For reasons that should be clear if you read between the lines of the post’s last sentence, I’m providing a link to my analysis of the season premiere of Mad Men instead of posting it in its entirety here. This situation should be rectified soon enough, but in the meantime, this is how we must roll.
Author Page for SEK
To celebrate what’s going to be a very Mad Men week here — at least two posts by me and a podcast starring an illustrious cast of thousands — I thought it’d be good to remind everyone where we left off. (And by “everyone” I probably mean “me,” as I need to pick up threads I’ve forgotten about in the intervening months.) So here’s where we left off (plus a little coda) according to Yours Truly:
In lieu of memorializing Roger Ebert myself, I thought I’d instead collect comments about his death that would’ve made him smile. Like this one:
Ironic that he had a “gift”( his job as a movie-goer/critic”….would that not be a fun job????!!!)…then started bashing those who had a different “thought than his”. He continued to bash while he was silenced with cancer……some people never “get it”…never “shut up”…never focus on The Lesson.
Had I been given the “gift” of such an insipid job (which made millions for him)….I would be grateful. I would not be bashing the Country nor the Conservative Founder’s philosophy which made it all so possible. I would be GRATE-FILLED!!
Had I been given a cancer which would silence me, I would reflect on the purpose of that.
“BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM!”…..Psalm 46:10
Suffering…perhaps due to his lack of recognition of the Divine Master of OUR Country…and gratitude for his fellow American and the RIGHTS given to us by our Creator.
I do not call his stubborn clinging to life as “brave”…..what are the options?…limited, at best…
He would’ve loved someone turning his cancer into signs from an “[UN]GRATE-FILLED” God that he should shut up. This one too:
In spite of the multitude of naive “film lovers” who wouldn’t be able to recognize an effectively entertaining and well-crafted film, without a critic’s advice, Ebert’s reviews were, for the most part, foolish and off-the-mark.
He was famous [= worthy of respect??] because of his early exposure on nationally syndicated AT THE MOVIES TV show. Like “Laugh-In,” “Ray Harryhausen,” “CNN,” being first doesn’t always make one the best, merely famous to the masses who are unaware of the subject matter.
Every week Siskel would remind the nation the Ebert was an idiot, leaving Ebert to stare dumbly with his mouth open. Unfortunate that Siskel died first. Fortunate for Ebert. Conspiracy anyone?
To be accused of putting out a hit on Siskel because Gene was the better film critic? He would have treasured that. This too:
Ebert’s opinions have produced torture for as long as I can remember. Look on his death as a late term abortion…many years too late.
All this unnecessary punctuation to punch the “abortion” line? He would’ve adored it. As well as this:
I will NOT have ANYTHING good to say about him for Him, His “Industry” and the “Industry” that he reported on accelerated the ROT of our once-GREAT Country. He will stand before the “Great White Throne” to give an account of his life and receive JUDGEMENT!
They say a person’s life can be judged by the enemies he’s made. As a pristine able-bodied specimen in perfect health, I don’t know what it’s like to face death, but if ever the day comes that I must, I only hope to be remembered so ungraciously by illiterate Christian bigots sporting tongues impervious to teeth.
Because I’d like to know that I led a life worth living and, as Ebert’s enemies make it abundantly clear, he did just that.
On March 30th, The Economist published “Climate science: A sensitive matter,” in which James Hansen, formerly of NASA, noted that “the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade.” The article then outlines the many ways in which the scientific community is attempting to account for the fact that the mean global temperature is “already at the low end of the range of projections derived from 20 climate models.” Different models are consulted, other mechanisms suggested, alternate sensitivities proposed, i.e. science happens.
Or, as Rich Lowry wrote at the National Review on April 2nd, “[i]n other words, the scientific ‘consensus’ [has] been proven wrong.” Granted, he actually writes that the consensus “will have been proven wrong” if the mean global temperature remains flat “for a few more years,” but that’s a difference without distinction. First, because he declares himself arbiter of a scientific consensus he doesn’t understand; second, because he chooses the scientifically precise date of “a few more years” before the consensus he doesn’t understand will be invalidated; and third, because he’s drawing the conclusion that “the ‘sensitivity’ of the global climate to carbon emissions has been overestimated” despite the fact that his own article contains a paragraph about factors that might be mitigating warming. He tacitly admits that carbon emissions may still have a warming effect, it’s just that, for example, “new coal-fired plants in China and India, releasing so-called aerosols into the atmosphere that act to suppress warming, may be partly responsible for the stasis in temperatures.”
Which is only to repeat myself: he’s writing about a science he doesn’t understand; moreover, he’s doing so from a position of ignorance so profound he doesn’t even realize his arguments might be entirely compatible. In the same way that I can be both an athlete and a writer, so too can carbon emissions be pushing temperatures up while aerosols drive them down. Arguing that X doesn’t do Y because A does B isn’t much of an argument.
Unfortunately, he’s sharing his misunderstanding of logic and science in the influential pages of the National Review, which means that despite the fact that he misrepresents processes he doesn’t understand, his conclusion will shortly acquire the status of received wisdom as it’s repeated, in ever more ignorant forms, by other writers in the pages of the National Review. For example, today Victor Davis Hanson wrote “[t]he global warming hysteria—with no measurable planet warming in the last 15 years despite sizable increases in carbon emissions—is abating[.]” His evidence? He doesn’t need to cite evidence.
Lowry already established this new conclusion as a fact.
Which means I can propose my own new theory: based on the evidence above, conservatives require six days to transform science into stupid and stupid into ideology. I less-than-eagerly await the inevitable proof of my error.
The old, white math professor who teaches in the classroom before me did not release his students at 10:50, as he is supposed to. He did not release them at 11:00, when my class starts. At 11:05, I entered my classroom to find a room full of students, fast asleep, and the old, white math professor silently working on a problem on the whiteboard. When I informed him that I needed the room, his students stirred and made for the door, but he pointed at me and said, “I need to finish this problem.”
His students left.
He went back to work.
The old, white math professor continued to work at the far end of my classroom until 11:30, at which point he took out a notebook and copied what he’d written on the whiteboard. At 11:40 he noisily collected his books and markers and strode out of the room without a word.
This is because the old, white math professor is an asshole.
The old, white math professor again refused to leave the room at 10:50, so today
Ithe dashing young lecturer walked up to the podium and began to prepare for his class. He asked the old, white math professor if he was almost finished, but received no response.
At 11:00 a.m., the old, white math professor picked up an eraser to correct some minor mistake on the whiteboard, at which point the dashing young lecturer smiled broadly, politely asked the old, white math professor if he needed help and, without waiting for a reply, promptly began erasing the entire whiteboard.
The old, white math professor stared in horror at the dashing young lecturer — who hopes he didn’t erase the cure for cancer, but is otherwise extremely pleased with himself.
There are moments when all you can do is yell at your monitor. This is one of them.
In this podcast, Steven Attewell, author of the indispensable Race for the Iron Throne blog and general internet celebrity, joins Yours Truly for a rousing discussing of “Valar Dohaeris” that was in no way ruined by me posting everything I had to say about the episode three hours earlier. Because it turns out that, in the presence of experts, the smartest people are the best listeners. All spoilers are prefaced by a damned fool loudly declaiming against them and I’m responsible for 99 percent of the salty language, for which I apologize in advance but will not be endeavoring to amend. Enjoy!
[ERIK SAYS] This podcast discusses Ari Kelman’s new book, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling over the Memory of Sand Creek. It explores how different groups contest the historical meanings of the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado. We then go on to talk about the contested memory of Howard Zinn and the contentiousness within discussions of his famous A People’s History of the United States.
[SEK SAYS] There is an outtake at 1:12:00 and that is all.
….EL–The Zinn stuff starts at about 45 minutes if anyone is interested.
(It goes without saying that this is one those visual rhetoric posts.)
The title of the third season premier of Game of Thrones comes from the traditional Braavosi exchange: one meets the chipper greeting, “Valar Morghulis [all men must die]” with the equally cheery response, “Valar Dohaeris [all men must serve].” Given that the last episode of the second season was named “Valar Morghulis” and the first episode of the third season is “Valar Dohaeris,” it seems sensible to consider these two episodes together because they are, if only ritually, conversing with each other. What are they saying? “Valar Morghulis” would be saying “I may not be a liar, but I’m not telling the whole truth,” because the episode’s final shots demonstrate that all men must die except for the ones that don’t stay dead:
Combine that with the man who was Jaqen H’ghar becoming another man after advising Arya and it becomes clear that the certitude of the Braavosi greeting is a comforting ruse. All men must not be anything—not absolutely—if they can also be both one thing and another. What can change its face isn’t a man and what can’t stay dead can’t be trusted. Meaning I’m not sure how much I want to invest in “Valar Morghulis” as a title tied to its theme; in “Valar Dohaeris,” however, the theme that “all men must serve” manifests repeatedly, beginning with the opening sequence. This sequence ties the two episodes together almost comically, as the change in scale from the first two close-ups (from “Valar Morghulis”) to the extreme long-shot (from “Valar Dohaeris”) resembles the kind of fear-realizing and mad-scrambling often found in cartoons:
Sam Tarly’s service is twofold here: first, his general service as a man of the Night’s Watch; second, his particular service as a member of a scouting party, which was to tend to and dispatch distress-ravens. That he failed to do so during his epic flight from the White Walker only indicates that he failed to meet the terms of his service, not that he escaped the responsibility of serving altogether. The episode’s director, Daniel Minahan, could have foregrounded the humiliation written on Sam’s face when his Lord Commander upbraids him by using a close-up, which would’ve captured every mortified muscle trying not to twitch with shame; instead, Minahan decided to shoot Sam in a medium close-up with his Lord Commander in an off-center two-shot that suggests both the bonds these two share and the precariousness of their situation:
Adam Kotsko writes like ain’t nobody’s in a business:
Yet it occurs to me: is anything inherently a business? We normally think of a bakery as a business, for example, but isn’t it actually a place where people bake things? One can imagine a bakery operating under many different economic systems. The examples multiply. A clothing retailer is a place where people come to get their clothes. A convenience store exists to provide people with easy access to frequently used items. A car factory exists to make cars. Even a bank exists primarily to intermediate between people’s different financial priorities (e.g., saving vs. spending), rather than to make money as such. All of those things are typically “run like a business” in Western countries, but that doesn’t mean that they directly “are” businesses.
Only one type of pursuit is inherently a business: hedge funds. Hedge funds avowedly exist for no other purpose than to turn money into more money. They are indifferent to the means by which that is accomplished — they will buy and sell anything, from an oil drum to a government bond to a complex bet to pay out if a certain asset reaches a certain price. For all the advanced math and physics deployed, the basic logic is simple. Buy low, sell high — minimize your costs while maximizing your revenue. That’s what it means to run something “like a business.”
John Holbo appreciates the overkill:
Defenders of ‘traditional marriage’ insist 1) that their position is, well … traditional; wisdom of the Judeo-Christian tradition, the history of Western Civilization, etc. etc.; 2) they are not bigots. They are tolerant of homosexuality, and the rights of homosexuals, etc. etc. Maybe they watch the occasional episode of “Will and Grace”, in syndication (even if they didn’t watch it back when it started.) They are careful to distance themselves from those Westboro Baptist Church lunatics, for example.
It’s gotten to the point where one of the main, mainstream arguments against same-sex marriage is that legalizing it would amount to implying that those opposing it are bigots. Since they are not just bigots (see above), anything that would make them seem like bigots must be wrong. Ergo, approving same-sex marriage would be a mistake. Certainly striking down opposition to it as ‘lacking a rational basis’ would be a gross moral insult to non-bigoted opponents of same-same marriage.
This ‘anything that implies we are bigots must be wrong’ argument has problems. But that’s old news. Here’s the new argument. Grant, for argument’s sake, that contemporary arguments against same-sex marriage have been scrubbed free of bigotry. Doesn’t it follow that these arguments must not be traditional but, somehow, quite new?
Some days I’m reminded of why I started blogging by the very people who encouraged me to do so. This is one of those days.
Until I thought about what it looks like in their heads:
UPDATE II: And of course, [a] Glenn Reynolds [clone posting at Glenn Reynolds' site] can’t help but add: “Twitchy.com notes that ‘Google’s Easter insult sparks Twitter backlash, mockery,’ as well it should.” It’s almost as if he doesn’t know that the entire point of Twitchy.com is to manufacture and amplify “grassroots” “Twitter backlash.” (Or like it’s in his best interest to pretend not to be a party to the scam.)
UPDATE III: When I added the words “Glenn Reynolds” to this post, Typepad’s “Related Posts” recommendations changed to:
I’m not saying nothing about anything. I’m just saying.