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Sunday Linkage


For your reading pleasure…



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  • Brautigan

    I’ve been looking forward to B&C. All the good stuff from BG, w/o all the pseudo-religious crap that made the last season unwatchable.

    And, hopefully, tighter plotting and continuity.

    • NBarnes

      You’re hanging a lot on the ‘hope’ word, IMHO.

      • NBarnes

        Alternatively, you’re hanging a lot on the phrase ‘And they have a plan’. As we’ve learned-to-our-sorrow, this may not be the case.

    • Barry Freed

      What do you mean by “looking forward to”? It was a series of 10 12 minute webisodes or whatever that they combined into a 2 hour movie. Or am I wrong and there is something else in the works and that was just the pilot (and gods, how I hope I am wrong).

      • It was meant to be a pilot, but the SyFy waffled on that, so plans for a full-blown series were scrapped. The pilot was shot, and then broken up into chunks for the web; then there was the “unbroken” pilot aired on SyFy, followed by the unrated version on Blu-Ray/DVD.

        Liked B&C myself; wished there was more. Had no problems with the reboot of BG, and found that the religious stuff wasn’t unbearable. But that’s just me.

        • Barry Freed

          Thanks for the info and FWIW I agree with your second paragraph.

        • NBarnes

          I didn’t mind the religious stuff so long as the show remained not-terrible.

          Once that caveat become inoperative….

        • Warren Terra

          The synthetic life forms being consumed with theological ideas and later riven by theological disputes was perfectly fine, in the vein of a long and honored science-fiction tradition. The problems only arose once the genuine miracles started, the inexplicable occurred on a regular basis, and then 50,000 humans agreed to give up everything more advanced than the wheelbarrow to advance some cockamie creation story.

  • John

    The Twitter debate seems to only include your comments, and none of PTJackson’s.

    • Robert Farley

      His on on the second page. I’m a terribly storifier.

  • Todd

    Because there are film and tv references in the links, this is as good a place as any to remind everyone that all 800+ Criterion Collection titles available on Hulu are free to view this entire President’s Day weekend.

  • Does anyone know what the huge moral panic is over the horsemeat thing? Sure, mislabeling food is bad, fraud is fraud, but… the reactions I see are what I’d expect for, I dunno, ground-up baby meat or retextured fecal matter or something, not just meat from the wrong quadruped.

    I’m assuming it’s because horse isn’t kosher? The products in question (lasagna, etc.) aren’t kosher anyway… and I’m not seeing that angle in any of the news reports.

    • DocAmazing

      One problem is that US horses are treated with lots o’ drugs, because they’re basically pets or captive athletes and not being raised for consumption, so when their meat goes on the market, it’s often labelled as being from another country.

      Viktor Bout. Good to see him surfacing again. He’s the best argument against coincidence theorists. Playing “Six Degrees of Viktor Bout” is not challenging, but it is entertaining.

      • Warren Terra

        The Romanian horse meat is indeed suspected to contain an analgesic banned for human use.

    • Horses are seen as not just meat animals, the way cattle, chicken, pigs, etc., are seen in the UK and Ireland. It has nothing to do with horsemeat being kosher or not.

      • Well, I guess I’d expect people to react like they would if it turned out their lasagna had, say, goat meat in it. It’s not the ‘right’ meat, it’s not a prestigious meat, but it’s not disgusting. But people are reacting more like it’s dog meat.

        • Bill Murray

          Most people I know consider horses much closer to pets than goats

          • DocAmazing

            I can’t think of a My Friend Flicka or Lassie Come Home with a goat as a lead character.

            • catclub

              Goats have rectangular pupils — offputting.

              • NBarnes

                So do horses. My cornea was about 16 inches from the horse’s when I noticed it. It was a little bit surprising.

            • NonyNony
              • DocAmazing

                That one is, apparently, very absorbing.

              • MattT

                Less sarcastically, there’s an Isaac Bashevis Singer short story about goat saving a young boy with her milk during a storm and the family realizing it can’t possibly sell the goat to the butcher. But there’s definitely a lot more children who imagine having ponies than goats.

        • Uncle Kvetch

          It’s not the ‘right’ meat, it’s not a prestigious meat, but it’s not disgusting. But people are reacting more like it’s dog meat.

          There is some of that, true. It’s just another kind of meat and there’s absolutely no reason for the horror and disgust being expressed in some quarters in the countries affected.

          That said, though, there’s good reason for genuine concern: this represents a major failure in the food regulatory system in the EU. What else might be getting illicitly relabeled as something it isn’t? Also, the opacity of the chain of production and distribution, as revealed by the scandal, is kind of mind-boggling: Company A in Sweden outsources to Company B in France which subcontracts with Company C in Belgium which buys meat from Company D in Romania, and so on…. You have to wonder how that can be effectively regulated.

        • Eggomaniac

          But people are reacting more like it’s dog meat.

          People are reacting like they paid for beef and got ripped off.

          Dog meat is perfectly edible, BTW (assuming it comes from a healthy dog).

          • NBarnes

            Lots of ‘whatever’ meant is perfectly edible if the critter is healthy. Doesn’t put an answer to ‘why are we freaking out over eating horses instead of cows?’

          • Warren Terra

            This. It’s not just the labeling; if you paid for Surimi and got crabmeat, you might not be too upset (you could make a similar argument with beef and pork, except for the religious objections; ground chicken and ground turkey, maybe? Bison in place of beef?). It’s that not only are the labels false, the contents have substituted for normal human fare a meat that in the US is normally relegated to pet food and in the sentimental UK might be considered objectionable on yet further grounds.

    • I remember seeing horse meat for sale in French supermarkets. It looked pretty good, but I wasn’t brave enough to try it.

      • Vance Maverick

        I have eaten a carpaccio of raw colt (puledro) in Italy. (Two ways: with arugula, and with white truffles.) It was delicious, but I haven’t repeated the experiment.

      • Warren Terra

        I suspect the proudly advertised horse meat in select supermarkets isn’t ground up worn-out old nags thought to be good for nothing but the glue factory and the industrial mystery meat plant.

    • Ian

      Part of the concern is that the British had been touting their ability to monitor the beef supply to guard against mad cow disease. Now it turns out they don’t even know what species is in the ground beef.

      Morally, horses are companion animals. People are uncomfortable eating animals when they feel they could form some mutual bond with them.

    • Thlayli

      Modern humans have arbitrarily decided that four land animals (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats) and four birds (chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese) are “food animals” and all the rest aren’t.

      Horses are “not-food”, because we said so that’s why.

      • somethingblue

        This, pretty much. Though “modern humans” is a bit broad. The Chinese seem fine with eating dogs, and I believe horse is quite popular in Belgium.

      • catclub

        of course, also rabbit, deer, elk, quail, bison

  • creature

    I ate horsemeat while stationed in Germany, like 40 years ago. I did a lot of travelling, and never shied away from a chance experience a new, untried and possibly disgusting thing. It didn’t taste like chicken, though. More like beef, if the cow was raised wild, like deer.

    • Eggomaniac

      Horse meat was still sold in Paris butcher shops the last time I was there, but that was twenty-some years ago.

      I have the general impression, based on no hard information, that the consumption of horsemeat in Britain and Ireland, unlike on the continent, was historically regarded as something you did only if you were desperate.

      • They used to serve horsemeat at the Harvard Club in Cambridge until recently, it was a hold-over from WWII when it because necessary due to rationing of beef and other food products.

        But, yes, there isn’t much of an Anglo/Irish tradition of eating horses unless things are desperate.

        • sibusisodan

          I have the general impression, based on no hard information, that the consumption of horsemeat in Britain and Ireland, unlike on the continent, was historically regarded as something you did only if you were desperate.

          Yeah, this. I’d react to it the same way as if you asked me if I wanted to eat my cat.

          Now, there’s no actual reason for that reaction, since I’m not a horsey person, and don’t really have a strong feeling about them either way. It’s just not done, apparently.

          On the topic, have just rewatched a DVD of Les Miserables, and there’s part of Thenardier’s song about how he fleeces his customers which runs:

          ‘Food beyond compare, food beyond belief / mix it in a mincer and pretend it’s beef. / Kidney of a horse, liver of a cat / Filling up the sausages with this and that…’

          It’s sung by a nominally French character, but written for an English audience, and thus panders to our cultural stomach…

      • In Munich’s fairly prestigious (and pricey) Viktualienmarkt (not to be confused with a notional Viktorbouteanmarkt) there’s a horesemeat butcher. I’d be surprised if they sold beef mislabeled as horse. There’s also a specialist turkey butcher, which is a great source at Thanksgiving.

      • Wimpy

        I lived for a year on the rue Brançion in Paris across the street from the entry gate to the horse slaughterhouse. Woke up every morning to clip-clop sounds. There was a restaurant up the street that specialized in mule dishes.

        They still eat horse in France, and there are quite a few chevaline butchers in Paris and you can usually find one in a street market. But they moved the slaughterhouse out of town and made the old one into a park. The antique book market is there now, and it’s a pretty nice place.

  • James A

    How the hell does one read a twitter debate? I have no idea where to find the first comment in that thread, or how to follow the logic of it. And it seems really interesting! I want to be able to follow what was said.

    This is, by the by, my general problem with twitter. I’m not all that excited by periodic bon mots and don’t much care for links without commentary, which is why I don’t read DeLong; when he writes at length I find it hugely engaging, but it is mostly just links and the reason I follow a writer is to read their thoughts. That leaves the occasional really interesting discussion, and unless one is following all the principles and is a devoted twitter, trying to reconstruct the flow of conversation is maddening. It might not trouble me so much if this wasn’t a completely solved problem; USENET had many issues, but this one is was tackled by the time I was in fourth grade.

  • catclub

    Viktor Bout! Arms dealer I was not at first sure was same guy.
    Interesting! Cypriot Banks, Bailouts coming – or not, if the banks only have customers like Viktor Bout (and Goldman Sachs, I presume).

  • Jackdaw

    Kinda false advertising for the paper in that last link; “Evolution of US Naval Doctrine in the Pacific in WW2” would probably have been more appropriate as a title. But it’s all the sexy “BATTLESHIPS VS CARRIERS RAWR” talk that brings in the rubes, I guess. Heck, it worked on me!

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