It’s time to start asking the question. It’s time to be cynical. It’s time to assume the worst of this government. Has Supreme Court Justice John Roberts been blackmailed or intimidated? I would put nothing by the Obama administration that lives and rules by the Chicago thug playbook.
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Is the idea implausible that this same Obama administration that orders IRS attacks, then orders destruction of key evidence, would stop at nothing to save Obama’s signature achievement? Is it impossible to believe that Obama and his socialist cabal that learned from Saul Alinsky that “the ends justify the means” would hold something over a Supreme Court justice’s head? It’s time to ask the question loudly and boldly because something is clearly wrong in Washington, D.C.
Is that the purpose of government agencies like the IRS and the NSA that are abusing our rights – to listen to us, to watch us, to find something we’ve done wrong, and then use it to intimidate, harass, threaten or extort key political figures so that Obama can “fundamentally change America?”
I’m tardy in preparing for tomorrow’s Nose culture panel which will feature Theresa Cramer,James Hanley and Irene Papoulis. I’ve had a very busy week, and the panel started batting their own topic choices around.
They got especially revved up about this article objecting to the way people (and by people I mean of course Caitlyn Jenner and Larry Summers) suggest that the brain has either male or female wiring.
“You can’t pick up a brain and say ‘that’s a girl’s brain’ or ‘that’s a boy’s brain,’ ” Gina Rippon, a neuroscientist at Britain’s Aston University, toldThe Telegraph last year. The differences between male and female brains are caused by the “drip, drip, drip” of the gendered environment, she said.
I had a hard time with this article because it kept using “gendered,” a word I hate and am convinced does not really exist. I’m also a little wary of it because last week’s Nose totally got its Caitlyn on.On the other hand, I can see where it goes new places, because vaginas!
Let me get this right: The word “vagina” is exclusionary and offers an extremely narrow perspective on womanhood, so the 3.5 billion of us who have vaginas, along with the trans people who want them, should describe ours with the politically correct terminology trans activists are pushing on us: “front hole” or “internal genitalia”?
Is it just me or is the next Meghan Trainor hit song sitting right there in that sentence?
Like it or not, awareness is in. It’s not that bros have disappeared, but it’s no longer possible to swagger your way to widespread success fueled on testosterone alone. The successful bros—the Chris Pratts, the Channing Tatums, the Zac Efrons—are successful because of their sensitivities, not in spite of them.
Me, I noticed a repeated trope: “I’m breaking up with my Fitbit/Apple Watch/ Ring of Power.” Google some version of that, and you’ll see what I mean. When people ditch that stuff, they use the phrase “break up.” (I stole the LOTR reference from this nifty piece of writing.)
That was also when the Fitbit left its role as just a fitness tracker and a Bentham-like device with which we could see who was walking the dog and who wasn’t. It became an eye of Sauron of sorts, if Sauron cared whether your beagle got her daily exercise.
First everyone wanted to know about it. Then they wanted to try it. Then they made certain assumptions about me.
Which, frankly, I would have made about any woman like myself walking around with a big black box on her arm.
She had a lot of other objections, all of which totally convinced me. Anyway, I’m mainly intrigued by the “breaking up” trope. We have reached the moment of entering into relationships with machines. People never broke up with their TVs. They stopped watching them.
Every part of this incident—from the setting of a private pool in a predominantly white suburb to the angry neighbors and eventual violence—is informed by this fraught history of race and swimming. Whether they realize it or not, each participant—from the kids to the residents to the police—was playing an old part in an even older story of anger and confrontation.
For decades, white swimmers feared sharing a beach with black people because they worried about catching disease, yet hired blacks to cook their food or nurse their children. Mr. Thurmond rallied against race mixing and yet, after his death, it was revealed that he had a daughter with a black woman who had worked in his family’s home. There’s a strange intimacy in racism, and water exposes the inevitability of this intimacy. Water touches me, then touches you.
The sun will come up tomorrow, and it will be brighter.
That has been the consistent message of the Malloy administration, starting at least as far back as February. Some spin doctor told Malloy and his troops: keep saying the “brighter” thing.
At times, it has caused public officials to sound like they were doing a treacly light bulb commercial instead of the people’s business. Here is Malloy spokesman Devon Puglia explaning to WNPR (thanks, Diane) why it’s a good thing to gut the library budget. Because brighter!
And in describing the weekend budget deal, Malloy decided to bring on da poetry. You know, some fresh new imagery!
Another thing we can always do on The Nose is talk about very, very shallow topics. Because, as Einstein said, “Sometimes you get so shallow, it starts to get deep.” Einstein was totally baked when he said this.
But yes! If you told me that Kim Kardashian’s book of her life told in selfies was lying there under the porte cochere, I would run out and get it and look at it even though my grasp of who she is is so vague as to be almost unpatriotic. Still a narcissistic machine understanding its own narcissism. The Singularity!
We can move on now, although it has to be said that if there’s an award for 2015 Hamburglar journalism, the field will be as thick as special sauce.
What if we don’t want to eat Mickey D’s? What if we want Whole Foods but we are still pretending to be poor with our friend Gwyneth?
This!!!! WF CEO John Mackey interviewed via Skype from his sex-cabana on Mars: “You have to evolve with the marketplace. We may have hit some limit of how much crazy money you can take away from stupid rich people.”* (*Made-up quote.) The Nose may discuss the name of this excellent new place, although panelist Taneisha Duggan sprinted ahead of us with SNAPeas.
Joan Rivers said: “Why cook? So your husband can tell some hooker ‘My wife makes great bread?’ ”
Why cook when there is a “Keurig for food?” Which is like “an electric chair for waffles.”
We know! We know! Over here at the New York Liberty, a WNBA basketball team, we were putting the finishing touches on our deal to have Isaiah Thomas take over as president, and a guy from the cleaning crew was passing through emptying wastebaskets and he said, “None of my business, but you might have some problems with your women’s fans because of his whole sexual harassment case.” And we said: What? Is some janitor telling us that Isaiah is not a huge win all around? What? Maybe in Peru where he comes from this is a bigger deal. But we thanked him. And then guess what: it almost seems like he was right!
Sports sports sports! My favorite NFL tradition is when the ref comes in right before the game and measures your balls. Or is that “Dancing With the Stars?” We’re not sure whether, on the Nose, we have anything new, anything meta, anything media-studies-y to say about Deflate-gate. But it’s more probable than not that we do! If nothing else, it should be the catch phrase of this weekend. But even if your spouse screams, “It’s more probable than not that you promised to take me to Chili’s, you @&%$!,” it is still not OK to pick her up and throw her. OK?
Unless you are Floyd Mayweather. It’s kind of amazing that, at the end of the Greatest Fight of the Century If It Had Been Held Five Years Earlier, there is a huge stinking scandal that does not involve Floyd. Instead, it involves Pacman, who decided he could beat Mayweather with one hand tied behind his back but did not tell anybody about this plan except possibly God. And now, he faces lawsuits from decent people who paid good money to see men hit each other much harder in the face.
Enjoy this post while I make a list of our non-sports possible topics.
WTIC has laid off its news director Dana Whalen, who has labored hard enough and long enough and with consistent enough reliability and professionalism that she deserves to be in some Hall of Fame. This one?That one? I can’t find a bio of her. That’s typical. Dana has been the model of a working journalist, all grit, no flash. She’s the lunchpail broadcast journalist in a profession dotted with divas. I have no idea how many years she has given WTIC-AM. More than 20. She may have done an earlier stint. But no number will measure that because Whalen, in a way that alarmed the rest of us, worked 7 days a week more often than not, and rarely as few as 8 hours a day. She carried the newsroom. If they thinned out the staff, she took the extra hours on her shoulders. This, apparently, is her reward.
In her rare moments of leisure, Dana is a theater nut, with an encyclopedic knowledge of musicals, perhaps especially Sondheim.
I’ve heard from many of my former colleagues, all of them shaking their heads over this one.
Also laid off, Joanne, the wonderful receptionist for the four CBS stations in Farmington. She’s the mold they use to make other receptionists.
One of the refrains from people who don’t like the way the Freddie Gray case has been covered is that all this coverage paints police in an unfair light. A Hartford Courant commenter named John McCommas wrote, in response to one oped: “The clear, unmistakable, indefensible blunt intent of your message on that lousy graffiti rock, ‘Black Lives Matter’, is that the lives of white police officers don’t matter. Not to you anyways.” An email to me from WNPR listener Walter complained that the tone of coverage relating to Gray was accompanied by the message that: “cops are not ‘real people.’ They are just bigoted murderers.”
I sure don’t feel that way. I know plenty of cops. They’re real people to me, and I want them to be good at their jobs. Their lives matter to me. I have always assumed that the #blacklivesmatter campaign was a way of saying “We want black lives to matter as much as white lives currently do.”
Anyway, writing back to Walter, I wanted to make the point that we’re not dehumanizing all cops if we acknowledge that there’s a problem in this country with death at the hands of police.
And then I wondered how often it happens per year.
As I get older, collective efforts seem like more fun, so I’m proud to stand with my colleagues at WNPR as Best Radio Station. Also won Best Blogger. I win every year because I’m the only name everybody knows. I’m a terrible blogger. Give it to someone else. Please.
If you do nothing else for me this week, listen to my interview with Nancy Butler, a wonderful, radiant lady who founded an “inclusive evangelical” (LGBTQ welcome!) church here. Nancy has ALS. You can’t see it the picture but she’s in a high tech wheelchair, still preaching on Sundays. I’ve been attending her church all month. I’ve learned a lot from her. Mostly about joy. (The t-shirt I’m wearing here says “God Listens.” It’s from a Christian radio station.)
What else? Today’s “wish I thought of it” image. Emily Nussbaum writing about Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall (the TV series, not the book, Broadway play or fragrance).
Pearls framing her cleavage, eyes narrowed, chin high, she seems eternally aware that she’s being watched, because she’s stuck inside a truly insane system, a reproductive panopticon in which all that matters is the illusion of virginity and the emergence of a male heir, as wombs are traded like unstable derivatives.
One of the themes of 2015, for me, is people getting in huge amounts of trouble for doing things that don’t seem all that bad. In other words, the whole Jon Ronson thing. None of us is exempt. I’ve already had one guy, listening to me on the WWL Wheelhouse, accuse me of being a racist based on a certain inflection, a wryness he detected in my voice when I spoke of Sir Charles. At least he had the decency to accuse me privately. There are exceptions. Britt McHenry really needed to be brought up short and I totally believe she is going to be a sweet and wonderful person from now on. I mean, go ahead. Tow her car again. I bet she’ll be cool with it.
Anyway, I’ve decided to keep track, a little. Today’s Shame Index concerns Lisa T. McElroy. You all remember her, right? Probably not. That’s the odd thing about this one. On a 1 to 10 scale…
THING SHE DID: I’d give it a 1. I mean, pasting in the (anal beads) porn link by mistake is way over on the “funny little thing that happened” side of the scale, as opposed to the “this proves you’re a horrible person” side. That’s why McElroy’s a 1 and McHenry’s a 7. I know! They’re hard to keep straight
AMOUNT OF PUBLIC SHAMING: 4? It seems that, professionally, there were some fairly ridiculous consequences. And according to all the updates in that link, I guess it went a wee bit viral. But you can still count me among the people who didn’t really remember this story and thought McElroy was kind of dumb to revive it (and probably double its audience in the process).
SEVENTIES MEMORY THIS STIRS UP. Part of Chevy Chase’s shtik when he anchored SNL’s Weekend Update was to be caught on the phone saying something compromising — “I’m sure the trucker just thought you had your head in my lap.” — as the camera went live. And I swear to you, one of those was: “I still don’t understand who pulls out the beads.”