For the Horde (again) – an open thread.

Not around, but around enough to know that neither is TNC. Have at it!

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.

126 Comments

  1. Captain Button

     /  May 31, 2012

    Los Angeless. He walks again by night. Out of the fog, into the smog.

    Relentlessly,

    Ruthlessly,

    Doggedly,

    towards his weekly meeting with the Unknown.

    • Bob Jones' Neighbor

       /  May 31, 2012

      You da person! It’s been years since I heard that. Thanks.

  2. FYI: my neiclings’ favorite song is “Ikea” by Jonathon Coulton. Apparently they insisted on listening to it seven times on the way to Gym class today.

    • “Ikea” was the first word the boy learned to spell.

      • taylor16

         /  May 31, 2012

        Mine was apparently “Sunoco.”

        I’m still mad that my parents missed out on that endorsement opportunity…

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  May 31, 2012

      And why wouldn’t they? Any song that boldly rhymes “Norsemen” with “divorced men” deserves to be a hit across the entire nieceling spectrum.

  3. I wrote a short open letter to the producers of GoT, P2 doesn’t appreciate how good his coronation single is, Worf wants a Worf centric Star Trek movie and Kelly Clarkson is still awesome.
    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/

    • JHarper2

       /  May 31, 2012

      Maggie Smith would be a good backup for Olenna Redwynne, if they can’t get Helen Mirren who has experience playing formidable queens.
      Also Glenda Jackson would be a good choice. Or Patricia Routledge from Keeping Up Appearances.

    • JHarper2

       /  May 31, 2012

      Ani, what would you think about Idol, or some other show, changing the voting for performers from calls and texts to downloads? Sort of voters putting their money where their mouths are. Some places really get behind local performers or chosen heroes (Bristol Palin’s dancing) rather than voting on the merits.
      After all Pop stardom is about sales, so why not the contest?

      • I actually think that’s one of the very few things that The Voice gets right–that iTunes downloads count as votes.

        • JHarper2

           /  May 31, 2012

          I was more thinking of paid downloads.

          • You pay for the iTunes downloads on The Voice. The sales figures are an integral part to the contestant’s score.

    • Britons take all of our jobs and we say, please, have our jobs. Fuck Maggie Smith. Fuck Helen Mirren.

      Let me give you a name. She is an actress of a certain age (78, to be exact). She is a working actress, unlike Glenda Jackson (for instance) who is retired. She is American. She does a lot of TV work, and her asking price is very reasonable, so you can save money for your battle scenes and what have you. She’s done a ton of genre shows. She is extremely skilled at playing battleaxes. Oh, and she has an Oscar, just the same as all those frou-frou British ladies. Now, she is tall, and not super thin, so she doesn’t match the book’s physical description. But I’d argue that that’s the least important characteristic to look for.

      Olenna Redwyne, if Craig ran shit (like he should.)

      • My next comment is a SPOILER in case there are unspoilt about.

        • When you cast Olenna Redwyne, you are casting the woman who mastermind’s Joffrey’s murder. So when I say I want to see Maggie Smith in the role, it is because watching her bring down Joffrey Baratheon would be SO satisfying.

          • Seriously, Moody, Nurse fucking Ratched offs that little shit. Boom. TV history.

            • I’m sorry, but Kai Wynn offing Joffrey DOES NOT COMPUTE.

              • David L

                 /  May 31, 2012

                To quote something I said on FB a few months back when I was watching DS9 over Netflix Streaming because I couldn’t walk and was bored out of my mind: “Man, Kai Ratched was a bitch.”

      • (I clearly have no dog in this fight, but I would just like to say that I think the world would be a much better place if you actually ran shit like you should).

  4. Justin

     /  May 31, 2012

    For the gamers out there, today’s Humble Bundle is kind of overpowered:

    Bastion, Amnesia, Psychonauts, Limbo, Swords & Sorcery. Plus their soundtracks.

    http://www.humblebundle.com/

  5. Oh yeah, Mitt Romney is the nominee. What do we all owe you for being right, oh ELH?

    • Cake, and if that should prove too difficult given the miles and the tubes, your undying devotion. Is it too much to ask?

      • Cake it is!

      • Darth Thulhu

         /  May 31, 2012

        Well, you already had the undying devotion, a cyclopean altar erected in your name, and thrice-weekly sacrifices, so the Presidential prophecy is just gravy, then?

  6. Last night I finished up a piece describing how I taste and analyze spirits. It’s an evolving process.

    http://cocktailchem.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-i-taste-spirits.html

    • JHarper2

       /  May 31, 2012

      Well written, concise and detailed post. Do you ever get questions or comments from staff or other patrons when tasting in a bar and writing in the Moleskine notebook?

    • watson42

       /  May 31, 2012

      This was an awesome post. Maybe it’s the science geek in me. 🙂 But everyone should go read it.

  7. JHarper2

     /  May 31, 2012

    From an appreciation of Doc Watson, who died at 89 of Tuesday.

    Young guitarists (this one, at least) misunderstood what they were hearing. They listened to the picking for itself, the virtuosity of a man who could bring such linear power to the intricate motions of playing guitar. Sooner or later, you realized that the music simply flowed through Doc Watson. He was a delta in himself, where all those traditional musical tributaries converged. Listening to his records, you soon figured out that there was no point picking out the notes he played bar by bar. It was time to learn how to ride the song, the way Doc Watson did.

    Entire article here.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/opinion/doc-watson.html?ref=opinion

    • SWNC

       /  May 31, 2012

      Fresh Air ran a great interview with him yesterday. I can’t hear his voice without smiling–he sounds just like the men on my dad’s side of the family. As another friend put it, “Doc Watson is what North Carolina sounds like.”

  8. JHarper2

     /  May 31, 2012

    A word has died. The Atlantic has the news.

    Artisanal, a word that fought early in his career to ensure recognition of craftsmen for their important contributions to society before later being drafted into the creation of a worldwide gourmet branding glut, died Wednesday at his brownstone in Brooklyn overlooking a small gourmet mayonnaise store. At best estimates, he was approximately 474 years old. Cause of death is unknown at this time, but it’s suspected that he simply stopped being artisanal, or, perhaps, people stopped being able to identify him as such because no one knows what that word means anymore.

    Artisanal grew up as a child of the village, taken in in turns by whomever was kind enough to spare a cookie or a cup of fresh ground free-trade coffee, a slug of wine or a piece of cheese. Back in those days, it was said that simply by holding an apple in his hand Artisanal could change it: It would be brighter, more incandescent; it would smell more fragrant, its texture crisper, and have a renewed intensity of flavor.

    Go here for the whole sad hilarious story.
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2012/05/artisanal-reluctant-branding-pioneer-dies-age-474/52969/
    Jharper, surfing the web in the morning so you don’t have to,
    actually while waiting to get my car out of the shop where they can’t fix it.

    • There used to be a radio show in Seattle called Rewind. They once had a sketch about how the National Word Bank was devaluing the word ‘extreme’ after an “Extreme Waffle” shop was built.

      • Captain Button

         /  May 31, 2012

        Slash and burn linguistics. Since “extreme” is devalued, another word is needed to replace the original meaning, which then gets debased in turn.

        • JHarper2

           /  May 31, 2012

          We need to put our words on the Gold Standard.

        • There’s also something of a Gresham’s Law when it comes to words. The good ones remain obscure, but the devalued ones keep circulating.

      • Didn’t the semi-colon pass recently as well?

        • helensprogeny

           /  May 31, 2012

          NOOOOOOO!! I LOVE a good semi-colon!

            • helensprogeny

               /  May 31, 2012

              OMG, I can’t believe I agree with Jonathan Franzen. About anything. But Kurt Vonnegut is just dead wrong here. A good semi-colon, well used, is priceless.

            • JHarper2

               /  May 31, 2012

              I dreamed I saw Joe Semi-colon last night:
              Alive as you or me.
              But Joe, I said, you’re 4 years dead;
              I never died said he.

              The language slobs, they killed you Joe,
              They killed you dead, said I;
              Said Joe, but what they couldn’t kill
              went on to Punctuate.
              Went on to Punctuate.

              • Bookwoman

                 /  May 31, 2012

                I can hear Joan Baez singing….

                • JHarper2

                   /  May 31, 2012

                  I was thinking Robeson, but Baez is higher praise than the doggerel above likely deserves. Thank you

          • JHarper2

             /  May 31, 2012

            The semi-colon will never die!
            As John O’Hara said George Gershwin died July 11, 1937 but I don’t have to believe that if I don’t want to.

            • Captain Button

               /  May 31, 2012

              That is not dead which can eternal lie; and with strange aeons even death may die.

          • dave in texas

             /  May 31, 2012

            I use semicolons by the basketful every day at work, although our use of them is just a little off the beaten track of normal usage. I write proclamations and resolutions, which are essentially one, long, 300-or-so-words sentence. The way we usually do them is that each paragraph (each beginning with Whereas) has two clauses separated by a semicolon and ending with another semicolon followed by the word ‘and.’

            Whereas, Billy Bob is well known for his boneheadedness and redneckery, and his momma and them are really proud of him staying out of the county lockup for nearly six months; he continues to do the same stupid shit over and over again, but the local police force has pretty much given up on trying to rehabilitate him; and

            It’s a weird kind of writing, but, hey, it more or less pays the bills.

            • My mother swears the sight of a semi colon in a student paper instantly sends it to the “plagiary check” pile.

          • CitizenE

             /  May 31, 2012

            Having observed somewhere around 70k college student essays, I will say this: there are times when a second independent clause stands in apposition to the first. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of writers feel it, and I wish the grand poohbahs of style might consider how the comma might more accurately represent the writer’s thinking than a semi-colon does, how forcing him or her to use the semi-colon in those instances why so many ultimately default at the ill-conceived notion that a semi-colon is a fraction of a whole colon, and one and a half times a comma.

  9. My dog knocked out another chunk of her barely-together cobbled-into-one-piece-with-zipties-and-scrapmetal crate and shredded a nearby box last night. Meanwhile…not a peep out of the jerk with the dog cage. I e-mailed him to say that since he apparently had no intention of actually selling the cage, I’m shopping elsewhere now. No response. Jackass.

    Still searching for a cage she can’t destroy but I can afford…

    • Have you considered Sing-Sing?

      • I’m thinking of ordering a cage the seller has described as ‘Doggie Alcatraz’…

      • Gonzai55

         /  May 31, 2012

        And I just arrived home to have to clean up an entire garbage bag of the destruction she wrought today. The rest of the box was shredded, as was her blanket, and a $200 leather art portfolio. I got home just in time to rescue the original art inside the portfolio. I’m going to kill her, I swear.

        • snailspace

           /  May 31, 2012

          I know someone whose dog destroyed her wedding gown, days before the ceremony. Dog survived, this is why you don’t name a dog Loki.

          (We asked why you’d ever choose that name, and she said that she hadn’t known the history of the name, just liked how it sounded. Give a dog a bad name…)

  10. David L

     /  May 31, 2012

    Had that rare day when a work evaluation is good news.

  11. koolaide

     /  May 31, 2012

    Anyone follow soccer? Anyone going to follow the Euros this summer?

    • JHarper2

       /  May 31, 2012

      General Motors does. And they hope many other do too. They have taken their Facebook and Superbowl money and put it into a marketing agreement with Manchester United.
      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/gm-swaps-super-bowl-for-soccer/article2448377/

      Me, not so much, although I do find myself watching parts of games, something that would not have happened 10 or even 5 years ago. I watched huge chunks of the World Cup. And not just because I like the Vuvazuelas! Because I don’t.

      • koolaide

         /  May 31, 2012

        ooh. I had not seen that news. Thanks. The price for Superbowl ads has (imo) gotten out of hand. Interesting to see GM say no thanks.

    • I love watching soccer. Far more entertaining than American football.

    • aaron singer

       /  May 31, 2012

      Yep! Can’t wait for them to start next week. Don’t really have a rooting interesting for any country, though. I guess I might have a soft spot for Croatia, as I spent a few days in Zagreb a few years ago, with my cousin who was living there at the time.

      • koolaide

         /  May 31, 2012

        Yeah, I don’t have a strong rooting interest either–will have to wait to see who wins my cheers over the course of the tourny.

    • David L

       /  May 31, 2012

      I only vaguely pay attention to European soccer, beyond Celtic and Scotland (which failed to qualify for the Euros). It’s the kind of thing where if it’s Saturday morning/afternoon, and I’m bored and see that it’s on, I’ll watch, but I don’t make a point of watching.

  12. dmf

     /  May 31, 2012

    for the writers in the room: http://www.spl.org/Audio/NatalieGoldberg.mp3

    • That whole story is just – well, my brain feels like it’s on fire.

    • baiskeli

       /  May 31, 2012

      Thanks for this. Doesn’t surprise me. In Massachusetts, the ACLU had to send observers to polling stations for a special election because Latino voters were being challenged and intimidated (primarily by Tea Party activists).
      http://www.aclum.org/news_5.11.11

      That is small stuff compared to the stuff that is going on in other states.

      The idea is to make the people who are not likely to vote for you not bother voting at all. Since study after study has shown almost no voter fraud in multiple elections, I have a hard time thinking the Republicans are that stupid. Instead, make it as inconvenient as possible for brown people (who vote overwhelmingly Democratic) to vote (long lines, challenges etc).

      The antithesis of the democratic process. The Republicans aren’t against voter fraud, they’re against the wrong kind (minorities who vote majority Democrat) of people voting.

      The Republicans have enough pull to make a Federal Panel that found little to no voter fraud tone down it’s findings. I remember this from 2007

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/washington/11voters.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&ei=5124&en=cba2ba0f1aeb218f&ex=1334030400&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink&adxnnlx=1324148609-vab5WlqTVNG6TQ/Xp4VjMA

      WASHINGTON, April 10 — A federal panel responsible for conducting election research played down the findings of experts who concluded last year that there was little voter fraud around the nation, according to a review of the original report obtained by The New York Times.

      Instead, the panel, the Election Assistance Commission, issued a report that said the pervasiveness of fraud was open to debate.

      The revised version echoes complaints made by Republican politicians, who have long suggested that voter fraud is widespread and justifies the voter identification laws that have been passed in at least two dozen states.


      Though the original report said that among experts “there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud,” the final version of the report released to the public concluded in its executive summary that “there is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.”

  13. watson42

     /  May 31, 2012

    I haven’t had a lot to say lately; there’s too much going on in my life. However, I’m still lurking when I can ’cause I miss you guys.

    There’s been some good news, though: my sister’s pregnancy continues to defy expectations by going incredibly well. She’s only a few weeks until she’s due. The job search is picking up a bit. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

    All this is a long way of saying: hi, everybody!

  14. The Edwards trial seems to have resulted in hung jury.

    • Damn. Was hoping for a hung adulterer.

      • koolaide

         /  May 31, 2012

        It isn’t a capital offense. I mean, yeah, he’s slimey but :shrug:

      • dave in texas

         /  May 31, 2012

        As Mrs. Pangburn, my 8th grade English teacher, would say, “Pictures are hung; people are hanged.

        That kinda ruins the flow of the joke, though, don’t it?

        • David L

           /  May 31, 2012

          If a person can be “well hung”, why can’t they merely be hung?

          • “Was he well-hung?”
            “Nah, just hung.”
            “I guess that’s okay too.”

            • koolaide

               /  May 31, 2012

              Yeah, I decided to avoid jokes about “being hung” about a case springing out of a guy not being able to keep his pants on…

              • socioprof

                 /  May 31, 2012

                I wish I had your will power.

                • koolaide

                   /  May 31, 2012

                  If I’d thought of a really good joke, I’d have had less self control😉

            • chingona

               /  May 31, 2012

              Better than the alternative?

      • socioprof

         /  May 31, 2012

        Apparently, so was one of the jurors.

    • koolaide

       /  May 31, 2012

      I just saw where some thing the jury will have a verdict by this afternoon. If they were going to declare a hung jury, would they work through lunch (allegedly).

      But I’m not on the twitter so there may be more recent breaking news…

    • Captain Button

       /  May 31, 2012

      Should it be a hung jury or a hanged jury?

  15. chingona

     /  May 31, 2012

    Good article in Tablet about the Polish national narrative around the Holocaust. The news peg is the furor around Obama’s use of “Polish death camps” in a speech, which, for the record, I think it’s fair to ask people to avoid. I’ve stumbled across Polish sensitivities a few times before. The only bad reviews of Maus on Amazon (I always read the 1-star reviews on books that everyone raves about – just curious what the dissenters have to say) are from people complaining about the portrayal of Poles. I once witnessed a bizarre online fight in which someone tried to explain the post-war pogrom at Kielce as being motivated not by Polish anti-semitism but by “fear that ‘it’ would happen again.” This person would never be totally clear on what the Polish residents of Kielce feared, but maybe that if any Jews were left alive, their country would be invaded again?

    The article does a good job of balancing the bravery shown by many individual Poles with some of the disturbing elements of the national narrative that has formed around the war and the way that plays into contemporary nationalist politics.

    Gross would later write another controversial book, Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz, excavating memories of postwar hatred and violence against the country’s few remaining Jews, most notably the barbaric 1946 mass killing in the town of Kielce (which some historians believe was instigated by Soviet occupation authorities). In response, Polish prosecutors threatened to prosecute Gross for “slandering the Polish nation.” Because of the country’s impressive role in assisting its Jewish citizens during the Final Solution, Polish historian Jakub Kloc-Konkolowicz wrote that many Poles “saw—and continue to see—themselves exclusively in the role of war victims.”

    Other scholars have shined the light on the disturbing wartime practice of szmalcownicy—Poles extorting money from Jews in exchange for protection from the Nazis—a topic largely downplayed by nationalist historians. During the Gross controversy, Polish academic Israel Gutman, editor of the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust and survivor of Auschwitz, wrote that “Although denouncers came forth in most Nazi-occupied countries, only in Poland did bands of thugs and zealots make Jew-hunting a ‘profession.’ ” Szmalcownicy, though, was condemned by Polish resistance organizations, who judged it a crime punishable by death.

    It should be noted without equivocation that Poland’s Holocaust record, while far from perfect, is better than most countries under Nazi occupation. Unlike most of Germany’s European colonies, Poland produced no native SS division. Those who served with the German army were primarily Volksdeutsch (Polish citizens of German extraction), and, unlike citizens of other countries under occupation, no Poles eagerly worked as death camp guards.

    But wartime Poland was a strange case of deeply rooted, historical anti-Semitism coexisting with anti-Nazi resistance. In 1942, the celebrated Catholic writer and resistance figure Zofia Kossak-Szczucka appealed for outside assistance on behalf of the Jews languishing and dying within the Warsaw Ghetto. But, lest it be seen as a philo-Semitic gesture rather than an act of Catholic decency, she added: “Our feelings toward the Jews haven’t changed. We still consider them the political, economic and ideological enemies of Poland.”

    h/t Sullivan

    • I may or may not have gotten in a fight about this on B-J yesterday. Jews grew to have a pretty uneasy relationship with the Poles in the 19th and early 20th century, but it wasn’t an accident that Poland was Jew-central in Europe, because pre-partition the Polish (under their own governance) were generally pretty good to the Jews. Shit changed when the Russian Empire showed up; they had no use for the Jews, and they exported it.

      The Poles have things to be proud of during the Holocaust and things to be ashamed of, but at the end of the day it was still an occupied country stuck smack dab in between the two craziest powers of the 20th century. The death camps were in Poland because that’s where the Jews were. And they were Nazi death camps, run by Nazis, acting out a Nazi-created plan. Whatever the individual crimes of Polish people, the Nazis ran the show.

      • chingona

         /  May 31, 2012

        Certainly. No Nazis, no Holocaust. No Nazis, no death camps. And maybe I don’t need to say this, given that we all know each other here, but most people prefer not to reckon with their country’s uncomfortable history (Americans, slavery, etc.).

        The article talks about how Jews were then and remain today somewhat associated with the Soviets and communism, of which the Poles also (rightly) see themselves as the victims, and how that influences the way the events of the war are remembered.

        I do think this is something I have a hard time being objective about, and I try to account for that.

        What’s B-J?

        • Balloon Juice.

          • chingona

             /  May 31, 2012

            I was a little nervous to google it at work, but with the hyphen, it gave me very mundane but not helpful results. (BJ’s Restaurant. BJ’s Carousel)

      • Bookwoman

         /  May 31, 2012

        Have you read Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands? It’s an excellent examination of eastern Europe during the war, and shows how and where most of the killing took place:

        The horror of the 20th c. is thought to be located in the camps. But the concentration camps are not where most of the victims of National Socialism and Stalinism died…about a million people died because they were sentenced to labor in German concentration camps – as distinct from the German gas chambers and the German killing fields and the German starvation zones – where ten million people died….

        Most of the people who entered German concentration camps (as opposed to the German gas chambers, death pits, and POW camps) also survived. The fate of concentration camp inmates, horrible though it was, is distinct from that of those many millions who were gassed, shot, or starved….

        The tremendous majority of the mortal victims of both the German and Soviet regimes never saw a concentration camp…the Jews killed in the Holocaust were about as likely to be shot as to be gassed.

        The local populations, especially in Lithuania and Poland, were complicit in those killings (carrying out many of the mass shootings, for example). They were under Nazi or Soviet rule, certainly, but the history of anti-Semitism in those countries meant that, with some exceptions of course, the locals were more than happy to see the Jews gone, and to help make sure that it happened. The phrase “Polish Concentration Camps” is not really accurate, but it conveys a truth.

        • Seems to me there’s some serious hair-splitting going on there. Most of the gas chambers were *part* of the concentration camps, so I don’t see how they can be considered separate situations.

          • Bookwoman

             /  May 31, 2012

            The gas chambers were only part of certain camps, and other than Auschwitz (which had two camps, one a labor camp, and one a death camp – Birkenau) they were the camps built specifically to exterminate (Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, etc.). There were other camps that had no gas chambers.

            But in any event, the main point of the book is that the mass killings took place mostly by gunshot, starvation, and disease, not in the gas chambers. The latter is what we tend to think of when we think of the Holocaust, but it’s more complex than that.

            • aaron singer

               /  May 31, 2012

              I took a class in college on the Holocaust, with expert Deborah Lipstadt. She emphasized that the first wave of mass killings was done by roving SS death squads in mass shooting as you describe.

        • chingona

           /  May 31, 2012

          I haven’t read it, but I must have read a review of it because that passage is very familiar. Primo Levi wrote about it being far better to work slowly and get beaten because it was rare to be beaten to death but common to die from exhaustion if you worked fast enough to avoid a beating.

          I agree about the complicity and the history – it’s why I have a hard time being objective about this.

          But given the context, I’m quite sure the president was just being geographical when he said Polish death camp, and if that’s the only information that’s being conveyed, Nazi death camp is much more accurate. I don’t think there’s a “larger truth” defense for “Polish death camp.”

          • Bookwoman

             /  May 31, 2012

            I agree about the complicity and the history – it’s why I have a hard time being objective about this.

            Me too. My mother and her parents fled from Lithuania in 1939.

        • You’re laying a fuckton of collective guilt here, and it is giving me hives like a motherfucker.

          • Bookwoman

             /  May 31, 2012

            When Poland and Lithuania start coming to terms with what happened the way Germany has, the collective fuckton will get a lot lighter. I give this as an example of what I’m talking about: http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/glorifying-a-nazi-collaborator-in-lithuania-1.430508

            • chingona

               /  May 31, 2012

              I think there’s a tendency to lump all the Eastern European countries together. I know that I do. That article says that 95 percent of Lithuanian Jews died – more than in any other country – because of local collaboration. One of the things the Tablet article notes is that Poland’s collective record was better than many of its neighbors. That doesn’t mean they get a pass on the bad stuff, but it’s a complicated picture.

              • Bookwoman

                 /  May 31, 2012

                Agreed. I was at Yad Vashem when I was in Israel earlier this month, and the Garden of the Righteous there is a very moving place, filled with Polish names. But there were also a lot of Polish atrocities against Jews, even after the war (complicated of course by the Soviet occupation). Here’s another article about Gross’s book: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2058917,00.html

                • chingona

                   /  May 31, 2012

                  I know. Like I said, they don’t get a pass on that stuff. My gut-level, visceral reaction is “How dare these people paint themselves as victims?” But I don’t think that’s a fair response either.

                  • aaron singer

                     /  May 31, 2012

                    You can be both a victim and a perpetrator. How many tens of thousands of Polish army soldiers did the Russians slaughter at the outbrink of the war?

                • chingona

                   /  May 31, 2012

                  It’s rare that a disambiguation notes on Wikipedia makes a point, but here’s what’s at the top of the article on the Kielce pogrom:

                  This article is about the 1946 pogrom. For the 1918 pogrom in Kielce, see Kielce pogrom (1918).

                  The Holocaust was not an aberration. It was a culmination. It could never have succeeded without the deep, deep anti-Semitism that pervaded all of Europe. I don’t want to come off like I’m ignoring or dismissing that.

                  • Bookwoman

                     /  June 1, 2012

                    Absolutely – I didn’t think you were. Thanks for the good discussion!

    • chingona

       /  May 31, 2012

      And this reminded me of a This American Life piece from ages ago (2005) about the very strained relationship between a Jewish family and the Polish family that sheltered the children during the war.

      http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/301/settling-the-score

  16. koolaide

     /  May 31, 2012

    I’m glad SYTYCD is back this summer. I❤ it.

    • ME TOO! And I want Fergeson to be a full time judge. He rules.

      • koolaide

         /  May 31, 2012

        So, what was the deal w/ the guy that went wacky for his initial audition but when asked to do a “real” one showed he was For Real? If he really wanted to be on the show, do a real piece. If he wanted to be silly, do something silly but not whatever it was he did? Maybe that’s just me.

        • I think it was a ploy to ensure TV time. So many of them don’t get camera time prior to the live shows. It certainly helped people remember him. In the right way? That remains to be seen.

          • koolaide

             /  May 31, 2012

            I guess it did give him screen time. But still. Just weird.

  17. I may yet wind up with a Kindle, so I was browsing the options available in Amazon’s Kindle Books Store. My head is now spinning because…when you go to the ‘Humor’ section of available books, the first option is – GRRM’s A Feast of Crows. Something HAS to have been mislabelled here…

  18. dmf

     /  May 31, 2012

  19. I’m at the Regenstein Library at UChicago doing some research and I just took a break from same to post a link to my latest Open Zion piece, and for the love of all that’s holy people, please go read it. It felt like hand-to-hand combat as I wrote it last night.

    Also, in unrelated news, the young man sitting next to me at the computer stations has not one but TWO full-sized packages of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, on which it appears he will be subsisting for the length of his time here. OMG SO MUCH WANT.

    • socioprof

       /  May 31, 2012

      Done.

      And I bet that if you reached over and grabbed a Reese’s cup and licked it, the young man would TOTALLY let you have it.

      • A) Thank you!

        B) You are making me laugh entirely out loud in the Reg! Giggle, even. Stop that!

        C) He’s still got ONE WHOLE PACKAGE JUST SITTING THERE.

        D) I did finally go buy a couple of the mini ones they sell for $.15 in the library’s coffee shop.

  20. caoil

     /  May 31, 2012

    Emily…when one penguin cam is taken away from you, you may have another.
    The Vancouver Aquarium’s new penguins have their own cam (see the bottom right of the page).

    • caoil

       /  May 31, 2012

      There is also a beluga cam (<3 belugas!) and one with the sea otters.

    • You are a true and loyal pal, that’s what you are!

  21. caoil

     /  May 31, 2012

    Ow. Building fire drill. 25 floors of walking downstairs. Not the most fun way of getting out of half an hour of work.

    • koolaide

       /  May 31, 2012

      At least you didn’t have to walk back up the stairs to return to your office…

      • caoil

         /  May 31, 2012

        No…but it still did a number on my thighs, knees, and hip. :-/ Just glad they waited until this afternoon, when the rain had stopped!

        • koolaide

           /  May 31, 2012

          Oh, that’s the worst, fire drill in the rain. Just standing around waiting for the “all clear” while getting wet. ugh.