Surprise! It’s an open thread!

Well, once again Ta-Nehisi has gone on with his life and/or career without consulting his commenters about how his day is to be spent. Really, dude, would it kill you to ask?

Thank heavens someone is thinking of the commenters! Open Thread, should you need such a thing. (Oh, and efgoldman made me re-key something yesterday, the monster. You might want to read it, just to make all the suffering worth it).

Standard FYI clause: My general rule of thumb is that I wait two hours after Ta-Nehisi would usually open a thread (roughly noon, EST), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here. (Today, right smack on 2:00 EST, he put up a Tebow post, so I held off a little). 



  1. Bookwoman

     /  January 10, 2012

    Football is more important than we are, clearly.

    *is downcast*

    • Sorry. I had things in mind I wanted to babble with the Horde about and that usually means there’s no OTAN. My bad!

      • Bookwoman

         /  January 10, 2012

        Well stop thinking this instant, young lady!

      • Are you sure? I was slammed at 12noon, and only just caught a break treading weater waiting for the others to turn their bits in so I can call the binder complete. Usually the OTAN waits for me. (I don’t know why this is, but it happens enough that I wonder.)

      • caoil

         /  January 10, 2012

        I too have this jinx-y effect on things.

    • It’s truly appalling, that’s what it is.

  2. SWNC

     /  January 10, 2012

    My eyes may bleed from reading too many political science dissertation abstracts. Thank you, thank you, Emily, for posting a blessed Open Thread!

    • mythopoeia

       /  January 10, 2012

      As my job involves doing something very similar, I give you my sympathies.

  3. caoil

     /  January 10, 2012

    I’d do up some sort of emo, passive-aggressive funny statement in response, but…eh. The energy, it is limited today.

  4. mythopoeia

     /  January 10, 2012

    Consider this your daily reminder: NYC meetup this Saturday, 2 p.m., at The Chocolate Room in Park Slope. Deciding to swing by at the last minute is welcome, but if you know now you’re going to come, you should reply and let us know so we can get all excited about hanging out with you!

  5. Tell me not to be depressed that TNC put up a thread about The Voice and MCs and obviously hadn’t read my article about XFactor’s Astro, even after I pimped the shit out of it.

    • Don’t be depressed. (I have had a lot of similar moments, if that helps any!)

      • Oh good. Because it was a moment of total despair. ***But I WROTE about that months ago! And I recap these shows ! I AM AN AUTHORITY. WHAAAAAA.***

        • I have felt that despair. It leads to really embarrassing if truthful outbursts in the general direction of one’s life partner about one’s general worth and future prospects. ABORT ABORT ABORT!!!

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  January 10, 2012

      Don’t be depressed. I think Coates really doesn’t read the OTAN as much as he skims it periodically to determine if moderation is needed (skinny posts at the margin, spambots, caplock screaming, etc)

      Coates clearly hadn’t seen Kate Cox’s OTAN gaming stuff when composing a recent post, and Emily noted the fact in comments. He clearly hadn’t seen an OTAN music link I’d made a couple months back when he Morning Coffee’d the same vid without a hat-tip. And he clearly hadn’t seen your blog when he toggled off Alyssa on the Voice.

      Dude’s human. He can’t be everywhere, doesn’t read everything, and can’t help but snub everybody a fair amount if he lets the OTAN roll.

      If you want to drive traffic above all, this would be the perfect time to start beef about a snub 😉 … If you want to enjoy Coatesia, and still have the OTAN, I believe the only thing is to have a very large well of generosity and a spirit of forgiveness to accept that he just can’t keep up with us and use his blog as a promotional platform for us (without hiring underbloggers to keep up with us, anyway).

      • “Dude’s human. He can’t be everywhere, doesn’t read everything, and can’t help but snub everybody a fair amount if he lets the OTAN roll.”

        Assumes facts not in evidence.

          I mean, the guy seems to know everything.

          • Yeah, but if you had an edit button, then you wouldn’t have gotten to go all CAPS LOCKY, so there’s that. Win-win, I figure.

            • 🙂

              You are the veritable verisimilitude of niceness and acceptance. Plus, the troll-supervisory-skills of a Whack-a-Mole™ game.

              (I can’t help it. I just finished the video of Baldwin vs. Buckley & I feel all Ivy-League-y and preppy.)

          • Darth Thulhu

             /  January 10, 2012

            Dude has exchanged a few despairing comments directly to me about how hard it is to run the space, in the context of me saying how much time I end up putting in reading the whole comment crawl.

            In context, my impression was that he just *can’t* read everything solo, so he keeps pace as best he can. I’ve experienced similar situations on his twitter memes like #RonPaulTroofs and #RapTheGOP. He makes an effort to skim through and retweet some stuff every few hours, but much of the flood just floods past.

            Given that, I just don’t imagine he reads other blogs outside of a tight and narrow interest area/colleague core. It happens, I’m sure, but I don’t experience it happening particularly much, because: no underblogging staff.

            That’s just my experience, anyway. Andrew Sullivan’s Dish is a blasted firehose by comparison.

            • Makes me feel bad when I post snark or just a wasted comment. “I shouldn’t be adding to his load.” But sometimes the need to have a comeback overcomes my awareness of the work it takes to keep a blog moderated.

          • I think that was Cynic.

      • It was more that I pimped the heck out of that Astro piece. Most pieces, meh, WP tweets them and fb’s them and unless there’s something really bad that requires me to take the post down and them put it back up, I rarely retweet or email it or anything. But this one I did. I retweeted it to everyone I could think of, and retweeted it just for the hell of it every few hours after it when up. So it’s more of a “my pimping doesn’t reach very far” sort of depressed than it is any sort of beef that someone doesn’t read me.

        • I once spent a 24 hour period working a particular post (the “nude is not a color” post) that I thought was good and interesting and funny just to see how much interest 24 hours of unembarrassed and constant flogging could get me. I tripled my slim numbers for one day, and then it went right back down to then-normal (now-normal is a bit bigger), and that was with essentially dedicating my entire life that day to flogging my blog.

          It was depressing, and eye opening, and oddly a little bit liberating. Like: “Ok, so there really is only so much I can do, because I really can’t do that every day. Noted.”

        • Darth Thulhu

           /  January 10, 2012

          Unless something you do goes viral, yeah, I hear you.


          About the best you can do when Coates Doesn’t Know You Did All That is discreetly work a blogflogging link into a comment. Unlike a spammer, you have serious Horde cred, and I believe have earned the right to politely comment and link and expound on a music reality TV topic.

          Likewise, I would expect Jordan to be tolerated to link off an alcoholic beverage post, or Emily off an Israel-Palestine one (should Coates link to Goldblog or the like).

          All that said: *I* liked your reporting and commentary. Passionate and astute and thoughtful.

          • Captain Button

             /  January 10, 2012

            I thought Horde cred was based on how well you can shoot arrows backwards from ponyback.

            • Darth Thulhu

               /  January 10, 2012

              Rhetorical arrows, and Internet platform ponies. Anibundel’s a master reaver at those 🙂

          • Oh I did.
            Well, maybe not discreetly. But yeah I was all “I wrote about that. Here. and here.”

          • The worst part is I had something go viral early on. I should have toiled for a few years in obscurity before that happened, especially since it never happened again. Beginners luck, I suppose.

            • It’ll happen, every so often, and each time it does you won’t see it coming and your base readership plateau in between those mind-boggling spikes will increase ever-so-slightly. At least, that’s been my experience.

              • The weirdest moments is when I gain a reader via facebook. I don’t know why, maybe because a little part of me is convinced nobody I know actually reads me unless I tell them to, but when I get a like from someone I am friends with via fb, it creeps me out a little.

                • I discovered someone had arrived at my blog by searching for my name in Hebrew (which appears no where on the blog, BTW) and that pretty fairly skeeved me out.

            • One of the best traffic sources I’ve ever gotten was a StumbleUpon link. Sadly, this occurred before I figured out where the stats were for my blog, so I didn’t notice it until well after the fact. Never was able to capitalize on that tiny, minuscule flicker of fame.

  6. Ok, holy crap, now I have to go to Sweden:

    (And, oddly enough, I happen to be listening to Peter Bjorn and John right now. Odds? Slim, I’d say).

  7. Captain Button

     /  January 10, 2012

    Well, my local gang is finally getting the bad movie night snarkfest goign again. Which of my submissions should I push?

    Zardoz – Sean Connery in a post-apocalyptic red diaper versus a bunch of immortal hipster bastiges

    Voyage of the Rock Aliens – Pia Zadora, Ruth Gordon, that bald mutant guy from Wierd Science, some other people, with cameos by Jermain Jackson and a tentacle monster.

    The Ultimate Teacher – And anime about TUT cleaning up the worst high school in Japan.

    Saikano – A live action version of an anime, where hopefully the deep creepiness of the anime’s art style will be much reduced.

    • Neocortex

       /  January 10, 2012

      I haven’t seen the others, but my husband and I have played Zardoz at a bad movie night and it was quite successful.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  January 10, 2012

      Zardos! Every frame including that diaper is distilled laughter.

    • You cannot go wrong with Zardoz.

      We saw it once about 15 years ago. My kids still talk about it.

  8. Neocortex

     /  January 10, 2012

    People in my movement are at each other’s throats over misogyny, criminal justice, and co-option (specifically, there was a proposal that would have established a procedure to remove level 3 sex offenders, there was a lot of fighting about it, it was blocked, the block was led by someone who had never been around before and who was deceptive about his background). A large group that included many of the most dedicated people walked out of the general assembly after the block (I stayed a few minutes to check on people who stayed but were clearly distressed – obligations of a medic – and then walked, in part of out of disgust at the block and in part to make sure the walkout folks were okay). I am sad that so many people were hurt by this and that we still have not dealt with the issue that led to it. The plus side is that maybe we will fix some clearly-broken aspects of our process. And maybe seeing how upset people were, and who those people were, will motivate people to address the underlying issue.

    • It’s been my experience that this maybe seeing how upset people were, and who those people were, will motivate people to address the underlying issue is almost the only way things really change. Even among those of us who have dedicated ourselves to genuine change. We all arrive at the effort with our own stories, lists of priorities, and scars, and ALL of that comes into play, whether we want it to, or not.

    • “Radiohead and the Shins” (which, hey, that sounds like an interesting band!) and…. I can’t find it!! Help?

      • Damn! They fixed the first one. It was
        For the first time, the 2102 Coachella music festival will span two weekends this year.

        • That actually makes the second one funnier, because it really shows that the writer was just copying and/or paste-n-copying from a press release and has no idea what she was writing about. NOT THAT I’M PETTY.

  9. David L

     /  January 10, 2012

    …And, of course, a million things rattling around in my mind on a day when the OTAN is AWOL. Here’s but a sampling…

    1. I’d heard about the case of the hazing death at Florida A&M when it happened, and when the morning news started teasing a story about a new revelation about the victim and why it may not have been an accident, I started hoping and praying that the revelation wasn’t that he was gay, but unfortunately it was.

    2. I read an article this morning (first edited to end with a “I’m not saying X, but X” type disclaimer, then pulled) on a feminist site that attempted to equate eating a “caveman” diet with supporting the policies towards women of folks like Rick Santorum, and also managed to imply that having kids made her too busy to devote much time to working out despite also mentioning a husband. I have a full-on Julia Sugarbaker rant stewing in my head about how I may be a cisgender white man who is privileged to have enough money that I’m not just shopping for the cheapest calories I can get and to have enough time to spend it working out, but I happen to be a pro-choice, pro-contraception, pro-woman, pro-equality-of-all-kinds, cisgender white man who just happens to have been raised in part by a father who managed to keep his sufficiently healthy, fed, and bathed for periods sometimes lasting days at a time and hopes that this is not such a rare quality in a man that it can safely be assumed that owning a penis makes me incapable of caring for my own children.

    3. Now that we’re into the 2012 primary season, can people stop whining about the result of the 2008 primaries? I’m sorry that Barack Obama hasn’t somehow managed to make John Boehner and the Blue Dogs disappear, transform Harry Reid into an effectual senate leader, and sign legislation turning the United States into the liberal utopia you’ve always dreamed of like you seem to be convinced that Hillary Clinton would have, but the time to get behind the sitting Democratic President of the United States was more than three years ago now. Just look at the competition…

    • Byrk

       /  January 10, 2012

      In defense of point 2, you are assuming that the husband isn’t helping at all. It’s possible the article mentioned this, but it’s not clear from your post. Speaking from experience having kids and both you and your spouse working full time tends to wear you down. There’s certainly less time for the both of you to work out, and taking care of kids eats away at energy that could be spent working out as well. Not to mention that a lot of little ones aren’t in to eating a meat rich diet.

      • SWNC

         /  January 10, 2012

        Exactly. I have a fabulous co-parent in my husband. He could not be a better, more competent father. But it’s damn hard to find for either of us to find the time to work out now. It’s not that my spouse wouldn’t happily watch the kid while I went to the gym; it’s that I’d now rather spend my evenings playing “Candyland” with the two of them than doing curls. The only way I’ve been able to successfully fit exercise in the schedule is to wake up an hour and a half earlier than anybody else in the house.

        (Her attitude towards the caveman diet does sound batshit crazy, though.)

        • David L

           /  January 10, 2012

          This is a good point. One thing I’m kind of missing as a non-parent is that, yes, it is possible to get away, but not always preferable. I’m seeing “I don’t have time because of the kids” and going “there’s time right there, if your husband does it.”

          There was a tremendous leap of logic in the piece which basically went “caveman = sexist attitudes” without any supporting evidence whatsoever as the segue from “caveman” diets and exercise to anti-woman policies. I have not done detailed research into it, but the passing references I tend to see (which, I admit, are generally from people promoting a paleo lifestyle) is that there is/was division of labor between sexes in hunter-gatherer societies but power is/was not concentrated with the men in the way that it tends to be with post-agricultural societies.

      • David L

         /  January 10, 2012

        What I recall was that there was a long list of kid-related activities that ended with something like “put kids to bed, get a goodnight kiss from the husband while making the kids’ lunch for tomorrow.” (It was also the entire place in that piece that the husband was mentioned at all.) I see that and think that those two things, particularly the last one, are the kind of thing that could be done by one parent if the other parent needs to make some time for himself/herself.

        There’s probably also a bit of… projecting isn’t quite the right word, but I don’t quite know what is. Assuming something is present despite only circumstantial evidence. It wasn’t specifically done here, but I see far more writing than I feel like I should from people who describe themselves as feminist but keep alive the old stereotype of men as incompetent with children and household cleaning chores. There was a great line I saw at one point about how feminism was about freeing both men and women from the shackles of their established gender roles, and the piece in general seemed to be missing that whole side of the equation.

        • SWNC

           /  January 10, 2012

          I see far more writing than I feel like I should from people who describe themselves as feminist but keep alive the old stereotype of men as incompetent with children and household cleaning chores.
          Yeah, that irritates the heck out of me, too. I can see why the article would raise your hackles.

        • Byrk

           /  January 10, 2012

          I can see why your hackles are raised, but my wife and I do use the same terminology. If I was to describe why I was too tired to workout, I’d probably use similar phrasing. I’ll also add that working out in the evening leaves the other spouse to do all those chores on their own, which adds an additional burden to them.

          I guess my hackles get raised the other direction. People always assuming that Dad is checked out or clueless unless my wife explicitly states otherwise. Somebody even asked my wife what I was going to eat while she was gone on a trip (considering I cook nearly all the meals, probably whatever I want), or what I was going to do when left home alone with the kids.

          • “Babysitting” – as in “Is [name of husband] babysitting the kids tonight?”

            No, he’s not. We call that PARENTING.

          • David L

             /  January 11, 2012

            I guess my hackles get raised the other direction. People always assuming that Dad is checked out or clueless unless my wife explicitly states otherwise.

            That’s precisely what I’m railing against. Men as incompetent in domestic tasks.

  10. Captain Button

     /  January 10, 2012

    Sorry, still too busy whining about the 1968 Democratic Convention.

  11. Bookwoman

     /  January 10, 2012

    Emily, Andrew Sullivan has just posted this, so of course I thought of you:

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  January 10, 2012

      If Emily is able to land a gig at the Beast, Sullivan will be an incredible resource / traffic driver. He is absolutely obsessive about his passions, loves linking to colleagues, and more than willing to get into back-and-forth dialogues and exchanges. A few well-researched pieces and supported opinions should see direct linkage (and potential engagement) from him quite rapidly, because Israel is definitely among his current hobby horses.

      • That’s why I’m so fing excited to think that ELH and Sully would be in the same umbrella. If he ever notices her, her internet fame is going to shoot up like whoa.

      • Emily landed it! What I wrote yesterday was that they had asked and I’d said yes — I posted about it very hesitantly because one never knows for sure until the issue is on the newsstand, so to speak. And because I’m a little hesitant about working for free, and in a Jew-specific space (I worry that when Jews talk only to other Jews, we miss engaging those Jews who don’t want to talk to only Jews. If you see what I mean).

        Funny Sullivan story: I once argued with him about the use of a single word in a post about the settlements, and he ran my email as “a reader” — and then someone on the far left of the Jewish/Israeli/Palestinian blogosphere (who had interviewed me for an article just a couple of months prior) positively reemed him for it, saying that the “reader” was clearly some member of the powerful, pro-Israel lobby in the media and he’d hoped that Sullivan was shaking free of his old friends in that cabal but clearly…. This went on and on and on!

        I wrote to tell the guy to tell him that he couldn’t POSSIBLY have gotten it more wrong, and it took them days and days to run a retraction. It’s the best example I’ve ever seen of a cautionary tale about jumping to conclusions. Sheesh. A-hole.

        • You did? So I’m officially friends with someone who works at the Daily Beast?!

          • You are officially friends with Someone Who Will Be Blogging For Free on Occasion in a Tiny Corner of The Daily Beast, Starting Sometime Next Month They Think.

            It’s not quite the same, but believe you me, when I start using that fact as a selling point? I will do my level best to blur all those differences!

        • Darth Thulhu

           /  January 10, 2012

          Woo! Congratulations on the gig, you “Dish reader” par excellance, you!

        • dave in texas

           /  January 10, 2012

          holy cow! I’m out of pocket for a day and you get a gig at the Daily Beast? I couldn’t possibly be more thrilled for you. Given your talent, the foot in the door you’ve earned and been given can only lead to bigger and better things.This is exciting.

          • I repeat – it’s: Blogging For Free on Occasion in a Tiny Corner of The Daily Beast, Starting Sometime Next Month They Think.

            Not quite a gig, but I will my level best to make it the beginning of one.

            • dave in texas

               /  January 11, 2012

              Oh, I got all that, but it *is* a foot in the door. I still maintain that it’s exciting.

  12. Emily, I’m behind on the OTAN as always, but I totally hope The Daily Beast thing works out. You rock and deserve it.

  13. Happy NH Primary Day, Horde.

    The weather moving this way may not interfere with the ritual selection of our next contender for the pinnacle of power, but it’s interfering with me. Swirly vision, ringing ears, twitching eyes. Oh my.

    Good news, though. After today, the state 30 miles down the road won’t be clogged with news casters chasing politicos. It will be safe to return to the NH side of the White Mountain National Forest for a slog through snowy woods; presuming the weather that’s scrambling my vision drops some white on us. But I dare say our wood-wandering isn’t as good for the NH economy as the news casters and office seekers filling up the diners and truck stops.

  14. The second interview with the library in Cocoa was a follow-up: they were down to three candidates and needed to get a feel for who would be the best choice. So I feel upbeat that my qualifications are good enough to survive the review process.

    Also, we need a playoff system in college football Division I-A.

    • caoil

       /  January 10, 2012

      Still sending you relaxed & groovy vibes!

    • I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over all the noise my crossed fingers are making.

      (GOOD LUCK).

    • Seriously, still rooting for you wicked hard.

      Also my alma mater just made (or is making) the jump to 1-A from 1-AA and I wish they wouldn’t. It’s a stupid bullshit system and it’s not actually going to make the school any money, at least not for decades, and it’s already cash-strapped and flat-ass broke. *irritated muttering*

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  January 10, 2012

      Woo! If they do it like my two most recent companies have, third interview is with District Manager / Director / Relevant HR Person, and is effectively the “offer you the job” interview.

      Best of luck, sir! Wishing and praying for you.

    • wearyvoter

       /  January 10, 2012

      Keeping fingers crossed.

  15. Bookwoman

     /  January 10, 2012

    Excellent news! And may it continue!

  16. corkingiron

     /  January 10, 2012

    For some reason I’ve been thinking about these folks; “Ladies Against Women”. I first heard of them back in the anti-nuke movement of the eighties when they demonstrated outside the Conservative Convention with chants like “Mommies Mommies don’t be Commies! Stay at home and fold Pajommies!”

    Nice to know they’re still around…..sort of.

  17. wearyvoter

     /  January 10, 2012

    I will see a certain 9-year old a Tesla coil and raise him two cats who seem to be able to generate some pretty good static electricity. I just scritched our tabby and got a jolt.

    • Some mornings I forget to take my earbud headphones out of my ears before I take off my synthetic and wool tops. Not a spot you usually expect to get zapped.

  18. CitizenE

     /  January 11, 2012

    A gift from a friend: Caper berry seeds + the following directions for germination

    1. Immerse seeds in water precisely 110-120 degrees at time of immersion for 12 hours.
    2. Near the end of the 12 hour period, boil water, and immerse a tea towel in the boiling water.
    3. Allow tea towel to cool, and wring out, so it is moist. Drain the seed water, rinse, and wrap in moist towel.
    4. Place seeds and towel in a zip-loc bag and refrigerate for 2 1/2 months.
    5. At the end of two and a half months, re-do step 1.
    6. Drain the seed water, and plant in small containers, and wait, sometimes for as long as 6 more weeks, till they germinate and plant either in the ground or containers.

    If they do not face below 20 degrees farenheit, they can live for as long as 40 years, and have lovely, fragrant flowers (from the pic, kinda look like orange blossoms), not to mention delightful gourmet caper berries.

    Then cut your capers. Caper around, Put on your caper and fly to the outer reaches of Krypton.