E. Messily writes!!
In about 6 months, I am going to get a puppy. A ginormous, gargalossal puppy. After it grows up to be an even bigger dog, I am going to train it as a Hearing & Balance Service Dog. (My brother trains guide dogs; he's going to help me.)
What should I name my puppy? What crucial aspects of dog ownership have I forgotten about? What tricks should I teach it to do?
What do YOU think?
Do you remember last fall how climate change was completely absent from the presidential election? I think it barely, tangentially came up once in any of the debates, like an audience member asked about the coal industry and that was the closest question. Nobody in the media ever wrote mainstream articles about the candidate's positions on the environment. Etc. (Slightly less infuriating than the near-total blase attitude about Russian meddling by the media, but similar. I think the media should be charged with high crimes and misdemeanors, as an industry, for the damage they've done.)
The point being that I'm honestly sort of surprised at how big a mainstream-media splash is being made out of the Paris Accords, and this may be the moment when the environment becomes a mainstream issue of importance.
I'm not saying anything will get done. But that in the next election cycle, there may be a question at some point in one of the debates about the climate!!!
J. Robot sends in: For the blog.
Heebie's take: OMFG. Don't do this, folks:
We pushed our offer to our limit of $560,000, and they accepted. I was thrilled. Then the adrenalin wore off, and the gravity of what we'd done sank in. We had just spent more than a half a million dollars on a house I had never seen.
If nothing else, click through and just read the part where they walk through the house for the first time.
In contrast, our house lift is going quite nicely. I will post some photos to the flickr group.
Also: today I go for the first session of my tattoos. I am extraordinarily nervous!!
Twitter tells me that on this day in history, Lou Gehrig 1) was born 2) died 3) started his streak of games played. June 2 was a big day for Lou Gehrig.
I'm going to be in New York between the sixth and the thirteenth of June, inclusive, though given when I'll be landing on the sixth, maybe make that interval half-open? Let's hang out! I've been dying to see each and every one of you.
UPDATE Thursday the eighth! Amor y Amargo or the nearest place that isn't too crowded (as I have been advised "get there immediately after it opens"). Seven pm or maybe people want to meet me immediately after it opens at, like, 5:30????
Senator who voted for anti-trans 'bathroom bill' busted in hotel with underage boy. Because of course he was. What compels these fuckwads to seek political power and try to suppress their own urges by micromanaging other people who deviate in any way from a Norman Rockwell painting? (Not the painting of Ruby Bridges.)
Alternately, these comments on teenage gluttony are wonderful:
Before crew practice, my brother and I would go to our local chicken shack and get something called a "Home Run Special" which consisted of a pound of nuggets spread out on the bottom of a styrofoam container, a layer of fries on top of the nuggets, and then four slices of American cheese on top of that. They'd throw it into the microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese and then ladle some really greasy chili/bolognese on top (it was like someone made meat sauce with a lot of cumin?). Some honey mustard on the side and baby you got yourself a stew goin'.
Wonderful or disgusting, hard to say.
Latter link via Apo, elsewhere
When it comes to kids TV shows, nearly everyone has gotten the message that you're supposed to make a nod towards diversity. It's trickier when the characters aren't people, because you're still making lots of cultural choices about who makes the voices and what kinds of expressions should the characters use.
Show that do this pretty clunkily: Octonauts, Chuck and Friends. (And I should say that I basically like both shows.) Both have a heavy-handed Spanish-accented character and a Texas/Southern character and then various other stereotypes. But neither is willing to have a black character.
Shows that do this really well: Backyardigans. If you were a white, suburban Republican voter, this show would probably fly under your radar and you wouldn't think twice about the show. But if you're a not totally racially tone-deaf, you'll notice that nearly all the animals are African-American.
Another show that does feature people but is still subtle about it is Sid the Science Kid, where they're all non-human colors. If you are racially tone-deaf, it is just going to look like it's slightly derivative of the Simpsons. If you're not, you'll notice that Sid is bi-racial, with a black mother and white father.
I don't have a point! There are plenty of kids shows that use actual skin color and and are not subtle about it. Some rely on tropes and stereotypes, others develop real characters, same as shows for grown-ups. I just think it's interesting when vegetables and cats were created by someone who thinks clearly about race.
Nick S. writes: Rebecca Traister wrote a book about the gender politics of the 2008 campaign and Clinton's role. She wrote a couple of excellent campaign pieces*, and has a new article out which is excellent. She is extremely good at writing about Clinton as a person. Capturing her strengths, weaknesses, and the sheer weirdness of being Hillary Clinton:
Clinton says the second debate with Trump, during which he loomed menacingly behind her, was one of the hardest situations of the whole campaign. "Because what he was doing was so ... uh ..." -- she pauses to search for words -- "so personally invasive: following me, eyeing me."
She considered confronting him, turning around and saying, "Get away from me!" But she figured that would just give him what he wanted. "I saw him destroy all of his Republican opposition who eventually tried to confront him on a debate stage, and he reacted with such contempt. He will gain points, and I will lose points." Acknowledging how tight her grip on the microphone was during that debate, Clinton says, "Think of all the times where you are either mentally or physically gripping yourself, [willing yourself] not to respond, not to lash out, not to display the anger that you feel, because you know it will redound to your detriment. So you swallow it. You try to be honest with yourself, to know you're feeling it but then say, 'Okay, I've got a goal here and I'm not going to get knocked off-balance.' " Clinton maintained control. "So I ended up with another 'win,' " she says. "But I also ended up with him really satisfying a lot of his potential voters. One of these guys, I can't remember who" -- it was Nigel Farage -- "said, said, 'Oh, he was the alpha male! He was the big gorilla in the ...' -- whatever they call gorilla groups! I think that for people already committed to him, they loved it."
* I occasionally think about her comment, "There is an Indiana Jones-style, "It had to be snakes" inevitability about the fact that Donald Trump is Clinton's Republican rival. Of course Hillary Clinton is going to have to run against a man who seems both to embody and have attracted the support of everything male, white, and angry about the ascension of women and black people in America"
Heebie's take: Focusing on Clinton brings back alllllll my anger and rage for the stolen election. It's a different flavor of anger and rage than when I'm thinking about Betsey DeVos or Jeff Sessions. It's tinged with "OUNCE OF PREVENTION YOU FUCKWADS!" and yes, I will forever consider the election straight-up hacked and stolen.