Get over yourself.

Grantland, the sports/culture website with all the big names, has been a must-read since this Penn State business began, and I’ve been stopping by daily. Yesterday they posted yet another Michael Weinreb essay on State College, his third since the scandal broke and, for the record, the one that finally broke my patience.

Weinreb is a good writer, and I appreciated his pieces on what it’s like to grow up there, and another on the riot, but with this one, on going home for the Nebraska game, is one mournful sax solo too far:

In State College, we liked to think we looked after each other, and then we found out that some of the most prominent members of our community had failed to look after helpless children, and because of our lifelong emotional attachments we now feel like we are being branded as complicit in these crimes.

“It’s like people are on the outside, saying, ‘You don’t get it,’” I heard a man say. “And we’re on the inside, saying, ‘You don’t get it.’”

May I just say this? I get it. We get it. Everyone gets it. And by getting it, I’m sorry, but maybe it’s time you faced the truth, Weinreb and Eavesdropped-Upon Man and everyone else there who might be monitoring their shock and dismay and sense of loss. Ready?

YOU’RE NOT SPECIAL.

Sorry, but it’s true. No one thinks you’re complicit in evil, but maybe, by promulgating this myth of Happy Valley and Success With Honor and all the rest of this Big 10 bullshit, you’re a tiny part of the problem.

That’s what I think is happening here: It’s not that we are condoning child rape, and it’s not that we don’t recognize our obligation to the victims above all else. It’s that we are condemning all that Jerry Sandusky is accused of and trying to make it right while also dealing with this involuntary response to the death throes of a way of life.

“You have to live in the middle of this contradiction,” a Penn State sociology professor, Sam Richards, told a class that Lori Shontz of the Penn Stater magazine sat in on. “You have to live in this zone where both [situations] can be true, and it’s very, very, very difficult. But part of becoming a thinker is to sit with two contradictory thoughts in your head and see them both as being true. And not go crazy. And not immediately try to resolve them. And so we’re offering that to you. Sit with that. Because this is big. That’s big.”

Oh, please. Did that statement really require three verys? It’s not big. It’s not big at all. It’s not so hard to understand, either. Ask any Catholic who’s been paying attention in the last decade or so, and what’s more? It’s a lesson they should be learning in college anyway: The arrival of Columbus in North America was the beginning of a genocidal disaster for native populations, as well as a march toward freedom and wealth not only for the Europeans who followed, but for the rest of the world as well. Discuss.

What exists in State College exists in many, many other places. Columbus and Ann Arbor, to name but two of my immediate experience. Let’s think of some more, starting with the easy ones — virtually any city with a Big 10 school in it, with the obvious exception of Bloomington, although if you’re talking basketball, that’s another story. Tuscaloosa, Gainesville, Tallahassee. Wherever Texas A&M is. Oklahoma. Et-freakin’-cetera. All have vigorous football programs and devout fan bases, and aren’t so different from central Pennsylvania. Maybe they don’t have coaches they refer to as Pop-Pop or Baba or Gramps or whatever, but the depth of feeling for the team and the experience of going to the games? The same. Your stadium’s smaller than Michigan’s and less grand than Ohio State’s. They party hard elsewhere, they have beloved rituals and favorite chants and jeez, have you even been to a football game elsewhere? Ever met a Notre Dame fan, a Domer? They’re as bad as you guys. I’m sure you’d get along like aces.

All this you-don’t-understand-stuff is part of the collective defense mechanism. Every 19-year-old kid who had a mic stuck in his face in the last week and said, “It’s different here,” needs to learn it’s not true. Because while it’s benign coming out of his mouth, it’s only the flip side of the justification that allowed everyone who participated in this coverup to do so in the name of the special-special Penn State football program and special-special-special State College, which must be preserved at any cost.

It’s hard for younger people to get over themselves. Most of them haven’t been beaten down by life yet (except for the unlucky ones in Jerry Sandusky’s Second Mile program), and they’ve grown up watching themselves on TV, of seeing their fifth-grade soccer team preserved between the pages of a book (custom-made by the clever mom with the Shutterfly account), maybe in a video (made by the same Mom, the one with the iMac) with slo-mo effects and the “Chariots of Fire” theme music.

And they’re enabled by pieces like this. Why don’t we stop? It’s a special place, State College and Penn State, but it’s no more special than any other, and if it’s a rude awakening for everyone who loves it to learn it has rot at its core, then it’s time to learn, and stop writing this self-indulgent nonsense.

I think that’s why that Charles Pierce column the day before was so bracing. It’s nice to hear from someone who doesn’t speak with the alma mater playing softly in the background.

So, then. Bloggage? Hmmm…

I see Florida finally executed Oba Chandler. I couldn’t remember why the case rang a bell, until I read the details — Chandler killed a mother and her two teenage daughters, who’d lived in Willshire, a tiny Ohio town I used to drive through between Fort Wayne and Columbus. It was a ghastly story that got a little more play in our part of the world than yours, most likely. The Ohio women were vacationing in the Tampa area, and apparently met a nice guy who offered to take them all on a boat ride. All three were raped and strangled before he dumped them in the bay. I recommend this story about Hal Rogers, the husband and father who survived them. There’s a note of bleak November in it:

The first snow of the season fell over Van Wert County late last Thursday afternoon, not long before dark.

Hal was busy inside a drying bin, shoveling corn toward an auger that ferried the grain into wagons waiting outside. When the snow came blowing in, it swirled with red chaff from the corn and engulfed the wagons in a cloud of white and maroon.

A strange and beautiful sight, but Hal had no time to notice. Already a month behind schedule, he was lost in concentration.

“I haven’t shoveled corn this wet in thirty years,” he said.

Shudder.

Lighten up with a brief roundup of three Mrs. O looks, detailed by T&L. I liked the first and last, meh on the second, but she certainly looks presentable in all three. I especially like the pink-and-gray dress, probably because it’s a look I couldn’t work in a thousand years. Or a thousand shoulder presses.

Online slide shows are cheap eyeball bait and this one — New Gingrich looking at people condescendingly — isn’t even funny, but there are some closeups of his horrible mug that sort of made me barf a little.

Office hours today, gotta run. Happy birthday to Adrianne, my husband and daughter. Not to mention Elvis Whitehead, r.i.p.

Posted at 8:52 am in Current events |
 

70 responses to “Get over yourself.”

  1. Mouse said on November 16, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Angels & Demons by Tom French,the author of the Hal Rogers story,is an excellent read about the Oba Chandler murders.It’s available in the St. Petersburg Times(1999)archive.Sorry,I would do the link but don’t know how.

  2. Kim said on November 16, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Click here for the link to Angels and Demons. It’s heartbreaking.

  3. coozledad said on November 16, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Newt is a vulgar little bastard with an adolescent bookworm’s view of the world. The faintest brush with a real education would disembowel him.
    If Obama winds up having to debate this clown, he should open one of Newt’s novels and read one of the “sex” paragraphs* aloud, snap the book shut, look at Gingrich and say “From reading this I’d wager Mr. Gingrich has never humped anything other than his hand: Possibly a domestic cat, or more likely, a can of Van Camp’s pork and beans. I can assure you there’s no underlying human on human research.”

    *“Even though it had been only minutes since their last lovemaking, John Mayhew was as ever overwhelmed by the sight of her, the shameless pleasure she took in her own body and its effect on him. . . . Since he wasn’t sure what to say, he made a production out of lighting up and enjoying that first, luxurious after-bout inhalation.”

    ………

    “Suddenly the pouting sex kitten gave way to Diana the Huntress. She rolled onto him and somehow was sitting athwart his chest, her knees pinning his shoulders. `Tell me, or I will make you do terrible things,’ she hissed.”

  4. John C said on November 16, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Just read today’s entry and it resolved something for me. Two years ago I went to the Penn State-Northwestern game. We’d just moved back to Chicago, where we now live about a half-mile from the Northwestern football stadium. Detroit friends, one of whom went to Penn State, came in for the game. What I remember was that Joe Paterno clearly was no longer the coach of the team. I’m sure big decisions went through him. I’m sure he still ruled “by his presence,” or something like that. But, watching the game, it was clear he had very little to do with what went on on the field. He was an old guy walking around the sidelines. It was a joke, really. I didn’t really have anything against Paterno (though he did used to run up the score against Boston College, when I went to BC.) I have nothing against old guys hanging on a bit, even as underlings are doing the heavy lifting they used to do. But this was way beyond that. It was really a sham.
    I’m absolutely sure that every Penn State player, coach, fan, etc. would tell me this is not true. “If you don’t think Joe is running that team, you don’t know Joe,” they’d say. Or something like that. Bullshit. I’ve watched a lot of games. And, watching that one, he was NOT the coach.
    The fact that this charade went on as long as it did may go a long way to explaining how this happened.

  5. Bitter Scribe said on November 16, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Nancy, THANK YOU! Posts like this are why I keep coming back to this blog. You put your finger precisely on why this agony-of-the-Nittany-Lions stuff is so annoying. A lot of people like football, there are a lot of football teams with rabid fans, and that all means less than nothing when it comes to sexual abuse of children.

  6. del said on November 16, 2011 at 10:00 am

    A Boston sports columnist takes exception to Mitch Albom’s take on the Penn State matter, asking rhetorically, “Really, Mitch?”

    http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/college/football/view/2011_1115joepa_takes_great_fall_squeaky_clean_image_all_gone/

  7. Judybusy said on November 16, 2011 at 10:03 am

    And now McQuery is claiming he did stop the assault.

    Cooz, did Gingrich really write that treacle? It’s ghastly!

  8. Deborah said on November 16, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Another great post Nancy. It made me remember why high school me didn’t want to go to a Big 10 school; in a word – Football – and all the nonsense that goes with it.

    Did I do that semi-colon right?

  9. coozledad said on November 16, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Judybusy: That’s him. And it got a publisher. My intro to fiction teacher would have cruelly deconstructed it in front of the class, with comic flourishes.
    And Newt would still think he had something going.

  10. Kirk said on November 16, 2011 at 10:52 am

    The problem, of course, is that far too many sports fans (football, particularly) are sadly lacking in perspective. I am a big sports fan and enjoy watching wall-to-wall college football on a rare Saturday off. But for me, it’s a diversion, not a religion. I think the reason I enjoy seeing Ohio State lose so much is that I am surrounded by drooling fools whose day (and week) is actually spoiled when that happens. It’s ridiculous.

    There is no question that the culture here (and in Birmingham, Lincoln and all the other towns mentioned) is essentially the same as in State College, Pa. I have a feeling, though, that Penn State was riper for such a disaster because the Paterno cult was so entrenched and lasted so long.

  11. mark said on November 16, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Thanks so much, Nancy. Lots to think about in your post, and a joy to read.

    I do think some institutions, causes and efforts are or have been “special”, and even worthy of celebration, but rarely uniquely so. Involvement with such things, like family, charity, work and education, and even sports, can be important (maybe essential) in learning to “get over yourself.” But when the association itself becomes a means of self-aggrandizing thought or justification, things have gone awry.

    Hard to imagine Mother Theresa claiming “Sure, it’s a good thing to help out at the local soup kitchen, but you will never understand charity until you labor in the slums of Calcutta.”

  12. Sue said on November 16, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Cooz and Judybusy, you are assuming Newt writes his own stuff. I assume he just approves it, but Cooz’s imagined Obama comment works either way.
    Here’s a better Newt Gingrich photo compilation – TPM linked to it yesterday.
    http://newtjudgesyou.tumblr.com/

  13. Deborah said on November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am

    A few years back when I worked for a different large, corporate architecture firm we went after a project with Ohio State, it was for their student center. The guy who was going to be our project manager for our firm was teaching at the University of Michigan and we were supposed to keep that a secret. I thought that was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. Another time I designed a presentation for a businessman in Michigan for high speed rail. I designed the presentation to have a train aesthetic, each section had different color combinations that I got from research on trains. One of the combinations I used was red and grey. The businessman made me change that because he was a graduate of the U of Michigan and those are Ohio State’s colors. I couldn’t believe that a grown man would act like that.

  14. nancy said on November 16, 2011 at 11:20 am

    If you lived in Columbus, Deborah, you would swiftly learn that’s simply The Way Things Are.

  15. Kirk said on November 16, 2011 at 11:23 am

    If I go out wearing my black and gold Missouri baseball cap, with an M on the front, some turds will stare at me as if I’m wearing an al-Qaida T-shirt, even though it’s not the Michigan block M and black and gold aren’t maize and blue. So I wear it more often.

  16. caliban said on November 16, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I have always thought this was probably the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Pete Barbutti, back when talk TV wasn’t fucking drivel, and Merv Griffin was assaulting male guests.

    Somebody in an Escalade threw a 40 bottle at me yesterday. I know it was a 40, because they don’t sell Qwahts anymore. Blew up right in front of me. Thank God for inventing kevlar bike tires. I prefer errant golfers. I was wearing a UGA shirt, and I suspect this was some UT redneck or an inbred FLA jorts wearing fool with a mullet. I actually have the plate number, but the sherriff is little Napoleon from the Citadel and I know they will not do shit.

    Deborah, you are a designer, how would you find it difficult to understand another person’s visceral dislike for a color combination? That really doesn’t make sense. We all bring lifetimes to the way in which we react. Show me orange and blue and I will react badly. And I assure you, I am a grown man. That just seems like missing the point for somebody that does your job.

  17. Judybusy said on November 16, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Deborah, I’m with you on your assessment of the guy who couldn’t handle the redand gray. It sounds absolutely juvenile.

  18. caliban said on November 16, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I know I’ve taken some shit from some of y’all for comments about what people look like, But, sorry, Newt looks exactly like Wormwood to me. Fat oleageanous shit imp and failed devil.

  19. Connie said on November 16, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Yes, Deborah, I moved from Ann Arbor/grad school to Columbus/Upper Arlington, with Michigan bicentennial plates and a U of Michigan sticker on my car. It was dangerous. I was frequently threatened, yelled at, trash talked.

    Someone mentioned their townhouse in Upper Arlington the other day. My UA townhouse was on Ridgeview Rd, in the midst of a sea of older town homes with hopeless lead windows. Brrr.

  20. Dexter said on November 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I had a Volvo 240 wagon with an “M Go Blue” sticker on the rear bumper, summer of 2003. Columbus , Ohio…I was in the parking lot of the shopping area where a movie theater complex and a BW3 is, circling for a parking spot, when I began to be tailgated by a carload of foul, vulgar, young male vigilantes. I had my wife and kids with me. The punks were hanging out the window screaming the worst at me. It was all because of a damn bumper sticker. I decided to exit quickly and drive like hell and try to lose these maniacs. I hit the 4-lane street and began driving at max speeds, hoping to attract a cop, to tell the truth…I was very concerned for the safety of all the occupants of my car.
    I lost them, and since I was driving to Columbus quite a few times a year, I just covered up the M sticker with a magnet when I drove to Columbus. Can you imagine this ? It’s true, and one reason I was initially against my daughter’s commitment to the Columbus mentality. I understand it’s her business and I long ago lost my absolute hatred for the whole goddam Ohio State mentality, but I remember how ugly it gets, and it happens all the time. Maybe that fucking Woody Hayes started it, or maybe it started long before that.
    I mean…my lovely baby granddaughter, just two months old…clad in a shirt that says “OOPS! I just did a Michigan in my pants!” C’mon…that ain’t funny. Ha Ha.

  21. Deborah said on November 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Caliban, that kind of team rivalry seems like kindergartenish poor sportsmanship. It has nothing to do with design. I have an aversion to purple, but I know that purple is a perfectly valid color for certain applications. The combination of red and purple has been particularly devalued for me because a designer I knew overused it, but again there are times when red and purple work and should be used. But basing colors on your alma mater or sports rivals in applications that have nothing to do with either, is just weird and childish to me.

  22. nancy said on November 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Actually, Dexter, that is kinda funny.

  23. MarkH said on November 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I lived in Columbus from ’72 through mid-’81. Through mid-’75 I lived on OSU south campus and my ride was a ’66 Corvair our family bought from a UofM alum, complete with rear window Michigan sticker. It wasn’t until toward the end of my college time at OSU that I looked at it and realized the implications. At no time was I harassed or was the car vandalized. This was back in the Woody Hayes heyday. Maybe people were under the mistaken notion that driving a Corvair was punishment enough. Wish I still had that car.

    Kirk, I hear you about (as does Nancy, I’m sure) about the Buckeye flag-waving in the Dispatch sports department. When I pleaded for a full-time job there while stringing for Keckstein, I knew what that meant. Writing about OSU athletics was required of all no matter what else you did, and you better know your stuff. I told Paul they needed a full time motorpsorts writer and I wanted the job. I’d cover any trash third string OSU intramural program if that’s what it took to get it. I had to make a decision on another career path before they got around to telling me “no”.

    School colors: While in Columbus, I used to get sick of seeing all the special ordered scarlet and gray Len Immke Buicks.

  24. Kirk said on November 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I find that a greater of percentage of the moronic, over-the-top fans didn’t attend Ohio State and, in many cases, didn’t even go to college. Most of the good Ohio State fans I know actually went to school (and, in most cases, graduated) and know how to act.

  25. Peter said on November 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Deborah, I did a job once for a trade organization, and the second in command was a Nebraska grad. At least I think she was; I was never told she was but the office decor gave it away. Nebraska screen saver, keyboard, desk blotter, calendar, posters, lightswitch cover, drapes, accent rug, and EVEN THE DARN CEILING TILES!

    I told her that I guess I better keep my Sooner sweatshirt at home.

    She didn’t talk to me for the rest of the project. In meetings she would give a note to her assistant and he would ask me a question.

  26. caliban said on November 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Sorry Deborah, I don’t see your argument. Peoples’ reactions to color schemes have to do with all sorts of things. If they have to do with affinities for sports connections, that is no more infantile than any other reason. You are expressing a clear anti-sports bias. Because sports that aren’t soccer must be stupid. I’ve no interest in arguing, but don’t you think color preferences set in pretty much right after genetic preferences? And don’t you think color preferences are mostly inexplicable. And don’t you design and choose colors based upon your perceptions of the client’s preferences? And given the bizarre fact that anybody in the Big Whatever actually thinks they play actual football, wouldn’t it make sense to keep color schemes in mind? Just seems like good business sense. “Poor sportsmanship”? In what way. Do you mean, as designers always do, that anybody that disagrees with the designer’s grand vision is some sort of idiot phillistine? This is why people in architecture call “designers” decorators.

  27. moe99 said on November 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Can we add David Brooks to the Mitch Albom list?

    http://driftglass.blogspot.com/2011/11/sunday-morning-comin-down_13.html

  28. caliban said on November 16, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Would everybody please keep in mindpindick Presidents actually appoint shitheels like Scalia to the Supreme Court.

    How the free market deals with health care.

  29. Bowditch said on November 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Not sure whether this is the ultimate irony or the Department of Redundancies Department: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/15/catholic-official-church-aims-to-confront-abuse-work-with-educators-after-penn-state-scandal/

  30. beb said on November 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I thought Mrs Obama’a pink and grey dress looked bad because it was so wrinkly. I liked the first dress very much. The red and white striped top of her second outfit was a little weird, but I thought the fourth and last dress, the flower print was especially nice, very ethnically themed for a photo op in Malaysia.

    Weinreb’s comment “In State College, we liked to think we looked after each other,” is truer than he’d like to think. People at State College were looking out for their peers . God help you if you’re not among the peers because then you’re fair game.

  31. caliban said on November 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Well, you know Beb, Shelly O is obese. Rush says so, and the idiot tubes reverberate.

  32. LAMary said on November 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I didn’t like Mrs. O’s first dress. It looks like it itches. And I agree with Beb on the pink and grey. It looks wrinkly. I know nice natural fibers look wrinklier than nasty synthetics, but that dress gets that paper bag look.
    Anyway, I happen to like the striped sweater and black pants because I think it would look good on me. It’s a tall woman outfit because it makes long legs look even longer, broad shoulders look broader, and the dark color in the midriff makes a waist look smaller. I’m writing to her ask for it when she’s done with it. Tall women rule. Especially Capricorn tall women.

  33. Kirk said on November 16, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    MarkH, I didn’t mean to imply that the drooling fools were people I worked with. I was speaking of the Columbus community in general. As for flag-waving, while The Dispatch expends a lot of space on OSU sports, it should, because it reflects the huge interest. I’m no OSU fan, but I was always of the opinion that if we could give ‘em more OSU stuff, we should. Volume of coverage shouldn’t be mistaken for lack of objectivity.

    Keckstein, by the way, now 90, I believe, remains one of the sweetest guys I have ever known in the business.

  34. Deborah said on November 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Celebrity (sort of) sighting on Michigan Ave on my way back to work from going home for lunch – the Naked Cowboy. It’s cold and windy today in Chicago, right now it’s 41. The guy had on a pair of white briefs and a cowboy hat. He had his guitar around him. He had “Naked Cowboy” painted on the butt of his briefs. Someone shouted, “you’re not naked” and his response was “and I’m not a cowboy”. I think that’s a schtick of his. He didn’t even have goose bumps.

  35. Deborah said on November 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Caliban, this isn’t even worth responding to, but I’ll try again. First of all if an individual wants the colors they desire in their personal space, fine. But I don’t design personal space for people, I design storytelling places for organizations and that takes a lot more into account then one person’s aversion or weird attraction to a particular color for whatever reason. If I am designing a storytelling place or piece for a corporation and they have a brand color that’s meaningful to them, it makes sense to use it if it works in the environment. It’s way more complex than one person’s personal aversion or attraction.

  36. Julie Robinson said on November 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Kirk, there are many rabid IU and Notre Dame fans around here like that, and I find them sad.

    Shelly O’s wrinkly dress was beautiful, and yes, most natural fibers like silk wrinkle easily. In many cultures wrinkles are the norm, because hanging clothes to dry is the norm. I liked the stripey one too, Mary, but I would have left off the heart applique. It looks childish.

    Deborah, I wonder–have you ever used the orange and blue combo referenced by Caliban @16 in an installation? To me they clash violently and are neither cheerful nor restful. And I don’t even know what school they represent.

  37. Deborah said on November 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Julie, orange and blue would not be a combo that would come to mind immediately to use in an environment, especially in high saturation. But in the right proportion and the right tones they could be alright depending on the content and the situation. I’ve learned to never say never. In color theory orange and blue are considered complimentary, like red and green or purple and yellow, they’re opposites on the color wheel.

  38. Sue said on November 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Julie – University of Illinois (and Chicago Bears) comes to mind to this Illinois girl, though I’m not sure if that’s what Caliban means. I like the color combination.
    Deborah – good explanation. Stop trying.

  39. Julie Robinson said on November 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Sue, the egg of my childhood state is all over my face.

  40. KLG said on November 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    “I find that a greater of percentage of the moronic, over-the-top fans didn’t attend Ohio State and, in many cases, didn’t even go to college.” –Kirk

    Word. I went to UGA, but unlike caliban I do not worship St. Vincent of Dooley or Erk Russell, though I lived in Athens for over 20 years. Although I have a fond place in my heart for UGA, I am currently a Georgia Tech supporter due to family and other historical reasons. Plus you can get season tickets to Tech football without paying a very large bribe to their athletic association. Here is the local joke:

    “When you see someone wearing a Georgia Tech cap you can be pretty sure he/she went to Tech. When you see someone wearing a Georgia cap you can be pretty sure he/she went to WalMart.”

  41. Jolene said on November 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I liked the pink and gray dress too, wrinkles notwithstanding. Saw a less wrinkly pic on another site, where I also learned that the dress is by Vera Wang. Perfect choice for this trip–an American designer of Asian descent. The very tall and high-heeled Mrs. O is quite a contrast to the Asian ladies she is pictured with.

    As a college student, I spent a summer in France and briefly roomed w/ a woman from Vietnam. Though I am only 5’5″, I felt like a giant.

  42. caliban said on November 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Newtster. Too voluble and too convinced he’s actually clever for his own good. Not me, Newt. I’m sure he has heard of Miguel Cervantes, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez. What a fucking buffoon.

    Deborah, my apologies if anybody thought I was being argumentative. But if a wedding planner (I’m trusting to movies there is such a thing) proposed a maize and blue theme to a bunch of people from Columbus, would that make sense? Not freaking likely. The suggestion that basing preferences for certain color combinations on allegiance to sports teams is somehow neanderthal is seriously ridiculous. More ridiculous, actually, than following a particular sports team. And the best student newspaper in the USA is called The Red and Black. For the sports teams and, somewhere back in time, for Stendahl, but that Fronch, another gutter ghetto language, according to Newt.

  43. Maggie Jochild said on November 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    When I hear “orange and blue” I think Vincent Van Gogh. All colours go together if you know what you’re doing.

  44. caliban said on November 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    KLG, I do not “worship” Vince Dooley, I actually know him, and he is a superb human being, and a great friend to my mom and dad. Your patronizing bullshit is obnoxious, and I happen to think Erk Russell was a decent football coach that was kind of a cretin. Thanks for proving my point about making assumptions based upon somebody’s presumed or apparent sports allegiances. And the reason you can get season tickets is that that shithole is always half-empty. I’ve got season tickets at the real football stadium and I give them to a charity auction most years. And you can call yellow gold all you like, it is still yellow, and when it comes to institutional accomplishments in any field besides electricians, UGA leaves The Technical School in the dust. And if more people buy UGA hats, it is generally because the gangstas got all the GT hats. “I steal laptops from my team mates.” UGA 47, Tech about 7.

    Your moment of truth about Dawg fans is idiotic. I graduated from the Henry Grady School, one of the two or three best JSchools around. Two of my brothers graduated from the UGA School of Law, as did my dad. My mom worked for UGA for thirty years in the student infirmary as a nurse practitioner. We didn’t get our hats at Walmart. And we kick Tech every year in every sport, as well as in academic achievement. Tech? Trade School, pretending to be MIT.

  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 16, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Texas A&M is in College Station. (Texas.)

  46. caliban said on November 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Maggie, I admire your opinions, but I don’t see orange in The Starry Night. I think you have to make it by mixing red and yellow, and I don’t think Vincent did that except for The Child With An Orange. He seemed to omit secondary colors.

  47. Minnie said on November 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Google “Van Gogh paintings” and you’ll see LOTS of blue and orange together.

  48. caliban said on November 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Maybe the Sunflowers, but I don’t think that is orange, and there is certainly no blue there. Maybe his own beard in self-portraits. But that would be red. Maybe Dr. Gachet’s beard, but that was imagined. Didn’t Google, I know these paintings.

  49. Minnie said on November 16, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Yes, but there are many more paintings. Google and you’ll see.

  50. nancy said on November 16, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Orange and blue? I think HoJo’s.

  51. Little Bird said on November 16, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Orange and blue would be the Ilini. And the Bears. My favorite color is orange, and when I wear one of my orange shirts with blue jeans (and an old fleece jacket that Deborah hates– and I’m giving away) people ask me if I’m supporting “my team”. For what it’s worth, I hate football.

  52. caliban said on November 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    In football, orange and blue is FLA, which should leave with Tejas and not let the screendoor hit them in the ass. Good riddance. They elected the biggest Medicare crook in history for their governor. They elected the supremely delusional Alan West to Congress. BuhBye.

    So Newt is toast. Can the GOPers revive Mama Grizzly? And if the Teabangers stick with Newt, what does that make them?

    edit: Illini is not actually serious football. Orange and blue is also Aubarn, where they paid the QB many $thou dollars to play last year, after he got kicked out of FLA for stealing from classmates.

  53. ROGirl said on November 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    You have to take into consideration that reproductions of paintings don’t necessarily reflect the actual colors with full accuracy. On the other hand, the Impressionists were very well versed in color theory and used complementary colors in their paintings a lot. The concept was popularized in the mid-19th century. A Frenchman named Chevreul wrote a book about it.

    I turned on the TV a while ago and heard Chris Matthews say regarding Newtie: “He’s not a human being, he’s a gaseous state.”

  54. MaryRC said on November 16, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I liked the First Lady’s pink and grey dress too. Wrinkles don’t look so bad when it’s a natural fabric; they’re more or less inevitable unless you have one of those leaning boards that actresses rest on instead of sitting down.

    I thought the Malaysian First Lady looked very sweet in the last photos until I read the comment below the photos saying that she is hated and feared by Malaysians who believe she had her husband’s mistress murdered. She also made some un-feeling comments about how Japan deserved the earthquake and tsunami. Funny how short stature automatically makes people think you’re cute and non-threatening.

  55. Julie Robinson said on November 16, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    That’s a great Chris Matthews line! Can we declare him the thread winner?

    Even though blue and orange are complementary in the color wheel, my eyes just see them clash, clash, clash. Especially in the tones used by sports teams. Ick.

    And Little Bird, I despise football too, but I won’t go into the reasons again because it would keep Caliban up all night.

  56. moe99 said on November 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    “There is no blue without yellow and without orange.”
    Vincent van Gogh quotes

    You are sooo wrong, caliban:

    http://tinyurl.com/chwed53

    http://www.neptunecafe.com/files/cafeterrace2.jpg

  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Come back to the 5 and Dime, Tim Pawlenty!

  58. KLG said on November 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    caliban: Did I hit a nerve or something?

    I have two degrees from UGA (BS, PhD). Ditto for my spouse (one from your Henry W. Grady School of Journalism, one from the Law School) and daughter, who is now a graduate student somewhere else. I love the place and lived in Athens for 22 years. I would go back in a heartbeat. But since I showed up in the 1970s (14 September 1973 IIRC, the first day Tony Dorsett played a game for Pitt; they tied 7-7), all things football have gotten completely out of hand at UGA. Which is kind of the point of much of today’s discussion, in case you hadn’t noticed. And it is getting worse. The entire State of Georgia has been having a nervous breakdown about Mark Richt and Mike Bobo for the past several years, relieved only somewhat by the 8-game winning streak since the loss to South Carolina (where you live, no?). It gets old. The loudest and most obnoxious of these people couldn’t find Athens with a map. And that is kind of the point of the joke, too. Which was told to me by a distinguished UGA graduate. Ruefully. But it is pretty true nevertheless. With the HOPE Scholarship and other developments, UGA has gotten much, much better across the board since I first arrived in 1973. But these yahoos are like the Honey Badger (google is ready when you are). They just don’t give a shit about that. Like the old joke regarding another maligned football school, these “fans” only want a university the football team can be proud of. When this pathology runs its course we will all be better off.

    As for the jab at Vince Dooley, I am so happy for you that you know him. I have met him. He is a good man, a veritable icon, and since reading the book “Behind the Hedges” (highly recommended; amazon is ready when you are) I have come to see things more from his point of view, especially given that our current university president is an abject Republican hack with a PhD in something called “political communication.” WTF? However, you are right; “worship” may be too strong a word, and I apologize for the offense. But you are the one who gratuitously introduced Dooley into this discussion several days ago when you allowed as how what happened at Penn State could never have happened at UGA when Vince Dooley and Erk Russell, his long-time Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach. were there. Maybe. But maybe not. Pedophiles, if that is what Sandusky indeed seems to be, are by nature sneaky. Which is also the point; sometimes it takes way too long to find them out. Penn State is not special (another point of today’s discussion); nor is Michigan, Ohio State, UGA, Florida, or even the Citadel (oops, did I say that out loud?). One thing Vince Dooley did, however, was stockpile players in the so-called “Developmental Studies Program” while they used up their eligibility and progressed not at all toward a degree. As they say, you can look it up (wiki is ready when you are: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Kemp). I was there as a student and employee through the entire rotten mess. I once ran into a highly regarded recruit (whose older brothers were All America football players at Oklahoma and USC, IIRC) in the Main Library at the card catalog (pre-online days). His English 099 assignment was to alphabetize a long list of references by author name and write down call numbers. He never graduated. College work, if a third-grade exercise is college work. Anyway, among other much more important things, what that did was place Dooley’s successor in the untenable position of competing with Florida, Clemson, and Auburn without access to those so-called “partial qualifiers,” who were not allowed to matriculate at Georgia in the post-Jan Kemp era. A good thing, overall. But it had consequences. And the whole sordid mess has been erased from the local collective memory, when it is not remembered only as “the time that that bitch in the English Department brought us down.”

    And aside from the Herschel Walker Interregnum (1980-82; good thing Mike Cavan camped out in Wrightsville for a solid year leading up to Herschel’s signing, huh?), Dooley was a decidedly middle-of-the-road success as a head coach. Other than those three years, during which no halfwit could have failed to win, he won only three SEC Championships in an era when he only had to win 6 conference games instead of the 8 + playoff of today. His permanent opponents included Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Auburn (mostly post-Shug Jordan, pre-Bo Jackson), and Florida (waaay pre-Steve Spurrier), usually rounded out by Ole Miss (post-John Vaught and a complete non-factor since Archie Manning graduated in what, 1971?), Mississippi State (still the only SEC school to never win an SEC Championship in football, IIRC), and Tennessee (very up-and-down in those years). LSU was a very rare opponent, and Alabama with Bear Bryant almost as unusual.

    So, call Tech and Grant Field/Bobby Dodd Stadium a shithole all you want (you do have a way with words…what did someone tell you here not too long ago: put down the bottle and step away from the computer?). Glory in your season tickets in Athens. Refer to architects and engineers as “electricians” all you want. But in doing so you do nothing but make our nn.com proprietor’s point and confirm the premise of this other joke that makes the rounds in these parts: “What does a UGA graduate call a Tech graduate after graduation? Boss.” Incidentally, I was astounded at a recent game when the totals were announced that had been raised by the 1981, 1971, and 1961 Tech graduating classes (small by UGA standards): the Tech Class of 1961 raised over $25,000,000 in one year for their 50th anniversary. I love UGA, but the chances of our 1961 graduating class coming anywhere near that are pretty small. And don’t forget, Tech has an excellent fight song (except for the “to hell with Georgia” line, but that is understandable, no?), while the UGA fight song is kind of an inarticulate repetitive “Glory, glory to Ol’ Georgia/And to hell with Georgia Tech.” Not only that, but as Willie Morris pointed out in one of his essays about life at Ole Miss, it is sung to the tune of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”! In Georgia? What the hell is up with that? It’s nothing but stupid to use that tune for your fight song in Georgia. Right?

    Anyway, a week from Saturday, I’ll be in Grant Field pulling for the Dawgs to go 10-2 and get into the Championship Game against LSU. Given that I’ll be surrounded by hosts who are mostly Tech graduates, I’ll remain fairly quiet out of common courtesy. But not neutral. Hope you’re there, too.

    To other nn.com readers, I apologize for the length of this post.

  59. caliban said on November 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    KLG: Nope.

    To other nn.com readers, I apologize for the length of this post.

  60. nancy said on November 16, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I haven’t been following this dispute closely, but is there a good reason it shouldn’t end? If not, then let’s do so.

  61. Sherri said on November 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Re: Jan Kemp and UGA athletics, another reason to read the Taylor Branch article in Atlantic.

    Re: Willie Morris and college football, he wrote a wonderful book called “The Courting of Marcus Dupree”, about the recruiting of a young black football player from Philadelphia, MS. Match it up with “The Best That Never Was”, a film from EPSN’s 30 for 30 series, which looks at what happened to Marcus Dupree after that, and you see how college football can chew up and spit out even the most talented players.

    ESPN’s 30 for 30 collection of documentaries has some fine work in it, whether you’re a sports fan or not.

  62. Dexter said on November 17, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Oh boy. The OWS crowd is scheduled to disrupt NYC subway service today. There will be cracked heads over this, as Bloomberg, who gave original permission to the OWSers to camp in Zucotti Park, then cleared the park with force two nights ago, must show force and keep the trains rolling. The only ace the protesters have is that the head cop of NYC, Ray Kelly, is being groomed as the next mayor and he can’t come across as any sort of goon. It’s going to be something to follow.

  63. moe99 said on November 17, 2011 at 1:19 am

    here’s a nice Victoria Beckham dress in blue and orange (which are also Macalester College’s colors):

    http://www.redcarpet-fashionawards.com/2011/11/16/sidewalk-style-victoria-beckham-in-victoria-beckham-2/

  64. Hattie said on November 17, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Yes, all that hoo ha about college sports and the strange mixture of self pity and conceit is remarkable.

  65. Suzanne said on November 17, 2011 at 7:06 am

    I used to enjoy going to IU football games. Now, after all the $$ that has been spent hiring and firing and paying off and hiring and firing coaches, adding on to the stadium so that there are more and nicer empty seats, and the old alums that sit in the stands cursing up a storm while tuition goes up and up; no, I don’t enjoy it any more. College sports are so out of control it isn’t fun any longer.

  66. coozledad said on November 17, 2011 at 8:28 am

    There’s free speech, and there’s incitement. A certain white-trash sorority donut needs to understand that you don’t just go doing the secret Republican handshake in public. It ain’t 1963, bitch.
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/white-house-shooting-6574224

  67. Dorothy said on November 17, 2011 at 9:32 am

    One more blue and orange rah rah rah: http://harvestfurniture.blogspot.com/2010/11/color-update-complimentary-blue-and.html

  68. LAMary said on November 17, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Did someone, probably Deborah, already mention that blue and orange are opposite each other on the color wheel and therefore do actually compliment each other? Or at least they enhance each other. The logo of the company I work for is blue and orange, so I see a lot of it. Pens, signage, my coffee mug…

  69. Brandon said on November 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosmah_Mansor

    On her tsunami comments:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7vY_nsVnVA