Saturday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Bill Jempty says:
  2. DK says:

    George Will, at the Washington Post, in an opinion piece entitled Reasons for ambivalence about the ruling on web design and same-sex marriage:

    “Why would a same-sex couple choose to compel the involvement in their joyous day of a vendor who is hostile to what they are celebrating, when there are alternative vendors offering similar services? The gay rights movement’s original live-and-let-live spirit has become curdled by a bullying impulse that reflects the truculence of many moralists nowadays.”

    Projection. No gay couple bullied her. No gay couple even contacted her. No gay couple asked anything of her or tried to compel her to do anything.

    She and her legal team invented a gay fake couple for a business that did not exist so could enshrine her prejudiced morals into law, potentially putting gay couples on a path to second-class citizenship.

    So it’s rightwing moralists who are bullying gays here per usual, not vice versa, no matter how much George Will and the Supreme Court’s Republican block wish to rewrite and invent facts to justify their persecution complex and antigay fever dreams.

    To my mind, a better question is, “Why open a business that might require you to work with people you don’t want to work with? Find another industry.”

    And imagine asking of black Americans ​in the 1950s, “Why would a Negro choose to ruin their dinner by choosing to compel the services of a restaurant who is hostile to them being there, when there are other restaurants?” And now you know where George Will and his conservative ilk would have stood on Jim Crow. Yikes.

    Will ends with this:

    “Would all the conservative justices have so adamantly defended Smith’s speech rights against the luminous and hard-won public accommodations principle if the likelihood of state coercion were not so symptomatic of today’s culture of silencing and canceling?”

    I don’t know, but I hope we do find out what the conservative justices think about conservative book bans, drag bans, and attempts to cancel NFL players, Pride Month, and Bud Light. At any rate, we were told the conservative justices were textualists and originalists who decide cases based only on the letter of law and constitution — not on personal reaction to current concerns, as this constitutes unacceptable activism outside a judge’s scope of practice. I guess we are all advocates for living constitution judicial activism now, glad George Will and the Federalist Society has come around.

  3. Bob2@Youngstown says:

    I suspect that these “designers” have a website to market their services. Do you they declare on their own website that … “due to religious reasons I may refuse to provide my services to potential customers.” ?
    Wouldn’t that be the honest thing to do?

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Missed this back in Aprit: How to tag a rhino? Use tech, tact … and plenty of caution – a photo essay

    “plenty of caution,” I should say so.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DK: Like so many conservatives, George Will thinks it is other people’s responsibility to make allowances for their prejudices.

    “Why can’t them n****rs just sit in the back of the bus as God intended? Maybe we should just make them walk!”

  6. Mikey says:

    @DK: Shorter George Will: “Why can’t same-sex couples just use separate cake shops? Aren’t all cake shops essentially equal?”

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From comes this absurdity inherent to our criminal “justice” system:

    Police referred to the teen in the release as a person of interest. He is charged as an adult, but police aren’t identifying him since he is a minor, according to a department spokesperson, detective Freddie Talbert.

    I got whiplash reading that.

  8. CSK says:


    I commend you for getting through a George Will column and remaining conscious. Usually I’m comatose with ennui by the third sentence.

  9. CSK says:

    More and more, the word “patriot” has been co-opted by the MAGAs as a synonym for “Trump worshiper.”

    Only devotees of TFG qualify as Patriots. (They always capitalize it.) No one else qualifies.

  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    Here’s a theory. MAGA is basically peasant rebellion.

    The history of peasant wars spans over two thousand years. A variety of factors fueled the emergence of the peasant revolt phenomenon, including:[2]

    Tax resistance
    Social inequality
    Religious war
    National liberation
    Resistance against serfdom
    Redistribution of land
    External factors such as plague and famine

    Taxes, IOW, big government. Social inequality: college vs. non-college. Religious war? The decline of Christianity in the US. External factors, like plague? Yep.

    It’s not a perfect fit, but there’s some definite overlap. The list is missing masculine revanchism, which is a big factor in MAGA.

    The reassuring thing is that peasant revolts have a distinct tendency to fail as the government swings into action.

  11. de stijl says:


    Or how about “I’m not able to accommodate your wishes right now, but I do know some fine folks who can, and will do you up fine. Here’s their contact information.”

    Short, sweet, efficient, done. No one’s feelings are hurt. There is no need to involve the law or make this a big drama.

    But big drama is sort of the point. And involving the law makes everything juicier and generates headlines and think pieces.

    Most business owners are mercenary and do not give a flying fuck who the customer is as long as you pay for their goods or services. All money is green.

    If someone were to open a bakery and openly declare that they would not serve anyone who votes Republican, people would have a freak-out conniption fit. Textualism, originalism – all that bullshit dodge would be dropped in an instant to punish that small, struggling entrepreneurial free spirit as harshly as possible both by law and socially.

    One of the things I often employ is to reverse the situation in my head and think through whether I think the same. If I don’t, I know I am on questionable ethical ground.

    Republicans do not give one fuck about libertarianism. Punishing and cancelling is their go-to move. See: the Dixie Chicks, well fka the Dixie Chicks, but now go as just the Chicks.

  12. Steve says:

    These peasants are funded by, lead by and willingly do the bidding of billionaires. There is little in GOP policy that actually benefits the peasants. I think it’s a stretch.


  13. CSK says:


    A grad school professor of mine once told the class that almost any great shift in Western society could be ascribed, at least in part, to “the rise of the middle class.” Not the uprising, but the rise.

  14. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Well, the MAGAs certainly comport themselves like churls, but otherwise…

  15. Tony W says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: One of the charges, for which he is presumably being tried as an adult, is “Possession of a Weapon by a Minor”.

  16. de stijl says:

    Every Republican today has memory-holed the Iraq war and Geoerge W. Bush. That used to be core identity stuff. Almost a shibboleth marker of group membership and identity.

    Today? Nah, you’re misremembering wrongly. We never said those things, flogged those policies. Who are you going to believe? Me, or you lying eyes, and ears and true, factual memories documented contemporaneously?

    I was there and I saw it with my own eyes.

    Bush used to be your guy and the Iraq war was your wedge issue you used to differentiate patriots from the othered.

    I saw. That happened!

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tony W: Yep.

  18. gVOR10 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @Steve: I don’t know much history of peasant revolts, but I think we need to make a destination between populism and faux populism. The prairie populists of a hundred plus years ago were basically bottom up, looking for relief from real economic issues. They failed politically, but some of what they wanted got done, largely because it made sense. (Rural Free Delivery of mail, federal agriculture extension services, rural electrification.) Modern top down populism is just a way to exploit the prejudices of the populi to get votes in support of the oligarchs for policies no non 1%er would support if they were spelled out.

    I suspect some peasant revolts were bottom up but that others were just tools in a fight between elites.

  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    Peasants never do benefit. They don’t really expect to. The rage is the point. And there were always upper class types hoping to ride the tiger, dissident nobles and clergy. It’s about the mindset of the ‘peasants’ and their issues. We are the elite they resent: secular, educated, mannered, condescending.

  20. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Being an oaf and a boob makes you a real American.

  21. de stijl says:

    The absence of deep ruminations and reflections about the Iraq war astounds me. I think I missed the memo that told us to forget about all that and the strategic failure on every level.

    We got induced into a war we couldn’t win and greatly increased Iran’s standing regionally by our predictable actions.

    It is almost af if we were baited and we bit. Bad intelligence, confirmation bias, politicizing military action. Those are bad things that need to be addressed.

    Those are things we need evaluate and consider. Pretending it never happened is the least adaptive way of not confronting very obvious fuck-ups that happened on every level of governance and bled into the intelligence services.

    The right people high enough up the food chain believed Curveball and got snookered by an obvious Iranian ploy due to confirmation bias. That is obviously a very bad thing.

    I think we ought to talk about that in depth. It is clear we fucked up really hard on a fundamental level over many agencies and our leaders bought into clear nonsense over either confirmation bias or just to benefit a President and a political party for domestic political gain. Likely both.

    What happened was fucking awful and we need to deal with how off the rails we went after 9/11. Face it, we went crazy, we clearly fucked up, and that needs to be reckoned with. Pretending it never happened is the least adaptive way of a coping mechanism.

  22. steve says:

    Michael- I think that’s a fair point. Pretty clear that lot fo the “peasant” revolts got lead by some wealthy, powerful people who co-opted the movement. I think maybe, big maybe, is that at least some peasant revolts actually started with the peasants before they were taken over. I think this has been lead by elites on the right from the beginning. They certainly notice when the peasants respond well and feed into it. The right noticed that the peasants loved Palin. Trump noticed that the peasants loved it when he talked about building a wall, but to my knowledge prior to Trump there was really no mass movement to build a wall.

    So to sum up I think you are correct that this is like a lot of peasant revolts in the past, and like a lot of those it really wasn’t started or lead by the peasants.


  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl:

    I was there and I saw it with my own eyes./Bush used to be your guy and the Iraq war was your wedge issue you used to differentiate patriots from the othered./I saw. That happened!

    So did I. And in thirty years (maybe now, for that matter) you know what that makes us? The equivalent of Holocaust survivors. 🙁

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl:

    It is almost af if we were baited and we bit. Bad intelligence, confirmation bias, politicizing military action. Those are bad things that need to be addressed.

    It’s called the “Military/Industrial Complex” because it makes a living being at war. And the “bad things” can’t be addressed because they are who and what it is. To address the bad things is to commit suicide, to acknowledge its diminished and diminishing value in nature.

    On the other hand, the Russias of the universe are never going to stop attacking the Ukraines of the universe with cluster munitions, so there you are. The beat goes on (and on and on and on and…).

  25. de stijl says:

    I am having a super annoying earworm. It’s a double-up. Two for the price of one. A BOGO.

    Both are really good songs I like and enjoy which is a positive. Seriously, I basically do not mind when songs get temporarily lodged in my head. It is when they over-stay their welcome and intrude randomly and persistenly for several days when it becomes bothersome.

    I don’t want to infect y’all with my dual ear worm so spoilers ahead, turn away now.

    It’s both Fast Car by Tracy Chpman and Everyday I Write The Book by Elvis Costello.

    Both are really great songs. No problem with that. It’s the mind intrusiveness of the earworm thing that is decidedly unpleasant.

    I can see how they got paired. The tempo is basically the same.

    Everyday Everyday Everyday I write the book

    You got a fast car/I want a ticket to anywhere else

    A bit thematically, too, in a way if you stretch it. When it comes to earworms I have had way worse, by far.

    It’s the same tempo and my stupid brain decided that that should be the duo songs I will torture you with repeatedly running in a loop inside your head forever.

    The best way I’ve found to defeat an earworm is to listen to other, super catchy music. Which I am doing now.

  26. Jim Brown 32 says:

    When Elon Musk first mentioned he would try to buy Twitter. I mentioned then in one of the forums that there was a low probability that his actual goal in the acquisition was to destroy Twitter as a misinformation hornet’s nest ahead of the 2024 election. Of course, like Trump destroying the Republican party, this has to be done a certain way to avoid revealing their true intentions and spooking the frogs out of the gumbo pot.

    The more I evaluate their actions against these goals, the more probable I believe this hypothesis is. While they could unwittingly destroy Twitter and the GOP–its feeling more and more probable that they are doing this wittingly.

  27. Chip Daniels says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    The term “peasant rebellion” against an “elite” only makes sense by the most bizarre and contorted definition.

    An auto dealer who lives in a million dollar McMansion is the “peasant”, while an adjunct professor who lives in a studio apartment is the “elite”.

    The “peasant” is fighting against oppression of, um, wait hold on I’ll think of something.

    Oh right, the “peasant” is fighting furiously against any effort to reduce police killings of black people, who are, uh, fellow peasants maybe, maybe elites?

    It isn’t a peasant rebellion at all, but a war of conquest against some hated outgroup.
    The English subjugation of Ireland or India would be a better example, where English peasants eagerly went to war against the uppity colonials.

    In most American cities for example, the police behave like an occupying force amid hostile natives. The MAGA supporters use the language and imagery of armed supporters of civilization surrounded by barbaric natives.

  28. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    Everyday I Write The Book by Elvis Costello.

    It’s such a weird song in his catalog — no bitterness or anger to speak of. I always get it stuck in my head mashed together with Nick Lowe’s “When I Write The Book”.

    A thematic mash that I am apparently now trying to infect you with. Presumably because I am a bad person.

    (I also always have a line from EC’s “Miss Macbeth” desperately waiting to run through my head — “sometimes people are just what they appear to be with no redemption at aaaallllll!”)

  29. CSK says:

    Trump suggested today that there’s something illegal about DeSantis’s fundraising.

  30. Beth says:

    @de stijl:

    I’m dealing with a very annoying ear worm too. I go to a lot of raves and there are always wild edits, remixes and samples of older songs. Most of the time I can either Shazam it right there or I’ll take a video of it and figure it out later. It’s worked great to find tons of producers and DJs I want to listen to.

    Lately there’s been a song going around where a bratty femme vocalist say “all I want to do is f*ck with the dj”. I was able to finally track down where the sample came from. An old song, waaaaay back from 2009. Problem is it’s not what I was looking for. I thought it might be a particular Scottish DJ/Producer Hanna Laing, but her catalog doesn’t show it.

    Turns it it is her. She posted something about having an issue with getting clearance on some of the samples so it hasn’t been released yet. Now I’m stuck with it bouncing around my head for a couple more weeks until it finally comes out.

  31. Beth says:


    I’m sure Trump knows. Just as I’m sure Trump taught DeSantis what it is.

  32. CSK says:


    I just re-read Tom Nichols’s “Donald Trump: The Most Unmanly President” in The Atlantic. Google it if you need a palate cleanser.

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: With trump, it’s always projection. But just like a stopped clock, he might be right this time.

  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via commentor rikyrah over at BJ comes this little gem:


    “She’s become America’s Karen,” @DavidJollyFL
    says about Casey DeSantis. “It doesn’t matter if it’s presented in heels or boots, the DeSantis doctrine is a losing one.”

  35. Beth says:


    Yeah, but then I need a palate cleanser for having read The Atlantic…

  36. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: OK this gives me a chance to promote my very favorite genre: Canadian Independent Rock. “When I Write My Masters Thesis” by John K Sampson. The version I found on YouTube is a low budget acoustic version which just makes it more Canadian.

  37. Sleeping Dog says:


    Kettle meet pot, but he’s not the first to raise issues about Ron the Groomer’s fund raising and spending. There is something there.

  38. dazedandconfused says:


    The successful revolts are led by some kind of elite. Unfortunately for the Tea Party they got Glenn Beck and Sarah, wrong-footing them terribly. Now they have Trump. Magic 8 balls says “TRY AGAIN”.

    The Arab Spring would up with ISIS. It did not go well.

    The Russians got Lenin and Stalin. Enough intellectual heft to carry the day, but ultimately it was back to square two. The Czars were kaputed but they don’t know wtf they want to be…or perhaps how to become it. Lotta damage done.

    How lucky we really were to get Washington, Adams, Franklin, Jefferson and Hamilton? Extremely.

  39. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    “Kettle, meet pot” was my first thought, too.

  40. DrDaveT says:


    “Kettle, meet pot” was my first thought, too.

    Every accusation by Donald Trump is also a confession. It’s A Rule.

    (He has neither the wit nor the imagination to accuse people of crimes he’s not already familiar with…)

  41. CSK says:


    No, he doesn’t.

  42. DrDaveT says:

    Conversations in the comments to the recent article on “America’s Family Secret”, and particularly some comments by @Andy, got me to thinking about the question “how long does it take for the economic and social harm caused by discrimination to wash out — to become relatively insignificant compared to other factors?”

    Obviously, it is possible in principle for harm to wash out. If I stole your lunch money when we were in 4th grade, you were hungry that day but it probably didn’t have any noticeable effect on your life today. More seriously, when I accidentally broke my brother’s leg when he was 4, he spent a couple of weeks in a cast and may have some slight permanent impairment relative to what would have been — but even those effects are small compared to the range of possible lives he could have lived, and the ordinary variability of fortune and ability.

    When it comes to major harm over generations, though, it is not clear to me that harm ever washes out. Inherited wealth — economic and social — is the majority of all wealth. In addition, wealth compounds — the longer you have it, the more it is worth, not just in absolute but in relative terms. In that sense, major economic harm not only never washes out, but its impact increases over time — even after the actual infliction of harm stops. Which has not yet happened, in the case of discrimination against black Americans.

    So I’m coming to the conclusion that that argument that the harm happened too long ago for redress to be relevant has things exactly backward. It assumes that once the harm has been inflicted, everything tends to return toward equilibrium. But that isn’t right — all of the feedbacks are positive, not negative. There is no mechanism for self-correction, and many for compounding. “The rich get richer” is a proverb for a reason. Economists have also confirmed that this is just as true of intergenerational social capital as it is of financial capital, though that’s a bit more subtle to see.


  43. gVOR10 says:

    @de stijl:

    The absence of deep ruminations and reflections about the Iraq war astounds me.

    It seems to me conservative intellectuals are prone to a writing style that is wordy, and a bit obscure. Now I tend to think writing style reflects thinking, and theirs tends to wander about quite a bit. But it’s also because a lot of what they’re saying, if expressed clearly, would make no sense. So they avoid doing that. The suspicion of experts is partly the same phenomenon. Too many facts and deep analysis might not produce the desired conclusion.

    Same thing with Iraq. If we look at it too closely we might be forced to conclusions we (Republicans and the foreign policy blob) wouldn’t like.

  44. Kathy says:


    With Benito, an accusation against a rival is tantamount to a confession.

    Maybe DeSatanis’ fundraising involves illegalities. Benito’s almost surely does.

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: Reading what they were didn’t trouble me at all. I’ve never heard either song. In the meantime, I’ve had “Hold Me Now” by the Thompson Twins running in my head for most of the day, but for me, it’s not a earworm, it’s background music. (And better than the tinnitus—3 separate pitches and tone qualities today–that is in the foreground.)

  46. gVOR10 says:


    The successful revolts are led by some kind of elite. Unfortunately for the Tea Party they got Glenn Beck and Sarah, wrong-footing them terribly. Now they have Trump. Magic 8 balls says “TRY AGAIN”.

    I thought at the time, and still think, the Tea Party was set up to help the Koch Bros and their extraction industry accomplices replace the then dominant GOP establishment of old money, banking, or whatever. They succeeded, at which point they quit funding the Tea Party which has largely faded away.

    They did not want Trump, but they quickly adapted. Chris Christie was supposed to manage the transition, with a lot of say over staffing. Somehow Christie got pushed out, replaced by Mike Pence, essentially a Koch employee. So Koch got their tentacles deeply into the Trump administration. And I’m not sure Trump even knew it.

  47. DrDaveT says:


    It seems to me conservative intellectuals are prone to a writing style that is wordy, and a bit obscure. Now I tend to think writing style reflects thinking, and theirs tends to wander about quite a bit. But it’s also because a lot of what they’re saying, if expressed clearly, would make no sense.

    William F. Buckley Jr. was both orotund and otiose — and used both of those words regularly. When he spoke plainly, he was much less convincing.

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: Most of us probably aren’t as liberal (?? complex??) as you are, though. Anti-MAGAnetic is all we need. We’re secretly praying for the rise of the “Good Conservatives” that will restore the country to equilibrium.

  49. dazedandconfused says:


    Trump and the establishment, “Young Frankenstein” writ large.

  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: I think you have it more or less correct.

  51. CSK says:


    I’m curious: Why would you find The Atlantic that offensive? They don’t appear to me to be anti-LGBTQ. They’ve published a lot of outstanding prose by fine writers.

  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR10: And I’m not sure Trump even knew it.

    You could explain it to him, with 8×10 color glossy photos with labels and arrows and a paragraph on the back explaining each one and he still wouldn’t get it.

  53. Jax says:

    Speaking of earworms….

    In the jungle, the mighty jungle
    The lion sleeps tonight
    In the jungle the quiet jungle
    The lion sleeps tonight

    Fuck my life. I really think it’s the weembowep that gets the worm lodged every time. 😛

  54. Gustopher says:

    @DrDaveT: The time for things to “even out” could be reduced by increasing social mobility.

    Assuming we are not pursuing the edge case of evening everything out by impoverishing everyone*, this would also be a benefit to most non-Black Americans as well.

    Blah blah blah, progressive taxation, strong social safety net, fund a decent education for all, significant inheritance taxes…

    *: If everyone literally has zero, then we have equality — nuclear holocaust might work. But let’s assume we are aiming for a solution where anyone’s kids have a decent chance of a middle class life, even if they start out poor.

  55. Beth says:


    First, while The Atlantic might not be expressly anti-LGB, it is, as an organization virulently transphobic. Jesse Single and Helen Lewis want every single trans person dead. Connor Friedersdorf has decided that there is an absolute limit on the number of trans people and that he’s “just asking questions about the best way to cull trans people.” Should they be gassed? Should they be tortured before they’re gassed? Should we put chips in trans kid’s heads that shock them if they think about being trans? Who’s to say? The Atlantic likes to mewl at being neutral, but on this issue they are on the side of the eliminationists.

    Sure, they have some fine writers, they also have David Frum, noted moron. I think the only writers at the Atlantic that don’t consistently make me want to run my brain through a meat grinder are Anne Applebaum and Adam Serwer. I hope they aren’t bigots like the others mentioned above. A couple of quick hits:

    Second, The Atlantic is wedded to a weird sort of Radical Centrism. They make our own centrist, Daddy Reynolds look like Che Guevara in comparison. It’s deeply frustrating to read article after article about how we need to get back to some sort of mythical center that is defined entirely by where the Right wingers want it to be. According to The Atlantic, anyone left of Scott Walker isn’t to be trusted. It gets deeply frustrating to constantly read about how well, maybe, just maaaaybe the Republicans are doing bad stuff, but really it’s the Democrats fault for not just capitulating. But we’re just asking questions…

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’m sure in this community I’m in the hardcore leftist pen, but in the real world, I am constitutionally a Reynolds-ian moderate. At least I would prefer to be. The problem is the Right has decided they don’t have to deal with reality on, well, anything they don’t like. The task then is not to say, like The Atlantic, “oh, well, I guess the center is over here now and could these Nazi’s stop making so much racket”, but, to pull things back left. Until we get those “good conservatives” back, I’ll be with the Leftists, trying to get them to get their shit together so we can fight properly.

  56. de stijl says:


    One of my favorite albums is EC’s Get Happy! which I truly adore. It’s just big, stupid fun.

    I think he intentionally put that out into the world because he realized he was becoming known for only writing “meaningful” songs employing clever wordplay. It was his shtick, his go-to. He saw that, realized his own blind spot, and self corrected positively.

    You know what? I’m going to release an album of fun songs and that is a cheeky bit of self-critique. Here are a bunch of songs I wrote that I clearly could not fit into my previous albums because they would not fit thematically.

    One of my all-time favorites is More Songs About Buildings And Food by Talking Heads. Definitely my favorite album of theirs even over 1977 and it is a mish-mash of songs that did not fit a curated album experience.

    Sometimes (often) random shit you throw at the wall is really damn good and fun to listen to.

  57. de stijl says:


    My head’s version of Fast Car is a pretty radical re-arrangement where all the salient bits are fused together. My brain re-mixed a song when I wasn’t paying attention. I think that is pretty damned impressive.

    What else can my brain do when I’m not paying attention? Some part of my brain re-arranged a song and decided it should play on a forever loop inside my head without my buy-in or conscious consent. How did that happen?

    I would love to know more about the neuro-science behind an earworm. Put somebody into a f-MRI scanner and see what lights up and correlate that to other behaviors.

    An earworm is tolerable when it stays in the background, plays by the rules. It becomes annoying when it intrudes into forebrain thinking and you can’t stop it even after you tell that process to calm the fuck down. Stop it! Please. You are annoying me. Pease stop!

    It doesn’t stop.

    How does an earworm differ from a persistent delusion? Do the same brain areas light up during an f-MRI scan?

    I want to know more. I want research.

    I was thrilled when I found out that I was not alone or insane and earworms happen to a lot of people randomly and we should not be too worried about it. You aren’t going insane – it’s just a thing happens with our brains sometimes and is fairly normal. I really appreciated that knowledge and wish someone had told me that earler.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: Yeah. I like that one, too. 😉 Another great *background music of my life* selection.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    But let’s assume we are aiming for a solution where anyone’s my kids have a decent chance of a middle class life, even if they start out poor.

    Fixed that for you. I’ve stopped believing that the population at large is really on board with the version you proposed. I’m confident that all conservatives have abandoned it, and a significant portion of the center to center left has, too. So I think your “we” is probably down around 30-35%. Maybe lower than the crazification factor. Who can tell?

  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    They make our own centrist, Daddy Reynolds look like Che Guevara in comparison.

    No, no, no. You completely misunderstand Daddy Reynolds. He may well be the only true liberal left in the world. One day, I was drinking coffee while I was reading him describe himself as a “hard-core liberal.” I just turned away from the screen in time for my spit take to miss the keyboard.

  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: Well considering that in the age of the “Good Conservatives” their primary spokesperson was William F. Buckley, meh… let’s just leave it at I’m not optimistic.

  62. de stijl says:


    There is no overt anger or bitterness in Everyday I Write The Book, but there is a subtext of deep regret and remorse.

  63. de stijl says:

    In my effort to eliminate my earworm I listened to the catchiest songs I could think of. That was really interesting. I looked up lists.

    One of the songs that showed up on a list I had not heard or considered in decades was Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus. A lot of people peg it as dumb late 90s/early 2000s fluff. Which it kinda is, but it is also extraordinarily clever and really well written. I was blown away!

    That thrown away lyric “he drives an IROC”. Damn! It paints a complete picture succinctly. You know exactly who that guy is. Four words.

    Another eye-opening one was The Girl All The Bad Guys Want by Bowling For Soup. (Super awesome band name as well.) That is a fucking great song.

    Dumb, fun, catchy pop rock is fun. I enjoyed myself immensely. Hopefully that quelled the infinitely looping earworm. I’ll find out tomorrow I guess. Maybe I’ll have new one.

  64. de stijl says:


    Ma’am, you are truly evil!

    My worst ever earworm was “ABC. It’s easy as 1-2-3” by the Jackson 5. That sucker got lodged in hard and lasted for weeks.