…with respect [DOT 27/1/20]

…I have to be honest…I’m not what you’d call a sports fan…so to any of you who are I can only say that I hope you’ll accept this as a fitting token of respect to the tragic events that have taken the lives of several people including a young girl & her father – a complicated dude who many agree was a great man

…& I don’t wish to appear callous but I’m not sure I have anything beyond that worth saying on the passing of Kobe so I think I might be about done with the mercy for today

…but by way of something at least akin to mercy…since (if you’ll forgive a deeply cynical observation) the hypothetical traffic that would be headed to Deadspin around about now

…if that publication remained a going concern rather than a mothballed relic of a pre-herbaceous era of sports-adjacent journalism

…is the sort of thing you’d generally expect your VC investors to feel the lack of in their ever-sensitive bottom line

…so in a spirit of charity here’s a link to something on Jezebel that covers a little the strangely merciful attitude folks seem to unaccountably have towards Joe Biden’s self-contradictory position on the topic of Social Security


…pretty sure you’ll find more than one Splinter alum down below the line there

…& if I didn’t have to do this & then get on with the bits of my day I’d prefer I didn’t have to I might have given in to the temptation to point out that continuing to patronize those pages might arguably be a fine example of the same brand of pragmatic forgiveness of the less-than-deserved variety…so I guess I couldn’t blame you if you did

…if you do, though, have a care – the folks who thought of Jezebel as home before the demise of the sites from which we derived the name for this place (along with those at The Root) seem to have borne the brunt of the displacement of commenters from Splinter…& the trolls that flock to them…& it’s monday…so…try not to ruffle any feathers that don’t deserve it?

…meanwhile, back in DC they’ll be getting back on that dead horse they’ve been flogging all over town about how the transparently guilty defendant shouldn’t have to endure the indignity of having to be reminded of all the evidence currently damning him

…let alone all the evidence he knows he & those still answering to him are knowingly & deliberately denying to the relevant authorities on the basis that the unconvincing lies he’s peddling function principally on the basis of being most effectively disproven by “all the material” that “they don’t have”

…like the amoral senescent solipsist quite literally said on camera in a way you’d think they’d have to take on board in camera

…if there were even a semblance of a suggestion that the stone-aged recidivist senate turtle were engaged in anything beyond some unconvincing political theater hell bent on serving up some acquittal sound-bites for the state of the union

…it’d be funny if it weren’t so damn tragic


…maybe Ken Starr can give him some tips about how to turn bullshit impeachment proceedings into a spot on the bestseller charts?

…so – at the risk of being overly cynical – let’s say for the sake of argument that a whole four Republican Senators possess enough respect for themselves &/or their nation to confront the reality that they’re very much front & center in a rush to an absence of judgement that might see Lady Liberty hitch up her skirts & wade out to sea looking to thumb a ride home to France

…if that happens, then we might actually get some fresh testimony up in there…& in an ideal world that might be enough to fuck up that timeline for a pre-state of the union vote to acquit…although that’s likely more of a reach than the the vote, so we’re into the realms of the excessively unlikely at this point…but, if we got that far

…then there’s every chance that the Bidens end up getting called

…notwithstanding the fact that there’s no actual grounds by which to claim calling either of them as witnesses might be of genuinely probative value

…or remotely relevant to the issues that ought to be under consideration

…that being no obstacle in the face of McConnell’s complete abrogation of his duties as the leader of the Senate not to brute force the letter of the procedural law in order to subvert the levers of power so as to quite literally break the US system of government

…& thereby stack the judiciary with the sorts of poison pill appointments most likely to make Justice & the American way mutually exclusive whilst depriving as many as possible of their lives, liberties or any opportunity to pursue their happiness

…what’s the point of all of that if you can’t pardon a president or two for blatant abuse of power…while burying your head so far up your ass as to argue that it doesn’t matter that the man denying being guilty of obstruction is simultaneously announcing to the entire fucking world that he’s smug as an orange-faced, sponge-brained, syphilitic sundowning moron can be because of what a bang up job he’s doing obstructing the process of acknowledging the very thing he’s so very flagrantly doing?


…so…that would be this hour & a half of edifying spectacle that they have no concerns about


…& you know what?

…that concerns me…the lack of concern…because the truth is it makes sense that they aren’t concerned by it for the same reason that they don’t concern themselves with it…or with anything that isn’t connected in some direct fashion to their own narrow self-interest & personal sense of political expediency

…there’s a thing people say about planting trees that I’m increasingly feeling goes for unearthing politicians that are actually worthy of your vote…the best time was fifty years ago…the second best time is now

…so, going back to the Biden thing…I say fuck it, lets throw ol’ Joe under the bus this time

…let Dolt45 shoot his shot at holing the Biden campaign below the waterline & sink his chances of gaining the presidency now…& then make the tinpot tangerine tyrant of the twitterverse lose to a girl

…you might call Joe the political football in this analogy

It all depends how you look at it, I guess…



    • Without spoiling anything, that episode was easily the best of the past two seasons. It’s been a lot of sludge recently, but his one felt smart, sharp and well thought out — like something written by a pro and not a spec script by a random fan of another sci fi show crudely adapted for Doctor Who.

      • I’ve enjoyed this season immensely so far. Really liked the first half of Spyfall a ton and the twist got me good. (The second half was not as good, but mostly because I really wanted Missy to be the sendoff. Alas.)

        It is fascinating to see how badly it’s been received since she became the doctor.

  1. I know Kobe Bryant was a talented athlete, and important to the sport of basketball. I’m genuinely sorry for his family, and fans as they mourn a person they love and admired. I feel terrible that his daughter lost her life. But…there’s always a but… for some of us it’s very painful to hear him described as complicated and flawed. Even though it’s true. I’m not suggesting that he was a monster, I believe he loved his family, and contributed to the world in many ways. But… again with the but… at least one of his past actions was monstrous. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it was probably life changing in the negative sense for the person he harmed. And I think it’s unlikely, though possible, that there was only 1 person.
    I would like to think that guys like Kobe, and Roethlisberger got a pass because it was pre #metoo. But sadly, that isn’t the case.


    He was a celebrity who lost his life tragically. It has to be covered. It would be insensitive to his family and the others who died to sensationalize the story by leading with the darker aspects of his life. So I don’t really know what should be done about reporting a story about a “flawed, complicated” man. Unless maybe stop excusing their crimes at the time the occur regardless of how well they toss a ball, throw a punch, sing a song, produce a movie, tell a joke, or run a political campaign.

    • …not sure why that needed to be “approved” but now it’s up I guess all I’d say is that all of what you say is pretty much why I posted that tune?

      …you’re right…but like mr dolan there says…you can be called a great man & still be a pretty shitty human being?

      …some days it’s tempting to think it might actually help, even?

      • My comment wasn’t really directed at you. This is a huge news story and it has to be covered. Just part of the ongoing conversation about separating a person’s work from their misdeeds. And I don’t have any answers. I’m just sad that there are so many opportunities to discuss it.

      • Thanks bellaluna, that’s a tough read but valuable. And boy, this one sentence says it all!

        “We live in a culture that sees female pain as normal and male pleasure as a right.”

    • I am seeing a lot of men I respect publicly yelling at people who bring up that he was a rapist very…I dunno, “violently?” Everything from victim blaming from don’t speak ill of the dead to talking about the motivation to make up a story about him …I don’t feel the need to go put that out there, but it’s such a classic case of rape apology or denial on the basis of “I like this person.”

      I know he means a lot to a lot of people but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a rapist. And “flawed” and “complicated” aren’t words we should use to describe that.

      • Not that it matters but it was a violent rape. She had tearing of the vagina and bruises on her neck. Kobe admitted that he liked choking women during sex, just not his wife. Now I’m not gonna kink shame anyone. If choking is your thing, whatever. But the fact that he doesn’t do it to his wife tells me he had some whore/madonna ideas about women. And that’s messed up.

      • …can’t speak for anyone else but I can tell you why I went with “complicated”?

        …I’d agree it doesn’t do justice to the worst that he did & that isn’t the way to go but I guess what I mostly thought was that everybody’s going to want to know how & why the helicopter crashed & we’re all going to hear about the tragedy that is the loss of Kobe Bryant basketball star…but I don’t even know who the others were who died…except his daughter

        …so, if anything, it was that little girl’s death I wanted to note, along with that of her father – there’s going to be plenty of time to get into whatever legacy he leaves beyond the sporting arena & I guess I’m a little inclined to mostly leave that to people who know more about him than “he seemed like kind of an asshole before I heard he was a rapist & after that I didn’t pay him much mind”

        …so I don’t disagree…but I confess I didn’t really aim to get into it today…as the day’s gone by, though, I’ve been hearing a lot of praise in the coverage & damn near none of the other side…so it might be fair to say I’m regretting that more than a little

        • I understand, I really do. Life would be so much easier if the bad guys were 100% terrible. If parents didn’t also love the very children they abuse. If teachers/coaches didn’t truly want to educate/guide some students while raping others. If our heroes were always heroic. “Complicated” is an appropriate word. He wasn’t a cartoon villain. But we have to find a way to stop allowing certain achievements to overshadow great harm. I don’t know how that will happen,if it ever does.

          • …I thank you for the thought but in truth I don’t feel piled on, as it goes- so no worries there

            …it’s an interesting piece (thank you for that, too) & – like the other comments drawing attention to the same phrasing it echoed a good deal of my own thoughts on the matter…& what I said in a different comment about regretting not paying greater note to the wrongs Bryant was almost undoubtedly guilty of is true to the extent that (being as I am pretty far from being any kind of a sports fan) I erred in the side of “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything”

            …I tend to believe both the likes of Burneko (whose commentary about sports I believe carries some weight) or those who can speak more eloquently than myself about the horrors & harassment found on the flip side of that calculus are altogether more suited to that task than I

            …but I’d also have to admit that I’d rather be talking about this stuff down here than sounding off above the line like some pixelated cockerel every morning…so

            …I guess if I were to try to expand on where I thought I was going…without listing the various sins of the late Evil Kenevil beyond noting that unlike Bryant he lived to be old enough to repent those sins & become very much fearful of the penance to come…not unlike a certain John Donne – but this is already absurdly long so I’ll spare you that digression

            …the B Dolan poem suggests that, though not a good man Kenevil was a great man & that for that he deserves mercy…to me at least it’s unclear if he means from history, from God, from us or merely the mercy that is death itself if one believes that’s all she wrote…either way I think I’d agree as far as that goes

            …but the only way it makes sense to me is with the starting assumption that if that’s the reward available for someone who sank so low in the eyes of a supposedly loving God (who nevertheless permits such things to befall the victims of the sinning) then the apology they have lined up for the victims had better be god damned mind-blowing if there’s going to be so much as lip service paid to keeping things in perspective

            …so, like I said at the outset…feeling a little tapped out in the mercy department… particularly after absorbing a considerable quantity of coverage lionizing Bryant as the day wore on & finding the absence of so much as an acknowledgement of the accusations to be increasingly resounding?

  2. You know, it strikes me that if Putin really wants to throw this country into chaos, he’ll rig the elections for the Democrats this time. The right will be so much less civil about feeling cheated. It will reinforce their notion that Putin tried to rig the election against Trump the first time, and Democrats will be in the awkward position of having to legislate against a process that put them in power.

  3. Thanks for including that last link! It should be on the front page of every newspaper in the US (but won’t be in any of them instead), since that’s *actually* what voters should be reading; along with pictures of current GOP senators, and quotes about the last impeachment process they were a part of (just for contrast).

  4. I am not sure I agree that it’s time to throw Joe under the bus…if he becomes the nominee, they’ll have effectively Clintonify him (create a legend and history of corruption that is undeserved – to accompany all the deserved criticism). Footage of him in trial instead of Trump isn’t going to help. Plus the biggest danger to Democrats is the “everyone sucks anyway so there is no difference” attitude.

    • …it was intended, I think, as a hypothetical rather than a preferred option…although to some extent I’m not altogether sure it wouldn’t be my preferred option?

      …what you say is true but in a world where it was possible to take Biden off the board the seemingly most likely choice would be between Warren & Sanders

      …which either means people doubling down on their discomfort with voting for a woman & thus seriously considering Sanders in a way few seem prepared to do

      …or recognizing that if she were only a dude they’d vote for Warren in a heartbeat

      …all of which would be based on people actually grasping the stark simplicity of the ballot & actually voting in their own best interests…so it’s the lowest kind of worthless conjecture

      …that said…in the seemingly unlikely event that we get witnesses called to the Senate it does seem likely they’ll call him because the GOP side of the whole thing is basically a campaign event married to an attempt to bank a year’s worth of soundbites

      …& under those circumstances I honestly wouldn’t count taking Joe out of the running as a handicap necessarily…unless, as you predict, they choose to grant the nomination to a fatally-wounded campaign over a viable alternative…

      …& of those I’d most likely argue Warren would be the smart play?

      …the whole thing’s a shitshow as long as Dolt45 is part of the main event so spiking his guns by not giving him the race he wants isn’t looking so bad to me?

      • Lol yeah I mean we don’t have any good options. While I’d love to take Biden out of the primary, I just don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. Plus if Bernie and Warren benefit from sowing doubt Biden’s role in the Ukraine stuff, that means they are essentially giving credence to Republican lies that we need to fight off overall.

        • …wouldn’t it be kinda great though if Warren & Sanders both used their allotted time to help Biden take apart the assertions of the GOP narrative about the whole Burisma thing?

          …still arguably not worth the price of admission but if that’s the only way to open the door to further testimony from “new” witnesses

          …it’s still seemingly the only possible route to that fondly imagined world where the Senate is functional & yella-copter von sphincter-lips is duly convicted

          …prior to being arraigned on a veritable laundry list of charges as a very-much-no-longer-presidential-personage with exactly zero privilege, executive or otherwise?

          what can I say…I’m a dreamer…

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