Death and Detroit.

Those of you who live in the nation’s squeaky-clean places, your Iowas and Minnesotas, with their fine schools and responsible public servants who actually live up to the name, pray tell: With what do your local papers fill their front pages, stories of kittens being rescued from trees? This was an inside story Thursday:

At 6:10 p.m., a 21-year-old man was fatally shot in the 11200 block of Craft. Police sources say it took several hours for Wayne County Medical Examiners to pick up the body, which lay in the street.

“That incensed the crowd,” a police supervisor who was at the scene told The News. “Something like that is entertainment for a lot of people; you could probably sell beer and popcorn.”

The officer described a chaotic scene: “The street lights were out, and it was dark” he said. “The body was laying in the street covered by a blanket for hours. There were 200 people out there getting crazy. We put crime scene tape up, but they crossed the tape. We got on a bullhorn to tell them to disperse; they didn’t comply.

“Finally, we had to call the (Special Response Team) and officers from across the city to keep the crowd away from the crime scene so homicide could investigate,” the officer said.

It reportedly took between 4 and 6 hours before the morgue picked up the body.

Inside the paper, and 11 paragraphs into the story! Above it were details on the 19 other shootings, two carjackings and a sexual assault that all took place in Detroit over the past weekend.

Sometimes I can’t believe this place. Oh, and in case you’re wondering what the Page One stories were, well, there was this:

In bankrupt and frequently bizarre Detroit, dying is easy. It’s proving you are dead that’s hard.

The story was about a days-long gap in getting certified copies of birth and death certificates from the city’s vital records department, in the days after the bankruptcy filing. The reason? To be official, they must be printed on a special embossed paper, and the paper vendor was demanding cash instead of selling on credit.

Well, they warned us bankruptcy would be a bumpy road. Guess they were right.

Bloggage for a long weekend? Yes, we haz it:

I was just saying the other day how “consider the source” has never been more important for news consumers, a fact that was made abundantly clear by this p.o.s. “news story” on a once-reputable local radio station’s website.

You know how people once used to believe incubi and succubi existed, demons that would enter a person’s room at night and have sex with them? And then it was all about aliens and their anal probes? An interesting take on how culture affects psychosis: Paranoid schizophrenics now hallucinate about hidden cameras and reality TV:

The first person to examine the curiously symbiotic relationship between new technologies and the symptoms of psychosis was Victor Tausk, an early disciple of Sigmund Freud. In 1919, he published a paper on a phenomenon he called ‘the influencing machine’. Tausk had noticed that it was common for patients with the recently coined diagnosis of schizophrenia to be convinced that their minds and bodies were being controlled by advanced technologies invisible to everyone but them. These ‘influencing machines’ were often elaborately conceived and predicated on the new devices that were transforming modern life. Patients reported that they were receiving messages transmitted by hidden batteries, coils and electrical apparatus; voices in their heads were relayed by advanced forms of telephone or phonograph, and visual hallucinations by the covert operation of ‘a magic lantern or cinematograph’. Tausk’s most detailed case study was of a patient named ‘Natalija A’, who believed that her thoughts were being controlled and her body manipulated by an electrical apparatus secretly operated by doctors in Berlin. The device was shaped like her own body, its stomach a velvet-lined lid that could be opened to reveal batteries corresponding to her internal organs.

Although these beliefs were wildly delusional, Tausk detected a method in their madness: a reflection of the dreams and nightmares of a rapidly evolving world. Electric dynamos were flooding Europe’s cities with power and light, their branching networks echoing the filigree structures seen in laboratory slides of the human nervous system. New discoveries such as X-rays and radio were exposing hitherto invisible worlds and mysterious powers that were daily discussed in popular science journals, extrapolated in pulp fiction magazines and claimed by spiritualists as evidence for the ‘other side’. But all this novelty was not, in Tausk’s view, creating new forms of mental illness. Rather, modern developments were providing his patients with a new language to describe their condition.

Finally, one to leave you disgusted and/or heartened: The Crusading Sisterhood of Revenge-Porn Victims.

Let’s all have a great weekend, and maybe we’ll see Deborah’s completed bathhouse before too long. When next we speak, it’ll be September! How’d that happen?

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Detroit life |

82 responses to “Death and Detroit.”

  1. Dexter said on August 30, 2013 at 1:03 am

    nance, that ain’t all…Frank Beckmann was badgering a young Detroit woman today; he had apparently sent a mic crew out to a McDonald’s to interview a random striking worker.
    She said she was working to support her household, an injured dad, a non-working mother, and a little sister who also contributed by running a paper route. She said she had some college credits but was not currently attending college, and then Beckmann told her “everybody in this country has a right and a chance to go to school and be whatever they want to be…why work at McDonald’s, why not go back and get a degree and get a better paying job?”
    The woman explained she had been applying, but no one was hiring, and she needed that sheepskin, but it was a real struggle making everything happen on her small wages, and they were demanding $15 per hour for wages.
    Beckmann then began a spiel about how McDonald’s was already paying a fair wage and they weren’t obligated to pay unskilled workers a wage as high as $15.
    That woman was a patient saint! She kept trying to educate Beckmann, trying to educate him so maybe he wouldn’t keep screaming the new code word: “entitlements”. Anybody who keeps bandying that word around is a goddam racist. Period.
    Frank Beckmann is the host of a morning show on WJR-AM, Detroit.

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  2. Brandon said on August 30, 2013 at 1:09 am

    “With what do your local papers fill their front pages, stories of kittens being rescued from trees?”

    Thursday’s edition of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald had on its front page an article titled, “In Your Dreams Home: Hilo Developer Builds $26 Million Pleasure Dome on Hamakua Coast”.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 30, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Here’s our top two, with the first about a parishoner at my former church; he and his wife are really nice people, taking care of his dad at home until just a few years ago, and then not long after we had his funeral, they moved her mother in with them.

    Farewell tour begins for 50-year football official

    Residents report less crime in their neighborhood

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  4. beb said on August 30, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Detroit’s relationship with its vendors has never been good. Soon after I hired in, which is getting close to 30 years ago, I heard that a hardware store near the Wastewater treatment plant had gotten so tired of the City’s delays in paying its bills that when some city workers came to pick up some parts – with cash, not a check – the owner refused to sell to them. In Detroit even your cash wasn’t good enough.

    Things have gotten better since.

    I wonder – hint to BRIDGE – whether the economic return on subsidies to moves that film in Michigan is more than the amount of the subsidy. The word on municipal funded Sports Arena is that they are a huge gift to mega-rich club owners and a loss for the city. I got to wondering about this following news that the state was giving $35 million in rebates to the Superman-Batman movie. The legislature had to have its arm twisted (and then some) just to pass an expansion of medicare which helps actually residence of Michigan but giving money to Hollywood seems to be a no-brainer.

    Frank Beckmann needs to have that MacDonald’s employee “budget” shoved in his face. A budget that requires two full time minimum wage jobs and $0 for heating to work, and have him explain why a job at MacDonald’s is so awesome.

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  5. coozledad said on August 30, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Well, damn.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on August 30, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Wait–nothing about the heroic kitty-rescuers in NYC?

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  7. alex said on August 30, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I may have shared here before that an old high school classmate resurfaced in town who became schizophrenic in adulthood and drives others to madness even when she’s on her meds. And when she’s off she can make your head explode.

    She had married and moved to Florida after graduation and in the interim her husband left her, her mother died, her sister became a crack head and is now a full-on meth head, and her father, who had divorced her mother to marry a bimbo younger than his daughters, has nothing to do with either of his daughters, nor they him. She’s very much alone in the world and came back here hoping to rekindle old relationships. Though I feel sorry for her, I had to cut off contact because if she could have it her way she’d have me on the phone 24/7 listening to her babbling and talking crazy shit and not allowing me to get a single word in edgewise.

    What’s remarkable about her paranoia is that it isn’t centered on the latest technology but rather the latest political rhetoric. She thinks the federal government is in cahoots with the Muslim Brotherhood and the United Nations and that they’re controlling her mind by drugging her with Geodon and whatever other psych meds have been prescribed. She’s on disability and federal aid pays for her meds, ergo the government is controlling her mind. And not doing a very effective job of it, in my opinion.

    Last I heard from her, it was a rambling voice mail that I had to stop listening to after about three minutes. For all I know it might have gone on for hours, a convoluted story about the police showing up at 3 AM and dragging her out of bed and beating the living crap out of her.

    I’m not sure what help is available for someone like this. I suspect she’s barely competent to manage her own affairs and not quite sure how she gets by.

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  8. Hattie said on August 30, 2013 at 10:20 am

    What does anyone expect. Detroit has been left to rot. You’d think we’d be ashamed.

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  9. MichaelG said on August 30, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Headline in the Bee today: Sluggish pace for new jails. The story is that the State came up with some $$ to help locals build jails six years ago but to date no new jails have been completed.

    Now you all know why I wear a tinfoil hat.

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  10. brian stouder said on August 30, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Alex, no fun.

    I’ve seen carzy, but not in the up-close/personal way you describe.

    Sounds like she needs serious institutional help, which marks me as 50 years out-of-date, I suppose

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  11. Charlotte said on August 30, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Well, Billings big story is the idiot judge who doesn’t understand what statutory rape is, and last week we had a home-invasion burglar who broke into a home owned by the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul and beat up two elderly nuns.

    And Seamus Heaney! Such a lovely man. In college I went to Dublin to study Joyce, and wound up in a program for American students with great profs, but kind of lame students — Seamus Heaney and Seamus Deane came one night to do a reading (most of my fellow students had never been to a reading and I had to explain what it was). Station Island had just come out — they were wonderful and funny and very very good. Seamus Deane told a hilarious story about scarfing all the devilled eggs at a party at Berkeley in the late 60s only to find out that wasn’t paprika, but mescaline sprinkled on top. Tripped for three days, he said. They read, the future Nobel Laureate and his best friend, to a room with about twelve of us. Three of us were headed up the following week to tour Donegal and the north, so we asked the two of them where we should go for drinks. Nancy’s Bar in Ardara is the only one I remember, and the copy of Station Island in which they wrote our pub crawl was lost in a move in my 20s. Could kick myself still. Anyhow, a raised glass to a lovely warm man, a great storyteller, and a gorgeous poet. Too soon. Only 74.

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  12. MarkH said on August 30, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Not kittens exactly, but we do have front page stories on a cat, canines, and…sheep.

    A mountain lion (we try to refrain from using the also correct ‘cougar’ for obvious reasons) has found its way into town, on a pathway near schools, no less, scaring the locals. This is a rarity, although they are known to inhabit the steep canyon behind our home. Authorities are hoping the cat has just moved on.

    Several wolf packs are within howling distance of the more urban areas of our valley, sometimes they come into town as well. In a bizarre late night incident last week, however, several wolves just over the hill in Victor, Idaho harrassed part of a heard of sheep to death. They kept circling them into a tighter and tigher group until they fled down a hill trampling and crushing each other. The wolves attacked only a half dozen and partially consumed one that night. Forest and wildlife officials then removed them.

    A follow-up:

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  13. MarkH said on August 30, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Sorry, Nance. One too many links put my previous post in moderation.

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  14. Judybusy said on August 30, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Nancy, it was really interesting to read how the newest technology got incorporated into delusions so early on. It’s a very common sympton, as is religious preoccupation. Orson Scott Card’s recent rants remind me a lot of what some of my patients say; you could lift them, insert them into a patient chart, and we’d probably comment it was pretty creative but of course totally delusional.

    That revenge porn sounds so awful. I hope the federal law can get created, and that women become savvy about nude pictures. One woman had emailed a topless selfie to herself, but her email got hacked, and the picture shared, so it’s not just that one would send them to a boyfriend.

    I will report later what our headlines are in the StarTribune today. Print and electronic versions are always different, so I’ll check out the newsstand.

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  15. Minnie said on August 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    “The Virginian-Pilot”, Norfolk: Three articles from “The Washington Post”. Then on the lower left the head “Vick Nears a Win Over Bankruptcy”. Highlighted quotation from Michael, “The most important thing to me was just to get myself back to doing what I love to do: play football.”

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  16. Bill said on August 30, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Not front page, but this from Eric Zorn:

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  17. Prospero said on August 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Revenge Porn? Don’t take the pictures. Simple as that. I have one or two nekkid photos of women I’ve lived with, but I took ’em and I ain’t publishing. What sort of pathetic prick would even consider doing that? It certainly makes the perp out to be an asshole, and naked women, hell, most of them look just fine to me.

    Wendy notwithstanding, I believe wolves are the most beautiful mammals on earth. Gators are the most beautiful reptiles, and the Brown Pelican is surely the best looking bird God created. Apropos of nothing whatever. And how is it difficult for creationists to figuere God was smart enough to work out Evolution? Kept Her from an eternity of boredom. And wolves eat sheep and ranchers have a good enough deal as it is. Better than most of us.

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  18. Prospero said on August 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Living with a schizophrenic is challenging. I have to decide every night whether to hide the knives. And I am not joking. But as Mickey and Sylvia said best, Love is Strange.

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  19. adrianne said on August 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Well, it wasn’t the front page, but the tale of two kittens halting subway service to Brooklyn got some decent play. The Post’s headline: “Commuters fur-ious as kittens scratch subway service for 2 hours.”

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  20. Prospero said on August 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Stanley Kubricks’s best movie is on Turner Movie Channel tonight. Paths of Glory. A great performance by Kirk Douglas. Astoundingly great movie.

    Holy shit.

    Here’s the Island Packet front pageI don’t think bud stands a chance at trial. It used to be a weekly, but now it’s a decent Daily. Cheesy name remains.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on August 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Charlotte, thanks for making Seamus real to me. What a lovely tale.

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  22. Charlotte said on August 30, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Julie — the Gawker link has many lovely stories too — he was a lovely man. Seems too young, 74.

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  23. Prospero said on August 30, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    They’ll give any fool a gun license in America.

    I saw Seamus Heaney speak years ago at the Bosotn Globe Book Show. Vonnegut and Doctorow were also on the bill that yearMay have been the accent, but Heaney was the best speaker of the three. Kurt V. was strange, but enteertaining, and Doctorow was pretty full of himself. I do think Ragtime is a terrific book. Not Sirens of Titan terrific but mighty damn good. Heaney made a joke about having one parent Irish and one Scots. He said he knew he wanted a drink but he really didn’t want to pay for it. Years later, I heard the great Scottish fiddler, Robbie Fitgerald tell the same joke at the Somerville theater. Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf is a masterpiece

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  24. ROGirl said on August 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    If the kitties had ridden in the subway, they would have seen the sign that says, “La via del tren subterraneo es peligrosa,” and they wouldn’t have tried to be farebeaters.

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  25. Prospero said on August 30, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Maybe those cats were after the shark that rode the subway last week.

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  26. Judybusy said on August 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I didn’t get out of the office till it was time to leave today, so I don’t know what’s on the newstands. Online, it’s not a story about kittens, but how wolf pups might revitalize the population on Isle Royale…..

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  27. Prospero said on August 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Why GOPers don’t like ACA when they did before. The only difference is tha first five letters of Obamacare.

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  28. Prospero said on August 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    My hero for today.

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  29. Prospero said on August 30, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Bill Clinton hit the nail on the head.It shouldn’t be easier to get an assault weapon than it is to vote in the USA.

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  30. Deborah said on August 30, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    A hard day at Beaver Brook: Today I hit the wall and experienced burn out. George, one of the instructors, warned us about Friday. All my muscles hurt, I have bruises on my pelvic bones from wearing my tool belt, bruises on my ankles from my hiking boots. I am feeling useless because I don’t have the physical capacity to do some of this and that makes me feel guilty and lame.

    I quit early (5pm) showered and helped Oscar the chef make gnocchi from scratch while the rest of the folks stayed down at the site working on the siding until about 6:30.

    I also took a bit of time off earlier and just walked in the woods. I am also experiencing social overload and needed some solitude. I like time to myself or only being in one on one situations.

    I know I’ll bounce back, I just hit a low point.

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  31. Judybusy said on August 30, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    I hear you, Deborah. Everybody, no matter how extroverted, needs that down time. You’ve already amazed yourself this week, I think!

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  32. Crazycatlady said on August 30, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    In Mishawaka Indiana, there is a place that advertises same-day MRI scans.It has one of those LED billboards with changing messages. The sign talks about Vertical open MRI’s and brags “You can watch TV while being Scanned!” I told my daughter that someone with a mental illness would interpret that as getting your brain scanned by a TV! Now even houses are wired to outside companies.Comcast can wire your house for smart-phone control and monitoring, even to control the thermostat. And the NSA is enough to push them over the edge. Crazy-making, isn’t it??

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  33. Dexter said on August 31, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Crazycatlady, I had an MRI in the old style coffin with the goddam lid two inches from my eyelids and vowed never again. Ever since that day I have severe claustrophobia.

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 31, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Brian, I’m of two minds about institutional care, which obviously would qualify me for institutional care in some settings.

    The model for psychiatric care has moved decisively away from large scale residential facilities, due to chronic issues that may or may not have been inevitable in the dynamics of large staff and program set-ups. What we’re supposed to applaud in the days post-deinstitutionalization is community-based mental health, with county or city level clinics, drop-in centers, adult day facilities, and on-call & emergency intervention teams. All that we did for sure was fund (minimally) the county/community mental health programs, and offer a scattering of leavings for motivated mental health advocates to pursue through grant applications and the endless round of [bleeping] fundraisers to keep open their day & drop-in centers.

    What Alex’s friend needs is some kind of “wrap-around” care, ideally from a multi-disciplinary team, where she gets supportive housing with a case manager, and support/reinforcement to maintain wellness with nutrition and exercise, regular counseling on a reasonable schedule, management of her meds, along with general practitioner level medical care to watch her hydration, sodium, potassium, hormones, and of course BP and renal function. If there’s a mental health and recovery organization, or even just a 2-1-1 number to call, and ask “are there wrap-around services for people with recurring mental health issues that make them a potential danger to self and others?” (because if you think they are a current danger to self and others, 2-1-1 or whomever will tell you to call 9-1-1 or local law enforcement, and/or get them to an ER, so that the state-mandated emergency services provider can kick in and start billing, I mean, helping the person).

    If the 2-1-1 or MHR agency you call knows what “wrap-around” is, there’s probably something to refer her to. If they think you’re talking about sunglasses to go with your tin foil hat, you only have the ability to get her checked by adult protective services, but if she’s untreated or unmanaged currently, that least best option may be something. APS is often housed along with child protective services, whose number is usually easier to find in most localities.

    I hope that’s helpful to someone or anyone, Alex included.

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  35. alex said on August 31, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Thanks, Jeff. A while back I called the non-emergency police number and asked if someone from one of the social service agencies could check up on her one day when she sounded particularly out of it. I don’t know where she’s living — alone in an apartment somewhere is my understanding — but I gave them the contact info for someone who knows where she lives. I suspect this may be the “police beating” incident about which she left me some lengthy voice mails.

    I don’t know what kind of help she is receiving other than medical care from a free/reduced fee clinic. When she first came back to town one of her old friends took her in but found her impossible to live with and got her set up in her own apartment. She has an adult daughter living in Florida somewhere but I don’t know what sort of relationship, if any, they have at this point.

    I was surprised she would come back here as she lived here only during her high school years, which she says she remembers as her happiest. Her father was a corporate executive who got transferred around a lot, and that’s how her family eventually ended up in Florida.

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 31, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Frustrating though it may feel, sometimes the only way to push through is to make new reports, calmly restating the “new” event or occurrence that cause you to believe she may be a potential hazard to self or others, or may be in danger of abuse from others, even if it’s just a new voice mail. You have to be able to point to some new development since the last call, and sadly you can’t always count on hearing a totally supportive response (“have you contacted this person’s relatives? did you directly observe someone making these threats to her? have you filed a police report?”) since they’re doing their own rough, largely budget and legally imposed triage, but after a third and fourth adult protective filing, you can quietly force the case another rung up the ladder. If there’s another person you know you can get to make a call to that number and say “I wanted to file a report of concern about a person you may not be aware of . . .” the number of angles they perceive the concern coming from can force action.

    You can’t just go in and get a competency hearing on an unwilling adult without cause, and “generating” that cause is a higher bar to cross than it was when “Harvey” and “Arsenic and Old Lace” were written. You could, not long ago, have your mother committed pretty easily, even if she was the widow of a President (your ball, Brian S.), and now a person can roam the streets known to be unhinged and occasionally driving without a license, and you can’t get anyone to help you stop them. Not at first, anyhow. It takes patience and persistence, and I’d offer a little prayer for you as well. The arc is usually a sudden leap from “no one cares or will help” to “yikes, there’s five agencies calling asking me question…”

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  37. Prospero said on August 31, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Speaking of mental illness, Sly Stone is one weird mofo. I guess he could call up Johnny and Edgar.

    And how coold is this old guy?

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  38. beb said on August 31, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Disturbing news on the NSA front. The owner of Lavabits, a security minded email service that shut down recently has been threatened with arrest for shutting his company down rather than comply with a still secret government order.

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  39. Prospero said on August 31, 2013 at 10:58 am

    A great song by Sly and the Family Stone most people have never heard. The singsongy vocal and the lyrics seem at odds, like Mo Tucker singing If We Close the Door, the Night Can Last Forever. Sly”s sister Rose sings the song. I’ve heard all of the no-show stories a bout Sly, but I saw the band at Ford Auditorium around ’68, and they blew the roof off, opening for the Chambers Brothers, who might have been even bette. Strangely, Iron Butterfly was on that bill. Great show.

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  40. Watson said on August 31, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Charlotte, was that the School of Irish Studies in Dublin? And did you study Joyce with the astonishing David Norris?

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  41. Prospero said on August 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Here’s a guy with a refreshingly intelligent perspective on paying employees.

    Jim Demented, victim of terminal assholism.

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  42. Prospero said on August 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Also, speaking of mental illness, and particularly schizophrenia, here’s Louie Gohmert, full goose loony and proud of it. Why does this guy always look like he’s about to break down in tears.

    Regarding that Taco guy paying $10/hr., didn’t Henry Ford say something about its being fooish to keep your workers wages too low because they can’t buy your product?

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  43. Prospero said on August 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Cat rescue. A while back, I was riding my bike to Barnes&Noble and discovered a 6 or 7-ft. gator trapped in a storm drain. Gators are cold-blooded and need to move around in the sun in cold weather to remain healthy. I finally got ahold of a private company that does wildlife removals. Sheriff wasn’t having anything to do with it, nor was the fire department. The gator wrangler was a real character, in a good ol’ boy way, except that a good ol’ boy would have killed the animal instead of driving him over to the beautiful wildlife preserve at Savannah. That damn thing was a serious handful when they got him our of the storm drain and tried to take off on HWY 278, where he undoubtedly would have been squashed by a truck. A friend and I paid $200 for the gator witness protection transport, and agreed it was cash well spent.

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  44. brian stouder said on August 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Prospero, I think Gohmert thought that Hunger Games was nonfiction; or that his voters might believe that it is.

    It’s like when a NASCAR driver takes the obligatory swig of Coca-Cola (or whatever soft drink she or he endorses) before being interviewed… a semi-subliminal nod to the people who fund him….freeze-dried survivalist food sellers (Shit-for-brains-Sean Hannity will even tell you that that stuff is delicious…mmmm MM!).

    All through my adult life, one of the cliche’ political observations is that the (presidential) out-of-power party is on the rocks, headed for extinction, etc.

    When President Carter lost to Ronald Reagan so decisively, this was what they said about the Democratic party. And when Bill Clinton defeated Bush-41, he indeed did that with a changed Democratic party approach. Much more corporate, and the whole ‘third way’/triangulation mish-mash.

    So, I won’t say the Republican party is dead; they’re anything but, right at the moment. But Gohmert and the Canadian misty Cruz (et al) ARE eating their seed-corn. The party will have to moderate, or else relegate itself to crank-status rather than governing

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  45. brian stouder said on August 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    and btw – member of congress King can go straight to hell, saying the president has “abdicated his responsibility” by agreeing Congress should have a voice in any attack on Syria

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  46. Kirk said on August 31, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    A New York Times News Service article about the documentary maker Morgan Spurlock, who has a new film out on the boy band One Direction, misstated the subject of his 2012 movie “Mansome.” It is about male grooming, not Charles Manson. The article also misspelled the name of the production company of Simon Cowell, on whose “X Factor” talent competition show One Direction was created. The company is Syco, not Psycho.

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  47. Prospero said on August 31, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I don’t know if any of y’all watch Continuum, but it’s an excellent TeeVee Science Fiction dealing with the ultimate anomaly, Time Travel. But the final episode featured a knock down drag out that was the best fight I’ve ever seen in a television show, and the righteous woman kicked the male supersoldier’s ass. It was astounding.

    Steve King cn really kiss my ass. What a moron. I believe the Navy can target Assad, and while I don’t believe in capital punishment, that seems like a fitting end to Assad. Remember, Shrub was all over Assad and Quadaffhi saying the were moderates he could work with. The blowback for going after Assad will come from Hizbollah, and innocents will die. There was a time when backbiting the President in this sort of situation would end a sorry ass politician’s career. That was a better time. There is such a confederacy of dunces and the outright feeble-minded in the GOP, it’s hard to imagine anything ever coming out right for America. Look at these clowns. Paul Broun, who says evolution and the Big Bang theory are lies from the pit of hell. Rand Paul, who has lived without a proper crapper in his house for 20 years and once kidnapped some college babe and told her he was AquaBuddha and forceedd her to smoke pot. Why would anybody have to force someone to smoke pot. It’s such a comfortable and companionly thing to do. Far cry from Mittens putting the gumball lights on top of his car and “arresting” young women. Iowa Steve King, a comedyy gift that keeps on giving. These people are dangerously deranged whackos that Spencer Reid and his buddies should be locking up.

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  48. Deborah said on August 31, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Tomorrow (Sunday) is the last workday at Beaver Brook, this has been a fantastic experience, I’ve learned so many things and have met so many interesting young people. It gives me hope for the future. But I am ready for it to be over. It’s been the hardest work I’ve ever done over a sustained period, even the young folks say that. We leave on Monday and then I get to spend a day in NYC. I fly back to Santa Fe on Tues afternoon. I have to say I’m looking forward to being in a dry climate again. It’s very wet at BB.

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  49. Jolene said on August 31, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Pros, although it is true that Rep. Steve King of Iowa is an asshole, it was Peter King of NY who said that the president is abdicating his responsibility.

    His reasoning is that the president should act now against Syria rather than delaying until he can get a favorable vote in Congress.

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  50. Prospero said on August 31, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I don’t know if any of y’all watch Continuum, but it’s an excellent TeeVee Science Fiction dealing with the ultimate anomaly, Time Travel. But the final episode featured a knock down drag out that was the best fight I’ve ever seen in a television show, and the righteous woman kicked the male supersoldier’s ass. But good. It was astounding.

    Steve King cn really kiss my ass. What a moron. I believe the Navy can target Assad, and while I don’t believe in capital punishment, that seems like a fitting end to Assad. Remember, Shrub was all over Assad and Quadaffhi saying the were moderates he could work with. The blowback for going after Assad will come from Hizbollah, and innocents will die. There was a time when backbiting the President in this sort of situation would end a sorry ass politician’s career. That was a better time. There is such a confederacy of dunces and the outright feeble-minded in the GOP, it’s hard to imagine anything ever coming out right for America. Look at these clowns. Paul Broun, who says evolution and the Big Bang theory are lies from the pit of hell. Rand Paul, who has lived without a proper crapper in his house for 20 years and once kidnapped some college babe and told her he was AquaBuddha and forceedd her to smoke pot. Why would anybody have to force someone to smoke pot. It’s such a comfortable and companionly thing to do. Far cry from Mittens putting the gumball lights on top of his car and “arresting” young women. Iowa Steve King, a comedyy gift that keeps on giving. These people are dangerously deranged whackos that Spencer Reid and his buddies should be locking up.

    Maintenant Deborah. You should be feeling very good about now. I’d suggest doing something you haven’t done to mark your final day. Use a tool you’ve never used before. Something like that. Collect some flora to remember your days there. I love pressed flowers, and I played sports in HS. I would say my days of picking up trash in Monterrey were the hardest work I’ve ever done. Physically brutal. There was one stop with a pharmacy that had a glass crusher at the bottom of several flights of stairs to the basement. Crushed glass is exceptionally heavy, and I don’t have any idea how I ever made it to the top of those stairs and into sunlight with a can full of that. Stronger than I look. It was horrible. Those cans outweighed me by a lot. But I did. It paid way better than the El Estero Car Wash. But no tips.

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  51. Prospero said on August 31, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Jolene, I’m aware there are two GOPer assholes in the house that compete for the honor of most obnoxious GOPer rep named Steve King. I have noted this before here, and I think there should actually be a competition to see who’s the bigger ahole. There is something so perfect in the GOP sporting two Congressman so malapropistic at the same time it almost makes me delirious. In the entire history of the house, there is no way there have ever been two such flagrant assholes with the same name. Rep. King’s comment about Syria, simultaneous translation, reads: Nigger is fucked no matter what he does if we play this right.

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  52. brian stouder said on August 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    I think we might all agree that whatever strike mission the United States executes in Syria will be essentially symbolic (except for the whoever we kill; the attack will be the most important thing that ever happened in their lives).

    Assad will still be there, and he’ll still have his chemical weapons, and he’ll potentially still use them.

    Therefore, taking the time for Congress to do what Congress is supposed to do – debate the case and reach a decision – cannot help but make the symbolism all the more effective.

    It really WILL represent the United States of America saying in unmistakeable terms, to Assad and anyone else who might use these sorts of weapons going forward: “the United States finds this entirely unacceptable”.

    And if, after the president completes a round of strikes on the Assad regime, they think an additional strike on them would be well worth it, then they’d be authorized to complete the task.

    I like this.

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  53. Dorothy said on August 31, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks for all the birthday love, folks. I’ve had a wonderful day. The food at the Greek Food Festival in Columbus was the best we’ve ever had,mand I think we have been to Greek festivals in four different cities.

    Deborah I admire the hell out of you for what you and your colleagues have accomplished this week! I surely could not do it.

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  54. Dexter said on September 1, 2013 at 1:19 am

    Nice to see you had a wonderful Greek food filled birthday, Dorothy.

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  55. Dexter said on September 1, 2013 at 1:25 am

    Brianstouder, we all know The History Channel uses history as a playground to concoct fantastic revisionist programming, so I am asking you, was Abraham Lincoln really moved and re-buried TEN times? That program a couple nights ago held my steadfast attention for two straight hours. It certainly was a well-made show. My brother told me only a ghoul could watch such sick drivel, but it was spellbinding. I’ll be damned…YouTube has the show right here.

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  56. Dexter said on September 1, 2013 at 1:29 am

    For you young-uns, now this is entertainment.

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  57. brian stouder said on September 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Dexter – Jeff TMMO and I (possibly amongst others) read a book a few years ago called Stealing Lincoln’s Body

    and indeed, they moved the president’s remains around a surprising number of times.

    If I recall correctly, his (and Mary’s) remains spent several years in the basement of the memorial, under a pile of lumber; the better to throw off grave robbers should they again attack his crypt.

    And in the 20th century, when they redid the grave and re interred him, a kiddo who was the son of the care-taker missed a day of school for a glimpse of the president’s face, and recalled it as white as marble, and perfectly preserved (whatever the original undertaker embalmed him with was really good stuff, apparently!)

    The day Pam and I visited the cemetery (Oak Ridge?), the local historical society had period-costumed re-enactors standing at various graves around the place, impersonating the local notable buried there. I did not particularly like that(!)

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  58. Dave said on September 1, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I’m rather certain that I remember, back in the sixties, in either LOOK or LIFE magazine, there were pictures of the LIncoln reinterment. I saw this article when I was in high school, I think there was a picture of Lincoln’s face. I thought it all creepy and couldn’t look at it very long, which makes the memory of the article perhaps more hazy.

    Brian, the costumed re-enactors must be a new addition, we were there in about 1987, I believe, and there was nothing like that then.

    There’s a show I’ve seen on the Lincoln funeral train that goes into how Lincoln was moved many times and the on-going threat of grave robbers. I don’t recall it being so high as ten but perhaps.

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  59. Prospero said on September 1, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Happy birthday Dorothy.

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  60. Prospero said on September 1, 2013 at 10:47 am

    brian stouder@52: But…Obama.

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  61. Prospero said on September 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Mr. Baker and those other whack Brit drummers are all fine, but this guy was the 60s drummer that really mattered. This drum solo beats Toad all to hell. And that is entertainment. The album version is even better (on Broken Barricades). Can’t find that Robin Trower version on the net. And no matter what anybody says about the meaning of the lyrics of this song, it’s about taking LSD.

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  62. Minnie said on September 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Prospero, thanks for posting Ollabelle’s “Soul of a Man”. Amy, as did her father, surely puts herself wholly into the music. The right sidebar of related videos lists an interview of Levon done about month before his death. He was still looking forward musically and otherwise. Live until you die.

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  63. Sherri said on September 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I’m back home from leaving my daughter at college. Now I’m an empty-nester!

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  64. Julie Robinson said on September 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Sherri, what a poignant picture. I hope it goes well for her, and for you too.

    We are at mom’s trying to help her clean out her house in preparation for a move. She has to curate every single item, so at this rate we’ll be done in, oh, 10 years or so.

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  65. Dexter said on September 2, 2013 at 1:57 am

    Brian, on the show the narrator quoted those who viewed the Lincoln face for the last time as saying the face was bronze-like, because at death his facial area was full of pieces of skull bone and somehow over the years this turned his face a bronze color.

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  66. Dexter said on September 2, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Brian, but you are right according to this web page; one man says the face was chalky white.

    And President Lincoln’s remains were moved an astonishing seventeen times. Sacre bleu!!

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  67. Minnie said on September 2, 2013 at 7:38 am

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night . . . .

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  68. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 2, 2013 at 9:10 am

    “Did Twitter Kill the Boys on the Bus?” is the title of a provocative Shorenstine Center piece, some 90+ pages, that was referenced by David Carr yesterday (I think) in the NYT that I started reading last night.

    I’m still trying to figure out where I come down on this. My own local experience, and with some interactions with the last round of national campaigns, would confirm one incredibly obvious point that still doesn’t seem to be understood by many — or maybe it’s just so much spilled milk that’s not worth crying over — we’ve lost a simply incredible amount of institutional memory in journalism over the last ten years. The early retirements, the buyouts, the departures by choice or by forced termination, the wholesale layoffs: there’s not only a plurality of twenty-somethings covering everything, everywhere (and not just at Newark City Council or Licking County Commissioners’ meetings), there are precious few forty or fifty-somethings anywhere within earshot. Stevens’ complaint about having to educate multiple reporters assigned to national campaign coverage about crosstabs . . . that’s both funny and pathetic, and I believe it entirely.

    But to say as Dickerson and Carr do that Twitter is a key element of the problem? It’s an index, but not what’s indicated. That’s like trying to slow down your car by reaching past the wheel into the dashboard and shoving your speedometer needle back (and did I just date *myself* with that metaphor?), or getting a drunk to sober up by recycling the empties. Seriously, telling the newbie press corps to not Tweet or post by other means is going to get any of us more in-depth, voter-focused coverage?

    The nudity of this particular imperial view of Old School Journalism was revealed early, I think, when Hamby acknowledges the unique skills of David Broder, noting that he flew out early, met with campaign staff personally, then went into the community and talked to seniors and guys at the VFW and people in diners and waiting in line to pick up kids at schools. Yep, that gave Broder’s work a particular quality — and rather than debate that quality (I know many here think he was part of the overly-conservative old media norm), I just would point out that the difference here isn’t Twitter, it’s time, and in vocational terms, what time IS, which is money.

    If your media org would buy you a plane ticket and pay for a hotel room, versus the pack and the gaggle and the pool arrangements, then you can do that. And I think many young, even inexperienced and to my ears shallowly educated reporters would want to do that, would learn the skills of processing that sort of diffuse information stream, and would write like a Broder, at least in the sense Hamby’s talking about. But they can’t, and don’t, because they’re effectively paid LESS than their counterparts ten and twenty years ago (it’s the book deal that’s their hope of making a decent amount of money), and there is NO coverage budget. None. So it’s the pool rhythm and schedule, all set by the campaign, or you don’t go.

    If you live in that particular diving bell, and don’t tweet, I’m not seeing what or how you’ll report differently, and in fact you’d be doing less — and get called out for it by your editor. If you leave the bell, you’re buying your own pressure suit, and no one is going to do that. No. One. So I don’t get the prescriptions.

    But it’s a long piece with more insights than I’m implying here, and if you’re around or do any sort of journalism today, you’d be well-advised to read it.

    Happy Labor Day — Scriveners of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your pensions.

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  69. Charlotte said on September 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Watson @ 40 — it *was* the School of Irish Studies! I was there the fall of 1984 — didn’t take David Norris’s class (he was teaching Portrait and Dubliners that quarter) but studied Ulysses with the marvelous James May from UCD. I did get the chance to go on Norris’s wonderful Joyce tour, starting at his townhouse on what was still, then, the grotty north side. Also took a class in the Irish short story with Eavan Boland, before she was famous. I’ll never forget her looking at us with some despair one grey afternoon and saying “These really aren’t very good, are they?” I ran into her fifteen years later when I was at Utah and we had a nice catch-up about that program (and her darling daughters who were by then, all grown up). Were you there? When?

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  70. Prospero said on September 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I’ve always found Diana Nyad fascinating. And what a perfect name for a woman that gets in the water and swims for three days and 90 miles. What ever put this idea in her head in the first place. First I ever heard of her, she swam entirely around Mannattan Island back in the late 60s or early 70s. Remarkable. She’s 64 years old, and it is down at this time to two miles, a freakishly long way to swim in the ocean, but I’m betting she gets there.

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  71. Prospero said on September 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Naiads were water nymphs in Greek mythology.

    Charlotte: That’s an enviable opportunity to have had.

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  72. Deborah said on September 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Beaver Brook is over I’m sitting at the Mercer Cafe in Soho right now. Man it was hard to say good-bye to my school mates. It’s muggy in NYC today, looking forward to being in dry NM again.

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  73. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Congrats to Diana Nyad and her pursuit of a dream for 35 years through repeated disappointment. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.

    Less joy producing, I think this narrative goes neatly alongside the Shorenstein/anti-Twitter essay re: journalism, and both as to the plight of mainline Protestant denominations:

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  74. Prospero said on September 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I wish I’d had Robert Reich for a professor for Macro and Micro. Very entertaining. Extremely lucid.

    I’ve seen some additional news reports on the colossal swim, and I understated the distance. It’s actually 110+ miles, and she’s been in the water now for somewhat more than 48 hours. The only person to ever make it across the Florida Strait was an Aussie using a shark cage that broke the waves. Not even close to what Nyad’s doing without the shark cage. At some point last night, she flipped onto her back and got the wnitre support crew to sing Happy Birthday to one of the crewmembers. Awe-inspiring. Once or twice a year, I swim across Port Royal Sound from Hilton Head to Beaufort. I don’t know the distance but I’d guess it’s about three miles. But that’s not open ocean, and it’s shallow enough sharks are quite unlikely. Nyad is making better than 2mph in very severe currents and wave conditions.

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  75. Prospero said on September 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Tucker Carlson unleashes his inner old fart.

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  76. Prospero said on September 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    So Nyad has landed. Came ashore in Key West. I imagine there might be some serious partying where the feral chickens roam tonight. Perfect spot to culminate this massive achievement.

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  77. Deborah said on September 2, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Perspective: I whined about how hard the work at Beaver Brook was as a 62 year old and then I am reminded what Diana Nyad just did at 64, after a few failures to boot. What a pro.

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  78. Prospero said on September 2, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Peak petroleum is a pretty well-known concept. Peak chicken is another thing altogether.

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  79. beb said on September 2, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Jeff (TMMO) I would argue that CNN and the birth of the 24-hour news cycle was what has killed the boys on the bus. Before the tweet 12 times a day expectation was the need to fill the maw of CNN’s round-the-clock news. Reporters didn’t have the time anymore to follow a story and check the facts anymore. They had to go on the time every couple hours with something new. That lead them to “stenography” – repeating the talking points of one party or the other without looking at them because it made it easier to fill the productivity required of them. By the time bloggers came around it was already pretty obvious that the main stream media had abdicated on their mission. There was almost a decade of blogging before Twitter came around. The rot was already well set by then.

    And with more and more of the news in print media being yesterday’s tweets that took its toll on newspapers. (Loss of advertising revenue had its effect as well.)

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  80. Charlotte said on September 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I’m in awe of Diana Nyad — not just for the sheer physical bad-assness of the achievement, but because I am completely terrified of EVERYTHING in the ocean. I would have died from shark anxiety before getting out of the harbor. (Bears, I can deal with, but anything in the water, ack!).

    And yes, Pros — my semester in Dublin was life-changing. Among other things, it convinced me not to get a “straight” PhD in literature — does the world really need one more dissertation on Joyce? Loved it though. Systematically worked my way through Ulysses, lived with a marvelous single mother who was a journalist, had my first really serious boyfriend, all the good stuff.

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  81. Watson said on September 3, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Charlotte, what a blast from the past. I was there in the fall of ’87. Was completely enthralled by David Norris, of course (and have avidly followed his political career since). None of the really big names were teaching there that year, but I remember Daithi O’Hogain (folklore), Éilís Ní Dhuibhne (Irish lit) and Christopher Fitz-Simon (theatre). I wish we’d had a great poetry class. It was a magical time even though I caroused FAR too much that semester.

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  82. Charlotte said on September 3, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Oh my — Daithi O’Hogain! A name I’d forgotten. I think I took his class — I remember him, an elf-like man who the woman I lived with had no respect for (he’d said something stupendously dumb after a cafe was bombed in the late 70s) — also had a terrific teacher for Irish language whose name I’ve lost to the mists of time. The program is gone now — but Eavan said she runs into people all the time.
    And yes, far too much carousing — I haven’t been back since the Irish got rich (and then poor again) — but I’ve worked over the years with some translators and tech writers over there. Would love to go back one of these days …

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