Midweek Meh-ness [DOT 17/5/23]

Happy Wednesday! Hope your week is going well so far.

Election Updates:

Pennsylvania’s primary polls close, Ky. governor’s race set

Good for her.

A high-schooler filmed her teacher using the n-word, then got suspended

Thanks I hate it

North Carolina’s GOP-led General Assembly overrides Democratic governor’s 12-week abortion ban veto

Hope he is enjoying the “finding out” part, after fucking around

January 6 rioter shot in face by police sentenced to nearly two years in prison

Strangulation is a HUGE red flag, but of course, Texas…

Sprots! [also, WUT?!?]

The Speed Project: The secret ‘Fight Club’-style race between Los Angeles and Las Vegas

Today in Cute:

Have a great day!



  1. That Washington Post article was full-on nutso. A geometry teacher in Springfield, Missouri, decided to address a class, presumably all-white, it sounds like, there’s no indication that there were any Black students in the room, with a discussion about how, if Black people can use the n-word, then so could he. And that he didn’t like it, and that he didn’t like the fact that Black people used it among each other and to refer to each other. And the 15-year-old who recorded this little impromptu sidebar discussion got suspended for three days.

    What in the world…? A geometry class? Like most people my age I was assigned Huckleberry Finn, I think I was in ninth grade, and one of the main characters is a very sympathetic character who is a runaway slave named Jim, but he has a descriptive before his name. [Edit: Apparently the work has been bowdlerized and Jim is now referred to solely as “Jim.” That perverts Twain’s anti-slavery message, a little bit. Who knows what else has been cut out and rewritten for today’s sensitive readers.]

    We were given all kinds of warnings about the language we were about to read but that this was an American classic and should be part of any educated American’s common store of knowledge. And so it should be. It’s also a very funny book, in parts. Especially when they meet the Dauphin. AND THIS WAS THE 1970s. White people weren’t supposed to be casually tossing around the n-word, we were taught, and my parents, who were born so long ago that my father served in World War II, although slightly underage, certainly never used the term. Not in my hearing anyway.

    This country never ceases to astonish. I guess that’s one of the things that makes it so wonderful(?). Or wonder-inducing, anyway.

    • …there’s an abstract conversation about the dynamic nature of language & the shifting patterns of usage & meaning that I’d be a sucker for…but that particular word…not so much…great textbook example of a word that got forcibly appropriated as a means of denying its power as a slur…that’s about it…so even if the teacher isn’t maliciously racist they’d have to answer for why they picked that example…suspending the student seems dumb but maybe there’s a CYA procedure or something…thought I saw a suggestion they’d severed ties with the teacher but not sure if that’s true or conjecture?

      …there’s a very funny & at least at times somewhat serious episode of the boondocks when riley’s teacher accidentally says it without thinking…but the boondocks had uncle ruckus as a recurring character so they weren’t exactly donning kid gloves around that stuff…but (& I’m sure I’ve muttered about this before) there’s also a pretty decent book that I’d guess would be YA now but I don’t think we called things that back when I read it…either way it’s called “the day they came to arrest the book“…they might have made a film out of it…which is about the huck finn stuff…not just the n-word part but that’s a fair bit of it…& I suppose I’ve always sort of leant towards the idea that you leave the text alone & you flag & explain context – maybe nobody reads forewords or prefaces or endnotes & appendices but even comic book readers can manage a footnote or a (Ed. – here’s the deal) insertion

      …but as a publishing-type person pointed out to me the other day…it’s not a new tactic…enid blyton & the noddy/big nose books were their go-to examples…apparently what passed for the unabridged version of those when I were a kid had already been considerably “refined”

      …so now I begun to wonder if the scale doesn’t slide depending on the age at which you expect kids to encounter a text…if they’re old enough to appreciate what twain was doing & put his usage of the term in a context with facts about his life & times that…justify is the wrong term…but backfill the context in which he made that narrative choice…to remove it seems to diminish the text…but if you’re looking at an age-group for which “the ladybird version” is appropriate…the word probably isn’t?

      …& maybe more teachers should watch that episode of the boondocks

      • Huckleberry Finn was written as a children’s book. It was published two decades after the Civil War and took place in the past in his home state of Missouri (ironic, given the Washington Post article context of all of this.) Huck Finn’s father is the abusive white trash alcoholic Pap. The two women who originally take Huck in are the type of tedious self-righteous white do-gooders that America seems to specialize in. It’s kind of a searing indictment of white, Midwestern America and it’s astonishing how successful it was.

  2. The teacher is a dummy, how are people still using that argument?

    Reminds me of when they started filming animal factories and instead of regulating farming some have humane treatment of our food, we banned cameras and filming.

    As a society, we are not in the business of fixing things, but rather distraction from them.

    • That’s always the way. When cops get filmed doing something bad, there’s always someone on hand ready to argue that the camera is the bad guy here and nobody should have been filming Officer Klanman beating up those Black kids with his baton.

    • It’s also a standard “whataboutism” regularly employed by racists.

      If something is offensive, don’t do it. Don’t worry about who else does it. Just worry about you — and don’t do it. You’re not responsible for everyone else’s behavior, just yours.

      It’s amazing how many of these things boil down to:

      • If you can do it, so can I.
      • If I don’t like it, you can’t do it.

  3. I was supposed to have a video interview scheduled yesterday, but it got cancelled as the company “found” someone who met their requirements and was a lot cheaper (on Monday, I found out they were dropping the position’s salary 10k which pissed me off.)

    Turned out to be a good thing as my insides exploded Monday night from food poisoning. I don’t know what, but I didn’t sleep well and was completely miserable all day. Hard to do an interview with no energy/no sleep/worrying about rushing off to the bathroom.

    I’m feeling better (but that is a matter of degree.)

  4. Jezebel is still out there, and they had this iinfuriating explanation for why NC legislator Tricia Cotham flipped from pro-choice Democrat to anti-abortion Republican.

    Former staffers said it wasn’t money or anything serious. She is just an egotistical, self-entitled flake — “It’s just a deeply petty, personal thing.”


    She evidently got it in her head that fellow Democrats once didn’t clap for her, even though they did.

    She was mad that Planned Parenthood didn’t endorse her, but their decision only came after she blew off multiple meetings to discuss an endorsement.

    She’s a reminder of how a lot of superficial, easily offended, and not very smart people are drawn to politics, and how a sociopathic ability to shuffle and reshuffle beliefs to meet their personal needs of the moment — and how the GOP is recruiting them.

    • Holy shit. “Entitlement” + “Always the victim”. She sounds like a real peach.

      ETA: Also holy shit on the ads on Jezebel. I haven’t been on any of the sites in ages, and the difference is astonishing. No way in hell I’m going to be a regular visitor to that eye-fatigue assembly.

      • The ads + the writing quality + the lack of engagement (compared to the other sites) is really quite startling. I still read the articles mostly out of habit, but man, are they a ghost of what they used to be.

        • It is a horror show. I remember when SNS used to garner 1000+ comments and you could stay up half the night keeping up with them. I used to come in on Sunday mornings and that kept me going for hours. Every so often they used to throw out an SNS on a whim and they’d get like 15 comments, 10 in the black. I myself used to be in the black, under a variety of monikers, but then my hard drive died and I never wrote down any of my keys, so I lost Jezebel, and The Takeout, and Splinter, but Splinter was gone by then. No one at Get/Out Media seemed inclined to restore any of my privileges, so I started afresh with Jezebel, and languished in the grays. To get into the black I would address my comments to old cronies who remembered me, and that usually worked. But not always. And then, just a couple of months or so ago, my latest account vanished from Jezebel and The Takeout, probably for inactivity, or just for the hell of it, and I haven’t bothered to go through the steps to create another one.

          And the slideshows. Don’t get me started on the slideshows.

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