Poor Pam.

Did I mention I’m dog-sitting this week? Not at my house, theirs. It’s just a mile or so from my house, so it’s not a huge deal, but I’m sleeping over with the dogs, one of whom is an insulin-dependent diabetic, and the other a cute little shit who thinks his cuteness excuses his in-house shitting. But whatever, they’re not my dogs, I’m just here to take care of them. What else do I have to do?

These friends of mine have all the streaming services, so I’ve been watching a lot of TV. One this week was the Pamela Anderson documentary on Netflix, “Pamela: A Love Story.” I didn’t get all the way through, but I saw enough to gather the gist: This sweet girl was fed into the sex-symbol meat grinder, had a wide range of experiences related to that, and is now telling her story, her face scrubbed of makeup.

This is, I’m sorry to say, an old story. A while back I noticed that single women past the age of 50 have a strong tendency to have lots of pets, and that all these pets sleep in their beds, up to and including 80-pound pitbulls. At the same time I can’t help but notice that when sex symbols worldwide age out of the role, they will inevitably swear off men forever and get heavily into animal charities. Brigitte Bardot, case in point. Anderson is following the same path; she sold her Malibu house for $11 million, bought her childhood home and a lot of surrounding land, and now lives in Vancouver with her parents and, you guessed it, a lot of animals.

Her latest marriage, to a construction worker on her reno project in Vancouver, didn’t last. This is a theme.

Not that I am judging. One thing that becomes clear, watching this heavily documented life play out in archival video, photos and readings from her own detailed journals is, this is a woman in love with love and always willing to take a chance on it. Also, she didn’t manage her money all that well, and from time to time she needed to marry someone with enough to support her.

And here’s the other thing: What happened to her, a process in which she was a willing and sometimes eager participant, was equal parts wild ride and tragedy. You look at old photos of her, from her teen years, and she is unrecognizable as source material for the bleached, pneumatically boobed, polished, waxed, sculpted creation that came later. Here she is at the literal beginning of her modeling career, when she was spotted at a Canadian sporting event by the Labatt’s crowd cam:

So pretty, so wholesome, right? Then Playboy magazine invited her to come down to L.A. and meet Hef, and that was the beginning. Breast implants, natch. Peroxide-blonde hair, but of course. I have no idea how many surgeries and procedures she’s had to maintain it all, but I’d guess plenty. Still pretty, still more or less natural:

Then the upper lip expanded, the eyebrows were tweezed into a high arch, the ridiculous Baywatch swimsuit was glued to her body and pretty soon she was getting married to Tommy Lee on a beach in Cancun. All this time men are staring at her, exposing themselves to her, pawing her, and, needless to say, masturbating frantically to her image. When women say, later, how uncomfortable they were with this level of literal exposure, I always want to ask: What did you think would happen? Had you ever seen a copy of Playboy? Sometimes, anticipating these questions, women will say, “They made me feel beautiful, which had never happened to me before,” and OK, I guess I understand. Anderson’s first sexual experience was a rape, and that does a number on your head. But none of this is a secret, and none of it was a secret when Anderson was drawn into it. She’s absolutely right that the obsession with her breasts was ridiculous, underlined by clip after clip of some late-night talk-show host goggling at them. (You know what that tells me? We need more female late-night talk-show hosts.)

But I can’t go along 100 percent with the “it turns out Pam was a person all along” hype. Everybody is a person, but we sometimes forget it. I’m glad that today’s sex symbols have more of a voice in these things; Emily Ratajkowski is photographed naked and semi-naked all the time, but also published a book of essays called “My Body.” I didn’t read it, but it was pretty respectfully reviewed. She had the advantage of coming along 20 years later.

Once again, we learn that women are human beings, and we should treat them as such, at least until they demonstrate, over and over, that either they consider themselves far, far better than the rest of us, or that their personhood is not something they value all that much, or that they have taken it to places where it’s clear they’re actually inviting the world’s judgment. Hello, Madonna and your latest terrifying face:

That’s her daughter, of course, Kate’s former classmate at U-M. She saw her once on the bus, and remarked, “She sure is pretty.” Careful, Lourdes. That’s what they said about Pam Anderson.

So the week starts. A few more days here, then a Shadow Show gig at the end of it. Should be good.

Posted at 5:36 pm in Movies, Popculch |
 

59 responses to “Poor Pam.”

  1. Deborah said on February 5, 2023 at 6:46 pm

    I watched that Pamela Anderson Netflix show too, from start to finish. I was sort of mesmerized by it to tell you the truth, it wasn’t great but I couldn’t stop watching it. Imagine having that many photos and videos of yourself to peruse, I can’t. I got distracted doing something else when the Julien Assange part came on, I thought it was weird when that was taking place, how in the world did those two hook up? And yikes Madonna’s face is frightening. It reminds me of the scenes in the movie “Brazil” with Katherine Helmond.

    530 chars

  2. David C said on February 5, 2023 at 7:37 pm

    What’s with all the crosses? Is she still trying to shock someone? Pensioners have to do a lot more than that to shock.

    119 chars

  3. brian stouder said on February 5, 2023 at 8:24 pm

    Well, I know just enough to know that I have no real idea just how ridiculously women get treated in this world. Other than my lovely (and exceptionally patient!) wife, the strongest source of this insight would be our two daughters – one of whom is pursuing a law degree from IU, while the other prepares to graduate from high school. It shows how genuinely stupid (not willfully ignorant, but ignorant nonetheless!) that I was…. but indeed, it is all too easy to objectify/dehumanize a person, literally judging a book by its cover

    535 chars

  4. Joe Kobiela said on February 5, 2023 at 8:43 pm

    Always thought Pam looked the best in the Labatts picture, Maggie from Bay City Mich? Yikes!! Always laughed at her fake British accent, you’re from Michigan sweetheart. Currently watching the Pez outlaw on Netflix, about a Michigan citizen who made a bunch of money selling Pez dispensers, well worth a look. Sunrise flight to Georgia Monday morning, then Memphis Tuesday thru Wednesday, off to the mouse house Saturday for some vacation.
    Pilot Joe

    453 chars

  5. Brandon said on February 5, 2023 at 9:06 pm

    Hello, Madonna and your latest terrifying face

    This plastic surgeon gives an evenhanded account guess about plastic surgeries Madonna might have had. He says she likely had her first face lift ca. 1995 (about 5:30 in).

    Why and how she has undergone surgery is less relevant than her music (this year she embarks on her Celebration World Tour) and philanthropy.

    551 chars

  6. Suzanne said on February 5, 2023 at 9:24 pm

    I am watching the Grammys. I don’t know who most of these people are but the sound quality is horrible and I am not impressed much by the hot items of the day. Stevie Wonder did perform, looked great, sounded great. Harry Styles just performed and I thought “Meh.”

    Oh well, I am old.

    292 chars

  7. alex said on February 5, 2023 at 10:11 pm

    Pamela Anderson was in my consciousness in sort of the same way Anna Nicole Smith and Jenny McCarthy were. My take was that they pimped themselves out to Hef knowing fully well what they were doing. Despite each of them being vacuous and talentless they all gained fame and fortune, and the two who are still living can still trade on it for more money than most of the rest of us will ever make.

    396 chars

  8. alex said on February 5, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    And I second what Suzanne says about the Grammys. When did making noise become the same thing as making music? Meh to all of it. I’m going to bed.

    146 chars

  9. Jeff Gill said on February 5, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Dr. Dre is an odd choice for an “impact” award. Considering.

    60 chars

  10. Mark P said on February 5, 2023 at 11:27 pm

    The Playboy look — nearly lifelike plastic-skinned sex dolls with nearly lifelike faces and exaggerated Barbie doll figures. Ever since I saw my first Playboy magazine in my early teens, back before women had genitals, I have not been able to figure out who thinks that look is actually attractive. Maybe it’s different now. I haven’t seen a Playboy magazine in a convenience store in probably 40 or 50 years. Did it even survive the internet?

    449 chars

  11. Brandon said on February 5, 2023 at 11:53 pm

    The hip hop medley: Busta Rhymes’s turbo-mouthed flow was one of the highlights.

    80 chars

  12. Brandon said on February 6, 2023 at 12:20 am

    Speaking of Madonna and the Grammys. …

    247 chars

  13. Dexter Friend said on February 6, 2023 at 4:16 am

    “They” are really trying to get people to watch Pam; every time I click on, there she is, beckoning us to watch. The intro was enough for me as I searched for something else.
    Joe, The Pez man documentary is absolutely gonzo! Undercover spy element to boot, as he smuggled in all the dispensers from Poland. I watch a ton of crappy streams just to hopefully stumble upon a good one. Right now I’m a third through “Cherry”, about a ne’er-do-well young man trying to find himself via an early marriage, the army, and I think it is soon all going to hell for him.

    565 chars

  14. alex said on February 6, 2023 at 6:52 am

    Mark P, Playboy went out of print years ago and is struggling as an online-only subscription service. I don’t see how it survives at all in a marketplace where porn is not only free but better than anything published by Playboy. The company probably makes most of its income selling rights to print the bunny logo on dollar store merchandise.

    342 chars

  15. ROGirl said on February 6, 2023 at 7:37 am

    I guess Pam deserves credit for surviving and not turning into a rabid anti-vaxxer, but yeah, the path she took was her choice.

    128 chars

  16. Dexter said on February 6, 2023 at 7:40 am

    Nance, “The 1619 Project” is now on Hulu, for your streaming time.
    6-part docuseries.
    Or maybe it starts Thursday?

    118 chars

  17. basset said on February 6, 2023 at 9:15 am

    We haven’t found “Cunk on Earth” to be nearly as funny as the NPR review last week said it was, but we continue to enjoy the current season of “All Creatures Great & Small.” We’re even planning on taking a tour of the Herriot part of Britain later this year, and I’d buy some tweed suits like Siegfried’s if I had anywhere to wear ‘em.

    357 chars

  18. basset said on February 6, 2023 at 9:24 am

    And on a less pleasant note… a street in downtown Nashville is named after civil rights legend John Lewis, but there’s now a bill in the state legislature to rename it after… you can probably guess who:
    https://wpln.org/post/john-lewis-way-would-be-renamed-after-trump-under-new-republican-bill/

    302 chars

  19. David C said on February 6, 2023 at 10:54 am

    I’m enjoying the new “Creatures” more than the old one. It seems to benefit from not being under Alf Wight’s thumb. If they would have plowed the same ground as the old one it would have been boring. They’re going deeper into the main characters and fleshing them out into real people.

    285 chars

  20. Julie Robinson said on February 6, 2023 at 10:54 am

    bassett, remember when cities were naming roads and bridges after St. Ronnie? That inflamed me, but nowhere near as much as removing Lewis’ name for…him.

    Pam is a cautionary tale to educate your children and teach them to think for themselves. You see it in a lot of churches–protect the girls, marry them off young, and the problems of the world won’t intrude. Of course they always do, and the girls are not equipped to handle them.

    See, all those folks have to do is turn on the Grammys and they feel justified. From what I saw, they dialed down the nudity and twerking this year, though I didn’t make it to the end. Lizzo is refreshing, with her messages of body positivity and telling her fans they are special. If you have HBO+ she has a couple of specials, twerking away but always with tongue in cheek.

    In other news, having a broken ankle sucks.

    868 chars

  21. Heather said on February 6, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    I’m not a huge Madonna fan (I loved her stuff in the 80s), but I watched a video announcing her upcoming tour. The conceit was she was having dinner with a random assortment of celebrities–Questlove, Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, etc–and playing Truth or Dare. I would be pretty scared to play that with Madonna. She also doesn’t seem like she would be much fun to hang out with–too controlling.

    I am also enjoying the new All Creatures. I love Samuel West (Siegfried) and the guy who plays Tristan, who is also pretty funny on The Durrells in Corfu.

    If I may suggest an apocalypse show based on a video game that somehow manages to be smart, The Last of Us is really great. The third episode was all about a love story between two men who are minor characters in the plot (played by Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett–the latter became a breakout star after the first season of White Lotus). And Pedro Pascal is good too. He was really charming on SNL this weekend and now I’ve got a new celebrity crush.

    1006 chars

  22. ROGirl said on February 6, 2023 at 12:28 pm

    Maybe the resemblance to a sex doll was intentional.

    52 chars

  23. Icarus said on February 6, 2023 at 12:43 pm

    I started to watch The Last of Us , but when The Thing that happens in Episode 1 happened, I quit. Internet friends convinced me to continue and I’m glad I did. I had not heard of the video game it is based on.

    I don’t know when it began, but I find that when I stream something, I can only watch it in small chunks of time. I don’t know if it’s advanced ADHD or what. When Nightingale and I watch something together, I’m able to watch it straight through, but when it’s just me, especially on my iPad, I find myself pausing every few minutes to go do something else.

    584 chars

  24. LAMary said on February 6, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Madonna looks like her face wouldn’t move much if she smiled or spoke or whatever. The inflated lip look will go out of style and thousands of people will have weird looking giant lips on their geriatric faces.
    Son Pete is now a brand manager and no longer a roadie and the first client he managed to be assigned? Motley Crue. Pam Anderson’s ex is still a member. What was my first reaction when he told me? “Oh, the band with the guy who was married to Pamela Anderson?” He also does brand management for the band with the guy who used to be married to Gwen Stefani. There’s a pattern there.

    594 chars

  25. Jeff Gill said on February 6, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    Thought of Pilot Joe seeing this story: comments? Are you heading there?

    https://apnews.com/article/kansas-city-chiefs-green-bay-packers-philadelphia-eagles-nfl-super-bowl-63dd277289d3b0cb9bface2dc32b5217

    207 chars

  26. Dorothy said on February 6, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    We’re All Creatures fans, and also The Last of Us fans. I’ve read the books; never knew about the video game either. Good tv is good tv. Now that I’m in another play we have rehearsal Sunday thru Thursday evenings, so we watched both shows over the weekend. I had heard so much hype about the 3rd episode of Last of Us and it didn’t disappoint.

    It’s awfully sad that Pam Anderson didn’t already realize she was naturally beautiful and it should have been enough. The older I get the more I realize that being famous and all the b.s. that goes along with it is like a prison. There’s something to be said for being unrecognized – unless it’s friends who light up when they see you, and not the faces of strangers.

    732 chars

  27. Dave said on February 6, 2023 at 4:21 pm

    Off topic, I know, but referring to the recent discussion about newspapers, I see that the Tampa Bay Times has laid off two more full time reporters and two part time reporters.

    I’m old enough that I never paid a lot of attention to Madonna but, oh, she looks terrible. Anyone remember how Kenny Rogers, in his quest to look young, altered his looks.

    No reason to watch the Grammys, I don’t know the music or the vast majority of the musicians and Alex is right, it’s mostly noise. Looking through the archives, I see that I’ve said this before. Geesh, repeating myself. However, we greatly enjoy All Creatures.

    621 chars

  28. Joe Kobiela said on February 6, 2023 at 5:09 pm

    Jeff, fortunately I am on vacation next week. When I was with wheels up we had a party for our members Super Bowl week end where ever the game was, it’s a big time hassle, when Indy hosted the Super Bowl Fort Wayne, Muncie, Lafayette, and Bloomington we’re alternate airports and did a lot of business. I have flown Jim Bob, the man mentioned in the article when one of his planes was in maintenance, what a great guy. Yes he played in the nfl, but he has made his $$$ in business. He knows the value of time and uses his airplanes to be efficient.
    I can truthfully say I’ve never had a passenger get out of my plane and say gee I hope I have to ride the airlines next time.
    Pilot Joe

    693 chars

  29. Deborah said on February 6, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    Scout, what will you folks be doing this weekend? Staying away?

    63 chars

  30. Sherri said on February 6, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    I’ve attended a lot of sporting events, but I’ve never had any urge to attend a Super Bowl. For one, the game is often not interesting, and two, in person is the worst way to actually watch the game. Football games in general are less interesting to watch in person, and so the reason to be in person is for the excitement of a stadium of people cheering for your team. Neutral site championships don’t have that.

    419 chars

  31. Scout said on February 6, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    We don’t live close to the stadium so it won’t affect us. I’ll be watching* the game at a friend’s house.

    *drinking beer, eating snacks and socializing

    155 chars

  32. Sherri said on February 6, 2023 at 6:36 pm

    The Daily Mail referred to Bonnie Raitt as an “unknown blues singer”.

    I know the Daily Mail is trash, and whoever wrote that headline probably wasn’t born when Bonnie Raitt began performing, but is it that hard to Google?

    230 chars

  33. Sherri said on February 6, 2023 at 6:50 pm

    As we move into tax season, I have a piece of advice: either file electronically or send your tax return via certified mail.

    Last year, we mailed in our tax return as we usually do, close to the deadline. About six months later, we got a notice from the IRS that we owed a substantial penalty for being late paying our taxes, claiming we hadn’t paid our taxes until months late.

    Between the underfunding of the USPS and the IRS, neither agency is functioning well. Our check had not cleared until sometime in June, and we had no proof that we had mailed our tax return in April. Of course, even though our check had cleared in June, they were charging us for penalties and interest for months *after* June.

    It takes hours on hold to get through to someone at the IRS. In the end, they waived the penalties and interest, something they told us could only be done once in our lifetime (not true). It wasn’t that they suspected we had done anything wrong, but they couldn’t just take our word for it.

    This year, we have hired someone to do our taxes. She told us that they file electronically because of problems like this, and that the “lifetime” waiver is actually available every three years.

    Even after the waiver, we got a bill for about $500 in interest. Not wanting to spend another day on hold trying to deal with it, we just paid that one. The original bill was $18K.

    1400 chars

  34. David C said on February 6, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    We just e-filed yesterday. The IRS rejected it because I used last year’s AGI as our PIN. They say my wife’s AGI is wrong. We filed jointly and it’s exactly the same and it’s exactly as I entered it. Thanks IRS.

    211 chars

  35. Julie Robinson said on February 6, 2023 at 8:09 pm

    E-filing, and as early as possible in the season, is also recommended to prevent fraud. Waiting can mean someone else filing with your social security number and stealing your refund. In those cases it’s extremely difficult to get that money back.

    I would normally have ours done by now but sitting up at the computer isn’t working well right now.

    David, sounds like a glitch in their system. Try again tomorrow.

    420 chars

  36. David C said on February 6, 2023 at 8:20 pm

    It was a glitch. It was my glitch though. I accidentally added an extra space after Mary’s AGI. I took it out and it was accepted in about 30 seconds.

    150 chars

  37. Dorothy said on February 6, 2023 at 8:50 pm

    Sherri I wonder if one took a video of themself putting the envelope in a blue mailbox, the meta data on the video would prove when it was mailed. And that way they’d have proof of putting it in a secure box in plenty of time before the due date. Sad that we have to plot strategy like that now, isn’t it?

    309 chars

  38. Bruce Fields said on February 6, 2023 at 9:56 pm

    I’ll put in a plug for https://www.irs.gov/e-file-providers/free-file-fillable-forms

    It’s pretty basic. But if you’re OK with dealing with the 1040 and instructions yourself, it gives you electronic filing and a little help with the arithmetic, for free.

    256 chars

  39. Deborah said on February 6, 2023 at 10:09 pm

    I watched “To Leslie” tonight. I understand there’s some controversy about the lead getting a nomination for an Oscar for best actress, I’d never heard of her before this week. I watched a movie earlier in the week on Netflix, “The Kindness of Strangers” and when I saw To Leslie tonight I thought she looked familiar, so I looked it up and sure enough she’s in both. I recommend the movie, both actually, she’s a good actress that I’ll be looking out for in the future.

    Filing taxes makes my head hurt and my stomach churn, my husband takes care of that and if something happens to him I’ll pay someone to do it.

    616 chars

  40. alex said on February 6, 2023 at 10:54 pm

    I filed yesterday using Turbo Tax because supposedly you could do it for free. But no, once I got going they told me I had to upgrade to Deluxe and they’d take the cost of it out of my refund. Then it came time to give last year’s AGI, which I didn’t have handy, and I had to request a transcript through the IRS web site, but the IRS website didn’t recognize my saved password and despite my efforts to change the password, the IRS did not e-mail me a new temporary password within 10 minutes as promised. They never sent one at all as a matter of fact.

    Then I remembered that I filed with Tax Slayer last year — for free — and the computer still recognized my login and I got my AGI and finished my taxes. And then they billed my credit card at the end for Deluxe Turbo Tax and it wasn’t $39 as originally promised but $78 because I was filing both federal and state, and they didn’t give me the option to have it taken out of my refund like they’d promised. But they gave me a free membership to Credit Karma as if that bullshit is supposed to appease me. I took a survey at the end and told them they suck and I’m going back to Tax Slayer next year. Fuck Turbo Tax.

    1174 chars

  41. Dexter Friend said on February 7, 2023 at 2:07 am

    I watched “The 1619 Project”, part 1 of 6, and it should be mandated as viewing for not just school kids and university students, but for all people. Hulu.

    155 chars

  42. David C said on February 7, 2023 at 5:51 am

    I used Cash App Tax. It has a clunky interface but it’s “free” for both Federal and State. You have to sign up for Cash App but I can sign up for an app and ignore it on page 3.

    177 chars

  43. Jeff Borden said on February 7, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Seriously, if you’d not named her, I would not have known that is Madonna. Dear dog, she looks awful, but probably paid a small fortune for it. She’s going to look like poor Ivana Trump before too long.

    I certainly have some Madonna music in my collection, but I never bought into her schtick as a ground-breaking artist. She was as calculating as any Wall Street banker. And, lordy, she has been pretentious. One of my favorite musical spoofs is “Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful” by Julie Brown, a brutally hilarious takedown of Madonna’s ode to self-worship, “Madonna: Truth or Dare.” If you enjoyed “This is Spinal Tap,” you’ll enjoy Julie Brown’s work.

    655 chars

  44. Deborah said on February 7, 2023 at 11:20 am

    The photos from Turkey and Syria continue to be devastating, the body counts mounting hourly. I read in one of the papers this morning that structural issues in building construction played a big part in the destruction. It’s like that condo building in Miami collapsing, over and over again in building after building. That’s not surprising to me, there’s a lot of money in construction therefore a lot of corruption. Thousands dead already and no doubt thousands more to be found. Heart breaking.

    498 chars

  45. LAMary said on February 7, 2023 at 11:49 am

    I’ve used H and R Block to file electronically and never had an issue. I think this year federal and state plus H and R support if I get audited will cost around 50 bucks.

    171 chars

  46. FDChief said on February 7, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    Same thing in Turkey/Syria as anywhere where seismically active areas are poor and poorly governed. Building codes are nonexistent or, if on the books, evaded thru bribery or nepotism.

    Turns out the magic of the market is pretty black magic when you live in a cinder block deathtrap above a tectonic plate boundary. Who knew?

    329 chars

  47. Icarus said on February 7, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    All these tax filing services heavily lobbied and prevented the government from having free online tax filing for all for so long and it’s still not as robust as it could be. If you think the software is difficult to navigate or confusing, remember: that’s a feature, not a bug.

    279 chars

  48. Sherri said on February 7, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    In the tech world, stock is a bigger part of compensation, and that has always made our taxes a little more difficult, right at the limit of what we could do ourselves. We always had to buy the highest level of Turbo Tax, and getting the information transferred from our brokerage accounts only mostly worked, and trying to resolve that was a pain. After last year, we just don’t want to fight it anymore.

    407 chars

  49. Scout said on February 7, 2023 at 4:34 pm

    We gladly pay our accountant to take on our tax brain damage for us. I’ve always considered it money well spent because she alerts us to deductions we wouldn’t know about otherwise, plus I don’t want to deal with it. After reading about all the rigamarole with the tax software it makes even more sense for us.

    So 62% of Americans don’t think Biden has accomplished anything much in his first two years, which isn’t surprising considering the state of the media. The breathless Chinese balloon coverage is a perfect case in point of how they’ll hype the living feck out of something and blame it on him, but as soon as he and his admin dispatch the problem competently, crickets. We heard endless hours of coverage about gas prices last summer but nothing about it again once they dropped, or the record unemployment rate or how he’s lowered the deficit. Gosh, could this be why people are clueless? Just spit ballin’.

    922 chars

  50. Mark P said on February 7, 2023 at 5:01 pm

    If there’s good video the networks will cover it. Big house fire? You got it! Construction crane falls over? We’re on it! High-speed chase on the 405? We’re all over that! Build back better bill? Didn’t that have numbers in it? Yawn.

    241 chars

  51. Jeff Borden said on February 7, 2023 at 5:09 pm

    Scout,

    If Biden had ordered the balloon shot down over Montana, do you doubt for a nanosecond the QOP wouldn’t have blamed him for putting innocents at risk from the falling debris?

    I had lunch today with one of my editors in Chicago and we were both lamenting how badly American media has failed with political reporting. We’re both braced for an even worse performance as 2024 approaches.

    The absolute absurdity of the Chinese balloon issue is, as Scout notes, emblematic of the problem. For a few days, all we heard were hyperventilating QOPers shrieking about the temerity of China spying on us (as if we don’t spy on every fucking corner of the world ourselves) and Sleepy Joe’s impotent response. Yet today I read an assessment that the balloon debacle is another big headache for Jinping Xi, who is facing a crashing economy and the aftershocks of his “Covid zero” policies and now this international incident; the Pentagon apparently neutralized whatever the balloon was doing while it was over U.S. territory; the 15-mile debris field off the coast of South Carolina will yield a bonanza of information on Chinese technology.

    But the absolute cherry on the sundae was news that three Chinese balloons floated over the U.S. during the reign of the Orange King, but the military never told him about them because they feared he’d start World War III. This is not sitting well with MAGAts like Marjorie Taylor Green –“how could they hide this from the commander in chief!!!”–but thank dog some military brass recognized what an ignorant dolt tRump is and how he would likely respond.

    1604 chars

  52. tajalli said on February 7, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    Sherri@33, my method for snail mailing sensitive materials is to use Proof of Sending, the cheapest way to get a tracking number that will show up on the USPS site the next day. I do a screen shot of that info, print it out, attach it to the paper receipt, and put them in my tax file for future reference.

    I’ve been doing the DMV rounds: car registration renewal, driver license renewal (including vision test, written test, and driving test), plus a senior state id for my Real ID (no cost). Plus finding an optometrist to update my driving glasses without spending a fortune.

    The DVM is switching to all online and the process is more nightmarishly inefficient than ever with long lines for the DMV computers and data that doesn’t update regardless. So, just plowing through, attempting to be patient and polite to the clerks who’re taking the brunt of the public’s frustration.

    Many elderly and poor people are just befuddled by the technology aspect. The applications are in 30 languages but some people can’t read in any language. A woman in front of me in line was shepherding her husband through the process: he had a career driving a tractor and no real computer experience at all yet wasn’t allowed to have assistance on the computer, many people still cannot type. If people make appointments for the vision and driving test, they end up having to cancel the driving test because the vision test appointment line was too lengthy.

    My big plan is to do the driver license renewal application, vision/driving appointment set-up and written test all online, then show up for the vision test two hours prior to the driving appointment to accommodate delays. And bring Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes by Rob Wilkins to keep me entertained.

    1759 chars

  53. LAMary said on February 7, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    As we say here on the San Andreas fault: earthquakes don’t kill people. Buildings kill people.

    94 chars

  54. alex said on February 7, 2023 at 10:29 pm

    Biden, despite his speech impediment which was pitiful at turns, was bravura tonight, the way his passion shone through. It wasn’t your typical teleprompter performance. He rose to the moment, at least as well as he could. I’m impressed.

    237 chars

  55. LAMary said on February 7, 2023 at 11:01 pm

    Followed by total bullshit from Sarah Huckabee. She should spend her time doing sleep medication commercials with her father.

    https://supplementclarity.com/relaxium-sleep-review/

    179 chars

  56. Dexter Friend said on February 8, 2023 at 2:56 am

    I have been watching SOTU speeches since I was a little boy in the 1950s, and Joe just set the standard, taking all the jeering and screaming by Greene and others and turning it back on them, basically ending this speculation that the reds are going to try to cut SS and Medicare.
    At 8:50 PM, Santos and Romney had harsh words, and this Santos, he has no shame. Everybody is sick of him…or are they? MSNBC spent minutes trying to figure out what Romney said to him, and yeah, I’m writing about him. I truly wish he’d go back to private life.
    This was truly the most entertaining SOTU ever. Joe was on fire, at his zenith, surely.

    636 chars

  57. Jeff Gill said on February 8, 2023 at 8:25 am

    Romney swore at Santos? C’mon. Sinema, maybe, Manchin, sure, but Romney? I’m not buying it.

    91 chars

  58. Deborah said on February 8, 2023 at 9:40 am

    Watching McCarthy’s face throughout was hilarious, if not a little sickening too. VP Harris was positively glowing, she looked tiny in her chair next to McCarthy, was he sitting on a pillow? Marjorie was disgusting as usual acting like a mean girl.

    Dexter, calling them Reds is perfect.

    289 chars

  59. Baboomska McGeesk said on February 8, 2023 at 6:19 pm

    We’re coming up to that time of year again:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TkvD9RW0mY

    88 chars

Leave a reply, join the conversation.

Name (required)

Mail (will not be published) (required)

Website