in disguise, but I was very happy to be not-pregnant. Yay getting my period! [Then again...see below] Men can never know what an incredible, amazing feeling it is to finally get your period when you're afraid that you're pregnant. Maybe that knotting in your stomach is just nervousness? And then...sweet jesus it's crimson proof! However, this is absolutely the only good thing about getting your period. Thus, though I sympathize with a desire to resist the medicalization and classification as deviant illness the normal functioning of the human body, fuck a bunch of hippie bullshit about being in touch with natural rhythms. I would be more than happy to never get my period again, and have a nano-implant tell my computer whether I'm pregnant or not. I will be Glenn Reynolds' robot bride!!!
So, yeah, IUD's got the worst reputation of all time in the states after the defective Dalkon Shield killed some people and was recalled, but it's pretty popular elsewhere in the world. No hormones (in my model which is just copper, though some have them.) Pretty cheap, you don't have to do anything about it (I was one of the flakiest, missing-daysest pill takers ever, and it's really a wonder to me that I never had to have an abortion/am not the mother of twelve.) The part where they shove it through your undilated cervix worried me, and it did hurt, but only for a second. There is another type made for women who have never given birth. So, so far so good, except for the main side-effect which is increased bleeding during your period (and other times, just for laughs). This is supposed to calm down after the first few months, so I've got my fingers crossed. Now, unfortunately, I've always been a "stuck-pig" style bleeder. I really didn't need any push in that direction. I was walking around Chinatown yesterday and bent over to pick up my iPod earbuds, and when I stood up there was just a hideous gush of blood. Plenty of nice clean bathrooms around, which is nice. Through the super-tampon, the pad, the underwear, and the heavy-denim jeans. Boo-ya. Very dark jeans, no one could see, it was fine. Still, can I ever wear white again? Will I ever get to wear those really cute new underwear I got the other day, she said, looking longingly at the wardrobe (they are yellow and pink with strawberries on them and there's a matching demi-bra with lots of bows)? Stay tuned. In considering all this it occurred to me that if it were men who got their periods, we'd have to hear about it all the fucking time, and there would be macho discussions about how much blood was coming out of their body. You know I'm right, people.
2. I chaired a meeting the other day. I had to cut off a visiting Irishman who was blathering on about sleeping in ditches. Well, that part was OK, but then he just started talking smack about all the Irish AA people and how they seemed like butter wouldn't melt in their mouths an they didn't ever talk about puking. "If I could find something to drink that wouldn't make me puke my guts up I'd be drunk right now! And those sons of bitches would too!" Um, I guess. Anyway, there were about 11 guys there and just me, and I realized at a certain point that I was afraid of them. All those men together like that and just me, I mean. So strange--and I even know many of them pretty well. I realized this is just true generally, that if I'm someplace and really outnumbered like that, at some level I feel kind of scared, like I don't trust them. Huh.
There's supposed to be a more tag after the first paragraph...fellow bloggers?[Fixed. -o.]
Kucinich was on Bill Maher's show. The first, inescapable impression is that Bill Maher is stupid. But Maher asked Kucinich, in the context of using force, whether he'd give the order to kill Bin Laden. Kucinich hesitated and Maher said, funnily, "come on, get to 10% in the polls." But Kucinich said no, he didn't approve of assassination as a policy. Major points to the guy. That's another of those totally sensible but unsayable things in America. And he's more with it than I had thought, not so much the clueless new-ager. I just took a quick look at his platform and there's nothing obviously odious on it (depending on how you feel about withdrawing from the WTO and NAFTA), so do we mock him for anything substantive, or just for being utterly unelectable (which he is, and forever shall be)?
Sorry about the recent site slowness, folks. My guess is that we've about hit the limit of how many comments we can have (~300,000) in the Movable Type database with our current hardware; I think we'll have to move old comments to static pages again. But I'm speculating only so W-lfs-n can tell me how wrong I am. In any case, hope to have it figured out soon.
I'm only staring at your tits because I respect your intelligence.
I'm getting a kick out of the presidential candidates' answers to what item they'd most like to have if they were stranded on a desert island. Tancredo says "a boat," which is clever, but not in the spirit of the game. Kucinich would take his wife. Shit, I'd take his wife, too. But the answers, depending on how seriously you want to take them, can be kind of revealing. I'd ask all the guys who say they'd take their wife why they'd want their wife to be stranded too, the selfish bastards. All the folks who would take books are clearly lazy. A book? Who's going to feed you, you brat? And right-wing darling Brownback would take a tarp. That's so practical I almost want to cry for the child Brownback must have been. All that said, I'm not sure what I'd take if Kucinich's wife wasn't available. My Indian manservant? A fishing rod? I'm not really ready for this.
Here's a fun one. British citizens can enter the US without a visa.
American officials, citing the number of terror plots in Britain involving Britons with ties to Pakistan, expressed concern over the visa loophole. In recent months, the homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, has opened talks with the [British government] on how to curb the access of British citizens of Pakistani origin to the United States.
Zoiks. I don't want to deny that this makes some sense: your average British terrorist these days is likely to be of Pakistani descent, so there's an impulse to subject them to greater screening, or to keep them out altogether. But this is why we try to put adults who can think beyond step one in positions of authority. Whatever short-term benefit this policy might have, we pay for it in an increase of the very alienation that's in part feeding the original threat. Unfortunately, it's forbidden to say that you're going to give up some small measure of security in the short term in order to be safer in future and to live in a society that you can be proud of. What's also galling is that Chertoff will huff and puff about how important this is, while our ports are basically unscreened.
The overchicked Yglesias looks at the required qualifications for employment in the DC madam's escort service and fails to make the necessary distinction.
- 1. Minimum age 23 (no maximum)
2. Weight proportionate to height
3. Two or more years of college education
4. Must hold a day job or attend school regularly
5. Must own or have access to an automobile
6. Must have a cellular or car telephone
To this he says, "Now how's that for out-of-control credentialism -- two years' college to be a hooker?" No, to be an escort. Clients aren't paying a few grand for a handjob (hell, W-lfs-n will give you one of those for free) but for someone who will accompany them to a party or official function and not embarrass herself or her client. That means being able to make small talk about what's in the news and, crucially, not seeming like a streetwalker. We might have to put Matt in touch with the English Courtesan.
xkcd maps online communities.
Plaintiff Roy Pearson, a judge in Washington, D.C., says in court papers that he's been through the ringer over a lost pair of prized pants he wanted to wear on his first day on the bench. He says in court papers that he has endured "mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort." He says he was unable to wear that favorite suit on his first day of work. He's suing for 10 years of weekend car rentals so he can transport his dry cleaning to another store.
But that's not all. He's suing for a cool $67 million over the lost pair of pants. Despite the fact that the cleaners have since found the pants.
The ABC News Law & Justice Unit has calculated that for $67 million Pearson could buy 84,115 new pairs of pants at the $800 value he placed on the missing trousers in court documents. If you stacked those pants up, they would be taller than eight Mount Everests. If you laid them side by side, they would stretch for 48 miles. [...]
He believes he is entitled to $1,500 for each violation, each day during which the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign and another sign promising "Same Day Service" was up in the store -- more than 1,200 days. And he's multiplying each violation by three because he's suing Jin and Soo Chung and their son. He also wants $500,000 in emotional damages and $542,500 in legal fees, even though he is representing himself in court. He wants $15,000 for 10 years' worth of weekend car rentals as well. After enlisting neighbors and fellow customers, he sought to expand the case into a class action suit, but was denied, angrily, by District of Columbia Civil Judge Neal Kravitz.
Shouldn't behavior like this get somebody disbarred?
How can I stop this? [Update: Fixed! Thanks, Tom. Someone was pointing his domain at our server, so that you'd see Unfogged when you typed in the other domain. Now, he's blocked.]
Things I've tried:
Contacting the registrant and the registrar. No response from the registrant (likely Russian mafia) and the registrar just said that if it's really my domain, I should block it.
Contacting our hosting company. Response: the sound of forks poking eyeballs. Not helpful.
Minor messing with .htaccess. But I don't know what I'm doing.
I'll settle for blocking it, since I have no recourse when some random Russian dude decides to do this. Unless y'all know of internet police somewhere. (I confess I figured that the registrar would be more scrupulous, but no.)
p.s. W-lfs-n has known about this for over a week, so if he fixes it now, he's a punk, not a hero.
There are a bunch of protests going on in Iran for various things--jobs, education, etc.--and against the recent crackdown on western style decadence. As I noted in the comments, it's so absurd that Iranians have this repressive regime because they are--with me, some mullahs and a few of my relatives excepted--a seriously good-time-having people. How Iranian girls act when the teacher's away. So great. Let's hope they're not executed now. Fucking mullahs.
Dear Whole Foods,
Yellow mustard is not the same as honey mustard. One of the differences between the two is that whereas honey mustard makes my turkey sandwich yummy, yellow mustard makes it nasty. That, and your history of using yellow mustard when I check "honey mustard" are why I've begun helpfully circling the words next to the check box. And yet, you continue to give me yellow mustard.
I hope you fucking die.
2. Dell will sell computers with Ubuntu pre-loaded. Hooray! I looked into loading it on my current laptop and it was clearly going to be a massive pain in the patooty. Pre-loaded means all the driver issues are ironed out, so, woot.
3. Don't tell Marty. Is there anything so low that someone won't stoop to it?
Drum notes that everyone (that universal quantifier ranges over the universe of blog nerds, btw) is talking about Romney's claim that Battlefield Earth is his favorite book. Weird, huh? Drum suggests a diversion: come up with answers to the "favorite book" question for a variety of interview contexts. Here are his categories:
Moderately intellectual choice, suitable for being interviewed by George Will
Funny choice, suitable for being interviewed on MTV
Multicultural choice, suitable for being interviewed by New York Times
Populist choice, suitable for being interviewed by Parade
Safely patriotic choice, suitable for being interviewed by Rush Limbaugh
Thoughtful choice, suitable for being interviewed on PBS
Anti-terrorism choice, suitable for being interviewed by Andrew Sullivan
Surely you will treat this exercise seriously by suggesting good answers rather than responses likely to end one's public career, e.g., Lynne Cheney's "Sisters."
With the DC madam in the news, this is a good time to pay some attention to the horrific world of coerced sex workers (aka, slaves). Catherine linked to a good overview of the sex trade in DC and last year the Chronicle ran a harrowing four-part series about a young woman's journey from credit card debt in Korea to white slavery here, to, finally, her freedom. For many of these women, this isn't the kinda sorta benign prostitution that some people think should be legalized: it's slavery. There is a silver lining here, in that, as the first article notes, gangs are transitioning from drugs to prostitutes and although that sucks in the short term, the fact that gang actitivity will have sympathetic (ie, non-black, female) victims could mean more political will to do something about it. And there's an opportunity here for Democrats, insofar as this problem will surely get worse, this is the time to start talking about it, which is both the right thing to do and a very good way to appear prescient.
I might be reading too much into this (because I'm a feminist), but in this picture of Ulysses S. Grant (sans-beard) taken when he was 26, does he not look to be a very old 26? He's not wrinkled or prematurely aged in any typical way, but there's nothing of what we'd recognize as a young man in his look. I guess life was different back then, eh?
They're looking for a Satan.
The first part of the project, a 20-CD set of the New Testament for $49.95, will arrive in stores in October. Considering the proven potency of both the audio-book marketplace and Christian retail, it might be a holiday-gift sensation. The presence of Caviezel should give it instant cachet in many Christian circles; the 100-person cast also includes Terence Stamp as God, Michael York as the narrator, Luke Perry as Judas and Marisa Tomei as Mary Magdalene. The recording sessions began in July, but, to the consternation of Amari and director JoBe Cerny, the role of Satan is still up in the air.
It's no surprise that Satan is the hardest role to cast. There's basic agreement about the nature of Christ's goodness, and God is a minor character in the New Testament, but evil is always mysterious and how we conceive Satan's character says a lot about how we see the world. In a friend's play, Satan was a hyperactive, rich forty-something who was always on the prowl for something "interesting." For some people, surely he's more like an oily Arab, and for others, maybe a vanilla bureaucrat. In any case, I'm not sure who they should cast, as long as it's not Jack Nicholson.
via eve tushnet
Good God, can you imagine?
Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern went on Tucker Carlson's show this afternoon and pretty directly accused Vice President Dick Cheney of being behind the Niger forgeries. The reasons for suspicion are plenty. But having reported on this story in minute detail I've yet to find any direct evidence to substantiate that charge. But McGovern says he has evidence ...
I'm saddened and disappointed by Ogged's use of ethnic stereotypes to stir the pot. What we need instead are some sexual orientation stereotypes:
LESBIANS are twice as likely as heterosexual women to be overweight or obese, which puts them at greater risk for obesity-related health problems and death, US researchers said.
The report, published in the American Journal of Public Health, is one of the first large studies to look at obesity among lesbians.
Ulrike Boehmer of the Boston University School of Public Health and colleagues looked at a 2002 national survey of almost 6000 women, and found that lesbians were 2.69 times more likely to be overweight and 2.47 times more likely to be obese.
Sure to generate an irritating comment thread!
Time to class this place up with some talk about ethnic stereotypes. (Piercing: still wrong.) This one is a little mysterious to me, since I didn't know I knew it before I applied it. I was stopped at a light and a couple of cars up in the next lane, there was a new-ish 3-series BMW signaling to get into my lane. The car in front of me didn't let him in, but I, in my infinite and ignorant generosity, did, and he moved along hesitatingly, hit the brakes a couple of times indecisively and finally signalled to go back into the lane he'd been in. "This guy," I thought to myself, "has to be Indian." I pulled up alongside, and...sure enough.
The mysteries of ethnic stereotypes are ancient and deep, my peeps.
On YouTube (both best with the sound on).
Moms, don't do this. (Extra negative points for cackling.)
Guys (and gals, really), don't do this. The friend says it all: "Kevin, what are you doing?"
I don't have time to write up a full-fledged review, but I just finished The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which I found interesting, and I wanted to know if other people have read this & what their impressions were. I found it a bit unsatisfying, though I'm not sure if this is by design or not. Briefly: the novel is one side of an extended conversation between Changez, a Princeton-educated Pakistani and erstwhile business analyst, and an unidentifed American agent. It relates Changez's post-9/11 discontent with the US, his move back to Pakistan, and his drift toward, you know, that stuff.
One (possible) problem: Changez is neither particularly reluctant nor a fundamentalist. His motivations seem to be his identification with Pakistan and the Punjab and a growing dissatisfaction with the West--and with himself, to the extent that he's adopting the Western lens-- rather than any deep connection with Islam. Fair enough, but the larger issue is that the narration doesn't really provide a convincing explanation for his transformation, and what it hints at isn't convincing: 9/12 New York was a weird place, granted, and a lot of people reacted in frightening ways, but apart from heightened suspicions about brown people I'm not sure what there was to make us sympathetic to someone on Changez's trajectory-- particularly when that person identifies as he does.
Perhaps this is the point: the real seeds of Changez's sentiment come from the dissonance involved in his partial integration and his colleagues' superficial half-acceptance,* rather than some sort of conversion or justified outrage. Time to join that gym in Leeds.
*E.g. the coworkers he bonds with are both outsiders themselves, men who won't ever fully belong to the Culture of Chet: one is a black fellow analyst, the other a gay manager with a working-class chip on his shoulder.
I'm sure they did this to get buzz so, by blogging it, I'm just falling for their grand and evil plan but, still, I giggle whenever I see this company's logo plastered on the side of a NYC bus.
[Q] I prefer reading in bed. That for me is meditation. [A] No it's not. It's noise. It's the opposite. To be awake is to be fully present, no noise, just you and God. Most of us only have seconds of full consciousness. To live in a state of samadhi -- that's what we're here for.
Proving that anyone who has a few hundred million dollars will start talking like other people with hundreds of millions of dollars, that would be rap impresario Russell Simmons.
Well, not exactly like them.
You're known for dating models. What do they offer besides flawless skin? They're better than actresses. Actresses are kind of a little crazy.
There are other women besides models and actresses. Why don't you try dating, say, a professor the next time around? A professor? I can barely read.
This is the second time I've heard this. News, indeed.
But if the man who has the authority to launch nuclear weapons all on his say-so is an alcoholic who has gone back on the sauce because of the pressure of his job, that seems to me to be fucking news! The public has the right to know that. And from what I can tell this seems to be the open secret among journalists that some people claimed Valerie Plame's real job was, something "everybody knows" but nobody is saying.
Can you imagine your ten-year-old self initiating small talk with an adult? First, the ten-ish-year-old boy asked if he could share the lane with me, and then at some point said "Great weather today." He went on to lament the delay in the start of our proper Spring. That kid is going places.