Appliance heaven.

Sorry no post on Friday. I wrote something, read it over and declined to hit Publish. More people should do that from time to time. Not everything that can be said, should be said. More to the point, I’m not sure I said what I meant to say. But by then it was late, and work had piled up.

It remains in the Drafts folder. It may yet live.

I always thought of that as the sign of a true writer: That you don’t know exactly what you think of something until you write about it, because writing and thinking are so inextricably linked that it’s hard to do one without the other.

What a weekend. On Saturday, we spent a fair amount of money on a stove and dishwasher. We didn’t buy a fridge, because the one we have is only a few years old. Besides, I took one look at this…

…and laughed out loud. I asked the salesman who pays the hefty premium for a fridge that will take a photo of its contents, keep track of your shopping list and otherwise make you dependent on yet another electronic device. “Younger people,” he replied. Of course. It reminded me of when I was shopping with my mom in…I guess it was 1984, because the Apple Macintosh had just been released. We were playing with one in the computer store near our home. I explained that you could use it to write, paint and draw.

“There’s also a program you can get, where you put in all the food you have in your fridge and pantry, and it tells you what you can make from it,” I said.

“I do that every day, only I use my head,” she said. I had to admit I do the same thing. The few times every year that I duplicate-buy something I forgot I already have don’t add up to the $3,500 or so one of these things cost.

And then it was home to start clearing out the kitchen, because demo starts tomorrow. (Allegedly.) My kitchen gets a thorough cleaning every couple months, with a clean-as-you-go policy the rest of the time, but man, nothing like pulling that microwave out from its space on the countertop to feel a wave of shame wash over you. There aren’t dead mice or anything back there, but especially in the pantry, let’s just say some people like to eat snacks while standing in the doorway assessing other snacks, and Wendy can’t get every morsel that drops. If I lived in Florida, where (I’m told) the rinse-and-hold setting on the dishwasher gets used after every meal, lest cockroaches be drawn to a dirty plate within, well – I wouldn’t live in Florida.

Photos to come.

As to bloggage, well, I’m throwing in the towel today. Hot takes on the memo are so thick on the ground you can barely move, and it already feels like we’re hunkering down for the next disaster. Perhaps it will come in the form of a pandemic we’re unprepared to face because funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been slashed to finance tax cuts. Maybe it’ll be next year’s flu — wasn’t the 1918 pandemic preceded by a mini-pandemic in 1917? One of my colleagues just returned to work after his flu adventure, and he’d gotten the shot. I told him that next year he’d be safe, while I would die.

And then, of course, there’s the Super Bowl. Ring in on the best ads. And go Iggles.

Posted at 1:30 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 83 Comments
 

Gut the room.

Like (I hope) many of you, the Nall/Derringer Co-Prosperity Sphere has seen its investment portfolios go a little nutty in recent months. Blessed with all this new “wealth,” we’ve decided to spend a little bit of it, remembering the lessons of recent downturns. One lesson: My sister had a colleague who liquidated a bunch of stock in a red-hot market to buy a BMW. The stock (and many others) went south soon afterward, and he said, philosophically, “At least I got a car.”

We, however, are getting a kitchen. It’ll be the last big project left on the Big Projects list, and it’s time for this 30-year-old Home Depot cheap-ass shit to GO. The contractor is Ukrainian, and references say he brings an eastern European work ethic to the job, but any free advice you have to offer, I’m listening. The estimate arrives later today.

I had a busy-busy weekend. A charity nonprofit I serve on the board for had its main fundraiser this weekend, and it blotted out the sun. In reality, the sun (and moon) shone down benevolently on us, and I took some pictures before the party got started, so enjoy a couple of them. The temperature was mild, and the ice was on the move. It was quite a sight:

Even prettier as the sun went down:

This was at a local yacht club, so hence the waterfront setting. We raised about $15,000.

Not much bloggage today, although it seemed when I wasn’t partying this weekend, I was reading the news with a perma-furrowed brow. Just one story, today, which would seem to indicate another Night of the Long Knives may be coming in the Justice Department:

WASHINGTON — A secret, highly contentious Republican memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein approved an application to extend surveillance of a former Trump campaign associate shortly after taking office last spring, according to three people familiar with it.

The renewal shows that the Justice Department under President Trump saw reason to believe that the associate, Carter Page, was acting as a Russian agent. But the reference to Mr. Rosenstein’s actions in the memo — a much-disputed document that paints the investigation into Russian election meddling as tainted from the start — indicates that Republicans may be moving to seize on his role as they seek to undermine the inquiry.

These people do not act like they have nothing to hide.

Have a good week, all.

Posted at 10:04 am in Same ol' same ol' | 64 Comments
 

Rotten Apple.

Someday we’re going to look back on this era and…marvel, I guess, although “recoil in horror” may well be an option, too. I think often how long it’s been since I’ve done business with a larger outfit that didn’t make me seethe with anger or sneer with contempt. This weekend it was Apple’s fault.

My iPhone 6 is three years old and going strong, except that the battery is failing. How do I know this? Because the power falls from 75 percent to 20 percent in 10 minutes, that’s how. Sounds like a failing battery to me! Apple recently acknowledged it was slowing down the older model phones accordingly, and, chastened, offered replacement batteries for them for $30. How very convenient, because I need a battery.

I followed all the links, which led me to an appointment at the Genius Bar. I arrived on time: Hello, I need a battery. The nice lady plugged my phone into her iPad and ran all sorts of diagnostics. It turns out? I need a battery. I surpassed my impulse to eye-roll. So let’s get it done. It turned out there were none in stock, but when one arrived, they’d let me know.

So, one trip to the Apple store down.

The email came a few days later, and said, “come anytime.” I headed out in a gathering snowstorm on Friday. The nearest Apple store is about 15 miles away, I should mention. I arrived and handed over my phone. Give us 90 minutes, they said. So I went back out and shopped the clearance sales, got a French press at Nordstrom, then came back to the warm, bustling Apple store. Are those places ever not bustling? Just asking.

The tech greeted me like a mother who’d brought her child to the ER with suspicious bruises. He showed me a photograph of the phone’d innards. “We can see that this phone has had liquids inside it,” he said. Yep, that sounded right — I was caught in a drenching downpour last summer with the phone in my back pocket, ports facing up. I’m sure it got wet then, because the speaker and mic failed for a couple of days. But I dried it out in a bag of rice and it’s worked fine ever since. So fix the battery, OK?

“We can’t do that,” he said. “We don’t work on phones that have been penetrated by liquids.” Options: Buy a reconditioned iPhone 6 – a three-year-old phone, mind you – for three! Hundred! Dollars! Or just do the usual upgrade thing. Hundreds of dollars more. But to fix a “penetrated” phone in fine working order, only in need of a battery? Out of the question.

Well, it was nice to visit Nordstrom. Good coffee. And I got some tights at 40 percent off.

Why do we let tech companies treat us like this? Why do we happily help them run established businesses out of town for a slightly better price, and then scrape to them and beg them for the latest sacred object? I wish I knew.

I’m going to Office Depot. The hell with this.

And I’m sorry about that rant. It’s cold again, and I’m feeling cranky. Plus it’s the auto show this week, and I’m on my own. To whoever asked in the comments, the prom is this coming Friday, and I’ll have my usual report. From what I’m hearing, the tl;dr is: Trucks for days.

While Alan was working at the kitchen table, I took myself down to the DIA and saw “Bombshell,” the documentary about Hedy Lamarr, movie star and frustrated scientist. It’s very fine, and I recommend it. If you didn’t know that this legendary Hollywood beauty also had a restless, problem-solving intellect, then you should know now. The story is both triumph and tragedy, but what I found most interesting was what it had to say about the human imagination, and how ideas can come from anywhere. Engineering ideas don’t always come from engineers; Lamarr’s singular idea – a way to make radio communications secure via switching frequencies – came from who-knows-where, because she wasn’t even college-educated, and the man she worked with was inspired by player-piano scrolls. But their idea was sound, even as the military brass scoffed at it.

They didn’t get paid. (And she could have used the money.) But her reputation has made a comeback.

Tomorrow will be warmer, and it’ll be Monday. And we’ll await what fresh hell might be around the corner from Shithole-gate. Sigh. Bundle up.

Posted at 8:11 pm in Movies, Same ol' same ol' | 70 Comments
 

Always look ahead.

In honor of his 60th birthday, Eric Zorn published a column called, I hope at least somewhat ironically, “My 14-point plan to be a good old man.” I reached that milestone a few weeks ahead of Eric, and never even considered such a thing, but admittedly, I no longer have a column deadline, and might well have if I did.

For the record, I don’t even consider myself close to being old. I get what he’s saying, though — at this age you can see senescence on the horizon, maybe closer. People you know are starting to die, sometimes of aggressive cancers that just show up one day, announcing time’s up.

On Tuesday you’re fine. On Friday, you have a few weeks left. It happens.

I read Eric’s list, and I approve of it. The tl;dr might be: Your body is one thing, but you can always be young in heart and spirit. I have young friends, real friends, not just my friends’ adult children. I listen to new music when I can. I respect a lot of their art, popular and otherwise. I consider that younger people as a group have many things better figured-out than my generation did at their age. I have hope for a better future, which I further hope will arrive before a totally horrible future comes beforehand. I’m sorry that the boomer generation, of which I am a part, is going out so disgracefully, even though the president is way older than me and I consider him part of a different subset. Unlike lots of young people, I don’t think my generation is the worst ever, or, in the current slangy parlance, Worst. Generation. Ever. Can’t we all get along? We need our confederates.

I was thinking this while reading a piece by a former colleague, a man I once liked very much, who seems to have taken a different path, desiccating into a bitter husk. It’s possible it was written on a bad day – we all have them – but it made me sad. I won’t link to it, in the interest of keeping a certain peace. Practicing kindness seems the best option here.

The other day I was sweating through the final moments of my weight workout when an old man started…I guess he was flirting. It wasn’t anything serious or creepy, just a semi-obvious I see you and I like what I see exchange. At first I was baffled, as he seemed to be much, much older. Then I realized he’s maybe 5-6 years ahead of me, so entirely age-appropriate if I were into it. He picked himself up off the mat where he’d been doing crunches and walked off to the locker room with the step of a far younger man. Here’s to you, you spicy geezer. I hope I have that confidence when I’m…your age.

Bloggage: A pretty good take on Facebook, what ails it and how it should be fixed. And it should be fixed.

The Case of the Infamous Dossier gets more complicated. Still sorting through this one.

Finally, from the comments, I know a lot of you have been getting junk phone calls lately. Me, too. I have a 734 area code, a souvenir of my first cell phone being purchased in Ann Arbor. I make a lot of calls to people who aren’t in my network, so I answer them all, but lately when I see not only the 734 area code but the first three numbers of my own, I let it go, then immediately block it. Lately, I’m starting to get weird email, too, and I wonder if it, too, is a new scam.

One of my private email addresses is first initial/married name -at- a popular domain. And a couple months ago — about the time I started posting my resume on job-search sites, a huge mistake I regret — I started getting email for Norma MyMarriedName, who also uses first initial/last name. She appears to be a very busy lady, buying stuff online and signing up for gym memberships and all sorts of stuff. One included her street address, which I figured had to be a fake, but I G-mapped it and lo it exists, and in Newark, Ohio, no less. We don’t yet have your down payment, Norma, and without it we can’t guarantee delivery by Christmas, wrote someone at Montgomery Ward. (It still exists, yes!) It doesn’t seem exactly…legit.

It keeps happening. I’ve started hitting Unsubscribe on some of them, and by doing so I’m wondering if I just delivered the full contents of my inbox to the Russians. If so, have at it! It’s the address that I mainly use for crap, so enjoy my utility billing notices and unread New York Times Cooking newsletters, Boris.

But who doesn’t know their own damn email address?

Time to punch down the pizza dough and consider toppings. Good midweek to all.

Posted at 6:40 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 123 Comments
 

Into it we go.

I believe it was another blogger who once said that she enjoys Christmas as much as the next girl, but dragging that tree to the curb is like getting another room on your house. Seconded. Every time I sweep up the pine needles, I think how a pre-lit artificial tree is definitely not selling out. Things are complicated this year by the snow on the walks and a serious deep freeze, which means we’re going to be tracking those fuckers back into the house for days and weeks yet.

Yes, I just referred to pine needles as fuckers. I go on a jihad about cleanliness at this time of year.

Otherwise, it was a pleasant new year’s weekend. Prime rib was prepared and served, as was spinach soufflé and a disappointing potato dish, bailed out by a wonderful sorbet. I may make sorbet every weekend for the rest of my life, if it’s as good as the kir royale sorbet I made for dinner yesterday. Glad I bought an ice cream maker at a garage sale a few years back. (“Does it work?” “Oh yes. It’s just that I have two of them.” #GrossePointeProblems)

Now for dry, abstemious January. I’m pretty damn ready for this one, gotta say. But I’ll eat the rest of the sorbet first.

I can say with confidence that my New Year’s Eve was better than young Barron Trump’s:

When I was 11 and my parents had plans for NYE, I could sleep over at a friend’s house, or have someone over, or otherwise do something that an 11-year-old might consider fun. I was never dressed up and required to go to their party with them. Just looking at the random crowd shots gives me the heebie-jeebies on his behalf:

Have we ever speculated on whether Barron is on the spectrum? I’ve thought so for a while now. Those of you experienced with these kids are encouraged to weigh in. His may be the only book out of this administration I might look forward to reading.

Speaking of which, this is required reading for those of you keeping up. And that’s all from me for now. I’m going to try out my new meditation app. Happy new year to all of us.

Posted at 4:55 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 39 Comments
 

January dead ahead.

A few years ago, novelist and NN.C internet-friend Laura Lippman started a New Year’s tradition: The one-word resolution. No long lists of overly optimistic goals, sure to be abandoned by January 23, but just one word. A verb, obviously, since a resolution implies change, and you can’t change without taking action.

I can’t remember what all of hers were; one-word resolutions are personal enough that if they aren’t yours, they’re not exactly memorable. I took her up on it, and remember a few of mine. Focus, for one. Finish, for another. Breathe was the year I got more serious about my fitness regimen; most of the breathing was deep or fast and accompanied by a quicker heartbeat. Last year’s – Twerk – was a total failure; I just don’t have the lumbar suppleness anymore. But if you take it metaphorically, I guess I did some twerking. Kinda.

This year’s isn’t entirely gelled yet, and may change, but I’m leaning toward Tune. It’s a transitive verb, so it’s not quite right. Tune what? A radio? Your engine? In my case, I want to tune in and tune out, which may blow up the one-word rule entirely. But here’s how I’d explain it:

I want to tune in to things that seem to pay real dividends, in either personal happiness or professional accomplishment. I want to read fewer words online and more of them between covers, and have a good stack of novels already in hand. I want to take more time, productive time, to work on writing and editing I’ve been putting off too long. Pay attention to good things, or interesting things, in other words.

And I want to tune out the daily outrage machine that has made 2017 so, so trying. Sorry, but I just don’t have it in me to read one more well-crafted takedown of the president, or Congress, or whoever is cranking the dials on any given day. Nor one more tweetstorm. Nor a hot take from a surprising source, or whatever. I’m not going to stop paying attention; no one can afford to do that. But the accumulated static, the constant clanging gong of OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING? That has to go, or at least be put in its place. These are important and transformational times we’re living through, and I understand that. But we can’t properly focus on our work if we are standing in this firehose of hot takes, laughing, jeering and, of course, the screaming inside our own heads. Arm’s length on this stuff in 2018.

I guess both of these boil down to Focus, again. But isn’t that what all of us are trying to do?

Maybe so.

And this will wrap 2018 for NN.c. I’ll be back…New Year’s Day, most likely, maybe later. In the meantime, I’ll be cleaning, organizing, throwing stuff away and throwing a fancy dinner party. Or rather, a casual dinner party with fancy food. (Prime rib.) Stop by.

One bit of bloggage:

Many of you may know that Michigan State University is going through some hard times of late. A doctor to the U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team, employed by the university, sexually assaulted female patients, including many of those gymnasts, for years, while parties in a position to sound the alarm averted their gaze and made excuses and let things go on and on and on. The same story we’ve seen more than once in recent years. So far the administration appears to be resisting the sort of accountability that translates to people losing their jobs. It’s causing front-page editorials in newspapers and a great deal of anguish for the school’s vast and loyal alumni community.

Well, all involved parties might want to take a look at this story about the Penn State scandal, six years down the road. These wounds don’t heal quickly or cleanly.

So, everybody? Before I go, thanks again for your readership, your participation in our lively comment sections, and just showing up from time to time to read what you find here. It’s all I can ask for, and I’m grateful for it. Especially grateful to J.C., who keeps the machine running. Happy New Year to all of us.

FOCUS.

Posted at 7:31 pm in Same ol' same ol' | 57 Comments
 

Happy holidays to all.

Hey, it’s the end of the week and I haven’t blogged for a while. Didn’t mean to blow you guys off, but I was wrapping presents and working my way through “High Maintenance,” my new favorite HBO show. Those of you who have a subscription, start with the web series of shorts, then start the main, 30-minute episodes. They’re wonderful.

I don’t really have much to say other than that. We’re off to Ohio and then back to Michigan, and as I pass by some of you, I send you greetings for whatever holiday you are celebrating. We’re past the solstice, so hey, longer days!

Here’s a Christmas photo, from the Santa Speedo Run a while back. One mile through downtown and back to the only gay sports bar in Detroit, and in fact, the only one I’ve ever been to, period. While I was there, they were showing years-old MMA fights on some of the big screens, and Janet Jackson videos on others. My kinda place:

Stay warm! I’ll be back next week.

Posted at 3:19 pm in Housekeeping, Same ol' same ol' | 44 Comments
 

Feeling less wondrous.

How was my weekend? Well, it started with deciding to stay in Friday night and rent a movie (“In Bruges”), because Alan had just finished a brutal week. I turned off the movie at 9:30 and went upstairs to read because he was snoring so loud I couldn’t hear the dialogue anymore.

Some weeks are just like that. Although the movie was good, even if I had to watch it in halves. We stayed awake for Saturday night’s choice, “Wonder Woman,” although it also filled me with despair because god, SUPERHERO MOVIES ARE SO BORING. They’re about 30 percent longer than the story needs to be, and all end with a huge battle that goes on and on and on, and has zero tension because you know who’s going to win, or, perhaps, lose in a sequel-y setup. I understand that people see these movies for the other stuff, in this case Gal Gadot in a metal bustier, but let me just say this: The smartest thing DC Comics ever came up with was Kryptonite, because otherwise, Superman is just another dude in tights who wins every fight. Wonder Woman can leap a quarter-mile, and that’s when she isn’t flying or jumping from great heights to land lightly on her feet, stopping a barrage of machine-gun fire with her shield, or random bullets with her wristbands, or squeezing the truth out of someone with her Golden Lariat of Justice, a handy lie detector she keeps tied to the utility-belt portion of her metal bustier.

I’d like to see Wonder Woman start throwing that thing around Washington D.C. these days. Now that would be a movie.

But these are quibbles, people. Quibbles! However, my weekend was about as low-key as could be, which was good, because we didn’t go to Noel Night in Midtown, where three people were shot, and we didn’t get up early to watch the implosion of the Silverdome, which was hilarious. To save you a click: The sequential charges all went off as planned, and then the stadium…failed to collapse. “Built too well,” the engineering firm concluded. Now, though, you have to figure it’s a real shitshow, however, because who’s going to want to go back in that thing after a series of explosions? Maybe a daisy-cutter would take care of it.

And with that, we turn to the weekend’s discouraging words:

You know what we need? Another dispatch from Trump country.

Today’s can-you-imagine-this-headline-three-years-ago story: Trump moves to block Romney from the Senate.

Finally, a note: J.C. and I are tinkering with the Amazon links — the Kickback Lounge shut down, as a few of you have noted — and will try to get a replacement in place eventually. It never amounted to much money, but it was a little, and I always appreciated those of you who used it. Let a worthy successor rise in its place. If any of you have experience with the Amazon Associates program, I’m all ears.

Posted at 9:43 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 72 Comments
 

The gratitude attitude.

Well, happy Thanksgiving to all. The holiday seems to expand every year, doesn’t it? I’ve read about young people, mainly women, referring to their “birthday month,” and expecting regular tributes throughout. That seems to be happening to this one, although who can complain, really? If you’re at work, you won’t be getting anything important done, unless you’re a police officer or an unlucky cashier at a grocery store. The white-collar world is phoning it in, or else shopping the Black Friday sales online, as I spent a chunk of yesterday doing. Like the holiday itself, they’ve expanded to the whole week. I can dig it.

So what are you thankful for? I’ll start with the trivial: I’m thankful for all the excellent shopping columns that have popped up in recent years, which help a person who doesn’t want to spend all day on the internet find the best deals. And yeah, I know they’re affiliate arrangements, but I don’t care. I’ve found several handy items I never would have even known about thanks to the Strategist, to name but one.

Also: Twitter, simultaneously a reason to get up in the morning and the bane of my existence (so hard to put down), a 24/7/365 cocktail party that, for all its infamous awfulness, also reassures me daily that I am not the only person who thinks X, not by a long shot. Kinda like this commentariat, actually.

What else? I have a new job, which is good news. It’s half-time, which is less-good news, but it’s a start. I’ll tell you more in a few days. This means I have to restart freelancing, a task that fills me with Ugh, but once it gets rolling, it’ll be easier.

No one is sick. Kate is investigating a study-abroad opportunity, and we have the money to pay for it. Our mortgage balance is down to a figure that doesn’t freak me out – thank you, 15-year loans. There’s a lot wrong with the world, but there’s still a lot that’s right. You can go online and, with a few clicks, and find dozens of videos showing turkeys attacking people. Turkeys were reintroduced to Michigan some years back, and they have thrived, not just here, but everywhere. Alan had to wait for a flock of about 25 to cross the road, the last time he went fishing up north.

So, on to the bloggage before I take a few days off, because Saturday is my birthday, and I won’t be back until Sunday/Monday. My first post-college job gave you a birthday personal day, and I try to keep that flame alive when I can.

There’s a Pulitzer Prize waiting to be mined from stories about how powerful forces are harnessing the internet for malign purposes. Here, the New York state AG explains:

In May 2017, researchers and reporters discovered that the FCC’s public comment process was being corrupted by the submission of enormous numbers of fake comments concerning the possible repeal of net neutrality rules. In doing so, the perpetrator or perpetrators attacked what is supposed to be an open public process by attempting to drown out and negate the views of the real people, businesses, and others who honestly commented on this important issue. Worse, while some of these fake comments used made up names and addresses, many misused the real names and addresses of actual people as part of the effort to undermine the integrity of the comment process. That’s akin to identity theft, and it happened on a massive scale.

I have some thoughts about the John Conyers story, most of which I’ll keep to myself for now. But this one I won’t: How BuzzFeed colluded with a notorious right-wing troll to bring you the story. Mike Cernovich’s role wasn’t revealed until paragraph 18, and his name mentioned only twice, within that paragraph. I have a problem with that.

So, then, happy holiday and long weekend to all. Go Lions. Go turkeys. Go have a nice meal.

Posted at 10:25 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 87 Comments
 

Self-care.

One childish pleasure you can grant yourself after being fired is this: Purging files, photos, passwords and other job-related data from your devices. Unsubscribing to emails, putting things in the rearview mirror, waving bye-bye.

Then I found a keeper: Shit Derek Says, a file I was keeping of the quips and quotes of my amusing boss-before-last, who presents as quite the curmudgeon but, of course, isn’t:

Are you willing to admit I was right about TED talks? Yes? Victory is mine.

Yes, Derek, I am willing to admit you were right about TED talks. Great idea, ridiculous and/or poor execution in 90 percent of the cases. And yet they go on.

I’m going hard on self-care in this interregnum. Exercise, eating right, scant alcohol, childish pleasures – I believe I’ve mentioned this, but I could use some more, preferably the kind that doesn’t cost much money. Long walks with the dog, meditation, that sort of thing. Send tips.

Feeling a little peevish this morning, however. Alan was having problems with his email that I couldn’t solve, so we called Comcast for help. Ai-yi-yi. The first 15 minutes — FIFTEEN MINUTES — of the call, which of course was to the Philippines, was spent explaining that “Grosse Pointe” and “Grosse Pointe Woods” are the same thing.

And then it turned out the problem was at their end. While I listened to him negotiate with the Filipino help desk, I read this story, from Columbia Journalism Review, on the victims of fake news — Sandy Hook parents, Comet Pizza owners and customers, you know the drill. Here’s a passage that I stopped at:

I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Megyn Kelly asking her to not run that show where she interviewed Alex Jones. My point to her was, don’t just hold up this guy and say “Can you believe he thinks this?” That’s not enough. Look into why is he that way, why does he think these things, what happened to him to make him think this? Why?

That’s Sandy Hook parent David Wheeler speaking. Good for him for sparing 45 minutes for Megyn Kelly, but where Alex Jones is concerned, I think he’s asking the wrong question. I firmly, absolutely believe Alex Jones doesn’t think these things. He knows he’s peddling bullshit to rubes, but it pays so well, he has to pretend he believes this nonsense, too. And this is where I part with those earnest souls who insist that we must meet Milo, et al in the Marketplace of Ideas, extending respect to them and getting it in return. They are not bargaining in good faith, and I don’t think we owe them anything like respect.

Also on the Testy Train is the writer of this piece, who points out that “as the father of daughters” is the thoughts-and-prayers of sexual harassment stories. Slam-dunk kicker here:

Having a daughter shouldn’t be a requirement for internalizing the problems of working within a sexist industry. Your wives gave birth to a baby girl, not a moral compass. (For what it’s worth, George Clooney, a new dad, managed to talk to the Daily Beast for a whole interview without mentioning his infant twins, one of whom is a girl.) Peppering statements about how shocked and appalled you are with a mention of your daughter just makes you look clueless. Because here’s the thing: Only a sociopath needs a daughter — or a sister, a girlfriend, a wife, or even just a lady standing in front of him at Starbucks — to make him queasy enough at the thought of a sexual predator in his industry to do something about it. You don’t need a daughter to feel guilty about working with a man who preys on young women, or about not acting to stop him. You just need a conscience.

The Russians not only penetrated Facebook, Twitter and Google, but even…Pinterest? The social network for bar-cart enthusiasts? Apparently so.

Onward into the maw of Thursday. Time to check GlassDoor and ZipRecruiter again. Sigh.

Posted at 10:19 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 65 Comments