Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY! [DOT 18/4/21]

Hi all!

So, I know on Friday I said we were getting back on track with scheduling around here. That was a LIE. I screwed the whole thing up again, but you were blessed with Double Dots.

In case you are looking for something to watch today, check out Brain Drain.

Other than that, let’s see what else is going on…

Not even sure what to say at this point.

18-year-old from Ohio arrested with AK-47 in Times Square subway station, police say

One killed, one wounded in shooting at a Nebraska mall

Protests erupt in US cities over police violence as riot declared in Portland

Gawker set to return again – but can it recapture ‘the old anarchic spirit’?

No idea what is going on here, but thought you all might enjoy it as well:

Have a great Sunday!



  1. Ah, the Times Square subway station, a labyrinth the Cretan Minotaur would have envied. I think at this point even veteran MTA employees (the people who oversee the subways) don’t know everything that can be found there. Multiple levels, corridors, connections to several lines. It stretches for blocks. Inadequate signage, of course, so you could spend an afternoon just trying to figure out how to transfer from one subway line to another, because all the maps tell you that you can but they don’t tell you how. 
    The only reason this young perp from suburban Columbus, OH, was even noticed is because ridership is way, way down, thanks to the pandemic and the attendant crime surge. A year ago (well, going on two years ago now) at rush hour it looked like “Soylent Green” without the Scoopers. 

      • That’s part of the fun of it, though. New Yorkers are (used to be) a gregarious bunch, and when the trains were crowded but it wasn’t rush hour people were always at hand to offer advice to the bewildered visitor. “Where do you want to go?” The visitor is hesitant but in desperation will divulge. “No, you’re on the right train, but what you need to do is—” and then someone else will chime in with, “Or, you could—” and arguments will ensue. All very confusing, but we try to be helpful. Several times I’ve said, “No, this is right, I’ll tell you the station you need to get off at.” I live along the 8th Avenue line so lots of people want to to go to the Natural History Museum, so I say, “I’ll tell you when to get off. So, where are you from?” Or, if we’re on the A or the D and headed expresss to 125th Street, I’ll say, “No, once we get there I’ll show you what to do” and I will escort them up and over to the downtown tracks and lead them to the side where the downtown local trains arrive and make sure they don’t hop on an express and zoom back to Columbus Circle and have to start this all over again. 
        Why do I do this? Because I was once a young newcomer to Manhattan and people did this for me in the late 1980s. Everyone should fall in love with New York, like I did, and the city is full of goodwill ambassadors, whether they realize it or not.

        • …the first time I visited new york I arrived by greyhound…& the port authority bus terminal was somewhat bewildering…pretty sure I’d never been anywhere before where buses didn’t all arrive on the ground level…I was wandering around looking for a left luggage kind of deal so I wouldn’t be lugging a bag around (I wasn’t staying long but I aimed to go for a bit of a wander before I got a bus out of town) when a guy approached me & explained quite unprompted that he was a drug addict who financed his habit by finding people who looked lost & giving them the benefit of his extensive knowledge of the bus terminal in exchange for spare change…& he duly showed me to the left luggage spot & then ushered me to a street level exit just in time to see a policeman tackle some dude to the ground right where I would have stepped onto the pavement if I hadn’t stopped to roll a cigarette

          …much to my surprise when I returned about 24hrs later I ran into the helpful drug addict & he not only remembered me but showed me to my ride out of town & turned down my offer of another handful of change on the grounds that he wanted me to remember new york as being hospitable

          …all in all, of all the places I’ve been to in the states new york is the one that most reminds me of london…but I don’t know if I could live in manhattan even if I could afford it…I suspect brooklyn is more my speed…at least you can tell where the bars are when you walk past them for a start?

          • If you live here long enough (and God knows it feels like I’ve been here since the Dutch colony days) you realize that it’s a series of small villages, each with its own characteristics, but so compact that you can easily walk through a dozen without even realizing it.
            I’m not surprised by your story about the Port Authority drug addict. (Port Authority is one of the many nexus points in the Times Square subway labyrinth, by the way, and very close to where the suburban Columbus teen was caught with his AK-47.)
            The best is when some calamity happens and somehow one of the subway lines gets screwed up so there’ll be a garbled announcement that “X service is suspended. Take the Y which will run express over the Z line to A station. For service to B neighborhood, transfer to the C local line—” This is when all New Yorkers come together as one. “I’ve lived in New York 60 years and I have no idea—” Everyone gathers around, because some passenger inevitably has a solution (the MTA employees are useless, if you can even find any) and we all go on our way following this friendly and helpful advice.
            The only other city I’ve ever experienced this is London. And there again people are helpful and the Tube employees are nowhere to be found. “Go to X station and board the Y bus. Get on the one that says the final destination is [wherever] and tell the driver where you’re going and they’ll make an announcement.”

    • Cosign that. I was there in Dec. 2019 and I’m lucky that I’m still not there. Gawking rednecks from Florida should not visit NYC without a native guide. Counting on a cellphone is a BAD idea. 

      • BUT, when you visit NYC, native guides are all around you! Just stop someone strolling along the street (who doesn’t seem mentally ill) and say, “I’m sorry, but I want to go to X and I’m a little lost…?” “Oh, you’re very close, go two avenues that way. At Avenue Y take a left and it’s four bocks down on Street Z”. 
        When we lived downtown I used to know Greenwich Village like the back of my hand but I’ve forgotten a lot of it. It’s changed so much, that I do this. A lot of the landmarks are gone so I can get within striking distance that I can’t remember how to get to certain addresses in the middle of blocks and if people don’t know they say so but always someone does.
        I’ve been to a certain restaurant  at least two dozen times and the last couple of times I walked toward it but got disoriented. “Better Half, didn’t that used to be X?” “You tell me. You supposedly know where we’re going.” “If it was, then I think we take—I’ll just ask.” I pick a person who seems older than 30, because the area is flooded by new-comer NYU students. Never failed me yet.

        • You know where this doesn’t work? Our National Federal Capital, Washington, DC. It’s a grid system, kind of, but sometimes there’s a tangled mess of N-S streets and E-W streets and weird intersecting diagonal streets with the occasional crooked street taking a strange turn.
          I was down there a few years ago and was supposed to go to a restaurant. I had been and knew that it was within walking distance of my hotel. I wandered over in the general direction but confronted this maze. I don’t even know where I was, somewhere in NW DC. But I had been there before. There was no foot traffic, which I thought was odd, so I stopped in at another restaurant and asked if they could point me in the right direction. They claimed that they had never heard of it. 
          “You must have. I first went there 30 years ago.” Nope. City of transients. Around the corner was another restaurant so I stopped in there. “I don’t know, but let me get X, he’s been here longer than I have.” X said, “Just cross the street and make a left and two streets over it’s there, on the corner.”
          Extraordinary. This was a five-minute walk from my first stop-by on a pleasant spring evening and few people knew of the existence of a restaurant just a smoking break away from their own place of employment.

          • Oh, yes, indeed. Went there for vacation 4-5 years ago, and we decided to drive. Once we hit the metro area, my wife said “this was a bad idea.” We found the hotel but I decreed then and there that the car would stay in hotel parking for the rest of the trip. We either walked or flagged a cab (Uber wasn’t yet a thing). We did take the subway to the zoo. 
            We didn’t have too much trouble getting around, because cell signals work in DC. In NYC, I couldn’t get a signal to save my life. Too many buildings and too many people, I think. 

        • I’ve actually relied on the kindness of strangers in NYC in the past and yes, it’s very effective. I’d have done it again if necessary, but if I can puzzle something out I prefer to do it myself. Getting led somewhere for me is like being driven somewhere. If I drive myself, I’ll remember the route. If somebody drives me, not so much. 

  2. …that video at the end there is…something else…my first thought was that it was going to be some sort of parody but it seems like it might be something else…it seems like they’re a duo who go by “pete & bas“…that’d be bas to rhyme with jazz not bass…& they’ve been doing this for a few years now & are still very much at it…that particular clip comes from this

    …&…I guess they’re an outlier in the genre because drill/grime isn’t generally associated with pensioners but to be honest the whole genre has always confused me…ostensibly drill music in the UK is a thing in its own right & not just people from that part of the world copying the stuff that supposedly originated in chicago…& in terms of a musical template I guess I can follow that you can call it a genre…but in terms of the lyrical content & the overall flavor of the thing it’s always struck me as a pretty straightforward attempt to glorify some stuff I’d argue isn’t any kind of glorious…it’s mostly a thing where various gang-affiliated folks brag about being more violent than the next lot &/or breaking more laws with less subtlety…sort of like the narcocorrida stuff in mexico except the people belting them out are supposedly talking about themselves…which they may very well be…the east end of london was seldom short of that sort of character, after all…one of the kray twins shot a man in front of a pub full of people in the 60s & it took years before he saw charges for it even if it did ultimately see him locked up for the rest of his days

    …but to be honest all that stuff makes me think of two things…the chris rock routine about “I love rap music but I’m tired of defending it“…& this track by jeru the damaja

  3. I’ve posted about the scam of conservative bestsellers before, which rely on bulk purchases to game the bestseller lists:

    This is the first time I’ve seen it stated that conservative books are essentially a money laundering scheme, permitting conservatives to “drive unrestricted amounts of income to elected officials.” It also avoided the trap of both-siderism, noting that this is an exclusively Republican scam. Probably because there’s actually an audience for books outside the conservative sphere.
    Tough to sell reading material when you’ve spent decades gutting education and deliberately undermining critical thinking. 

  4. The Penn Station/Port Authority vortex is such a nightmare when you’re trying to move from one system to another, with all of the mixed up signage and names for things, making it such a mess to go from train to subway or bus to commuter line. So much of it goes back to Robert Moses, who wanted his highways and bridge and tunnel systems to be seamless, but who wanted to block mass transit or else make it as dysfunctional as possible.
    So he made sure his Authority was highly independent of the city and state governments, while mass transit got stuck with a crazy quilt of control and funding. You get the aftershocks to this day, with Cuomo being able to screw with NYC subways and Chris Christie being able to block the expansion of the century old train tunnel bottlenecks into NYC and also pull the petty stunt of Bridgegate.
    The irony is that Moses’s highways are wildly overcapacity and now desperately need drivers diverted to mass transit in order to function. But the wrenches he threw in the system are still there.

    • That stretch of 8th Avenue between them is the last remnant of NYC from the gritty “Taxi Driver” days. Lots of homeless and drug addicts; there’s even some sort of porn emporium. There’s a McDonald’s that’s known as “Methadone Macs.” There are at least three methadone clinics quite close on the side streets (like one or two storefronts away) and numerous shelters housing single men. It does have Manhattan’s only Arby, as far as I know, but I wouldn’t feed my dog what they serve up, let alone myself (I tried it a couple of times, with unpleasant results.) 

  5. Goddammit, I just read that Helen McCrory died? At 52. Cancer.
    Also, the way my newsfeed chose to tell me this was through a Gizmodo article (even though I probably have been over there in a year), which failed to even mention Peaky Blinders? Every other (actual) news site either has Peaky Blinders in the headline or at least mentions it, but Gizmodo brings up Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, and a single episode of Doctor Who? 

      • …a fair bit of the stuff that I heard on BBC radio about her reminded me she was also a big deal in theatre…& yes, she was amazing…it was repeatedly mentioned that it was easy to.forget she was actually quite small…because she had such massive stage presence…one anecdote was about a play where she appeared on stage at the very beginning but didn’t say anything, just tapped a glass against a samovar & then left the stage…& yet somehow managed to set a tone for the whole production just from that

        …& much as it’s not a fun play I kinda wish I’d be able to see her play medea?

    • The whole G/O (“Get Out”) collection of sites has fallen into ruins. I don’t know where they get their writers anymore. The only site I read with any enjoyment anymore is The Takeout, but even that has gone a little bit downhill because I think Herb Spamfellow has shrunken their focus so you read stuff about drive-thru fast food chains that this parochial New Yorker has never heard of. The concept of a drive-thru is kind of alien to me because I’ve only done this when traveling by car far from The Bright Lights. Their being based in Chicago might help them, and “out of sight, out of mind” is not always a bad thing, but I think Herb and the hedge fund are up in Boston? I dunno. It’s very sad.

    • I was saddened to hear that, too. Apart from her stage roles, I first saw her onscreen as Cherie Blair/Booth, QC (in The Queen, though she would later go on to reprise Cherie in The Special Relationship). She absolutely nailed the nervous-seeming mannerisms of our former “First Lady”. 
      I loved her and Damian Lewis as a couple. My heart breaks for him and their two children.

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