Do you ever get depressed around this time of year? Look out the window, watch yet another glaze of snow gently falling from the sky, consider you should be cleaning the bathroom but decide you’d rather read this Scott Turow book you picked up in New York, and then sigh deeply and wonder what’s the use, what’s the damn use? This stupid country is so screwed, what’s the damn use?

No? OK, then, carry on.

I shouldn’t be watching this Michael Jackson documentary. It’s not sitting well with what I read this morning about the president’s two-hour standup act at CPAC Saturday. Sort of like eating something bad, followed by something even worse. It’s not helping my mood.

So let’s hop to some good bloggage, shall we?

I’ve been interested for some time in pet culture — the way we treat our dogs and cats and so forth. It’s simultaneously fascinating and appalling. I know grown women who are happy to share their beds with 80-pound pit bulls. I know people who think of their dogs and cats as children. Truth be told, I think of my dog as a child, although not really. You have to respect an animal’s essential nature, which is not the same as ours. But there’s little doubt that a dog or cat in a middle-class home lives better than lots of human beings in lousier neighborhoods.

So this CityLab piece on dog parks and gentrification was interesting:

Parks and recreation departments face tremendous pressure today to dedicate more and greater space for the nation’s fur-babies, even in cities where there aren’t enough local parks for actual children. The rise of dog parks—up 40 percent over the last decade—has consequences for neighborhoods that have them as well as those that don’t. More than half of the nation’s parks departments now boast a dog park.

Back in the day, “a dog park wasn’t a thing” says Kathryn Ott Lovell, commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. “You walked your dog around the neighborhood. You took your dog around the block. Standards and expectations for dog owners have shifted. The culture of dog ownership has changed.”

The fancy-town dog park in the early designs for Lincoln Yards might be among the least-divisive features of this project, which closed in on as much as $1.3 billion in public funding (through a tax-increment financing scheme) last week. But it is nevertheless a small marker of disparity in the city—one that can be found all over. It’s a pattern whose consequences range from worrisome sign of neighborhood gentrification to outright structural inequality.

From the Cohen hearing fallout, more of the Best People ™:

…Lynne Patton, a longtime Trump family aide turned federal housing bureaucrat, has long reveled in the limelight and has asked permission to star in a reality-TV show while serving as a HUD official.

Oh, but of course she did.

Finally, a bizarre story about the fake-credentialed sex doctor who buffaloed many smart people into believing him.

Back to Michael Jackson. It’s like bad medicine I have to take.

Posted at 9:43 pm in Current events |

37 responses to “Jacko.”

  1. beb said on March 3, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Everyone in our family has started grumbling about the snow and the cold but that’s normal for March. The worst of winter is supposed to over and spring can’t come soon enough … but it never comes soon enough!

    I can’t stand listen to Trump for 10 seconds. It makes a might disturbed person who could listen to him for two hours. And aren’t multi-hour speeches a sign of dictatorships?

    I stayed up to watch the launch of Space X’s Crewed Dragon demonstration flight. God, that was exciting.

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  2. alex said on March 3, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Michael Jackson proves once again that if you’re wealthy enough to hire the best counsel, you can get by with anything, especially if the prosecutor is Marcia Clark.

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  3. Suzanne said on March 4, 2019 at 8:04 am

    We don’t have HBO so couldn’t watch the MJ documentary but I already knew he was a perv who was rich enough to avoid consequences.
    Speaking of pervs, did someone here mention watching Abducted in Plain Sight on Netflix? I watched last night and I don’t even know how to process it. Utterly jaw dropping.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 4, 2019 at 8:42 am

    Curse you, Nancy. I am not getting that time back from the universe I spent reading about the Gizmodo reporter relentlessly tracking down the pinwheel of fraud sex doctor. You all have been warned: it is incredibly hard to stop reading, and it is not short. And funny as long as you hope he actually hasn’t counseled anyone. Other than through online articles.

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  5. JodiP said on March 4, 2019 at 9:34 am

    I’ve just decided it’s actually late January, so when spring comes, I’ll be pleasantly surpised it’s so early.

    I am one of about 4 people who are OK with the weather. My race and class privilege protects me and allows me to get out and enjoy it. Friends and I went XC skiing yesterday in the brilliant sun. We went near the MS river and there was a guy out with his dog, lying out in the ice, on the snow as if he were sunbathing.

    I am glad Otto’s parents spoke out in response to Trump’s statement he believed KJU’s assertion he knew nothing about the torture and medical status of this young man.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on March 4, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Do I ever get depressed around this time of year? Well yes, constantly, and like Jodi I am privileged. I’ve been down to Orlando twice, and I’ve followed all my other anti-SAD strategies, but they haven’t made a dent in the depression. I just have to hold on until spring, and ultimately, until I can move away from gray winters.

    That “doctor”! This is the state of our world today, and thank God there are still some journalists with financial support to spend the time on research. I predict this guy will emerge in a few years, having moved on to another area but still promoting his same brand of BS.

    In the interest of self-care I will not be watching the Michael Jackson train wreck. I will be watching the Josh Groban concert on PBS tonight.

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  7. Bitter Scribe said on March 4, 2019 at 10:31 am

    OK, I’ve never owned a dog and probably never will, but I don’t see why dog owners, who presumably pay taxes like everyone else, should be made to feel guilty about dog parks. First of all, I can’t believe they’re inherently much more costly, in terms of their amenities, than ordinary parks. Second, if certain (let’s face it—minority-prevalent) parts of town are underserved in terms of park space, taking dog parks away from more affluent neighborhoods will do nothing to alleviate that situation. It’s a problem that has to do with segregation and other structural injustices of American society. It is manifestly unfair to put all that on the shoulders of people who just want a place for Fido to sniff other dogs’ butts in peace.

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  8. Deborah said on March 4, 2019 at 11:25 am

    It’s been in the upper 50s during the days so far in NM. It snowed last night in Abiquiu, dry snow that looks like tiny little styrofoam balls. If it gets windy, it blows the snow away and it doesn’t do any good for the land. There’s a word for that kind of snow around here that I can’t remember.

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  9. FDChief said on March 4, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Time will deal with Whacko Jacko. My kids – 12 and 15 – have no real idea who he was, don’t care, and don’t want to. Neither do their pals. This obsession is purely about those of us who came of age during the MTV Era, and is already dying off as we do…

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  10. Scout said on March 4, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    My great granddaughter was born at 4:59 this morning. Parents and baby are doing great. If my granddaughter is up to it, I hope to be able to meet baby Raelynn on her actual BIRTHday later today. I’m so happy that I’m able to ignore all the Donald crap for a while!

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  11. Julie Robinson said on March 4, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Oh Scout, that’s the best news of the day! Blessings and congratulations to you all. Baby snuggles!

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  12. Connie said on March 4, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Jeff(tmmo) On the continuing subject of churches……. I note in my news reading this weekend that there are stories of two big mega-church implosions. Is this a trend or just a bad coincidence?

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  13. Suzanne said on March 4, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    Which churches, Connie? I hadn’t heard about new ones. I know Willow Creek is doing lots of damage control after the discovery of Bill Hybels [ahem] indiscretions.

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  14. 4dbirds said on March 4, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Congratulations Scout.

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  15. Sherri said on March 4, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Woo-hoo, Scout!

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  16. Sherri said on March 4, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    CityLab has become one of my favorites lately. I subscribe to all their newsletters: https://www.citylab.com/newsletters/

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  17. Connie said on March 4, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Suzanne the two I saw are Willow Creek, and Harvest Bible in the Chicago burbs.

    Congrats Scout, my daughter is currently the age at which I had her, but I have no expectations of grand kids.

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  18. Deborah said on March 4, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Wow Scout! That must feel amazing, congrats to the happy family. So that makes your mom a great great grandma, huh?

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  19. LAMary said on March 4, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Congratulations, Scout. You’re a very young looking great grandmother. I’m a great great aunt, but that’s more about the age spread of siblings in my family and the tendency of one brother and his descendants to start having children young. Enjoy that great grandchild. She’s lucky to have so many generations to share their love and wisdom with her.

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  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 4, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    Scout, that you for reminding us that life will prevail.

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  21. Mouse said on March 4, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Deborah,when I lived in Idaho they used to call that corn snow.It’s a Spring thing!

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  22. bb in DE said on March 5, 2019 at 7:22 am

    At the risk of sounding like a brag, we’re having the opposite winter issue here. We’ve had exactly 2 snows that resulted in accumulation, and for the last 2 weeks the highs have held steady in the 50s (with a couple of 60s thrown in for good measure). All the early-riser flowers are in full bloom. We’re at 50 degrees north–the same latitude as Winnipeg, fer cryin’ in the soup. Dear Individual #1: global climate change is for real.

    In other news: Bitter Scribe @ #7, I’m clicking the “strongly agree” button on your comment. Also, “hooray!” to Scout. Congrats on the newest bundle of joy in your life.

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  23. JodiP said on March 5, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Congratulations, Scout! There will be so much love for that little one!

    Has anyone ever seen The Umbrellas of Cherbourg? I had, many years ago. The composer recently died, and so Fresh Air re-broadcast their interview with him. I checked it out from the library and watched it last night. It is pure cotton candy and delightful. I know I had a dumb goofy grin on my face the whole time. And thanks to my studies, I understood about 90% of the words!

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  24. Scout said on March 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you for all the congratulatories, everyone! As you can imagine, the whole family is simply over the moon for this little button. I am including a link to my FB page in case you’d like a peek at her. In two weeks GreatGrand #2 is due, and of course I will share the news when he arrives. And yes, my parents are Great Greats – we’re calling them the Triple Gs.

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  25. Charlotte said on March 5, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    We seem to be *maybe* coming out of our own polar vortex here — it’s been bouncing between -28 (low) and low 20s for 3 weeks — plus nearly 3 feet of snow. Blindingly beautiful, but we haven’t seen deep cold like this in ages. I traded in the beloved Honda Fit for a new Outback about a month ago (0% interest, okay then), and not a moment too soon … but even so I cancelled classes Monday. There was nothing we were doing that was so important it warranted coming out in -25 temps. It’s usually the sunshine that saves us out here, although my students are succumbing more than any other year I’ve had to depression, flu, and depression. It really worries me for them … we have the highest suicide rates in the country, and town has lost at least 3 young-ish folks this winter alone.
    However! If you’re looking for some good cheer — there’s a terrific young writer named Blair Braverman running her first Iditarod — go to Twitter and follow the #UglyDogs hashtag. She’s a fabulous storyteller, and has kept many of us from utter fucking despair with her twitter stories about her dog team, most of whom she’s raised from puppy hood. She’s been dreaming about the Iditarod since she was a 14 year old in Davis California — and actually, just following mushers in general is cheering me up.
    And now — some Shrove Tuesday pancakes. I walked the dog on snowshoes this morning, so I can eat pancakes.

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  26. beb said on March 5, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    A local grocery store has offered Paczaki’s twice in the past month. As this is a pastry linked to Fat Tuesday I found this very confusing. But at least it is Fat Tuesday, we can buy them in peace.

    I see there is rioting in California over the decision to not try two cops who killed an unarmed man. It’s understandable that people are upset because the investigation is basically closed door and with the assumption that cops are “just doing their duty” etc. Maybe it’s just me but when an unarmed man ends up dead there should be a public trial so all the evidence pro and con could be put out there for all to see. And the judge would need to instruct the jury that being afraid for their life is a claim that needs to be proven not assumed. I doubt this idea will go anywhere but it should.

    Also in the news this morning is the President promising an A+ response to the tornadoes in Alabama. This after telling Porto Rico to just die already and California to rake its forests better. One of the failings of Trump is that he is supposed to be the president of all Americans — not just of the ones who voted for him. It’s another of his impeachable offenses.

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  27. Jakash said on March 5, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    Even though I’ve complained here before about the nation’s month-long Halloween celebration and the mid-November Christmas decorating, I’ve finally been relegated to jumping the gun with regard to obtaining paczkis in Chicago. The good bakeries around me are *so* freaking swamped on Fat Tuesday that I’ve given up on only having them on the day itself. We had a couple paczkis on Saturday and yesterday to enjoy the fun, but I won’t even bother trying to get any today, as I always used to. And, really, it seems to me that the point is you have them before Lent, not that it has to be today (though I realize that’s the tradition) — you “can’t” have any starting tomorrow, but the rationale for enjoying some on Saturday seemed good enough to me. My younger self would have been appalled, however…

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  28. Sherri said on March 5, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Blair Braverman is great! I discovered @SportsSled during football season, where she was tweeting about football and other sports in the voice of her sled dogs (Sled Dog Sports Network).

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  29. Connie said on March 5, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    To many of us Lent is meaningless and we can eat Paczkis any days we want. I was raised so Protestant that I hadn’t really heard of Lent, and most certainly had never heard of Ash Wednesday. I asked in the dorm cafeteria why all those people had dirt on their foreheads.

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  30. JodiP said on March 5, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    Charlotte–thanks much for the sled dog link! My twitter is almost all politics. I use Instagram too, which for me is pretty much all food, surfing videos and a few friends. It’s a pleasant place to be. I just checked, and Braverman has different essays there.

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  31. Jakash said on March 5, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Though it may appear like it, I’m not trying to go all religious on you there, Connie. I realize that most don’t care about Lent, which is why I put *can’t* in quotes. You can eat paczkis any day, indeed, but there’d be no Fat Tuesday, Brazilian Carnival or Mardi Gras without Lent! It’s become more of a belated version of Drynuary for me, than anything…

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  32. Deborah said on March 5, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Mouse, the gringo word for that snow is called grauple, which is a German word. But there’s a Native American name for it too which I can’t remember. I like “corn snow”, but the little pellets are usually way smaller than corn kernels, if that name is based on size. Here’s a Wikipedia link to graupel https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graupel

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  33. Deborah said on March 5, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was a fantastic movie that I’ve been wanting to see again recently.

    I seem to often be in NM on Fat Tuesday and they have nothing like Paczkis around here. I should have brought some with me from Chicago.

    LB’s hip surgery has been rescheduled from tomorrow to now Thursday and it’s supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow so we can enjoy the day outside now.

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  34. LAMary said on March 5, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Do they have King’s cake in NM, Deborah? The Latino bakeries around here have it this week. It’s purple, green and gold.

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  35. Deborah said on March 5, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    LA Mary, I haven’t seen anything like King Cake around here either.

    We bought crawfish at Whole Foods and LB is making Ettouffee tonight. They have plenty of crawfish but no King Cake or paczki, I don’t know why?

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  36. Heather said on March 5, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    My coworker brought in paczki (I had plum jam) and homemade King Cake, which to be honest I’m not a huge fan of. We also went out for a big Cajun buffet at a local place, so I’m stuffed. Maybe I’ll have some bourbon tonight in honor of Mardi Gras though.

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  37. Dexter Friend said on March 5, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    My Labbie Pogo and I jump into the van and I drive to one of several parks or fields for our morning walk. 20 years and one Black Labbie ago I’d let my dog run free at the huge Recreation Park here. Now so many people walk dogs there and since Pogo is overly friendly, I can’t do that, so I began walking her on county-owned land…but yesterday Pogo was attacked by this goddam old man’s huge German Shepherd which the old man let go off-leash. I never let Pogo off-leash, she’s a runner. No harm, all bark, no bite…so I now will go down the road and walk her around the water overflow and retention “duck ponds”. Pogo gets wellness checks, meds, and she eats a fresh-cooked 1/3 pound hamburger at noon, with kibble and a little wet dog food, and at night she gets a large boiled chicken breast, shredded. She likes it. I like dogs, more’n most people, actually. I read that last bit somewhere, and it suits me. I watched a couple hours of the Jackson-theme HBO show. It’s just sad, slow, and I could have done without seeing it. People the world over still believe Jacko was innocent of all accusations. Some believe OJ is innocent, and Trump is a victim of a witchhunt. It takes all kinds.

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