Tuning out.

I was reading some of your comments about watching cable-news coverage of the plane crash, and reflecting that this was one breaking-news story I didn’t watch live. I guess it was a conscious decision, except that it was one of those days when it didn’t seem worth spoiling a lovely summer evening to watch cable news.

And based on what some of you were saying about the bleating idiots doing standups on a weekend plane crash, I’m glad I did.

I wonder if it’s the summer that’s doing it. I feel every day passing, and I’m less likely to say, sure, let’s watch the plane crash. It seems so much more efficient to check the NYT for the important facts, feel briefly bad for the people on the plane, and then not miss Wolf Blitzer, et al, repeating the same old bullshit.

Is this how normal people do it? I should try to be more normal.

Today wasn’t one of those magical summer days, unless you enjoy thunderstorms, which I do, but not that much. Alan came home sick, and it rained. I stared at a blinking cursor, and didn’t get out for a bike ride. Which means?


This is a wonderful story, as Hank noted in his recommendation, one that starts as one thing and ends as something else. Miss Teen America goes out for a wilderness camping trip. Read and enjoy.

So, a bunch of people saw “Louder Than Love” over the weekend, and afterward a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame guy suggested a Kickstarter to save the building. Poisonous nostalgia strikes again.

R rated, but only words, and funny ones: The comment section for every article ever written about intimate grooming.

Weiner-Spitzer. Because Weiner-Spitzer.

Sorry for the lameness. Didn’t sleep well last night. I plan to sleep fabulously tonight.

Posted at 12:30 am in Same ol' same ol' |

49 responses to “Tuning out.”

  1. Linda said on July 9, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Re: the intimate grooming thread. The exchanges on those things are a hoot. Once a guy was whining about how a woman’s hair was getting in his way, and the response was, “is your penis made of butter?” I LOL’d.

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  2. ROGirl said on July 9, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I hope Miss Teen America’s next escape lasts longer than a day. It’s a great story.

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  3. Alan Stamm said on July 9, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Wow on Elena Frangedis’ story. Thank you Hank and Nancy.

    Lane DeGregory is one very fine writer. And let’s hear it for a paper that still lets a feature writer go deep and long. In 2013.

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  4. beb said on July 9, 2013 at 8:01 am

    There’s a certain ickiness to both Andrew Weiner and Eliot Spitzer running for office after their sex scandals but neither are any worse than David Vitter’s prostitutes ir Issa’s troubled, alleged criminal past. Plus when serial adulter Newt Gingrich and corrupt Ralph Reed are still considered senior Republican advisers, Weiner and Spitzer look pretty good in comparison.

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  5. alex said on July 9, 2013 at 8:08 am

    So why does anyone have to pass Gloria Steinem’s feminist litmus in order to be a NYC comptroller? It doesn’t make any more sense than candidates for Fort Wayne city offices having to genuflect and kiss the ring of this nutbag.

    I’d say Spitzer has redeemed himself, distasteful as his personal life may be, as the rare conscientious public servant and a true reformer who scares the bejeezus out of the corrupt. Weiner, on the other hand, is an empty suit with zero accomplishments to his name, save for having earned his penis a prime spot in the pantheon of instantly recognizable celebrities. Actually I’m rooting for both candidates as I think they would bring the right balance of seriousness and levity to offices that are respectively lacking at present.

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  6. coozledad said on July 9, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I’ve had trouble sleeping the past couple of nights. Nightmares. I think they’re related to trenching out around our driveway to keep it from washing out in the near daily heavy rains. The resulting aches feed into some dream narratives.

    Last night I woke up screaming about a demon who was trying to absorb me into a hell dimension.”Agghhh! Don’t let it get me!” It had started with my arm, which was sore from shoveling. The demon said I am the demon Lucy Camden. I googled Lucy Camden this morning thinking it would be interesting if she was some tragic historical figure- a casualty of Prince Charlie’s rebellion, maybe. Nope, Lucy Camden is a character on some Christian mental hygiene TV show from the nineties.

    She’s probably part of some unholy trinity with the Demon Amy Grant and the Demon Pat Boone.

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  7. LAMary said on July 9, 2013 at 9:04 am

    cocoz, youre talking about Seventh Heaven? My older son and I got fixated on that show a couple of years ago. The mom either had a prescription drug addiction or needed one. She was one crazy bitch.

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  8. coozledad said on July 9, 2013 at 9:11 am

    LAMary: That’s the one. I never saw it.

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  9. nancy said on July 9, 2013 at 9:32 am

    This is why the official bio that runs on my Bridge copy now says I was once a columnist in Fort Wayne, Ind., without being more specific.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 9, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Just in case you haven’t seen this call back to “The Wire” on Slate.com – http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/07/david_simon_s_the_wire_a_behind_the_scenes_look_at_mcnulty_kima_bunk_and.single.html

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  11. brian stouder said on July 9, 2013 at 10:20 am

    From Nancy’s link:

    And make no mistake: Medicine will inevitably be rationed under Obamacare, just as it is today by medical necessity, economics and choice.

    didja notice how he gently placed that term “economics” into his admission that medical care is rationed right now?

    The central evasion that resides within the scare-term “death panel” is that, right now, if you’ve got no money you simply die automatically.

    A so-called “death panel” is just as much a “life panel”; at least a person has a chance, rather than getting the middle finger from The Invisible Hand.

    And Alex – thanks for ruing lunch! (the sight of Pat Miller’s fat ass is enough to choke a chicken)

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on July 9, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I get the feeling that once Eleana becomes independent, her mother is going to see a lot less of her.

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  13. alex said on July 9, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Brian, I should have said “these nutbags.” I didn’t realize who the Fallwell impersonator was as I never listen to local talk radio. I was referring to the harridan.

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  14. Prospero said on July 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

    The 1940 classic Grapes of Wrath is clearly a movie that does not need a remake, particularly a remake with Steven Spielberg involved. Gutdom, what a horrible idea. I’m guessing Tom Hanks would be cast as Tom Joad, and it is making me wretch. I hope the keeper’s of Steinbeck’s legacy have the good sense to prevent this. Henry Fonda’s haggard, stubbled face in the hobo camp nighttime light is one of the greatest images in the history of film. I always thought John Ford was inspired by this scene from the great Paul Muni:


    I like to spot movies in which the former Rev. Camden plays sleazeballs. He was a good creepy LA lawyer in The Big Picture, one of the most underrated movies ever made. (Pez People rule.) The Lucy Camden character was a sop to the “Christians” that found the Mary Campbell character offensive, and the curly-haired moppet one with the chimp too outre. And Happy the Dog was positively emetic.

    Death panels are real alright. Goober-nor Brewski’s budget cutting in Arizona has led directly to at least two deaths from failure to fund transplants.

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  15. Bob (not Greene) said on July 9, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Also from Nancy’s link: “illusory quest for equality”

    I guess ol’ Kev has given up on that Declaration of Independence tripe. All men aren’t created equal, they are just on an illusory quest for it. Ol’ Kev’s society is a society of self-righteous assholes.

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  16. Charlotte said on July 9, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Oh that poor Teen Queen — she has a long long road ahead of her, and will have to chew off a limb to get away from that mother. Mine wasn’t controlling in those particular ways, but controlling enough that my heart bleeds for the kid. (Also, my life was saved by five summers at a great 8 week summer camp. One I only got to attend because it was expensive, and my mother got the satisfaction of making my dad pay for it.)

    My friend Elwood’s new TV series, The Bridge, premieres tomorrow night — if any of you are watching — it’s on FX. Haven’t seen it yet … mostly we’re all hoping it goes because there’s 5 kids who could use a couple of years of economic stability! Five kids who have given me a stupendous summer cold — my head feels like a pumpkin.

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  17. Prospero said on July 9, 2013 at 11:17 am

    And should anybody doubt what I said about the GOPer death panel in AZ, Here is the documentation, from that well-known bastion of MSM liberal bias, Forbes:


    The Arizona budget that previously provided transplants to people in need was $1.4 million. As there were 99 people on the waiting list for transplants at the time the cuts went into effect, the net result is that the State of Arizona valued each of these lives at something less than $14,000 a person.

    Or $1/2mill+ for the two death sentences. Kinda poingnant the two deaths were caused by liver failure, eh, Brewski? Just remember that when it’s your turn to face the death panel; if that $1.4 million made as big an impact on AZ’s financial problems as it did on the families of your two victims, I’ll eat a 6-pack from one of Mrs. McCain’s Bud distributorships.

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  18. Prospero said on July 9, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Bob(not Greene)@15: Let’s not forget that, as Scam Alito and Silent Clarence Long Dong have said many times, there is no Constitutional guarantee of a right to vote. That would be a perfect illustration of the basic problem of claiming to be originalists, you anti-American shitheels.

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  19. Mark P said on July 9, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Regarding Obamacare critics — there will always be idiots willing to display their ignorance. Little children are usually not eligible for lung transplants because on average they die with or without them, so instead the limited supply of available lungs is used for patients who have a significantly better chance of living after a transplant. And the very idea that god is the alternative “death panel” in the absence of Obamacare is just so stupid there are no words for it.

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  20. brian stouder said on July 9, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Let’s not forget that, as Scam Alito and Silent Clarence Long Dong have said many times, there is no Constitutional guarantee of a right to vote.

    Pros – did those guys actually state that?

    I guess they stopped reading the Constitution before they got to the 24th Amendment, eh?

    One thing that Alex’s and my radio-friend, Pat Miller, is fond of asserting, is that ‘libruls’ just don’t get what the Founding Fathers really meant and intended, back in the good ol’ days of the Revolution and the Washington and then the Admas presidencies –

    and I’m always tempted (just before I change the station) to call in and ask if he’s ever read ANY United States history, at all? I mean – other than from Hillsdale or Pat Robertson U, or other similar flat-Earth societies

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  21. MaryRC said on July 9, 2013 at 11:36 am

    IRL all of the Camden children would kick over the traces and not just Mary — Mom Camden was so smothering and controlling. She wasn’t exactly like Eleana’s mom — she was far too nosy not to have known everything her children were doing — but like Eleana I could see the Camden kids wanting to put some distance between themselves and her and gain some much-needed independence. Except for Mary, who was more or less kicked out of the family circle, I don’t think they ever did.

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  22. brian stouder said on July 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    So I hit Uncle Google with the question that was raised by Pros’ remark about Justice Thomas versus any Constitutional right to vote, and tripped across this. From June of 2009


    Which is pretty good stuff, really.

    PS – calendar trivia: today, in 1846, the United States took San Francisco away from Mexico, during the Mexican-American war

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  23. Prospero said on July 9, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Don’t Fire Until You See The Whites of Their Eyes:



    Miss Teen America fell pretty far from the tree, to her credit. Somebody should have told her about emancipation of minors a few years ago. Actually, Eleana’s mom is like The Leader of the Pack. Good bad, but not evil.

    Alito and Thomas have both insisted many times that since a right to vote is not stated explicitly in the Constitution, there is no such right. Alito has a record of decades insisting on this unAmerican point of view, and insisting it is a point of law. This was the heart of Alito’s majority opinion in Bush v. Gore when the Court ended a legally mandated recount in Florida to deliver the game to the Brooks Bros. rioters.

    Funniest thing ever on Seventh Heaven was Lucy’s unmitigated string of complete doofus boyfriends. The machinations of big bro’s falling for a Jewish girl were pretty bizarre too.

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  24. LAMary said on July 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    They got rid of Mary because Jessica Biel, who played her, got too sexy for the show. That’s my theory.
    My favorite episode featured Hayley Duff, less cute sister of Hillary Duff, giving birth to some teen lout’s child. All the post partum scenes featured her holding what was very obviously not a real baby. The worst simulation of a newborn I’ve ever seen on TV. Having said that, the baby dummy’s acting was better than that of the actress portraying the birth mother.

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  25. coozledad said on July 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Confused no-necked monkey Paul Stam tries to talk sciency against Planned parenthood. If these guys hate women so much, why don’t they just go ahead and suck dick?

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  26. Sherri said on July 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    If college weren’t so expensive these days, young Miss Teen America could dump Mom and her money much easier. I just hope she doesn’t exchange a controlling mom for a controlling husband.

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  27. Heather said on July 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    That line in the teen queen article about her mom and her deciding that her friends “weren’t good for her” was chilling. Maybe they weren’t, but it sounds like Mom would resent any friends.

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  28. adrianne said on July 9, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    On Weiner-Spitzer (as the New York tabs thank the news gods for this crazy duo running for public office):

    Both men have egos the size of small planets and are convinced that voters are just dying to return them to office. Um, no, we’re not, really, thank you for trying! But on the whole, I have to say that Spitzer is the most odious of the two, since his patronizing of prostitutes happened while he was a): first the attorney general and then the governor of the state of New York and b): an officer of the court.

    Another only-in-New York-detail: Kristin Davis, the madam who supplied Spitzer and others with prostitutes, is also running for New York City comptroller on the Libertarian line. God help the Empire State.

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  29. Peter said on July 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm


    Teen Queen: Having grown up by a Greek neighborhood, it’s my opinion that Greek Mothers make Asian Moms look like meth’ed up trailer park queens. I think her only hope to get a normal life is to introduce Mom to her Turkish and/or Black boyfriend.

    Weiner-Spitzer: I said it before, and I’ll say it again – Those two think that they’re the only ones who can do the job, yet there’s who knows how many who could do it better and are able to keep their pants zipped. As for Newt and his ilk – in their case, there aren’t any who would be better. That’s how bad the GOP has become.

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  30. LAMary said on July 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    For some reason I have the attention span of a fruit fly today. I’m being distracted by the office mate fundie’s dress. The pattern of the print looks like fried eggs that were cooked in square pans. Slightly larger than actual size fried eggs all over the dress. It’s really ugly.

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  31. Deborah said on July 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Great links today. Sad about the Miss Teen’s mom but the kid seems as though she will survive in spite of her.

    Weiner Spitzer, I just had to type that.

    LA Mary, I wish you could share a photo of your office mate fundie’s dress (auto correct kept trying to type “fun die”, I suspect that would be a good description too).

    Brian, I will certainly let you know what I think of The Lone Ranger after I see it tonight.

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  32. mark said on July 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    That pattern on the dress sounds just like the pattern on the scarf wrapped around the head of the muslie that works here. Really ugly.

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  33. Bitter Scribe said on July 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Peter @29: The real problem with Greek mothers—and I’m talking about real ones, from Greece—is that too many of them see their sons as blessings and their daughters as burdens.

    I got to see this close-up with a couple of my cousins. Their mother, my aunt, was basically a very sweet person, but she bought into that whole mentality, worshiping her son while ignoring her daughter.

    She didn’t do either of them any favors. The daughter went completely off the rails as a teenager—staying out all night, abusing drugs and alcohol, screaming curses at her mother and anyone else within earshot. The son, for his part, grew up very spoiled, selfish and manipulative, especially when it came to relationships with women.

    The good news is that they seem to have straightened out somewhat as adults.

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  34. brian stouder said on July 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Mary, sounds like an interesting dress.

    If she has a pair of sunny-side-ups in the right places, her ensemble might be downright fascinating!

    I’ve been a little bit ‘on egg-shells’ in the office today, as the virulent anti-obama crickets are in full-song, for whatever reason. I will say that, as I near the end of Jon Meacham’s book on TJ, I am better appreciating President Jefferson’s greatness than I would otherwise. President Jefferson clearly steered a very good course, amidst a political maelstrom that was very much worse than anything we decry, here in 21st century America.

    Worth recalling, as the Republigoon chuckleheads in Texas and Wisconsin and North Carolina (for examples) continue to sow the seeds of division and even outright suppression. I think our modern Republicans (so-called) are our own modern-day Federalists, who don’t believe in republican democracy at all, but instead subscribe to some sort of incoherent elitism, wherein net financial worth is an unassailable measure of one’s fidelity to All That is Righteous and Good in this world (and isn’t it just so sad that some people get disnfranchised for “economic” reasons?)

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  35. brian stouder said on July 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Deborah, I look forward to it!

    For all my fulminating about the movie, our 17 year old liked it, and our 9 year old (who I was actively concerned about) couldn’t have cared less about it.

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  36. brian stouder said on July 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    (and our 15 year old was more concerned with keeping the popcorn refilled, and away from her brother – but we digress!)

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  37. LAMary said on July 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I would try to sneak a photo but if she caught me she would really be pissed off. I annoyed her yesterday when I commented about her facebook posting of the Mets song. She wrote (why? I don’t know) “Meet the Mets, meet the Mets, Step right up and greet the Mets. Bring your kiddies, bring your wives…”
    It should be “bring your wife” not only because it makes sense, but the next line is “guaranteed to have the time of your life.”
    So I asked her if she was doing the Mormon version of the song. She said no, that was the correct version. I told her to continue, and when she got to the word life she realized it wouldn’t work. I suggested that it would work if you were targeting the Mormon/Hindu families in the NYC area.
    “Guaranteed to have the time of your lives….”

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  38. Bitter Scribe said on July 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    LAMary: The Hindu-Mormon segment of the population has been sadly neglected.

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  39. LAMary said on July 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Especially in the marketing of major league baseball in the greater NYC area.
    The office mate fundie should just put on her fried egg dress and get out there and fill that gaping hole in sports marketing.

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  40. brian stouder said on July 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    And regarding Nancy’s theme of ‘tuning out’, couldn’t agree more with regard to the airplane, but I WILL tune into Lawrence O for the Whitey Bulger outburst and for the long-simmering Zimmerman trial update, and most of all – the three women in Cleveland.

    In fact, Rachel oughta’ be good tonight, too

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  41. MarkH said on July 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Prospero – How could Samuel Alito write a majority opinion in the Bush v. Gore case when he wasn’t appointed to SCOTUS until 2006? Try again.

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  42. MarkH said on July 9, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Prospero @14 – Here’s where I completely agree with you. Grapes of Wrath should be required reading, and the movie declared an untouchable national treasure. I watch my dvd copy once or twice a year all the way through. The migrant worker describing his childrens’ death from heart failure due to starvation and bloated bellies is one of the most heartwrenching scenes on film. Any remake is unconsciounable and would never come close to Ford, Fonda, Darwell, Carradine, et.al.

    What were we all talking about yesterday regarding the Asiana 214 crash, “Asian culture” in the cockpit? Seems we may have been onto something:


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  43. Prospero said on July 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Alito made that comment in his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I misremebered it rather than looking it up. He said it in response to a question about Shrub v. Gore. Somehow, senators still voted for the asshole, including Justice O’Connor, who later admitted it was a mistake to take the case at all in direct contradiction to FLA state law. I realized my error earlier driving to Savannah. Meant to correct it earlier. The question was a gotcha for Alito, because nobody in his right mind would have expected somebody that expressed that opinion to ever be confirmed.

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  44. alex said on July 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Now here’s something that’s flying totally under the radar of our local media, always asleep at the wheel.

    Well, I attended one of these subversive weddings at a Presbyterian church. Does that make me an accessory to the crime? Should I be consulting a criminal attorney?

    Honestly, whenever people make fun of Appalachians and southerners I reflexively defend them. The Republican base in Indiana is dumber and meaner by half.

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  45. coozledad said on July 9, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    The only way to address gutless Republicans and their bullshit bronze age medicine.

    The world’s been trying without success to spit these inbreds out from the day they first started digging the hookworms out of their ass on the school bus.

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  46. Minnie said on July 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    By all that’s numinous, I am proud to be a human being and especially pleased to be an uppity woman after watching coozledad’s Gawker post.

    And thank you Alex for recognizing that ignorance is not confined to any particular region.

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  47. Sherri said on July 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Brian, have you ever read A Magnificent Catastrophe by Edward Larson? It’s about the Presidential election of 1800, between Adams and Jefferson. It made today’s elections look tame. That book and Fraud of the Century by Roy Morris, Jr about the 1876 election helped me survive Bush v. Gore…

    Just saw an amazing production of King Lear this afternoon at OSF.

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  48. Jolene said on July 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Sherri, I envy your trip to OSF. I was there years ago and had a wonderful time. Such a lovely place.

    Am thinking about moving back Seattle. The opportunity to see the plays in Ashland with a tolerable drive would be part of the draw.

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  49. basset said on July 9, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    The Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire photo department about a month ago, saying that reporters would be trained to take iPhone pictures… now the former photogs have an exhibit about to open, “See What You Missed”: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/C-Notes/July-2013/Interview-with-Charles-Osgood-See-What-You-Missed/

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