Monday Mood [DOT 12/2/24]

Hope everyone had a great weekend and had a good time watching the Superb Owl if that is your thing. I went down to my neighbor’s house til after halftime.

I know you all talked about this yesterday, but of all the insane things he says and does is this the MOST?

Trump says he’d disregard NATO treaty, urge Russian attacks on U.S. allies

Stonks! As Sam Bankman-Fried awaits prison sentence, FTX customers await a surprise: full repayment


Goalkeeper scores outrageous goal from inside his own half – but doesn’t even realize

Have a great day!



  1. Last night’s episode of “Hawaii 5-0” was all about Hawaiian traditions and customs. A brother and sister anthropological team are at their dig site on the Big Island and the brother is murdered. The sister, Geraldine Page, seems oddly unconcerned, but it turns out that’s just British stiff-upper-lip. She’s not actually British, she was born in Missouri. Did you know she was married to Rip Torn for 24 years, up until her death?

    Steve and Danno are dispatched to the the Big Island. Upon landing, Steve says, “That’s my chopper. I’ll meet you back at the hotel later.” If it had been me, I would have said, “We’re going back to the hotel, and once I’m done with you I’ll call for the chopper.”

    Steve goes up to Hilo and consults with a professor. In his office, which is the size of a large parking lot, he explains that the location of the gravesite of King Kamehameha I, who died in 1819, is a closely held secret. Why? Because the King was buried with relics and treasure, but also, and I am paraphrasing from the script, he was believed to have superhuman powers, and the fear was that if anyone could find him they’d make off with a leg or half his brain and convey those those powers to themselves. Literally. A leg. Half a brain.

    According to legend the King had a torchlight ceremony yet was buried underwater. The professor’s researcher, Dirk Benedict, is listening in on all of this. He deduces that the King was buried in a lava tube. I have been to the Big Island. No one told me about lava tubes.

    No episode of “Hawaii 5-0” is complete without near-naked hot young men and this one was no different. Dirk rounds up an accomplice and together they, wearing the briefest of short-shorts and nothing else, go to explore the most likely lava tube. The accomplice stumbles down a hill and breaks his ankle. Dirk goes off to get help. Alas, when he returns, the accomplice has been murdered.

    Meanwhile there’s a character on the show called Duke. Steve says something like, “You’re a native Hawaiian, you know these people, the culture, see what you can find out…” Never mind that he looks about as Hawaiian as I do. He discovers that there’s a local Hawaiian kingpin, or elder, so Steve and Danno go to his place, which is like a doublewide trailer, and a woman, presumably his wife, in a fab neon-blue muu-muu, tells them that the guy’s around back. They’re having a traditional oceanside burial service for him. Why she’s not attending I don’t know.

    And then the episode ends. It was very enlightening but very strange.

    • Ali’i were almost all buried in caves (most all caves in Hawaii are lava tubes) & the higher up you were, the more difficult place to find they buried you.  We lived on a very steep hill & we had one such cave below our house that my dad did not like to talk about thinking we would have archeologists or Hawaiians digging around or trying to kick us out of our house.  King Kamehameha I was considered to have super human powers & that episode tracks pretty well with what is considered the real story…


  2. There was not enough Taylor Swift at the Super Bowl. I was told she would be overthrowing democracy by halftime, and I saw one glimpse of her for less than a second.

    I will never trust MAGA again.

  3. Brief note for anyone who misses pre-Elmo Twitter:

    Bluesky is out of beta and anyone can join now. I set up an account last week. It’s got a particularly robust “block” feature and the culture seems to be block, don’t engage. So it’s remarkably Nazi-free.

    I haven’t tried the other two main contenders, Threads and Mastodon. I’ll probably set up Threads this week but I’m not sure I’ll try Mastodon.

  4. I thought Usher’s halftime show was pretty good. The sound was bad on the broadcast, but it seemed like it was well put together. Had no idea he was a roller skater!

    And I will ask as I always do: Why aren’t there mini-football games at intermission of big musicals?

    • Maybe because a few of the older Jewish men from New Jersey who get dragged to Broadway musicals by their wives might enjoy a little football intermission, but the gay men use the occasion to run to the bar to “refresh” themselves. Maybe the tourists would like it, but I can’t speak for them.

      • …monty python had the philosophers’ soccer match…& iirc the reduced shakespeare company squeezed all the history plays into a mock gridiron match

        …those I’d pre-book drinks to make time for?

        • Yes, but I’ve been to (and hosted!) Super Bowl parties and no one wants to watch the on-field action, we just play music and wait around for the half-time show. Justin Timberlake ripping off Janet Jackson’s whatever it was. I wanted to do an FYCE about a cookie that was spawned by this obviously staged episode. I had done it before. You make a puffy peanut butter cookie and then halfway through you insert a peanut butter Hershey’s kiss. It vanished from the interwebs. This could be Janet Jackson’s PR team. I wish I had printed it out because they are are delicious.

    • …it’s just a shakedown…basic paper gangster extortion…I can make these people put money in my pocket

      …it’s the only language of dominance he understands

      …if he weren’t so fucking dumb he’d perceive the thing he actually threatens doesn’t cast him as the power player…but he’s far too fucking stupid to pull that off

    • I did like that the Times made a half-hearted attempt to note that the GOP was firmly going along with him on his NATO comments (though missing the context that, like, they always go along with him). It’s more than they usually do when he’s crazy-talking!

      Still, it always says a lot about him when the only sort of relationship he understands is a protection racket.

    • He says these things out loud in part to test the system. He knows he has the GOP locked up, but he wants to know what elements like the press and defense industry do.

      So of course the NY Times decides instead of dealing with it as an existential threat to the western alliance, they roll out Maggie Haberman to treat it as a horse race story.

      Again, there is nothing new about the GOP being lackeys. That is the least important, least original narrative they could have chosen. It tells the public nothing about what it would mean to invite Russia to roll through the Baltic states or seize land from Poland.

      But they went with Haberman talking up a narrative straight out of 2017. And if Trump wins he’ll do to the Times what Putin is itching to do to Latvia and Lithuania.

      • …if it were just the times’ ass on the line I expect I’d be considerably more sanguine about the whole affair

        …but that overton window isn’t shifting itself

        • The entire DC press leadership is pretty much broken and in denial.

          The way the system works, if a reporter works hard enough they can get a real story through, sort of like a merchant marine freighter getting through the U boats.

          But the leadership is doing a great impression of the French generals circa February 1940 – technically not wanting to lose, but refusing to admit what they’re facing or how they’re enabling it.

          • …it’s like the thing about a lie making it around the world before the truth has got its boots on

            …much quicker to write a less researched piece…& everybody wants to be first…well, some of them want to be right…but if you’re right but not first…the first thing leads & that’s the story

            …it’s a flaw but it’s hard to see how to remove it without killing the patient

            …if a crusading editorial team made a stalwart effort to come in the morning after & play it with a straight edge…they’d probably go out of business before the market caught up with the product being better for it…so I tend to pin my hopes on readers getting better…because anyone can do that if they want to but I can’t alter the editorial policies of every news org in the business…or hold my breath for a unilateral overturning of the industry?

            • The thing to remember is that there are always a million lies out there, but only a few land. And that’s where the narrative piece rolls in. The lie going around the world ends up depending on either a false pre-existing narrative that it can plug into, or else a vacuum of truthful counternarratives.

              Hur’s idiocy took off because the press was committed to a narrative of Biden being incompetent and because there is a ridiculous vacuum of a narrative around Trump’s very real security breaches. The story could have been about how Biden did a good job and Trump did not, but the press has left Trump’s existential threat to world security die on the vine.

              James Comer’s lies about Hunter Biden keeping sparking because they have completely failed to establish a truthful narrative about the incompetence and malice of the congressional GOP.

              When bad stories take off, it’s also in large part a reflection of the staffing the press has put into issues. The Washington Post and NBC, for example, have full time reporters dedicated just to covering the GOP’s perspective on Hunter Biden. Meanwhile they have a fraction of that level of personnel splitting time between all of Trump’s legal troubles, including Carroll, the NYC fraud case, the Bragg case, the intel case and the 1/6 case.

              Lies don’t just spread, they need people to spread them and fertile ground for them to land, and that’s something the political press has done far too much to assist.

              • …it doesn’t just rely on being plug & play or birthing a new fashionable belief…it also relies on a lot of lazy thinking before, during & after on the part of what always strikes me as an astonishingly large number of people…we all know the give a man a fish/teach a man to fish dichotomy but when it comes to news media people don’t want to or (in some cases) are just plain bad at fishing for themselves so when you go on these tears I always seem to wind up wondering what it would look like if there was a button you could press that “cured” the industry…because I never get quite how you see that working even in an idealized hypothetical…at least not on days where I have to leave the house or otherwise deal with real live human beings

                …even in an ideal world where the catch of the day would be just what the doctor ordered…I’d still be inclined to think learning how to cast a net would pay off better than trusting to a better class of fishmonger…otherwise the whole thing is at the mercy of the first person to abuse the public trust…so people being people it seems a safe bet that would happen sooner than later

                …a lot of “media literacy” comes down to navigating known quantities…& the ones that by all appearances particularly wind you up are obviously fair to find aggravating for a host of obvious reasons…but they’re only some of them…& in the majority of cases they all stem from the same perverse incentives that are foundational to a capitalist model combined with pretty ordinary human nature…so to banish them for ever & always would presumably take an industry that didn’t function according to one or other or possibly either of those…but traditionally that’s not how state-sponsored/taxpayer-funded media shakes out over the long haul…the trustfund babies at the grauniad have it better than most…& I’m reliably informed that despite being of all things a left-wing publishing house…verso is doing pretty well for itself in the sense of being pretty comfortably in the black last I checked…but as far as places claiming a public service remit…for all its flaws…& it has plenty…I’m not sure anywhere’s come up with a better one of those than the BBC…which certainly isn’t immune to your standing charges…& not all of the known quantities we could point to make things worse even with the undeniably perverse incentives & their incessantly emergent properties

                …take everybody’s least favorite rent-seeking ex-leader of the free world…when nobody thought fuckwitticus lynch-mob & his MAGA-makes-right rodeo would so much as try to be in politics the people who feel at home in his “base” still existed…& for most of them…they weren’t better people making better choices & bringing love & understanding to the table…& not because of the media…even the worst of the hacks aren’t sorcerers…con artists & snake oil salesmen maybe…wellsprings of bad faith, even…willing accomplices in bad faith projects…sure…a bunch of the assholes…but even they aren’t forcing people onto the bandwagon…well…not the white male people, anyway…& the press as an entity doesn’t have that kind of power or influence in demographics that don’t really consume their product

                …it’d be like saying that brexit happened because the sun had the highest circulation figures…sure it contributed…& not to the good…but there wasn’t one reason or one phenomenon or one answer to why that went the way it did…other than there being enough people willing to buy into a thing they could have shown themselves was at best a mirage & at worst an opportunistic project to leverage bad blood & discontent into a commercial/professional/political advantage to a vanishingly small number of people…it wasn’t even remotely hard to see…but you had to be willing to actually put some thought into it & not just swallow the entire bill of goods whole & ask for seconds…&…a lot of people…enough, if just barely…weren’t…weren’t even interested in the concept of the possibility, in a bewildering number of cases

                …& it wasn’t the press that made all the politicians who pitched remain roll over in all the ways the leave campaign outright said it wouldn’t have had the verdict gone the other way by the same narrow margin…& there’s plenty of the british press which could give the NYT a run for its money in all the ways it’s easy to ding the gray lady about

                …on the other hand…all of those could be said to have a common denominator…which was people who’d rather believe what they wanted than figure out what was true & thought if they said it was true enough they could make it be…or at least people wouldn’t notice all the ways it diverged from reality…which even works for some things…like capitalism…just not that kind of thing

                …I loathe piers morgan as much as the next guy…but he’s not puppeteering the public any more than the bedbug guy or tucker or elon or any of these people…they’re the puppets & the public is just watching the show until a better one comes along…those people court the audience they want to believe is representative because it aligns with the things they want to push…but they don’t make the waves they try to catch…even most of them don’t actually believe it works like that

                …that’d be your conrad blacks & paul dacres & aaron bankses & peter thiels & harlan crows &…the list is endless

                …the overlap with people like zuckerberg has blurred the lines a little…because a ton of people couldn’t tell an op-ed from an advertorial or a facebook post from the gospel truth…& that part apparently made elon think he can run the table by buying out the biggest game in town…which…probably wouldn’t have worked in a pure capitalist sense even he could limit the thing to table stakes…not the way he seems to think, certainly…but…if you think of it as a scaled up version of the people that took a bath butchering the life out of what became of the gawker ecosystem…any actual advantage they derive from what they turned it into is gravy…it’s taking away the thing it used to be from the people that don’t like them that makes it worth it…& they’ve fucked up a lot of shit breaking things & moving fast & being ever so pleased with themselves at just about every level of the online landscape

                …but…by way of a microcosm…it’s the people buying into it that don’t profit from it that actually fucked up twitter as much as all the brigades & bots & bot brigades & “influence operations”…& elon pretending to understand how it actually works in the dev sense…I know a few folks whose twitter experience hasn’t changed even now because the way they set theirs up & how they use it hasn’t left anywhere for the shit elon’s driven through like a stampeding herd to make an appearance

                …it’s not typical…but it’s not impossible, either…&…I dunno…when you talk about this stuff it can seem like the only things you’d consider to be valid solutions might not realistically be workable in the fallen world in which we find ourselves & I get wistful about someday getting to the part where you show me how we fix it like the crucifixion callback in the hitchikers’ guide intro

                And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small café in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.”

                …I particularly like the part where nobody has to get nailed to anything…but…if step one involves nailing a string of NYT stringers to a suitable wall…pour encourager les autres…that wouldn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker…if it helps I own at least one hammer…though…not currently any nails of a suitable gauge…a bigger ladder would probably help, too…but…if it’s the only way & it’s for a good cause…I could be persuaded?

  5. Meanwhile in Gaza, they rained bombs and chemic weapons on Palestinians in Rafah the “safe/green zone” shredding children and burning people indiscriminately. People in mosques, buildings and fucking tents! The hypocrisy of allowing Israel take out a Superbowl ad to garner sympathy for its ongoing genocide while taking a knee was “too political” is perfect white capitalism in play. Oh and they rescued two hostages…but nevermind the numerous hostages that they killed the other day.


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