T, U, V.

I may be stepping in it here, because I admit to never having seen “The Vagina Monologues” performed live. I’ve read the essays/stories that form the heart of the play, but so far, I’ve never been so hard up for entertainment, even in the depths of February, to attend a performance.

Here’s my prejudice: It always seemed so… calculated. It’s one of those plays designed to be something the squares don’t get and the hip get too well. It’s just so easy. There’s hardly any rehearsal needed. It’s a just-add-water theatrical event: Recruits some local actresses for the heavy-lifting monologues, mix in a few famous faces, dress everyone in red, light the podium from below and curtain up. Everyone reads from a three-ring notebook. The performance itself is a benefit for a sexual-assault treatment center or a domestic-violence shelter or wherever, so everyone feels good about being there. And before you know it? There’s Mrs. Mayor McSnoot, talking about her pussy! It’s Famous Anchorlady, saying cunt! And that? Is entertainment!

I remember when they did it in Fort Wayne the first time; you’d have thought the theatrical community was performing “King Lear” as a nuclear warhead made its way toward the city. So brave! Standing up for Art is a city full of Philistines! Because isn’t that what matters? And is that Famous Anchorlady up there, talking about her vagina? Have you ever seen such a thing?

Just so you know. This is my prejudice. I prefer my plays with plots, snappy writing, maybe some decent costuming, definitely some good acting.

When Rep. Lisa Brown spake the V-word on the floor of the Michigan House last week, and her male colleagues responded by silencing her from speaking for a day, it was probably inevitable that they would arouse the publicity-seeking spirit of Eve Ensler, always looking for a fresh angle for her now 16-year-old franchise. So, as Eddie Murphy used to say, they brought this shit on themselves.

And what shit it was! Three thousand people, carrying signs about bushes and ladybits and whatever other euphemisms you can think of. And Ensler herself:

“I’m over dudes who can’t even say vagina,” she said. “I’m over the Michigan state Legislature … censoring and rebuking and removing Lisa Brown. My vagina’s got decorum.”

She called on all women to participate in “One billion Rising,” on Feb. 14, 2013. On that day, she urged women to leave their jobs and their schools and go to the streets to dance.

“I want you to take over this place,” Ensler said. “I want you to dance for vaginas and life.”

Call me a cynic, but when someone tells me to dance for vaginas, I’m so far outta here, they need another name for it.

But I did find this giggle, deep in the Wikipedia entry. Shoutout, LA Mary:

Harriet Lerner, renowned in the field of women’s psychology, points out the “psychic genital mutilation” embedded in the play’s title, which ignores the clitoris and labia, and should more accurately be called “The Vulva Monologues.”

Damn right.

So, to the bloggage:

I meant to post this yesterday, but forgot: Simon Dumenco on the fly in the Facebook ointment:

Zuckerberg might argue that the concept of “cringeworthy” oversharing is meaningless to digital natives, and that personal privacy/boundaries are fuddy-duddy notions that will diminish as everyone gets more comfortable with their lives becoming open (Face)books — and as old fogies who still care about privacy/boundaries shuffle off this mortal coil. Fine. Maybe that’s true. And maybe a lot of people won’t log out of Facebook on their Apple devices for fear of oversharing.

Then what? Well, that’s where the Law of Diminishing Returns comes in. Because a massive flood of new Facebook “shares” from iOS users will become a nightmare in another way: The noise will increasingly drown out the signal.

I know I keep saying, in regard to Mitch Albom’s Sunday column, “this is a new low,” but folks? Srsly? This is a new low. If it took him 10 minutes to write, he spent three of them scratching his ass.

Hey, Nancy Friedman and other Nancys who read this: Did you know there’s a Nancy Tumblr, and it apparently uses only panels from the Bushmiller era? Nancy is Happy — go there now.

And finally, Hank reviews the new — the latest — Palin family train wreck:

As you might assume, being Bristol Palin means a life of continued anguish and suffering. In her somnolent Lifetime reality show, “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp,” which premieres Tuesday night, we keep hearing about the painful glare of media attention that snapped on nearly four years ago when her ­values-preaching mother, Sarah Palin, ran for vice president on the Republican ticket just at the time a teenage Bristol was pregnant with a son. That glare never ended, mostly because Bristol keeps reaching to turn the switch back on.

Yeah, yeah — like taking candy from a baby, but what else are you supposed to do when the baby just hands it to you?

And now the week is under way. It’s supposed to be in the mid-90s for the next two days. I hope I hold up. You, too.

Posted at 12:58 am in Current events, Media |

85 responses to “T, U, V.”

  1. Dexter said on June 19, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Spalding Gray’s monologue was enough for me…I have seen The Vagina Monologues on TV but I don’t think I stayed ’til the end. It surely didn’t entertain me, and I say great for the humans who were inspired by the production they saw, but it was not a fun movie or whatever they classified it as for premium cable, it was a chore to watch and it was uncomfortable to watch it, and that it why I bailed out.
    Back to Spalding Gray, poor bastard, dying like he did…
    I hope it stays breezy. It was hot Monday but the wind really helped. My town’s yards are way beyond brown…they’re bleached blond and nearly dead. I never have said this before, but we need rain.

    I was going to comment on Mitch Albom’s column…what was it he wrote about?

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  2. Scout said on June 19, 2012 at 3:05 am

    10 minutes minus the three he spent scratching his ass… Nancy, you’re being too generous. I think he spent 10 minutes on this minus 7 minutes scratching his ass. Somebody actually pays him to come up with remedial dreck like that? That’s kind of a sad thought for real writers everywhere.

    I got a kick out of Hanks Steuver’s review of the latest Palin exercise in attention whoredom.

    It was 113 in Phoenix today. Make that yesterday. But it will be that hot again today. And tomorrow. And the next day, and the next day and the next. Summers are very long here.

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  3. Brandon said on June 19, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Nancy, have you and Mitch actually met?

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  4. David C. said on June 19, 2012 at 6:50 am

    That column looks bad on the screen, but I imagine it looks worse on dead trees. Oh well, at least he didn’t mention his play about Ernie Harwell.

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  5. coozledad said on June 19, 2012 at 7:20 am

    It might have taken Mitch slightly longer than ten minute to pull that out of his ass, but he’s a pro, after all.
    I didn’t time this but ten minutes or so of the benzodiazapene cadence was all I could stand.

    He knew what he wanted from the first time he saw one flying through the air.
    I want ball, Le Ray thought.
    It traced an arc through the air, landed on the wet grass of the public park’s outfield, and rolled to a stop.
    He ran to it and picked it up . It fit in his mouth, just so.
    Le Ray was a good dog. Not the smartest, but earnest, and persistent.
    “That dog’s dumb as a f****g post, Monty.” Monty’s neighbor Doug, or “Trashmouth Doug” as Monty’s wife, Briannon, called him, was always saying.
    “He’s going to cause a mother*** car to flip, running out in the highway like that. It’ll be gruesome. There’ll be burned children, most likely.
    I’d stop throwing that ball out in the road if I was you.”
    One night at the dinner table Briannon seemed quiet, withdrawn.
    “What on earth is the matter, Briannon? You usually eat a bunch.”
    “I’m tired of Trashmouth Doug being so negative about the dog. I can see it hurts you. It hurts both of us. It hurts the community.”
    She put the old aluminum T-ball bat on the dining room table, still a gleaming anodized orange, but with a few gouges in it where Monty had used it to pound the push mower until the cover of the air filter flew loose and fuel leaked from the warped tank.
    “The next time he says anything about that dog, I want you to clock the f***er. I know you can do it.
    I watched you void the warranty on the mower…”

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  6. alex said on June 19, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Dex, I saw Spalding Gray doing his “Slouching Toward Cambodia” or whatever it was called at I think the Goodman Theater in Chicago. (The slouching thing might be Joan Didion, come to think of it, and maybe it was some other verb.) Anyway, the highlight of that show was the vignette about Asian showgirls shooting gourds out of their twats.

    Never saw “Vagina Monologues” except for snippets, like when Eve Ensler was a guest on Charlie Rose, that sort of thing. What I saw kind of reminded me of the ’70s book of feminist humor called Titters, which I used to peruse on someone’s coffee table back in the day. Talking about female anatomy is evidently even more thrilling for some women than it is for men.

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  7. Nancy said on June 19, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Thanks for the Nancy Tumblr!

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  8. beb said on June 19, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Alex, I think it was “Swimming towards Cambodia” and I thought they were popping ping-pong balls out of their Monologues.

    Nancy writes: “I prefer my plays with plots, snappy writing, maybe some decent costuming, definitely some good acting.” Well, yes, but this is political theater and if political theater were required to have plots, sharp writing and good acting, well, there wouldn’t be any politicians left in the field.

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  9. Suzanne said on June 19, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I completely forgot about the cartoon Nancy! What fun!

    Please, oh please, will the Palin family just freaking go away.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Man, that Albomian extrusion is a classic of the “get off my lawn” genre. Next, he should mock service workers for their inability to make change without a working register readout.

    These are the kinds of columns that can really lock in your 55+ market share.

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  11. Bob (not Greene) said on June 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Oh my fucking God. Mitch is simply an old man. He’s “frightened” that no one can remember when he says what his shoe size is. The service industry isn’t serving old-man Mitch to his strict standards. He ought to extend that concern to his sorry-ass column. What a complete pile of crap.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on June 19, 2012 at 9:17 am

    55+? More like 75+.

    If The Vagina Monologues truly opened up discussion, then I’d be all for it. But it’s really only about shock value, which further turns away those who need to have the discussion. Which, in the end, does nothing.

    I’ve decided I’m going to stop reading pieces about Bristol Palin, just like I’m boycotting anything more about Rielle Hunter. I have much better ways to spend my time, and if enough of us don’t pay attention, they’ll have to go away, eventually. Right?

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  13. basset said on June 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

    “Have you ever seen such a thing?”… “benzodiazepine cadence”… “Albomian extrusion”… I love this place.

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  14. Randy said on June 19, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Mitch’s problem isn’t even enough of a problem to show up on the White Whine site.

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  15. Mark P said on June 19, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Scout, did someone actually go to Phoenix to find out the temperature? Or did NASA land a rover there?

    It’s going to be close to 100F in northeast Alabama this weekend, and try that with some humidity in the air.

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  16. Jolene said on June 19, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Man, that Albom column is . . . just amazing. I’m sure that, in the realm of column-writing, learning to pay attention to what irritates you helps to generate column ideas, but Albom has taken this skill a step or two too far.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on June 19, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Well, as a Chicago resident whose eyeballs were scorched by the ultimate navel gazer Bob Greene for too many years, I would say Mitchy finally has topped Greene’s stupidest column.

    Greene was well known for his horrible toupees and his aging yuppie uniform of blue jeans, button-down oxford shirt, knit tie and blazer –an ensemble now favored by other aging douchebags such as Jonah Goldberg. Bob did not like the new style of men’s neckties. No sirree. He began a jihad against stylish ties, which he said resembled “dog vomit.” Think about the intellectual effort that went into describing a tie as dog vomit. . .the time and care Bob must’ve spent to come up with those two words. . .and you’re guessing it took about a half a nanosecond. He went on and on and on and on about the dog vomit ties. . .blissfully unaware that everyone in the journalistic community here found him a laughably banal loadass whose grasp of fashion was roughly equal to Jenny McCarthy’s understanding of nuclear fission.

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  18. Prospero said on June 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Alex: The slouching thing is William Butler Yeats, of Ben Bulben, in my estimation the greatest of all modern poets in English.

    Julie: You’ve made me pause to question whether I’ve ever read an article about Rielle Hunter. Don’t think I have.

    Perhaps Albom could be packed away to 60 minutes to do the crabby geezer spot that’s been missing since Andy Rooney kicked. Five good minutes to check baseball scores on ESPN on Sunday evening.

    So busy Sunday never got to Front Section of my NYT to read with glee about obsese rat bastard Christie’s Willie Horton problem, that’s also laced with money sleaze. Seems when Christie moved lots of third-strikers (most asinine, kneejerk, and counterproductive law in US history Before ALEC) out of jail before overcrowding was ripe for winnable prisoner lawsuits, so the totally GOPer idea hit him of giving lucrative contracts to cronies and bagmen to operate “halfway houses”, which have proved, in operation, as secure as collanders. The semi-rehabilitated feel free to leave at will.


    This is another of those cases where GOPers would go cuckoo with fear-mongering. Just ask the spirit of Lee Atwater at 888-666-HELL. Frank Rich says it’s time to go nuculah on the bastards, and I agree:


    Christie’s best available defense is a moue and “It’s new Jersey.” But this is public corruption typical of the entire privatization mantra of the GOP.

    Speaking of nuclear, that describes what the Cubs did to the Pale Hose last night pretty well too.

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  19. Bitter Scribe said on June 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

    “I’m over dudes who can’t even say vagina,” she said. “I’m over the Michigan state Legislature … censoring and rebuking and removing Lisa Brown.”

    Now how about getting over yourself?

    Once I asked at a convenience store for triple-A batteries and the clerk gave me double-As. Can I have a column in a major metro paper too?

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  20. alex said on June 19, 2012 at 10:26 am

    A column in a major metro paper? Hell, my adventures this morning ought to win me a network talk show. Some ditz at my doctor’s office forgot to fax my lab orders to the hospital where I showed up this morning for a blood draw. And then some fool at Verizon 911 tells me there’s no listing for my physician’s office because she’s looking for it in another city and state. What does Mitch Albom have to complain about? Shit, he walks into restaurants and sees people raptly engaged in reading his books and columns. Sheesh.

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  21. brian stouder said on June 19, 2012 at 10:33 am

    OK – let me take a second to ask a stupid question:

    T, U, V?

    After pondering this, I’m thinking we’re supposed to imagine the proprietress reciting the alphabet…?

    I don’t get it. (maybe it implies that the conclusion will be something like “… W, X, Y and Z. Now I’ve said my ABC’s, and let’s dispense with ‘vagina’, please”??)

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  22. Deborah said on June 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Julie mentioned Rielle, so I googled to see what Hunter is up to now that Edwards trial is over. Who would have thought (sarcasm) she has “written” a memoir that is due out June 26. She reveals that Edwards had other mistresses, again no surprise there. I’m torn because there’s a side of me that would love to read that book, I have no idea why she fascinates me so much; fascinates in a negative way like Charles Manson does. On the other hand I wouldn’t spend a dime on that book for obvious reasons.

    edit: I’m so glad Brian asked about T,U,V. I was wondering myself and figured I should probably already know.

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  23. adrianne said on June 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

    OK, OK, it’s similar to rubbernecking at a car wreck. But…I had to click on the Mitch Albom column. Could. Not. Look. Away.

    My favorite (unintentional) irony came at the list of links at the end of his column, the “you might also be interested in” headline.

    I immediately saw this one, from the Detroit Free Press: “Cop dies during 3-way sex; widow wins $3M lawsuit.”

    Now THAT I would pay for the privilege of reading!

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  24. Dorothy said on June 19, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I was asked by someone here on campus (who knew I did theater) a few years ago to participate in “The Vagina Monologues.” I had never seen or read it before so I asked if I could have a copy to scan before I said yes or no. I didn’t even make it half way through before I knew I could and would never get up in front of colleagues and read that kind of stuff and still look them in the eye the next time I had to interact with them for work. It kind of made me sick! I am the queen of TMI, I am sorry to confess, but I know my limits and TVM was not included in them.

    Nancy sometimes “Love Letters” is a go-to stage thing because another show has had production problems. I’ve known shows that got derailed because of illness or death of an actor or actress, or maybe a family member of an actor. I too would rather have a real show to watch, but for theaters who count on the income of a paying audience, stuff like a play reading can help pay the bills in an emergency.

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  25. nancy said on June 19, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Adrianne, that story’s been at the top of my “also be interested it” list for a couple weeks now. Also, “most popular.” It’s a hey-Martha story for sure.

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  26. Sue said on June 19, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I remember when Dave Barry wrote his flight-attendant article, he mentioned that he never had to ask for anything on a flight ever again. He became a flight attendant god.
    Can I assume Albom won’t experience whatever the reverse of that is because no one bothers to read his stuff? Or should he be concerned about ‘extras’ in his food orders?
    Actually, I can imagine the fun someone in the service industry could have with this. Someplace like Subway, where you go down the line with the person making your sandwich, an enterprising worker could misunderstand every single ingredient request and give Mitch Andy-Rooney-level fits.
    And here’s a good takedown of a really awful non-Mitch article. And I do mean Really Awful.

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  27. alex said on June 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

    So Purdue sacks the popular Michael Wartell as chancellor of IPFW because he turned 65 and then replaces him with someone age 64. What a nice fuck you to those who dared to take up for Wartell and ask that he be allowed to serve just a little bit longer.

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  28. brian stouder said on June 19, 2012 at 11:20 am

    A question for Jolene: In 50 words or less, what is your guess about the US Supreme Court decision (coming Thursday?) regarding the Affordable Healthcare Act?

    And – would a major judicial rebuke to the elected branches of the US government be equally overwhelming to both presidential campaigns, or might it arguably be more of a problem for Romney?

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  29. Julie Robinson said on June 19, 2012 at 11:24 am

    That’s just asinine. So in another year they go through the search process again?
    Wartell is responsible for so much growth, and he raised the money for all those new buildings primarily from the private sector. While he was a student our son performed at many of those gatherings, right in the Wartells’ home. It’s going to take years for a new person to develop those kinds of relationships. Argh.

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  30. Peter said on June 19, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Add me to the “what are ‘T, U, V’ supposed to mean?” list.

    There are two good things about that Mitch column:

    1. It may have taken him ten minutes to write it, but I was able to read it in under 60 seconds, and that included time to search for any Deeper Meaning. (Don’t waste your time on that exercise; there isn’t any).

    2. I have to change my way of asking for stuff so I don’t sound like Mitch.

    See, my life and the life of any service worker who I will encounter in the future has improved because I read Mitch Albom’s column today. Scary.

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  31. LAMary said on June 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I’m so glad my uptight trait of being intolerant of incorrect word usage is so widely shared. The vulva/vagina confusion is really annoying. When I hear about someone having their vagina waxed, I get all shifty in my chair.

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  32. Prospero said on June 19, 2012 at 11:32 am

    For staged (and for reading, too) drama, I will stick mainly to Shaw, Wilde, Shakes, Synge and the Greek fellas. Once saw the great Jean Marsh in “The Cocktail Party”, enjoyed muchly, so maybe TS Eliot stealing from Euripides too. Spalding Gray’s monologues are brilliant, I think. When he died, there was a lot of talk about “creative suicide”. He’d been depressed and physically impaired after a horrible car wreck in Ireland. One of my brother’s and I figured he could call his final act “Not Swimming to Staten Island”, which may sound disrespectful, but I say it fits well.

    Was the cop “on the job”? Was it some sort of undercover gone bad?

    Hey, Martha put me in mind of Ray Stevens, but I was misrembering. That was Ethel.

    In some way, Albom sounds like he’s channeling Mittens in that column. Those people ought to know their place and thank the job creators with further tax reductions to show their gratitude for mind-numbing, soul-destroying, but hygenic service sector jobs at minimum wage. I mean, they could be unemployed, like me.

    Brian, if I may, a likely effect on the Presidential race would be to get 2008 Obama supporters from the progressiver-than-thou wing off their yeah-Butts and reenergized. RMoney has announced, publicly no less, that his chief adviser on judicial appointments will be the rabid and radical anti-Constitutionalist Robert Bork:


    One SC, nine Scalias. Fracking bad news. Of course, there is ample audio evidence that RMoney was a huge fan of the personal mandate when he effected RMoneycare in MA.

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  33. brian stouder said on June 19, 2012 at 11:36 am

    When I hear about someone having their vagina waxed, I get all shifty in my chair.

    Well, I can see having Pam’s Voyager waxed, or my Olds 88, or her mom’s LaCross, or maybe a surf board (if we had one), but….that’s about the extent of it!

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  34. LAMary said on June 19, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I shared the Nancy tumblr with two Nancy colleagues. They’re both the sort of folks who would enjoy it. One of them is the clinical director of the cancer center and the other is an infection control nurse.

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  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 19, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I suspect that the SCOTUS will rule against the mandate portion only of ACA, but the question I wouldn’t want to try to guess and will be reading with interest is the “on these grounds” part of the opinion. Who writes the majority opinion, what they base their rejection of the tax penalty device supporting the mandate upon, and whether it’s 5-4 or 6-3: those are all going to be interesting to watch, because that will shape the next phase of the political response.

    Does the Democratic Party just downshift straight to a baseline federal health care guarantee (Medicare Part E), or try to parry-riposte with a new tool to enforce a mandate in a fiscally sustainable fashion? And whichever way the Obama campaign leans, how does Romney with his own mandate history lean back against that?

    The good news for now is that while Click & Clack and Garrison might all be decamping NPR for Shady Acres, Nina Totenberg & Linda Wertheimer will still be around on ATC to explain it to us.

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  36. Connie said on June 19, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Alex, IU has strange age rules for management positions, perhaps that had something to do with it. A friend of mine was an interim dean there for two years and was not given the promotion due to a policy about not making management hires of people aged 62 and over. She is now the dean of the same thing at U of Maryland.

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  37. Charlotte said on June 19, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Oh the vagina/vulva thing makes me crazy — I had to go see TVM a few years ago because my friend the former movie star was doing it — thank god for TVM, kept her from the brink of bankruptcy for several years. Ick. All I have to say — ick. Not because of ladybits, but because of all the reasons Nancy outlined …

    We’re waiting here in MT for the Supremes to give us an answer on whether the stay against Citizens United will hold or not. They were supposed to rule yesterday, but didn’t. Our state AG, running for Gov. is a really smart interesting guy (and not a blowhard showboater like our current Gov.) — had a good op-ed in the LA Times this weekend (for which they used a photo of our current Gov? weird):http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-bullock-citizens-united-montana-supreme-20120615,0,4547881.story

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  38. brian stouder said on June 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Charlotte, that was a superb article you linked, by the Montana Attorney General.


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  39. alex said on June 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Count me among the clueless as regards T, U, V although I’m fairly certain what the V stands for.

    beb, the pingpong balls out the wazoo was from “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.” Spalding Gray most assuredly said it was gourds, and what’s more, that they were projected with such force that they would shatter against a wall.

    I’m not even going to hazard a guess what SCOTUS will do as regards anything, except perhaps scuttle a century’s worth of precedent.

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  40. Basset said on June 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Alex, that reminds me of the Fugs line about some fictional character or other who could “break brass bolts with her vaginal scrunch.”

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  41. Sherri said on June 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I can’t imagine a sixth vote for the radical re-imagining of the commerce clause that overturning the individual mandate would require. The problem is, without the individual mandate, the insurance industry is going to pitch a fit about the rest of the law. They’re not going to be happy about covering pre-existing conditions, for example, without the guarantees of revenue from the individual mandate.

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  42. Prospero said on June 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Speaking of drama, this certainly seems like a must…miss:


    And you know, according to GOPers, it will take a supreme act of courage for SCOTUS to verturn ACA, after President Obama’s vicious intimidation. And if they do, every American should remember or be reminded that, every single GOPer was gung ho for the mandate when AEI ran it up the flagpole, and RMoney certainly was a champion and original adopter. It’s no-win for GOP.

    Any GOPer or strict constructionist Justice that rules against MT campaign law is showing the ass of a whited sepulcher hypocrite.

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  43. Hattie said on June 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Well in MY day they called them “private parts,” and I guess some still refer to them as “lady bits.” Somehow I deeply do not care about all this stuff. It is whatever would be the female equivalent of juvenile. would really be shocking is for a lot of naked women to stand up there and deliver that play. Women who just have ordinary bodies of all shapes and sizes. Women of all ages. Who would dare to do that?
    My objection is that these women want to be bold without exposing themselves or being really daring. What’s daring is to put your own words and your own body on the line.

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  44. Bitter Scribe said on June 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I have to confess, I really don’t get the Bristol Palin thing. If a daughter of Obama or another prominent liberal politician had a child out of wedlock, the wingnuts would be foaming at the mouth, howling about babymamas, how dare they parade their depravity before the world, etc. But Bristol pops one out, and we’re supposed to not only be charmed, but pay her endless attention.

    I mean, it’s not like I have anything personally against Bristol. Her little boy is hella cute. But why is she being lionized for exactly the kind of behavior her mother’s supporters spend so much time and energy denouncing?

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  45. beb said on June 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    So many comments about how awful that Albom column was. Nancy I fear that your disgust with the M-Man has turned you into his best pimp. Everybody here has to read that which disgusts you so much. And in the digital age it doesn’t matter whether people read or like what they read but that the ads on the pages were displayed.

    “Cop dies during 3-way sex; widow wins $3M lawsuit.” – well, I actually clicked through and read the story. Yes, the cop died (while off-duty) while having kinky, 3-sex. His widow collected from his doctor who know about his heart condition but didn’t warn him against vigorous activities, like kinky 3-way sex.

    alex@39: I beg to differ but have to plead the 5th on why.

    BitterScribe: It’s OK If You Are A Republican.

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  46. beb said on June 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    deleted duplicate comment. thread wasn’t updating promptly.

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  47. Judybusy said on June 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Re: what the woman shot out of her vagina: a banana. For the squeamish, skip this quote, which I found on IMBD of great quotes by Mr. Gray. (I am happy to say I knew this immediately when it was mentioned earlier, and felt compelled to make the correction. After 45, accurate recall is precious.)

    “Then out comes the banana! And she takes a few lame shots like the Russian rockets that are going to sputter and pop and land in our cornfields. And for the finally she aims her vagina down the main isle like a great cannon, loads it with a very ripe banana and thoomp fires it! Almost hits me in the eye, almost hits an Australian housewife in the head, hits the back wall and sticks! And slowly it inches its way down until it, pomp, lands… and is devoured instantly by an army of giant roaches.”

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  48. Dexter said on June 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Old Bob Greene was mentioned here on the thread today. Did any newspaper columnist who had such a large dedicated following ever crash and burn so spectacularly?
    Once Bob took a train trip, headed east from Chicago on The Lake Shore Limited. I live in Bryan, Ohio. I remember this from that long-ago column: “We pulled into Bryan, Ohio. I know it was Bryan, Ohio because it was written on the water tower.”
    Yeah, Bob, that pretty much guaranteed that, alright.:~ !

    I just can’t get over how great the Stephanie Miller Show is. She’s on the “Left” channel on XM Radio as well as from 9-12 mornings on Current TV. I had lost track of her for a while and did not know she Came Out last year on her show. However, her show is about hard-hitting presidential and Congressional politics.

    Also, I posted about Romney’s bus Sunday. My wife the political junkie set me straight…Romney has four buses which he never rides on…are they just travelling billboards? I suppose the press rides on them? Romney and Ann ride in a private jet of course. I shoulda known better.
    I have fond memories of Paul Wellstone’s bus, which I am pretty sure he did indeed ride in. http://demozine.tripod.com/images/cdm/wellstone.jpg
    Recently Romney awed even these hardcore journalists with his infantile comments on Wawa
    and their sandwiches. Face it, this man is just a grown up Richie Rich. I cannot bear the thought of this imbecile capitalist bastard in The White House.

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  49. Kirk said on June 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Sue @26: Indeed, that Bryce Harper thing is one of the biggest loads of baloney and forced analogy I have ever seen. It might have rated a D+ for effort in a freshman English comp class.

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  50. Prospero said on June 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm


    Richie Rich was capable of kindness and generosity. RMoney shows no inkling of either. That WaWas video is worth watching for the dumbstruck look on the face of Chris Cilizza contemplating Willard’s utter obtuseness. And “hoagies” coming out of Mitt’s lipless piehole sounds like a bad attempt at a foreign language, or giving a teller you’re trying to rob a note that says “I have a gub.”

    Just making sure you saw this from the Reds-Indians game a couple of days ago:


    That looks like a combind payload in excess of 550.

    And about that Bryce Harper crap, well the kid with the given name that sounds like a RMoney has a ways to go before he’s Matt Kemp, on five of the five tools.

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  51. Dexter said on June 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Good one Prospero. Now I’ll have a h’yo-ghee and a Ca-o-o-ke.

    And what a wild ride for this octopus!


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  52. Jolene said on June 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Brian, I don’t have any more insight than anyone else re what the Supreme Court is likely to do, but I am frustrated beyond belief that so few people understand what the law provides for and why the individual mandate is needed to make it work. (See this new article how people who stand to benefit from it are too ill-informed or otherwise ill-suited to act as a constituency on its behalf.) Given the obstructionism and willful distortion of the GOP, it’s not clear whether things could be different, but I have to think that more effective public information re the need for healthcare reform and the effects of the new law might have been possible.

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  53. Jolene said on June 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Meanwhile, sounds like Purdue is about to get a new president.

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  54. brian stouder said on June 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Jolene – indeed. ‘My man Mitch’ is now our head boilermaker.

    I was thinking the enigmatic ‘T, U, V’ header has something to do with summer solstice; Maybe ‘Today’s Ultimate Vista’ or ‘Think Ultra Violet’; or ‘Totally Unbelievable Vacation day’

    But now I’m thinking it’s Turkey at the University way north of Vincennes

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  55. Jolene said on June 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    This past weekend, the NYT published a review of the new book re Michelle Obama’s family; this is the book that the article Nancy linked to is taken from. And James Fallows reviewed the new David Maraniss bio of Barack Obama. Lots of summer reading for Obamaphiles.

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  56. Dan B said on June 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    About eight years ago, I had a student send me an email from a personal account, not her university account. The address was “lovemyvagina” at something.com. I almost didn’t open it. When I realized it was a student, I really wanted to reply “I’m sure Eve Ensler is very happy for you, but I really didn’t need to know that.” I restrained myself.

    It would be the perfect example for a lesson about using professional-sounding email addresses for professional communication, but it was so inappropriate that I’ve never actually shared it with a class. I use “BuTtErFlYPrInCeSs” (another real one a student has used to communicate with me) instead.

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  57. Brandon said on June 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    So many comments about how awful that Albom column was. Nancy I fear that your disgust with the M-Man has turned you into his best pimp. –beb

    Exactly. Which is why I wonder if Nancy has actually met Albom in person, and if her distaste for his writing a personal thing or just a matter of taste.

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  58. Bitter Scribe said on June 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I don’t understand the difference between the government mandating you to buy something, and taxing you to pay for it themselves.

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  59. LAMary said on June 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    DanB, I read resumes all day and I see some really stupid email addresses. My fave is drunkenmonkeyface, but I’ve seen sexual references, drug references.

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  60. alex said on June 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Well I’ll be damned, Judybusy. Truly, the old gray matter isn’t what it used to be. Maybe I’m confusing the gourds with yet another human cannon act I’ve seen or heard about somewhere.

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  61. Jolene said on June 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Re the Maraniss book: A video descring the research and travel he undertook in writing the Obama book.

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  62. adrianne said on June 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Well, one of my favorite bloggers (besides Nance and Lance) just weighed in on Mitch Albom’s column…and it’s a doozy.

    Check out Charles Pierce’s take on ol’ Mitch:


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  63. brian stouder said on June 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Jolene, I think I shall have to add that one to my list.

    And in a semi-unrelated thing, I have read the term “dressage” here repeatedly over the years, but until last night’s Lawrence O’Donnell show, I read that as “DRESS-idj”.

    So, if we were all sitting around a table sipping icy cold Diet Pepsi (or whatever), if the subject of prancing horses came up, and if I couldn’t switch the conversation to Ferrari and Fernando Alonso, I would have thought “dress-AHHJ ” was a joke (as I did the first two times O’Donnell said “dress-AHHJ”) and then said “DRESS-idge”, which would have marked me as the clueless hoosier I am!

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  64. Prospero said on June 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Octopus Grigori oviously wanted to bloww the old popstand worse even than Whatserface Palin wanted to get the hell out of Wasilla. Anyway, the octopus story reminded me of this grotesque unfortunate adventure in dining out:


    I would like to be that personal injury lawyer lining up that 35%.

    Spanky Macfarlane is 64 today. Sort of an odd combination of Mamas&Papas, the Partridges, and the Airplane, with a dash of Beach Boys chorale and Association orchestral production. Hard to tell if they were real hippies or Sears hippies.

    Brandon: While Nancy may or may not have some personal dislike toward AlBomb, the horror of his ouvre his patently obvious. The bastard writes horrible columns. And five minutes of watching him on TV reveals a smarmy and obsequious passive-aggressive personality.

    Mary: drunkenmonkeyface. Makes me shudder to think how the dumbass has represented on Facebook.

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  65. Scout said on June 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Dexter@48: re: Stephanie Miller. I know, right? She and her mooks are the funniest yet best informed team on the radio, imho. Add in their rotating co-hosts Hal Sparks, John Fugelsang and Aisha Tyler and you have one smart (and self described sexy) liberal talk show. Fart jokes too.

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  66. brian stouder said on June 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Scout and Dex may have solved the Proprietress’s puzzle. The ‘T, U, V’ may be for Stephanie Miller’s show (or maybe for Lansing-state house theater):

    Turn Up the Volume!

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  67. coozledad said on June 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Prospero: Spanky, like Cass Elliot, is a good argument for increased body mass = improved resonance. I think they were doing a lightly Americanized version of the Springfields. They seemed to have some vague Brit folk thing going on, anyway.

    Before I saw this band, I always assumed their singer would be at least somewhat chubby, because her voice was so round, but nope. Just a slip of a girl.

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  68. Suzanne said on June 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Our beloved Gov (anyone remember the gov in Blazing Saddles? Reminds me)as the president of P.U?? Thank the good Lord I am an IU grad and that neither of my children went to P.U. I’d be cryin’ for sure.

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  69. Prospero said on June 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Here’s a wonderful video about the Battle of the Troy Library:


    And the stupidest man in the world:


    Cooze: Grace Potter, Maria McKee, very big voices and neither one within hailing distance of Cass’s girth. KT Tunstall is elfin but she’s got a booming voice capable of growling too.And how ’bout Gayle McCormick in Smith? I loved the Sundays, especially Harriet Wheeler’s vocals. She may be a Brit, but she’s got the Irish genes for that soaring pristine soprano. Like a new version of Cherish the Ladies. The band quit the bidness in a novel and refreshing way, singer and guitar player got married and had a kid. Just like when Dave Mustaine parted ways with Metallica. I’m sure my friends and I thought of Spanky and Our Gang as kind of sanitized half rock at the time, but it’s nice hearing the songs decades later.

    That’s William J. Lepetomane, Suzanne. The right, dishonorable. And where there’s a Lepetomane, there must be a Hedley Lamar.

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  70. Deborah said on June 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Adrianne, I love Charles Pierce too. That was a great link and I noticed both our Nancy and Tbogg commented there.

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  71. Dan B said on June 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    LA Mary- I thought you’d have some stories along those lines. It’s part of why I make a point of mentioning that at some point in the classes I teach. And “drunkenmonkeyface” may be my go-to example of a bad idea from now on.

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  72. DellaDash said on June 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Granted, Eve Ensler unleashed an unfortunate brand of tourettes on the American psyche, so that it’s now a part of our national entitlement to spout genitalia terminology (and the even more annoying euphemisms like ‘vah-jay-jay’), everywhere, all the time…like naughty school children. Ew!

    You ARE kind of stepping in it with me, Nancy, when you dismiss or bash a piece of work that you haven’t experienced firsthand…because of the hype that particular work has generated. You did the same thing with ‘The Help’, and you got it wrong that time (the idea of a white protagonist coming to the rescue of the poor blacks in the story). Read the book, (disregard the movie), and if you still have objections to put forth, I’ll respect them. There was a lot of negative commentary here, surrounding that blog, about something that is (arguably) bound to become a classic of American literature alongside ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. Only Sue, who gave it to her daughter to read; and Brian, who’s wife had read it, made favorable posts. Oh well. It obviously didn’t sour me enough, or make me feel like too much of a misfit to keep me away from here.

    Your take on the celebrity spawn of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ does seem to be wickedly spot on, though…makes me think of ‘Mau Mauing the Flak Catchers’. I haven’t seen it live, but got a copy of Ensler’s original performance from the library, after a friend of mine sent me a videotape of her local community theater’s production a few years ago. My friend is an excellent film actress, and one monologue she did as an older jewish woman from the Bronx absolutely floored me. I’ve never seen her do finer work. However, I couldn’t tell her how excruciatingly bad, how cringeworthy, I found the rest of the production to be. On the other hand, Eve Ensler riffing on how different women climax also had me on the floor, especially when I saw my own intimate quirks get totally busted. I just don’t think anyone but Eve, herself, can do that material justice.

    Dex, kudos to you (I think) for giving it a try…but really…there should be some kind of rating to help guys like you steer clear of this kind of stuff…tailored as it is to the female funnybone (or sense of outrage).

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  73. beb said on June 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Alex, I swear I have seen ping-pong balls ejected, which is not to deny the possibility that gourds and bananas have also been used. The take-away from this is that Bangkok whores will do about anything for tourist dollars.

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  74. Jakash said on June 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Quoting from that Pure MitchAg’in column:

    “Once, if you took a service job, you were told on the first day ‘the customer is always right.’ I heard this as a fast-food cook, a janitor, a security guard and an ice cream scooper. Didn’t matter if the customers were unreasonable, impatient, rude or snarky. They were spending money. It was your job to make them happy.”

    Aha! Perhaps that’s the problem. He evidently did NOT hear this as a newspaper columnist, and thus concluded that it’s not part of his job to make his readers happy… Not that any of them are snarky.

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  75. kayak woman said on June 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    First, a few disclaimers just in case I end up sticking my foot in my mouth in some way: 1) Politics is not my strong subject and I struggle to keep up with what’s going on. 2) I have never seen the monologues and doubt that I would *ever* participate (my 25-y/o actress daughter *has* performed in it and attended yesterday’s performance at the MI capitol). 3) I am pro-choice. Abortion is not a black and white issue for me but I do believe that it needs to be legal and safe. I know that not everyone on earth shares my opinion and I respect the opinions of those who don’t.

    Whether or not yesterday’s performance makes a difference / was tacky / generates publicity for Ms. Ensler / whatever, I think it was a natural response for those of us who do believe in a woman’s right to choose and are extremely frustrated with the current MI GOP-dominated legislature. We are not being heard or even given the time of day (yeah, I know I’m probably as naive as all get-out <smiley-face>) and I think this event was an attempt (misguided or not) to force people to take notice.

    I am personally frustrated that some of the right-leaning (but pro-choice) males in my family have been saying to me, in essence, “don’t worry your pretty little head about this, the *real* issue is the economy”. Well, if the “real” issue is the economy, then why are our legislators wasting time on the very divisive issue of choice?

    Thanks for letting me vent and have a good evening!

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  76. Catherine said on June 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I have seen The Vagina Monologues and, in its defense, I think it’s less of a play than a piece of performance art or, maybe, political theater. It’s not the most memorable or best thing I’ve ever seen — as Della said, it’s uneven — but it has its place in a broadly defined “theater.” And, it’s hard to argue with results, which it definitely got in MI. I can’t imagine anything else they could have done in response that would have rallied the opposition so effectively, and stuck it quite so uncomfortably to The Man.

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  77. Suzanne said on June 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    William J. Lepetomane! Yes! Head of Purdue U!

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  78. LAMary said on June 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Drunkenmonkeyface makes it into my presentations when I talk to students about applying for jobs. I tell them to just get a gmail or yahoo account only for job applications.
    I’m afraid to share more email names because people might google themselves and find me ridiculing their email. Drunkenmonkeyface I’m not too worried about.

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  79. basset said on June 19, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    You mean to tell me there’s another Carlos Santana?

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  80. Deborah said on June 19, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    So what’s T, U, V? Did I miss something?

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  81. brian stouder said on June 20, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Totally Unhappy with Velveeta; or maybe Technically Uninhibited Viewpoints; or possibly Teasing Under the Veranda?

    Honestly, I think sometimes Nance enjoys Touching Upon Vapidity (with regard to Albom)

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  82. Brandon said on June 20, 2012 at 12:27 am

    @Prospero: This Albom column is strongly reminiscent of Andy Rooney’s writing. I’m not familiar with his output, so that’s why I can’t understand the teeth-gnashing. I know a guy who couldn’t stand Dr. Dean Edell on the radio. It’s like hating Formica.

    @Deborah: Must be V for Vagina.

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  83. alex said on June 20, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Brandon, if you were familiar with Albom’s work you’d think the same as many of us: What the hell is this hack doing pulling down a six-figure salary at a major metro newspaper? Many of us who have worked in journalism and publishing would like to know who it is we have to fuck to get that gig. I can name dozens of people who write with far greater talent and have much more fresh, original things to say any day of the week. As Nance has pointed out before, anyone who has written a column knows all of the tricks to use on those occasions when they’re short on time and ideas—and recognizes these methods in others’ work, especially when they do it every damned time.

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  84. Dorothy said on June 20, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Deborah I too feel like I still need to be enlightened about T,U,V and came back this morning to double check. At least we’re still all full of mystery about it!

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  85. Brandon said on June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    @alex: I know Albom is a sportswriter who became nationally famous through Tuesdays With Morrie. I saw part of a TV-movie adaptation of The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and thought, it’s not my bag but he obviously has a lot of fans. Thanks for explaining it. That particular column reminded me not just of Andy Rooney but of Larry King’s “three-dot” column which used to run in USA Today.

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