Phonin’ It In [DOT 4/7/22]

It’s a day off, I’m tired (well, I’m assuming I’m tired as I’m writing this last Wednesday), so I’m phonin’ it in!

Help me out Deadsplinterati. What did I miss this weekend while I was GALLIVANTING around Canadia?

This is embarrassing.

So’s this.

Central America update:

El Salvador to escalate its security crackdown after death of police officers

[yells] Make a will!

This is giving me vertigo!

Be safe out there. Have a great day!



  1. Happy b-day US Amercians.

    This is what happens to the NYT’s level of intellect when you keep pushing affirmative action for mediocre white right wingers. Next thing you know they’ll be demanding equal time for C&W music reviews and saying Top Gun 2.0 is the greatest movie of all time.

    Isn’t Paxton supposed to be in jail?

    Hows that bitcoin thing going?  Not well?

    Dad finally listened.

    That’s cool. Vulture’s like, why waste my energy like a sucker when I can make this human guy do the flying for me?


  2. The Times never fails to impress with its–oh, I can’t even be bothered to combine the words to express my contempt, except to guess that all of the spon-con electric kettles cost far more than the average, rational human would spend on one.

    Happy Birthday, America! To celebrate, lets spend an hour with an Irishman, and Australian, and three Brits (which sounds like the set-up to a very raunchy gay joke):

    This is one of the greatest chat show episodes ever broadcast. First of all, it’s a total love fest among Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellan. Like the Grinch at Christmas, my heart grew three sizes by the end of the episode.

    Second of all, I know who James Blunt is and no doubt he is very talented and successful and rich, but imagine being James Blunt and being ushered into the presence of this trio on Graham Norton’s show. I would have been struck speechless. But he comes off as very funny and self-aware and the tweet bit was genius.

    Graham notes that it is James Blunt’s birthday, and the point of the show is to promote the soon-to-be-released movie Logan, so this was shown on February 22, 2017. I always thought that James Blunt was a Boy Band alumnus and while watching this episode imagined he was in his mid-20s. A little googling reveals that “You’re Beautiful” came out in 2004, that James Blunt was a British recon officer who served in the war in Kosovo in 1999, and here James Blunt has just turned 43. That man deserves his own line of skin-care rejuvenation products and I’d buy one of everything.

    Seriously, friends, watch this and it will restore your faith in humanity.

    • Blunt is known for his self-deprecating humor. But yeah, complete badass:

      In 1999, he served as an armoured reconnaissance officer in the NATO deployment in Kosovo. Initially assigned to reconnaissance of the Macedonia-Yugoslavia border, Blunt and his unit worked ahead of the front lines directing forces and targeting Serb positions for the NATO bombing campaign. He led the first squadron of troops to enter Pristina, and was the first British officer to enter the Kosovo capital.

      I can’t find the quote, but he once said something like “Yes, I’ve been shot at more than 50 cent.”

    • The NY Times kettle bit is a good reminder of the idiocy of how the institution works under AG Sulzberger.

      The article itself — whatever. Are the kettle choices OK? Sure, fine, they range from one for $32 to a fancy version for $123. Best options? Who knows. I’m sure they work.

      But what the article points out is that they’ve been reviewing them for nine years now. The writers know they’re not new.

      So why the idiotic, patronizing headline written from the point of view of someone who just discovered ice cube trays?

      The review was written by the staff at Wirecutter and the downtrodden staff there had to go on strike last year during Black Friday to get the Times to finally bargain in good faith after two years and drop rules for NDAs for settlements for harrassment and discrimination. AG Sulzberger fought the union tooth and nail.

      The headline, however, was written by Times editors, the same people who write the patronizing, bothsidesing, right wing friendly headlines every day. Unlike the Wirecutter staff who have to fight for basic pay, the headline editors are at the top of the heap. They’re the climbers who got there by accommodating the worst pandering instincts of the execs.

      And it has been obvious for years that the editors are ridiculously out of touch with the real world.

      So in short, hardworking, undercompensated people write OK stuff, top tier misrepresents their work and makes them butts of endless jokes. That’s how AG rolls!

      • And never forget that the NYT copy desk was eliminated in 2017. Now it is relegated to interns. Here is how the Times itself embarrassingly and, as ever, un-self-aware, described how the sausage is made:

        As a sometimes copy editor (or copyeditor, depending on who pays my modest hourly rate) myself, one of my roles is to check headlines (“heds”) and I would have thrown that one back. Sadly, I am not a 22-year-old Ivy graduate or the 22-year-old product of a small, wildly expensive liberal arts college in one of the rural precincts, and couldn’t count on NYT-adjacent parental financial support, so I’d be a no-go.

        But God bless. If some 22-year-old Bennington 19th-century French literature major can find a berth at the NYT because their parent was a sophomore year roommate of some other NYT employee who went to Brown, and enjoys giving a second look at articles about electric kettles, I say to them: Follow Your Dream!

  3. I’m betting that lots of people already figured this out before I did, but it seems that the main reason why the 5 right wingers overturned centuries of precedent concerning the sovereignty of tribal lands was to short circuit any plans to open abortion clinics on those lands.

  4. I saw the Boseman piece and thought it was nice of his widow to ask for a 50/50 split. My knowledge of estate law is limited, but I’m pretty sure she didn’t have to do that. But yeah, wills, people.

    • I think I brought up that hellhole in a NOT a long while back. I know I’ve talked about here before.

      The article you posted didn’t mention it, but I am fairly sure they had a sister school for “troubled” girls as well. Also they paid some local law enforcement as part of their security team so no conflict of interest whatsoever. Like those kids literally had no safe adult to go to.

      Side note – because of how fucked up Missouri’s lax laws are for schools, this is not the only hellhole “school” in that part of the state and state doesn’t even have a way to know how many “academies” there are because they don’t have to register anything with the state to open them.

      • Florida is about the same. Pretty sure I could declare myself a “Protestantashulasit” minister and have a tax-funded religious school open in an unused strip mall by next Wednesday. I could also pay myself $120,000 a year and hire strippers as teachers.

        I’m in the wrong line of work.

    • …whilst I don’t doubt for a moment that (at least as far as I understand the physics involved) microwaves ought to be pretty good at boiling water…to the point that I vaguely recall the fact that they do specifically that so well is why they were often associated with making things soggy when they were a newfangled device

      …I am also quite certain that to a majority of the people I’m personally related to that right there is heresy

      …I do know I’d rather make a fresh cup of coffee than reheat one in a microwave, though…so either the apple didn’t fall far from the tree or it actually does seem to not taste the same?

      • Does it make it less concerning if I tell you I take the hot water and pour into a loose leaf diffuser and then once that brews, pour that back into the (still-hot) ceramic mug?

        Like there’s still fancy tea time involved, I’m just not plugging another small appliance in to heat water?

        • …truthfully it doesn’t cause me any real concern…but I don’t drink tea, as a rule…on the other hand I both know & am related to people who would be prepared to debate things like the importance of “warming the pot” or whether or not the milk goes in the mug first or last…& there’s a distinct possibility some of them might be aghast?

    • The kettle vs no kettle dispute comes up fairly regularly in the internet. I think it’s hilarious. Microwaving water doesn’t irradiate it or otherwise change it in any noticeable way. I’m not going to buy a device that is essentially, in the words of Alton Brown, a unitasker, when i have two other things that will heat water.

      Also i think Brits need to develop a personality outside of teatime.

      • …like I say…in terms of personal preference I’d still make a fresh coffee over reheating leftovers in a microwave because that tastes better enough to me to make it worth the effort

        …but despite the born&raised thing…I’ve never liked tea…so hopefully that last part is at least possible…because otherwise I’m worse off than I thought

        …& I take your point about the “unitasker” thing but I think some things are good at being just for one thing…I don’t really want a multifunction axe, for example…& I guess if I had to pick a team I’d probably be team kettle because I find them convenient & I don’t have much use for a microwave

        …I know at least one person who does have a microwave & solely uses it for defrosting things in a hurry…so I guess for some people those can be unitaskers, too?

          • …true…although the only person I know who likes to drink hot water uses a kettle…& although that’s an electric one these days they also have an aga…so it used to be a stovetop one sat on the hotplate of an oil-fired range…which is pretty close to just a pan with a lid…& around & around it goes…the aga isn’t oil-fired these days so the electric kettle is basically just cutting out the middle man for a slender improvement in efficiency in terms of electricity used

            …I think it’s arguably meaningless to try to impute deep cultural significance to the question of whether or not a kitchen features a kettle…but on a practical level (particularly if you expect to be making multiple cups/pots not just in a day but potentially in a single sitting) what probably buys them the counter space in the final analysis is the convenience of the things when it comes to handling/pouring scalding hot water by the jug-full?

    • …there’s a bit in one of the terry pratchett discworld books that talks about the stuff that a city relies on to turn up every morning…it’s a made-up city on an actual flat-earth style made up world & still in a horse & cart kind of a culture but it’s pretty good at making the point

      …pretty sure it’s specific point wasn’t about the entire just-in-time supply chain being woefully optimistic…though he was a canny guy & it could have been, at that…either way the part about cities seeming robust but actually being kinda fragile systems was pretty on point

      …there’s a pretty short & somewhat long in the tooth book called “the death of grass” that argues in a speculatively fictional way that the world is basically about three days & a few missed meals away from pretty much anarchy, though…so if I get a choice I think I’d take sir terry’s version of societal collapse over john christopher’s if at all possible…at least it’s pretty funny in places?

      • love the discworld series

        but yeah…just in time is a fantastic system…when everything works

        whens the last time everything worked?

        biggest frustration of my job that….. works on fucking paper

        • …pretty sure it’s the one with the “glorious people’s republic of treacle mine road” & their crusade for “truth, justice, freedom & reasonably-priced love…& a hard-boiled egg”…which would make it night watch…though I could be wrong

          …I know it’s pretty popular to go with the “all cops are bastards” thing in the US…& the constabulary in the UK haven’t exactly been covering themselves in glory, either…but if I’m honest I wouldn’t mind there being a few more bastards in the sam vimes mold knocking about with things being what they are?

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