Warning: Major language nerdosity ahead.
There are a bunch of billboards around town right now. Advertising a new smartphone, they proclaim it “a bare-knuckled bucket of does.” Every time I pass, I think of deer. Every time. The ads suggest a certain dystopian menace, and does — as in a deer, a female deer — are not menacing creatures, for the most part. I’m not alone. Language consultant and blogger Nancy Friedman writes:
Only the tagline, buried at the bottom of the ad, solves the riddle: “In a world of doesn’t, Droid does.”
What we have here, folks, is anthimeria gone bad: a verb (third-person, present-tense to do) treated as a noun. And because said verb ends in an S and is spelled exactly the same as a real noun, we end up in a bucketful of don’t go there.
Anthimeria, I learn from further research, is the use of any word that’s normally one part of speech as another. For years I’ve been railing against impact — a NOUN, people, a NOUN — used as a verb: The cuts impacted the teacher’s union, or, if you really want to pile on the 21st century usage, The cuts negatively impacted the teacher’s union.
As frequently happens when the forces of good battle the forces of evil, however, we’re losing. A drugstore display I saw the other day:
In the case of the bucket of does, this might be one case where I’d advocate hip-hop spelling. At least it would make sense that way: bare-nuckled bucket o’ duz, yo.
OK, then. About once a week I feel the need to sleep in, and today was one of them. I’m getting a late start on a busy day, so we’re going to make today a grab bag of this ‘n’ that and links ‘n’ stuff. Ready? Let’s begin with that other always-evolving institution, marriage:
I’m wondering what it would do to the atmosphere at our breakfast table if I marched in one morning and said, I’m telling my lawyer I’d like a hefty seven-figure sum to stay with you. Probably it would crack everyone up, but that’s what you get when you don’t look like Mrs. Tiger Woods in a bikini — comedy.
Jim at Sweet Juniper had an eventful Thanksgiving. Read all about it. May I just pause here and thank the bloggers of the world who write about parenthood and family life as well as Jim does? Say what you will, but very few newspapers ever presented anything as wonderful as that brief essay. Parenthood — or, almost always, motherhood — was either presented Bombeck-style or Albom-style and very rarely like this.
I have a whole rant cued up for the Asian carp issue, probably not one that’s of interest to you people who live outside the Great Lakes, but I’ll spare you today. Just know that once again, we’re learning about the hazards of non-native species introduced into complex ecosystems. The hard way.
Gym, shower, crossword, shopping. I’ve got a whole bucket of does on line today. Have a good one.
Jeff Borden said on December 3, 2009 at 10:05 am
The Sun-Times this morning has details of the Woods prenuptial agreement, which guarantees Elin a sum of something like $20-million if the union lasts 10 years. The story says that deal is now being rewritten to shorten the time and increase the payout. Additionally, Elin has received a payment in “the five-figure range” to an account she alone controls.
Meanwhile, the Swedish golf pro who introduced Elin to Tiger when Elin and her twin sister were working for him as nannies, now regrets the decision. He says Tiger has turned out not to be the man he thought he was.
Aside from being surprised that Elin has a twin sister, I was struck by the fact she had been a nanny when Tiger met her. Wasn’t it a nanny who blew up the marriage of Robin Williams? These nannies are clearly a danger to traditional, heterosexual marriages!
And speaking of heteros, a pox on the New York State Senate, which crushed the effort to allow gay marriage in the Empire State. The effort to deny basic civil rights to a minority group was led, as always, by those kind, loving, Christian churches and our old friends in the GOP, those stalwart defenders of all that is right and holy except when they do it.
Peter said on December 3, 2009 at 10:34 am
Elin has a twin sister? I guess he can kiss that fantasy goodbye.
coozledad said on December 3, 2009 at 10:41 am
Jeff Borden: If it weren’t for nannies, our culture would be so much poorer. Think of the kids. Think of the unmade movies.
What kills me is the C-street trash using their political leverage to crank up the killing fields in Uganda. I wonder if the laws being proposed there are part of a blueprint for creating failed states in order to exploit oil or mineral wealth. Sounds a lot like the blood diamonds scam Pat Robertson was working with his fellow shitbucket Charles Taylor.
Dorothy said on December 3, 2009 at 10:43 am
I’m sure those of us with kids could regale the group with stories of sick children much less sweetly than Jim at Sweet Juniper did. I’ll just say this: 1987 or 1988, daughter felt sick upstairs, ran downstairs to use the bathroom (Cape Cod style house, no bathroom on 2nd floor), and she left a trail all the way from beside her bed, and then down every single step. I’m just glad I got the job of cleaning HER up. Mike offered to take care of the path, and boy was I glad he did.
Can you get replacement insurance on laptops much like the kind wireless phone providers offer? Anyone??
ROgirl said on December 3, 2009 at 11:03 am
Whenever I come across the word “gift” used as a verb, I want to apply a golf club to the head of the responsible party.
LAMary said on December 3, 2009 at 11:11 am
I’m still bugged when I hear or see invite as a noun. Especially with the accent on the first syllable. I’m working in a room full of folks who send INvites. It sounds very Jed Clampett to me as in, “I’ll have Jethro send you and INvite to come swim in the CEment pond.”
nancy said on December 3, 2009 at 11:17 am
You know who else has an identical twin? Jill Hennessy, the old “Law & Order” D.A. Alan ordered up “Dead Ringers” from the on-demand menu the other day, and the two of them played identical twin prostitutes, calling on Jeremy Irons (who plays both halves of another twin set). Imdb says it was her first film role. Huh.
INvites, agreed. That’s what bugs me about “impact.” There’s a perfectly good existing word that could be used. It’s as though someone started using impact as a verb because they couldn’t bother to learn the difference between affect and effect.
Brendan said on December 3, 2009 at 11:20 am
OMG, would that I had known the IMPACT of my inadvertent (or ignorant) act of anthimeria! From now on I will run all my quotes by you before speaking. Funny stuff.
brian stouder said on December 3, 2009 at 11:25 am
I dislike “efforting”. Polite company wouldn’t “effort” in the effing elevator, I say
I suppose there are legitimate gerunds, but that ain’t one of ’em
edit – Cooz – I’m about ready to buy that book authored by the guy that Rachel always has on – “The Family”. Normally paranoid-political critiques don’t draw me, but there seems to be enough “there” there to make the book more ‘reportage’ than polemic
Jolene said on December 3, 2009 at 11:33 am
At least invite-as-noun has, in my experience, remained in casual speech. Not so with impact-as-verb. In fact, it’s often used when people are trying to sound important, as in, “The widespread use of electronic communication technologies has impacted the postal service adversely.”
Problems like the incorrect use of affect for effect drive me nuts because, unlike so many issues in language use, there actually is a correct answer that people could learn. And, of course, that applies to so many other word pairs (e.g., principle vs. principal) or words that sound similar and are often confused (e.g., tenets vs. tenants). Not long ago, I saw someone write “principle tenants” to refer to the major holdings of a religious faith. Aaaaargh!
In his unedited blog prose, Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose writing I praised a couple of days ago and previously, confuses pronouns and contractions (i.e., their vs. they’re, your vs. you’re) fairly regularly. Drives me nuts, as he really is an impressive thinker and writer.
nancy said on December 3, 2009 at 11:33 am
Brendan: As my people say, Go and sin no more.
brian stouder said on December 3, 2009 at 11:40 am
where “sin” is a verb
Julie Robinson said on December 3, 2009 at 11:41 am
We had one memorable vomit session where our son got the entire bunk bed, his room, the hallway and then our bed as he made his way to us. Poor kid. I have a highly suggestible tummy so I was always choking down nausea. That’s one part of parenting I’m glad is over. I wonder if Jim’s laptop is covered by his homeowner’s insurance? If not, Apple could make replacing it a feel-good story.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 3, 2009 at 11:47 am
What with four days of deer gun season, there are plenty of folks in central Ohio who have a bucket of does. Not to mention what you clean off your front grillwork after a glancing blow (or two). They’re darting everywhere right now — i’m actively trying to avoid driving around dusk, even closer into town.
Asian carp, purple loosestrife, zebra mussels, garlic mustard; the ecosystem is the planet right now, and i’m not sure there’s an electric fence that can change that right now. Looking at some of the suggested solutions, i keep thinking about the old camp favorite “I Know An Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly.”
Jim Wetzel said on December 3, 2009 at 11:56 am
Re: “impactful” lashes — call it ugly. Call it awkward. Call it unnecessary. I won’t argue. But one cannot be truthful while suggesting that it’s technically incorrect. After all, they might have promoted beautiful lashes without making any of us blink an eye. (Sorry about that.)
moe99 said on December 3, 2009 at 12:11 pm
Swerving off topic briefly. Here’s a free lecture on Masterpieces of Holiday Music from the Teaching Company. Highly recommended:
Dexter said on December 3, 2009 at 12:17 pm
Does anyone have an opinion on what is the best children’s hospital in the United States? An acquaintance finally got an appointment for his chronically sick girl at C.H.O.P., which is the highly regarded kid’s place in Philadelphia. Years ago we had our daughter admitted to Children’s in Boston for a delicate procedure; that was quite an ordeal.
Jolene said on December 3, 2009 at 12:17 pm
That Sweet Juniper piece is, indeed, lovely. Has anyone read Michael Chabon’s new book, Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son? I haven’t, but have heard him talk about it in interviews a couple of times in ways that suggest it will be another good treatment of marriage and family.
Sue said on December 3, 2009 at 12:21 pm
All those poor dead fish, and no carp yet:
Marriage counseling sessions “several times daily”? After awhile, what’s left to say?
Phil Mickelson comes off looking great in comparison, yet again.
Rana said on December 3, 2009 at 12:25 pm
I have by now a canned speech that I give to my students when discussing writing, in which I rant against the use of the word “impact” when what they really mean is “effect.” It involves doing something dramatic like flinging a piece of chalk full force at the board to illustrate the difference between the two. I don’t know if the effect lasts, but I’d hope that it does.
“Impactful” makes me think of something likely to cause constipation.
On a side note – am I the only person who finds most mascara ads on tv disturbing? I’m not talking the “side effects make include permanent darkening of the iris” ads, but the ones where the brush sweeps the lashes and they suddenly grow? There’s something about them that just irritates me – it’s like the visual equivalent of fingers on a chalkboard. (Perhaps it’s an effect of my own lashes being long enough to blink against my glasses if I push them up too far – it’s a distinctly unpleasant sensation, and the thought of doing something to make it more likely is not a nice one.)
Jolene said on December 3, 2009 at 12:25 pm
Here’s a story for you re sick kids, Jeff (tmmo). A thousand years ago, in the days before kids were vaccinated for chicken pox, four of the kids in my family had it at once, and some of us, including me, were very ill. At a point when my poor mother was exhausted from bathing and soothing feverish children, our minister happened to stop on his pastoral rounds and stayed for a few hours taking turns with the rocking and comforting and simply sitting with my mother while she relaxed for a few minutes. Years afterward, she would speak of his kindness as something rare and wonderful, something she never expected and rarely experienced. I think it was the entire basis of her attachment to the church.
Lex said on December 3, 2009 at 12:25 pm
If we ban anthimeria, where will we get our FAIL and WIN?
MarkH said on December 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm
A word that has cropped up that really irritates me is “doable”, as in do-able(?) Since when did things become doable? I mean, if you looked at the word without hearing if first, how would you know how to pronounce it? In the course of conversation I purposely substitute “workable”; “oh, that’s workable”. Maybe it’s not that much better…
Dexter, what is the child’s chronic illness? I bet LAMary could find a recommendation pretty quuickly.
beb said on December 3, 2009 at 12:48 pm
MarkH, answering your question is entirely doable, but I’ve decided not to.
Old-time Editor said on December 3, 2009 at 12:59 pm
“Reference” as a verb has practically replaced “refer.” Of course, in the newspaper biz we used “refer” (pronounced reefer) as a noun.
4dbirds said on December 3, 2009 at 1:04 pm
Vomit and kids? You guys are light weights. Try a toddler on chemo. About language. I thought it was ‘alive’ and therefore changes. New words and usage that make sense and are easy to use will stay, the others will go.
4dbirds said on December 3, 2009 at 1:07 pm
Dexter, I think the choice of hospital for a child depends on the illness. I would find the best pediatric specialist for that particular illness and find where he/she practices. I know several parents of cancer kids in PA and they have nothing but good things to say about CHOP.
Julie Robinson said on December 3, 2009 at 1:22 pm
4dbirds, my MIL would come home from working at the hospital and say how blessed she felt, in comparison to what she saw there everyday. Thanks for the reminder that not every puke session is a 24 hour bug.
Scout said on December 3, 2009 at 1:26 pm
My pet peeve is “whatnot.” WTF is a whatnot?
Besides Nancy’s scintillating commentary, one the best reasons to read this blog is to pick up coozledad’s most excellent noun creations. Douchewaffle made its debut at Thanksgiving and I do believe shitbucket might get some yuks at Christmas gatherings. Attributed, of course.
4dbirds said on December 3, 2009 at 1:34 pm
Since I’m not a writer and was asleep much like Peppermint Patty during school, I’m very tolerant when it comes to language, especially spoken language. However, my grumpy old lady comes out when I hear “Not a problem” instead of “You’re welcome” after a thank you.
Jolene said on December 3, 2009 at 1:34 pm
The Children’s National Medical Center in DC also has a very good reputation, but I don’t have any more detailed info re specific kinds of expertise. I do read all the articles that John Kelly writes in the Post in his annual effort to raise funds for free care at Children’s. I don’t know how he can do the work, as I’m usually in tears by the end of the column. Can only imagine the experiences of the parents and children he writes about.
Jolene said on December 3, 2009 at 1:37 pm
Whatever you think of “whatnot”, Scout, you can’t blame it on “kids these days”. Here’s what dictionary.com had to say about “whatnot”.
1. a stand with shelves for bric-a-brac, books, etc.
2. something or anything of the same or similar kind: sheets, pillowcases, towels, napkins, and whatnot.
1530–40; from the phrase what not?
4dbirds said on December 3, 2009 at 1:44 pm
My daughter was treated at CNMC, they saved her life. As for the ‘free care’, I don’t know about that. Their collections department was quite persistant in collecting every dime that insurance didn’t pay.
ROgirl said on December 3, 2009 at 1:46 pm
From Howard Kurtz:
Charles Pierce, who profiled Woods a dozen years ago, says in Esquire:
“I can’t say I’m surprised — either by the allegations or by what’s ensued since Friday’s wreck. Back in 1997, one of the worst-kept secrets on the PGA Tour was that Tiger was something of a hound. Everybody knew. Everybody had a story. Occasionally somebody saw it, but nobody wanted to talk about it, except in bar-room whispers late at night. Tiger’s People at the International Management Group visibly got the vapors if you even implied anything about it.
“However, from that moment on, the marketing cocoon around him became almost impenetrable. The Tiger Woods that was constructed for corporate consumption was spotless and smooth, an edgeless brand easily peddled to sheikhs and shakers. The perfect marriage with the perfect kids slipped so easily into the narrative it seemed he’d been born married.”
Deborah said on December 3, 2009 at 1:53 pm
I love the last line of that Sweet Juniper piece. When I taught school vomiting children made me hurl too. When I became a parent, it didn’t effect/affect me at all that way when it was my own child. Will someone please tell me when it is appropriate to use effect and affect? I never learned that, sorry to say.
john c said on December 3, 2009 at 2:00 pm
What a great essay on Sweet Juniper … and apologies for adding my greatest and proudest child-vomit moment.
I was rewarding myself on the couch after running through a list of Sunday chores. The boy, then five-ish, walks up and says: “Dad, my throat hurts.” I reach up lazily and feel his cheek, then gently wrap my hand around his throat, feeling for any swelling. “BLARRRRCH!” One very big blast directly on my face and chest. Why my proudest moment? Because I lept past my own disgust and off the couch, picked the kid up and tucked him under my arm like a football, raced for the bathroom and held him out just as the second spew emerged, a direct hit into the toilet. (This story, by the way, also illustrates my obsessive need to answer any phone that rings, which I did, still dripping, moments later.)
Jeff Borden said on December 3, 2009 at 2:03 pm
The place a good-looking, rich, highly-successful athlete occupies in our society ensures they will receive limitless opportunities to sleep with all manner of beautiful women. When the Chicago Bulls were the equivalent of the Beatles –hundreds of fans were often waiting to see them as they checked into their hotels– there were countless stories of women throwing their hotel room keys at the players, particularly Michael Jordan.
Perhaps Tiger should have remained single for a few more years, sowed his wild oats and not worried about the repercussions. Derek Jeter of the Yankees, who fits all the above criteria, has never married and for good reason. He loves the ladies and has dated an enormous range of gorgeous women including singers, actresses and a former Miss World. He apparently knows himself well enough not to take the vow of faithfulness marriage entails.
Or, perhaps, Elin should have worked out the kind of arrangement Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, made. She has more or less stated outright that a certain amount of hanky-panky is to be expected when you are a sexy film star and they have both acknowledged that the occasional fling is likely to occur.
Brian, the group you refer to is “The Family,” I believe. Aside from the randy tenants on C Street, this group includes good, ol’ Rick Warren, who recently refused to condemn the actions in Uganda to put gays to death. I’m sure Barack Obama is so proud his Inaugural invocation was offered up by such a fine specimen of Christian goodness.
John said on December 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm
I loved my grandma’s whatnot cabinet. It was a source of bemusement for small minds as to what exactly constituted a whatnot.
Jolene said on December 3, 2009 at 2:24 pm
Deborah, here’s the rundown on effect vs affect. Start from this assumption:
Affect is a verb; effect is a noun.
Example: Do you think the heavy rains will affect this year’s crops?
Example: The heavy spring rains have had a bad effect on this year’s yields
That will take care of about 97% of uses of these two words.
Psychologists and psychiatrists use “affect” (pronounced AF-fect, rather than af-FECT) as a noun to refer to an individual’s emotive style or stance. For instance, saying someone has a flat affect means that they speak w/o normal levels of liveliness.
“Effect” is sometimes used as a verb meaning “to bring about”. For instance, one might say, “Through this new policy, we expect to effect a 90% reduction in drunk driving.”
Colleen said on December 3, 2009 at 2:26 pm
The rich and famous are just far more…..transactional….about marriage than I could ever be. And yeah, if you’re gonna dog around, then don’t get married. Or, much like Prince Charles, did someone determine It Was Time for Tiger to find a suitable wife?
Deborah said on December 3, 2009 at 2:28 pm
One thing I never understand about the celebrity unfaithfulness is that the woman who sleeps with the married athlete/politician/movie star never gets any of the blame? Like that twerp who slept with John Edwards. I imagine women probably throw themselves at these guys all the time so it must be hard to resist. But aren’t these women at fault too? Am I just hopelessly naive?
nancy said on December 3, 2009 at 2:34 pm
Mnemonic device for affect/effect: Effect is the “end result.” E for end. Affect is, um, the other one.
Speaking of boo-boos, look what I just read in my lunchtime perusal of the paper of record:
THE New York Hilton. It is the breakfast hour, the day before Thanksgiving, and the lobby is busy with clean-looking families who are up and Adam, ready to set off in their varsity-letter jackets and Rockports for some holiday shopping, maybe a show.
I almost did a spit take. Hasn’t anyone on the copy desk heard of “up and at ’em?”
Also, isn’t Jeter the one with, um, the open-ended Valtrex prescription? I seem to recall hearing he’s the Patient Zero of Manhattan herpes infections. Or am I thinking of some other horndog?
Jolene said on December 3, 2009 at 2:47 pm
Michael Wilbon has an interesting column on infidelity among sports stars in today’s WaPo,the best part of which is a quote from Chris Rock. To wit: A man is only as faithful as his options.
I am not quite that cynical myself, but it may not be far off. As for the women, Deborah, of course they are responsible for their actions, but they are often young, unmarried, and unknown to the public. If the men they are “doing” weren’t married, they’d just be girls having a good time–or what they think is a good time right now.
I do think it’s true that there are large numbers of young women who hang out at bars and hotels in the hope of connecting with one of these star athletes (or musicians or movie stars), if only for a night.
Colleen said on December 3, 2009 at 2:51 pm
Up and Adam?? Really? REALLLLLLLY?? Makes me want to give someone free reign to slide down a giant shoot in an odd right of passage….
While I think the women are culpable, I put more on the men. They should know better. They know what promises they made, they know what they are doing to their families. They make their choices.
Jen said on December 3, 2009 at 2:57 pm
“Up and Adam” made me laugh. That’s what I thought it was when I was a little kid. I still remember asking my mom about that one, actually, because I have a cousin named Adam.
Everyone’s child vomit stories are making me laugh, but also making me so very glad that my husband and I don’t have children yet! I have a very, very strong aversion to/fear of vomit and vomiting, which I’m pretty sure has something to do with my mom vomiting for five days straight after every one of her chemo treatments when I was an impressionable 12-year-old. (My husband recommends therapy, and he’s only half-joking.) Though, I didn’t gag once the last time the cat yakked on the carpet and I had to clean it up, so maybe that’s a sign of maturity.
LAMary said on December 3, 2009 at 3:13 pm
Up and Adam? Terrible.
Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles is consistently on the lists of top places in the US. I don’t have any connections there other than the nurse recruiter, but the hospital has a great reputation. And Heidi Fleiss’s dad is a pediatrician there.
crinoidgirl said on December 3, 2009 at 3:17 pm
Real-time dissection of the brain of the famous amnesiac H.M. He had part of his brain removed to try to combat his epilepsy, with the result that he couldn’t form new memories.
ROgirl said on December 3, 2009 at 3:31 pm
Aren’t all the copy editors at the NYT assigned to Alessandra Stanley these days?
adrianne said on December 3, 2009 at 3:34 pm
My friend can’t say enough about the wonderful people at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where her daughter arrived on the brink of kidney failure. A mutual friend also praised CHOP for finally diagnosing her adopted daughter’s epilepsy, after a series of bad diagnoses. And I’ve heard good things about Children’s Hospital in Boston, too.
jcburns said on December 3, 2009 at 3:40 pm
Just got home from hearing the radio spot for Droid (where the word sounds as they’d like it to) and, annoyed by the billboards and banner ads, was ready to blog about exactly that. But you had it taken care of. The use of ‘does’ in a visual world does not compute. I too think of deer in a bucket. And don’t get me started on this Hipster Hyperbolic copywriting style where everything is a Two-Fisted Nonstop Ass-Kicking Bucket of…some damn thing.
Dorothy said on December 3, 2009 at 3:41 pm
When I read the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House books she mentioned her father made a “whatnot” for her mom. I thought it was a piece of furniture for the corner of the cabin.
“Up and Adam”?? They should be ashamed of themselves.
Jolene said on December 3, 2009 at 3:45 pm
You’re right re whatnot, Dorothy. See #32 above.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm
Jeff B., i don’t believe Rick Warren has a thing to do with The Family. Have you found a connection that i’ve missed?
Dexter said on December 3, 2009 at 4:23 pm
Thanks for the information and opinions regarding children’s hospitals.
The child I am concerned about is five months old and has much discomfort due to vomiting. She has been treated for a problem with her pyloric valve I believe it is…anyway, lots of uncomfortable nights for the parents with all-night crying and lots of pain for the kid. I am hoping this treatment at C.H.O.P. is definitive.
Scout said on December 3, 2009 at 5:03 pm
Thanks all, I get that a whatnot was once a quaint little doohickey of some sort, but the way it is used now is definitely not in that context. “I was all drunk and whatnot.” “Some people have the wackiest ideas and whatnot.” I don’t think it means what they think it means. And whatnot.
Dexter said on December 3, 2009 at 5:07 pm
Rick Warren is what he is, an impressive speaker and outstanding fund raiser ( he can tell his Sunday congregation he needs 2 mil and he has it in the plate instantly, I read) , and a great interview on MTP w/ David Gregory last Sunday.
He repeatedly says his beliefs on human sexuality are “biblical”, but he also extends helping hands to all downtrodden people with disregard to their beliefs or physical practices. If he just denounced his biblical beliefs, he would no longer be Rick Warren, most powerful Christian leader in the USA. One thing he is not is a phony. It’s true, he still drives a battered old Ford pickup truck and lives in a tiny house and takes no salary and has given over 98% of the tens of millions of dollars he made from “A Purpose Driven Life” back to Saddleback Church. He still retains his golden touch. I wish he would could shake the yoke of his biblical beliefs, but then he loses his powers to direct the cash to great, worthy causes. Is this a moral conundrum? Is this phony? helifino.
Also, Barack Obama can’t abandon Afghanistan because he campaigned on a promise to do just what he is doing. He says he was against the Iraq War , but that was not when he was a Senator of the US, only when he operated out of Springfield. Obama never once voted to stop or even slightly curtail funding for the Iraq War, either. He always has been a hawk, always ready to threaten to bomb Iran , always a staunch supporter of Israel no matter how murderous the Israelis are with their penchant for bombing Lebanon.
People can’t change when they don’t want to. Barack Obama doesn’t have to send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, but he’s doing what he has always believed in. He has always said this is the war worth fighting, much moreso than the failed mission into Iraq. I say failed because the last administration botched up an invasion which never should have happened at all.
Obama was never a peace candidate, and he, too is what he is. A lot of folks seem confused about this. I just say, well, what did you expect?
The Dems could have run Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, or Russ Feingold if they wanted pullouts from Iraq and Afghanistan. Uh-uh. Never was gonna happen. This is America. War on, people.
Jeff Borden said on December 3, 2009 at 5:08 pm
I saw an interview with David Sharlet, the author of “The Family,” on Rachel Maddow’s program and he was discussing the ties Rick Warren has with the Family and with that murderous “holy man” in Uganda (I won’t attempt to spell his name) behind efforts to kill homosexuals and sentence to three years in prison anyone who does not inform on those who are gay. This same killer priest or bishop or whatever has been a frequent guest at the Saddleback Church, which is not surprising since Warren has launched a “purpose-driven life” initiative in Uganda.
Warren was asked by a Newsweek reporter this week about the Uganda situation, which he deflected with a comment about how he refuses to get involved in discussions of foreign government policy. So, instead of saying that he found the policies in Uganda abhorrent, he punted.
Apparently, only righteous heteros can live a purpose-driven life.
Warren packages himself very nicely, but at base, he’s just another hater with a pulpit. I doubt there is an afterlife, but I sometimes hope there is just so punks like Warren can get the justice in the next world they worked to deny others in this one.
LAMary said on December 3, 2009 at 5:11 pm
Jen, you’re going to need to do something about that barf phobia if you are planning on having kids. Aside from the strong possibility of pregnancy being a time of much puking, kids barf all the time. When I was expecting #2 child, #1 child climbed on my lap and barfed down my dress. This was at the dinner table, with guests present. Kids just spew wherever, then usually cry about it.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 3, 2009 at 5:38 pm
Ironically, i believe the reporter’s name is Jeff Sharlet.
“Hater with a pulpit” is a bit much, but i’ll see what i can find out about the Ugandan fellow you assert is a frequent guest at Saddleback. It does help to get names right, even when they’re hard to spell. Like “Jeff.”
Scout said on December 3, 2009 at 5:41 pm
What Dexter said. All the hand wringers must not have been paying any attention to the presidential debates. He always said he was going to double down in Afghanistan. I’m as anti-war as you can get, but I still knew this guy was going to make more intelligent choices than Candidate Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran.
basset said on December 3, 2009 at 5:45 pm
Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville saved Basset Jr. – who, a few months later, projectile-vomited over my shoulder while I was burping him in a crowded restaurant and soaked the poor soul sitting behind me.
A couple of years after that, some of Mrs. Basset’s family were in town and we went out to a nice dinner. We were at the maitre d’s stand when my toddler nephew decided to bring up lunch… and his dad whipped off a cowboy boot and tried to catch it. He was mostly successful.
Anyone beside me remember “Up at at ’em, Adam Ant!”?
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 3, 2009 at 5:46 pm
Well, that didn’t take long. On the one hand, Sharlet states that Warren has ties to “Ugandan politics” and hence should be able to make the proposed bill go away — http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/1/809453/-Maddow-Sharlet:-US-ties-to-Uganda-homosexual-death-penalty-law
But elsewhere, i find that Warren has cut ties and funding to Ssempa (an oddly spelled name by English standards, but i don’t see where English speakers ever get the right to make fun of anyone else’s spelling) — http://www.crosswalk.com/news/commentary/11610162/
Rick Warren isn’t going to make anyone happy by saying that sexuality outside of male-female marriage is fine. Call him cramped, call him reactionary, call him limited, call him behind the ever changing and always for the better times, but i think “hater with a pulpit” is over the top. Breathe twice before posting anything based on a quick Kos, HuffPo, or FoxNews blip.
Sharlet has been writing in Harper’s about The Family for years, and i think he’s been onto an interesting story, but he’s veering towards going all Dan Brown about them, based on 30 minutes on Terry Gross i heard the other day. They and the Bohemian Club aren’t quite so influential as all that.
ROgirl said on December 3, 2009 at 5:48 pm
Scout, in the context that it’s used nowadays, whatnot has become an empty expression like “ya know.” I also think it’s a polite version of “and shit.” I was all drunk and shit, some people have the wackiest ideas and shit.
baldheadeddork said on December 3, 2009 at 5:53 pm
DougJ at Balloon Juice on journamalism at the WaPo:
Sums up my feelings as well as anything I’ve found.
alex said on December 3, 2009 at 6:36 pm
Sorry so late to the party, but attended seminars all day.
Re: mascara ads: what I find scary about them is how they cause me to experience arachnophobia when that’s not ordinarily one of my phobias.
Holly said on December 3, 2009 at 6:37 pm
When my son was 3 he got the flu. I had put him on the sofa and covered him up. I was sitting on the floor next to the sofa watching tv while he slept. I did not move fast enough. The next thing I know, he barfed on the back of my head.
LAMary said on December 3, 2009 at 7:07 pm
Basset, it was Up and at’em, Atom Ant. Adam Ant was the guy who recorded Goody Two Shoes.
Julie Robinson said on December 3, 2009 at 7:10 pm
Mascara ads drive me nuts because the women are ALWAYS wearing false eyelashes. Where is the FCC when you need them?
LAMary said on December 3, 2009 at 7:12 pm
Julie, the same thing gets to me. Why should I be impressed with mascara on fake lashes?
Dorothy said on December 3, 2009 at 8:01 pm
I’d forgotten all about this until I read these barf stories today. My sister-in-law was holding her daughter up over her head one day. I think she was on her back on the floor. Playing with Jessica, laughing, etc. Her mouth WIDE open. Guess what happened next?
alex said on December 3, 2009 at 8:16 pm
My most memorable barf story took place on a vacation out west one summer back in the ’70s. There was a carton of chocolate milk left overnight in a cooler in the car, the ice having melted the previous afternoon. My brother found it and downed it first thing in the morning before we left for a roadtrip through the Tetons or wherever it was. We hadn’t gotten far when it all shot out of him from the back seat and drenched the inside of the windshield, the dash and the backs of my parents’ heads. That car had permanent vomit crust in every vent and a stench that wouldn’t quit. We didn’t keep it for very long after that.
Regarding yesterday’s discussion, rum was the first alcoholic drink to ever make me puke, but the experience didn’t make me averse to rum. On the other hand, I haven’t been a milk drinker since that summer vacation and I almost get the heaves just thinking about it.
judybusy said on December 3, 2009 at 8:38 pm
My language peeve is a corporatespeak word, “One of the learnings we took away from this experience was….” I first heard this from the CEO of a hospital I worked at. Until that moment, I had thought this woman quite smart. Fortunately, I haven’t heard it too often. “Takeaways” (i.e., learnings) and “repurpose” can be added to my list of new words I don’t like.
Loved the Sweet Juniper piece and all the stories here. Another parenting blog I like is by Nici Holt Cline. She actually has two blogs, one about gardening, and one about parenting. I read only the gardening one, but since it’s December in Montana, and she just gave birth to her second kid, it’s all about that. She has great photos of everything. I am not and will never be a parent, and am usually bored to tears by people talking about their ankle biters, but for some reason I like reading about her life. The link: http://www.digthischickmt.com/
Dexter said on December 3, 2009 at 8:59 pm
Then there is the biggest piece of garbage ever written about parenting, Bob Greene’s “Good Morning, Merry Sunshine”. Have any of you folks ever tried reading it? It is unreadable. After 40 pages I actually burned it. Awful.
LAMary said on December 3, 2009 at 9:01 pm
Bob Greene has a lot to account for.
moe99 said on December 3, 2009 at 9:33 pm
When I was 9 I got sick and barfed before church one Sunday. But my mother didn’t see me, so she thought I was lying (I had made it to the toilet luckily), and I had to go with the rest of the family to mass (at St. John’s Catholic church in Defiance). I made it until about the sermon and threw up all over a guy in the pew in front of us. Luckily I had not had communion or the priest would have been required to dispose of it in the approved fashion.
beb said on December 3, 2009 at 10:13 pm
“hater with a pulpit” – I love that expression, and it fits way tii many people who claim to speak for God but rarely do. The bishop who wants to deny John Kerry communion because of Kerry’s politics – hater.
That guy with the pointed hat who thinks its more important to keep gays from marrying than weeding out the child rapists in his church – hater.
That guy would travels all over America to picket military funerals – hater.
Those two guys who said the USA deserved 9-11 because of all thr gay – haters.
The guys who said Hurricane Katrina was a warning to New Orleans for allowing a gay parade – hater.
The guy in Bush’s VA administration who said that if soldiers really believed in God and Country they wouldn’t come back from Iraq with PTSD.
The sad fact is that churches of any denomination are the worse sources for hatred in the world.
I was waiting for Sweet Juniper’s page to load in another tab when I read that it was about kids vomiting. I closed the tab unread. There are no amusing vomit stories, not even the one my wife can tell about her friend and the spoiled tuna sandwich….
Rana said on December 3, 2009 at 10:23 pm
I have been lucky in my life and not barfed since I was twelve (and only wished I could a couple of times since), so I’m torn between laughter and horror reading the child-vomit stories.
The funniest baby-barfing incident that I had the privilege to witness was when I was visiting some friends with a young baby. Said baby was at the “easy down, easy up” stage of development, and was capable of barfing for no discernable reason whatsoever.
So, here’s the scene. Baby is being held by her mother. Said mother swings around to show the baby to our friend Linda, and as this happens, as if in slow motion, the baby’s mouth opens and out shoots this tight stream of milk vomit… which arcs out and lands perfectly in the front pocket of Linda’s overalls. I about fell over laughing, as did the baby’s mother (she managed to keep from dropping the baby), and, after Linda determined that the PDA she fished out of the pocket was okay, she had to laugh, too.
Sue said on December 3, 2009 at 11:02 pm
Pastel sofa, sick kid, grape juice.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 3, 2009 at 11:17 pm
Speaking of gay marriage, Jon Stewart is shouting out to Iowa as the cosmopolitan pathbreaker while New York and California are the reactionary conservative strongholds.
Say whaaaat? Yep, Iowa.
“Is this heaven?” “No, it’s Iowa.”
* * *
beb — it’s equating Fred Phelps with Rick Warren that gets my Irish up. C’mon, meaningful distinctions can and should be made. Unless you wanna be an inerrantist fundamentalist.
Denice B. said on December 4, 2009 at 12:56 am
I’ve been a nurse for 25 years. I can deal with blood, guts, and all kinds of stuff. But Vomit still makes me gag! Our daughter was a barfer, but only when she had a head cold. Found out that she had enlarged tonsils. She also had 3-4 strep throat infections a year. Once the tonsils came out she hasn’t had strep, and only pukes when she has the flu.
Dexter said on December 4, 2009 at 2:11 am
Denice B.: My daughter is a nurse practioner in Las Vegas, NV. She has been in the nursing profession a long time, filling many roles, even teaching for a couple years at the U. of Toledo, and you might think she would have a clinical approach to the entire human body. She won’t touch feet. She hates other people’s feet and everything about them. She avoids them like claustrophobics avoid airplanes.
Shirley Phelps Roper was a frequent radio guest on the Ron & Fez Show
until recently. Ronnie played a lot of devil’s advocate with her. She ended her segs by singing some offensive words to the tune of “Battle Hymn…”
I would say she is batshit crazy, and also I know she is a biblical scholar who can quote chapter and verse and can twist those words into hate as fast as lightning.
It sounds like you folks can see hate and twisting in Rick Warren’s message, too. I see it like this: Warren can’t turn away from his power source and remain effective, so it appears he hates gays, but he just doesn’t. On Sunday (NBC, MTP) he made it clear: biblical to him means helping others regardless of their religion or anything else. He seems very flexible. Religions always have spawned hate and conflicts worldwide, so I understand why a blanket statement about hating the haters and hating religion in all manners makes sense to millions of people, and I believed this for many years, too. Now, I can’t see the hate in people like Rick Warren’s heart.
In the mid 1990s my wife and I were on a whale watching boat out of Provincetown, MA. You know that many gays vacation there, and happenstance dictated that my wife sat beside a gay man and his mother from Toledo. The man struck up a conversation with my wife, and soon it was revealed he was a director of David’s House Compassion , an AIDS house that was the product of the wishes of David Gercak , who had died of AIDS in 1988.
My wife is sometimes tunnel visioned in fundamentalism, but within minutes this man had her convinced of the good work being done, the compassion being offered, the help being extended by David’s House in Toledo. The encounter really changed her.
My point is there is neutral ground in these issues, there is good all around.
I guess it helps if you believe there are more good people than bad people. I reckon that’s my faith, as much as anything.
crinoidgirl said on December 4, 2009 at 6:35 am
Bad/funny CGI reenactment of Tiger’s crash:
beb said on December 4, 2009 at 7:41 am
Jeff (TMMO) wrote: beb — it’s equating Fred Phelps with Rick Warren that gets my Irish up. C’mon, meaningful distinctions can and should be made. Unless you wanna be an inerrantist fundamentalist
Phelps is bat-shit crazy, Warren is just crazy. OK? Distinction made.
Jeff, I know you do good work in your church and on account of your religion. But all the guys I mentioned seem less interested in helping people than in bashing people. Mostly gays. I’ve never understood how that fits under Jesus’s command to love one another. They’re all Old Testament when we’re supposed to be living under the New Testament.
Julie Robinson said on December 4, 2009 at 8:50 am
Beb, I hate those guys too–they misrepresent the church just as badly as jihadists misrepresent Islam. But you have a better understanding than they do; Old Testament=Old Covenant, New Testament=New Covenant. The OT is a source of history and example but we should live our lives according to Jesus’ words and works.
Claudia Allen said on December 4, 2009 at 9:57 am
The last time I had real movers (who packed everything, including the garbage in the wastebasket under the bathroom sink), they labeled one of the boxes “what nots” and another “bric-a-brac.” I had no idea that I owned either of these things, but wasn’t surprised when I found both boxes contained random junk…
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 4, 2009 at 11:45 am
Dex, more conversations like your wife’s will get us a bit closer to the Promised Land. Maybe not over the Jordan, but heading there.
Beb, i think Warren has a pretty good track record of doing stuff. You could look it up. I’m not wanting to argue, just giving the man his due — Phelps, OTOH, has apparently no activity other than hating . . . and no congregation other than relatives. They are a sad, sad story in any terms.
Lex said on December 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm
[[One thing he is not is a phony.]]
No, sorry, but if you call yourself a Christian and refused to condemn state-sanctioned murder, you’re a phony. Rick Warren isn’t Phelps, but he’s a lot closer to Phelps on the morality scale than he is to human.
(And before anyone asks, no, I don’t consider abortion murder. But then, I don’t consider capital punishment murder, either.)
For those pondering parenthood but somewhat taken aback by the barf stories, let me give you some counterintuitive advice for use if, in fact, you choose to have kids.
When the kid barfs (and he/she will), catch it in your shirt. Why? Because it almost certainly will clean more easily than anything else the kid can barf on. Trust me. I know these things.