Downward-facing bore.

A friend of mine started inviting me to this yoga class on Saturdays. And I started going. I have to confess: I’m not much of a yoga girl. I find it impossible to clear my mind, let alone breathe shoulder to shoulder and hip to hip. I plugged my way through some hot yoga a year ago, but everything else has been oh-this-stuff-again.

But you can never step into the same river twice, as some yogi undoubtedly said at some point, and this time, I dunno, it sort of clicked. I couldn’t clear my mind — that is never going to happen, sorry — but the breathing suddenly made sense and I could feel how it’s not just fancy stretchin’ but actual isometric exercise. And then I downloaded Neal Pollack’s book of yoga essays — yep, it’s on the right rail — and long story short, today I ditched Gentle Flow for Power Lunch and oh, I fear I’ve stepped onto a train that is leaving the station and all I can do is hang on and wave until it crashes into Boring Station. It may already be there, in fact. I may be That Person at the party, but if I am, I’d really like to have that incredible posture that person always has. Not there yet.

Yoga is fucking awesome. Let that be the last thing I say about it.

No, this: The other day I was lying in bed, reading, and stretched my leg out at a strange angle, just for the feels, and it not only went there, it went beyond. This is how they hook you, those yoga people.

So, how was everybody’s Tuesday? Mine? Cold and snowy, but I got out in it anyway. The snowfall finally broke the last record and I’ll give it this: It was pretty. But now it should go away. Back in the 60s by Thursday.

One of my neighbors had a pet raccoon. She said the family came down one morning and found the animal had escaped its cage, wrecked the kitchen, and was sitting on its fat ass, legs spread and an open bag of marshmallows between them, dipping them one by one into the canister of sugar. (Not sure if I believe every detail of that.) Anyway, things worked out better for her than it did for this girl. Mauled by a raccoon as a baby, now having her face reconstructed.

Don’t keep raccoons as pets.

I haven’t been watching CNN since the Malaysian plane went down, but apparently they’ve gone mad? New York magazine has a roundup, with video links.

Happy hump day, all. See you tomorrow.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Media, Same ol' same ol' | 49 Comments
 

Immune to reason.

Every so often I have to stop and marvel at the world around me. We predict the future, and the future acts otherwise. Man plans, God laughs. And so on.

I recall a line from a novel, something about how a man should always be willing to get up in the morning, just to see what is going to happen. Fear an unbroken line of days ending at the grave, filled with the same ol’ same ol’? Don’t. It’ll be different. Might be worse, could be better. You just never know.

Which is, I swear, the mindset I try to bring to news that vaccine-preventable diseases are making a comeback, a story you read often these days. How strange to think that a war once considered over could flare up years later. (Sort of like post-polio syndrome, come to think about it.) How horrible to think that the anti-vaxxers will very likely not endanger their own children so much as yours. Check out this magical thinking:

Even so, parents like Ellison, 39, don’t buy it, and he points out that he comes to the issue with some expertise: He has a master’s degree in organic chemistry and used to work in the pharmaceutical industry designing medicines. His children — 6 months old, 8 and 12 — were all born at home. Aside from one visit to an emergency room for a bruised finger, none of them has ever been to a doctor, and they’re all healthy, he says, except for the occasional sore throat or common cold.

“The doctors all have the same script for vaccines,” Ellison says.

He is working to build and support his children’s natural immune system using three healthy meals a day, exercise and sunshine. He says if his kids get sick he would rather rely on emergency care than vaccines.

“It’s much more soothing to trust emergency medicine than a vaccine, which for me is like playing Russian roulette,” he says.

I can see why this guy no longer works for “the pharmaceutical industry.” I wonder what his exit interview was like.

Of course, my kid has been stuck so often she was a virtual pincushion, up to and including the three-shot series for HPV. This is the one I hear about most often now, among parents of teenagers.

“I just don’t feel right about it,” is the usual line. Of course, vaccinating your child against a sexually transmitted disease does feel a little squicky, but if you’re capable of the least amount of distance, you should be able to think it through. But instead, that emotion gets braided up with a certain sort of self-congratulation about being an on-the-job supermom, and then this article, or one of the million versions of it, lands on her Facebook page, and her friends (all of whom use images of their children as profile pictures) chime in with congratulations and seconds: “It’s just not right for our family now,” as though the family, their favorite sacred phrase, should get to weigh in on a teenage girl’s health, today and far into a still unknown future.

I always want to add my voice to the chorus: “Of course your daughter won’t have sex before or outside of marriage, because that’s what you taught her, and children always follow their parents’ advice, in all things. But what about the young man she will marry? How can you be sure he, too, has remained chaste, and will up to the night of his wedding, and forever after? Are you that sure?”

But I don’t. The Reaper is coming for us all, and if cervical cancer doesn’t get you, something else will. And someone will probably blame a vaccine.

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was very fine, although busy. It’s late Sunday afternoon as I write this, and I’ve already made Alice Waters’ Meyer lemon cake and will shortly whip up a spinach and goat cheese soufflé to go with some grilled salmon, a fine way to finish off two sunny days of not-work. My taxes are filed and a pair of jeans that was tight last month fits a lot better today. Things could be worse. Tomorrow, they very well might be. But I’m enjoying the mild temperatures and all the rest of it today.

Bloggage?

I drove through a corner of Mercer County, Ohio, about a million times when I was living in Fort Wayne and returning to the parental home place in Columbus. So I devoured this typically excellent Monica Hesse WashPost feature on the difficulty one hiring manager has filling jobs at an egg-processing plant he runs in Fort Recovery, Ohio (pop. 1,500 or so). Personally? I wouldn’t live in Fort Recovery for $55,000 a year, but I’m sure there are some people out there who would, although the story suggests there aren’t as many as you’d think. And the ones who are willing don’t always please the guy in charge of hiring. A very readable piece on multiple themes.

Neil Steinberg is that rare writer who gets a better column out of the outrage over an earlier column than the column itself. (Didn’t make sense. Sorry.)

Don’t miss Peter Matthiessen’s NYT obit. Great stuff.

And now it’s nearly time for “Game of Throooones.” So I have to go. A good week to all.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Media | 46 Comments
 

City folk.

A friend sent me this map yesterday, a data illustration of the nation’s population — half of it, anyway, residing in 39 metro areas. Half. I think it’s safe to say none of these areas would be considered Real America ™ as defined by Sarah Palin, and maybe that’s, in a nutshell, the problem with the Republican party, even though many of these metro areas are solidly red. It’s more the idea the country has of itself, with its SUVs that never see so much as a gravel road and its field hand breakfasts for people who haven’t beheld a field since the last time they drove to Cleveland.

We are city people, and have been for a good long while. But we like to think we have one foot in the soil. It’s one reason I’m grateful for Coozledad’s presence on this blog, and his regular dispatches from the soil of his vegetarian farm and petting zoo; he knows things about the way we used to live that the rest of us have conveniently forgotten.

So how is everybody’s week going? Mine is slogging along. Someone sent me this today; what is it about Mitch Albom that even his charity is self-serving? He just got back from the Philippines. Book-touring, but with heart:

“I’m donating 40 boats up there, but more importantly than that, we’re gonna try to reopen some libraries and put books from myself and some of my author friends from America like Stephen King, Amy Tan and John Grisham… My hope is that maybe we can draw some attention to the situation (in Tacloban),” Albom said.

Why don’t people laugh in this little man’s face when he says stuff like that?

So, bloggage?

Dahlia Lithwick says the contraception mandate is likely toast.

That’s all I have tonight. Enjoy Thursday.

Posted at 12:30 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' | 46 Comments
 

Take 2.

I spent an hour or so last night on a rant, but it lost focus and veered off into the weeds, after which I was too beat to start anew and ultimately just went to bed.

So open thread today, with some conversation-starters:

Puppies in Vegas! Imperiled puppies!

A good John Carlisle column, about a man with autism and his obsession with electronics.

So, what do we think of the new FiveThirtyEight?

Posted at 8:30 am in Current events, Media | 34 Comments
 

Jargon overdoses.

I’ve long felt that we should listen to people who have traditionally been shut out of the public conversation. But you don’t have to do what they say. I’m thinking some of the discussion over the “Dallas Buyers Club” Oscars falls into the latter category.

Two pieces on the board today. This one compares Jared Leto’s portrayal of a male-to-female transsexual to Hattie McDaniel’s Mammy in “Gone With the Wind.” And this one scolds the “Dallas Buyers Club” makeup artists (!!!) for acknowledging the “victims of AIDS” instead of the preferred nomenclature of “persons with AIDS.” Hmm. Apparently these two brush-wielding wrongthinkers didn’t get the 31-year-old memo, quoted within:

In 1983, 11 gay men with AIDS who were in Denver for the fifth Annual Gay and Lesbian Health Conference, gathered in a hotel room and composed a manifesto. The document, which became known as the Denver Principles, began:

We condemn attempts to label us as “victims,” a term which implies defeat, and we are only occasionally “patients,” a term which implies passivity, helplessness, and dependence upon the care of others. We are “People With AIDS.”

(And capitalize the W, fuckers! The P, too!)

I recall when this discussion was going on, and my fallback position on nearly all these matters of nomenclature: Call people what they ask to be called. It’s good manners. Frankly, in 1983 there wasn’t a lot of difference between an AIDS victim and someone who simply had the disease, as it was terrifyingly fatal. But as time rolled on and the new drugs emerged, it made sense. Not everyone who had HIV/AIDS was a victim, but someone living with a (fingers crossed) chronic medical condition that could be managed and wasn’t necessarily cause to put your affairs in order immediately. This passage overstates the importance of the language shift, I think –

Policing vocabulary is a tricky business—raising a stink about offensive nouns and incorrect pronouns can make outsiders feel defensive and annoyed—but there are times when it’s absolutely essential, and this was one. A 328-word statement penned by a tiny group of guys on the fringes of a second-tier medical conference saved millions of lives around the globe, even though very few people have ever heard of it. That revolution began when the people at the center of the crisis declared that they were not victims.

– but OK, whatever.

The former piece, about Leto, is more obnoxious.

Not long from now — it surely won’t take decades, given the brisk pace of progress on matters of identity and sexuality these days — Leto’s award-winning performance as the sassy, tragic-yet-silly Rayon will belong in the dishonorable pantheon along with McDaniel’s Mammy. That is, it’ll be another moment when liberals in Hollywood, both in the industry and in the media, showed how little they understood or empathized with the lives of a minority they imagine they and Leto are honoring.

Hmm. OK, so make your case, then. The movie takes liberties with the facts, the writer contends, which makes it like about 99 percent of all fact-based filmed dramas; the plane carrying the Americans out of Tehran was not chased down the runway by Iranian soldiers, as it was in “Argo.” Hollywood requires drama; real life isn’t sufficiently dramatic, most times.

Leto’s character, Rayon, was entirely fictional, likely added (speaking as someone who knows just enough about screenwriting to be almost entirely ignorant about it) to give Matthew McConaughey’s character a foil, and to set up his prickly relationship with the gay community Rayon represents. Screenwriting 101: Conflict = drama. The fact Rayon is silly I flat-out disagree with.

What did the writers of “Dallas Buyers Club” and Leto as her portrayer decide to make Rayon? Why, she’s a sad-sack, clothes-obsessed, constantly flirting transgender drug addict prostitute, of course. There are no stereotypes about transgender women that Leto’s concoction does not tap. She’s an exaggerated, trivialized version of how men who pretend to be women — as opposed to those who feel at their core they are women — behave. And in a very bleak film, she’s the only figure played consistently for comic relief, like the part when fake-Woodruff points a gun at Rayon’s crotch and suggests he give her the sex change she’s been wanting. Hilarious.

Again, everyone’s perspective is their own, but I didn’t find Rayon a sad sack at all, and in fact seemed pretty close to my memory of the drag queens and trans women I knew in that era. It was 1981-ish, after all, and just to have the gonads to live your life that way already put you out on the fringe. Another transsexual I knew at the time was still coming to work in a coat and tie. Needless to say, I didn’t know she was transsexual until years later.

And the earliest victims — that word again — of AIDS in that era were disproportionately addicts and prostitutes, after all. I mean, I guess Rayon could have been a super-together lawyer who preferred navy suits, but let’s be realistic. I love that “men who pretend to be women” contrasted with “men who feel at their core they are women” part. I’m a woman, and right now I’m wearing jeans and a sweater, an outfit I bet most trans women wouldn’t be caught dead in.

I think what bugged me most about that piece was its anger, the same that followed some of the Dr. V’s putter coverage, slinging around terms like “cis privilege,” “transphobia” and other jargon as though everyone knows exactly what we’re talking about. Even the sympathetic may find themselves mystified by this world, which I remind you requires no fewer than seven letters to cover all its iterations — LGBTQIA. That’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual/ally. If you really want to set your head a-spin, check out this video from Stephen Ira Beatty, born Kathlyn, and try to sort out the language. If that’s not too ableist of me.

Sorry, I liked “Dallas Buyers Club” and see it as a step forward, a very human film. I wish people could cool their jets about it.

That said, Lupita Nyong’o was the star of Sunday’s telecast. What a rare beauty, and what a sparkling speech. As Tom & Lorenzo would say: LUH HER.

How do we feel about the Kim Novak presentation? I am mixed. I read a very sympathetic defense of her by a film blogger whose work I admire, but I came away not 100 percent convinced. Novak is 81. I understand the need to feel beautiful, but at some point, isn’t it infantilizing her to blame cruel, cruel Hollywood for driving her to such lengths? The babe ship sailed decades ago; there’s no reason a natural beauty like Novak can’t look at least presentable in her dotage.

I do think this gets it right, though: If you have two X chromosomes in Hollywood, you just can’t win.

A little warmer today, but only a little. Ugh.

Posted at 12:30 am in Media, Movies | 31 Comments
 

Cabin fever with better TV.

If it’s February 2014, it’s time to spend our winter entombment sitting on our holiday-fortified butt fat watching the slender and graceful do some of the silliest sports in creation.

Slopestyle — oh, please. Team figure skating? If it keeps them from scratching each other’s eyes out. Moguls make my knees hurt just to watch. And yet, I’m gonna sit here on this couch and eat Girl Scout cookies until it’s over, because I am done, done I tell you, with what’s outside my own house at the moment. Two more inches fell Saturday night. Fuck every damn flake of it.

You know, this slopestyle is sort of fun to watch. Crazy damn kids.

I think speed skating is my great lost opportunity. Who knows? If I’d grown up in Milwaukee, maybe I’d have rock-solid 36-inch thighs that could kill a man.

Well, it was a weekend. Cold, snowy, a little dull. We saw “Dallas Buyers Club” Saturday, while Kate went to a Pixies show downtown. Made macaroni and cheese and a panzanella salad. You know how it goes. This time next week, we’ll be in New Orleans. Where, today, it reached 70 degrees. I think that’s all I have to say about that.

Meanwhile, a little bloggage:

When Mitch Albom goes to the mat for something, you know he’s going to give it his all. After all, he’s a sportswriter, a venue where putting it out there and then smack-talking to back it up is part of the job. And he’s a decorated, nationally known sportswriter. So, today, he wound up his keyboard and declared THE BEATLES WERE THE BEST. Actual lines:

Yep. I said it.

Yep, he said it. He said it: The Beatles were the best, and he won’t take it back.

If Katy Perry wants to argue, bring it on. If Lady Gaga takes exception, I’ll raise it.

Because this is an incredibly bold position, isn’t it, to argue that the most successful and enduring pop-music group from an almost supernaturally creative epoch in modern pop-music history is still worth listening to.

And addressing this lecture to a hypothetical “young person,” as he does? That’s simply the work of an asshole.

Moving on: What, you mean I was ahead of the editor of the New York Times? Nonprofit news — it’s what all the cool kids are doing.

The weather was bad in Portland over the weekend, too. Here’s the best story to come out of it. I could see it coming, too – watch out for that ice!

Tick, tick, tick.

Posted at 12:30 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' | 42 Comments
 

A gray area.

Ugh. This cold isn’t a terrible one, but you know how it goes: You’re chugging along, sniffly but fine, and then it’s like a sad trombone plays wah-wahhhh, you eyes roll up into your head and you drop onto the nearest fainting couch.

Meanwhile, current temperature is 9 degrees. Supposed to dip below zero tonight, and pretty much ditto for the week. There is icy lumpy fuck everywhere; just taking the trash out today was a mufu’in’ ordeal. But one day at a time, one step at a time, we’ll get through it.

I hope you folks in Arizona and Florida are very, very happy now, because you have to carry it for all of us.

There’s been lots to talk about in the world of late. I haven’t fully formed an opinion on the Dr. V’s Miracle Putter story and its ugly aftermath, but as of now, I’m finding it hard to climb on the LGBT bandwagon. At this point, I’m coming down closest to Gene Weingarten’s middle path: The story was absolutely defensible, the transsexual angle is absolutely fair game, but there’s a tonal problem with parts of the piece that his editors should have caught. And if anyone knows tone in long-form journalism, it’s Weingarten.

I will admit to frustration with LGBT people whose reactions are, essentially, that the author of the piece is the next best thing to a murderer and these issues of changing gender identity are as plain as day to everyone with a heart and a conscience. They are not. They are not, and they won’t be for a while, and even sensitive people are going to mess up on this one from time to time until that day comes, and even after, it’ll happen.

OK, then.

You know that old urban legend about the guy who drives home blind drunk, falls into bed and wakes up to find a dead body stuck to the grill of his car? Sometimes it happens, only the guy lives. In Wisconsin, the drunk-driving capital of the U.S.

Bridge had some good stories on the festival fatigue in Traverse City yesterday; you can find them in the links on the right rail, or here, here and here. Anyone who lives year-round in a tourist area should be able to identify. The middle link is a Q-and-A with Michael Moore, who never fails to drop a bomb. In discussing what Traverse City needs, he suggests a four-year university, and adds: “Plus it’s always better to have smart people around than ignorant people. The ignorant and intolerant are never the ones who make progress happen.” Boom.

OK, then. Off to brew some tea or something else warm and stare gloomily out the window.

Posted at 12:30 am in Media | 40 Comments
 

What’s in yours?

Our old refrigerator started making a sound Alan diagnosed as a death rattle recently, and the thought of it going toes-up in the middle of the most stressful week of his work year drove us to Sears last weekend for a replacement. It was delivered Wednesday. Looking at its pristine, LED-lit interior, I considered styling it like a refrigerator ad, with a crown roast of pork and a whole, pristine cake, just for the hell of it. But instead, I put all the stuff from the old fridge inside and now I offer you this intimate glimpse of our family’s refrigerated life:

fridge

It’s pretty full, I know, but that’s the way it usually is. In the bottom drawers: Kale, beets, way too much spinach, celery, garlic and a red bell pepper. In the meat drawer: Sliced ham, Italian sausage, chicken filets and way too much bacon. Up top, citrus, yogurt, a pie crust (secret shame! Pillsbury!), pico de gallo, leftovers and a lone Lender’s bagel (don’t blame me; Kate likes them). And yep, there’s plenty of likker in there, too. Did I mention it’s auto-show week?

Every so often I’ll see a magazine feature where a reporter/photographer team takes us into the refrigerators of famous people, and even when it’s allegedly a surprise pop-in, they always seems suspiciously perfect. Maybe the rich and famous employ servants to color-coordinate the fridge and stack all those pop cans and bottled juices. But this is my actual fridge as of Wednesday morning.

The sweet vermouth is due to an excess of bourbon in the house at the moment. We’re fooling around with manhattans this winter. Last year it was vodka cocktails. We are not alcoholics. For the first time in my life I have a through-the-door water dispenser. GOD I FEEL RICH.

OK. Since we’re already into all-caps, I also feel the need for a YOU FUCKERS roundup. I was reading about the retired cop who shot the man in the movie theater for texting. He certainly is a fucker, but I’m thinking the all-caps YOU FUCKER has to be reserved for the people who made him so crazy and paranoid that he felt the need to pack heat to watch a movie. Unfortunately, that is pretty much the entire culture, except for all of us. Too many FUCKERS.

Have you heard of the Shriver Report yet? Apparently Maria Shriver — born into wealth and privilege and never left it for even a minute — has discovered her own gender, and wants to uplift it. So she made a report, and it was bound in book form, and she presented it to the president! And then, because there is no media story that cannot be made even more appalling, she did a piece for NBC News about her own report, and how she presented it. And then, because this report is truly in touch with the American woman and how she works today, guess who is in the report, quoted as an expert on gender-based pay inequality? Beyoncé! Because even though Queen Bey earns on a roughly equivalent level as her husband, she has to dance around in revealing clothing in high heels, I guess.

You can’t make this shit up.

Here’s Shriver, that FUCKER, presenting her report to the president. You can tell from the look on his face that he’s going to cancel all his afternoon appointments and read this thing from cover to cover:

shriver

Jon Hamm isn’t a FUCKER, but he plays one on television, and he’s back at it. April, folks.

And with that, I have some chores to do. I will not have to clean the refrigerator, though.

Posted at 12:30 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' | 61 Comments
 

Good stories, well-told.

We were talking — I was, anyway — about how print isn’t dead yet, not always for the reasons you might think. Today the NYTimes posted yet another multimedia package, “Gun Country,” which I recommend you check out.

It’s deceptively simple. Seven linked stories on one theme, told through a photo montage and an edited audio interview. It’s only simple until you look at it, and realize how many more photos had to be taken to get the 50 or so used in each montage, how many interviews had to happen to get the perfect narrative, how much time the reporter and subjects had to spend together for trust to be established. Hell, how long did it take to get just the right seven people.

My favorite: “Father Language.” My least-favorite: All the rest. But this is a 360-degree view of gun country, and that brings me to my point. I said years ago that I hoped the first expeditions into video storytelling by newspaper journalists might remake the form, at least somewhat. That hasn’t happened; TV news is as stupid and shallow and showboat-y as it’s ever been. (And here in Detroit, the biggest showboat is none other than ex-newspaperman Charlie LeDuff.) But it’s interesting, isn’t it, how newspaper journalists can tell excellent stories with video, but what would you expect from your local TV crew, print-wise? Not bloody much, unless it’s a personal appeal to donate to the United Way, because the pretty-lady anchor is the honorary chair, or some such.

You know what’s hard? Audio editing. The few times I’ve tried it, it made me nuts, trying to cut an interview, interspersed with my own questions, background noise, what have you, into a coherent thread. I think it’s almost easier to do video — more places to cover your missteps. NPR, you guys get a deep bow. It’s tough.

That’s not to say all print people are pros above reproach, although I’d like to salute the New York Post, where even a case of raving mental illness isn’t enough to get you moved to a quiet spot on the editorial page:

The president of the United States, leader of the free world, standard-bearer for everything upright, good and wholesome about the nation he leads, lost his morality, his dignity and his mind, using the solemn occasion of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday to act like a hormone-ravaged frat boy on a road trip to a strip bar.

Yes, it’s the selfie story that would not die, although the photo is the least of it for Andrea Peyser:

In front of 91 world leaders, the mourning nation of South Africa and Obama’s clearly furious wife, Michelle, the president flirted, giggled, whispered like a recalcitrant child and made a damn fool of himself at first sight of Denmark’s voluptuously curvy and married prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

Not to be outdone by the president’s bad behavior, the Danish hellcat hiked up her skirt to expose long Scandinavian legs covered by nothing more substantial than sheer black stockings.

Danish hellcat! That’s the spirit.

Finally, a little Detroit real estate porn for you Californians, New Yorkers and Chicagoans. I’ve been to this house, both before and after its restoration, and folks, it’s a jaw-dropper — a Tudor that curves in a gentle arc. It’s spectacular, and at only three-quarters of a mil, probably less than a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

I’m limping into this weekend, but I must march out the other side, because it’s now or never for Christmas shopping. Hope yours is great.

Posted at 12:33 am in Detroit life, Media | 83 Comments
 

Such an honor.

Here’s how old I am: I am old enough to remember when Time’s December publicity event was called Man of the Year. The machine started early with the possible short-listers leaked for speculation, and finally: THE MAN OF THE YEAR. Ronald Reagan. Ted Turner. Anwar Sadat. And so on.

Now that I think of it, there were occasional women of the year. Wikipedia — for the purposes of this trivia, let’s call it an unimpeachable source — tells us Wallis Simpson won in 1936, her step-niece Elizabeth II in 1952. But it’s basically a man’s game, even if the whole thing was changed to Person of the Year in 1999.

I was amused, today, to see Twitter light up with the news Pope Francis was this year’s PoY, a few days after the story was floated that the finalists included Miley Cyrus. Great work, Time! Flogging a few seconds of the hive’s attention away from whatever it had been paying attention to a few seconds earlier, and then? The big reveal! A pope! Leap into action, Twitter!

I think what’s happening here is a reflection of something Hank put his finger on a while back: The web still isn’t real enough. Ask yourself why the college newspaper still exists. It serves a generation that’s been online since they were toddlers, digital natives. These should have been the first print publications to fall, and yet? They haven’t.

To quote Don Draper, who saw plenty of Men of the Year: You can’t frame a phone call. How will we know who Salon named the 100 Greatest Hacks of 2000-whatever? Just thinking of the search gymnastics needed to find that in 2023 makes my head hurt, but Time — there will always be a Time, on microfilm in some library, somewhere.

With its obvious, safe, not particularly interesting Person of the Year story. Now Miley — that would have been newsworthy.

How y’all today? I just realized I’ll be having some sick days coming up. My cataract surgery is a week from now, followed by a sedate period of lying-in to sleep off the anesthesia. And with that, I close a little over six months of eye nuisance. I had the first surgery close to the longest day of the year and the second on about the shortest.

I just want to drive at night again.

Bloggage?

14 things people in Florida used a machete for in 2013. For reals.

Twelve stories of very bad Santas. The worst one we ever encountered was actually just baby Kate’s experience — my babysitter took Kate and her own two to Southtown Mall in Fort Wayne, thinking to miss the crowds at Glenbrook. What they found was a booze-stinking Santa who told all the kids gimme five, holding out a dirty glove.

The FDA is “taking steps” to “phase out” antibiotic use in livestock. I’ll believe it when I see it.

How to talk to Republican senators: A guide for women.

Over the hump. I think.

Posted at 12:26 am in Current events, Media | 82 Comments