Two musicals and a bleh.

Forsooth, “Henry V” was a disappointment. It’s really too bad, as it’s my favorite of the history plays and one I was really looking forward to. I told Kate all the way there that it contains one of the greatest follow-me-boys speeches in the English language, and she should watch for it. Alas, as drama the St. Crispin’s Day speech played more like Ben Stein in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” than, well, this:

Love me some Kenneth Branagh. What’s he up to these days? I heard him interviewed on NPR around the time this film came out, and he talked about the day he was playing Henry V onstage, and lost the glove he needed for a key scene. Shakespeare doesn’t specify many props in his plays, but the glove in “Henry V” is key. So he had to turn to the actor at his side and ad lib, in Elizabethan English, something like, “Fluellen, hast thou seen my glove?” Fluellen blanched and ran offstage to fetch another out of wardrobe, while Branagh wandered around the stage, freestyling in iambic pentameter to the other actors. As he did so, he spotted the glove; he’d dropped it a few feet away. He picked it up, returned to his mark, and continued the scene, just as Fluellen runs back onstage with a second one. I doubt if many people who were unfamiliar with the play even noticed the glitch, although he said that when he was leaving the theater that night, a passing car stopped, the window rolled down and a voice came from within: LOVED THE BIT WITH THE GLOVE.

Fortunately, the weekend improved after that. “The Pirates of Penzance” was a great deal more fun, and “42nd Street” even better. But you know, it’s really hard to go wrong with a) tap dancing; and b) “We’re in the Money.” I remember when the show opened in 1980, it wasn’t well-reviewed. It must have aged better, because it passed as a pleasant blur of tappin’ and singin’ and lots of sparkly costumes.

And now I’ve had my dose of theater for a while, at least until someone presses tickets to something else in my hand.

Stratford has changed since we were last there, and hasn’t. Same restaurants, same tourists, same townie kids hanging downtown after dark. I considered asking if any of them knew Justin Bieber, but thought better of it. After all, there’s plenty of Bieber-material on the web. (David, Adrianne? CLICK THAT.)

And so concludes the week of vacation. I saw friends and family, absorbed culture, rotated my tires. I’ve had worse weeks.

You guys, on the other hand… Did I mention what my heart did when I came home, after 36 hours without internet service, and found 136 emails waiting for me, nearly all comments? Did I? Well, it sank. It sank because I knew I’d soon have MEGO syndrome, and I did. Is this what it’s going to be like through November?

Please, say no.

On the other hand, when this is part of the election-news cycle, how can things not get crazy from time to time?

So, because I have to get ready to go back to lovely Lansing, a few notes:

Would my fifth cousin a million times removed, my reader in Connecticut who does Nall genealogy, get in touch? I got an inquiry from a Googler looking for Nall family info.

While this story in Salon takes some cheap shots at Tampa, I do think its foundational thesis is sound: If a world run on Tea Party principles is something we want, then Tampa is what we’ll get.

A good week to all.

Posted at 12:08 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

82 responses to “Two musicals and a bleh.”

  1. Sherri said on August 20, 2012 at 4:16 am

    I enjoyed my Henry V at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, though it was probably helped by having seen the same actor play Hal through the whole arc of Henry IV Parts I & II and Henry V. That’s a three season commitment for both actor and patron, but it paid off. I saw 9 plays in 7 days; among the highlights were All the Way, a premiere by Robert Schenkkan about LBJ and a challenging performance of Troilius and Cressida, which is one of Shakespeare’s least satisfying plays. The most interesting, with some friends intensely disliking it while others were intrigued by it, was Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella, an interweaving of all three plays to highlight the similarities and contrasts of plays from the three great populist traditions of the theater: Greek tragedy, Shakespearean tragedy, and American musical. It’s really impossible to describe and do justice to.

    It was a wonderful week in Ashland, but hot! Highs in the upper 90’s every day. Nice to get back to our cool weather up here in the PNW.

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  2. Dexter said on August 20, 2012 at 4:19 am

    I can’t even recall why, but a lot of my Facebook friends hate Kenneth Branagh. Here’s another good interview with Branagh:

    I go searching for St. Crispin’s Day speech a couple time a year when the mood strikes.

    I alternate between Richard Burton and Sir Laurence Olivier’s versions.

    My day in Cincinnati was perfect…top row of the bleachers afforded an eagle’s eye view of Ohio River steam paddle tourist boats and other river activity between innings, and the game was great, a few home runs, we saw the Reds’ pitcher Johnny Cueto pitch, which was special since he is a strong candidate for the coveted Cy Young trophy as the National League’s best. It was a make-up game of the only rainout of the season for both teams (incredible fact!)
    I love the Detroit Tigers but the Reds are the most fun team to watch this year. They are really, really good, and I appreciate great baseball. I-75 isn’t nearly as torn-up as it usually is…there are three rather narrow up-against-the-barrier traffic restricted lanes in Dayton, but as long as we could move at 50 mph through there and then at 70 the rest of the way, who could complain. The Cincinnati ballpark, Great American Ballpark, is stunning. It’s a great place, and hands down, has the friendliest, most happy, helpful people working there I have ever encountered.

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  3. David C. said on August 20, 2012 at 6:32 am

    For my tastes, I always preferred the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake, Ont. over Shakespeare. Don’t know why – Shaw just does it for me.

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  4. Deggjr said on August 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Also in the follow me boys genre: Hunde, wollt ihr ewig leben? (Dogs, do you want to live forever?) from Frederick the Great. Like Pat Buchanan’s RNC speech, it does sound better in the original German.

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  5. alex said on August 20, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Just heard a remarkable factoid on the boob tube: Thomas Kinkade paintings can be found in one of every twenty American homes. I’m only half-listening but it sounds like his mistress is fighting his wife for control of his estate.

    My parents are long-time fans of the Shaw Festival and they make an annual trek there to meet up with old college friends and have a reunion. I’ve never been there but it sounds like fun.

    I haven’t seen live theater in some time, but used to go quite often when I lived in Chicago. It always seemed like nudity was the big gimmick for packing the houses. There was a show at the Steppenwolf—Fahrenheit 451—where a guy dropped trou and evoked audible gasps from the audience. His schlong looked to be better than a foot long.

    Here’s hoping Richard Mourdock has an Akin moment. He seems to confine his comments mostly to economic matters and even though what he says is every bit as stupid as Akin’s comments about rape, most people’s eyes are too glazed over to notice. I wish he’d talk about sex.

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  6. churchlady said on August 20, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Reaction to the Akin comment is all over Talkingpointsmemo, which I’m sure comes as a relief from all the stuff about medicare / social security / taxes / lying. A recent addition is this:

    Which explains that Akin’s weird belief is actually long standing Right to life theology to justify not making an exception for rape. This doesn’t absolve Akin but it does spread the spotlight to the whole right to life party and their twisted view of life.

    And if you’re an old sci fi fan like myself, take a look at these hand-blown glass spaceships.

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  7. Jolene said on August 20, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Here’a another piece on the idea that Akin’s comments flow not just from his own bizarre beliefs, but from the ideology of a certain segment of the anti-abortion movement.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on August 20, 2012 at 9:35 am

    When I came across the Akin story I read the whole thing aloud to my husband in a very LOUD voice, I was that pissed off. I’m torn between thinking this will finally expose the fools and fearing that many will just accept it as fact and vote for Akin and friends.

    But anyway, it was a lovely anniversary weekend, with beautiful weather, and Cork & Cleaver was excellent as always. Congratulations to all those who commented on their own lengthy partnerships.

    Brian Stouder, I saw your name listed in the paper with a benchmark blood donation. I’ve forgotten, was it 100 pints or gallons? Anyway, good on you.

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  9. brian stouder said on August 20, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Julie – Cork & Cleaver is just flat-out good stuff, isn’t it? Did your husband and you select a dessert? (one of the hardest decisions of the evening, really, other than what to pass over on the salad bar)

    In my whole life, I think I’ve done one (or maybe two) whole-blood donations; those things knock me off my pins.

    I do the pheresis thing, wherein they spin out the platelets they want, and give me back my red cells. The whole process – from walking in to walking out – is about 3 hours; wherein you end up covered in a nice blanket on a comfortable dentist-style reclining chair, watching TV…THIS is something I’m very good at! You can donate every two weeks, with a maximum of 24 donations in any 12 month period…and after about 9 years, I finally hit 100 donations (I’m now at about 110). Depending on the individual, they can get one or two or three (maximum) “units” of platelets from a single donation….I think a “unit” is about 8 ounces (but I don’t know), and they can usually get a “triple” from me (in for a penny, in for a pound, I say!).

    Interestingly, a single donation of platelets collected by pheresis can constitute one or several transfusable units, while it takes about five whole blood donations to constitute a single transfusable unit of platelets. (we just had the annual banquet, and we learned that tidbit)

    Pam and I were discussing the history of this, and it seems that when I began this years ago, it was because her best friend was stricken with cancer; and in the treatment process, many units of platelets are necessary…and the shelf-life of the platelets is only about 5 days, so donations are always, always welcome and needed.

    Going there becomes a habit, and indeed, they’re the ones that caught my higher-than-it-should-be blood pressure, so there are other direct benefits to doing the pheresis thing (aside from cookies and soda pop and the occasional free tee shirt and the annual banquet).

    So there’s the plug; I can now tell the women at Red Cross that I was preachin’ it!

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  10. Julie Robinson said on August 20, 2012 at 10:32 am

    The mud pie, but in truth we were so stuffed we almost couldn’t finish.

    I was a regular donor before the foot problems cropped up, I’m O negative and they used the blood for transfusing babies. If I can ever get off painkillers I’ll go back.

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  11. brian stouder said on August 20, 2012 at 10:43 am

    That mud pie is great; but the one that we always used to love, and which they don’t offer anymore, was the cheese cake creme brulee.

    That stuff was just way, way too good (just the memory of it makes me curl my toes!)

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  12. Bill said on August 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Brian: preach the pheresis gospel! I, too, have donated 100 times, but I had to stop when I had a slight heart “event” and began taking a blood thinner. Our local hospital has a new machine that keeps the donation time to about an hour. Not enough time to watch a movie so the nurses became part of my extended family. I’ve spoken to several cancer patients who’ve received platelets and they all talk about feeling so much better after the infusions. I encourage those who can donate to do it.

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  13. Sue said on August 20, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I don’t understand how some things, like Akin’s comment, suddenly take on lives of their own.
    Like, say, you’re Rush Limbaugh and after decades of making sexist denigrating comments about women in general, you make a couple of comments about one woman in particular and all hell breaks loose. Thank God you’re actually the victim or you would have lost even more sponsors.
    Or you’re the Susan B. Komen Foundation, you decide to do your part to help along the destruction of Planned Parenthood’s evil agenda, and suddenly you’re sitting by yourself at the lunch table. An outrageous, ridiculous decision, but certainly not an uncommon sentiment. If that increasingly-common sentiment creeps into the non-profit sector, oh well, what did you expect? Certainly not that shitstorm.
    In today’s world, Akin didn’t make an outrageous statement. Nice that it sparked a bit of an epiphany but one guy in Missouri says something that you could probably be arrested for not believing if you lived in Kansas, and suddenly he should pull out of the race?

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  14. Connie said on August 20, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Augusta National admits first female members. Took long enough.

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  15. Dorothy said on August 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Brian you tolerate three hours in a chair to do apheresis and yet a half hour whole blood donation knocks you off your pins?! Astonishing! I love doing the getting-in-getting-out blood donations myself. I have “great flow” so I’m done quickly. I only got woozy once. (say WoozyOnce three times, really fast!) My husband used to do apheresis donations when his cousin’s husband had leukemia. He liked doing at very much. The nurses gave him all the Snoopy band-aids he could carry because they knew our son at home loved them.

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  16. jcburns said on August 20, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Some folks have a problem with Branagh because of his divorce from Emma Thompson in 1995. And Nance, if you’ve been watching the Olympics, you’ve seen his latest work, working a stovepipe hat.

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  17. brian stouder said on August 20, 2012 at 11:54 am

    The folks at Red Cross are genuinely pleasant to be around, and become familiar; there’s a sort of barber-shop vibe.

    Over time, I’ve noted that there is a particular social/political lilt there, which is generally harmless – if sometimes mildly…’annoying’ is too strong a word; call it ‘interesting’.

    But this year? – they are operating under a new directive to stay entirely away from discussing politics.

    I bring this up because I noted at the end of the last thread, Jeff seems to be taking a break from this place, presumably owing to the fairly strident tone that some of us (including me) default to, as the election approaches and passions rise.

    Let me just say – this is why they hold elections, yes? We’re all voters and it’s all good, at the end of the day. I respect everyone here (including Danny!), and I hope Jeff continues to point out stark realities for all of us to consider, and which are all-too-easily passed by.

    I’ll be out of pocket (work related) Tues/Weds/Thurs of this week…so just for the record, when the next astounding story comes from the campaign trail, you know which cheap-seat cheering section that I’ll generally agree with, even as I respect the opinions of my fellow NN.c’ers hereabouts, with whom I may not always agree.

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  18. LAMary said on August 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Kenneth Branagh bugs me. He is such an AHC-TOHR. Emma is just as bad so it isn’t their divorce that causes my dislike. I’m glad they didn’t reproduce with each other. I don’t know what it is but the annoy the crap out of me. My wonderful late neighbor Bill was recovering from heart surgery and I rented the Branagh Henry V video to watch with him. We both found Kenneth B. really irritating. Bill had great taste and was a performer himself, so I’m going with him on this.

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  19. coozledad said on August 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    This bit is written really well, but both of these guys are heavyweights. They’ve taken a simple sketch and made it something else:

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  20. Maggie Jochild said on August 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I recently discovered Mitchell and Webb, and am delighting in their work. My favourite so far is the SS officer wondering if they might be “the baddies”. And Webb’s remake of Flashdance.

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  21. Heather said on August 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I LOVE Mitchell and Webb! I harbor a persistent crush on David Mitchell–my friend actually got to meet him in London and I was incredibly jealous. What can I say, I have a soft spot for British nerds. I like the “Inebriati” sketch:

    They also star in (but don’t write) Peep Show, another hilarious series. Highly recommended, and it’s on Hulu! I’m not sure if it’s free or not as my work computer is blocking the site.

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  22. del said on August 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Enjoyed the Inebriati sketch Heather.

    Brian, don’t know much about pheresis but am reminded of a crudely funny scene from the 2000 movie Road Trip. I won’t link to it but you can find it by typing in “Milking the Prostate” in youtube. (Not Safe for Work)

    The Salon article about Tampa was interesting. I’ve worked with an older attorney with Tea Party sympathies. Guess where his winter residence is? Maybe that’s part of Tampa’s problem, snowbirders and retirees who are disinclined to pay taxes (especially for seasonal places).

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  23. Prospero said on August 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    In his grotesquely inappropriate modifying of “rape” with “legitimate” is Akin actually making the claim that most rape accusations are fals? What else could the blithering cretin mean by that?

    The monumentally buffoonish cross-dresser Rudy Giuliani is making fun of Biden. Right , Rudy. It took awhile, but you’ve launched your snappy comeback to Biden’s astute put down about your sentence structure–“a noun, a verb, and 9-11”. How’s that Bernie Kerik recommendation continuing to work out for you. I’m still surprised GOPers didn’t try to claim Biden was attacking LDS. After all, the Mormons are likely the all-time ecclesiastical leaders in the clubhouse for institutional racism.

    And Ayn Ryan commits the stupidest GOPer musical faux pas since the Raygunistas failed to understand “Born in the USA”:

    How did he miss the obviously Randian lyrics of Geddy Lee? How did he figure the guys in Rage wouldn’t consider him a primo ahole? Of course, there is no obtuseness like the obtuseness required to miss that atheistic thang in Atlas Shrugged. The Evil Genius.

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  24. Peter said on August 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Representative Akin’s remarks are bad enough, but my God he is on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology! OK, perhaps he’s on the committee as a counter balance to those representatives who want schools to teach communist theories like evolution.

    I’m not lying; my head hurts reading about this guy. My dog would be a better congressman than him.

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  25. Rana said on August 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I always feel guilty when it comes to blood donation. I’m O-neg, not needle-phobic in the slightest, and have free time. But I’ve also got low blood pressure and get light-headed just walking up stairs on a hot day. Even a little tube’s worth means walking gingerly around the rest of the day and an early night. Any advice?

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  26. brian stouder said on August 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Well, as Jeff tmmo always says, “ymmv” –

    but the whole-blood thing always did me in, too. I say “always” even though I’d only ever done it a couple times – but as you say, I passed out every time!

    The worst I’ve felt after pheresis is cranky-tired, but not light-headed or sick.

    And anymore, I don’t even get cranky/tired. The trick is – milk and/or a Tums (if you don’t feel the best) and voila! – you feel better.

    The one IRON CLAD RULE is – before you head for the chair, use the restroom! Even if you don’t think there’s any need, that is “cheap insurance”, as they say!

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  27. brian stouder said on August 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    And Rana – O-neg would make you a Rock star! (even more than you already are, that is)

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  28. adrianne said on August 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Nance, thanks for the link to “Biebertown,” as Stratford, Ontario, will now forever be known! Of course, as the place that spawned Justin Bieber onto the world, that makes Stratford a real cultural landmark, not that Shakespearey-thing that they do every year.

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  29. Bitter Scribe said on August 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    The one time I tried to donate blood, I nearly passed out. I’ll give money, I’ll give time, but my blood has to stay with me.

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  30. Sherri said on August 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Yeah, we’re post-racial all right:

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  31. Sue said on August 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Is there anyone else out there who laughed when they read that Akin had called his comments “ill conceived”?

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  32. brian stouder said on August 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Sue – found art!

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  33. Prospero said on August 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Not just Tampa, but the entire state of FLA has a problem with electing career criminals like Rick Scott and full goose looneys like Allen West. I say, make Puerto Rico a state and give FLA the territory designation. And give Tejas to Mexico if they’ll take it. What would unemployment look like in FLA had Scott not kiboshed the high speed rail project? And why do GOPers have such an immediate and overpowering kneejerk reaction against high speed trains? It works in Japan and Europe because it’s anti-automobile socialism? Like the great socialist bike sharing schemes.

    My friend Lisa says what Akin means is that a victim of “legitimate” rape wasn’t asking for it by the way she was dressed or by having wine with dinner, or using contraceptives, the sluttish hussy. This all goes back to the odious attempt to redfine rape for purposes of limiting access to abortions as “forcible” rape. Remember that GOP golden Oldie? To which I say Honi soit qui mal y pense. I guess Mitts’ rapist GOPer bundler pal in Utah is just a non-forcible rapist. He used rohypnol, and only beat his victims when they didn’t please him.

    I’ve got a bumper sticker that says “Tampa. Where the stupidity meets the humidity.” Tampa is an altogether unpleasant place populated by ignorant crackers, in my experience.

    Sue, isn’t Akin’s body supposed to have some sort of natural mechanism for preventing that from happening. Actually that rape victims not getting pregnant is as popular with the right wing as the total bullshit about abortions causing breast cancer. But just ask Limbaugh. Can’s rape victims just take extra Ortho-Novum?

    Those Mitchell & Webb guys are superb. If the profligate lack of movie imagination ever leads to some fool trying to remake O, Lucky Man or If…, Robert Webb must play Mick Travers.

    I always go for a well-poured pint of Guinness after bloodletting. Marvellous effect.

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  34. Heather said on August 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Rana: if your blood pressure is too low I don’t think they’ll let you donate anyway, so don’t feel guilty.

    I do give blood but I have to admit, I get really annoyed when the blood bank I’m registered with calls me incessantly when they want me to come back in–for a while it was at least once every two days. I told them it was making me less likely to make an appointment. They haven’t done it in a while so I think they got the message. We’re having a donor-a-thon here at work so I’ll do some good and get some free Oreos.

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  35. basset said on August 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Been donating blood for going on forty years now, starting freshman year at IU when Alumni Hall was overflowing with young Hoosiers trying to beat Purdue in total gallonage. Did it, too.

    I used to do apheresis and red cells, but our local Red Cross got so aggressive with the phone calls and so disorganized with the actual donations that I finally gave up. Suppose I should put up with and go back, but they make it so difficult.

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  36. Dexter said on August 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I was in a rage many years ago when I was ordered to give blood.
    I was in army basic training at Fort Knox, near Louisville, Kentucky. I was a 19 year old kid, working my ass off in hard labor in a factory to try to save tuition for college when the draft board snagged me. No deferments for wanna-be students, and I dutifully went into the army under threat of prison if I refused.
    I thought that was enough, but then they wanted my very life’s blood? They said it was for the wounded from Vietnam, and maybe it was, or maybe the fuckers were selling it downtown…you couldn’t trust anybody in the USA’s Vietnam era army.
    So I refused, and I cost my entire training company a weekend pass, they said. You know what? Unlike the soap bar beating that “Private Pyle” took in Full Metal jacket, none of those other trainees ever said a damn word to me. And come Saturday, they all got their weekend passes anyway, and I was supposed to be restricted to barracks but I went downtown too, no big deal.
    When I returned home, I was asked to give blood, and I tried, but I had been in a malaria zone and was rejected, and now I am on so damn much medication they don’t even want to see me at the Red Cross or at their bloodmobile.
    So kudos to brian stouder and all who can give blood; you save lives. It just didn’t work out for me.

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  37. 4dbirds said on August 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Brian, Bill, Dorothy’s Hubby and anyone else who went the extra mile to donate platelets, thank you thank you thank you. When my toddler daughter was being treated for leukemia, she had many, many, platelet transfusions. So many that she became resistant and it took more and more transfusions to bring her counts up. A vicious cycle eventually stopped by the bone marrow transplant. Those donors helped saved her life.

    I read the past couple of days of comments with much interest. I, to comment but knew my passion would get the better of me and I’d say something ugly and hurtful. I have also decided that no one is going to change anyone’s mind. A Road to Damascus moment isn’t going to happen because of some comment I make. I tend to not like people who hold conservative views. I want to like some of them, but find I can’t. This means I avoid some family members, many old high school, army and other aquaintances.

    Rana, I have a girl crush on you after your posts yesterday.

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  38. basset said on August 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Well, some voicemail frustration and a string of demanding phone calls certainly pale next to that.

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  39. LAMary said on August 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    I give blood at my workplace and for every three donations I get a 100 dollar Target card. My only issue is I’m sometimes anemic, so I get turned down about a third of the time.

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  40. Jolene said on August 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    About the comments of the past couple of days, I felt yesterday that
    Jeff (tmmo) took some unfair hits, and I should have said so at the time. I find his presence here generally constructive and his stories interesting. I like a good argument and am more entertained than offended by creative uses of profanity. Even so, I thought the direct shots at Jeff were unwarranted, tending toward insult and cruelty rather than argument.

    At the bottom of the last thread, he said that he was taking a break from I hope the break won’t be too long.

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  41. Dorothy said on August 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I AM needle-phobic and avoided donating for years. After having two C-sections, though, I just learned to look the other way when a needle was aimed towards me, and as long as I don’t watch what they are doing, I’m okay. Please don’t feel guilty, Rana, about not donating! Your problems are legitimate reasons not do so, so don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s certainly not for everyone. I had a co-worker faint in my cubicle about 11 years ago after she donated. She had donated in the van out in the parking lot, then walked up a set of stairs to get back to her desk. She just stopped to chat a moment and then WHOMPH – down she went. Scared the crap out of me. My husband gets calls to donate, but after having colon cancer last year and the anemia that preceded it, our family doctor told him “You need the blood more than they do, so just politely decline when the Red Cross calls you.” Which he does now, guilt-free. His blood levels are back to normal, but for a year or two he’s going to sit out any donating.

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  42. Jolene said on August 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Dorothy, I’d be surprised if they’d allow your husband to donate so soon after a cancer diagnosis. I had melanoma a few years back, and they told me I couldn’t donate until I’d been cancer-free for five years.

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  43. MaryRC said on August 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    LA Mary, Emma actually ticks me off more than Kenneth does. Remember when she called Audrey Hepburn “twee”? Well, Emma, Audrey Hepburn never made “Nannie McPhee”.

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  44. Dorothy said on August 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    You know, Jolene, you’d think when he tells them “I had cancer in 2011” etc. etc. that they’d automatically flag his phone number as someone who cannot give again until 2016 (or whenever). And then not call anymore. But he has to go through the same explanation every time they call. They don’t call so frequently that it makes us mad, and we try to be sure not to get irritated when the Blood Bank calls because it’s such a very important service they do. (I am fully prepared to get pissy with just about any telemarketer who calls and it’s my right to do so!). But when he tells them about his cancer, they’re polite, and then call again in about 3-4 months. *shrug* He did not have chemo or radiation – maybe that’s what makes him a viable candidate. Anyone else know?

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  45. Jolene said on August 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I didn’t have chemo or radiation either–just a small surgery. Most likely, they just work from the same list w/o bothering to flag people who have specific reasons for saying no.

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  46. Connie said on August 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I’m not needle-phobic, but I have difficult veins and you are only allowed to poke me so many times. I was still in college when the Red Cross ladies told me I was not an ideal blood donor and not to worry about not doing it.

    My daughter had major surgery when she was 14 and the doctor had her go in and donate blood for her own use. They asked my kid all the questions they ask adults: have you had sex with anyone from Africa lately? She was so embarrassed, and even more embarrassed that her mother was present for the questions..

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  47. brian stouder said on August 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    My brother had a polyp removed after his colonoscopy, which earned him a 1 year deferment…but it was benign.

    Similarly, if you tell them you got a tattoo, that will get you a one year deferment; or if you tell them you’ve had an accidental needle stick or that you’ve injected drugs not prescribed by a doctor, or if you’ve had sex with a prostitute or used any of the drugs on the deferment list (Propecia sticks in my brain); or if you say you’re currently male or female, but that that you weren’t born that way, that will get you deferred; and so on

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  48. alex said on August 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Breaking news: Phyllis Diller Dead at 95.

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  49. brian stouder said on August 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I would have guessed that she was already dead(!); how old was she? (I’m guessing 106)

    All I remember is “Fang” and the cigarette in the long holder

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  50. Rana said on August 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, all. I guess I’m just still carrying lingering guilt from my college days, when the Red Cross would call me during finals with sad stories about the pediatric unit being in need of blood. That, and the awareness that as an O-neg person, I’d be in a hard spot myself if I needed blood; there are few of us, percentage-wise, and the unpleasant flip side of being a universal donor is being unable to handle anything except O-neg transfusions myself.

    I will comfort myself with visions of some beefy O-neg guy who has tons of blood to give, taking up my slack.

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  51. Prospero said on August 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Well Audrey Hepburn did make Breakfast at Tiffany’s, played Holly Golightly. That seems to be the very definition of “twee” unlesss you figure a photo of the author is next to that word in the dictionary. And Sabrina was pretty much twee. I like Audrey Hepburn movies, but I can see “twee”.

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  52. coozledad said on August 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Rana: I’d take up that slack, but I’m not so much beefy as porky. My o-neg blood would probably leave the recipient feeling somewhat overfull and short of breath.

    I never had much trouble giving blood. No more light-headed or out of it than usual, or so I’d notice. I never gave purely for altruistic reasons, but from a perhaps misguided idea that it’s beneficial to periodically shed some heme iron- just not with a lancet and bowl.

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  53. MichaelG said on August 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I too had many thoughts that I considered posting over the last few days. Then I figured that I wasn’t going to say anything that somebody hadn’t said better (Rana) and I also didn’t want to seem like I was piling on.

    I remember criticizing mm Jeff a year or so ago and he called me a prick.

    When I was in the Army they used to give us the rest of the day off if you gave blood. So guys would give blood in the AM and go to town and get a cheap drunk on being a pint low and all. They wouldn’t take mine because I had just had malaria a couple of times. Now I do it every once in a while. Their phone calls drive me nuts.

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  54. MaryRC said on August 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Prospero: Sabrina possibly, but Holly Golightly was a prostitute, not the very definition of “twee”. And neither were as twee as a Mary Poppins rip-off.

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  55. basset said on August 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    LAMary, that’s a great deal… let’s see, I’m at about eleven gallons just at this blood center, that’d be… hmm, at eight pints to the gallon… and Target sells groceries now…

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  56. Prospero said on August 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Holly Golightly’s outlook on life and her cigarette holder weren’t twee? Could have fooled me. Holly Golightly was a hooker with a heart of gold and a steep estimation of her own cutesyness. She was imbued with twee by her inventor, Truman Capote who was himself decidedly twee in person before the reds and wine kicked in and he got snarling and nasty.

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  57. LAMary said on August 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Basset, I would give blood even if they didn’t give me a Target card, but at 33 bucks a pint I’m still saving the hospital money. They don’t have to buy that pint from the Red Cross. I also get a sticker I can put on my badge. It says, “Be nice to me. I gave blood today.”

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  58. MaryRC said on August 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Sue, I’ve wondered about those particular incidents too and why they struck a public nerve when others didn’t. OK, in Rush’s case he went to such pornographic extremes that people were just disgusted. But what has made Akin’s statement more offensive than, say, the bill that Akin and Paul Ryan tried to sponsor that would limit federally-funded abortions to an act of “forcible rape” (so if you were drugged, in a coma or 12 years old, you’re on your own)?

    I don’t know — social media? Both Akin’s and Rush’s comments got a lot of responses on Twitter.

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  59. Prospero said on August 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Here is very astute analysis from Roy Edroso regarding the vapors that affected rightwing church lady types that were so shocked by Biden’s comments regarding RMoney’s stated intentions to let banks and financial institutions run wild, unregulated again. That is what Biden was talking about, no matter how much racially insensitive GOPers want to feign outrage on behalf of black people about whom they obviously don’t give a shit:

    The whole thing is of a single fabric with Willard’s whining about Bain criticism, on which he has gotten off very easy so far. Make the dickhead explain how the early days of Aain Capital weren’t a money-laundering operation for criminals against humantiy like D’Aubisson and the other death squad patrons. Windsocks own descriptions of his earliest “investors” cast huge shadows on the company’s operations, and the investors were a rogues gallery of people that bought and paid for the muders of Catholic religious in Central America supporting social justice. That was war on religion you bastard, not some bablling bullshit about contraception. I mean, shouldn’t he have to explain whether he was in with Ollie North on the unConstitutional Iran-Contra BNL banking scandal and outrageous GOP dealings with Iran to sway an American Presidential election? Mike Luckovich has a funny representation of the GOPer crybabies:

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  60. Prospero said on August 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Phylis Diller wrote an autobiography entitled Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse, typical of her style of humor. She was compared frequently to Joan Rivers but was waaaaay funnier. She made a truly horrible movie with Bob Hop called Boy, Did I get a Wrong Number, and in 1969, she made a great movie with Milo O’Shea called The Adding Machine, which has fantasy scenes in it as gorgeous as those in the Joel McCrae version of Carousel.Only saw it once, but it’s a personal favorite. She also had a featured role in the excellent Elia Kazan movie Splendor in the Grass, with Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood, a sort of chick flick that really got teenage lust right for the first time in the history of Hollywood. Phyllis Diller was frequently compared with Joan Rivers but was, in fact, a hell of a lot funnier.

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  61. Dexter said on August 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I always loved to watch a talk show with Phyllis Diller as a guest. She was right at the top. For old time comedians, my brother and I were debating this a few days ago. Number one is Jonathan Winters, and no one is in his league.
    Then in Group Two we have Henry Morgan, Henny Youngman, Pat Cooper, George Goebel, Uncle Miltie (now, in death, more remembered for his giant penis, as the story goes), and the two Jackies, Mason and Vernon.
    I think Jackie Vernon made me laugh nearly as hard as Jonathan Winters did.
    Way, way back we had Jack Benny, George Burns, Lum & Abner, Amos & Andy, Moms Mabley…well I had better stop. In between we had Lenny Bruce and Carlin and Rodney Dangerfield and Richard Pryor. Most comedians say Pryor was #1 of all time…do you agree? He was great, but I just have to give the nod to Jonathan Winters as all-time #1.
    Now the torch has been passed to Louis CK .

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  62. Prospero said on August 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    How much of a creep does a candidate have to be to get dumped by Turdblossom Rove?

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  63. Dexter said on August 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Since I was time-travelling above, here’s a story about the history and beginnings of “Dog Day Afternoon” , a movie that came out in 1975.

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  64. LAMary said on August 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Dog Day Afternoon is way up on my list of fave movies. It’s so perfectly NYC of that period.
    Attica. Attica. Attica.

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  65. Prospero said on August 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Dexter. How about Pet Barbutti, the cordeen King?

    My favorite Johnathan Winters was a Christmas skit. He was dressed as Santa and grinned into the camera. He said how about Santa’s teeth kiddies. Doesn’t Santa have beautiful pearly whites? Each one made from a tiny elf skull.” Winters was a little like Charles Addams turning in the cartoon showing the obstetrics nursing station with the nurse asking the ghoulish guy ” shall I wrap it or will you have it here?”I think the first Richard Prior concert movie is the single funniest extended comic performance of all time. ” I ain’t got no money. I ain’t got no teefes. And I sho ain’t got no driver license.” And the dogs next door saying “Wahssamatta Rich?” The movies Richard Pryor made with Gene Wilder were brilliant, particularly Silver Streak and Stir Crazy. George carlin was also very funny, and the greatest Lenny Bruce story was the one about “Screw the Irish”.

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  66. Prospero said on August 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Dog Day Afternoon is a great movie.

    This prick doesn’t favor racist based vote suppression at all. That’s just the race card on my part.

    They may not always have been called Teabangers, but these looneys have been around a long fracking time.

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  67. Dorothy said on August 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    The guy who wrote the original story about Dog Day Afternoon for LIFE magazine (called “The Boys in the Bank”) is in and out of my office all the time. His wife’s office is across from my desk. That would be Kenyon professor P. Frederick Kluge.

    Dexter I’m in complete agreement with you about Phyllis Diller and Jonathan Winters (a Kenyon alum!!), but I never could stand Milton Berle. Everything about him just repulses me. Yeccch. I never could understand why he was so widely thought of as being a brilliant comedian. Comedy is subjective – just like music, which we have all discussed here before with wildly differing opinions. Everyone to their own taste, said the farmer as he kissed his pig.

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  68. coozledad said on August 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    So the CCC, the KKK and the FRC wrote the Republican plank on marriage?
    I guess I just need to be told, in a reasonable, moderate way, why the direct inclusion of hate groups in the RNC is not a warning sign.

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  69. Jolene said on August 20, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I’m a big comedy fan too. Love many of the now-departed performers Dexter mentioned. One more that I think of as being part of that old set of Johnny Carson regulars is Buddy Hackett. Richard Pryor is definitely at the top of the list. Am planning to buy Johnny Carson DVDs to keep me entertained when I’m tethered to an armchair in a nursing home. After watching a bit of Julia Child this weekend, I might put her DVDs on my list too.

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  70. baldheadeddork said on August 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    @Dexter (62): “How much of a creep does a candidate have to be to get dumped by Turdblossom Rove?”

    It’s not about Akin being a creep. Like we saw in Indiana, the tea party turned a gimmie into a race the Republicans had to fight to win even before Akin’s bout of oral diarrhea. Akin was the weakest of the Republican field to go against McCaskill but he narrowly won the primary because of a strong tea party turnout.

    Rove and many others in the GOP establishment want Akin gone by close of business tomorrow (seriously, it becomes harder and more expensive if Akin drops out after 5pm central on Tuesday) so the state Republican party can put in whoever they think has the best chance of beating McCaskill.

    Meanwhile, things that remind me the world would be a better place if the stories in The Onion were true:,29256/?ref=auto

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  71. coozledad said on August 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Baldheadeddork: Akin plagiarized that apology from David Vitter.

    Does that mean he gets to stay in the race?

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  72. Rana said on August 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Wow, who knew there were so many of us O-neg folk here among Nancy’s crowd? I’m used to being the only one!

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  73. baldheadeddork said on August 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Duncan Black (aka Atrios, who calls his blog Eschaton…) has this week been banging the Philly coverage of a new and very expensive Atlantic City casino that is in big financial trouble. The Revel opened just 4 1/2 months ago and is already having to ask its creditors to triple its line of credit because it’s losing a lot of money – ten million a month on average for its first quarter of operation.

    There is no shortage of schadenfreude in the story but the most amazing part is this: One of the first thing NJ Governor Chris Christie did after taking office in 2011 was to grant the owners of Revel a quarter-billion dollars in tax credits (that means real money) so they could finish building the hotel. In return, New Jersey became a 20% minority partner in the project. (While he was at it, the same act removed state controls over the casinos and turned them over to a county board made up of casino owners. Because we know what an incorruptible crowd that can be.)

    This was all state money, handed out at a time when Christie was screaming (literally) that public sector union pensions had to be busted or the state would go bankrupt. But putting aside for a moment that it’s been proven again that Christie is spectacularly full of shit, we’re talking about government picking winners and losers in the fucking casino business.

    I know there is a good, principled argument to be made against, say, the federal government making grants and loan guarantees to private companies in the solar energy business. But at least there you can make a counter-argument that developing renewable energy is very much a long-term economic and security benefit for the country as a whole. How do you have that debate over public financing of a casino that isn’t even open yet?

    I’d ask where the conservative outrage is but, c’mon.

    Good intro in this piece from the Inqy, but keep an eye on Black’s blog if you want to watch this play out.

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  74. alex said on August 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I’d like to see Akin stay in and lose to McCaskill, of course, but it’s worth noting that on any given day Michele Bachmann or Steve King or Joe Walsh can say things that are equally as offensive if not worse and it’s just another dog-bites-man story. Why do they get a pass?

    On edit: Copy desk? Hello? Sounds like a vascular disease, no?

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  75. Prospero said on August 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Well, yeah, there was the astounding Bachmann claim about the normal 13 year old that got an HPV innoculation one day and “woke up the next day with mental retardation”. Exactly how the idiot put it. Like Down Syndrome is a disease.

    Link I meant to include @66:

    This guy got an HPV innoculation and woke up the next day with sodium pentothal in his bloodstream.

    Christie and the casinos? Don’t stop belieeevin’… wipe to black.

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  76. Sherri said on August 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    I’m not used to thinking about O-neg being unusual, since my father, husband, and daughter are all O-neg! I’m A-neg, but can’t donate blood. My father is a longtime blood donor, my husband has been a donor but hasn’t been lately because of difficulty fitting it around his work schedule.

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  77. alex said on August 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I can’t donate blood because I’m a fag. Being in a committed, monogamous relationship with an HIV-negative sero status doesn’t mean shit to the Red Cross. People who peddle their ass on the street can go sell plasma to buy crack and meth but I’m Typhoid Mary as far as the medical community is concerned. Their loss. Or rather their patients’.

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  78. Dexter said on August 20, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    baldheadeddork: We have to credit prospero for the comment @62.
    No problem.

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  79. Prospero said on August 21, 2012 at 12:28 am

    I always liked Jackie Vernon doing the vacation slideshow bit:

    I remember Jackie Mason making obscene gestures at Ed Sullivan.

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  80. Kaye said on August 21, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Blood product donations other than whole blood are less taxing because the net loss of fluid is much smaller. For example, Rana may be a great double-red cells donor. Increased water consumption in the days prior to donation has helped me feel better post-donation.

    Last TV season a legal drama (Harry’s Law maybe) addressed this issue and my thought at the time was “thank goodness this isn’t true.” As I ran through the pre-donation questions last week I was astonished to learn this is a real rule. I’m no expert but iirc there has been a standard HIV test since the late 1980s. Especially when considering the plasma-sellers Alex mentioned this makes the Red Cross ban on donors such as Alex seem absurd.

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  81. baldheadeddork said on August 21, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Ooops. Sorry Dexter.

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  82. Rana said on August 23, 2012 at 3:32 am

    alex, I hear you. That blanket ban is one of the more stupid things out there.

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