Open thread is as open thread does.

The crazy work schedule has passed – and I’m actually even less available. Huh! Spring break, friends and family stuff, readying the house for Passover, etc and so on.

Having said that, how could I forget you, my Horde? Have at it! And if you get stuck in moderation because I’m hardly even at my desk right now, I’ll fish you out as soon as ever I can.

Standard FYI clause: My rule of thumb is that I wait for 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would usually open a thread (roughly noon, EST), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

199 Comments

  1. Bookwoman

     /  March 30, 2012

    Thank you. I was starting to go through Horde withdrawal!

    • efgoldman

       /  March 30, 2012

      Also too, howkum your gravitar, and anubundel’s, show here and mine does not. Where is yours stored?

      • baiskeli

         /  March 30, 2012

        I’m wondering about that too

      • I assume because it’s the wordpress gravatar attched to my blog? I don’t know how it works for those without wordpress blogs.

      • stephen matlock

         /  March 30, 2012

        Try this:

        Clear all your cookies
        Log into gravatar with the account/email you’re using here.
        Check your avatar

        Then come back here and post again, and see if it shows up.

        I do not know why WordPress is acting up. It has been unlinking and re-linking my account randomly for the past few weeks.

        • efgoldman

           /  March 30, 2012

          Try this:
          Tried it last week, twice.
          Gravitar is fine at the Atlantic (Disqus) and at LGM (Word Press). Its no big deal, I’m just curious.

          • stephen matlock

             /  March 30, 2012

            I dunno.

            I do know that it got all weird for a while, and now it has me connected to a slightly different account. I don’t mind; I was just trying to keep the two separate to keep them “pure” (one for my personal blog and one for my public persona).

            Whatever.

      • Bookwoman

         /  March 30, 2012

        Yeah, I have a WordPress account that I’m now using to log in here.

    • Captain_Button

       /  March 30, 2012

      The Horde doe not “withdraw”. The Horde use tactical and strategic mobility to maneuver.

  2. How can anyone get through a Friday without an open thread, I ask you?

    By visiting my blog, of course!
    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/

    Today there’s BGS Legos, Game of thrones mixed with baseball (yeah, I dunno. HBO ran out of ideas.) A new dictator trailer that actually explains the plot, and of course, the eliminations over on Idol last night.

    • caoil

       /  March 30, 2012

      Those Lego setups were amazing! Makes me want to have my own Lego – except in my house it would end up as a cat toy.

      • I really typed BGS instead of BSG didn’t I? Stupid dyslexia. MY KINGDOM FOR AN EDIT BUTTON.

        • caoil

           /  March 30, 2012

          Don’t trade away your kingdom! I imagine it full of friendly kittens and people in costumes and Muppets wandering hither and yon.

        • Captain_Button

           /  March 30, 2012

          “Ooh, he must be a king.”

          ‘How’d you know?’

          “He hasn’t got edit or like buttons all over him.”

    • efgoldman

       /  March 30, 2012

      Game of thrones mixed with baseball…
      FIOS is running a free HBO/Cinemax weekend (today thru Monday). I asked the daughter If I might like the Thrones season premiere. She said, without watching the first season, it was just a bunch of sex and violence in costume. So I migh watch it out of curiosity anyway.

      • I would recommend watching the first season if you can get your hands on it before trying to get to far into the second season. It’s only 10 1-hour episodes. You can do it in a day easily.

  3. efgoldman

     /  March 30, 2012

    As I must do when I return to work next month. Our IT department apparently thinks that Disqus is a social networking site, and blocks it.

    • caoil

       /  March 30, 2012

      Does it block Disqus on all sites where it’s used? Our firewall must not like something about whatever the Atlantic does, because that’s the only site it won’t load on!

      • efgoldman

         /  March 30, 2012

        Does it block Disqus on all sites where it’s used?
        Apparently, yes. When I click on the individual comment at the Atlantic, at Drum’s blog (MotherJones) and on K_Cox’s blog, comments are not visible and the new comment box is gone.

        • caoil

           /  March 30, 2012

          Hrm. While that’s irritating to say the least, at least it’s consistent!

  4. And the question of the day is…

    How many tickets did you buy?

    (2. Might get a couple more if the lines aren’t too bad.)

    • baiskeli

       /  March 30, 2012

      10

    • None. I’m planning to see if R’s buddy who’s working the show can sneak me in to watch from the side of the stage.

      …We are talking about Madonna, right?

    • David L

       /  March 30, 2012

      Counting the office pool? 22.

      Five of my own (it was going to be three, but I used a self-serve machine that didn’t give change), and a 1/17 share of 17 more tickets.

    • As per yesterday, none. I’d be terrified of that kind of money, even if I had to split it.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  March 30, 2012

      Zero. Regressive tax. Do not want.

      • Madonna is NOT regressive!

        • Darth Thulhu

           /  March 30, 2012

          🙂

          Your tickets are very forward thinking, as well as fashion-forward, of course.

          • You obviously didn’t read my comment earlier. I DIDN’T BUY TICKETS. I’m planning on using my boyfriend to get in for free.
            My boss on the other hand, bought tickets to both night. Which is why he got 6 free copies of her new CD, which is why he walked in yesterday and distributed them to every woman in the place under the age of 50.
            My job comes with bonus Madonna! Who knew!?

            • Captain_Button

               /  March 30, 2012

              This shows that your boss is the bedrock of the capitalist system, while you are a freeloading degenerate slacker who is dragging society down into the gutter.

              • Since he’s the R.money voting republican, and I’m a lefty liberal…yes. Exactly.

    • koolaide

       /  March 30, 2012

      I haven’t bought any tix for similar reasons as Darth Thulhu. But when it gets this high I am more tempted. I’d love to be able to set up a non-profit granting agency to fund the stuff I care about that makes the world better—> at risk youth programs, education, mental health, health care for the poor, day care, clean air/water stuff, libraries, and so forth.

      I’d also be able to do something interesting by getting involved in such efforts instead of this job I do not like.

      • Yup. If I win, you’ll find me working…scooping poop at the nearest animal shelter.

        • caoil

           /  March 30, 2012

          I’ll be over here, rooting for the two of you.

      • You don’t understand Frodo…I would use the ring out of a desire to do good….

  5. baiskeli

     /  March 30, 2012

    A little gem from Charlie Pierce, about some background on Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC, and his jumping into the Trayvon Martin case with both feet.
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/trayvon-martin-continued-7492410

    I noticed the other night that Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC has jumped with both feet aboard the story of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who was shot by a “neighborhood watch” officer, apparently for the crime of being in the wrong place with Skittles and an iced tea. This does not surprise me in the least, because I was a small part of a similar story back in the late 1970’s in Boston.
    When I worked for the Boston Phoenix, my colleague, the late Dave O’Brian, was entangled in a case involving the events that occurred when he’d gone on a “ridearound” with some Boston cops one night in 1975. At one point, the cops blew away a black hospital worker named James Bowden for the crime of driving a car with a license plate “similar” to one that had been seen on a car fleeing a grocery store robbery. Covering their asses, the cops tried to frame the dead guy for the grocery-store robbery. Bowden’s family had the great good fortune of hiring as its lawyer Lawrence O’Donnell, Sr. The senior O’Donnell started out as a Boston cop. He also was counsel for the defense in the legendary Brinks Job robbery trial. And, you can believe me when I say this, O’Donnell was exactly the kind of lawyer that you do not want to see at the other table if you’re a cop trying to bullshit your way out of a bad shoot that stunk to high heaven. As I recall, all of the O’Donnell sons were involved in the investigation of the case, too, and Lawrence, Jr. eventually wrote a book about it.

    You can read the rest of the article, but I also followed the link to the 1985 article detailing the James Bowden case
    http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20087485,00.html

    The defendants in Mrs. Bowden’s civil suit were the two officers who had shot her husband, although the city customarily pays judgments against cops who are sued. Accepting the right of police to defend themselves against armed criminals, O’Donnell needed to prove that James Bowden, who did not have a criminal record, posed no such threat. In court, with great flamboyance, he made some harsh accusations: that the policemen didn’t check Bowden’s identity with enough care; that they themselves created a violent situation and then used their guns needlessly; and that the police force staged a cover-up to hide the tragic blunder. Specifically, O’Donnell and his lawyer son Michael, now 40, introduced the following startling evidence…


    Even after the final court decision, however, the police and the city, under the regime of Mayor Kevin White, refused to pay the $250,000 (plus interest) awarded to Patricia Bowden or the lawyers’ fee. Last summer, the O’Donnells made a final effort to get Mrs. Bowden’s money—or some part of it. To prove their resolve, they took various steps including legal action, threatening seizure of the home of Dennis McKenna’s wife, Barbara—a mother of six who had been separated from her husband before the Bowden killing. The police reacted with outrage. In September, they threatened their strike if the city did not pay Mrs. Bowden to save Mrs. McKenna’s home.

    Some police leaders say that White and Police Commissioner Joseph Jordan refused because of a grudge against the lawyers, and the O’Donnells certainly didn’t ease the situation. Lawrence Jr. once said, “There are people who have gone to jail for far less than what Commissioner Jordan did. The people who covered up Watergate only hid a burglary—Joseph Jordan covered up a homicide.” Lawrence Sr. added, “I’m hated by Jordan and Kevin White and I deem that a tribute. If I had their good will, it would be a disgrace.”

    After growing up in blue-collar Dorchester, a neighborhood they shared with many Boston policemen, the O’Donnells broke a taboo and lost a lot of friends when they defended Mrs. Bowden against two Irish cops. Lawrence Jr. found himself a target of animosity before he even knew about the shooting. The only non-lawyer of five O’Donnell children, Lawrence, now 32, was manhandled in 1975 by a policeman who was a witness in the Bowden trial. The officer gave him a concussion, booked him for disorderly conduct, and, says O’Donnell, offered to drop charges if Lawrence Sr. dropped the Bowden case. A court threw out the charges and later, after filing suit against the police, the O’Donnells received $13,000 in damages and legal fees for the incident. Nonetheless, some officers continue to say O’Donnell provoked the scene.

    Reading it left me with a whole lot of respect for O’Donnell, his dad and the family as a whole. Taking the Bowden case in a city as racially divided as Boston was guaranteeing ostracism. And it seems that Lawrence O’Donnell personally paid for his dad taking the case with a concussion, trumped up charges and being thrown in jail.

    Sometimes we look at mainstream journalists and pundits and assume that they come from a position of privilege, and that they can’t really know the experiences of other people who don’t look like them as far as police treatment goes, but I know I won’t be making that assumption in the future.

    Also, on a related note, Boston Globe has info about African American Kirsten Greenidge’s play about her parents struggles to buy a house in overwhelmingly white Arlington in 1967.

    http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/comedy/articles/2012/03/30/playwright_kirsten_greenidge_weaves_family_history_into_luck_of_the_irish/

    This play is of personal interest to me because I live in Arlington (and love it) and because I’m almost through reading The Warmth of Other suns and realizing how unfriendly the North could be to African Americans escaping the South (but still better than the South).

    Also, in the article, you find startling things, like Michael Bloomberg’s parents had to employ subterfuge to buy a house in neighboring Medford in 1945 (because they were Jewish).

    • baiskeli

       /  March 30, 2012

      Link to people is broken. It should be

      http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20087485,00.html
      “http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20087485,00.html”

    • efgoldman

       /  March 30, 2012

      If Dave O’Brien had lived, he likely would have gone on to Woodward/Bernstein type fame. A great writer (as is Pierce), with no fear of anybody.

    • That’s interesting.

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 30, 2012

      Thanks for this, and thanks also for your reply to me in TNC’s “Cruelty” thread. (I am Terminally Lame, indeed!) I didn’t want to continue the discussion there, since TNC banned one commenter for asking what I thought was an honest (if tangential) question about grills.

      Michael Bloomberg’s parents had to employ subterfuge to buy a house in neighboring Medford in 1945 (because they were Jewish).

      When we bought our first house, in 1986, our next-door neighbor told me that he was the first Jew allowed in the neighborhood…in 1972. Before that there had been a restrictive covenant: no blacks, no Jews, no Catholics. The mind boggles.

      • aaron singer

         /  March 30, 2012

        My grandparents moved from city to inner-ring suburb in 1960. As Jews, they were only allowed to move to 2 neighborhoods, one of which my grandfather deemed at the time ‘the ghetto’ (as the subdivision was almost entirely Jewish). On the deed to the house, it says ‘no coloreds’. Today, the neighborhood is pretty mixed.

        • baiskeli

           /  March 30, 2012

          The Warmth of other Suns has a section on how Harlem became majority black, despite covenants and attempts by white homeowners not to sell to blacks. It essentially boils down to economics.
          I’d hazard a guess that quite a few homes in any large city had racial covenants, I’d just never realized that they were targeted at anyone other than blacks.

          • efgoldman

             /  March 30, 2012

            I’d hazard a guess that quite a few homes in any large city had racial covenants, I’d just never realized that they were targeted at anyone other than blacks.
            At various times, directed at virtually every ethnic or religious immigrant groups as each wave came to the US: Jews and Catholics, Irish and Italian, Asian and black.
            I can’t find it right now, but there’s a Ben Franklin piece somewhere decrying Pennslvania’s widespread anti-immigrant fervor against the Germans.
            a widespread

            • efgoldman

               /  March 30, 2012

              And also too can’t edit because can’t see the last line of the comment while entering it.

          • There’s a whole book about neighborhood covenants in Baltimore that is very well-reviewed, ‘Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City,’ by Antero Pietila. Haven’t read it myself, but then, I can’t remember the last time I had time to read a book!

            • baiskeli

               /  March 30, 2012

              Talking about covenants.

              Our family house in Kenya is in the section of Nairobi previously reserved for Indians only(by British Colonial Law). I think my parents were the first black family to own this house (though by the time they bought, about 8 years after Independence, there were other black families in the area). Prior to Independence, Nairobi had a white section, an Indian section and a black section (the black section was the land no one wanted).

              The racial lines are still somewhat visible, and you can see Nairobi’s segregated history in who lives where (though the line between black/asian has dissappeared). Kenya is pretty diverse, but there are a couple of areas that are essentially almost all white, and a bar in one of those areas is known not to let in black patrons. My parents belonged to a club that up until the mid 70’s didn’t allow blacks membership, and the High School I went to (Lenana School, used to be called Duke of York) was previously for children of white settlers and didn’t let in black students until the late 60’s, and didn’t have black teachers until the mid 70s. Those first black students went through hell (one of them is a parent of a friend, and his stories are pretty horrific).

              There was a recent controversy a couple of years ago when a Real Estate agency specified “White or Asian only” for a rental in Nairobi. Such statements were common in the late 70s, mid 80s, but real estate agents since then became smarter once it became against the law.

        • When my parents moved into the DC suburb I grew up in in 1984, the WASP next door came over and told my mom this used to be a respectable neighborhood back in the day–no blacks and no Jews.
          Yeah. Mom didn’t take that well.

      • baiskeli

         /  March 30, 2012

        No prob.

        I think the question you asked was fundamentally different from what the other commenter said (and I think TNC’s judgement on that one was right, that sounded like the opening shot in a troll battle).

        Some of those restrictive covenants are still on the book (though unenforceable), though when my wife and I were looking to rent in Somerville in the early 2000s, we had a lot of apartments that would disappear or suddenly develop characteristics that we specifically asked about (‘oh wait, that apartment I was going to show you has carpets, I know you asked for wood floors, oh darn, my bad!’) between my wife making the appointment and showing up (she’s white) and my arrival.

        We were going through rental agents and after a particularly nasty incident (in which a real estate agent spat out ‘I don’t deal with low income housing’ as soon as I showed up (ironic because we weren’t looking for low income housing and make quite a decent amount) we decided to do CraigsList for rent by owner only, and we had much better luck (and not even a single incident).

        We’ve determined next time we decide to move we’ll volunteer as Real Estate Discrimination Testers.
        I had rented in Somerville before alone but never noticed this aspect, probably because I was easy to weed out for racist rental agents once they saw I was black, therefore I was only dealing with the non-racist ones. But when we were looking together my wife tended to make the appts (because she got out of work earlier than me), and I’d show up later, and then the agents would be twisting themselves into a pretzel trying to explain how the apartment they were about to show us had suddenly been rented or how we really didn’t want it.

        • Bookwoman

           /  March 30, 2012

          I know these things happen, but every time I hear stories like this I’m just rendered speechless.

        • Ian

           /  March 30, 2012

          I actually don’t think that guy was trolling, I just think he was being too unserious in an unfunny way in a serious thread.

          • Speaking of trolling, why is that sophistry2 dude still around?

            • baiskeli

               /  March 30, 2012

              I think he just got banned again or is about to. He made an anti-gay statement and TNC came down on him like a ton of bricks.

              • I don’t want to be rid, so I don’t speak to him, but I’ve been on the verge of flagging him all week.
                Beem trying to remember opened minded ness and giving new people a chance, etc, but, oy does that one get on my nerves.

            • Ian

               /  March 30, 2012

              Troll triage on the Trayvon Martin threads. Sophistry2 does not qualify as an emergency.

            • stephen matlock

               /  March 30, 2012

              I’m afraid I behaved badly, getting more and more irritated, and pretending “they” were making me react the way I did.

              I really, really try hard to behave over there. But sometimes, it just irks me that people who aren’t honest about themselves post just to stir things up or to say a giant “fuck you,” as if somehow it is a very clever and telling remark.

              I had posted a reply to one of the yahoos who snarked at something I wrote, and luckily for me by that time TNC had closed the thread.

              I feel bad that I acted like such an ass. I couldn’t even post an apology to the man.

          • baiskeli

             /  March 30, 2012

            His posting history said otherwise

            • Ian

               /  March 30, 2012

              I looked at it, too. It was mixed and weird. I’m not lamenting the guy, I just thought he was more clueless than malevolent. I’m not mourning his passing.

              • baiskeli

                 /  March 30, 2012

                Oh, I’m not disagreeing. His post, and history put him right on the edge between clueless and trolling. I don’t begrudge TNC taking a hard stance, especially considering the troll infestation in yesterdays thread.

                • socioprof

                   /  March 30, 2012

                  They’re there now. I seriously don’t know what the fuck is wrong with people. I really don’t. I’ve bowed out and am heading to the hotel bar. Anybody want to (virtually) join me?

                  • Yes, and I’ll be your virtual designated driver.

                  • wearyvoter

                     /  March 30, 2012

                    Definitely. This has been one of those weeks where a few drinks are needed.

                  • Dex

                     /  March 30, 2012

                    I’m on my third drink. You have some catching up to do.

                    It’s been a long month.

        • ‘I don’t deal with low income housing’ Holy crow, man. Holy fucking crow.

          I just… I was going to make a “good thing we’re post-racial” joke, and I just can’t.

          • watson42

             /  March 31, 2012

            I could tell you stories about trying to find an apartment in Boston only a few years ago. My experiences are much like Baiskeli’s.

            What amazes me is realtors are going to get paid if I rent/buy from them, but I still heard things like “Wow, you don’t look like how you sound on the phone.” Or, “People like you might not be comfortable in this neighborhood.” Or, “I don’t think someone like you can afford this building.” All this from the percentage of realtors that were willing to show me aparments at all.

            • stephen matlock

               /  March 31, 2012

              That people vote against their economic interests amazes me, but that when they will suffer economic injury & they still proceed amazes me more.

              But then, it’s frankly because I’m ignorant and I just never expect this. I always default to “Why would someone do something that stupid?”

              Even when I orbited conservative realms, I never got this racism. I still don’t. I really don’t get how my friends have that “reasonable racism”; you know, where you have good reasons to avoid renting to minorities or sitting with them or letting your kids hang around with them or even marry them.

              I am not better educated now that I travel in different circles. I’m still always shocked.

            • baiskeli

               /  April 1, 2012

              Uuugh!!

              Yup, sounds like Boston real estate agents. My wife and I swore we would never use another real estate agent unless absolutely necessary. We’ll take our chances with Craigslist for rent by owner only (so far, the 2 times we’ve done this when moving to Somerville and when moving to Arlington, it’s been a great experience)

        • helensprogeny

           /  April 1, 2012

          I don’t even know what to say about this. Except I’m so very sorry you had to experience this, and thanks for sharing it with us. Humans can be so very stupid and small sometimes.

      • watson42

         /  March 30, 2012

        Re housing: it’s why my parents bought the house they did even though the house wasn’t well-suited to their needs. The realtor lived down the street. My parents figured if the realtor showed a house to an interracial minority couple, whose kids would be playing with the realtor’s kids, the neighborhood was exactly what they wanted and to hell with whether the house was right.

        • baiskeli

           /  March 30, 2012

          I love your parents thinking.

          We rent, and we love our place (Arlington), but what sold it for us was how friendly the Landlord was (and we walked around the neighborhood, and everyone was friendly).

          There’s a lot to be said about living in a place where you feel wanted.

          Part of my reason for asking so many pesky questions about San Francisco and the Bay area is that I want to be sure to live in a neighborhood where we feel welcome and where we can raise our future kid(s) without them feeling excluded.

          • watson42

             /  March 30, 2012

            Let me tell you my favorite story about Oakland. Even if it outs me IRL (people who know me have heard this story).

            My Chinese-American cousin and I were babysitting the young son of a friend for the day. He is African-American. We were in the grocery store buying stuff for a picnic. A rich (from her clothing and jewelry) little old white woman comes up to us and says to my cousin and me, “He’s such a lovely kid! How long have you had him?” Through the course of the ensuing conversation, we realized she assumed we were an inter-racial lesbian couple who had adopted an African-American kid. That right there? Oakland, California.

            • R_Bargis

               /  March 30, 2012

              Like like like. It’s so good to hear that there are places like that.

            • baiskeli

               /  March 30, 2012

              I love this!

              • watson42

                 /  March 31, 2012

                Oakland has its issues, but man, the upsides are serious upsides.

  6. It’s Friday. Here’s a song.

    • I’d rather watch Kittens:

      • Four kittens is enough for a bitchin’ rock band if they can just get their act together.

        • Their act is currently perfect. Except I can’t reach through my computer monitor and snuggle their adorable little spotted bellies.

          • Imagine if you stuck a bass, guitar, drums and microphone in their tiny little paws and taught them to play “Search and Destroy”. Then you’d really have something.

    • Fine. Yesterday I named an Open Thread after one of your bon mots and you were nowhere to be found.

      I see how it is.

      (Also: Excellent song choice. I approve).

      • Thursday I teach in the afternoon, sorry Emily. I didn’t see it until today. I laughed at the discussion that you people had, but I figure if I responded no one would notice.

      • caoil

         /  March 30, 2012

        there is not enough flouncing and harrumphing in this reply to make it proper Internet Drama.

      • efgoldman

         /  March 30, 2012

        Boy do you project great Jewish Mother Guilt. Made mec feel guilty, and I’m old enough to be your father!
        Your kids must live in a constant cringe.

    • Ian

       /  March 30, 2012

      Hey, that’s good. I never really listened to Pavement.

  7. watson42

     /  March 30, 2012

    I wanted to post this over at TNC’s place, but comments just closed, plus I didn’t know if this was on-topic enough for the Trayvon post. So I’m posting here.

    People of color being by definition thugs, thieves, or problems is part of our culture. Like it or not. There’s all kinds of subtle/unconcious messaging that drives this home every day. You get on the bus, the empty seat next to the black guy gets filled last. You go to the store, it’s the minorities that get followed around. A black kids walks down the street in a hoodie, he’s a thug and a criminal. The brown guy in the airport is a terrorist and no one will make eye contact for fear of “guilt by association.” It’s what makes things like the Trayvon Martin case possible.

    So be part of the solution. Sit next to the black guy on the bus. Smile at the brown person in line at airport security like you would a white person. Notice when the minority kid at the store asks for a receipt and bag when he buys a pack of Skittles. Send a different message. Change the water we’re all swimming in.

    Maybe if we all worked on the small things, the bigger things would be easier to change – laws, policies, police departments.

    And who the hell knows, maybe that black guy you just sat next to is Baiskeli. Maybe that brown person is me on my way to a job interview. Maybe that kid is TNC’s son, picking up a snack on his way home to play D&D with his dad. Maybe you could say hi. We could talk about oatmeal.

    • baiskeli

       /  March 30, 2012

      I’m a comment standing in for a “Like” button.

    • SWNC

       /  March 30, 2012

      This is awesome. Thank you.

    • I will sit next to you but so help me Christ if you start talking to me about porridge I will punch you right in your ugly face I don’t care what color you are.

      • caoil

         /  March 30, 2012

        Now everyone knows what kind of recipe book to get Craig for his birthday next year.

        • I am on the record many times over about how I feel about this mush.

          (I like the advice about sitting next to the black person, that is good practical advice to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Unless it’s Alan Keyes or someshit, let that fuckstick sit by himself.)

          • baiskeli

             /  March 30, 2012

            🙂

          • efgoldman

             /  March 30, 2012

            I am on the record many times over about how I feel about this mush.
            Missing out on some wicked good cookies, boyo.

            • wearyvoter

               /  March 30, 2012

              Especially the ones with semi-sweet chocolate chips as a bonus.

      • watson42

         /  March 30, 2012

        Who you calling ugly?!? At least fighting over oatmeal, we’d be fighting over something real.

        • I don’t believe in oatmeal. Just a conspiracy of breakfastologists at Kellogg’s.

    • stephen matlock

       /  March 30, 2012

      “Change the water we’re all swimming in.”

      Very nice. I’m gonna steal it.

      I wouldn’t be sitting next to Baiskeli, though. He’s gonna be outside on his bike zipping by as my bus slowly winds its way up 4th Avenue.

      • baiskeli

         /  March 30, 2012

        I wouldn’t be sitting next to Baiskeli, though. He’s gonna be outside on his bike zipping by as my bus slowly winds its way up 4th Avenue.

        I could attach a bike sidecar (they exist for motorbikes, so why not for bikes) and you could sit there.

        • stephen matlock

           /  March 30, 2012

          The, uh, mind reels.

          You would need a little power-assist from an auxilliary engine, I’m afraid. There’s a matter of the kinetic energy vs. rest mass.

          • baiskeli

             /  March 30, 2012

            Nah, you’d just have your own crankset and chain. No one travels for free🙂

            It’s pretty funny that a bike with a sidecar already exists

    • Hey you were the very person who talked about the receipt/bag thing last week, right? I talked to my 7th grade white boy and his best (white) friend about that yesterday, saying essentially: “Hey, here’s a thing we’ve never had to teach you, but other parents teach their kids like we taught you to look both ways to cross the street.”

      Also, this: So be part of the solution. Sit next to the black guy on the bus. Smile at the brown person in line at airport security like you would a white person. Notice when the minority kid at the store asks for a receipt and bag when he buys a pack of Skittles. Send a different message. Change the water we’re all swimming in.

      • watson42

         /  March 30, 2012

        Yep, that was me.

        • Thank you. That was one of those things that just never occurred to me, and man, what a powerful statement it is. “You’re presumed to be a thief before you’ve even stepped foot in a store, so protect yourself from that.” Holy shit. That’s a whole nother level of white privilege, right there.

          • watson42

             /  March 30, 2012

            You’re welcome. It’s funny too, because it’s so automatic from the PoC side. And post-9/11 there’s a whole new set of behaviors I’ve developed, being a brown person of hard-to-determine ancestry when you look at me (or so I’m told).

            • socioprof

               /  March 30, 2012

              From the PoC side, too, it’s surprising when you’re not met with suspicion sometimes. One afternoon, a couple years ago, I was at a neighborhood joint with kiddo#1. We’d ordered and gotten our lunch, I was drinking my coffee and kiddo was eating his cookie and when I went to pay, I realized that I didn’t have my wallet. I was in the process of putting the bag of food back on the counter and explaining that I’d be right back. The server/cashier told me just to come back later that night. There was this moment where my brain could not process the words I’d heard. I asked if she needed any info from me and was even more shocked when she was surprised that I’d asked that question. For that reason (and the yumminess of the food), this place remains one of my favorite restaurants in my ‘hood.

              • baiskeli

                 /  March 30, 2012

                Yes, this!!

                When this happens, I cling to that place for dear life. We’ve slowly built our list of ‘minority friendly’ shops/restaurants.

              • Name, please, for the white lady with a taste for yummy food and lack of racial bias.

                • socioprof

                   /  March 30, 2012

                  Buzz Cafe.

                  • Oh! Well that is especially nice to hear. I’ve always thought of those folks as lovely folks. Even if the art on the walls is consistently atrocious.

                • Dex

                   /  March 30, 2012

                  How to eat awesomely:

                  Rule #1: If it’s an ethnic restaurant and you don’t see mainly people of that ethnicity, walk away.

                  Rule #2: No matter the type of restaurant, if it’s all white people (I include front-of-house staff in that equation, btw*), walk away.

                  *But let’s be clear, most every restaurant in this country is craven in that they cook our food and clean up after us on the backs of people of color, particularly Latinos and/or Hispanics.

                  • Ian

                     /  March 30, 2012

                    Do you have modified rules for people living in very, very white places?

                  • stephen matlock

                     /  March 30, 2012

                    Well, while he was alive, Gene at Dixie’s Barbecue ran a pretty mean barbecue place out of his garage.

                    My first day on my job (back in 1995, I think) the gang took me there. Food was awesome, but the extra spicy sauce (called “The Man”) was so hot that I thought they were punishing me. As I commented at the time (after I could speak), “It’s like sucking a blowtorch – except you can stop sucking a blowtorch.”

              • watson42

                 /  March 31, 2012

                Yes, totally this! I had this happen gettting ice cream once in Cambridge. It was cash only and I didn’t have cash. The guy behind the counter told me to come back before the end of the weekend, turned around and got me my ice cream. I immediately walked a few blocks to an ATM, got cash and came back. He looked at me and said, “You know, you didn’t have to go out of your way. Any time before closing tomorrow would have been fine.” Years on, I still tip big there when I go get ice cream.

          • LizR

             /  March 30, 2012

            It blew my mind when one of my bosses told me how she would never, ever, go into a store in a hoodie and jeans instead of in her professional clothes, because being dressed down meant being presumed to be a shoplifter and the professional clothes were another layer of protection. It’s sick that things as simple as asking for a bag or looking like ass while picking up milk are privileges.

            • socioprof

               /  March 30, 2012

              This is not at all uncommon. When looking for places to live, hubby and I would dress a little better than we typically would for work. Not suits of course, but more the business side of business casual.

              • baiskeli

                 /  March 30, 2012

                I do this too when we go apartment hunting. Not over the top, but khakis, shoes and a polo shirt. Which is ironic because my natural attire is jeans, a t shirt and sneakers/chuck-taylors.

            • Dex

               /  March 30, 2012

              In some places in Indiana, they just won’t serve you. One of the big reasons we didn’t look for jobs in the deep south or in small towns was because of this. Moreso than my wife, I got fed up with people either ignoring her or flat out refusing to serve her. No, seriously, she brought an item toward the counter in one store and the employee saw her, and walked straight to the store room and would not come out or acknowledge her. We’d go into stores together and she’d remark how multiple people would offer to help me, but nobody would ever speak to her if she went into that same store by herself. There’s more than a little something to be said for being able to walk in public without people grabbing their kids and shooting you dirty looks or looking at you as if you’re a circus freak. To my wife’s eternal credit she either didn’t notice, ignored, or didn’t get too upset over this stuff, while I was absolutely losing my shit over it. Quite frankly, and I realize this is a limited and skewed sample, but every single person of color whom I have ever known has been far less likely to cry racism than I am. I mean, I’m sure many of them see it, but they seem to have an armor of sorts that is required to let them get through life without being too angry at the rampant assholery that is floating around out there.

              And yet, I draw comfort from the fact that a major contributing factor to the death of most all rural and small towns and the prosperity of the cities is driven in no small part to their towniness. Fear of difference. Fear of other. Fear of chance. Fuck them. They’ve got plenty of room in their cemeteries as the rest of the world passes them by.

              • Dex

                 /  March 30, 2012

                Gah. Fear of change, not fear of chance. This is what I get for writing things up as stream of consciousness when there’s no edit button available. Now you all get to see how hard I have to work when I go back and proofread my stuff. (I edit 99.9999999% of posts at TNC’s after the fact for grammar and typo issues.)

              • stephen matlock

                 /  March 30, 2012

                Thanks for the story. I forget about this all the time.

                My friend shared a similar story last year when they were out travelling on the peninsula. Some places simply ignored them – would not even come to their table to take their order.

                I’m always flabbergasted because – dude, you’re in business to make money. And yet you’re being a dick about your so-called principles.

                And yeah, that is one of the most depressing things about small towns/rural areas. That, and inability to forget the past. You make a mistake in a small town, you’re better off just moving.

    • R_Bargis

       /  March 30, 2012

      Exactly, it’s the little stuff like this that builds prejudices that are hard to break down. Trying to balance not acting foolishly with not making judgments based on racist preconceptions takes work. I try to sit next to whoever on the bus, and if a young black man dressed like a hipster or an intern walked toward me in a parking lot at night I wouldn’t be particularly nervous, but at the same time I hold my bag tighter when a young black man in flashy dress walks past me on a deserted street. So I dunno. Nothing to do but keep on trying.

      • R_Bargis

         /  March 30, 2012

        Sorry, I forgot to add: It’s the part where I’m comfortable with minorities so long as they look respectable that bothers me. Like everyone’s been saying, I shouldn’t suspect people of anything just because they’re wearing a hoodie. Minorities shouldn’t have to dress nice all the time to avoid being feared or looked at with suspicion. Overcoming that instinct takes practice and constant exercise.

        Sort of OT, but one side effect of working in DC/spending time in Fairfax/Montgomery county is that I genuinely assume that anyone under the age of 30 is American-born no matter what they look or dress like. On the other end of the spectrum I’ve been told to “go back to Iran” for wearing a pashmina shawl like a hijab to keep my head warm in winter.

    • (Actually just before talking to the boys about the whole receipt/bag thing, we had emerged from lunch and a trip to the record store, my son’s Bar Mitzvah present to his best friend, so I was feeling all loving and motherly to these boys who have known each other since they were 3. So I asked the best friend for a hug, which he readily gave me, and then my son said “Can I have a hug too?” so I hugged him, and all this while, a 15-16 year old black boy was headed our way. As he came within about two yards, I was releasing my boy from my arms, saying something like “Hugs for all!” so I looked at this kid and said “Perhaps this young man wants a hug too. Would you like a hug?” and smiled. Thank GOD, he totally cracked up [rather than rolling his eyes, as is the way of the teen tribe, or so I’ve been told]. It was funny, but it also felt nice. A little water-changing, if you will).

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  March 30, 2012

      I work in retail, and one of the biggest headaches is teaching new people to look at behavior rather than appearance. Teenagers may steal more, but they also impulse buy more. Tthe number one milkshake purchaser at the Borders Café I used to run was a sweet black tween (now teen). Seriously, so many milkshakes I was kind of worried about his cardiovascular system. Like Trayvon, his email to look up his membership had “nigga” in it. He often wore a hoodie. Whatever. Didn’t mean he wasn’t a great regular, a good tipper, and a capable wielder of the There Will Be Blood milkshake-drinking quote.

      Most people of all ages, races, and creeds are not shoplifters, so not making them feel like they are under undue suspicion would encourage them to buy things. Look for behavior showing a desire to avoid scrutiny and service, rather than lazily stereotyping teenagers and minorities: plenty of shoplifters are middle class and middle age and blandly white, and they know they get less reflexive scrutiny.

      When you walk by to offer customer service/upselling, does the person respondly calmly (good), happily (great!), patiently (fine), or erratically (maybe bad, pay quiet attention)?

      Does the customer spend more time looking over at you or the cameras than they look at the merchandise (very bad sign)?

      Is the customer fiddling with their backpack or purse or stroller on multiple occasions while far from the registers and while having accumulated merchandise? (potentially bad sign, or maybe they’re accumulating too much stuff to easily carry, so either way: offer to hold things for them or get them a basket to carry their load, then strike up a conversation).

      Baiskeli’s stories of evasive and uncomfortable salespeople cutting off transactions are just mindboggling. How they expect to stay profitable in decades to come with those attitudes is just beyond me.

      • wearyvoter

         /  March 30, 2012

        @darth: Definitely.

        I was on a jury last summer with a gentleman who is the owner of one of our small local hardware stores, and he says that’s exactly why he makes sure that someone is near the door to greet each customer. To check behavior. They say hello, look you in the eye, and ask if you need any help. He has one of the few hardware stores around here where you can still buy 1 or 2 nails at a time so they make sure their floor is covered, but they’re fairly unobtrusive after the preliminary greeting.

        I was a teenager in the 70s, and in my hometown, teenagers were automatically followed by the security folks in department stores. I guess they figured that statistically we were the most likely to cause the inventory shrink. However, more often than not, as you said the people who were pocketing the easy-to-conceal goodies had at least two decades on us. The security guys would be so busy following the teens that they’d miss the so-called adults who were stealing them blind.

      • TAL has a piece years ago about the fairly significant problem of senior shoplifting. A lot of them have been doing it their entire lives.

        http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/135/allure-of-crime?act=3

    • socioprof

       /  March 30, 2012

      This reminds me of Zinn’s statement of how one can’t be neutral on a moving train.

    • Dex

       /  March 30, 2012

      As always, watson’s comments are made of awesome.

  8. Bookwoman

     /  March 30, 2012

    So be part of the solution. Sit next to the black guy on the bus.

    Reminds me of this op-ed piece form the NYTimes a couple of years ago: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/opinion/07Wideman.html

    And I would love to talk about oatmeal with you.

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 30, 2012

      This was obviously meant to be a reply to watson42. Does WordPress also have tool-less elves?

      • Apparently. It’s a blight.

      • watson42

         /  March 30, 2012

        Clearly the Elf Liberation Front is being effective! Or perhaps the tool-eating monsters are running amok.

  9. R_Bargis

     /  March 30, 2012

    My week of house/pet sitting in the suburbs is over and while it was a nice break I’m looking forward to catching the bus home to my spouse, housemates, garden, and bicycle in an hour. I’d only lived in the suburbs as a minor without a drivers’ license so I’d never had to do daily adult things in the suburbs like shop, commute, or socialize, and it took a bit of getting used to. Also, I’d completely forgotten how to open a garage door and operate a thermostat.

    I’d never fully realized this before, but Montgomery County has really good public transit. There’s Ride-on buses, MTA commuter buses, WMTA buses, the Metro, and the MARC. I was 2.5 bikeable miles from the MARC station and a ten minute bus ride from Shady Grove, and if the roads to the nearest grocery store had had more consistent shoulders on them I could have gotten around without a car quite comfortably, even waaaaay out in Leave-it-to-Beaver-land. Anne Arundel county feels like a tired, under-served extension of Baltimore in comparison.

    • SWNC

       /  March 30, 2012

      I am sooo jealous of people with good public transportation. Our local bus system is so lousy that it’s the option of last resort for everyone. When I visited my brother in Philadelphia, it was a revelation. “You mean, there’s a bus schedule posted at the bus stop? And the bus comes when it says it does? This is like a crazy fantasy-land!” In contrast, there’s a bus stop near my house, but no posted bus schedule, so while I could theoretically ride the bus, I have no idea 1) when it arrives or 2) where any particular bus is likely to take me. And the buses are notoriously unreliable. Sigh.

      • koolaide

         /  March 30, 2012

        My town has great public transit–it use to be fabulous public transit but recent budget issues have led to certain routes being cut. However I work in the next town over. Public transportation btwn the two towns is not great. Therefore I drive.

        And look for great gas mileage in cars I wish to purchase. Why is it that my 1993 Geo has better gas mileage than many of the newer compact cars? boggles my mind.

        • Well, your Geo also doesn’t have much in the way of structural integrity or safety features. Crash standards and other mandated safety features add a lot of weight to modern cars. If you ran the motors we have today in chassis from twenty years ago, they’d get mind-bogglingly good mileage.

          • koolaide

             /  March 30, 2012

            My Geo does have a great safety feature. It is bright green. No one will hit me b/c they did not see me. 😉

            But in general, you’re totally right that the compact cars of today are heavier than those of the early 90’s. I do have an airbag in the steering wheel but in terms of side impact and the other stuff, today’s cars are generally stronger.

      • efgoldman

         /  March 30, 2012
      • R_Bargis

         /  March 30, 2012

        Our local bus system is so lousy that it’s the option of last resort for everyone.

        That sums up most public transit: anyone who can afford to not rely on it gets a car because it’s so inconvenient. It’s certainly that way in the city and county I live in. Yet that didn’t seem to be the case on the bus I took to the metro – rather than being full of the working poor it was full of young people and white collar workers living in nice suburbs who are probably trying to make ends meet by only owning one car per family. The ridership was more diverse than the people driving cars to the metro, but the message had clearly started to sink in: buses are reliable, buses are respectable.

        I’m not sure why my home county has such terrible public transit. It has a lot of really rural areas — but then again, so does Montgomery County. It has large areas that are poor and large areas that are rich, but so does Montgomery County. Its transportation is split between Annapolis city and other municipalities, the county, and the state, but Montgomery has the same hurdles. Yet the end result is that Anne Arundel county has pisspoor transportation, and the parts of Montgomery County that are 40 miles away from DC are far better served by public transit than the any part of Anne Arundel. And MoCo has far better schools and libraries, too, so guess where people are moving to?

        • wearyvoter

           /  March 30, 2012

          Our local bus system is reasonably decent, and serves three communities here in downstate university “metro” area.

          Community three grudgingly tolerates it. And I do mean grudgingly. So much so that a group of them made a move a few years ago to keep the bus service from annexing deeper into their area if they could. A few members of the community decided to form their own mass transit district for the express purpose of not providing public transit. Their dog-in-the-manger plan was thwarted when they were taken to court and told that if they wanted to have their own mtd, they would need to tax the residents. Some of the neighborhoods in dog-in-the-manger are in areas where the real mtd had previously annexed, so the homeowners there wound up being taxed twice. IIRC, the two districts are in the process of reaching a settlement.

          Merchants along the corridor want bus service heading that way, because a few of them don’t pay their employees enough to allow said employees to drive to work.

          • R_Bargis

             /  March 30, 2012

            Baltimore’s Light Rail caused similar problems with the southern half of its route, which goes from the Inner Harbor, through some very dangerous neighborhoods, and into blue collar and middle class Anne Arundel County. The good ol’ blue collar people in those neighborhoods said the Lightrail would bring crime into their neighborhoods – y’know, they were afraid those scary black people from the projects in Cherry Hill would just hop on the train and go down a few stops to their neighborhood and deal drugs at the train stop/mug people/rob houses/steal cars.

            Twenty years later there have in fact been muggings at a poorly lit, isolated train stop that doesn’t have a parking lot, and the surrounding communities are using that to still try to get rid of the light rail stops. The blatant racism of it is pretty sickening, and the distrust of public transit is the opposite of what I see in trendy places who want those rich, very taxable people who yearn for good public transit: namely, only poor people take public transit and we don’t want to provide access to our neighborhood to anyone who isn’t rich enough to own a car.

            • This is why, in part, Georgetown isn’t anywhere near the DC metro. I remember this debate from when it was being built and it was ugly.

    • JHarper2

       /  March 30, 2012

      Looking forward to your book “I housesat a zoo” followed by the HBO adaptation “Game of Beasts – In the Game of Beast you either feed or are food.”

      • R_Bargis

         /  March 30, 2012

        I’ve never been responsible for a dog before and occasionally while playing with the happy, happy dogs I’d get a look at their mouths filled with big, pointy teeth and wonder what the hell I was doing living alone in a house with two carnivores (and that’s not even counting the snakes and the cat).

      • likelikelikelike!

  10. I wrote up a review of a really interesting rum from Grenada. It’s one of the only rums that’s made with both molasses and fresh cane juice, so it ends up having characteristics of both types of rum. Additionally, a nice little classic-style cocktail with the rum as the base spirit.

    http://cocktailchem.blogspot.com/2012/03/rum-review-westerhall-plantation-rum.html

  11. stephen matlock

     /  March 30, 2012

    I feel bad that I have nothing original or interesting to add. So here is my comment.

    • SWNC

       /  March 30, 2012

      You are always a delight in any thread!

      (Myself, I’m the only person in the office right now, and I’m trying to figure out if anyone would notice if I just up and left for the afternoon. It’s mighty tempting.)

      • JHarper2

         /  March 30, 2012

        I had a boss once who would often book out at noon on Fridays. He was the manager but was expected by head office to be there as emergencies usually happen at the least convenient time, ie Monday morning or Friday afternoon. But off he went.

        The bugger would call the office at 4:55 to make sure everyone was there. He would make up an excuse to “check on” something with each person in the office.

        • stephen matlock

           /  March 30, 2012

          I work in downtown Seattle. It’s a mess trying to get out of here Fridays any later than 4:00, so generally I leave at 4:00.

          They ALWAYS schedule going-away parties, morale events, and the like, for 4:00 – 6:00 on Fridays.

          Why would I want to stay late and then deal with extremely awful traffic is beyond me.

          Even free drinks is not enough to keep me here.

      • koolaide

         /  March 30, 2012

        “I’m the only person in the office right now, and I’m trying to figure out if anyone would notice if I just up and left for the afternoon.”

        I’m in the same boat. I think I’m going to duck out at 4:15. Close enough to quittin’ time that I don’t think I’ll get in trouble.

        • David L

           /  March 30, 2012

          I firmly maintain that all businesses should define a “fuck it” time (as in “fuck it, I’m going home”) when you can leave without consequences even if you’re a little bit short of hours for the day/week and/or it isn’t officially the end of the day yet.

          Personally, I’m at that odd spot where I am in a good place to stop for the week, but I haven’t yet gotten to my own informal “fuck it” time (which is the moment the boss leaves the parking lot or 7 1/2 hours after I arrive in the morning, whichever is first.)

          • Ian

             /  March 30, 2012

            Today my “fuck it” time seems to be 6:45.

            Fuck it.

    • stephen matlock

       /  March 30, 2012

      Well, on the plus side, I updated my author page on Amazon.com.

      And uploaded a mockup of the book cover. (It’s my own mockup; a real designer would laugh.)

      But – I’ve gotten three 5-star reviews so far. I’m encouraged.

  12. You learn things when you play video games. I was playing NBA 2K12 last night (legitimately in the running for my favorite sports game of all time, incidentally) and having to guard Andrei Kililenko (who comes off the bench at SF for the Heat.) And I was wondering, what is that weird shirt that he has on underneath his jersey? Now, this won’t be news to some of you, but I had no idea that it was this:

    I mean, for fuck’s sake.

    (It’s nice when Kirilenko is in the game, because then I don’t have to guard LeBron. He scored 40 against me. I….am not so good at the defense. But LeBron is the only player who consistently lights me up to that degree.)

    • David L

       /  March 30, 2012

      The boyfriend of a former neighbor (for part of the time she lived above me) had a tattoo of bat wings that started at the back of his elbow, up across his shoulders and all the way down to the small of his back just above the waistband. Sadly, I must admit that I found it kind of hot, even if his personality made me want to not touch him with a 10-foot pole. (I had way too many nights when I was right on the cusp of calling the cops on them when they were together.)

      Bats were a running theme in his and his girlfriend’s life. One October, she hung a five-foot tall bat from the balcony ceiling and it stayed there until she moved out during the spring and the bat decals in the kitchen window stayed up there the whole time.

      • I imagine, and I don’t have any data to back me up on this but I feel pretty confident that it’s true, that the subsets of “people with bat-wing tattoos (or dragon-wing tattoos)” and “people with charming personalities” have extremely limited overlap.

        (A friend of mine woke up with a bat in his room. He had to get that series of rabies shots that they give to you. Bats are the worst thing in the universe.)

        • R_Bargis

           /  March 30, 2012

          Similar thing happened to a coworker of mine, and it was not fun times. I sleep with the windows open 6 months of the year so I can only hope I won’t wake up with a bat in my room. Maybe I should get better screens.

        • Ian

           /  March 30, 2012

          Dude, bats are awesome. They eat mosquitos. Once I saved a bat from our ceiling fan by catching it in a pillowcase.

          • Seriously, the only thing in the world that can give me the shiver-me-timbers just from thinking about them are bats. I know it’s irrational, I purposely read the facts so as to assure myself that it’s irrational – but when I lived near this one city block covered with trees that they liked because of the berries? I would run like my very life depended on it after dark.

        • aaron singer

           /  March 30, 2012

          OTOH, the articles of the Batman guy in DC recently are decent human-interest stories.

        • baiskeli

           /  March 30, 2012

          Growing up, we had public land behind our house, with a massive tree (size of an oak tree, only larger) that housed thousands upon thousands of bats. Come nightfall, they would all take off.

          We did get them in the house a couple of times, and I did handle them sometimes(including a prank where I took a bat to school in my bag and hid it in a classmates desk, freaking him out, I did bring it back home safely and release it that night)

          It never occurred to me that they might host rabies.

          • Ian

             /  March 30, 2012

            I like watching them dart around at dusk. They move much differently than birds.

          • stephen matlock

             /  March 30, 2012

            This is an awesome story. It’s got that feeling of “What happens if we do this? Let’s find out!” – which is how my youngest kid ended up with his most creative and spectacularly disastrous discoveries. (Did you know that if you stick a 3.5″ floppy in upside, you can pull it out, bringing all the insides of the disk drive with it? My son did, ruining a PS/2 back in 1993 or so.)

            And we’ve had a few bats in the house. Sometimes dead (cats brought them in), sometimes live (they get in through an open window or door).

    • aaron singer

       /  March 30, 2012

      I assume you’re playing a season or career and the Heat signed him?

      He’s currently playing for CSKA Moscow.

  13. JHarper2

     /  March 30, 2012

    Beware the Bunnyhug!
    From a comment left at Site Doonesbury:

    Could we de-escalate the “hoodie” fears by using the Saskatchewan name for the garment? In Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw and Biggar, you don’t wear a hoodie, you wear a “bunnyhug.”

    As a Saskatchewanite, I can confirm that this true. Before ever the hooded sweatshirt became known as the hoodie, in Saskatchewan it was ever the bunnyhug, back at least 45 years.
    Of course no teenager would want to wear one, after all you cannot be tough and grownup in a bunnyhug (until you are 26 and terminally old and uncool).

    But really as we known it is not the bunnyhug that is feared, but the colour and age of the wearer.

  14. wearyvoter

     /  March 30, 2012

    ‘Tis Friday and I’m burning off a few hours of vacation time. I should be vacuuming, but the cats haven’t finished their daily shedding routine.

  15. koolaide

     /  March 30, 2012

    I’ve started following Pam’s House Blend blog b/c of the NC anti-gay marriage amendment stuff. She’s from NC, gay, and a POC. Unsurprisingly, she’s covering the NOM divide the blacks & latinos from teh ghays stuff pretty closely. Today’s posts are links to Julian Bond on Anderson Cooper’s show (gay rights are civil rights) and info that a Romney funded PAC gave $10k to NOM.

    • koolaide

       /  March 30, 2012

      Argh. hit post b/f finishing. The money donated was right b/f the Prop8 vote and HRC suggests it is possible Romney violated CA’s disclosure laws.

  16. caoil

     /  March 30, 2012

    I wish I could have managed to get to ECCC this weekend, then at least I could’ve tried to meet up with some of you Washingtonians outside of the con itself! Or inside, I spose, if you were attending too.

  17. David L

     /  March 30, 2012

    File under “Anibundel bait”:

    Why are fantasy world accents British?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17554816

    • wearyvoter

       /  March 30, 2012

      Because some of us would be happy with Alan Rickman whispering sweet nothings in our ears?

      • Bookwoman

         /  March 30, 2012

        You can say that again, honey.

      • stephen matlock

         /  March 30, 2012

        “Truly, Madly, Deeply.”

        I rest my case. You all are crazy.

  18. David L

     /  March 30, 2012

    News from the liberal media…

    Headlined in the source that linked it as “Keith Olbermann KOed (again)”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/30/keith-olbermann-out-current-eliot-spitzer_n_1392513.html

    In the last several years, I’ve come to think of him as the left’s answer to someone like Rush Limbaugh–the guy who’s wlling to throw punches for your side but also way too willing to engage in the occasional low blow.

    • aaron singer

       /  March 30, 2012

      I liked him when he anchored Sportscenter with Dan Patrick. That’s about it.

      Also, nowadays I never watch Sportscenter.

    • I keep saying this, because I think it’s true. Real liberals don’t watch Olbermann. we watch the PBS NEWSHOUR.

    • helensprogeny

       /  April 1, 2012

      Thanks to a lack of cable, I’ve been largely spared exposure to either Olberman or Bill Maher. The few times I have seen them, my response almost invariably has been: Who ARE these clown assholes and why are they on my teevee?

      It may be my liberal bias showing, but I don’t think either of them have ever said anything as outrageous and/or stupid as Limbaugh. (I can’t for example imagine either of them going quite as far as Rush did in the Sandra Fluke debacle.) But I still find them to be unpleasant and unrepresentative of anything I really aspire to as a liberal. Olberman I’ve just always found bombastic and unpersuasive. Maher – well, to be perfectly frank and wholly superficial here, the hair really puts me off. And then he opens his mouth.

      I fully support the rights of these people to speak what they do. But I’m not sorry to see the beginnings of what I hope turns out to be the marginalization of people for whom hate is a way of life.

  19. I got wind of this maybe a week ago. The Pierce article is really good. I’ve pretty much stayed out of the Martin threads at TNC’s place because what is there to say, really? And today, with the whole “what is a child” thing? It reads like relatively non-evil people have lost their fucking minds. The way they’re doing it is instructive, I guess, if depressing as hell. ::sigh:: It’s just nice to hang out here for awhile and be amused instead of frustrated and confounded.

    I’ve been doing the “sit by the person whom no one wants to sit by” for a long time. I probably have non-standard “wants,” too. I’d prefer to sit by the single black guy in a hoodie over a very young white mother with a stroller and a crying kid any day of the week.

  20. Darth Thulhu

     /  March 30, 2012

    Well, I just made the mistake of reading Coates’ latest comment section regarding Trayvon Martin on my dinner break. Jesus Hippiepunching Christ do I get ticked off reading people trying to parse the “child”-worthiness and relative purity of a 17-year old kid gunned down in his own flipping neighborhood.

    I want bad things to happen to these people, and I hate feeling like that.

    • I know exactly what you mean on all counts. I dropped a comment in there late in the day about how it reads like many of the folks over there had lost their minds. I mean, TNC kept engaging, and engaging, long past he usually does, and they just kept digging. And I’m left wondering, what’s at stake for those people? I mean, this isn’t like the occasional a$$holes who occasionally swoop by just to be provocatively stupid, but people who seem to be insisting they have a valid point in narrow parsing of the meaning of “child.”

      • Darth Thulhu

         /  April 1, 2012

        I think it has to just be a level of Grand-Canyon-wide obliviousness.

        They have valid minor “points” insofar as Coates might perhaps not be an utterly emotionless alien observer with infinite detachment from the situation, and insofar as we as a culture tend to use “teen” more often than “child” for the 13+ set … but really, there is No Foul being committed in the reporting. The aggressive and impassioned efforts to police the language of the discourse are completely disproportional to any actual justifications.

        It is galling to witness.

        • stephen matlock

           /  April 1, 2012

          And frankly, it is because Z is perceived as “one of us” and Martin is perceived as “one of THEM.” So there is no way to defend Martin, and there is no need to think critically about Z.

          I am ashamed of these people, even though they are close to me.

          Martin was 17 years old, and going out for candy. He didn’t deserve death by a vigilante.

  21. Sorn

     /  March 31, 2012

    People sometimes forget how ugly racism can be. TNC has given us all a needed reminder that ordinary people do and say extraordinarily ugly things. We forget that sometimes.

    Anyway thanks for this thread, it was fun to read. And Now, Nathan Rogers,

    • Sorn

       /  April 1, 2012

      Thanks for this D, if was really great to listen to.

      • Sorn

         /  April 1, 2012

        if=it.

      • dmf

         /  April 1, 2012

        my pleasure, that’s a good weekly show on abc, hope all is well in the wild-west.
        hey it’s the return of citE must be old-timers week here in ee’s head

        • Sorn

           /  April 1, 2012

          Things are great. Here’s hoping after my M.A. I can get into one of those programs in the east. I hope you’re doing well, when em host’s another open thread we should talk. I miss those discussions sometimes.

  22. CitizenE

     /  April 1, 2012

    Because it’s Sunday, and Brittney Griner and her condor sized arm span fan club is roaring–the Ogwumike gals from Nor Cal and busting down walls for the Cardinal on The Farm–gotta love em: “Nerd City Kids”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4IxdTLFzyI

    hey, hey, hey, hey

  23. blakejo

     /  April 1, 2012

    Also because it’s Sunday and we got back from our trip to Havana and Playa Jibacoa a week and a half ago and I just want to go back, here’s my new favorite piece of music from Cuba “La Mulata Rumbera” played by Peruchin (Pedro Justiz): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blYFpzPCLl0