Bad words.

On Monday, my best friend’s firstborn will be defending his dissertation. Apparently it’ll be on Zoom, and the public is welcome to watch. I’ve never seen a dissertation defense, and I plan to watch because I’ve known this boy since he was in diapers, and, well, he’s a genius. I don’t expect to understand it at all; he’s in a medical science program, the kind where you go to med school a couple extra years and emerge with two doctorates, medical and “of philosophy,” as they say. But it’ll be interesting to watch.

I have to say, I’m enjoying this phase of parenthood, where a kid is more or less launched into the world and your work is pretty much done. I say “more or less” because I imagine they stay on the family cell-phone plan and HBO subscription until you die. And “pretty much” because they’ll always need you, at least a little. But it’s fun to sit down with a young adult, pour two glasses of wine, and have an adult conversation. You can say “fuck” without feeling like you’re corrupting them. It certainly beats adolescence.

Two language-related incidents in recent days here. First, the grimmer one: A substitute teacher in a suburban high-school here was escorted from the building by administration, fired and told to never return (in so many words). Her crime? Saying “get your cotton-pickin’ hands off of it” to a black student. This was captured on video, because apparently kids never put their phones away, and it had to be done.

The story I read was by some Gannett partner paper out in the ‘burbs, and was written as though she’d burned a cross in the classroom. I can’t find the link now, but there was one passage where the superintendent talked about how all substitutes are of course qualified, but “we can’t know the prejudices in a person’s heart” when they’re hired. Until they come out in language like that.

All I could think was, she said “cotton-pickin'” so she wouldn’t say “goddamn.” Or something worse.

While it is obviously abundantly clear why that phrase is racially offensive, it’s also one of those usages that was common, once upon a time, and had nothing to do with race at all, at least not when I ever heard it. It was a way for your mom or dad to intensify an order without using profanity. Get your cotton-pickin’ hands off the stereo, Jimmy is better parenting than telling Jimmy to take his fucking hands off the volume knob.

It’s an antique phrase, granted. When I hear it in my memory, it comes out in Mel Blanc’s voice, because Yosemite Sam used it a lot when he talked to Bugs Bunny. Wait one cotton-pickin’ minute, etc. I asked some younger people what they thought, and here’s where I was really surprised: Several of them had never heard the phrase at all. Ever! So much for the ubiquity of Looney Tunes.

Some people say gosh darn, some pea-pickin’, some doggone, but it’s all the same. Lots of parents used that phrase when I was a kid. Lots of parents continued to use that phrase when I was an adult.

Memo to the room: We can no longer use that phrase. Substitute fucking, instead. You may still get in trouble, but you won’t be branded a racist.

On Friday night, we went to the Dirty Show, Detroit’s annual erotic-art festival. It’s been a while (Covid), and I was pleased to see the old spirit is back, with vaccine checks at the door and a fair number of masks.

As we were preparing to leave, the burlesque dancers took a break and a comic came out to do a tight five. It was a young woman, about Kate’s age, and she started out blue and reached a shade of blue so deep and bloooooo they need a new word for it. The performers’ names were projected on a screen behind them, and I suddenly realized that I knew her. Or rather, I knew her parents. They lived around the corner from us in Ann Arbor, and Kate played with her sister. Later, Kate and the comic went to Cuba together for a three-week study abroad program.

Alan was laughing his ass off. The jokes weren’t that funny, but there was a certain humor in seeing how far she’d go for the next laugh, like watching someone on a high wire. “Do you ever look into the toilet after you shit and think about how big a dick you could take back there?” etc. All I could think of was the sweet kindergartener I first knew, and of course, if her parents would rather she choose a stage name.

Not sure how we got there from Bernie’s dissertation, but good luck, Bern! You’ll do great, I know.

A little bloggage:

David French – David French! – is warning of the political violence to come, gestating in American evangelical churches:

Some readers may remember that I debated Eric Metaxas at John Brown University in September 2020. While the debate was civil enough, it was clear to me that Metaxas was operating with a level of commitment to Trump that went well beyond reason. He truly believed Joe Biden would destroy America. He truly believed Trump was God’s chosen man for the moment.

Then, after the election, Metaxas escalated his rhetoric considerably. Let’s recall some of his quotes about the election:

“It’s like stealing the heart and soul of America. It’s like holding a rusty knife to the throat of Lady Liberty.”

“You might as well spit on the grave of George Washington.”

“This is evil. It’s like somebody has been raped or murdered. … This is like that times a thousand.”

Indeed, Metaxas claimed certainty even in the absence of proof: “So who cares what I can prove in the courts? This is right. This happened, and I am going to do anything I can to uncover this horror, this evil.”

Hey, Dave – you guys built this Jurassic Park. You can’t be that shocked now that the velociraptors are finding the weak spots in the fence.

So, then: Happy Superbowling, everyone.

Posted at 5:27 pm in Current events, Detroit life |

58 responses to “Bad words.”

  1. Jeff Gill said on February 13, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    The Jurassic Park metaphor is all too apt, I think; I’ve not followed the series into the whole Chris Pratt era where it seems the dinosaurs are now all over the world. Anyhow.

    Jonah Goldberg and Steve Hayes and David French et alia at The Dispatch have been wrestling for the last few years with their own particular sense of what they got wrong, which I would summarize as “we didn’t think conservatism was as vulnerable to a populist takeover as it turns out it was.” And on that particular theme, they’re very apologetic and accepting of blame from some of their stances of the 90s and early 2000s as inadvertently putting velociraptors out into the town common.

    What I do realize now more than I did ten years ago, let alone twenty, is how the GOP in general and the conservative movement in some particular expressions is compromised by the devil’s bargain made by Lee Atwater and the whole post-Goldwater leadership with overt racism. And that’s the hole big enough to drive a Trump Train through in even the most #NeverTrump conservative representatives: there’s still little or no willingness to admit the reality of racism as it was endorsed by inference in political alliances post 1965, and in practice through Christian academies (private academies post-integration) in the South, anti-public school militancy all over the country, as well as the undertones, overtones, and too often explicit xenophobias of the whole anti-immigrant push that’s been wholly embraced by the GOP . . . even as the business coalitions that have always been at the heart of the Republican party work the system to get just as many undocumented workers into their plants and factories and housekeeping departments as they possibly can.

    It’s the unacknowledged racist core of how the GOP got where it is now that is going to be a long-term hobble on how far it can go as an effective political party in terms of national leadership . . . but I’m not optimistic that this weight of the past is going to hold Republicans back from retaking a fair amount of representative authority in Congress next year. They may be heading the wrong direction, but inflation is likely to toss them the ball, and the Democrats will need to make a tackle midfield before we get too much closer to 2024. My best hope is that no one is as good as kneecapping Donald Trump as is Donald Trump. Or as my wife keeps saying, like Dobby did in defense of Harry, to “only maim or seriously injure.”

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  2. Suzanne said on February 13, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    French has been fairly apologetic about what he got wrong over the years, especially after he adopted a black child and was surprised at the racism she faced. (I know, I know. Where has he been?) I am glad to see him speaking out against the radicalization in churches but it does beg the question of where has he been?

    It’s boils down to this; educated pundits like French don’t really know any of the “real Americans” they’ve claimed to speak for all these years. They don’t live in Podunk, Iowa or Nowheresville, IN and don’t want to because those are backward, boring places. They thought it was a game that everyone was in on but when Trump showed up, to their horror, they began to realize that their people really believed all the over the top rhetoric spewed by the likes of Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. Now that they know, they still can’t quite get to the point of thinking that it’s not a few rogue players gone bad but the mob that their belief system gestated that is now poised to destroy everything.

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  3. David C said on February 13, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    I adopted the expression “sonsabitchin’ potlicker” from my grandfather. I just looked it up to make sure I wasn’t casually spouting a racist expression. It’s anti-Irish so I’m in the clear, I guess. I could always use I’m one quarter Irish dodge, which I am.

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  4. beb said on February 13, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    When Mitch McConnell is the responsible republican you know we’re in trouble.

    I saw the headline about “cotton-picking” hand but never read the article because I knew that whoever said was in trouble. Like you, I heard it a lot in my youth. I associate Tennessee Ernie Ford with the phrase for some reason. I’m sure somewhere someone is going to say that white sharecroppers picked cotton as well so it’s not racist to use it. Yeah, right.

    It sounds like the young lady at the Dirty Show went from blue to scatological.

    All these respectable Republicans complaining about the fire-breathers now running the party remind my of the king in “Beckett” who after asking his knights “Who will relieve me of this meddlesome priest” is horrified when they actually killed him. Conservatives dating back to the Birch Society have been calling for an over-throw of the current society. They should not be surprised that current conservatives are actually doing so.

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  5. LAMary said on February 13, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    A teacher here in the parts of the area where the air is worse but it’s little cheaper to live got fired for doing a fake Native American dance and woo woo woo woo type of fake Native American song in the classroom. It was captured on a phone, of course.

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  6. Deborah said on February 13, 2022 at 11:29 pm

    In high school for some reason I started using the phrase “dag nab it”. I don’t know where that comes from but it kept me from saying “God damn it”.

    I think the Super Bowl is over and the Rams won. What little I’ve heard about the halftime show is that it offended the racist right wing. Did any of you watch?

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  7. basset said on February 13, 2022 at 11:41 pm

    We watched “All Creatures Great and Small,” then channel flipped looking for the news and ran up on the game with 38 seconds left. Don’t understand why Cincinnati let time run out rather than trying one more play, if that was even what happened.

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  8. Dexter Friend said on February 14, 2022 at 12:38 am

    “Dodge Ram it!”. Did I create that substitute epithet?
    Another close game, this Superbowl. The halftime show just Dodge Ram kicked ass. All my friends and their many friends were blown away as was I, and I was edgy, as I never download rap, never buy it. But Snoop appeared in a suit that I want, and did his low-key dance and mumbled-words act, and it mattered not if I could understand ,it was cool. Dr, Dre, wow…that man commands attention. Also great. Mary J. Blige knocked it outta the park, leaving all her energy right there, flat on her back at the end. Eminem appeared with Mom’s spaghetti on his tongue telling us we only got one shot and we better Dodge Ram take advantage of it. Kendrick Lamar showed up, but I didn’t get too excited, as I totally am not acquainted with his art. The fucking show was BOMB!
    Cotton pickin’ hands was formerly a polite way to not cuss, as nance said from the get-go. The show I mention here, the XM show “Bennington” is hosted by Ron, 61, and his daughter Gail, who is about 37 I think. It’s totally free expression, and father and daughter not only say “fuck” in nearly every couple sentences, they joke with themselves and the 3 producers of Dodge Ram nearly everything in crude sex lingo. I was going to list the stuff they talk about but even you woke folks would cringe. I cannot even say “fuck” around my daughters, and they are 53, 50, and 44. But those Benningtons can talk about anything and it’s funny, but I can’t , mainly because my daughters would tell me to shut up and watch my mouth.

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  9. dexter said on February 14, 2022 at 2:22 am

    Frank Beckmann died Saturday night in assisted living. He was a radio host for 17 years on WJR-AM Detroit and was legendary Bob Ufer’s replacement for UM football broadcasts. He also did Lions games for years and did a short stint with the Detroit Tigers in the booth. On his morning radio show he was a right wing backwards hater but he was a great sports broadcaster. He was 72. Same as I am.

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  10. Jeff Gill said on February 14, 2022 at 6:28 am


    James proposed to Helen; her father is supportive, his mother less so. Scenery was all around, much like love, actually.

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  11. Suzanne said on February 14, 2022 at 7:19 am

    I watched part of the halftime show and was happy I could identify everybody except Kendrick Lamar, although I have heard of him just didn’t know what he looked like. I am not a big hip-hop/rap fan but the showed seemed fine. I thought the woman who sang the National Anthem did a good job. I had no idea who she was.
    The ads were mostly meh.

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  12. Joe Kobiela said on February 14, 2022 at 7:37 am

    L.A. had the ball at the end not the Bengals after the Bengals couldn’t convert a fourth down, they had one timeout left but didn’t call it because it would not have done any good, L.A could just run out the clock.
    Greeting from the Mouse House.
    Pilot Joe

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  13. basset said on February 14, 2022 at 8:38 am

    That explains it, thanks… if I watched more football I prob would have gotten the possession right.

    Our local used book and record shop has DVDs of the 80s “All Creatures,” not sure I want to dive into that though. Sure are a lot of episodes.

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  14. Mark P said on February 14, 2022 at 9:20 am

    I don’t think “populism” captures what these racist, spit-slinging, bomb-thrower-wannabe, forgot-to-take-a-bath-in-the-backyard-the-last-two-weeks morons are. Their personal interests include hating black people, hating Jews, hating the-gays, hating anyone who doesn’t pack a gun somewhere under their overflowing blubber, anyone who can spell, and generally anyone who would otherwise want to help them fix their teeth. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: the world would be better off if they all took each other out when their rented box truck full of fake fur, tiki torches, Nazi and Confederate flags, and ANFO exploded prematurely, like their dicks.

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  15. alex said on February 14, 2022 at 9:33 am

    Mark P for the win. I always used to say I wished the Rapture were for real so that the kooks could all be magically lifted off the earth to their great reward and leave the rest of us in peace.

    Didn’t pay much attention to the game, other than the halftime show, and thought it a shame that they’d waste the hoods and deck lids on such nice vintage Chevies. I’ve seen people ruin cars just by sitting on them for photos. Hip-hop dancing on them would have to fuck them up pretty bad.

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  16. Icarus said on February 14, 2022 at 10:29 am

    I enjoyed the game and the halftime show. Like Suzanne, I’m not a big hip-hop/rap fan, but the genre has become more of my playlist as I get older. The big joy for me was the look on my In-laws’ faces while they watched the halftime show. They know they are supposed to be offended but don’t have all their Faux News talking points down. Plus their daughters loved the show because they grew up with that music. Priceless.

    I suspect the whole Eminem kneeling and Dr. Dre anti-cop lyrics were more performative, versus truly defiant. Something was probably worked out behind the scenes to let the rappers look good and the NFL to have some cover, but that’s just cynical me.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on February 14, 2022 at 10:38 am

    It was the best halftime show since Prince, whose performance may never be topped. It’s not surprising the rage merchants of the right were offended by all those black people up on stage singing and playing –gasp– black music except for Eminem, of course. But it is precisely the music they played at halftime that is heard loudly in NFL lorckerrooms throughout the season.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on February 14, 2022 at 11:27 am

    Didn’t watch a lick and hope that expression won’t get me in trouble.

    Did eat, a lot, all weekend long. Son and gf cooked and baked up a storm before leaving for their own gathering. Pizza, carbonara, french onion soup, key lime pie, cinnamon rolls, and deviled eggs. They are happy as clams (can I say that?) spending the entire day in the kitchen, listening to music or podcasts, and they even clean up when they’re done. Works for us!

    The 15 yo Russian skater who doped will still be allowed to skate, because at 15 she can’t be held responsible for her actions, if I understand all the legalese. It’s a very dark day for sports.

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  19. Icarus said on February 14, 2022 at 11:53 am

    speaking of words you cannot say, or even reference apparently, I suspect many of you Zorn fans saw this:

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  20. Deborah said on February 14, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    This ad wasn’t on the Super Bowl broadcast, but it’s hilarious

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  21. Sherri said on February 14, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    If the 15 year old is too young to be held responsible for the doping, then she’s too young to compete.

    The game was competitive and entertaining, the halftime show was good, the commercials were forgettable. Except for the worst of all time, Coinbase bouncing a QR code around our TV screens to see how many people were dumb enough to scan an out of context QR code just because it appeared on their TV screen, and the answer is, enough to crash Coinbase’s servers.

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  22. ROGirl said on February 14, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    If you didn’t grow up with Loony Tunes, then cotton pickin might be totally unknown. The teacher may have been of that vintage. There are other options these days, like frigging, freaking, forking, verkokte, bleeping, to name a few.

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  23. Jeff Borden said on February 14, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    Conservative pearl clutching at the excesses of pop culture –even when represented by rap and hip-hop artists in their 50s– is so lame it’s not even funny any more. The sports talk guys this morning –all of them white men, btw– were luxuriating in the halftime show and calling out those they thought should’ve been included such as Big Daddy Kane.

    No wonder Cardi B. and Megan Thee Stallion drove the wing nuts crazy with “WAP.”

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  24. Deborah said on February 14, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    Verkokte Is new to me?

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  25. Deborah said on February 14, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    I’m in Abiquiu so I only had my iPhone to watch it on but wow, the you tube video of the halftime show was amazing. I can’t wait to watch it on a bigger screen when I get back to Santa Fe. The dancing and the set were very well done. Very professional. A great show.

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  26. Bitter Scribe said on February 14, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    I’m indifferent to rap but enjoyed the halftime show just fine. I didn’t even notice Eminem taking a knee, or didn’t understand the significance of it, until a rumor sprang up that he had done so in defiance of the NFL, which had to issue a statement denying it.

    As for the game, since I didn’t care who won, I was just glad that 1) Matthew Stafford got a chance at redemption after languishing so long with the Lions and 2) the game wasn’t decided by Tee Higgins getting away with OPI on his touchdown catch.

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  27. ROGirl said on February 14, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    Verkokte is Yiddish for all screwed up. That verkokte Mitch McConnell, for example.

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  28. Deborah said on February 14, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    ROGirl, how do you pronounce that?

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  29. Deggjr said on February 14, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    Adding to Jeff Gill #1: “… work the system to get just as many undocumented workers into their plants and factories and housekeeping departments as they possibly can.”

    and farms and restaurants and …

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  30. Jeff Borden said on February 14, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    Oh, my. Caribou Barbie’s lawsuit against the NYT was dismissed though an appeal seems certain.

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  31. Joe Kobiela said on February 14, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    Watched the game and enjoyed it, commercials were some good some not, half time was ok all though the type of music isn’t in my wheelhouse I could give shit who performed, what they said or did I haven’t spent one penny on any of them, but I bet if it would have been Kid Rock performing it would be you and the left loosing their shit. My biggest question of the night was where were the mask everyone was supposed to be wearing? Didn’t see one person wearing one including the L.A mayor, maybe he was holding his breath again. Same old shit do as I say not as I do fucking hypocrites.
    Pilot Joe

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  32. Mark P said on February 14, 2022 at 5:26 pm

    Just like right-wingers to criticize liberals for something they imagine they might do.

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  33. ROGirl said on February 14, 2022 at 5:37 pm


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  34. Jeff Gill said on February 14, 2022 at 5:50 pm


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  35. alex said on February 14, 2022 at 6:10 pm


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  36. David C said on February 14, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    If Snow Snooki by some miracle won against The Times, what would have that done to Fox? I bet they’ll be railing against the judge tonight but in reality they know he saved their ass. It’ll be like the vaccination mandate that they rail against but still have a very strict one for their employees. More hypocrisy.

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  37. Jason T. said on February 14, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    Beb @ 4:

    I believe Tennessee Ernie Ford’s minced oath wasn’t “cotton-pickin’,” but “bless your little ol’ pea-pickin’ heart.” In fact, he wrote a whole song based around the phrase:

    When you keep the date you’re dating waiting hours
    If you have to miss your sister’s high school play
    When you prune away your neighbor’s favorite flowers
    They will all forgive you if you smile and say
    Bless your pea pickin’ heart

    I don’t think — unlike “cotton-pickin'” — it has any racial component. Instead, I think it’s meant to suggest someone is being fussy about little annoyances — akin to “nit-picking.”

    I have no idea why I know these things. I should get out more.

    For someone with such a jolly public persona, Ernie Ford had a tragic life. I would share all the pea-pickin’ details, but they’re doggone depressing.

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  38. Jason T. said on February 14, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    As for David French’s column … well, to quote the philosopher John McClane, “Welcome to the party, pal.”

    If some of these folks had tuned away from NPR or Hugh Hewitt, down to the Christian radio stations in their towns (and since radio deregulation, every town has one, or two, or possibly five) and listened to the preachers from their friendly local Pentecostal churches, they would have heard plenty about the coming crusades and holy wars.

    It hasn’t been hidden or subtle. They were in high cotton during the George W. Bush years, because the U.S. was bombing Muslims and we had a good Christian in the White House. But then Barack (“HUSSEIN!”) Obama was elected and they all went completely off of their trolleys.

    They’re end-times eschatologists. Chaos and disaster are good omens, in their view, and Trump was the chaos agent they’ve literally been praying for. You and I saw him destroying the postwar order. They saw him starting the process that will lead to the Second Coming.

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  39. alex said on February 14, 2022 at 9:39 pm

    Icarus at 19,

    George Will used the UIC Law School story as a gratuitous slam on academia (and liberals, Dem voters and Blacks) just a few days ago. It’s a shame the story is being exploited by a token conservative hack who’s trying to stay relevant in MAGA World, where no one appreciates his effete pseudo-intellectual stylings, but he probably gave this otherwise worthy story more coverage than Eric Zorn, who’s the better writer and thinker by magnitudes.

    So yes, aware of it and thinking about it, and wondering why alluding to that word that cannot be spoken, and “cotton pickin’,” and God knows what other unforeseen thought crimes, are going to result in the ruination of reputations and careers of innocent people while assholes like Joe Rogan are laughing their way to the bank.

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  40. Deborah said on February 14, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    I meant to say this upthread when I think it was Alex mentioned the rapture, I read it as rupture and I will continue to think of it that way.

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  41. beb said on February 15, 2022 at 2:03 am

    My apologizes to Tennassee Ernie Ford for thinking he said “cotton-picking” instead of “pea-picking.” It was a long time ago and my memory is often not great.

    “Dab nab it” sound like something Yosemite Sam might say while Foghorn Leghorn (is that the right name?) might have said the c-p phrase.

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  42. Dexter Friend said on February 15, 2022 at 2:36 am

    Trump’s accounting firm said “fock uuu” to continuing to shill lie and cheat for Trump, as they want no more to be involved with the Capone-era type of tax evasion. Every night MSNBC’s pundits give reasons why Trump should have already been convicted and behind bars for so many reasons. Any other American would have been thrown into the hoosegow by now doing 20 years for all the crimes Trump’s empire has committed. Still, however, DOJ is silent and docile while Trump is out there now still saying he won. Lately I see more “Trump Won!” bumper stickers around here. These people do not watch the news at all. They just love Trump for some weird reason. Jim Jones and his Kool-Aid and David Koresh were like that, cult leaders. That is all Trump is. Nothing can change it.
    The Sarah Palin story is crazy. I wonder how much dough she lost in New York City legal fees…Rudy Giuliani is soon to be bankrupt for all his legal debts.

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  43. David C said on February 15, 2022 at 6:12 am

    I bet S.P. didn’t pay any legal fees, Dexter. There are plenty of wingnut law firms who would take a flyer on her lawsuit in hopes of making a bigger name for themselves.

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  44. alex said on February 15, 2022 at 10:08 am

    The girl with the bluer-than-blue humor reminded me of a comedian I’d heard before, and then it came to me. Robert Schimmel. His material was more shocking and gross than funny, but what made it funny was, like the example above, how far he was willing to take it.

    Nothing was taboo in his act. I remember one routine that morphed into jokes about incest with his daughter while he was teaching her how to drive. The irony of all ironies is that he died in 2010 in a car accident in which his daughter was driving.

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  45. Joe Kobiela said on February 15, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    Robert Schimmel also married his daughters best friend and I believe had a child with her. One of the funniest comedian there was.
    Pilot Joe

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  46. Connie said on February 15, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    FWIW kid Rock has been in the Super Bowl half time show. The same one as Janet Jackson’s breast.

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  47. Dexter Friend said on February 15, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    As I recall Kid Rock took a beating on this blog. I kind of liked his act. I quit him when he quit being loud and crazy and went country.
    Biden told Russian working class people he has no qualms with them, leaving the door open for a war if Americans die defending Ukraine. Whatever happens, shit is getting tense. Jeezuss, Putin really hates NATO.

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  48. Joe Kobiela said on February 15, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    Rip P.J.O’Rourke
    Pilot Joe

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  49. Jeff Gill said on February 16, 2022 at 7:42 am

    “I have a 10-year-old at home, and she is always saying, ‘That’s not fair.’ When she says that, I say, ‘Honey, you’re cute; that’s not fair. Your family is pretty well off; that’s not fair. You were born in America; that’s not fair. Honey, you had better pray to God that things don’t start getting fair for you.’”
    ~ P.J. O’Rourke

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  50. basset said on February 16, 2022 at 7:49 am

    Funny guy, and author of the classic “How To Drive Fast While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed And Not Spill Your Drink.”

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  51. alex said on February 16, 2022 at 7:58 am

    By Robert Schimmel’s daughter?

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  52. Mark P said on February 16, 2022 at 8:59 am

    PJO was a libertarian. That’s all I really needed to know about him.

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  53. Jeff Borden said on February 16, 2022 at 10:01 am

    Traditionally, conservatives are awful at being funny. What passes for humor among the mouth-breathing Fox junkies is rarely worthy of even an eye roll among others. O’Rourke was a libertarian, but at least he could write well and was willing to take potshots at the right as well as the left.

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  54. David C said on February 16, 2022 at 10:55 am

    P.J. O’Rourke’s writing for Car and Driver in the 80s was funny and educational. I learned from him how to balance the axle loads on a pickup. You roll it over on it’s roof and you have 0% loading on both axles. Simply, right? He could definitely be an asshole but at least he was a funny asshole.

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  55. Joe Kobiela said on February 16, 2022 at 11:00 am

    Read up on Schimmels mother, holocaust survivor who lost track of her first love. Couldn’t locate him after the war and married Robert’s father, 30 some years later while sitting in a Cafe in Europe looked across the room and there he sat. She wrote a book about it. I heard Robert speak of it. Amazing story.
    Pilot Joe

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  56. Jeff Borden said on February 16, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Why I will never again vote for a Republican until the party is burned to the ground and rebuilt:

    These eight QOP senators –Cynthia M. Lummis (Wyo.), Mike Lee (Utah), James Lankford (Okla.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Ted Cruz (Tex.), John Hoeven (N.D.) and Rick Scott (Fla.)– have written to AG Merrick Garland complaining about the potential creation of “no fly” lists for the punks who attack airline personnel or other passengers over mask requirements.

    They are mewling that such a designation would “seemingly equate them to terrorists.” Well, no shit, Sherlock. What exactly do you call assholes who attack flight attendants? Or try to open a passenger jet door in-flight? Or brawl with other passengers to such an extent flights are returning to the airport because they are unsafe to proceed?

    This is now a party beholden to its most depraved followers. It is a party that doesn’t deserve support even at the lowest level of down ticket races. The party that gasps over hip-hop acts at a Super Bowl halftime show but smiles knowingly at the Cletuses who try to knock out the teeth of a flight attendant is a sick fucking party.

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  57. Deborah Beckett said on February 16, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    This guy is funny, Slava Malamud, I never heard of him before today on Twitter. He’s a Russian sports writer, an American living in Baltimore, on Twitter he described Putin and what’s happening in Ukraine, compared it to sports perfectly so I looked up his website and boy is it great, for example here’s a post he wrote on his site about Russian expressions

    Here’s what he said about Putin/Ukraine on Twitter that made me take notice.

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  58. alex said on February 16, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    Deborah, that was some good reading. In addition I heartily recommend this one:

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