Midweek Meh-ness [DOT 24/5/23]

Happy Wednesday gang! Hope you are all doing great.


Man accused of ramming U-Haul into barriers near White House praised Hitler after his arrest, court filings say

I’m gonna have to quit Twitter aren’t I?

Ron DeSantis to launch presidential campaign on Twitter with Elon Musk

Illiterates banning books. Makes sense.

Wait, what?
““Sex” also featured Madonna’s then-boyfriend, rapper Vanilla Ice…”

These controversial photos from Madonna’s ‘Sex’ art book are being sold at auction for the first time

This never happens to me!

Qing dynasty jars bought for $25 at thrift store fetch over $74,000

Parks Twitter weighs in on the Blue Couch Discourse. [I’m sorry if you understood that reference.]

Have a super day!



  1. I want to thank everyone for participating in last night’s Celeb-Sighting NOT. It has given me much food for thought, which is sort of a pun.

    Here’s some celebrity news, sort of, which me makes me want to cry in frustration that I am not living here:


    Nice’s Cimiez neighborhood is quite beautiful. It’s in the hills, but if you are fairly hardy you can walk down to the City Center, the Old City (the Vieille Ville), the Promenade des Anglais along the Mediterranean waterfront, and the Port. I think I’ll try to forget I ever read about Henri Matisse’s former home and try to focus on something more productive.


  2. …the gorman poem thing is maybe the clearest example I’ve yet seen of how entirely bat-shit that whole process has become

    …leaving aside the fact they claim to not need expert opinions on a work they misattributed…or the part where they believe it sows confusion intended to promote indoctrination…which…reads a bit like they found it confusing…they cite these two pages

    …guess you need the secret MAGA decoder ring to explain the indirect hate message in that without dying of exposure to extreme levels of irony?

    • P.S.

      “it’s not transparent bigotry & you’re the bigot for saying so – there are literally tons of people just like us who agree this stuff should be banned”

      …uh…well…there’s…ummm…literally nearly a dozen of us?

        • It’s critical to point out how much this is pure astroturf. The leadership of this supposed moms group includes GOP campaign consultants, and the funding overlaps neatly with GOP political donors.

          What’s happening is more of the one stop shopping described a few days ago in the Post article about Axiom Strategies. Consultants create controversies which can be packaged for their candidates to use for their campaigns and for massive fundraising.

          At the basic level it’s remarkable how shoddy the work is. Just as the Axiom funded ballot initiative petition came back with pages soaked in bong water, these “mom” filings can easily be traced to a few out of district complainers. Just as the recent NY GOP fake controversy claiming veterans were losing housing because of migrants, which turned out to be a scam.

          The consultants are counting on the press being eager to amplify false claims but slow to catch them. But maybe these debunkings are a sign of reporters smelling a lot of soft targets out there ready to be exposed.

    • As a WASPy American of a certain age I think I can interpret what the complainant from Miami Lakes, Florida, 33014 finds objectionable. Referring to America (if the poem is interpreted that way) as “the belly of the beast” probably didn’t go down well. Quiet not always equalling peace might be taken as some kind of call to arms (not literally). “Just is” is not always “Justice” means that there might be something wrong with the status quo, which there most certainly is, but perhaps not in Miami Lakes. A nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished. In what way, the complainant might wonder? BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE FULL MARXIST FASCISM YET?!?!?

      I saw young Ms. Gorman read this at the Inauguration (on a Jumbotron at a plaza rally; I almost froze my ass off) and I didn’t interpret it this way at all, but when you read it in print, devoid of context, and you have a touch of conspiracy-mindedness and white supremacy within, you might be moved to take action. But the fact that there’s no break-stop on this kind of lunacy is very troubling. And it’s not just far-right wackadoos that do stuff like this. Great works of literature subjected to “sensitivity readers” at publishing houses doing ret-conning and “trigger warnings” on college campuses. It’s all a nightmare.

      • Counterpoint: They may have just seen a picture of her and realized she was Black. “Get this off the shelves!”

        Florida: Leading us back to 1840 as quickly as possible.

    • What’s appalling is the supposed centrist free speech warriors aren’t going to Defcon 11 about this.

      Where’s the Harpers letter?

      The answer is they always were about joining rightwing cranks in shutting down liberals.

      It’s critical to read the actual arguments they were making. They knew that the stuff they were overwhelmingly complaining about from the 1980s on were actually examples of free speech by nongovernment sources.

      So the pivot they made was to slippery slope it — if we don’t complain when Hillary Clinton criticizes something, it might lead to her use government power someday somehow to violate the First Amendment.

      If we don’t rise up to complain when Oberlin sophomores protest a racist, they might someday rise to positions of power in the elite to violate the First Amendment.

      30 years after those Oberlin kids spoke out, they’re in their 50s, and none of what those supposedly neutral enlightened types were warning about in The Atlantic, Washington Post, and NY Times has happened. Hillary Clinton, after years in the Senate and as Secretary of State, did nothing to create the dystopia they said was at the bottom of the slippery slope they invented.

      It came from the right, and anyone who paid attention to the racist and fundamentalist wing of the GOP is not surprised. They’ve been open about their goals if they gained power all along.

      People like Adam Serwer called all of this years ago. But the pseudo intellectual contrarians who endlessly posed as “I’m a liberal BUT” types had made moaning about PC a keystone of their intellectual status. Take that away, and the rest of their rickety edifice would collapse. And so to this day they just keep at it.

      • …not that rampant hypocrisy & false equivalence aren’t appalling…but if I’m honest that came in a long way behind a different aspect for me?

        …that one person…with some factual errors, a self-confessed lack of having taken any kind of better informed view into account & a hair-trigger for offense that brings to mind a saying about a cap that fits…can remove access to a text for an entire cohort of students

        …that appalled me more than a predictable absence of defense from…not even fair weather allies…just false ones peddling more of that false equivalence

        …it’s consistent in its corkscrew logic…whereas in a country that likes to throw the phrase freedom of speech out like a comfort blanket to make hideous ideologies supposedly warm & fuzzy…one person getting to not only say someone else’s speech was a bit too free but that it got so out of hand kids ought not even to be able to read it?

        …yeah…way out ahead for me

        • The power that’s been built into the system is appalling.  The reason the power is there is due in large part to fake centrists waging a campaign dating back to Dinesh D’Souza’s PC panic of the late 1980s, which quickly was picked up by editors all over newspapers and magazines, back when they had the readership to make fake concerns real.

          It’s so old now that someone in their 50s like Chris Licht simply cannot see what he’s doing — you might have argued when he started that this was a cynical plan, but now with the ratings collapse it’s clear he genuinely believes this stuff.

          • …not looking to change your mind or anything…but speaking for myself I’m not sold on that stuff only dating back to a point within my lifetime any more than you’re persuading me the thing I find as unsurprising as I do unpleasant is more appalling than the thing I’ve spent all day feeling appalled by

            …but sure…knock yourself out…whatever gets you through the night & all that kind of thing

            • I’m honestly not sure how to parse that sentence.

              What I’m saying pretty simple. Talking about it being appalling is good, but insufficient.

              You have to look at how this came about, and I think it is due in large part to a coordinated campaign that took off in the late 1980s with the rapid expansion of right wing opinion makers such as the Heritage Foundation and AEI, which were funded by right wingers such as the Kochs and Scaifes, and aimed not simply at narrow outlets such as Ron Paul’s newsletter but at gaining entree to the mainstream press.

              You simply can’t look at evidence gathered by people like Jane Mayer about people like the Kochs and their shift in strategy for network building starting in the 1980s and not see it as a new phenomenon.

              It’s true that there have always been conservatives complaining about liberals, but failing to address the institution building and funding that is at an entire order of magnitude greater than 30 years ago risks a lot. Collapsing one into the other doesn’t help the pushback, it hinders it.

              • …you say can’t but I find I very much can?

                …maybe it got a fresh outfit in the 80s you could call new…but the underlying frame wearing it is a damn sight older than I am…& if it didn’t pre-date the new clothing there wouldn’t have been any call for tailoring it to fit

                …so much in the same way that the specific instance is appalling but the characteristics of it are what’s been appalling me all day in a way that subjectively leaves the bit particularly exercising you in the dust on account of something akin to familiarity breeding contempt…so that’s just regular, everyday, common-or-garden grade appalling to me…call it chronic as opposed to acute

                …I don’t see it as new in that sense or not apparent well prior to the 80s…quite possibly right back to the feudal approach to society that fans of minority rule seem to think of as the good ol’ days

                …so…when you talk about the power being built into the system being the thing to be appalled by…I see that roughly speaking to work the other way around…”the system” per se being basically an artifact of generationally iterated power dynamics…so to me your cause is an effect & the prime mover is as old as dirt

                …but I’ve been at this too long to think anything I say is likely to make you stray from your line…& if that’s the stuff you need to vent about…go on ahead & knock yourself out

                …if you want to have a conversation about it instead…well, then that might be something to take into account when trying to broaden it somewhat…it might help to start by not assuming I’m collapsing one thing into another so much as pulling back to have a bunch more stuff in the frame

    • You can see it in this Sesame Street segment from about 50 years ago. They replayed this a lot for a long time, and when I was a toddler I really wanted to join those kids in running over the bridge, even though I had no idea where it was.

      The bridge segment starts about 4 1/2 minutes in, but the whole thing is worth watching for scenes from old NYC.

  3. You know what the work-from-home version of being told to “smile!” in the office is? Being told you sound busy/sad/angry every single time you get on a zoom.


    I lost it. It’s only fucking 7am on a Wednesday and probably the 4th time this week I’ve been tone policed. I have a sneaking suspicion men don’t get asked if they are sad when they get on a call.

    • …I don’t think it’s quite the same thing…but I’ve found over the years that the time people seem to think it’s worth telling me I’m looking well is generally when I feel like shite?

      …don’t think they mean to tell me sleep-deprivation is somehow becoming…but since I tend to be a little frayed when it happens it can be hard not to respond by biting their head off…probably figuratively…probably

    • Nice to see you again even if you’re busy/sad/angry. And men aren’t generally expected to be the office sunshine. They’d be considered to look serious, thoughtful, engaged.

    • Not mention that while being clear, direct, and enforcing accountability  are leadership skills in a man, they are symptomatic of bossy bitchiness in a woman.

      • Sense of humor works that way too. Ability to make fun of women counts as a sense of humor for men, accepting being made fun of is what counts as a sense of humor for women.

        • …talked about this one time with the sister of a friend who has done pretty well for herself acting but found it was a bit frustrating in some ways & one was that she enjoyed comedy but it’s hard to thread the needle as a “funny woman”

          …light misandry/general-humbug in the manner of, say, jo brand…is accepted but pigeonholes you…& so on & so forth

          …the conclusion we came to is that the whole thing possibly stems for an unconscious & unconsidered acceptance (mostly on the part of men but sometimes not exclusively) of an underlying dynamic they can’t mentally adjust to

          …so…guy tells joke…girl laughs…guy thinks “she likes me” or “I must be doing something right”…rather than, say, “that joke was funny”…they’re conditioned to think of that call/response as an indicator that they rather than their material is what she’s responding to…& the response confirms the I-speak-you-listen dynamic they’re looking for

          …but…girl tells joke…guy laughs…but then he gets all uncomfortable & can’t figure out why…because he isn’t conscious of that speak/listen dynamic but the reversal is up-ending that whole fantasy…maybe tries to tell himself it was the joke that was funny

          …but a woman who’s funnier than the men around her…well…male egos are fragile little things a lot of the time…that’s not new

          …look at beatrice in much ado?

          [ETA: …hang on…does that make benedict the OG mansplainer…I mean…he checks the boxes…even before we get to “but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace.”]

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