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Archive for September, 2012

Shorter Ann Althouse: Racists can’t be racist because they love their racism.

[ 118 ] September 25, 2012 |

So some of Scott Brown’s staffers were caught tomahawk-chopping while war-whooping, which is absolutely not a traditional means of representing Native Americans as tomahawk-chopping, war-whooping, nothing-noble-about-them savages. There’s no history of American cinema in which Native Americans were a violent bulwark against the tide of civilizing white men eager to manifest their destiny. There’s no history of American literature in which Native Americans played the roles of “Captor #1” and “Captor #2” and let’s just call them “Tribe of Captors” in popular captivity narratives that identified war-whooping with lady-taking and child-killing. None of that is real because Ann Althouse said so:

Someone doing the “tomahawk chop” is himself playing the role of Indian. This Indian character making a stereotypical gesture can’t be read as expressing hostility toward Indians. The Indian is his hero.

See? “The Indian is his hero.” Whose hero exactly? According to Althouse anyone doing the tomahawk chop. Which means that she believes that performing a racially offensive can’t be considered racist because the performance itself is necessarily an act of loving emulation. For example, if one of Scott Brown’s white staffers were to create a television show called

It couldn’t be considered racist by definition because its use of the stereotypical Chinese immigrant is evidence of that this white staffer considers Chin-Kee to be “his hero.” In all seriousness, Althouse’s problem is that she’s so ignorant that she doesn’t realize that the stereotype of Native Americans that Brown’s staffers invoke isn’t historically accurate, which is why she can claim, straight-faced, that “these fake Indians, the staffers, are pretending to be real Indians,” when in actuality they’re pretending to be racist stereotypes of Native Americans.

One day I will wake up in a world in which “Ann Althouse” is revealed to be the work of an art collective trying to win a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the Longest Sustained  Installation of  a Person Who Couldn’t Possibly Exist. I pray that day comes soon.

In the meantime go read my other post. It’ll cleanse this stupid clear off your palate.

UPDATE [SL]: This is even funnier when you remember Althouse’s hallucinations about the subliminally racist pajamas in a Clinton campaign ad.

UPDATE II [SEK]: Wow. I mean. Just wow. Wow. I mean. Just wow. Wow.


There Are No Union-Busters In Fantasy Leagues

[ 31 ] September 25, 2012 |

You know, given the state’s two most prominent current politicians if any team had to be screwed by the scabs I’m glad it was the Packers. Admittedly, Walker and Ryan probably both think that the real refs should be compelled to go back to work by the Pinkertons as unpaid interns.

Game of Thrones: “Winter Is Coming” for Catelyn and Jon Snow

[ 28 ] September 25, 2012 |

(This is another one of those visual rhetoric posts that’s born of this upcoming course … which now has its own website that’s only a demo at the moment so don’t judge.)

To recap: in the first post, I demonstrated how Van Patten turned Will into a sympathetic character. In the second post, I established that the scenes in Winterfell that weren’t in the novel were designed to establish a perspective on Will’s coming execution that’s focalized through Bran, but which also introduces the audience to the larger Stark family dynamics. (I also, as Julia Grey pointed out, inadvertantly indicated how Arya’s character would develop over the course of the season. I’ll let Julia’s analysis carry the weight of that interpretative thread for now and return to it when it comes to fore later.) Before I can yoke those arguments together, though, it would behoove us to see what happens when Bran steps off-stage, as it were, beginning with the announcement of Will’s capture:

Games of thrones - winter is coming00270

Those smiles are residual: for one of the only time in the series, Ned and Catelyn have watched Arya and Bran engaging in what we might call “play.” She hits his target and he’s encouraged by his brothers, bastard and true, as well as his parents, to take off after her:

Read more…

Of Course, Election Results Are Also Skewed By the Liberal Media

[ 65 ] September 25, 2012 |

I wonder if the “UnSkewed Polls” hack is the same guy who was doing the Real Clear Politics projections that showed California, Illinois, Washington, and Michigan leaning Bush in 2000. And didn’t a similar essay arguing that skewed polls were obscuring an inevitable McCain victory make the wingnut rounds in 2008?

Are Sex Workers Labor?

[ 100 ] September 25, 2012 |

Wendy Lyon with an interesting piece about the Irish labor movement explicitly excluding sex workers from its definition of labor. It’s hardly surprising, both within the Irish context of discomfort over such matters and within labor writ large excluding those outside of “respectable” forms of work. But it also leaves some of Ireland’s most marginalized workers exposed to danger, violence, and exploitation. I know that recognizing sex work as work means that we are legitimizing the sex trade. But does not legitimizing that trade accomplish anything positive at all?

How Ayn Rand is wrecking football (and America)

[ 28 ] September 25, 2012 |

Bringing it all back home to Green Bay.

Was Fail Mary An Even More Epic Screw-Up? (UPDATE: No.) (UPDATE 2: YES!)

[ 107 ] September 25, 2012 |

Excellent point made here by longtime friend of LGM gmack.    I took the word of the ESPN analysts that the question of who caught the ball is unreviewable.   But, like gmack, having looked at the rules I don’t see the textual justification for this assertion.   Unlike the field goal that ended the Pats/Ravens game, it’s not one of the unreviewable plays listed at the end of 15(9), although that list is apparently non-exhaustive.  Has anybody cited an actual rule in defense of the proposition that the call couldn’t be overturned?

…via The Fifth Down, an article on the league’s site asserts that “[t]he rulebook also states when a simultaneous catch is ruled, you can’t review who made the catch. You can only review if it was complete or incomplete,” but the rule cited (Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 5) says nothing about whether the play is reviewable.

…Ah, I think this is right.   Earlier in 15(9), there is a list of “reviewable plays” that is said to be exhaustive, and a simultaneous catch isn’t one of them.  So the play was not, in fact, reviewable.

…Via the comments, we have an answer: the NFL now claims that the play was reviewable, although only because it was a score. (Where this distinction is supposed to come from, I have no idea):

Replay Official Howard Slavin stopped the game for an instant replay review. The aspects of the play that were reviewable included if the ball hit the ground and who had possession of the ball. In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable. That is not the case in the field of play, only in the end zone.

Referee Wayne Elliott determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the call on the field, and as a result, the on-field ruling of touchdown stood. The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review.

So, the NFL is claiming that Elliot got the call right, or at least it’s absurdly claiming that there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call. Whether they believe this lunacy is unclear.

A Perfect System

[ 65 ] September 25, 2012 |

Clearly we should continue to allow private investors to determine the price of resources that the world needs to survive:

It’s probably not uncommon for City traders to wonder how they burnt so much cash during a drunken night on the town.

But Steve Perkins was left with a bigger black hole in his memory than most when his employer rang one morning to ask what he’d done with $520m of the oil trading firm’s money.

It was 7.45am on June 30 last year when the senior, longstanding broker for PVM Oil Futures was contacted by an admin clerk querying why he’d bought 7m barrels of crude in the middle of the night.

The 34-year old broker at first claimed he had spent the night trading alongside a client. But the story began to fall apart when he refused to put the customer in touch with his desk for official approval of the trades.

By 10am it emerged that Mr Perkins had single-handedly moved the global price of oil to an eight-month high during a “drunken blackout”. Prices leapt by more than $1.50 a barrel in under half an hour at around 2am – the kind of sharp swing caused by events of geo-political significance. Ten times the usual volume of futures contracts changed hands in just one hour.


The investigation also shows that he was able to trade huge volumes with very little cash up front and no position limit, exposing how it easy it was for a single British broker on a bender to cause chaos in the oil market.

I obviously should be silenced for questioning the competence of the people controlling our economy.

…In comments, Malaclypse points us to the fate of the drunken oil trader–he got a job as an energy trader in Switzerland! Because in the new Gilded Age, our elites can never be punished. A failure is just an opportunity for a better job.

No Scab Left Behind!

[ 8 ] September 25, 2012 |

After her exclusive comments in the wake of last night’s game, former Washington D.C. Chancellor of Public Schools and current full-time grifter head of some union-busting “students first” organization Michelle Rhee wishes to modify her remarks slightly:

There is a crisis in American refereeing and the owners know something has to be done. Breaking the union was a good start. These new refs are obviously just as good as the old ones, but they are not trying their best as the incentive system is skewed. At the end of the season they should be graded exclusively by a single multiple choice test. The officials will be provided with the questions, test, and answer key, although of course the honor system and the intensive proctoring by the guy who called the pass interference penalty on Ike Taylor will ensure that nobody consults the latter. Then the ones who get the highest grades get a bonus, and the bottom 10% get replaced by new employees from a temp agency. If the collective score of the replacement officials is higher than that of the former officials, NFL owners will receive a bonus of ten million dollars each, to be funded by stripping health insurance benefits from the moochers players. Hopefully, the noble lockout will ensure that Superman will finally arrive.

Football as a metaphor for corporate incompetence

[ 19 ] September 25, 2012 |

Paul and Erik are both wrong. Tonight’s “football game” is evidence that the “scabs” aren’t scabs at all, but secret agents, union referees who’ve infiltrated the replacement ranks determined to prove that trained officials are required to preserve the integrity of the game.

Now let us all sing the hymn of the “replacement” referees, which must be sung according the directions and goes something like this:

There is a flag on the play,
There is a flag on the play,
There is a flag on the play,
The previous play is under review.

There is a flag on the play,
There is a flag on the play,
There is a flag on the play,
The previous play is under review.


It’s like watching the banks fail all over again.

The End

[ 127 ] September 24, 2012 |

I love the Seattle Seahawks. But they just won the worst refereed game in the history of the National Football League. After bogus call after bogus call, affecting both teams equally for most of the game, the final blow against the NFL lockout has just happened.

In a last second pass, Seattle QB Russell Wilson threw a pass that was “caught” by Golden Tate. By “caught” I mean the ball was obviously intercepted. But the refs called it for Seattle, end of game. Green Bay just lost a game because of scab referee incompetence.

This is a complete joke. Laughable. I know I thought the NFL wouldn’t let it get this far. And some have repeatedly pointed out I was wrong, even trying to say the scab refs weren’t that bad. And so who knows, the NFL leadership is so ideologically committed to not paying the referees a pension, that they could let their product go to complete shit. But this has gone way, way too far. This is now the story of the NFL season. If the Packers don’t get home field advantage in the playoffs, if they get a wildcard instead of a division championship, if they don’t make the playoffs by a game, the referees just cost the Packers.

PC: Check out this still frame of the “game winning touchdown catch.”


[ 17 ] September 24, 2012 |

God is apparently a union man.

[SL] Scabtacular!  I mean, I’m a Seahawks fan.   I’d like to be celebrating a remarkable win over the Packers that of course proves that Simmons was right!!!!!!1!!!1! But obviously there’s no was of celebrating a win decided by a call like that.   Even if charitably excuse the first blown call by (correctly) noting that the real refs basically never call PI on anybody on Hail Mary passes for reasons I’ve never understood, the fact that the winning “touchdown catch” was obviously an interception is rather hard to ignore.   And, of course, there were countless equally bad calls throughout the game.   But, hey, Roger Goodell can afford an extra ivory backscratcher!

I can also understand the reluctance of the Seahawks to kick the extra point — the scabs might rule that it’s worth -6 points.

QOTD:  “Watching the scab refs try to handle this game is like looking at Wile E. Coyote hold up an “EEP” sign in front of the Johnstown Flood.”

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