A friend of mine, knowing me to be politic and full of good advice on the subject of human relations, asked me for a polite way to tell a persistent would-be caller that she'd "rather fuck a three legged donkey" than go out with him again. I, being very with the times, suggested "I have to wash my hair that night". To my surprise she took it as if it were something she might say ingenuously, expressing skepticism that anyone would ever believe it, while I had always assumed that its unbelievability as an excuse was precisely what allowed it to communicate "I don't want to see you again".
TV Tropes suggests that my interpretation is right, but what do I know? I've never seen a woman's hair, so I have little idea what sorts of labors might go into washing it.
I went back and read some of my journal entries from 5-6 years ago, and I was much more cutesy and precious in my writing. (Also I had much larger readership. Due to being child-free, though, which is fine.) Back here on Unfogged, I was considered whimsical and unpredictable, and it was not rare for me to find that my name had been mentioned in a thread I did not participate in.
Now, I'm still a goofball, but I'm waaaaay less quirky. I believe there are several factors:
1. I got older.
2. I was around much less and not on the front page, making it easier to drop in and leave a stray quirky comment. Familiarity breeds uncreativity.
3. I might have realized on some level that I might be annoying but please let's all let this factor go unconfirmed
Anyway, I'm bringing this up mostly for #4:
4. There has been a cultural withdrawal away from cutesy/ironic/precious/twee, and so I was genuinely not being annoying - for 2007 - but everyone has simultaneously lost their patience for the too-cute-by-half shtick. I was musing that, while WE ARE YOUNG. and Somebody That I Used To Know may both be annoying, they are also both earnestly singing about an intense emotion. (The former - being an adrenalined-pumped invincible douche bag - is still a sincere intense emotion.) Whereas the 2007 counterparts seemed to all be detached and cutsier about their emotions. (Hey there Delilah!)
I haven't even bothered to google 2007 Best Indie Songs, because I'm sure half of them will be heartfelt and intense, and not the thin watery Shins style or goofy Lilly Allen. So don't bother proving me wrong. A trend is not universal.
All I'm saying is that I think we're collectively more annoyed with the precious and twee than we were 5-6 years ago, and that my old self was therefore just fine for the times.
I'm having a very hard time understanding why a police officer would deem it necessary to shoot a handcuffed guy in the back:
A District Heights police sergeant shot a handcuffed suspect in the back Thursday afternoon, inflicting a serious wound as the man tried to flee, according to authorities, law enforcement officials and family members.
Calvin Kyle, 26, had been pulled over, handcuffed and put in a police cruiser after he was seen riding a stolen motorcycle near County Road and Marlboro Pike in District Heights, law enforcement officials said. But as District Heights Police Sgt. Johnnie Riley attended to other matters, Kyle got out of the cruiser and began to run, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.
That's when Riley shot Kyle in the back, the officials said.
Kyle's family members said that they had been unable to speak with Kyle because he was in police custody at the hospital, but that doctors, nurses and police officers told them that he had suffered a serious spinal wound. Family members said that they had been told that Kyle was in and out of consciousness and had no feeling in his legs. It was unclear, they said, if he would walk again, though it appeared he would survive.
Kyle's family members said they hope that Riley will be kicked off the force and face criminal charges. They said they cannot understand why Riley did not simply tackle Kyle -- who walked with a limp from the previous police shooting -- or shoot him with a Taser.
Yeah, I was wondering the same thing.
UTSA refuses to fund the #1 ranked girls junior tennis player because they think she's too fat.
So now you have McEnroe and the rest of the USTA rooting against a player because the farther she goes, the bigger a public-relations disaster this becomes.
Well doesn't that just make me want to punch them.
Sir Kraab asks:
If you were to walk out on a giant stage to give a speech, what would be your theme song?
Heebie: (can't take SK's credit for the post title) Oooh, great question. Probably not SWV's "I Get So Weak In the Knees" but I do love that song.
My friend has a kid in kindergarten. Apparently the local school has a character education program. Ok, fine. This week is "responsibility". Yesterday, friend's kid came home with a coloring page that said:
Persuasiveness: guiding vital truths around another's mental roadblock.With a peacock to color. Sure, why not.
This week, I've been half-reading the news through the ATM student's eyes below - the one who is wading into the news cycle and trying to sort out fact from fiction. When I was first wading in, I used my parents' liberal beliefs as an trusted anchor, and then evaluated news from there.
I can't figure out how you make sense of the news cycle if you don't have such an anchor. If you don't have years of paying attention, then how do you know who is telling the truth? He is clear that there are factual differences in each party. Each party backs their stats up in superficially plausible authority. What is the atomic level of lying? How does a student navigate a spiraling rabbit hole?
I suppose the answer is that one side resonates emotionally, and then you seek out evidence to confirm your choice. I don't think most people could make sense of news stories any other way.
I signed up for a facebook account with my work email, in order to do some administrative stuff. I signed in exactly one time, friended one student, and never touched it again.
Facebook sends work-me those emails about "You may know these people!" Usually they are Heebie U people. This past email, however, was "You may know K/en R/ibet!" the famous mathematician that I do know... from the Fermat's Last Theorem documentary, which I show occasionally in class. Does this mean Facebook reads my emails? They haven't connected me with my regular Facebook person, so they're not following what I do in my browsers.
I already suspect that Facebook reads your private emails, because on my main account, they one time recommended that I friend an editor of a journal with whom I'd been emailing, and with whom I had absolutely nothing else in common. But how on earth could they be reading my yahoo or .edu emails?
I am completely disconnected from synthetic marijuana. I've never been around it, never known someone to use it, never heard any anecdotes about it, nada.
How common is it? Have you ever been around it or smoked it? Does it feel the same? I'm just curious, and also I believe I am on the older side of some insurmountable divide and will never be around the stuff, anyway. Until I find it in my kids' jacket**, I suppose.
* I only know "K2 Blonde" because I just googled synthetic marijuana.
**True story: Young Heebie finds her dad's old jacket from the 60s and decides to start wearing it. She reaches in the pocket and pulls out an ancient baggie of pot, all black and shriveled. Kind of a lot of pot to stick in your jacket and forget about! "Dad!" she chastises, giggling. Dad shrugs with a smirk - "I guess you got me!"
A few months later, Heebie's older brother comes home from college. He sees Heebie and exclaims "Hey, you found Dad's old jacket! I used to wear that in high school!" (Ba dum bum. Hee hee.)
Back in December 2011 during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney decided to drop by Vietnam War veteran Bob Garon's breakfast table for a quick photo-op. What Romney didn't realize is that Garon was sitting with his husband, whom he had married just a few months earlier.
The best part is when Garon speaks out, after Romney leaves.
Fantastically grounded article for new moms.
Freddie Mercury: Out on Stage, Brown in the Closet, which sounds dirty but isn't. Via AWB on FB.
Guest Post from Minivet:
On the one hand, all the predictions of Israel attacking Iran Any Day Now seem to have gotten repetitious and irrelevant (per LGM).
On the other hand, the Washington Post recently produced this report on what looks like some serious Guns of August shit (averted) in 2007.
Are we now able to make a conclusion on the retrospective likelihood of Bush starting a war with Iran? Or do we have to wait another generation for tale-telling and archive releases?
I went to the county tax assessor today to get the title switched over on our new minivan. The woman who helped me had this taped to her computer, facing the public. (Along with a dozen other little quotes and such.)
What the fuck. (The right hand side)
Sorry for the truly terrible photo - it was a surreptitious phone shot. Maybe someone can find it online somewhere.
UPDATE: I transcribed the right hand side under the jump.
TO BE SILENT when others accuse is heroism.
TBS when they insult you is love.
TBS about your own hurts is sacrifice.
TBS about yourself is humility.
TBS about human miseries is charity.
TBS at the right time is prudence.
TBS in pain is penitence.
TBS about useless words is a virture.
TBS in pain is holiness.
TBS in order to defend is noble.
TBS about the defects of others is benevolence.
TBS when we ought to speak is cowardice.
Over the summer, a student told me "You're the most liberal person I've ever met and sometimes I don't know how to make sense of everything when I'm talking to my family". I just got this email from him:
I am now trying to prepare for the upcoming election and I was hoping that you might help me out. I have been sent many sites to read through from a very conservative friend, but I don't have any sites of non conservative background. I am setting aside some time on to read about different perspectives and platforms and would love if you could send me some resources that you feel provide a good perspective.
Readable sites for an open-minded student from an extremely conservative background? He's probably fairly uninformed, just because it's hard to catch up when you first start paying attention. I thought of TPM and Daily Kos off the top of my head, but maybe there's something to include that provides more background on issues and is less up-to-the-minute-news-cycle.
(This Is What A Scientist Looks Like is not a new thing, and I assume most of you have seen it before.)
All middle schoolers think that all scientists are Albert Einsteins in white lab coats. This website seeks to update that stereotype so that kids will realize that scientists are just grown up nerds.
How continuous were the class lines before the Great Depression and after? I have this idea that aside from the very wealthy, everyone got mushed together during the depression itself - but then afterwards, who had access to becoming middle and upper class, and who found themselves in cyclical generational poverty? Was there some sort of cultural memory of who behaved right, and those people had access to better jobs? Regionalism between which industries settled in which areas, and how unionized the workers were?
It's obvious that lots of black people found themselves in generational poverty because of racism*, so I suppose I'm wondering more about white people. And other minorities.
*although not uniformly - there is a black middle class. So I guess the question applies to black people too. I just didn't want to act like I forgot about racism.