Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cheap shots but not *that* cheap

Sully, via YouTube.
Paying my respects to the late

I have to say when Andrew Sullivan said in January 2013 that his readers would have to fork over $20 a year to partake of his Dish I respected that.

In fact I respected it enough to not go over there, standing on my own principle that nothing he wrote could possibly be worth that much, or any, money, except once in a great while when driven by the exigencies of some Brooksological problem (because Brooksy definitely dipped into Sully from time to time for the heavyweight intellectual material, including for his epic tour of early 20th-century Russian philosophy and his tragically doomed attempt to grasp the thinking of the psychoanalyst Adam Philipps). If it was really important to him, I figured, to keep his readership down to the class of those who were willing to commit, I'd stay away.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Check your privilege at the door, this joint is really jumpin

Image via Hand of Ananke.

I wasn't going to write anything about the Jonathan Chait political correctness pity party, because everybody I like had such great things to say about it already, but then there was this other thing I never got around to that ties in, from Jonah Goldberg's New Year's Eve piece (I wrote a lot about that sucker, too, but there's still more):
Frank Rich, the former New York Times columnist and theater critic, recently interviewed Chris Rock for New York magazine. He wanted to know why right-leaning comedian Dennis Miller isn’t as funny (at least according to Rich) as Jon Stewart of The Daily Show. He asked Rock, “Do you think that identifying with those in power is an impediment to laughter?”

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Photograph by Francesca Woodman, from Daily Poetics, February 2012.
On Holocaust Remembrance Day this, by Corey Robin, with its associated links.

For Jonathan Chait's silly but extremely lengthy effort at asking:
Can a white male liberal critique the country's current political-correctness craze (which, by the way, hurts liberals most)? We're sure you'll let us know.
the comment, with associated links, by Scott Lemieux. Really nice piece by the Vixen, too.

On the age-old question of why is Obama saying things the left likes to hear when we all know he's an evil Chicago-School economist who wants to enslave us all to Wall Street a wonderful piece of thoughtfulness, "Some Progressives are Confused by the Long Game", by Nancy Le Tourneau.

For Mozart's birthday (h/t Frank Lynch for the reminder), some Mozart:

I for one welcome our new B-corporate masters

New David Brooks Plagiarism Watch below the fold!
Change leader: From "Take Charge of your Career Like a Boss".
Shorter David Brooks, "How to leave a mark", New York Times, January 27 2015:
Both sides at a fairly cosmic level do it: markets and governments have failed, the one because of its chronic instability and irredeemable rapacity and the other because it has been captured by special interests that don't want it to do anything, which must have been caused by some more both-sides stuff such as the takeover of the Republican Party by multinational corporations and I'm sure there must be something analogous on the Democrats' part, so obviously our angle of approach for making things better should be on the market side, involving the many nongreedy investors who simply don't care about profit. If you're wealthy enough to make a difference you should make it by investing in companies whose shareholders will allow them to compensate for the failings of government by distributing free eyeglasses to the poor and that sort of thing, and if you're not maybe you could get a job working for somebody like that, and if you're very young you may live to see government coming back in some form or other some day, so it's all good.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The quality of mercy is not Strain

Emily Trask and Chelsea Steverson as Shakespeare's defense attorneys in The Merchant of Venice, Utah Shakespeare Festival, 2010.
This is just so perfect, from Michael R. Strain of the American Enterprise Institute, in the Wapo today:

End Obamacare, and people could die. That’s okay.

It is such obvious trolling that you might think it best not to encourage it by paying it any attention, and yet the argument is bound to have a certain appeal to your 19-year-old dorm-room libertarian, so I think it's worth while pointing out that it's wrong.

What the argument is, basically, is that we do that kind of stuff all the time. For example, people die because we don't mandate a 10 miles-per-hour speed limit on our highways, which would make it really hard, according to Strain, to kill people with a car. Or

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cereal murder

If it's Froot Loops, on the other hand, you might be tying to score an online interview with the president, as GloZell has done, but certainly not bathing in cereal and interviewing the president at the same time. In spite of her youth she is unquestionably a more accomplished journalist than Jonah Goldberg, in the respect that she has in fact interviewed people in the course of her career.
Hai, Jonah
Dear Reader (Unless you’re sitting in a tub full of Cap’n Crunch, in which case you’re too busy talking to the leader of the free world)...
This is an apparent reference to a scandal of March 2011, when Daily Finance reported questions about the fate of the imaginary mustached ship's officer who serves PepsiCo as mascot of Cap'n Crunch breakfast sugar; was he being pushed out of his job under pressure from a Crunch-hating White House? Would he end up retired, on the bocce pitch with his mates Ronald McDonald and Joe Camel, talking about the good old days when poisoning small children was something a man could take some pride in?

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Love Profile of J. David Broofrocks

Louise Brooks (no relation), in (probably) G.W. Pabst, Pandoras Büchse, 1929. Via à l'allure garçonnière
My self-summary
When man seeks to evaluate,
at the behest of OK Cupid,
the hotness of a hopeful date,
he tries to play it straight and stupid,

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Gang signals? Cuomo and Silver last June, via Politics on the Hudson.
Photo caption in the Times on the arrest of Speaker Shelly Silver:
The investigation of Sheldon Silver, right, the speaker of the New York State Assembly, picked up speed after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission.
The Times and WNYC have kept repeating similar sentences in various versions of the story all morning. They are both not saying this, but are kind of forcing us to say it with this continual association of Cuomo's shutting down the Morland Commission and the feds doubling down on their investigations of Silver: that Cuomo closed the commission at least in part because it was looking too closely at Shelly.

The allegations are to my mind shocking enough:

It burns

Update: The Googlebot was just reading this two-year-old piece (January 9 2013), and when I took a look at it I felt like running it again.
HOUSTON, April 23, 2028--

Speaking yesterday in 120-degree heat on the beach where the former port of Galveston can still be seen poking out of the gentle Gulf surf, Rep. Barbara Bush (R-Tex.) laid into President Kirsten Gillebrand and the Democratic Party for what she called decades of neglecting the environment.

"They knew," she said. "They knew what was happening. For 30 years they watched our weather get hotter and stranger every year and they sat and regulated, and regulated, and regulated some more. Did they give the free market a chance to come up with a solution? No, they knew better."
In this presidential year, Republican candidates have rapidly begun to coalesce around the theme of global warming, a process many scientists believe is caused by human activity. "Some call it manmade climate change," proclaimed the front-runner, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, "but I call it government-made."

While Ms. Bush has largely blamed burdensome government regulation for the climate crisis, Mr. Christie focuses on the tax system. "Let's face it," he remarked, "the stupidity of these jackasses is just incredible. By taking money from those who could be installing solar or wind power on their estates and giving it to people who can barely afford to pay their utility bills, they are just literally burning mountains of coal. And how many times have you seen some punk in the bodega buying charcoal briquets with his mom's food stamps?"
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Inspired by Dr. Turk.
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