Armsmasher's Face: Not Pictured
This might be the best Yglesias- wielding-an-instrument-of-death picture yet. Word on the street is that princess is actually a good shot.
There Will Be No Scoring
I think I've finally found the Jessica Biel replacement crush. She has something of a girly voice, but I'm willing to overlook that, because I'm a feminist...ladies. So here's Hope Solo, goalie of the American women's soccer team. And I picked a video starring Bill Nye, The Science Guy, so the rest of you can enjoy it too.
Modern Love: Hooked On A Feeling Edition
Now this is a Modern Love, people:
My ex-boyfriend hangs from hooks. They penetrate the skin of his upper back, and he's lifted by a rigging; there he dangles in midair, his skin stretched out like freshly pulled taffy.
I discovered this one night when I was bored and looking up old friends and lovers on MySpace.
Our Boys In Iraq
Blackwater has resumed operations in Iraq, just in time for the federal investigation into whether they smuggled weapons into Iraq to sell on the black market.
It's all just "the Americans" to Iraqis, you know. Rightly so.
I should think of a girl-positive adjective here, but the word that comes to mind while watching a very young PJ Harvey on the Tonight Show is ballsy. You can feel the WTF? emanating from the square crowd, but you know that even they'd let her lead them into battle. The contrast with her persona in the interview after the song is also funny.
The Geek Is Right
In the comments, Parsimon writes,
When you don't recognize a good portion of people's references, you have a choice: look it up. Or not.
Or you could make up a game. I'm not exactly sure how well this will work--I'm envisioning something like...total chaos--but for each obscure reference you make in this thread that one or two people get, give yourself a point; if more than two people get it, deduct a point, and if no one gets it, there's no change in your score.
Limit comments to references, affirmative gets of others' references, and snarky commentary; no need to note when you don't get something, and don't explain what it is that you've understood, or that will ruin game, obviously. Keep track of your own score.
I begin with this: you can turn on journaling, but you'd better watch your space.
Democrats And Iraq
If this got much play around the blogs, I didn't see it, but I think Drum and Yglesias are right that the Democrats aren't pushing hard to get us out of Iraq because they think it's better for them if we stay in for a while. Try not to think about the fact that they're also consigning people to die for their own political benefit.
However, It Would Make For A Much Better Movie
I was reminded by Cerebrocrat's story: a couple of weeks ago, Catherine, Smasher, and I watched The Lake House on cable. It's one of those chick flicks where the man and woman fall in love despite having never met and being separated by some ridiculous contrivance (in this case, time travel). So after spending the whole movie pining for each other they [SPOILER ALERT!] finally meet at the end and have a running-through-the-field-towards-each-other kiss. Seriously. [Video, kiss starts around the 2:00 mark.] I started with an eye roll but it quickly turned into a cringe -- that kiss looks terrible. That would totally suck: pin all of your hopes on some guy, fall in love, travel through time and stuff, and then it turns out he's a shitty kisser.
Via Yglesias: D.C. complains about "No Taxation Without Representation"? Heritage responds with a proposal to abolish the federal income tax for D.C.
In some of our sex discussions, like the shaving thread, the concept of "eh, I prefer X but if I was about to have sex with someone and discovered Not X, I wouldn't kick them out of bed" has come up. Which leads me to wonder: if you were getting hot and heavy with someone and it looked like things were Game On, what would be a dealbreaker? What would make you pack it up and leave?
Like a rat pushing a lever over and over to get a food pellet, I can't stop refreshing this page.
1) Ann Althouse, still rapidly aging, still incredibly stupid.
Speaking of upstart Taser-boy Andrew Meyer, how many Americans do you think would agree to get tased if it would get them the attention it got him? By chance, I was just listing to #340 of "This American Life," called "The Devil in Me." In Act One:
Sam Slaven is an Iraq War veteran who came home from the War plagued by feelings of hate and anger toward Muslims. TAL producer Lisa Pollak tells the story of the unusual action Sam took to change himself, and the Muslim students who helped him do it.
There's a scene in there where American soldiers in Iraq are tasing each other for fun. You can hear them screaming and laughing in the audio. So, if guys with nothing else to do submit to the Taser for fun....
Deaths by Taser (pdf).
New York Rep. Peter King, a prominent House Republican, said there are "too many mosques in this country" in a recent interview with Politico.
Why did the bot stop working today?
Because of this comment. For some reason python was treating the default encoding for strings on the server as ascii, and so the bot kept trying to send that comment, and failing, so it never got marked processed, and the way twisted handles errors defies mortal comprehension. You might wonder why it was even bothering attempting to convert things to ascii—why not send things along as unicode? One can do that over aim, after all. But, while I've determined that twisted's oscar implementation at least agrees with itself that it does the right thing with unicode messages (that is, if you receive messages sent from a twisted bot with a twisted bot, the recipient thinks it's getting the right message), if you're using gaim, or adium, or probably any libpurple client, you get a mess of Chinese characters.
You can circumvent that by forcing it to send everything as (what python is willing to consider) ordinary strings. But then things break (as above). However I was able to change the default encoding to be what, apparently, the locale reports, viz. iso-8859-1, and now things seem to be working. At least, that message comes through with "ticket de métro" intact. And if that stops working, I am at least aware of a way to get it to send you the unlovely but decipherable "mÃÂ©tro".
What can I say? I never signed on for grappling with text encoding issues, dammit. My apologies for the unreliabilities (though I hasten to point out that I wanted to continue testing—as usual, managerial and marketing forces have led to shoddy products being shipped). So long as I've gotten your attention, though, I'll point out this comment.
The Last To Know
Ogged! You didn't tell us you had a girlfriend!
I have a swim-cap fetish....My GGG girlfriend is willing to wear a swim cap during sex, and I think that's wonderful, but it goes beyond that. I go to the pool several times a week on the way home from work--not because I like swimming or need the exercise, but because I want to see women in swim caps.
A couple of weeks ago, a nude picture of teen starlet Vanessa Hudgens became public and because I hate all that is good and true, I read the comments on several sites that posted it. I have to admit that I was surprised that every second or third comment was about her totally unacceptable pubic hair. Apparently she is in desperate need of a shave. I was surprised because she barely has any pubic hair. A closely trimmed, light, downy coat, you might say. It seems that the aesthetic among the youth is that any pubic hair is unacceptable. Or is this just the ranting of losers who comment nastily on celebrity gossip sites? What say you, youth?
More generally, there seems to be a pretty bright line dividing the world of people who think women should shave or not, as they see fit, from people who think that any hair on a woman's legs or armpits is genuinely revolting. The visceral response from people who think it's gross is great evidence that socialized responses can feel completely natural.
I don't even know what the thinking is about men and hair. There's a lot less pressure on men on this topic, but some guys do feel self-conscious about back hair. I just figure I'm advertising my elevated testosterone levels; way advantageous back on the veldt, you know.
A Prayer Before Dying
Please grant me the good fortune not to be beaten to death by a man with no arms.
Nur wer sich wandelt, bleibt mit mir verwandt
My last radio show of the summer, and a while, as I don't anticipate doing any in the fall, except perhaps as a sub, is tomorrow! I would write some terribly enticing post to get you all to listen but I've been wrestling with my computer all day and I haven't the strength. So instead I will simply tell you that it will feature music by an honest to god deaf person; Lyle Lovett and his Large Band; Make Believe; Steffen Basho-Junghans, Horatiu Radulescu, Ellery Eskelin, Sunn O))) & Boris; Fern Knight, the Incredible String Band, the Chicago Underground Duo, Max Nagl, and The Cherry Blossoms with Josephine Foster. AMONG FUCKING OTHERS. Tomorrow, 12 to 2 pm, blah blah blah.
Next: Free Clicking!
No more masturbating to TimesSelect.
Alex Kuczynski fills the void with an absolutely porntastic review of the International Male catalog:
The first time I saw an International Male catalog was at the all-girls Virginia boarding school I attended in the 1980s....I found the presentation of male genitalia, packaged and posed and seemingly aroused, totally terrifying. Were they really that long and tuber-like? And were men supposed to stare at you in such a brooding, animal way, their eyes glowering at siesta level, their mouths puckered in baby-doll O's?
One day in the smoking lounge, the coolest girl of all pulled the latest International Male catalog from her monogrammed L. L. Bean Boat and Tote bag and pointed at the practically nude lower half of a model, his abdomen rippled in reptilian plates, his prodigious reproductive organs -- or well-placed tube socks -- barely restrained by purple Lycra. There is a dim memory of a zipper.
And His Hamlet Was Good, Dammit
Even accounting for the fact that Deborah Solomon is so annoying that all her interviewees sound sympathetic in comparison, you have to love Ethan Hawke a bit for this one.
Do you believe that a mother can will her children to grow up into artists? If she abandons them early enough.
The rest is pretty good, too.
And this reminds me of a conversation I was having last night with a friend who has a toddler. He was surprised that he has disciplinarian instincts. My guess was that one parents basically in the style of one's own stricter parent. No doubt there are exceptions.
Things that make me pass over a personal ad (not that I'm looking to date, now or for the next, oh, fifteen years, but...):
Loves to travel.
Loves to read.
Loves to sleep in a tent.
Loves live music.
Wants someone passionate.
I think what I'm looking for is someone with the interests of your typical match.com user ("likes to groan when slowly getting up from the couch after channel-surfing for two hours") with the intelligence of the Unfogged women, but without the total insanity, and who just happens to be very fit. Is that really so much to ask?
The Bot Icon That You Ingrates Don't Like
Alternative entries below. Your comments do not constitute a vote and any emerging consensus means nothing NOTHING to me.
Do we have a view about this? In particular, is it a cause one can get behind in good conscience, or are there considerations that weigh against doing so?
History Is Important
As far as I've been able to determine, it's still acceptable to pleasure yourself while thinking of Gunhild Larking.
True But False
I suspect the Iraqi government's decision to bar Blackwater from Iraq will be quickly overruled, but I'm more interested in how alternate realities are constructed. The Times says,
It was latest accusation against the U.S.-contracted firms that operate with little or no supervision and are widely disliked by Iraqis who resent their speeding motorcades and forceful behavior.
I'm sure that's accurate, but it conjures stern Secret-Service types (at least for me), whereas I'm pretty damn sure Arabic coverage of Blackwater's activities includes them harassing civilians and plenty of images of people they've killed. Later in the article, we get more detail.
Many of the contractors have been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens who got too close to their heavily armed convoys, but none has faced charges or prosecution.
Oh, that kind of "forceful behavior." But the firing on civilians is presented as part of Blackwater's incompetence or callousness, and not linked back to Iraqi resentment. It seems like a minor point, but I think that this is precisely how impressions are formed: Iraqis are resentful of speeding motorcades yadda Iraq is very dangerous for Americans yadda Blackwater has been accused of shooting people whenever the hell they feel like it yadda. The essential point, the point that explains why the occupation is never going to work, namely, that no one is going to side with the force that gives mercenaries the power of life and death over them, is obscured. Keep an eye out for "accurate but misleading" stories, and you'll start to see them everywhere. Just ask yourself how the background facts must play in Iraq, or on Al-Jazeera.
Thanks to Ben, the Unfoggedbot written by Tom Lee now has a permanent home on the Unfogged server. The bot allows you to subscribe to comment threads and have new comments sent to you as instant messages in near real-time. There's a
radio tower robot icon in the upper left of the page that will always bring you to these directions.
To use the bot, you'll need an AOL Instant Messenger account (which is free and available here), and an instant messaging client that supports AOL IM. As of this writing, most of the Windows and Linux folks seem to be using Pidgin and the Mac folks are on Adium.
When you've installed the software and logged in to your AIM account, add the bot as a buddy. Its screen name is unfoggedbot. Now start a chat session with unfoggedbot and in the space where you would normally type a message, paste the URL of the post (or the comment thread, either will work) that you'd like to follow and hit send (or enter). That's it. To unsubscribe, paste and send again.
It's a really good way to free yourself from the crackmonkey refreshing that following threads often requires, so give it a shot. Many thanks to Tom and Ben.
For The Children
It's a running joke that Wingnut Lifeguard doesn't watch any part of the pool that doesn't have a hot mom in it. As he ogled one today with tremendous persistence, I asked, "Wingnut Lifeguard, will you notice if I drown?" He turned his head toward me, said "No," and got back to business. He did promise to fish out my floating body, however.
We have achieved unity
I bet the probability of this producing an annoying comment thread approaches one.
Using nationally representative data on consumption, we show that Blacks and Hispanics devote larger shares of their expenditure bundles to visible goods (clothing, jewelry, and cars) than do comparable Whites. We demonstrate that these differences exist among virtually all sub-populations, that they are relatively constant over time, and that they are economically large.
Clicking through reveals a promising start on an ugly thread. Also, am I the only one who can't understand the speech in Sullivan's embedded video?
Intensely Fascinating Cell Phone Shopping Update
I've had to look deep into my heart and confront the fact that I'm just not a slider kind of guy. I want a QWERTY on a slab and I'm convinced that it's not a great idea to get the Treo with an obsolescing OS (plus the Treo is a little fat, and you know how I feel about that). So the current plan is to hold out for the Ipaq 910, which has, near as I can tell, every damn thing you could put on a phone.