Sorry, guys. I accepted a freelance assignment with the dreaded one-two punch of being, first, a fairly dry topic and second, a tight deadline. So I’ve been distracted this week. Every time I do one of these, I think: Isn’t it time to stop doing this? Then I think: Can I use the money? I can always use the money. And so: More phone calls, emails, etc.
I’m indebted to David Simon for once observing that if it were fun, they’d call it show fun. But it’s business, and so it’s show business. Some things aren’t fun.
So. The other part of this is that I’m in the dreaded late-winter doldrums. We had an ice storm midweek that, thankfully, didn’t rob us of our power like hundreds of thousands of others in the metro area, but it’s bleak enough outdoors that I have been staring at the walls and observing my empty skull like Annie Hall watching herself and Alby having sex.
But it’s at least partly sunny today — although fucking cold — and I hope to make some progress on my story today. And it’s Friday, so no matter what happens, my sources won’t be at their desks tomorrow, and I can not think about it for two whole days. A garden center on one of the main drags here always puts up a spring countdown board around this time of year, and I can report it’s below 30 now.
Someone sent me this a little while ago, and it has roused me to my usual state of simmering outrage:
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Republican lawmakers voted Wednesday to prohibit Indiana University from using any state money to support its sexual research institution after a far-right legislator unleashed disputed allegations of child exploitation by its founder and famed mid-20th century researcher Alfred Kinsey.
The Indiana House voted 53-34 to block state funding toward the Kinsey Institute that has long faced criticism from conservatives for its ongoing research and the legacy of Kinsey’s work that they blame for contributing to liberalized sexual morals, including more acceptance of homosexuality and pornography.
Oh, of course they did. Living in the Hoosier state for 20 years, I was often amazed that the Kinsey Institute existed there at all, but I was schooled on the tremendous influence of a single Indiana University president, Herman B Wells (no period on the B, a style oddity you learn the first time you mess it up), who fought the hayseed legislature and prevailed, which was every bit of the miracle you might be thinking it is. The mover behind this is a sourpuss with the ironic name of Larissa Sweet, new to the legislature, hailing from where else but Huntington County:
Republican Rep. Lorissa Sweet claimed that some of Kinsey’s research was child exploitation as she argued for an amendment to the state budget bill against funding for the institute.
“By limiting the funding to Kinsey Institute through Indiana University’s tax dollars, we can be assured that we are not funding ongoing research committed by crimes.” Sweet said.
And I’ll break my usual three-paragraph rule to include the pushback by Bloomington’s voice:
Democratic Rep. Matt Pierce, whose Bloomington district includes the university campus, responded that Sweet’s claims were “based on old unproven allegations of conspiracies that did not exist,” calling them “warmed-over internet memes that keep coming back.”
Yep. Although frankly, it would serve Indiana right if the Kinsey Institute packed up its enormous collection of literature, research and art — more on that in a minute — and decamped for more tolerant pastures. Although I’m sure if they did, the legislature would demand payment for the materials collected through the publicly funded university.
For those who think the Institute is some dank orgy pit, be advised that they guard their gates carefully, admitting only serious scholars or students doing research for classes. A friend of mine was granted entry to find material for a paper on cohabitation before marriage, and said it was extraordinary, not just for the amazing library, where “Doctor’s Naughty Nurse” was shelved next to peer-reviewed studies of male impotence next to “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” and so on, but also the art collection, which hardly anyone talks about. They have paintings and so on from renowned artists, all pretty, shall we say, frank. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see Thomas Hart Benton’s R-rated sketchbook, wouldn’t you? Sex is a big part of human life; it’s important to study it, and always has been, something Wells knew and Sweet…doesn’t.
Sweet is a first-termer, on the record supporting all the usual right-wing crap — health freedom, gun freedom, all the freedoms (except reproductive, of course). She’s from Wabash, has a degree from Purdue in “animal agribusiness” and works as a pet groomer. And this is who District 50 has representing them in the people’s house.
OK, I’m sufficiently irritated to get back to real work now. You all have a good weekend and let’s hope for a warmer kind of sunshine next week.
Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2023 at 11:21 am
Maybe we should take MTG at her word and divorce red from blue. Not that it would work out well for those “real ‘Muricans.” Turns out the counties that went for Biden generated 71% of U.S. GDP. Blue states have been supporting these red parasites long enough. Let the Kinsey Institute go where it’s wanted.
ROGirl said on February 24, 2023 at 12:36 pm
I’d love to find out what’s in the Kinsey Institute’s art collection. Brrr, it was freezing last night without heat.
FDChief said on February 24, 2023 at 3:10 pm
All you need to know about the depth and sophistication of the wingnut view of ANYthing sexual or sex- and gender-related is that their cunning plan for dealing with sexual issues begins and ends with “abstinence”, i.e. “Just keep it in your pants.”
Got it? “Just say no” to an elemental drive that has produced thousands of years of everything from Roman penis-graffiti to deathless art and music, has fomented exaltation and despair, ruined dynasties and wrecked marriages, cast down (or raised) thrones and dominations, and produced over a century of country songs.
I wouldn’t trust a Republican to so much as know how to property wear a merkin, much less have ANY sort of say over matters relating to human sexuality. It’d be like putting someone blind since birth in charge of the paint counter at Home Depot.
Peter said on February 24, 2023 at 3:42 pm
“It’d be like putting someone blind since birth in charge of the paint counter at Home Depot”
Chief, that would be an improvement over the Rhodes Scholars that are working the paint counter at my local Home Depot.
And speaking of Rhodes Scholars, so this representative has a college degree (from a Big 10 research institution no less) and works as a dog groomer. I keep trying to persuade (hector, yell, whine) to my son about the need to finish his bachelor’s degree, and he’ll gladly use this as yet another example of why bother finishing college. Oy.
Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2023 at 3:49 pm
Actually, I’m impressed as hell at FDChief’s mention of the merkin!
Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2023 at 3:57 pm
Meanwhile, in Floriduh, Mussolini wannabe Ron DeathSantis is readying his plan to trash the state’s university system. Again, please note, this pathetic little man has degrees from Yale and Harvard.
Ron DeSantis is many things: fighter pilot cosplayer, teenage menstruation inquisitor, huffy bigot, squeaky-voiced dipshit, Ivy League-educated hater of education, power-hungry Smurf, squinty-eyed beachball-looking motherfucker, sneering orb of perpetual unpleasantness, insecure pipsqueak Napoleon who wears high-heel boots to boost his height to well above his natural 5’9″.
And so on.
To all of the above, we can now add “giant meteor about to cause an extinction-level event for public colleges in Florida.” That is because the state legislature has now posted the text of a bill, HB 999, to overhaul higher education in Florida, as part of DeSantis’s continued effort to make everyone in his state’s public universities dumber than the dumbest inbred freak-show Dr. Moreau-inspired lifeform to ever slither out of the Everglades. Or Rick Scott, if you want to save yourself some time while making the same point.
Various professors and lawyers and just plain people with a higher IQ than cardboard have been picking over the bill and pulling out the juicier bits, and hoo boy. Among other tragedies:
The bill bans critical studies of race and gender. All courses, majors and minors in Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, and concepts derived from intersectionality or the “belief system” of “Critical Race Theory” must be removed from curricula. Sorry about that, anyone interested in the humanities.
All faculty hiring to be done by school presidents and boards of trustees. The latter are political appointments made by a governor, so one can imagine how it will go when Florida trustee boards are stocked with hardcore right-wingers. Or you don’t need to imagine, since DeSantis is already running this experiment with the New College of Florida, which is how that babbling imbecile Chris Rufo has been elevated from one-man wingnut content mill to college trustee.
Input from current faculty on new hiring? Forget it. The political appointees are under zero obligation to listen to recommendations or advice.
Post-tenure review. Tenure reform, generally speaking, may not be the worst idea in the world. It is certainly a topic of debate in circles not populated by insane people. But imagine it in the hands of DeSantis’s right-wing political appointees. Now imagine you’re a tenured professor of, say, African American History. Now imagine updating your resumé and listing your house on Zillow.
Courses based on “unproven, theoretical, or exploratory content” are all banned. Bummer for anyone interested in teaching most of STEM.
A personal favorite of yr Wonkette is the provision requiring all general education core classes to exclude any concept that “defines American history as contrary to the creation of a new nation based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.” Which makes one wonder how anyone in Florida is going to teach any sort of American history at all, ever, since not living up to the universal principles stated in the Declaration has been a core feature of this nation since it was founded.
Ron DeSantis was educated at Harvard and Yale, and he is determined to make sure anyone who attends a public university in Florida does not get anywhere near the quality of education he got, apparently.
Mark P said on February 24, 2023 at 4:16 pm
Ol’ MTG’s idea of dividing up the country by stupid and not stupid is looking better and better. That was her idea, wasn’t it?
Deborah said on February 24, 2023 at 5:23 pm
Wow, would I love to see the pornographic sketches of Thomas Hart Benton. One of his paintings, Persephone, is in the Nelson Adkins art museum in Kansas City, it was considered pornographic for many years. Benton taught at the Art Institute of Kansas City for a while during his career, where LB attended for a couple of years, not while LB was there of course, he died in 1975, LB was there in 94, 95 or somewhere around that time.
Peter said on February 24, 2023 at 5:32 pm
Do I want to see Thomas Hart Benton’s sketchbook at the Kinsey Institute? I think I’ll take a pass. I’d bet good money that it contains several different types of barnyard animals as well as Harry, Bess, and Margaret Truman. Eeeewwwww.
Dave said on February 24, 2023 at 6:38 pm
Jeff Borden, I wish I had your talent for words.
Julie Robinson said on February 24, 2023 at 6:48 pm
As a student at IU, I was barely aware of the Kinsey Institute, and I believe they are largely independent of the university. I think they can get their own funding if they need to.
Jeff B, you left out DeSantis pushing for-profit charter schools, and hiring an anti-vaxxer to head the state health department. And I could go on and on. But, we are fighting back, with stacks of book boxes being delivered every day. We’re close to 300 now for the banned book library.
Deborah said on February 24, 2023 at 9:06 pm
Off topic, I read that the house where the 4 university students were murdered in Idaho is being demolished because of what happened there, the owner gave the property to the university to do what it wanted with it. The article said that the house where Jeffrey Dahmer killed his victims was demolished in Marquette, WI too years ago and is now a morbid vacant lot surrounded by a chain link fence. I wonder if Sandy Hook School was demolished and whether the Uvalde school will be demolished as well. What a horrible reminder it would be for students to have to go back there after what happened.
Deborah said on February 24, 2023 at 9:09 pm
I should have googled it first https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/15/magazine/can-you-erase-the-trauma-from-a-place-like-sandy-hook.html
Deborah said on February 24, 2023 at 9:13 pm
I tried to edit the previous comment to add this about Uvalde but it’s not showing up?
edit: I also had a link about Sandy Hook that isn’t showing up. Maybe it’s in limbo because I spelled my name wrong again?
alex said on February 24, 2023 at 9:42 pm
I’d bet good money that it contains several different types of barnyard animals as well as Harry, Bess, and Margaret Truman. Eeeewwwww.
The new Cooz! Thread win! And welcome aboard!
FDChief said on February 24, 2023 at 10:08 pm
I was utterly disinterested in the Benton sketchbook until finding out it may contain a mashup of Truman family furry porn. Bess, you minx!
Jeff Gill said on February 25, 2023 at 7:50 am
This is a . . . vivid indicator of the arc of grift. It is long, but it bends toward trashiness.
Little Bird said on February 25, 2023 at 11:29 am
While I understand that having to go back to the place where one experienced a horrific shooting would be incredibly traumatic, if we demolish every school where such incidents occurred, we wouldn’t have schools for long stretches of time in those areas. I’m half convinced that the QOP would love to see public schools disappear and that’s why they don’t do shit whenever there’s a shooting.
basset said on February 25, 2023 at 3:01 pm
Anyone here know about old pocket watches? I have one I’m trying to identify, posted it on a watch forum and have 130 views so far but no comments: https://imgur.com/a/6pBuHYW
Brandon said on February 25, 2023 at 3:22 pm
The new Cooz!
Speaking of whom, does anyone know what’s been going on with the original one?
ROGirl said on February 25, 2023 at 4:25 pm
Basset…It’s coming up as a British military watch from WWII. GSTP stands for General Services Trade Pattern. There isn’t a manufacturer’s name on the face, but it does say Swiss made. Nothing on the serial # on the back. It’s not in very good condition, much of the finish is gone.
Julie Robinson said on February 25, 2023 at 5:15 pm
All I know is that Elgins are very common and not worth much. I was given a family heirloom that was my great grandmother’s confirmation gift, supposedly of high value. Nope. I didn’t bother getting it repaired, but I kept it so the next generation can give it away instead.
LAMary, your books arrived today! Many thanks!
LAMary said on February 25, 2023 at 8:26 pm
The Truman bestiality thing gives new meaning to “the buck stops here.”
Julie, you are welcome. Thank you and your daughter for organizing this project.
LAMary said on February 25, 2023 at 8:56 pm
Since our weather here in CA has become apocalyptic I’m watching more TV weather reports than usual. I’ve noticed that the female weatherpersons wear dresses that are very tight. Like they’re sewn into them. Not a little snug around the boobs and ass. Skin tight. Is this part of the job description? In the interview are they asked, “are you ok with dressing like a high rent hooker while you talk about atmospheric rivers?”
ROGirl said on February 25, 2023 at 9:03 pm
LA Mary, that’s hilarious. There’s a TV monitor in the lobby of my office and they used to have the Weather Channel on all the time. Whenever I walked past I would glance at the TV and I noticed the dresses that the women were wearing, mostly very tight and emphasizing the boobage, in primary colors.
Julie Robinson said on February 25, 2023 at 9:13 pm
In Fort Wayne the TV newspeople could be dowdy in appearance. In Orlando, every single woman has that hooker look, weather or whatever. They also have hair extensions and those caterpillar false eyelashes. It exhausts me just thinking how long it must take them to get ready in the morning.
LAMary said on February 25, 2023 at 9:13 pm
I still have power but the street behind my house looks like you could white water raft down it.
Deborah said on February 25, 2023 at 9:29 pm
We are back in Chicago. It always seems like we never left.
I miss Cooz.
LAMary said on February 25, 2023 at 9:29 pm
Yeah, they have the ridiculously long hair extensions and the tarantula eyelashes here too.
Julie Robinson said on February 25, 2023 at 9:54 pm
Off topic but I sincerely enjoyed watching my Hoosiers walk into Mackey Arena and defeat Purdue. Sweet!
Dexter Friend said on February 26, 2023 at 4:51 am
Sandy Hook Elementary School was demolished and a new school erected…on the same site.
We had blizzard conditions from 3:00 AM ’til daybreak, amassing kinda deep snow. By the afternoon…95% melted.
Fans of Cristoph Walz will love “The Consultant” on one of the streamers.
basset said on February 26, 2023 at 6:11 am
ROGirl, thanks for that information… the watch was handed down from my grandfather, who was in the Royal Navy before and during WW2. Might have been, let’s say, an unofficial acquisition… looks like someone tried to file those numbers off.
IU vs. Purdue… some alumni from each, including myself, met at a bar in Nashville yesterday to wrap disposable diapers for distribution to the needy and then watch the game. A charitable organization buys em by the truckload and volunteers repackage em into smaller bundles… the Boilermakers wrapped theirs faster than us but they had us outnumbered. I didn’t stay for the game.
basset said on February 26, 2023 at 6:20 am
alex said on February 26, 2023 at 7:45 am
The Truman bestiality thing gives new meaning to “the buck stops here.”
LAMary you’re in fine form today! LMFAO!
And Julie’s quip about Fort Wayne TV news people looking dowdy is spot-on. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but there’s an ad for the local ABC affiliate in which anchor Krista Miller is wearing a stretchy top with decorative buttons where her nipples should be. It’s jaw-dropping. You can’t look at it and not wonder how anyone thought this was a flattering look for her or for the station. Then again, maybe the buttons were superimposed because she had pingers or something. I wish I could find a screen capture because it’s too good not to share.
Basset, I have a friend who’s a valuator of jewelry and antiques and she recently helped me sell some of my mother’s things. Among the items in my mom’s jewelry box were two pocket watches. I was informed that any value they might have was significantly reduced by their imperfections. One had been overwound; the other had a hairline fracture in the crystal that wasn’t even detectable to the naked eye.
David C said on February 26, 2023 at 8:03 am
The only time I see local news is when I visit my parents. It’s always on the GR Fox affiliate. It’s Fox so it’s busty anchors in tight dresses, of course. One of the morning anchors looks like she’s wearing a mop on her head. Every time I see it, I’m “Get a haircut”. But I guess Fox viewers (local, not national thank dog) like my dad are focused a little further south.
ROGirl said on February 26, 2023 at 8:44 am
My power was finally restored around 5 yesterday afternoon. The trucks were on my street and guys were going up in buckets around 1, but that didn’t get the power up. They were on an adjacent street, then they left and came back a few hours later.
I learned a lesson about my brand new deluxe refrigerator with an ice maker and water dispenser. When the power goes out, if I don’t empty the ice out of the ice bin it will leak out of the water dispenser, down the front of the fridge, and onto the floor.
basset said on February 26, 2023 at 10:28 am
The value of that watch is purely as a family relic, I never knew my grandfather and have only a few of his possessions.
Posted the same pics on a military watch forum and learned that ROGirl was probably right on the meaning of GSTP, also that the arrow marking denoted British government ownership. And someone on that forum posted a very interesting video on GSTP watches:
Icarus said on February 26, 2023 at 11:34 am
The new Cooz!
Speaking of whom, does anyone know what’s been going on with the original one?
He has not posted anything on his blog since late 2020. Last I recall he was on a tirade against our proprietress. Perhaps he’s crossed the rainbow bridge?
nancy said on February 26, 2023 at 11:44 am
He surfaced on Twitter a while back, on an anonymous account that he used to yell at me for something I don’t remember. When I checked back, the account had been deleted. I know it was him because I have an eye for a prose style, and his was distinctive. And FWIW, I don’t think he’s gone. He’s still kicking around down in North Carolina, to judge from his political donations. I’m sure he’s moved on to more local matters.
Jeff Borden said on February 26, 2023 at 12:06 pm
Looks like “Dilbert” is getting laid off on most U.S. newspapers. Today’s Chicago Tribune has the usual unfunny happenings, but that section was printed many days ago. He’s gone in tomorrow’s edition.
Why do I suspect Adam’s will appear with Tucker McNear Swanson Carlson next week? Or, that he’ll be a featured speaker at the next CPAC convention? Creep.
David C said on February 26, 2023 at 2:18 pm
A couple of years ago or so, when I last looked at Cooz’s blog, he was still railing against the people here. The dude’s a first-class grudge holder, that’s for certain.
carter Cleland said on February 26, 2023 at 7:11 pm
One thing I appreciated about Cooz was his calling out for Republicans to be destroyed, this long before they showed their true colors in the aftermath of 2016. At the time, I thought he was way “over the line”, but now I see his comments as super-prescient.