Friday open thread.

Callin’ it like a called thing.

(If you want to see me yelled at on HuffPost Live, that’s here…).

Standard FYI clause: I generally wait about 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would typically open a thread (roughly noon, EST, back when such a thing was typical…!), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

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105 Comments

  1. So here’s a crazy thing.

    I’m going to have a post up in Robert Wright’s space a little later today.

  2. David L

     /  November 16, 2012

    Formula 1 update: The helicopter shuttles from downtown Austin to the track go right over my office and my apartment, and the choppers aren’t bothering to gain much altitude. The boss and the cat (respectively) are not amused with that.

    Last night there was a couple standing in front of the pain relief shelf at Target looking a little lost and mumbling to each other in German. They started at the naproxen, slowly moved down past the acetomenophen and the ibuprofen until they got to the aspirin. She shrugged, said “Bayer”, and grabbed a bottle. Probably about the only familiar brand name on the shelf. OTC drugs are a pretty non-globalized business from what I’ve seen.

    • Captain_Button

       /  November 16, 2012

      Except I think the “Bayer” name in the US was confiscated during WW1.

    • OTC drugs are very non-globalized. I lived in the UK for several years (grad school) and the two most baffling moments I had there were the first time I had to buy laundry detergent and the first time I had to buy something for a headache.

      I learned later that what we call acetaminophen (Tylenol) in the US is sold as paracetamol (under a variety of brand names) in the UK. Ibuprofen was supposedly available OTC, but I don’t think I ever saw it in a chemist’s.

  3. taylor16

     /  November 16, 2012

    I am 20 minutes from leaving for Michigan for my annual “pre-Thanksgiving” Thanksgiving visit to Michigan. (Husband and I do private Thanksgiving at home by ourselves and always go home the weekend before to put in some family time and avoid the high-priced gas and massive traffic).

    The weekend will include seeing friends, cuddling their adorable kids, and making homemade ravioli and tortellini from Great-Grandma’s old recipe with my mom and sister and aunts and cousins. I’m excited!

    So … wishing everyone a lovely weekend and if I don’t check in by phone later today – talk to everyone next week! :)

  4. Captain_Button

     /  November 16, 2012

    Ani is off on a galactic cruise in her office or something, so I am blogflogging as her confederate (heh):

    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/

    Project Runway All Stars: “Can You Picture That?”

    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/project-runway-all-stars-can-you-picture-that/

    Everyone Loves Hobbit Trailers

    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/everyone-loves-hobbit-trailers/

    The XFactor Top 12 Eliminations

    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/the-xfactor-top-12-eliminations/

    Doozers Now Available For Building Crystal Towers in Your Home

    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/doozers-now-available-for-building-crystal-towers-in-your-home/

    Another Idol Season 12 Trailer

    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/another-idol-season-12-trailer/

    A Song Of Ice And Wire

    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/a-song-of-ice-and-wire/

  5. Captain_Button

     /  November 16, 2012

    Shorter hopefully modproof ani confederate blogflog:

    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/

  6. baiskeli

     /  November 16, 2012

    Regarding the whole Jezebel outing racist teens and contacting their schools post from a few days ago, I said I was uncormfortable with the whole concept but couldn’t verbalize why. Then came the http://hellothereracists.tumblr.com/ and I was fine with that. I think the following article nails down for me why the former case (Jezebel) bothered me but I was fine with the latter (the tumblr).

    http://www.racialicious.com/2012/11/15/doing-antiracism-wrong-at-jezebel/#more-26210

    I really don’t have any sympathy for the kids outed on Jezebel. I don’t buy the whole they’re teens argument because as someone said on that post (I don’t remember too), black kids don’t get to wait until they are 18 to feel the effects of discirmination. But for me I think the whole ‘contacting their School Administration’ is what put it over the edge for me.

    And also, the following paragraph resonated with me

    But the more vexing problem with Morrissey’s stunt — and this is a thread that runs through a lot of our public conversations about race — is that it bolsters the idea that racism is a terrible personal failing that can be corrected through sufficient public shaming. This notion of racists-as-evil is so pervasive that few people who readily espouse bigoted beliefs would recognize those ideas as racist; unsurprisingly, people don’t like to think themselves monsters. And so our conversations about racist behavior and racism write large get frustratingly bogged down in trivia about how churchgoing Suzie is or Connor’s friendly rapport with his Hispanic teammates. The burden of proof for racism has become so high that even people who hang effigies of the black president don’t think they rate.
    Shame has serious drawbacks as a tool for curbing racism because so much of the way racism works isn’t “personal.” My hunch is that the number of New York City police officers who said something racist to the 687,000 people they stopped and frisked last year — nine out of 10 of whom were black or Hispanic — is actually pretty small. Their personal feelings may matter but are, to a large extent, besides the point.

    • koolaide

       /  November 16, 2012

      thanks for the links. I’ve been living in a cave & not seen anything about the Jezebel racist-outing stuff.

    • Captain_Button

       /  November 16, 2012

      bolsters the idea that racism is a terrible personal failing that can be corrected through sufficient public shaming.

      It was my impression racism is a terrible personal failing that cannot be corrected under any circumstances whatsoever.

      • There may be a few circumstances that cause reality to sink in, but yeah, generally, it’s not something you can correct in someone else.

    • efgoldman

       /  November 16, 2012

      From Demby’s piece:

      But what Morrisey did later in the week was even more self-aggrandizing, if not completely unethical. After locating some of the teenagers who went on their ignorant tirades, she contacted their schools to inquire if administrators knew about their students’ Twitter comments, inquired about their schools codes of conduct, and needled them to determine how, exactly, they might go about punishing those students. Many of the schools said they knew about the tweets, but most understandably declined to specify whether or how they were disciplining their students. A bunch of the kids deleted their accounts. Others said, unconvincingly, that they’d been hacked.

      “We contacted their school’s administrators with the hope that, if their educators were made aware of their students’ ignorance, perhaps they could teach them about racial sensitivity,” Morrissey told Double X

      I’m fine with this part, at least. Nothing may come of it, in terms of the kids changing attitudes or seeking more knowledge; or something may. But if the kids don’t get called out for their ignorance, nothing at all will change; some kid will say something wrong in the wrong place/time and get his/her clock cleaned. At worst, some of the ignorant kids will learn some courtesy and learn when to keep their [actual and metaphorical] mouths the fuck shut.
      [started this comment almost an hour ago. I had to, you know, like, work!]

      • baiskeli

         /  November 16, 2012

        I think for me it was the power imbalance involved in calling up the School Administration. The initial article was more than enough, put it out there in the World and let the kids words be heard far and wide .

  7. Has the run on Twinkies begun yet?

    • Captain_Button

       /  November 16, 2012

      I am stocking up before the hoarders get to them.

    • koolaide

       /  November 16, 2012

      So, I’m hoping against hope that news stories will acutally be more in depth than “management says the unions are to blame so we’ll believe that and go from there” in their stoylines. Because it is WAY more than a union strike issue. Are any of the tv spots actually reporting that management basically got pay raises at one point this calendar year?

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/14/1161679/-Hostess-lies-about-strike-causing-possible-plant-closings

      http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/26/hostess-twinkies-bankrupt/

      • I don’t believe the ‘it’s the union’s fault’ excuse, but then, I’m a natural cynic. If the union had accepted the company’s terms, Hostess would have moved the goalposts. The strike just gives them a convenient fall guy.

        • efgoldman

           /  November 16, 2012

          If the union had accepted the company’s terms, Hostess would have moved the goalposts.
          Is Gary Bettman the commissioner of Hostess, too?

          • watson42

             /  November 16, 2012

            Don’t get me f-ing started on Bettman. Is the ?$%*@&% trying to destroy the NHL?

      • Captain_Button

         /  November 16, 2012

        From a thread in the FB tuman of the Horde:

        http://bctgm.org/2012/11/hostess-in-current-condition-because-of-failed-management/

        Except it looks like that link has gotten bandwidth hosed right now.

        Also someone quoted from a friend of a friend who worked there:

        “”STOP BLAMING THE UNIONS FOR THE HOSTESS CLOSURE!!! The company was in trouble for a long time. It was bank owned has not seen profit for years! The 5 executives got over $100,000,000 in bonuses between them last year and this was the bakers 3rd pay cut in 10 years. The company lost $381,000,000 dollars last year and were already in the middle of their second bankruptcy. It wasn’t the unions fault. With the new contract my husband’s pay went down by almost $2.00 an hour and his medical went up to $79.00 a week being taken out of his check. Also he was going to see 3% of it back next year. His paychecks were $300.00 dollars less a week. Do you have any idea how hard that hit us??? Please stop posting like the unions are happy and got their way. No one wanted this outcome, but there is only so much a person can give a company who only takes.”

    • There’s one up on ebay. Starting bid $5grand.

      • Captain_Button

         /  November 16, 2012

        Why am I now picturing it being defended by the saber-toothed squirrel from <Ice Age?

    • A coworker brought in Twinkies and Sno-Balls. I am not partaking. I wish to remember them fondly.

  8. SWNC

     /  November 16, 2012

    The elementary school that Mr SWNC teaches at is having their school play tonight, a production of “The Jungle Book.” So we’ve got a hot date for that. It’s completely sappy, but I love seeing all the kids on stage and how proud their families are of them.

  9. koolaide

     /  November 16, 2012

    My 20 yrear high school reunion is a week from tonight. I did not go to the 10 yr. I came incredibly close to not going this year even though I still live in town. I need a great outfit b/c I have no job success nor breeding success to brag about.

    • SWNC

       /  November 16, 2012

      Ummmm….now I’m pretty sure that you went to high school with my husband. Whoa. (We’re not going to the reunion, unfortunately. I’d love to meet you in person!)

      • koolaide

         /  November 16, 2012

        Whoa. I’m not sure how I feel about this online/real world collision. I mean, I’m sure your husband is & was a lovely person. But me? Maybe not always.

        High school wasn’t that great of a time for me — just thinking about it makes me regret pre-purchasing my ticket. Complete inferiority complex on my part about everything throughout pretty much all of high school.

        • SWNC

           /  November 16, 2012

          No, no….I think he’d pretty much say the same thing as you. High school was really shitty for him. He definitely regrets some of the ways he acted then (and Lord knows, I can’t reflect on my own high school self without cringing.) He wavered back and forth for a long time about going, but gas prices finally convinced us to take a pass on this one.

          (He was a short dude with long red hair who hung in front of the post office.)

          • koolaide

             /  November 16, 2012

            That high school, man. shakes head It was kinda crazy. Anyway. I know who your husband is by that description. We were definitely in some of the same classes though I don’t remember which specific ones. I played soccer/basketball (by played I mean sat the bench)/trombone & didn’t go out much. I kind of ghosted, to be honest.

    • My class didn’t have a 15th or 20th reunion, and it would appear there isn’t going to be a 25th, seeing how there’s just six weeks left. Not sure I’d go, mind you, but it’s rather pathetic that my class can’t be bothered to at least hold one.

      • aaron singer

         /  November 16, 2012

        I live in town, but I didn’t go to my 10th a few months ago because it $55 and at a local bar. Not worth the money. Maybe I’ll go to my 20th if it’s worth it.

        • koolaide

           /  November 16, 2012

          This reunion ticket was, imo, far too expensive. I was thinking $25 at a bar or some such. But no. What I consider a higher end place and a bunch more than $25.

          • SWNC

             /  November 16, 2012

            Yeah, the ticket prices were another reason why we didn’t go–times are tight, yo.

            Anyway, I will imagine you there being fascinating and looking fabulous. (I imagine all of the Horde as fabulous-looking.)

            • koolaide

               /  November 16, 2012

              Srsly. That place is much more high end than a high school reunion. I guess I shouldn’t complain too much since I didn’t offer to help plan it. But come on, I think they would have had to work hard to find a more expensive place.

              And thanks for imagining me as fascinating and fabulous. :)

      • SWNC

         /  November 16, 2012

        My high school class isn’t holding them either, which I’m honestly pretty okay with. Most of the people I liked I’m in touch with on Facebook, and I have no interest in re-connecting with the people I didn’t like to begin with.

    • efgoldman

       /  November 16, 2012

      My 50th is next year. i didn’t go to any of the others, I don’t see a reason for going to this one, either.

      • SWNC

         /  November 16, 2012

        My dad went to his 50th and had a blast. Every since then, they’ve been doing yearly reunions.

        He also went to his 25th, which ended less well. He got drrrrrrrunk (he normally tends have a few beers a *year*) and tried to punch his elderly female English teacher. Whole lotta long-supressed rage there. My mom had to hustle him out of there right quick.

        • efgoldman

           /  November 16, 2012

          …..and tried to punch his elderly female English teacher.
          This made me laugh.
          I’m guessing all my teachers are dead, or at least retired.
          When I went to high school, the woman who had been mom’s chemistry teacher had the homeroom next to mine. Unsurprisingly, she didn’t remember mom. She retired about five years later.

        • koolaide

           /  November 16, 2012

          I, too, am laughing inappropriately about the encounter w/ the English teacher. Also now wondering if any former teachers were invited to this shindig next wknd.

        • baiskeli

           /  November 16, 2012

          He got drrrrrrrunk (he normally tends have a few beers a *year*) and tried to punch his elderly female English teacher.

          That is funny. I definitely had teachers who if I met today I would be sorely tempted to smack them (back when I was in Primary School and Secondary School we had corporal punishment so my poor ass got to know many a cane/stick wielded by a teacher).

    • Captain_Button

       /  November 16, 2012

      I went to my 10 year reunion. None of the people I wanted to see showed up, and all of the people I didn’t. Haven’t been to one since. 35 should have been this year.

    • Tenar Darell

       /  November 16, 2012

      Augh, you made me count! Now I feel very old because I just realized I have a significant reunion next year for High School. I did go to my 10 year; I just thought, it’s a party, and I brought a friend, and had fun messing with people’s heads.

      I say, dress as nicely as you can and enjoy seeing the people who used to make you feel bad (?) aging along with you. Time makes them smaller somehow.

  10. GOOD NEWS EVERYONE! I am NOT allergic to cats! #whew

  11. MightBeLying

     /  November 16, 2012

    Sitting here waiting for my phone interview to call me. AAH OH MY FUCKING GOD THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

  12. It’s four pm. Time for my first meal of the day. IKEA chocolate candies don’t count.

    • caoil

       /  November 16, 2012

      They count as a mood lifter! Just not as nutrition.

      • efgoldman

         /  November 16, 2012

        Just not as nutrition.
        What the hell you talking about? Chocolate is a basic foodgroup! Just ask mrs efgoldman.

        • caoil

           /  November 16, 2012

          I’m not saying it’s not yummy, or that I don’t eat my fair share of it (as well as some other person’s share) on a regular basis, just that it may not pack the same vitamin-y goodness of, say, broccoli, or blueberries, etc. ;-)

  13. So, Emily, I figure you’re probably the best person to ask this: how exactly do I explain to Gramma that I’m not going to “Join my cause: Israel Has a Right to Protect Itself”? I’ve been sporadically sending her to your place for counterpoints to the usual rah-rah Israel thing. She’s come to the conclusion that I won’t tolerate her blatant hatred of the Palestinians. It’s just, she’s a cool old lady in every other respect. But she gets completely unhinged when we start talking about Israel. I get it, I really do. I just would like to be able to dial it down a little and have an actual discussion about what the occupation and the settlements are doing to real, live human beings. I figure this is like the unicorn of Israel/Palestine politics, but you’re way more informed on all of this than I am.

    • I try to take a two-pronged approach.

      One prong is purely practical: Whatever one thinks about the ethics of Israel’s policies, have they worked? Israel has been talking about chopping Hamas to pieces (literally: http://articles.latimes.com/1994-10-20/news/mn-52434_1_hamas-claims-responsibility) for 25 years — are Israel’s citizens safe now? Did that work? You could send her this, about how futile Israel’s anti-Hamas efforts have been https://prospect.org/article/israels-airstrike-gamble which, among other things, points out that

      “In other words, a policy with the stated goal of weakening Hamas in Gaza has not only had the effect of strengthening its rule there but also resulted in the proliferation of tunnels through which terrorist groups have been able to obtain weapons.”

      And if she counters with “We tried peace” (which is what Jews often counter with), you can say that during the years of the Oslo Accords, during which time Palestinians were nominally supposed to start building their state, settler numbers doubled (and the settler population has since more than doubled again) — which is to say: The number of people living on land that everyone in the world including Israel thinks is Palestinian doubled at precisely the time that Israel said that it had committed to establishing a Palestinian state on that land.

      And if she counters with “But Israel withdrew from Gaza” (ditto), you can say that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas *begged* Israel to negotiate that withdrawal, or to at least negotiate security arrangements, and the Sharon government refused — meaning that the minute Israel left (though it remains surrounding Gaza, determining who and what goes in and out), Hamas was free to claim victory for the withdrawal, and there have never been any arrangements with the Palestinian government to deal with security breaches. Five months later (January 2005 2006), Hamas narrowly won legislative elections, in part because of the impression that their terrorist campaigns ran Israel out of town.

      The second prong is: This is a war. When people are in the middle of a war, they react defensively, they prepare for battle, they become enraged when their homes are destroyed and children killed, and sometimes they do terrible things, whether on purpose or by error. This is how it always is and always has been — you’re right that Israel has a right to defend itself, but it simply makes no sense to expect that Palestinians won’t react to their suffering, too.

      If I understand correctly, my Atlantic piece will be up soon – it’s meant to demonstrate just how much each side has been firing away at each other all along + casuality numbers. I don’t editorialize in it, I just present the facts, but the facts paint something of a picture. You might send her that, as well.

      (Sorry this went on so long! Good luck!)

      • Sorry? ‘Tis brilliant! I shall be using most of it, I think. Thanks a bunch!

        • Please note that I corrected the year of the election – which is ironic, because I had *just* pointed out that very same mistake to a different writer. So it goes!

      • socioprof

         /  November 18, 2012

        This is so good and so helpful. Thanks for this and the Atlantic piece. I am printing both.

  14. NealH

     /  November 16, 2012

    Random food question:

    Is there a good reason why the tail shells of shrimp always seem to be served on, even in a dish like a Cioppino or the etoufee I had for lunch today? The rest of the shrimp has obviously been shelled, why not the tail too–it’s such a mess for either your fingers or trying to use fork and knife without it or the rest of your meal shooting off your plate. Or am I just uncoordinated?

  15. caoil

     /  November 16, 2012

    I am reluctantly having a latte this afternoon (coffee and I don’t agree) as I am sure otherwise I will slip into a coma. I can’t figure out why, but I am so tired and foggy today. It didn’t help, of course, that I spent another 3 hours printing out crap left over from yesterday, and then half an hour trying to wrangle a document into some semblance of order. I just want to go home and nap with my kitties. :-(

    Also I would like to win the lottery tonight, so if anyone could arrange that, I’d appreciate it kthx.

  16. watson42

     /  November 16, 2012

    It’s been a weird week, but is winding up alright: it looks like my contract here is going to be extended for at least a couple more months. Now I just have to figure out health insurance and life might be marginally stable for a quarter or two.

    • Well, yay? A qualified yay. I’ll reserve my full-throated yay for a more permanent sense of security, but yay indeed for at least a measure of it.

      • watson42

         /  November 16, 2012

        I’m still waiting to hear if I made it through to the second round for the job I interviewed for a couple of weeks ago. I *really* want that job so I continue to cross my fingers and not freak out too much.

  17. koolaide

     /  November 16, 2012

    I just found $5 on the floor of the stairwell. I left a “Drop something of value? Call me & tell me what it was & you can have it back” message. But I feel a tad awkward about that. On the one hand, it’s only five bucks. On the other, $5 isn’t a trivial amount to me so I’d be bummed if I lost it.

    • efgoldman

       /  November 16, 2012

      …$5 isn’t a trivial amount to me so I’d be bummed if I lost it.
      Hey, it’ll buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s at regular price. What’s cooler than that?

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