Saturday, December 16, 2017

Microaggressions

Getting your butt pinched once is probably not the biggest deal in the world. Getting your butt pinched regularly, and having to worry about the social and career dynamics of that, is kind of a big deal.

There Are No Refs

I'm all for working the Refs, but Dems need to stop thinking the referees actually exist. The supposed "objective institutions" (media law, enforcement, whatever) have never been in the business of just calling balls and strikes and even if they were they don't have the power to stop 15 men from coming on the field (badly mixing my sports metaphors).

Argue on the merits, not process or hypocrisy. No one cares about process and hypocrisy.

NERDS

I'm getting close to middle age (or am already, whatever). I like nerdstuff. I was never an uber-nerd. I'm not sure I read a comic until I was 35 except the Superman and Batman omnibus volumes my parents bought when I was about 9. But I read the sci-fi and I liked the Star War and the Lords of the Ring and all that.

My big pet peeve is people of my age who try to judge all this stuff from a Serious Critic perspective. I watch all the dumb CW superhero shows. Sometimes they are better than dumb (specifically, the first season of The Flash was really good! Watch that). Usually they're just dumb. Doctor Who has been my favorite thing in life ever since I stumbled across it one Sunday afternoon and Tom Baker turned into Peter Davison and I still haven't recovered.

But even though I still like this stuff... Comeon, I'm 45. I am not the target audience. Serious Critics are not the target audience. Either your kids like them or they don't and that's really the point.

Everything

Everything is pretty horrible, but it is true that The Kids Today have some good things. They have the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy in their pockets and can listen to every song and watch almost every show effortlessly. I don't think that's a substitute for the shit they have to deal with, but it's pretty cool.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The 80s

Ok 1990, but close enough, were so weird. This is actually a good song despite being horrible for obvious reasons. (Good in the sense that it's actually a bit more sophisticated than its hair metal veneer makes you think).

Damage

I had a celebrity crush on Mira Sovino once upon a time. Her pop is good too, though I didn't have a crush on him.



Friday cat blogging

Friday Evening

Go do Friday stuff.

A Perfect Job For Eschaton World Industries

I hope we are hired.

Senior White House official Jared Kushner and his legal team are searching for a crisis public relations firm, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Release A Star War Every Week

Half a joke, but I do find it a bit of a mystery that movie studios don't actually milk their cash cows as much as they can. Sure people talk/complain about how everything's a sequel, etc, but they could probably film two hours of Luke Skywalker on an exercise bike and people would pay 10 bucks to see it.

Nobody has yet embraced my long-suggested plan of returning to the "serial" model. Release those things every 3 months.

The People Are Revolting

Afternoon Thread

enjoy

Evil Team Of Evil

One big problem with the supervillains in comic books and Star Wars and similar is... it isn't clear what motivates them. I have not seen the new Star War, but I don't really know what motivated any of the bad guys in any of the other movies. Yes, sure, money power blahblahblah but there's too often just an "evil for the sake of being evil" aspect. What is all that evil really for? Maybe I should get an exclusive interview with the Koch Brothers to delve into this question.

The Rules Changed

"The American Dream" has always been a bit of a fantasy, especially as race and class and gender greatly determine who gets to dream, but the basic post-war upward mobility thing in which "we" could all count on some economic stability and maybe even a bit of prosperity if we did what we were supposed to do has fallen apart. I'd say it started cracking during Reagan/Bush...the internet boom papered over those cracks for a bit...then the housing bubble papered over them again... and 10 years later, everything is fucked up and bullshit for The Kids Today.

There are a lot of reasons for this, but I keep coming back to the very simple one: public universities used to be something you could kinda sorta work your way through, and now even public university students are graduating with 30 grand of debt. Too many olds don't understand this. It's depressing.

I Guess Jared Didn't Go To The Pokey Today

That was the "rumor." Oh well..

Paris Is Hell

This piece from John Elledge does a pretty good job getting across what I have often tried to communicate on this shitty blog: You don't have to have midtown Manhattan skyscrapers to have the kind of population density that makes for a good city. Not everybody wants to live in a city! Cool. But even city dwellers often don't get that city doesn't mean "the place where the skyscrapers are." Paris is basically 6 story buildings everywhere. Philly isn't quite dense enough in a lot of places. Too many 2 and 3 story rowhouses and the population often isn't quite high enough to support local commercial corridors. That doesn't mean we should tear down all those blocks and replace them, but a few more 6 story buildings in appropriate places (often prevented by zoning laws) would probably be beneficial. That cool coffee shop can't stay in business unless there's enough foot traffic.

Nice Things

Buying a house is complicated. There are so many things to consider and of course you can't possibly competently consider them all. I got lucky. Not that everything in my house is perfect (the joys of homeownership are neverending), but in various ways the location is a lot better than I knew when I moved in (almost 10 years! time flies). I knew I was pretty close to the subway, which is useful and good, but what I didn't really think about was the bus. I live close to a bus route with frequent service. OK late night and Sunday service is a bit spotty, but otherwise it runs every 10 minutesish. I have a lovely little app on my phone which shows me where the buses are and I can run to the corner and get hyperlooped into Center City, as we call it here in the urban hellhole, in about 7 minutes. It's not that far. I can and do walk sometimes, too.

Personal cars are "freedom" some places but in the city they're a nightmare. You'd have to be nuts to actually drive and park in Center City if you had another option. I love my bus.

Visionaries

One reason mass transit is so crappy most places in the US - even where it exists - is too many of the people involved in the planning have never actually used it. People like Musk come along and tell them something cool and they actually listen. This is probably the stupidest idea I have ever heard but lots of people think it sounds cool. Even if it worked perfectly as envisioned the capacity of such a system would be ridiculously low.

What if it's my car...but better and faster and has no congestion and takes me anywhere I want to go! Cool idea, bro. See you on the 405.

Morning Thread

Lot of buzz in some quarters. It may be an interesting day. Or not.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I've Even Lied

I tried to have a less than sucky blog today but somehow it still sucked! Sometimes you work really hard and ... then nothing.

I still like The Orville. It's Star Trek: TNG with dumb Seth McFarlane jokes and while they can't quite figure out the balance it's the best ST:TNG since ST:TNG.

Blurgsday Evening

I dunno, maybe it Taday?

I'm So Old I Can Remember When I Was Young

Old people are bad


Within the Times itself, the Thrush scandal has created something of a schism. On one side, according to newsroom sources, there is a cohort of young, millennial, New York-based employees for whom the event has been particularly upsetting. These employees, these sources note, are generationally hyper-attuned to issues related to race, gender, and newsroom diversity, which they often discuss on the Times’s internal Slack app. For some within this cohort, there’s a sentiment that the Times should set an example amid our cultural awakening—that it would be hard to keep Thrush employed while continuing to lead the charge in covering the reckoning that has entangled him.

Things are different in the Washington bureau. While there are some who feel deeply uncomfortable with his conduct, the prevailing sentiment among Thrush’s colleagues in D.C. is that he should not lose his job over the contents of the Vox report, according to a half-dozen members of the bureau—men and women—with whom I spoke for this article, in addition to several other well-placed Times figures who are regularly in touch with the bureau. The Vox piece, the logic went, castigated Thrush for “bad judgment around young women journalists,” but did not make any allegations regarding sexual harassment, sexually motivated quid pro quo, sexual assault, or predation. (If any such charges were to come up in the Times probe, many suggested, he would obviously lose his goodwill.) For now, Thrush’s support extends all the way up to bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller, according to people familiar with her thinking. (Reached by phone, Bumiller declined to comment.)

Young people are supposed to be able to make youthful mistakes.