Out of control.

Question: Are riots so often sparked by police action because a) a situation is simmering anyway, and the police, already in place to keep things in control, don’t have to go very far to reach the edge? or b) cops are easily provoked by “law and order” edicts to abuse power? or c) some combination of the two?

I’m going with C. Let me hasten to add that I’m opposed to riots of all sorts, and the trendy common usage of describing them as “uprisings” gets on my nerves, unless you’re talking about rigid authoritarian states. That said, the 1967 Detroit riots were an obvious pushback against an iron-fisted and institutionally racist police department. (But it’s still not an uprising.) The precipitating incident, as everyone knows, was a raid on an after-hours bar in a black neighborhood. The Stonewall riots were started by a police raid on a gay bar. Many of us remember the police riot of 1968 Chicago, during the Democratic convention. The London riots, continuing as we speak, began after police shot a young man resisting arrest.

The problem is, whatever the precipitating incident, it’s swiftly overrun by looting and the appearance of a sort of rioting professional, young men with high testosterone levels and no place to express it; a mob scene becomes a big mosh pit, only more dangerous and with tear gas, billyclubs and fire.

London calling: From the Big Picture blog, a lot of pictures from ground level. Note the evacuation of the pet store — hamsters and guinea pigs and rats being taken to a safe place. When the one great scorer comes to write against our species, I hope he devotes a chapter to our stewardship, for good or ill, of others. (Species, that is.)

The hour, it grows late. Let’s skip on to the bloggage:

From the LATimes, a great interview with one of my favorites, Buck Henry:

Then there’s the pop culture echo chamber in film and TV; everything is a reference to something else, as if it’s embarrassing to be authentic.

That’s the horror of it. The great films were generic to themselves. I see it as the Conan O’Brien effect. He’s like the senior in your college class who always knows how to make a joke about whatever it is you say or read, until it becomes an end in itself. College kids 50 or more years ago wanted to become Hemingway. Thirty years ago they wanted to come here and write a series that would make them incredibly rich. [Now] the highest possibility is to work for a late-night talk show and maybe even become [a host] themselves. All these Harvard guys who just want to make late-night jokes about the culture.

The stock cliché shot of trouble on Wall Street — brokers with hands on their faces.

Angelina Jolie is, we all know, one of the most beautiful women in the world. Based on the evidence of this photo, would you still like to see her naked? I think this is what a certain type of beauty — the worldwide-superstar kind, when a living human being is seen by others almost entirely via pixels or other manipulated image — requires: Good bones, but basically, a blank canvas. I’m struck by the color of her skin, and yeah, yeah, skin cancer premature aging blah blah blah, but I’ve never seen a pallor quite that pallid on a person who wasn’t clinically dead. Her arms and legs look like pipe cleaners, but the dress fits her the way it would a model, which is to say, she’s a walking hanger. And of course she still has that great jawline and mouth.

Everything the male gaze would want in a woman can be added by the makeup, wardrobe or special-effects departments, or in post-production. What was it Norma Desmond said? We didn’t need words, we had faces! That’s good, because that’s what she has.

Contrast with Christina Ricci, an actor who’s been far plumper in the past. She’s very thin in this picture, but it’s that last five or 10 pounds that keeps her on the right side of wowza.

Where are the editors, chapter a billion: The Detroit News asked L. Brooks Patterson, the Oakland county executive who was never snowed by Kwame Kilpatrick’s bullshit, to review the latter’s new memoir, published this week. He writes:

There’s not a page that doesn’t reference Kilpatrick’s personal relationship with his “spirit,” or his “creator,” or his “petition to God” — all the way to the last page where he “surrenders to God’s will.” I thought I had picked up by mistake Pope Benedict’s autobiography.

A funny line, but “by mistake” belongs at the end of the sentence. Word order is very important in comedy: Take my wife. Please. I guess “I thought I’d mistakenly picked up Pope Benedict’s autobiography” might have worked, but “by mistake” is a phrase that goes on the end of sentences, like a little apology caboose. “I picked up your coffee by mistake,” not “I picked up by mistake your coffee.” Am I the only one who hears this stuff? Hello, is this thing on?

Ai-yi-yi, what a week. Better get it moving.

Posted at 10:33 am in Current events |

76 responses to “Out of control.”

  1. brian stouder said on August 9, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Everything the male gaze would want in a woman can be added by the makeup

    I found this passage arresting for some reason, and read it again. The hook is in the phrase “everything the male gaze would want”; and THEN it hit me! Just the other day that same phrase (more or less) struck me, when I was reading an interview with Gloria Steinem in Time magazine. “The male gaze”. I suppose that would make a good book title (or maybe just a short story).

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  2. nancy said on August 9, 2011 at 10:50 am

    It’s a trendy phrase among intellectualoids, Brian. I first heard it from my screenwriting teacher, who had done a draft of “In the Cut,” which ended up starring Meg Ryan (and not his script). “Mine had more of the male gaze in it,” he said.

    Basically, the male gaze is just a man’s POV, and it’s so common I hardly think of it as such, except when I’m looking at a woman and wondering what men find attractive about them.

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  3. brian stouder said on August 9, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Well, speaking for myself, that’s never very complicated!

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  4. basset said on August 9, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Not what you think. Not always, at least.

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  5. Jeff Borden said on August 9, 2011 at 11:09 am

    The thing about mob actions like those in London and beyond are how frighteningly fast they gel and move in concert. When the Bulls were winning all those NBA titles, crowds would flood into busy streets around Rush and Division and god help anyone who happened to be caught up in the crowd. The first couple of times, the idiots stuck with overturning and burning cars, but one year, the mob actually rampaged down Michigan Avenue, trashing storefronts from the Gap to a sweet little nook of a bookstore. I imagine the ability to text, IM, tweet, etc. makes it that much easier to move a lot of crazy people in a hurry.

    Somehow, individual morality gives way to the herd and people who would never dream of stealing a candy bar from a convenience store are suddenly heaving bricks through store windows. Perhaps it is the sense of anonymity that a crowd confers?

    I’ve never understood destruction for its own sake. Vandalism and the like puzzles me. I can understand someone seeing a new Mercedes-Benz and deciding they’d like to take it for a ride. I can’t understand the desire to key it.

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  6. Bitter Scribe said on August 9, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I see the British riots as the ultimate expression of the Tory “ownership society.” Can’t wait until similar impulses come to this side of the pond.

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  7. adrianne said on August 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

    My only direct experience of rioting mobs came – where else? – Miami, Fla., in 1985, when yet another cop was acquitted of killing yet another black man. They shut off the expressways through Miami right away, and put out the National Guard. Since I was in the news biz, I spent the night at Miami police headquarters using my trash-80 to update our predecessor of a website (Viewtron, for those who remember. No wonder it failed).

    I’m with you on skeletal ain’t sexy, not even with Angelina Jolie.

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  8. Connie said on August 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Kwame’s book is being published by a very small vanity publisher in the south, and metro area libraries have discovered it is almost impossible to buy. Originally the publisher took only online orders using paypal. The many phone calls from metro area libraries finally convinced her to accept checks in the mail for orders.

    Not that we really want to buy it, but hey we buy Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck and it’s local interest.

    Publisher web page states we’ll provide the ghostwriter and split the profits with you 50/50. http://www.creativepublishingconsultants.com/ Though it sounds like Kwame’s profits are going for restitution.

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  9. Deborah said on August 9, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Sue, what’s the story in Wisconsin today? Are you in one of the districts with a recall vote going on? My husband has been following the Wisconsin situation very closely, he thinks the outcome will be very telling for the country in 2012. I don’t know as much about it but it should be interesting.

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  10. alex said on August 9, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Angelina looks like she’s lost about ten pounds of collagen plumpage on the lips alone since the days when she was boinking Billy Bob Thornton.

    Christina Ricci, on the other hand, looks like she bought some cheekbones and new lips since her days as Wednesday Addams.

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  11. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Buck Henry, hooray. The anti-Larry David.

    I was in Grant Park in 1968 at the Dem Convention. ’68 was America’s year of living dangerously. I’d recommend Armies of the Night for a perfect explication of how exactly that fracas was a creation of fulminating police and Richard fucking Daley. People fought back, but none of us came armed and armored to the teeth. I wouldn’t claim that SDS, Yippies, the Mobe and similar groups weren’t capable of violence, but none of this apocalyptic violence was planned on the left. This was Cops Gone Wild. Beatings were murderous and savage, and obviously cathartic for the cops, who were sent by a venomous autocrat to impose his will in contraindication to human and Constitutional rights in support of failed and unethical public policy. This incident may be called a riot, but it was really a targeted police action born of official rage.

    The ’67 riot in Detroit is well known to have started when the infamous TMU raided a blind pig at 12th and Clairmount. The tactical mobile unit was notorious for civil rights violations and brutality, and people in Detroit at the time thought many of those elite cops actually committed murders. They did shoot people indiscriminately. If any of the police command force had brain tissue more than hind brain, they had to realize the 12th St. raid would provoke exactly what ensued. Unlike the events of Chicago a year later, this was a full scale riot. Government responded by cancelling Constitutional rights and sending tanks into the streets. Had the cops backed off arresting all of the patrons of the illegal drink house, the riot would not have happened in my opinion. Ironically, the busted party was a homecoming for som guys from Viet Nam. TMU was an outlaw cowboy police operation, completely out of the control of municipal government and the DPD chain of command, for which the mayor and police chief bore the blame, and the raid was the culmination of a summer of cop excess and community outrage. Inner City Detroiters had had all they could take and weren’t gonna take any more.

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  12. BigHank53 said on August 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I don’t know where that photo of Angelina & family came from, but the white balance is screwy, and the camera didn’t handle the exposure well. There isn’t a single shadow. I’m guessing it was an overcast day and they’re on the north side of building, since the light is so diffuse and indirect. The blonde child’s skin is the same color as Ms. Jolie’s, and so’s the inside of Mr. Pitt’s forearm. I’d have to see the original image this crop was pulled from, but I’m willing to bet there’s a lot of dark stuff that fooled the camera into overexposing the paler skin tones.

    Notice how the color of the light makes you think of January? But it was taken in summer: there should be lots more yellow and orange warm tones here. Either there was a blue glass-fronted building across the street and the photographer didn’t compensate, or he/she has been twirling the white balance adjustment at random.

    None of which has anything to do with her weight, which to an observer is either fine…or not. Your opinion and three bucks will still get you a cup of coffee.

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  13. LAMary said on August 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I vividly remember the 92 LA Riots. I could see the fires and smell the smoke from my house, and some of the looting spread to my part of town. Why anyone thought looting little Latino mom and pop stores would prove anything I have no idea.

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  14. nancy said on August 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    The picture was taken in London, according to the cutline info. They were leaving the theater after seeing “Wicked.” Flat light, probably tons of flash — granted, no one looks their best in that situation.

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  15. beb said on August 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    The amazing thing about the British riots is that it’s spread to three other cities. While it probably started as a protest of the police killing another resident of a “low-icome multiethnic” community it has grown beyond that. Now it seems to be a protest of the government taking care of the banksters and not the citizens.

    Angelina Jolie v Christina Ricci. My fantasy babe remains Jane Fonda from Barbarella. But there is something wrong with Jolie. Sure make-up can hide her pallor but what do you do about those bony arms with the flapping skin.

    I read somewhere that Kwame is getting 50% of the profits from his book. I thought the going rate was around 15%. At least the judge involved in the case is stipulating that all profits go towards paying off his judgment.

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  16. nancy said on August 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Oh, and the Detroit TMU team was replaced (or augmented) with the equally notorious STRESS unit — Stop The Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets. It was a decoy outfit to draw street crime. They shot and killed something like 14 people in a year and a half. Can you even imagine such a thing today? Coleman Young was elected in part on a campaign promise to disband it.

    Beb, the royalty split for Kwame is undoubtedly a result of it being a vanity house. My guess is, once he covers his expenses (paying the ghost, etc.), he won’t have much left over for restitution. He’ll sell a few to curiosity-seekers and libraries, but that’s one problem with being mayor of a city with a 47 percent literacy rate — not a good book market.

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  17. Sue said on August 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Deborah, from a purely detached viewpoint this is fascinating. I am in the metro area for the Darling/Pasch contest, so that is the one I’ve been following, and neither candidate is expressing confidence. Darling is the big fish that the recall supporters would like to get – she’s very high profile, a long-serving and well-known politician, and she hasn’t really backed down from her support for Scott Walker and Paul Ryan. She’s made some major mistakes in some of her statements. She called an income of $250,000 ‘not rich’ and was not able to answer a question about job creation in her district – that last mistake is important because 1) it showed a remarkable level of campaign unpreparedness since job creation is the main reason given for all the Republican actions since last January; and 2) the companies her office finally came up with were easily shown to have created jobs – through actions by the Feds and the previous (Democratic) State administration.
    Both candidates are getting support from outside sources and the commercials have been non-stop. There is a lot of cherry-picking in the commercials but I think those being run on behalf of Darling are more ham-handed; voters with half a brain would know that they were being manipulated. Club for Growth and Citizens for Prosperity (front groups) are handling most of the pro-Darling stuff and the pro-Pasch commercials seem to be funded by a mix of union and progressive groups who are pretty clear about who they are.
    I really, truly do not know how this race is going to go. I was in Milwaukee a few weeks ago and saw a bunch of Pasch lawn signs along the street side of several lakeside mansions in Shorewood. Surprised the hell out of me. But Darling has a huge political machine and her record isn’t horrible when viewed overall. It depends on if her constituents want to view her whole record or try to guess if she’s taking a permanent hard-right turn.
    Most polls show all races too close to call, even the ones with either really awful Republican candidates (Hopper, the guy who doesn’t live in his district because he’s living with his mistress who he found a job for etc. etc.) or really strong Dem challengers (like Pasch). The Tea Party Express came to various locations over the past weekend to support Republican candidates and had poor to respectable crowds but as far as I know, no candidates were willing to appear at the TP rallies. In my area, not one commercial – not one! – has mentioned the collective bargaining aspect of this, so it appears that both sides are avoiding the issue that the national press keep insisting is the only issue anyone cares about. The avoidance of the Tea Party and union aspects of this indicate to me that the candidates don’t know what message will work with their voters and what will motivate people to vote against them.
    I think Governor Walker and the Fitzgeralds might be learning on the fly – they did back down on their plan to close a bunch of DMV offices, appearing to listen to the outrage that little stunt generated. So it’s possible we’ve seen the worst of the legislation and decisions even without a power shift in the Senate. A new Senate would not be able to do much other than stop new legislation; they would not be able to overturn anything.
    And the Walker recall which should begin to take shape next January will probably have us at each others’ throats. I am not looking forward to it.
    Edit: And oh, yeah, even if the Dems pick up three seats today there are still two (I think) recall elections scheduled for next Tuesday against Dems. This is because of the primaries where fake Dems ran, which added time to two of the races.

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  18. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    So, what about Brad Pitt in that photo? Everything the (inevitable) female gaze could want. This “male gaze” business is fatuous without the distaff. Actually, they are fatuous together. I’m thinking of “The Living Room Light by the Kinks, and “the eye of the beholder”. And sure, I’d like to see Ms. Jolie naked. Got photos? It would be nice if she got more credit for talent than for looks. She was riveting in Girl Interrupted, and very good in The Bone Collector, an underrated, suspenseful movie. She and her husband seem willing to walk the walk where their political and social views are concerned, which is somewhat unusual and refreshing. She may be atoning for her dad’s asshole reactionary busllshit.


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  19. Julie Robinson said on August 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    You gotta love this quote from Kwame’s publisher: “as our client you don’t ever have to worry about writing or typing a single word”. That pretty much says it all.

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  20. Kirk said on August 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Of course, you’re right about the misplaced word order in that sentence of the guy’s book review. It is amazing to me how few writers listen to what they write. (For example, why would anyone string together three gerunds? Even two make for hard reading.) It’s lazy and sloppy, and it sounds and looks wrong when the reader tries to get through it. I see far too many examples of it, but I’m only a part-timer now, so there’s only so much I can do about it.

    And if Jolie’s looks are the topic du jour, I’ll weigh in: She’s not beautiful; she’s hideous and has been since she started pumping helium into her lips, turning herself into a scary circus clown.

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  21. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Thoughtful commentary on urban rioting, including one for Civil War buffs on the Draft Riots. The portrayal of the draft riots in the stunning Gangs of New York ought to be force fed to the modern Know Nothing nativistbaggers. It’s what the rich will to to them in the end, inevitably, when they’re no longer useful, which may well be sooner than later. That relationship is fraying like Urban Outfitters white goods.

    As for Jolie’s lips. Collagen maybe, but take a look at her daddy:


    The quote from the review of Kwame’s book sounds like English in Yiddishe grammar. Reminds me of the comment from T. Bernstein (in thee go-to Careful Writer) about using “Mecca” for focal point or center. He quotes a review referring to “a Mecca for the Jewish theater”. Quoth Bernstein: “A Mecca for Jews yet.”

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  22. Deborah said on August 9, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Another movie that has the 68 Chicago riot in it is “Medium Cool”. Actual footage was shot during the riots with the actors in the midst of it. Written and directed by Haskel Wexler (mainly known as a cinematographer), it was shot in the cinema verite style. I was in Chicago in 1969 taking an urban sociology course during spring break, that movie takes me back. One of characters is a poor Appalachian white woman living in Uptown, which was close to where we stayed during the course.

    edit: and thanks Sue for the explanation, we’ll be watching the outcome this evening.

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  23. coozledad said on August 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Sue: Ever seen this “random concerned parent”?

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  24. paddyo' said on August 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Nance, and Kirk @20:

    Word order and word choice absolutely matter. So does the sound of the words — on the page, in your head, wherever, whenever.
    I spent enough years (about 33) in the newspaper biz, and since then in my post-journo life (3-1/2 and counting), that I’m afflicted with the inability to read or write or listen to much without wanting to edit as I go, or as they speak. Books, mag articles, TV, blogs, but especially radio news (are you listening, NPR?).
    It’s why, when I occasionally post a comment here, I’m right back into it about 15 seconds later, wanting to tinker, trim, sub, tweak.
    It’s also why I often read aloud (OK, read a-quiet when in public) what I’m writing, from email to a passage in my maybe-some-day novel, as I go.
    And still I’ll get it wrong sometimes.
    Hey, everybody’s got to feed that inner copy editor . . .

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  25. Julie Robinson said on August 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Warren Jeffs has been sentenced to life in prison in Texas. Let’s hope that Rick Perry doesn’t pardon or commute him. I’ve read a couple of books by women who escaped the FLDS and they are sickening.

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  26. Jolene said on August 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    A Wisconsin reporter said on MSNBC this AM that total spending on the recall elections would amount to about $40 million. With that and all the pizza bought by out-of-state supporters for last winter’s protesters, Scott Walker will be able to claim that his policies have provided an economic stimulus no matter how the election turns out.

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  27. Dorothy said on August 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I can hardly tell where her foot stops and the shoe begins on Ms. Jolie. Are there no actresses or models anywhere who slip into a nice flat sandal during the summer anymore? They’re all wearing those strange, solid-colored, built-up, closed-toe heels these days.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on August 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Dorothy, don’t you wonder how they get the cramps out of their calf muscles every night? But they’ve all bought into the Barbie doll image as desirable. To me, it just looks painful.

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  29. Kirk said on August 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    paddyo’, I, too, compulsively edit everything I read or hear. Occupational hazard, I reckon.

    And, like you, I was back into my post @20 three times before I let it be.

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  30. Bitter Scribe said on August 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    @Julie Robinson #25: What’s really sickening is that if this arrogant douchebag hadn’t recorded himself molesting little girls, he’d probably be a free man.

    As for a pardon, while I have no high opinion of Rick Perry, I find it hard to believe he would even consider it. What possible slice of the electorate, within or outside Texas, would find that appealing? Are child molesters a big voting bloc now?

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  31. Connie said on August 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    My kid notes on facebook that there is some rioting in Oxford and that her crew is not in the area and are committed to staying home tonight for safety. Just what a mother wants to hear. Let’s just fast forward to metro airport Sunday night.

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  32. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Not to sound like Brenda Lee Johnson and get sued for wrongful death or anything, but here’s hoping all of the other prisoners are well of aware of the exact atrocities that put Warren Jeffs in their company.

    Yeehaw, just got my new mandolin delivered by UPS. Marked down from $139 to $39. Beautiful finish, full, sharp tone, all black, with white and black scalloped edge on pick guard. Maker is Rogue, that makes nice electric guitars, so I took a chance. I was prepared for a toy, but this is very nice instrument. Now I have to learn how to play it. I almost figured out “Gasoline Alley” already, Led Zep and Krause/Plante next. Same mfr. has a lap steel for $80, that I just might have to get too. Speaking of the male gaze, maybe I could get lessons from them Dixie Chicks (FUTK). My home office is now the music room.

    I bought a lot of pizzas from Ian’s in Madison, mainly because of the neanderthal anti-teacher rhetoric, but also because there is almost no human behavior more anti-American than union busting and privatizing government functions, for the benefit of elitist robber barons like the Koch aholes. This is one situation in which I subscribe to the domino theory.

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  33. Marc G said on August 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    I have found that word order is much more important in the english than it is in other languages, Russian included. Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians and Poles will all say that “the other side of the bread is buttered” or, “the bread is buttered on the other side” and everyone will understand what is meant. Only in english does it have different meanings. I am going home tonight, tonight I am going home….I could go on and on, on and on I could go!
    Take my wife, please!
    Please take my wife!
    You see, in english it does matter!

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  34. Jolene said on August 9, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    More pictures from the UK and a story re one of the most dramatic images. Sounds like they are in for another night of trouble.

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  35. Jolene said on August 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    An amusing piece from the always interesting Ta-Nehisi Coates. His topic is the buyer’s remorse of people who now wish Hillary had won, but, of course, that is not the only domain in which we imagine that the alternatives foregone might have been better. He closes by saying:

    The handsome gentleman at the office with whom you share no bathrooms is also “sexier” than your husband. We’re all sexy to someone until the years find us explaining how, precisely, we allowed Junior to have Oreos and potato chips for dinner.

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  36. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    It’s painfully evident that the GOP would have done Hillary same as Obama, but, of course, without the virulent racism.

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  37. JayZ(the original) said on August 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Regarding Jeffs and his FLDS followers, where are all the “Marriage should be between A man and A woman” supporters? I don’t see any LDS money being spent on attacking or dissolving the communities that allow marriage between A man and Several women and Underage girls.

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  38. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Game day for Wisconsin elections.

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  39. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Fucking bald-faced liars. Cutting foreign aid (a pittance) is a jobs creating austerity action. And you know that incredibly beautiful bridge in Boston? Five easy payments of $19.99. Of course none of these pharisees will touch a dime for Israel either, because they are lock, stock and barrel AIPAC property, so apartheid spending is sacrosanct.

    Move along folks, no racist subtext to see here.

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  40. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 7:15 pm

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  41. coozledad said on August 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I’m just going to venture the third way muddle favored by the Clintons could hardly have been a dramatic departure from what Obama is doing now. The similarities are unmistakable. The only difference is Bill Clinton was facing a Washington social elite that missed fellating and being fellated by the greasy parvenus of the Reagan years, who gave cover for, and energized the Republicans.
    Obama is facing a similarly intransigent hatred. I would pin it down exclusively to race, but that’s not quite it. It’s the smarts. That’s what really filled Broder and Cohen and the rest of them’s shoes with piss. DC is always going to be a xenophobic Southern town with an odd concentration of bronze sculpture commemorating the heroes who blasted Dixie’s morons to bits.
    The real capitol is, and has always been, New York. It would just about fix the country if we moved it there.

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  42. LAMary said on August 9, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Dorothy, you think those shoes are bad? Check out this assortment that was featured in an email I got today from Nordstroms:


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  43. brian stouder said on August 9, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Jeff tmmo, that USS Monitor link in the last thread was indeed marvelous; thanks for the heads-up.

    Prospero – that Mark Steyn article very nicely dovetails with the piss-filled shoes that Cooz points out.

    I plan on sending a contribution to the Obama presidential campaign next month, even despite that his campaign is said to be heavily loaded down with cash. I’m under no illusions; even if President Obama wins by a crushing electoral/popular margin, the people with the piss-filled shoes that Cooz refers to will only double-down on their rejectionist political “thinking”.

    And Cooz – if we ever actually DO move the national capital again, I’d say drop that thing right in between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. Then, the local courtesans can have piss-filled boots instead of shoes and, somehow, there’s justice in that, I think

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  44. Suzanne said on August 9, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    JayZ @37. Snap.
    It’s the same deafening silence we heard from the Religious Right after a Christian opened fire on a bunch of unarmed teens in Norway.

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  45. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Santorum campaigning among fruits and vegetables. Holy shit, Mr. Dengue Fever. Nucking futs.

    I’m prejudiced in favor of my favorite city (NYC is second). If there were a new capital, I’d say make it Boston.

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  46. Sherri said on August 9, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Hey, if we’re going to fantasize about moving the capital, let’s move it to the other coast. San Francisco sounds pretty good to me!

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  47. brian stouder said on August 9, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    If we move the capital to the west coast, I vote for Walla Walla, Washington. For one thing, it will be easier to re-do the letterheads and so on.

    And secondly, I like saying “Walla Walla”, and it would be fun to hear serious people say, in stentorian tones, something like “Inside the beltway, many seasoned Walla Walla hands are worried…” etc

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  48. nancy said on August 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Fun fact to know and tell: the default phrase (un)spoken — mouthed, really — by actors who have to look like they’re talking, but not actually talk, is “Walla Walla, Washington.” It gets the lips engaged, really looks like talk.

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  49. Sherri said on August 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    OK, I can go with Walla Walla. I’m planning to drive over there sometime in the next few months so my daughter can visit Whitman College. Whitman College, in Walla Walla, Washington. I like the sound of it.

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 9, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Suzanne, you might find these lines from Breivik’s “manifesto” of interest:

    “Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I’m not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe.” “As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus . . . Being a Christian can mean many things; that you believe in and want to protect Europe’s Christian cultural heritage. . . It is not required that you have a personal relationship with God or Jesus in order to fight for our Christian cultural heritage and the European way. . . It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)). The PCCTS, Knights Templar is therefore not a religious organisation [sic] but rather a Christian ‘culturalist’ military order.”

    Toward the end of his statement: “I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person, as that would be a lie.” Apparently he wanted us to know he had standards, of a sort.

    Brian, right between Dallas and Fort Worth is Irving. The national Scout headquarters is there, and I don’t recommend placing the capitol there. There’s no there there, as Gertrude would say.

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  51. Connie said on August 9, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I was always told that default onstage phrase was “watermelon, watermelon.” Sounds like walla wall though.

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  52. brian stouder said on August 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    You just never know what you’re going to learn at good ol’ NN.c, y’know?

    Recently I read a book called Analyzing Intelligence (a strangely interesting book, with dry patches. Sort of like my early-August lawn), and there was a nugget in there where we learn that William Colby of the CIA was directed by Henry Kissinger to “Keep giving me things that will make me think”.

    As we approach hiatus, it seems to me that NN.c is our daily brief, which always provides things that make us think (and frequently chortle!)

    And – if I ever have to look like I’m saying something important, I’m gonna say “I wanna Walla Walla watermelon, wielded by a whistling, willowy waif, please”

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  53. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Not this cowboy, Brian. That one’s good, but if I ever have to wiggle out of a sticky situation, I’m going with, “Where the hell am I? Who are you? I can’t remember anything. What is this place? Who am I?” I’m sort of working on a novel about amnesia. If amnesia doesn’t suffice, I’ll ask “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?”

    Daily briefs? If only W had had the attention span to pay attention to hair on fire.

    And whatever happened to “rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb..”?

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  54. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Good news for Detroit, in a way — http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/10/books/philip-levine-is-to-be-us-poet-laureate.html

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  55. basset said on August 9, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Jumping in late on the Angelina Jolie comments… I barely know who she is, some kind of actress and that’s it. Big tattoos are one of my two automatic deal-breakers, though, so based on that picture I’d have to say I may be the only straight male for many miles around who would turn her down. Not that I’m likely to ever have that opportunity, but I don’t find her attractive at all.

    April/Prospero, a $39 mandolin is a $39 mandolin, if you think that plywood construct sounds good and Rogue makes “nice electric guitars” we are going to have to work on your ear. Great for camping and the office, though. Hell, for that price I’d buy one and just throw it in the car trunk in case inspiration hit me while I was on the way home from Kroger or something.

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  56. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Pasch leads Darling 51%-49% with 63% reporting. One Dem has apparently won already. All the voting districts are heavily Republican.

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  57. april glaspie said on August 9, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Basset, no plywood. Hardwood back and top. And the finish is flawless. Don’t know about the neck, but I tuned it hours ago and it’s holding tune. And they do make decent cheap electrics. It could turn out to be junk, but hell, $40. The way GOP is trashing my retirement funds, I told S. we’re going to just go out in a blaze of glory and buy anything we damn please on the way. Anyway, I’ve no idea how to play a mandolin, so this is perfect for teaching myself. It’s discontinued and retailled for $139 to begin with. Twice that buys a good Gibson or Fender. I got a discount on the markdown price because I bought a Dean 12 string electric from the same store. I love that twelve string. The store is called Musician’s Friend (online). I’ve got a white top Les Paul with a 1958 serial #, and a jazzmaster bass, and an oooold Hummingbird acoustic dreadnought (Christmas ’63), so I do know what good guitars sound like. If you play the mandolin and can recommend instructional material, I’d be obliged.

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  58. JayZ(the original) said on August 9, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Prospero aka April Glaspie
    I, too, am watching the Wisconsin election results. It is only 8:40 here in California. The Dems have taken a second contest, so the Pasch/Darling race is the only one still uncertain.

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  59. brian stouder said on August 9, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Hang on tight. At this juncture, the D’s have two of three state senate seat pick-ups they need, to retake control of that part of the Wisonsin state house, while the R’s have held onto three seats.

    But that third seat that the D’s need encompasses the same district that magically delivered thousands of votes for that crazy state supreme court justice, two days after the last election.

    Now would be a good time for people to chant, in unison and pointed toward vote counters in Waukesha county, Wisconsin – “The world is watching”

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  60. april glaspie said on August 10, 2011 at 12:26 am


    If Pasch wins and the Dems hold in their elections next week, Walker is screwed to the wall.

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  61. moe99 said on August 10, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Just got back from a session meeting at church and find that it’s time for a glass of wine to scroll through the WI election returns. Not sure I can face it otherwise.

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  62. Dexter said on August 10, 2011 at 2:43 am

    nance, Comcast for you? I subscribe to IFC through Time Warner but we don’t have IFC OnDemand. I thought it might be hidden under a heading but no, and I even called Tech Support…not offered to us.

    Michael Moore wrote the best essay of 2011 . Thirty years ago that vile scumbag Ronald Wilson Reagan fired the first volley in the war against regular wage earning Americans when he fired the entire work force of PATCO. This seminal event was noted by Mr. Moore in this entry.
    Standing with PATCO in Washington, DC, a month later , in September, 1981, demonstrating with the PATCO workers in my capacity as only a UAW shop floor steward, travelling there with my own money, I experienced the immensity of the situation. I felt it then and I have felt it ever since. This article, this blog post, should be pasted into every history book in the land so students can understand who this fucking “Great Communicator” was, really was.

    We union folks, including the Region III Director, Dallas Sells, and his entourage, all travelled by train from Chicago to DC…my friend and I hopped on in Cincinnati…18 cars of us, the largest, longest passenger train in America since World War II.
    It was the pilots who crossed the picket line, not us.
    But let Michael Moore tell it, tell it like it is. I would be standing just behind this official group of PATCO members, pictured in the photo.

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  63. ROGirl said on August 10, 2011 at 6:35 am

    I’m with Prospero on “rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.”

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  64. alex said on August 10, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Just woke up to the Wisconsin election returns. Trying to find solace.

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  65. David C. said on August 10, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Alex, your solace is that the we took 2 seats in heavily Republican districts and came within 1% of taking a third. All that with tons of Koch money spreading their special brand of shit. Next year, we will go after Walker. Governor Feingold sounds awfully good to me and I think we can pull it off. Old ferret-eyes has to be feeling some heat.

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  66. Deborah said on August 10, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Sorry, Sue.

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  67. Sue said on August 10, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Aw, thanks Deborah. It was worse than I expected or hoped, and in my opinion everyone up to President Obama should pay attention to this. A message wasn’t sent – it was received.

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  68. april glaspie said on August 10, 2011 at 9:01 am


    You know, Raygun claimed to be a union man, because he had been president of SAG. Of course he also readily turned on friends and past associates in the Hollywood blacklist/red scare days.

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  69. coozledad said on August 10, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I wouldn’t pay too much attention the the Ron Fournier news network on this one. These were safe Republican seats in 2008.
    Walker’s gonna be retired so he can be a full time ballwasher for the Kochs.

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  70. april glaspie said on August 10, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Am I being cranky, or does it bug anybody else that movie trailers have ads attached to them. It’s bad enough to have to sit through multiple trailers for shit you wouldn’t be caught dead watching, but commercials for commercials is annoying as hell. When did trailers become “content”? Pretty soon, somebody’s going to figure people should pay to see enticements to watch movies. Sorry, I don’t want to see Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds cross streams. Didn’t these assholes see Ghostbusters? I sure as hell don’t want a Viagra advertisement attached to it.

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  71. Deborah said on August 10, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I was very disappointed this morning reading the WI election results but when I thought about it didn’t seem so bad. They picked up 2 seats, not that it does much good but still. The thing is the way it is now probably more accurately portrays the real population, the republicans are only slightly favored. And so much as the left doesn’t like to hear this (and the tea party loathes it), what this calls for is moderation on both sides. No extremes, we must work together.

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  72. brian stouder said on August 10, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Hear hear!

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  73. Jolene said on August 10, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Apparently, the redistricting that’s taken place under Walker will make it pretty much impossible for Democrats to win in 2012. Even if the Dems had taken the Senate now, it’s unlikely they’d have been able to hold it. Still, it would have provided some comeuppance and fueled the fight against Walker. This loss, I fear, will dampen enthusiasm for that fight.

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  74. april glaspie said on August 10, 2011 at 10:41 am

    The way I see WI election results, they bode ill for Walker personally when he faces his own recall Waterloo next fall. Apparently Feingold is considering the WI statehouse as a target, and considering the Senate recall results (if they stand; Darling won by a scintilla with $6.5mil in Koch money laundering), his ass may well be toast. I think you have to have that fair & balanced nerdly dumbass kind of Politico bias to claim this is some big win for ‘billy’baggers, and I think the Walker-mongers are whistling past the graveyard.

    Politico made big claims when it debuted about objective reporting, and I hoped it might be true, based on the participation of Van den Hei, a more or less real reporter. But the organization is snide and rejoices in running down progressive politics, finding rationales for positing defeat from the jaws of ambiguous circumstances, as in the case of the recall elections. What will they be saying if next week’s results are crushing defeats of ‘baggers? I’ll tell you right now. They will say, along with the right wing echo chamber, that those were heavily Democratic districts. If it’s remotely close, the narrative will be “big smackdown of Dems”.

    Maybe this is overly optimistic, but it seems more realistic than the “big win for GOP” bullshit being regurgitated by Politico in all their smarmy, condescending know-it-all-ism.

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  75. LAMary said on August 10, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I always thought the default words were “sugarbush garbage.” I think this is more for background sound in crowd scenes than for the appearance of moving lips.

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  76. basset said on August 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Prospero, the two basic mandolin major chord shapes look like a backwards Dm on the guitar (312x or 5312 fat to thin) and a guitar Em moved down one fret(233x). You can get a lot done just sliding those around.

    I recommend Roland White’s basic instruction book and the accompanying cd, took some lessons from him early on and he will convey what you need to know, simply and clearly.

    Twice $139 might have bought a “good Gibson or Fender” in, oh, 1952 or so. Fender mandolins are Asian crap anyway, they used to make some decent four-string electrics but I’m not sure if they still do. Gibson quality has really come back in the past few years.

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