Back, for real.

My connectivity problems are solved, as are my printing problems. I won’t bore you with the long version, only the vindication: I wasn’t crazy. Every part of my system was doing its job, and the fault, dear Brutus, was not in ourselves but in Comcast’s DNS servers.

Anyway, mad props to Adam at the Troy Apple store, who sussed it out for me. He also gave me an excuse to leave the east side and travel into the prosperous suburbs of Oakland County, where Apple stores tend to be located. This one was in a mall called, in a very postmodern name for a mall: The Somerset Collection. It sprawls across two sides of a busy four-lane road; of course I parked on the wrong side. But there’s a skyway with moving sidewalks to carry you over the road, from one temple of consumerism (Neiman Marcus) to another (Nordstrom’s). This was a very high-end mall; no Claire’s tacky accessories or Lidz baseball-cap stores, just Cartier and its expensive cousins. I was there early in the business day, when the only other customers were suburban stay-at-home moms, out for an outing with their perfect blonde haircuts and perfect size-4 butts in $170 jeans and perfect little babies in $300 strollers. They each carried a designer coffee and looked exquisitely bored with it all.

If I were one of their husbands, my motto would be: Cherchez la tennis pro.

That is the end of the cruel cultural stereotyping portion of our broadcast today; I’m certain some of these young women had vivid inner and outer lives. Maybe one served in the Peace Corps in Kenya. Maybe one dreamed of being a large-animal vet in Montana. Maybe another is working on her second novel. At least, I hope so.

Besides, I lied. They weren’t the only customers at the mall, because there were at least a dozen or more in the Apple store. A dozen customers at 10:30 a.m. on a Wednesday — all hail Steve Jobs and the iPod. It was actually busy, not the usual assortment of young dudes waiting to Apple-ify your life. Those guys can be insufferable, except when they solve all your problems.

I didn’t buy the $99 iPod, just as I didn’t buy the iPod mini, even when its tiny profile made my old white iPod look like an obese cow. I think iPods are becoming like hidden cheese in a pizza — I mean, how much more do you want? If an iPod the size of a deck of cards is too big, maybe you need to examine your miniaturization needs.


My preoccupation with the move has limited my exposure to the news lately; the Iraqi elections passed as aural background noise to unpacking, and the Ward Churchill story completely passed me by. But I think Richard Cohen has a sensible take on it today. Worth a read.

I thought Jon Carroll neatly wove together the new Jared Diamond book with a recent Detroit News column in his own column today.

I’ve also been paying attention to news of the new town, of course. As a true moderate, I can’t deccide who’s right in this story, about what happens when police recruits fail to salute their chief. It’s either typical management overreaction or else she’s onto something, like, What else don’t these rookies know?

Oh, and Beato’s going to town on Maggie Gallagher, here: So who exactly is this valiant protector who keeps the nation safe from all those privileged white divorce worshippers? Well, for one, she’s a proud graduate of the school of hard knocks, otherwise known as Yale University. She lives on the easternmost fringe of the Midwest, in New York’s Westchester County. She’s the president of the Institute of Marriage and Public Policy, which appears to be an offshoot of the Manhattan Institute, a grassroots collective of populist pointyheads that subsists on tiny $400,000 contributions from jus’-folks donors like the John M. Olin Foundation. … So what keeps her from being exactly the sort of elite white cultural engineer she regularly derides? Actually, it’s pretty obvious. She’s conservative – and only liberals can be insular elites. And who knows – maybe she also really likes country music.

Posted at 11:10 am in Uncategorized |

12 responses to “Back, for real.”

  1. juan said on February 3, 2005 at 11:31 am

    “As a true moderate…”

    Hahahahaha! Good one, Ms. Nancy. You got me! For a minute there I thought that you were serious.

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  2. Danny said on February 3, 2005 at 1:29 pm

    Can someone give me a rundown of what Cohen says? I have problems getting Wash Post articles.


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  3. Nance said on February 3, 2005 at 3:14 pm

    Cohen says:

    1) Ward Churchill is an idiot, but;

    2) Bill O’Reilly is a thug, and;

    3) by caving to the latter, the school made the situation worse, not better:

    Hamilton should not have invited Churchill in the first place. His ideas are trash, cliches to boot, and the school could have changed its mind once it found out more about him. But once he had accepted, and once Hamilton had insisted by all that is holy that it would stick to its guns, it could not then collapse because those ideas, as loathsome as they are, might have real consequences. Hire some guards. Frisk the audience. But don’t cave to the mob.

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  4. Danny said on February 3, 2005 at 5:26 pm

    Hmm. Thanks, Nance.

    I will say this. First night the story broke on O’Reilly, he was all over Churchill. Then last night, he says somewhat cordially that “The Factor” has extended an invitation to Churchill and it is hoped he accepts. Bill usually comes out guns ablazin’ and then modifies his tone when he sees fit (e.g. to get the interview).

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  5. Randy said on February 4, 2005 at 9:15 am

    I have noticed that way more moms have “size four jeans” and perfect haircuts these days. When I was growing up, moms were eternally dressed in comfortable/practical clothes, always carrying a few extra pounds, and only wearing nice hair for special occasions.

    Is this v.2005 mom an improvement, or a step backward? Does perfect style come at the expense of happiness? Inquiring minds want to… well, I’m probably the only one wondering about this.

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  6. Carmella said on February 4, 2005 at 12:00 pm

    My son (age 24) loves to work out at the Y during the day, b/c all of the HOT soccer moms are there!

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  7. brian stouder said on February 4, 2005 at 10:37 pm

    and, nobody will miss a slice from a cut loaf, eh?!

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  8. ashley said on February 4, 2005 at 11:13 pm

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m astonished that Ward Churchill got as far as he did.

    If you go to the CU page, and look at his vita, you might very well be surprised.

    This guy has claimed to be a Cherokee Indian, after all, his “research” is typically in American Indian culture, but he is not an Indian.

    Second, he was chair of the “department of ethnic studies”. Whaddafuck is dis? For people that can’t cut it in Anthropology or Sociology? What a politically correct copout.

    Finally, he is a tenured full Professor, and doesn’t even have a Ph.D., or any terminal degree. For those of you not familiar with academe, dis jus’ don’ happen. Especially at a “well respected” school such as CU Boulder. A full professor? Go figgur.

    All that being said, he’s an idiot.

    O’Reilly is a thug, and a lying, sexist pig thug at that. How he could possibly go on Jon Stewart’s show and claim in late October that “he honestly did not know who” he was going to vote for, well, he has no skeleton, as he is full of merde.

    Cohen, however, nailed it. The first amendment let’s us say things like “W is a lying draft doger” and “Ken Lay is a great American” and get away with it.

    Now, the question becomes “Should CU and the board of regents fire Churchill”? As much as I think the guy is a festering ball of pus on all of academia, I have to say that no, they should not fire him. Simply because the veil of tenure allows him the academic freedom to pursue any thread of research he wishes.

    Don’t mess with tenure, the effects could be disastrous. We could end up with the David Horowitzes of the world running the Universities.

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  9. Mindy said on February 5, 2005 at 7:58 am

    Randy – You’re quite right in your assumption that excessive hair time can come at the expense of happiness. I wear my hair long and have for many years because much of my childhood was spent waiting for my mother to assemble her ‘do. My family was late for everything, and it altered my life for the worse. So no hair time for me, thanks. Perhaps those high maintenance moms outsource their housework and parental duties in order to have enough time for arranging their plumage.

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  10. Nance said on February 5, 2005 at 10:08 am

    Ash — I share your bafflement about Ward Churchill’s career arc. The only thing I have to add is a comment a real Native American once said to me: “Every white person who thinks he or she is an Indian, or part Indian, thinks their Indian lineage is Cherokee. Talk to these folks, and you come away thinking, ‘Those Cherokee really got around.'”

    I’ve been suspicious of Cherokee lineage ever since.

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  11. brian stouder said on February 5, 2005 at 5:51 pm

    if I was going to be a faux indian, I think I’d go for Sioux.

    As far as academe – how’s about Joe Ellis the Pulitzer-winning liar?

    Somehow, iconoclastic books on American…icons!… written by academic liars (including that fraud who wasted all sorts of exclusive access an wrote an “authoritative biography” on Reagan, including an entirely fictional character!)…rate somewhere below

    Kitty Kelly on my “to-read” list.

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  12. Susan said on February 12, 2005 at 8:02 pm

    I share Nance’s and Ashely’s astonishment at Churchill’s vita. While there are genuine, scholarly interdisciplinary programs (American Studies, for instance, comes to mind as a successful one for a number of years), faculty in such programs typically have legitimate degrees in legitimate subjects. Many retain their main teaching assignments and affiliation in the home department, e.g., history or English, while the interdisciplinary program benefits from a deliberate weaving together of special topics courses offered by these faculty who have designed the program curriculum (always with the ultimate approval of the appropriate deans and academic vice president). Frankly, this so-called ethnic studies department at Colorado seems a throw-back to the 1970’s. I still think Churchill’s statements on his employment application should be probed for dishonesty, and he should be fired forthwith if he lied.

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