New book, new day.

Boy, do I feel awful tonight. Nothing specific, just a lack of sleep woven with intermittent lower-abdominal pain stitched to the deep ache in my knee and sprinkled with the onset of cold weather overnight. Supposed to get down to the 20s. It snowed earlier. It was a thoroughly Monday sort of Monday.

Tomorrow, however, there will be a new Martin Cruz Smith novel on my iPad. I learned today it was not an easy book for him to write:

Author of the 1981 blockbuster “Gorky Park” and many acclaimed books since, Mr. Smith writes about people who uncover and keep secrets. But for 18 years, he has had a secret of his own.

In 1995, he received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. But he kept it hidden, not only from the public, but from his publisher and editors.

…Ingenuity, gumption, and others’ generosity have allowed him to keep working. “Tatiana,” whose title character is a journalist who writes despite life-threatening dangers, was produced in an especially unusual way, which he also hid from his publisher and editor. In a room with a blue floor and a window glazed with prehistoric creatures, Mr. Smith perched on a wooden stool and spun out words while his wife, Emily, known as Em, typed them into the computer, gave feedback, and made his on-the-spot changes.

Sort of puts one’s own abdominal pain in perspective, doesn’t it? Probably bad clams.

So, with that? I think I’m going to bed. I leave you with Tom & Lorenzo, and yet another ghastly Miley Cyrus outfit. Let’s see how Tuesday goes.

Posted at 12:30 am in Popculch |

94 responses to “New book, new day.”

  1. Brandon said on November 12, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Let’s ee how Tuesday goes.


    44 chars

  2. Dexter said on November 12, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Last thread I posted that nobody gives a damn about crazy Miley Cyrus and her photo-dude Terry Richardson, who makes beautiful women famous, and also little twigs like Miley. Since our blog host is featuring Miley, here’s more, Miley’s giant handbag, Miley’s joint and lighter, and Miley in a little onesy-thingie which showcases…ta da!…her vagina. I am not one to say all young talented people are boring or whatever, but if are over 20 years old and really getting off on Miley’s little “I’ll show you my everything” act, you are a creep. I never seek her images , they just are everywhere.

    645 chars

  3. David C. said on November 12, 2013 at 6:58 am

    At least she kept her tongue in her mouth.

    42 chars

  4. Deggjr said on November 12, 2013 at 7:56 am

    The last Miley Cyrus picture reminds me of this (paraphrased) joke punchline: I don’t recognize the fella on the left and I don’t recognize the fella on the right, but that’s Dick Cheney in the middle. The next best(?) punchline: She was Hannah Montana when George Bush was president.

    285 chars

  5. alex said on November 12, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Deggjr I remember that joke! 🙂 Only it was Willie Nelson in the middle. Gal had a couple of country musicians tattooed onto her inner thighs. In your version, it must have been some politicians.

    This morning looking out on the yard I worked so hard to clean this past weekend. Not only is it ass-deep in leaves again, the whole mess is crusted with snow.

    358 chars

  6. beb said on November 12, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Living with Parkinson’s is a challenge on many levels but writing a book isn’t one of them because all you need is a secretary to do the mechanical part of typing. Typing is not part of the skill-set needed to become an author, unless you thing books should be written in lonely garrets in the dead of night by people who never talk about what they’re doing.

    There’s a story about Erle Stanley Gardner, who was a prodigious writer. Part of the reason he could write over a million words a year was because he would dictate to secretaries. A friend was waiting to go out with Gardner as soon as he finished some stories. Gardner had three secretaries in the room. He’d go to one, dictate a passage and as she was writing that down, go to another secretary and dictate a passage for a different story, before going to a third secretary and dictating a passage to a third story. He then returned to the first secretary and dictate the next passage, and never once while doing this lost track of which story he was doing or mix up the plot. Now Gardner’s stories were noted for their plots rather than the characters in them so Smith may have had a harder time fleshing out his story but dictating it to another person is not a big deal.

    That is some seriously backless dress Miley was wearing, not to mention her very whorish hooker boots.

    1343 chars

  7. Deggjr said on November 12, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Alex, it’s a universal joke where the specific names can be plugged in to fit, which is what makes it so great. The version I first read was about the Dallas Cowboys with ol’ Jimmy Johnson in the middle, flanked by Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman.

    244 chars

  8. Mark P. said on November 12, 2013 at 9:37 am

    I was trying to think of something to say about Miley Cyrus but then I realized that I don’t care enough to do it.

    beb, I’m not a fiction writer, but I have found that when I write anything, there is something about the physical act of writing that I need. It’s as if I don’t know what I’m going to write until I see it on the page. I guess I could overcome that and get used to dictating, but I’m not sure it would be easy for me.

    434 chars

  9. coozledad said on November 12, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Richard Cohen is an obscenity. He needs to be moved to a dark attic and slopped there like some surviving nineteenth century abortion:
    Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.

    How the fuck does this make it into print?

    949 chars

  10. coozledad said on November 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Mark P: I think Charles Simic says something similar. You have to get some words on a page and look at what they do to each other.

    130 chars

  11. nancy said on November 12, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Writing by speaking words out loud is not the same as clattering the keys yourself. In fact, it’s hugely different, and Erle Stanley Gardner’s output is exhibit A.

    You know, I will step up to (weakly) defend that Cohen column. That paragraph is taken out of context. I’d have phrased it differently but I get what he’s saying.

    330 chars

  12. brian stouder said on November 12, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Cooz – Good God! This bit literally DID cause me to flinch and then sigh.

    People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?)

    Good God!!

    In past years I’d see his by-line and sometimes read him, and the blandness never made much of an impression on me. I never quite twigged to what you didn’t like about him…until now!

    I think Cohen would pay extra if he could get the evil “mainstream media” to fire him, the better for his crud-cred at Fox News.

    Afterall, Charles Krauthammer (spelling?) looks like he died a year and a half ago, and Cohen could take his slot…

    823 chars

  13. Julie Robinson said on November 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Alex, something about the rain/snow/freeze seems to have loosened the leaves. I’m watching them come down in huge clumps; it almost looks as if someone’s in the top of the tree shaking it.

    While you’re at TLo, make sure to read all three of the Miss Universe postings for some sure laughs. They’re sorely needed here, as my dear sister is in the hospital again with more diabetic complications. It’s the second time in less than a month. What a bloody awful disease.

    470 chars

  14. Julie Robinson said on November 12, 2013 at 10:20 am

    One of my favorite professors used to say he didn’t know what he was thinking until he wrote it down. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve been able to write on a keyboard instead of longhand, and if I’m organizing thoughts I still prefer paper. Hats off to Smith’s perseverance.

    284 chars

  15. brian stouder said on November 12, 2013 at 10:40 am

    That paragraph is taken out of context. I’d have phrased it differently but I get what he’s saying.

    I went and read the essay, and indeed that paragraph is out of context. It is slickly written, so that the reader is nodding along with the common wisdom right up to the assertions in that paragraph. He matter-of-factly mentions the Dixiecrats of old, and rolls right into the ‘gag-reflex’ bit regarding Iowans, and – if you happen to agree with those gagging Iowans – you come away from the column saying “Hell yes!! He’s right!!”….leaving other readers to wonder whether it was reportage or affirmation.

    True enough – nobody’s perfect. But it seems to me that Cohen’s column was (at best) candy-coated and calculated NOT to piss off the white-bread folks reading it over coffee in Des Moines (or anywhere else) while maintaining plausible deniability with everyone else; and at worst – a glimpse behind the veil at a genuinely clever wordsmith who is careful about the feelings of racist readers and subscribers

    1062 chars

  16. Prospero said on November 12, 2013 at 10:49 am

    For anybody that doesn’t get Bruce Springsteen. Cooll thing to do for a fanboy.

    Regarding Richard Cohen’s idiotic comment about the expansion of government: US military spending, !,165,907,000,000 annually. That is $2.2mill per minute, and that is some obscene espansion of government. Oh, and the whole rest of the world? Somewhere south of the US numbers. The foundation of the current GOP is Nixon’s southern strategy, and denying the inherent racism is naive at best and more likely just willfully stupid. I understand Cohen’s defense of the GOP in its endless war against the Kenyan tyrant. Obama is insufficiently subservient to the Netanyahu government. And no, disapproval of the Israeli government and its apartheid actions and policies is not anti-semitic, whatever that word is supposed to mean, since most Palestinians are as semitic as their Israei overlords. When Israeli politicians bitch about Hamas and annex Palestinian land by demolishing 2000 year old houses and olive groves twice as old, just remember, they created Hamas by poisoning Arafat.

    A gag response to two interracial children is a conventional view? Then fuck the human race, and Mark Twain was right about God creating monkeys becaus he was disappointed with mankind. Wild Bill Madigan, my HS American History teacher used to say “There will be n integration without miscegenation. We all thought he just really wanted to have sex with a black woman, but if the mere sight of mixed race kids causes half the population of the States to want to puke, maybe the old fart was onto something. And the racism in the Tea Party is undeniable for anybody not in serious denial. That is not an allegation, it’s a fact. As for the gratuitous mention of Harry Belafonte, that is such a classic strawman it could be an example in a formal logic textbook. Did Harry say the GOP was racist? What does that have to do with Cohen’s disingenuous argument. As for Krauthammer, Shakespeare described him perfectly in Richard III. A bottled spider, a poisonous bunchback’d toad. Yeah, I know he’s disabled, and I don’t care. Chuckie is a misanthropic and bitter SOB.

    Mr. Leonard favored yellow legal pads and a BIC pen. Gorky Park was a terrific book, made into a superb movie. One of William Hurt’s good performances (seems like every other movie), and one of Lee Marvin’s menacing best. And whatever happened to Joanna Pacula? Seriously gorgeous woman. Charlotte Rampling lookalike.

    2568 chars

  17. Deborah said on November 12, 2013 at 10:53 am

    My husband often says that his thoughts are more coherent when he draws by hand. As an architect he has his ideas on paper and then he executes on the computer. His theory is that since he learned the computer so late in his life, he has to think about how to use it as well as thinking about the problem he’s trying to work out. Maybe for younger people who use the computer as second nature it’s different.

    The thing I love about using a computer is how easy it is to revise and do iterations. Obviously.

    509 chars

  18. Charlotte said on November 12, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Julie @14 — I’m with your professor. Although I’ve been writing on a computer for so long that l can’t work effectively longhand or on an real typewriter anymore. But I do have to print everything on paper to see what I have — it’s the only way I can, as Simic said, see what the words are doing to one another (and to weed out the extra clauses that are my own bad habit).

    And Scrivener is my friend. I love Scrivener — I write in lots of short scenes juxtaposed, so what I had to do with big pieces of foamcore and colored slips of paper the last time, I can now do with drag-and-drop on the screen.

    608 chars

  19. Prospero said on November 12, 2013 at 11:29 am

    For some reason, Miley wearing a dress with images of Biggy and Tupac reminds me of Bulworth rapping. She is as white bread as a person can get, aside from Justin Bieber and Gwyneth Paltrow.

    190 chars

  20. Charlotte said on November 12, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Oh sigh. Richard Cohen sounds like my mother, and her Lake Forest friends — who still whisper when mentioning that someone married a *black* person — the same group that sends all it’s kids to prep schools, and then through a summer of debutante parties before college so they don’t marry outside their caste — fortunes need to marry fortunes don’t you know. Had an interesting discussion about it with my former manager at Cisco, who was raised wealthy in Bangalore, and told me her marriage was arranged. Had to say, so were a lot of the marriages of kids I grew up with (luckily, we lost all our money, so I was out of the running.)

    638 chars

  21. coozledad said on November 12, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Cohen has a(paid)responsibility to get beyond the conventions which permit him to believe such conventions exist. He has to get beyond that Friedmanesque laziness, but he’s demonstrated no inclination to do it. The stunning thing, to me, is a man who is doubtlessly acquainted with survivors of the holocaust echoing Julius Streicher’s concept of National Romanticism. There’s also a disturbing lip service to the notion of Blut, as in blood sin.

    America doesn’t have a national soul that springs up out of grain farms or tractor parts. If it did we’d be fucked.

    565 chars

  22. coozledad said on November 12, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Wikipedia actually has the Simic quote:
    “Words make love on the page like flies in the summer heat and the poet is merely the bemused spectator.”
    Not as good as I thought I remembered it, but he is after all a poet dude.

    223 chars

  23. Deborah said on November 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Read the full Cohen piece just now and I get what he means but good Lord do “conventional” people gag when they think about interracial marriage and children. In support of Iowa, it’s actually a blue state with gay marriage and everything. Not that it was his point but I thought I’d mention it.

    295 chars

  24. Deborah said on November 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Should be a question mark in my comment at #23.

    47 chars

  25. Bob (not Greene) said on November 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I think the word “conventional” is the problem here, and I don’t think that’s what ol’ Richard meant. He was specifically referring to the tea party zealots who show up at these caucus things. He states up front that “conventional” people aren’t who drives the caucus.

    He also trips himself up with the mention about his belief that the GOP as a whole isn’t racist and then goes into the Harry Belafonte thing and also implies he doesn’t think tea party types within the GOP are racist. That’s a much tougher argument to make, because there are so many demonstrable acts that the tea party types engage in.

    This where a good editor helps. Good editors really help prevent making yourself look stupid.

    708 chars

  26. Julie Robinson said on November 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Sadly, those who passed gay marriage in Iowa are being steadily voted out of office by my tea party relatives.

    110 chars

  27. alex said on November 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Cohen asserts that the Tea Party isn’t racist, it’s just lamenting the passing of a way of life. For those people, racism is their way of life, and so are misogyny and homophobia. Anyone here ever receive an e-mail from a Democrat or moderate Republican depicting the president with bones through his nose?

    I don’t think “conventional” people have an issue with race mixing or gay marriage or women’s equality or secular society in general. I don’t think “conventional” people are Tea Partiers. You want to look into the empty soul of the Tea Party, just consider our local chapter that has joined the crusade for a state constitutional amendment banning not only gay marriage but any sort of domestic partnership arrangement between same-sex couples. These people are arguing that gay marriage is an unacceptable incursion on their freedom. That isn’t conventional. That’s fucking insane.

    900 chars

  28. coozledad said on November 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Shit, Alex, just look at some of the right wing comments here. “There wasn’t THAT much klan at that gathering.” “Y’all must be too dumb to gitcher photo ID! Haw haw.”
    “I hates me some bumboys and faggorts, haw haw.”

    It’s insanity, yes, but with a side of pure damn ugly.

    274 chars

  29. coozledad said on November 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I’m going to vote for Hillary, but her campaign for president was racist, and her husband likes to go down on Republicans and DC cocktail party criminals almost as much as he likes getting hisself sucked off. He was a decent president, from the standards set by his two immediate predecessors, but he’s barely fit to shine Obama’s shoes.

    466 chars

  30. Connie said on November 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Nancy, Today on Michigan Radio Jack Lessenberry gave props to the Bridge, and called it something like “the best investigative journalism” in the state. And then “stole” all the info from the pension stories for today’s essay.

    227 chars

  31. brian stouder said on November 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm


    5 chars

  32. Judybusy said on November 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Henry James dictated all of his novels. I’ve tried reading a few, but that man could write sentences that never ended, I swear.

    127 chars

  33. Jolene said on November 12, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    For the record, disapproval of interracial marriage is not conventional among the US population–among Iowa Republicans, I cannot say.

    263 chars

  34. Prospero said on November 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Anybody being paid to write a WaPo column that misuses a simple word like conventional should have his ass fired. Anybody that denies the core racism of the GOP since Milhous is not qualified to comment on social and political phenomena. Which part of the Southern Strategy was hard to figure out. As Atwater explained:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

    What part of the Southern Strategy has been repudiated by any GOPer but Lee Atwater since the misrule of Milhous and Raygun? Any Republican pol? Bueller? Bueller? Even black GOPers don’t repudiate that vile spew. Like this nutjob. I had to pick myself up off the floor after seeing this. Allen West needs ‘Bamacare toot sweet so his bed on a psych ward will be paid for. Remember when the American ronin had a hissy fit because Debbie Wasserman Schultz was unladylike toward him? West and his higher than the president security clearance needs to be locked up where he cannot harm himself or others. I like the publisher’s claim West’s use of the term ronin is indicative of his “encyclopedic” historical knowledge. Or else, he watched a mediocre DeNiro movie. But that’s just my latent liberal racism raising its ugly head.

    2121 chars

  35. Sherri said on November 12, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    If this were Richard Cohen’s first offense, maybe I could see giving him a pass, but this is just part of a pattern with Cohen. Jeff Bezos, give that space to Dahlia Lithwick!

    175 chars

  36. brian stouder said on November 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    At the very damned least, he’s going to have to write another column on this issue, and this time he’s going to have to offend white Iowans, and Fox news viewers everywhere.

    Or maybe he can get away with a “60-Minutes” (circa 2013) non-apology apology?

    255 chars

  37. Danny said on November 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    What an odd Cohen column. Anyone who holds to the views he describes on interracial marriage is not “conventional, they are racist. Period. And most people across all political persuasions would consider such views deeply offensive. This sort of racism is mostly of a dying breed, but it does have the benefit of allowing specious arguments from the anecdotal to the general that support the left-wing narrative of a society in a perpetual state of triage that only the loving arms of liberal policy can cure.

    And as for anyone who argues that it is an insurmountable hardship to get a photo ID… get off it. Even disregarding ID requirements for normal day-to-day transactions, most (if not all) states have laws which require a photo ID be on one’s person just to walk around in public. And I suspect many states have have options for helping individuals who would have trouble fulfilling this requirement for whatever reason. It’s very basic, really.

    960 chars

  38. Mark P. said on November 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Danny, I am not aware of any law that requires any person walking around in public to have an photo ID. I’d like to see one citation of that from any state. Now, to drive a car, sure, you need a driver’s license which functions as a photo ID. But to walk? Not so sure about that one.

    And I’m not so sure that a large percentage of Republicans today are not racist, or at least do not publicly reject the racist views (coded or otherwise) from members of their party. There was once a question at another blog about whether Rush Limbough is a racist. I said he may or may not be a racist, but he uses language that he knows appeals to the racism of a lot of his listeners. So, what’s the difference?

    701 chars

  39. brian stouder said on November 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    most (if not all) states have laws which require a photo ID be on one’s person just to walk around in public.

    untrue, unless you’re Hispanic in Arizona, and then “Papers, please” might be a factor

    208 chars

  40. Mark P. said on November 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Danny, I decided to do a little google search on ID requirements and, of course, almost all of the hits were about voter ID. I did find this, which you might find interesting:

    249 chars

  41. mark said on November 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    “There was once a question at another blog about whether Rush Limbough is a racist. I said he may or may not be a racist, but he uses language that he knows appeals to the racism of a lot of his listeners. So, what’s the difference?”

    And cooz says Hillary ran a racist campaign against Obama, so that makes her a racist? And those that vote for Hillary…..

    And Cohen must be racist. And bill Clinton. And black Republicans…

    438 chars

  42. brian stouder said on November 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Any son of a bitch that has “a gag reaction” to normal Americans doing normal American things (like getting married, or voting, or moving in next door) simply because of the race (or gender, but we digress a bit) of either (or both) of the involved Americans –

    is racist.

    275 chars

  43. coozledad said on November 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    mark: Republicans or ‘freedomists’ or whatever you’re calling yourself these days shouldn’t get too deeply involved in conversations about political opportunism. It ultimately reflects badly upon people whose concept of freedom rests squarely upon the misery of others, the alienation of others, and in many cases, the slaughter of others.

    Maybe Lara Logan will host a Freedom/ Revenge potluck when she makes that lateral move to Foxghazi.

    442 chars

  44. LAMary said on November 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Any concern that the digestive pain might be part of the ibuprofen jag you’ve been on?

    86 chars

  45. Peter said on November 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) In this case, yes Richard, you should.

    If he can get a lesbian to switch leagues, he’s got to be one persuasive dude.

    Sorry if I’m doing a Richard Cohen and taking that statement out of context, but I’m not going to waste my life reading that guy.

    Deborah, I design the same way, but then again, I’m old. What gets me about the young architects is that many stare at that screen for so long they forget they’re making an actual object, and they forget about the real world. I’ve seen plenty of renderings that look good but don’t even relate to the adjacent facade, much less the entire site.

    And speaking of young ones – my wife once worked for an attorney who would dictate by speaking from his office to my wife’s desk in the secretarial pool – a good 30 feet. One time he dictated a brief to the Supreme Court – over fifty pages, took two hours, and did it in one take, no interruptions. She said today’s attorneys revise their cover letters three or four times before sending them…

    1094 chars

  46. Peter said on November 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    And Julie, I’m very sorry about your sister. Hoping she’ll be better soon.

    75 chars

  47. Bitter Scribe said on November 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    “I think the word “conventional” is the problem here, and I don’t think that’s what ol’ Richard meant.”

    At this point, I don’t give a fat rat’s ass what he “meant.” He’s supposed to be a journalist. Journalists use words for a living and are expected to know what those words mean.

    I’d feel a little less annoyed about this if I didn’t remember his attitude toward Jesse Jackson and “Hymietown.” When that kerfuffle came down, some of Jackson’s supporters tried to argue that Jackson wasn’t an anti-Semite “in his heart,” which led ol’ Richard to sneer at “the CAT-scan theory of anti-Semitism.” If he can come down that hard on what Jackson said in a private conversation, I don’t think he deserves any slack for something he writes in his column.

    764 chars

  48. brian stouder said on November 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I think Bitter Scribe just won the thread, walking away

    55 chars

  49. Brandon said on November 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?–Cohen

    I’d have thought they’d be thrilled. After all, they think homosexuality is purely a choice and some advocate gay conversion.

    228 chars

  50. Mark P. said on November 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    mark, my comment about Rush was a little more nuanced than you apparently realized. The point I was making was not that Rush Limbaugh is a racist, but that the results of his behavior are not different from those that would occur if he were a racist.

    250 chars

  51. coozledad said on November 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Well I’ll be goddamned. Richard Cohen’s response? Tessie’s final scream from Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.

    “It’s just not fair. It’s just not right.”
    Karma is a motherfucker, Dick. And that’s pretty close to plagiarism, old dudebro.

    244 chars

  52. Deborah said on November 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Peter, are you familiar with the book by Juhani Pallasmaa, called “The Thinking Hand” ? He’s a Finnish architect friend of ours and apparently you can download the entire book for free on the Internet somehow.

    209 chars

  53. Deborah said on November 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Also, Peter as a design director I often found designers looking for the answer in the computer rather than having an idea first and the using the computer to work it out. And young architects doing absolutely beautiful computer renderings that have no basis in reality is legend.

    280 chars

  54. Prospero said on November 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Richard Cohen doesn’t know what conventional means, and he got a job writing columns for WaPo? Rixhard Cohen was brutal in his criticism of Jimma Earl for calling Israeli government behavior toward Palestinian Israeli citizens Apartheid. Any reasonable person would agree that demolishing 2000 year old houses and uprooting olive groves twice that old while building prison fences around what land they leave to the Palestinians is pretty far into DeClerk territory and that Israel flouts UN proclamations as if they think they are the chosen people. And please Rich, don’t tell me that finding Israeli policies odious, like the one about blowing Lebanon to smithereens whenever you get a hint of a wild hair, is “anti-semitism. Those Palestinians are more semitic than Richard Cohen. That is truly one of those last refuge arguments. Does anybody with a brain believe that whatever interest Iran and the Ayatollahs have in nuclear weapons isn’t by way of a deterrent for the 200 devices Israel houses at Dimona, and the nukes they built by stealing the tech and the fissionable material from the good ol’ USA. Cohen has been after Obama’s ass for years because the President does not kowtow sufficiently to Bibi, who, if I’m not mistaken, was found guilty in Israeli courts of having run a massive real estate scam

    1315 chars

  55. Prospero said on November 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Netanyahu’s government like to blame their global antisocial, rogue behavior on Hamas intransigence. Someone should remind the assholes that there would be no Hamas had they not poisoned Arafat when he was already a dying old man. I was once given shit here and called anti-semitic for mocking the would-be political operative Jonah Goldberg. Jonah has an underdeveloped acrn for a brain, as does his pal Max Boot. The idea that US foreign policy should consider Israeli concerns first is offensive. If the Jews all want to gather in Asheville NC or wherever to bring on the Second Coming, fine with me. I always thought I’d have been roundly cheated if I didn’t get to see Endtimes for my ownself. But if it’s because Israel stole nuclear weapons from the benafactor USA, I am going to be mighty pissed off. Tell Bibi, no more millions per day unless you dismantle the bombs, you fucking crook. I don’t like my country consorting with pogromist capatalist criminals, and that description fits Netanyahu like a glove. And you idiots that want to repeat the apology tour hoohaw, you did see the video of W walking hand in hand with Faisal boola-boola and soul-kissing the major funder of Al Quaeda, right?

    If you planned to plagiarize somebody, how many of you would choose a vast wasteland like Wikipedia? Conrad. Melville. Some really amazing writer nobody but lit nerds like me ever read. Wiki? Why not the Hoosier Poet? Joyce Kilmer, or some other hack? Wicki? Try TeeVee Guide nest time dumbshit.

    1504 chars

  56. Jolene said on November 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Ta-Nehisi Coates has, as you might guess, a strong point of view about the Cohen column. He is not pleased.

    195 chars

  57. alex said on November 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    I read the Lowder piece earlier and thought it was kind of meh. Coates takes him to task for his lame defense of Cohen and sums up exactly what was wrong with Cohen’s tone-deaf column today:

    The problem here isn’t that we think Richard Cohen gags at the sight of an interracial couple and their children. The problem is that Richard Cohen thinks being repulsed isn’t actually racist, but “conventional” or “culturally conservative.” Obstructing the right of black humans and white humans to form families is a central feature of American racism. If retching at the thought of that right being exercised isn’t racism, then there is no racism.

    And Cohen is wrong if he thinks the overt racism of the Dixiecrats is somehow different from the coded racism of their progeny in today’s Tea Party. The white outrage at Trayvon Martin as cause celebre has been a particularly vile episode, and people who traffic in that kind of talk are the worst in my book.

    965 chars

  58. brian stouder said on November 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Well Alex, on a more local front, good ol’ IPFW had Jim Clifton as this evening’s Omnibus Lecture Series speaker.

    He’s a pollster – CEO at Gallup – and was introduced by the new head of the Lutheran Health Network.This was my first clue; and when Clifton immediately spoke toward the head of Sweetwater Sound and other main muckety-mucks of this area’s business community seated down front, this was Clue #2 that the fellow wasn’t going to be talking about polling and data – but something else.

    The summation was delivered to me more concisely than I could ever have phrased it, by our 15 year old daughter (who I dragooned into coming) when, on the way home, she said she expected him to bust out the “47%” canard that smashed Red Romney’s campaign last year.

    He was unabashed in his praise of the elite, and his belief that we should test all our students to find the .01% of them that will be the high achievers, and help harness them.

    He made a point of saying, with regard to whether the United States was on the right track or on the wrong track – on a scale of 1-10 – with 1 being way wrong and 10 being exactly right, we’re on ZERO, right now.

    This was actually my favorite moment of the lecture, because the auditorium – which must have had more than 700 people crammed in*, sat there in stone silence after that. There was no applause – nothing. The pollster went back to the lecturn and had a sip of water.

    I was ready to be upset, but I was glad to see that on a scale of 1-10, my fellow Fort Wayne citizens’ bullshit meters all seemed to be pegged over on 10.

    And in any case, it was free – so I guess we got what we paid for

    1660 chars

  59. Dexter said on November 13, 2013 at 1:51 am

    In New Jersey, the cops are celebrating their new no-texting-while-driving law by demanding pulled-over motorists surrender their phones to check for text messages, and you had better not been texting when pulled over or you will get absolutely hammered with a fine and also assessed penalty points against your driver’s license. Is this fair? What if you demand to not surrender the phone and demand a warrant from the cop?
    This topic came up on a radio show I listen to, and the best solution was to carry a burner phone in your sock to hand over to the cop. Or…just do not ever text while driving.

    prospero: Guess what? The Detroit Tigers are exploring the option to sign Brian Wilson for the 8th inning set-up role from the bullpen. Wilson is the hardest working pitcher in the game, he has a few years left in that arm, he studies kinesiology like Mike Marshall (the Ph D from MSU, CY Young 1974 winner, Dodger great) did, and he is a fun guy to watch pitch. I hope the Tigers sign him. Here’s what he looks like…nice, eh ladies?

    1106 chars

  60. Sherri said on November 13, 2013 at 2:45 am

    I loved Wilson when he was closing games for the Giants, but I don’t know if Detroit is ready for the insanity that is Brian Wilson:

    175 chars

  61. Dexter said on November 13, 2013 at 3:06 am

    Sherri, he’s a chameleon…he tailors his aura to his audience. In San Francisco he was known for his daily manicures and oriental massages, and commiserating with fans in a hip local coffee shoppe, and wearing that floppy wool hat , wearing a tiny purse-pack, riding on his electric skateboard-scooter,but in other venues he has been a Jesus-praising God Squad Crusader like few others…I would love to see how he adapts to Detroit. Sherri, look around the ‘net and find last night’s little song Jim Leyland sung at an awards ceremony in Detroit…not bad…maybe Brian Wilson can form a Motown group…scratch that…of COURSE he will !

    688 chars

  62. alex said on November 13, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Brian, it’s a damn shame that not only has the Omnibus Lecture Series been trimmed by half but that they are securing such mediocre speakers. I’ve been to a few that were outstanding and I’m sorry to have missed many more.

    I don’t know if he allowed questions and answers, but Gallup ought to have to answer for why his organization’s polling in the last presidential cycle was so dead wrong and flew in the face of every other credible polling organization. If I were a conservative I’d be pissed that Fox and Gallup had me bamboozled right up to election night.

    567 chars

  63. brian stouder said on November 13, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Alex – his Q&A was structured thusly: on the way in, you could ask for an index card to write a question on.

    Then, if you DID fill out a question, at the end of the lecture you;d give it to an usher.

    Then the usher would give it to a moderator, who might shuffle through to find one, or might ask his own question.

    Shelby and I bailed after the end of the lecture, and before the softballs began flying

    415 chars

  64. coozledad said on November 13, 2013 at 7:34 am

    If I were a conservative I’d be pissed that Fox and Gallup had me bamboozled right up to election night.

    That’s one of the differences between us and them. They can’t get enough of the bamboozling. They’ll even pay for it.

    234 chars

  65. Danny said on November 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

    What are you guys talking about? They fired Dick Morris at Fox.

    64 chars

  66. brian stouder said on November 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Well, here’s hoping that our beloved Proprietress is having a lovely morning after a relaxing and restful night, and that her knee is feeling a little better, and that her digestive system is humming along, too.

    211 chars

  67. brian stouder said on November 13, 2013 at 10:34 am

    (so to speak)

    13 chars

  68. Peter said on November 13, 2013 at 11:38 am

    #64 Cooz – I think you hit the nail on the head, and in 25 words or less. You’d think at SOME point they’d figure things out, but NOOOOOO…..

    #66 Brian – I second that opinion!!!

    Deborah, I am familiar with Pallasmaa’s book, but if you knew how far behind I am in my reading – it’s shameful.

    One of my favorite stories about young architects was the one who told me that he developed an algorithm to determine if a stair is required in a building. I said I would think that if the building’s got more than one level, you’re going to need a stair. He replied that’s what his algorithm would say, so I said then why do we need an algorithm?

    651 chars

  69. Danny said on November 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Peter, how did he “nail it” in #64? Again, they fired Morris at Fox.

    69 chars

  70. jcburns said on November 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve been trying to get a new little live-data box set up in the right rail: “Nance’s Digestive System,” but I keep running into small problems. I’ll have to ruminate on them.

    175 chars

  71. crinoidgirl said on November 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    jc, I don’t think you can stomach the challenge.

    48 chars

  72. Deborah said on November 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I had an interesting morning at Starbucks. It was packed for some reason, probably because it’s cold and a steaming cup of coffee is a good idea. The only available seat was one of the cushy ones next to the fireplace, which is odd because those are usually the first to be occupied. Once I got seated in the prime chair and looked around at the other seats around the fireplace I realized they were occupied by street people that no one wanted to sit near. It didn’t bother me so I settled in comfortably. I should add that I’m a shameless eaves dropper and the folks near me did not disappoint, there was a black guy on my side of the hearth and two older white guys opposite, these three were having a rousing conversation about art, the exquisite line work of Picasso was one topic. Then they started talking about some friends of theirs who are street artists and other street people in general. One fascinating bit I overheard was about a street person named Mary, that was a regular on Rush, she died recently, we called her scary Mary because she would scream at small children walking with their moms. Anyway according to these guys Mary put her daughter through college on the money she made on the street. All in all it was one of the most intelligent conversations I have ever heard at Starbucks. These guys were very articulate and the stories they told were amazing to listen to.

    1393 chars

  73. Scout said on November 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Here’s hoping Nancy is on the mend. Everyone deserves a mental health day now and then, so hopefully that’s the case today. Or that she’s busy chasing down her next big scoop and much too important for us netizens.

    Hey doesn’t it seem like Braindead Barbie has been hogging a whole lot of airtime on the teevee lately? Uncle Charlie Pierce comments:

    Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods went there. Oh, yes, she did.

    – New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s weight often fuels comments about his appearance. “That’s because it’s been extreme. So it’s hard for some people not to comment on it,” said Palin. –

    (Note to my pal Jake Tapper: this sack of hair represents nobody but herself. She has no constituency that anyone need care about. Republicans would like her to freeze in a glacier, never to re-emerge. You might as well put an andiron on a chair and ask it questions. Why, dude?)

    978 chars

  74. Judybusy said on November 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Deborah, what a great story; I love these microcosms of life.

    61 chars

  75. Joe K said on November 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I thought Brian Wilson would be old to pitch, but he did write some damn fine summer songs.
    Just had lunch with mr&mrs Basset who were passing thru on the way to Cadillac. They both enjoyed the Fatboy tenderloin at the town tavern here in Auburn. Extremely friendly. May have a picture to post in a few days.
    In other news, I see are friend Mitch Album or what ever his name is has been on most morning talk shows promoting a new book about heaven calling on a telephone to some small Michigan town, I wonder if he got the idea from the movie, the next voice you hear?
    Pilot Joe

    588 chars

  76. nancy said on November 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Sorry, guys — I should have checked in. I had a late-running assignment yesterday and just ran out of time.

    My gut is better. I backed off on the ibuprofen just to be safe.

    177 chars

  77. brian stouder said on November 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Excellent ‘breaking news’, indeed!

    34 chars

  78. Deborah said on November 13, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Joe K, not only would the musician Brian Wilson be too old to pitch, he’d be way to befuddled. I love the guy’s music, went to a live concert of his with Paul Simon a few years back (bad sentence, I didn’t go to the concert with Paul Simon [I wish]). It was really sad watching Brian Wilson struggle.

    300 chars

  79. coozledad said on November 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Bat boy wants his prosthetic dick back.

    196 chars

  80. Prospero said on November 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Money paid to most SSI recipients is necessary for them to live on.ergo, it gets spent, ergo, the American economy gets healthier and more people have work. Cutting SSI makes no sense, unless you factor in the lengths GOPers have gone to try tanking the US, and the world, economies, while a black deem is President. And people think it’s beyond these dickheads to have attacked the ACA website. They will stop at nothing to give the White House back to an obscenely rich white guy, because the Founding Fathers stood for that as much as they hated secularism. That T. Jefferson. He was all for a Christian nation, except he clearly wasn’t, and all for white people running everything except for having sex in his own bed. That R. Raygun? Nancy was six months preggers when his divorce from Jane Wyman went through. First marriage was a Hollywood sham to cover up his gayness.

    GOPer pf the year. He was willing to take care of that baby when it was pre-born, too. Deborah@ 72: That is a fine short story in the making. Well-observed and well-recounted. I have always found street people more interesting than cubicle-oids.

    Wouldn’y now be a good time for Ms. Cyrus to just change her name to Ms. Doughboy, Plain-faced , Big tongue, Cameltoe Blapgirl Wannabe?

    And Scout, Mental Health Days are stealing from the benevolent Makers among us. Ya know, the one’s that employ the rest of us out of the goodness of their anthracite hearts when they don’t really need us, we leeches, at all. After all, they will get along just fine if we all stop working and spending the money they dole out so niggardly. I’d say, no multi-$million$ bonus was ever paid to a Wall Street Capitan without at least two pension funds being raped for the cash. As I’ve said before, go ahead and fuck with SSI, Granny-Starver, just give me back all of my money before you do. I’m more competent to invest it sensibly than the Wall Street morons that invented the mortgage-based phony securities that crashed the Universe. Holy shit, it would have been zombie heaven if W had gotten his way and privatized Social Security. These aholes may keep telling each other they are the smartest guys in the room, but they clearly aren’t. And the horror stories about how it takes as long to sign up for Obamacare as it does to register your car? Pulleaze. Which is more important?

    $Palin on Christie’s avoirdupois. She is one of those unfortunate homely girls convinced by her parents she is attractive,presumably on those long trips to Canada for socialist medical care. How is it that most people that find Miley and her Big Sis Sarah attractive are the same people that think Venus Williams looks like a guy? Venus = best pair of female legs on Earth, aside from my sweetheart who isn’t blessed with that tallness. But holy crap, we both thinke Venus is awesome, and the fact that some Jim Rome “Sportsfans”, I mean the Teabanger version of sportsfans that think every black football player is a thug and corrn-fed Richie can’t possibly be. Wake up you racist assholes. The modern GOP is built upon the Southern Strategy. Racist to its racist core.

    3437 chars

  81. mark said on November 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    It’s 5:00 pm somewhere.

    23 chars

  82. brian stouder said on November 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    And – more breaking news – Republigoons in Indiana don’t actually believe that elected officials should outrank appointed hacks:

    Click the link if only to see the damned photo of some empty-suit guy wagging his damned finger at the woman who out-polled Governor Pence, on the very same ballot.

    The State Board of Education imploded Wednesday when its chairwoman, Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, refused to allow members to vote on a motion and unilaterally adjourned the meeting with business still on the calendar.

    She abruptly left the room while the other members of the board remained to consider their legal options.

    723 chars

  83. Basset said on November 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Well, we were briefly distracted from worrying about Jr. tearing up the house while we’re gone… was good to put a face with the name, and the Town Tavern does make a fine tenderloin.

    184 chars

  84. alex said on November 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    You know, Brian, I thought only Chicago politicians were brazen assholes who thumbed their noses at the will of the electorate. Then I moved to Indiana and watched its state legislature in action and discovered that it’s full of ogres who are dumber than Blagojovich and probably even more hubristic given that we don’t have any real journalists around here willing to call them out.

    383 chars

  85. alex said on November 13, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Basset, I was sorry you were disappointed with my recommendation for tenderloin the last time you were in Auburn. Next time you’re up this way, you might also try Mimi’s Retreat, where they make ’em pretty damn good. (Or maybe I think so only because they’re such a rare treat anymore since I had a heart attack in 2011.)

    321 chars

  86. Prospero said on November 13, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Nancy: I hope you are feeling better. So far as empty suit guy, how ’bout that Brooks Bros riot. O[[ressed GOPers wailing to be heard. Just think of the world Bedlam that might have been avoided had no Scalito interrupted. You’re brain on drugs is more likely sand than you’re world on Conservatives.

    Anybody else captivated by those Rockies Mountaineers ads on the TeeVee? I made that trip as a kid with my late brother Matthew, who looked just like me. We went to Disneyland before ther was such an abomination as It’s a Small World. And those Motherless Children ads for Jeep Cjherokees? Yee haw. Bob Dylan rocks.

    621 chars

  87. Deborah said on November 13, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I just returned from doing a last minute errand on foot. I saw something I’ve never seen before while crossing the plaza of the Contemporary Art Museum a couple of blocks from where I live. A middle aged guy was riding an odd unicycle type thing, it had a smallish wheel that his feet straddled, I couldn’t tell if it involved peddling because he was coasting when I saw him and he turned the corner out of my site so I never saw any peddling. This unicycle had no seat, the guy was standing on peddles or something. There was nothing for him to steer with that I could see. Is this a new fad? I’ve never seen this before.

    622 chars

  88. Prospero said on November 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Is anybody still so stupid they believe the Keystone Pipeline does anything but enrich Randolph and Mortimer, There is no benefit to the USA/ This will all be filthy tar sands sent bt diesel to Chhina. GOPer frontissculation. What is wrong with thee people?

    Sweipis;y assholish/

    383 chars

  89. Deborah said on November 13, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    OK, mystery solved, I Googled it. It’s a “self balancing electric unicycle” called Solowheel. Lordy, what will they think of next.

    130 chars

  90. Deborah said on November 13, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    You male folks can disregard this comment, seriously, you will want to. Women here, however, I beseech you to go to this This American Life link and listen to the segment titled “period” I laughed out loud harder than I can remember. Honestly, you won’t regret it

    372 chars

  91. Deborah said on November 13, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    #87 out of my sight not site, yeesh.

    36 chars

  92. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 13, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Deborah, I heard most of that piece on Sunday’s rebroadcast in the car, and that mother . . . oy. I found much to appreciate about my own by listening to that piece of work they built the show theme around. To whom Robert Redford is dead, on account of his egregious “route talk.”

    280 chars

  93. Dexter said on November 13, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    sherri…he ain’t heading for The Big Apple.

    120 chars

  94. Sherri said on November 14, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Nice to know he has standards, Dex.

    35 chars