Sunday’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 says:
  2. Bill says:
  3. Bill says:
  4. Mikey says:

    I was going to run the Marine Corps Marathon “virtually” today, but the weather here is going to be 45F and rain…all…fucking…day. So I discovered the sole advantage of a “virtual” marathon: I don’t have to run in the rain again (last year’s MCM was also rainy). I’ll just run the sucker tomorrow.

    It’s a bit of a mental letdown as I was all set to go, but I’ll take the opportunity and avoid the additional misery.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Perfect reading for a Sunday morning:

    It is a Tudor warrant book, one of many in the National Archives, filled with bureaucratic minutiae relating to 16th-century crimes. But this one has an extraordinary passage, overlooked until now, which bears instructions from Henry VIII explaining precisely how he wanted his second wife, Anne Boleyn, to be executed.

    In this document, the king stipulated that, although his queen had been “adjudged to death… by burning of fire… or decapitation”, he had been “moved by pity” to spare her the more painful death of being “burned by fire”. But he continued: “We, however, command that… the head of the same Anne shall be… cut off.”

    Tracy Borman, a leading Tudor historian, described the warrant book as an astonishing discovery, reinforcing the image of Henry VIII as a “pathological monster”. She told the Observer: “As a previously unknown document about one of the most famous events in history, it really is golddust, one of the most exciting finds in recent years. What it shows is Henry’s premeditated, calculating manner. He knows exactly how and where he wants it to happen.” The instructions laid out by Henry are for Sir William Kingston, constable of the Tower, detailing how the king would rid himself of the “late queen of England, lately our wife, lately attainted and convicted of high treason”.
    The warrant book reveals that Henry worked out details such as the exact spot for the execution (“upon the Green within our Tower of London”), making clear Kingston should “omit nothing” from his orders.
    Borman argues that, despite the coldness of the instructions, the fact Henry spared Boleyn from being burned – a slow, agonising death – was a real kindness by the standards of the day. A beheading with an axe could also involve several blows, and Henry had specified that Boleyn’s head should be “cut off’, which meant by sword, a more reliable form of execution, but not used in England, which is why he had Cromwell send to Calais for a swordsman.

    Henry’s instructions were not followed to the letter, though, partly due to a series of blunders, Borman said. “The execution didn’t take place on Tower Green, which is actually where we still mark it at the Tower today. More recent research has proved that… it was moved to opposite what is today the Waterloo Block, home of the crown jewels.”

    She added: “Because we know the story so well, we forget how deeply shocking it was to execute a queen. They could well have got the collywobbles and thought we’re not going to do this. So this is Henry making really sure of it. For years, his trusty adviser Thomas Cromwell has got the blame. But this shows, actually, it’s Henry pulling the strings.”

  6. CSK says:


    “I heard say the executioner was very good, and I have a little neck.”
    — Ann Boleyn

  7. sam says:

    Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner threaten to sue The Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards.

    Barbara Streisand is doubtless smiling. The Project’s response the Javanka’s lawyer: “Pound sand.”

  8. Teve says:

    Varys: In the Summer Isles, they worship a fertility Goddess with 16 teats.
    Tyrion: We should sail there Immediately.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Tyrion had all the best lines.

  10. Mikey says:

    This utter imbecile and his word vomit are why we will lose half a million Americans before this is over.

    “That’s all I hear about now. Turn on TV, ‘Covid, Covid, Covid Covid Covid.’ A plane goes down, 500 people dead, they don’t talk about it. ‘Covid Covid Covid Covid.’ By the way, on November 4th, you won’t hear about it anymore … ‘please don’t go and vote, Covid!'” — Trump

    Of course when a jumbo jet goes down it’s at the top of the news for days. And guess what, you fucking shit-for-brains incompetent bigoted moron? TWO of those planes are crashing every day and YOU are the pilot.

    Every day, he proves I actually can hate him more.

  11. Mikey says:

    Now VP Pence’s chief of staff has COVID. Pence is the head of the COVID “task force” and his right-hand man has it. What an utter debacle these people have created.

    Dr. Fauci was on the news saying Trump hasn’t been to a COVID briefing in months, and now the “task force” meets once a week over Zoom.

    They’ve just given up. They aren’t stating it publicly, but their “strategy” is simply to let it rip through America and whoever dies, well, I guess they weren’t genetically superior. Eugenics by mass murder. Sounds familiar.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Washington state crews destroy first US murder hornet nest

    The state agriculture department spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees farmers depend on to pollinate crops.

    The nest found in the city of Blaine near the Canadian border was about the size of a basketball and contained an estimated 100 to 200 hornets, according to scientists who announced the find on Friday.

    On Saturday, crews wearing thick protective suits vacuumed the invasive insects from the cavity of a tree into large canisters. The suits stopped the hornets’ 6mm stingers hurting workers, who also wore face shields because the trapped hornets were capable of spitting a painful venom.

    The tree will be cut down to extract newborn hornets and learn if any queens have left the hive, scientists said. Officials suspect more nests may be in the area and will keep searching. A news briefing was planned for Monday.

  13. Mikey says:


    the trapped hornets were capable of spitting a painful venom

    *screaming intensifies*

  14. Teve says:
  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! That hornet’s dynamite!

  16. Sleeping Dog says:

    Hell has officially frozen over, the Union Leader has endorsed a Dem for president. William Loeb is spinning in his grave.

    President Trump is not always 100 percent wrong, but he is 100 percent wrong for America. Trump has many admirable accomplishments from his first term in office. We can find much common ground with Trump supporters, including judicial appointments, tax policy, support for gun rights, even inroads to Middle East peace. Trump has been able to accomplish this despite many in the media and Congress working to stop him at every opportunity.

    Since Trump took over, the national debt has exploded by more than 7 TRILLION dollars. While the last several trillion was in response to the COVID-19 economic crisis, at least the first three trillion was on the books well before the pandemic, while Trump was presiding over “…the best economy we’ve ever had in the history of our country.” (Trump’s words.)

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Why do I get the feeling they are incapable of connecting the dots between their favored tax policy and the deficit?

  18. CSK says:

    I don’t know how I missed this when it happened, but back in March 2017 Trump revealed to the world that…Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. “Not many people know that,” he added.

    Apparently this was a revelation to him, and he wanted to share it with us. So thoughtful of him.

  19. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Whoa. Was the tremor I just felt Loeb turning over in his grave?

    A little joke for you: Ages ago, when Meldrim Thompson was governor and William Loeb was still going strong, New Hampshire Democrats woud joke that the state needed a Thompsonectomy and a Loebotomy.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A Joe Biden White House will have little time and less love for ‘Britain’s Trump’

    “There is an intrinsic problem for Boris,” observes Sir Christopher Meyer, the UK’s ambassador in Washington during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W Bush. “The Democrats think Boris is a pea from the same pod as Trump.” Being “Britain’s Trump” goes down almost as poisonously as being Trump himself among many in Team Biden. They are bracketed together in the minds of Democrats not just because both are rule-breaking populists who have polarised their countries and trashed historic alliances. Likely members of a Biden administration remember examples of the Tory leader’s insultingly Trumpian behaviour. Ben Rhodes, who was deputy national security adviser when Mr Biden was vice-president to Barack Obama, has remarked: “I’m old enough to remember when Boris Johnson said Obama opposed Brexit because he was Kenyan.” A more recent inflammatory episode exposed a complete absence of thought in Number 10 about the man whom the polls suggest will be the next US president.

    One of the most essential things to know about Mr Biden – it would be on the first page if anyone wrote a book called Biden for Beginners – is that he is a Catholic who is extremely proud of his Irish ancestry. Mr Johnson was either blithe or ignorant about that when he declared that he was ready to break international law by dishonouring clauses concerning Ireland in the withdrawal agreement with the EU. Mr Biden was one of the voices in the chorus of American condemnation that the Johnson government was jeopardising the Good Friday agreement. “That was profoundly clumsy and stupid,” says Sir Chris. “It immediately ignited the Irish-American lobby in Washington, which is second in power only to the pro-Israeli lobby.”

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Johnson will wait for US election result before no-deal Brexit decision

    Rogers joined other former UK diplomats last night in warning that a Democratic administration under Biden would prove hugely problematic for Johnson and the UK government, threatening the so-called special relationship. “I don’t think either Biden or his core team are anti-British, but I think they are unimpressed by both Johnson and his top team,” he said.

    “They believe him to have been an early and vigorous supporter of Trump, and that Brexiteer thinking – which they think has damaged the unity of the west – has many parallels with Trumpism. So I really doubt there will be much warmth in the personal relationship. And Biden’s would simply not be an administration which viewed European integration as a negative.

    “The UK’s absence from the EU will make it clearly less influential because it can no longer lead European thinking on the geo-strategic issues which will matter hugely to Biden. So [Biden] will put Berlin and Paris – and indeed Brussels – back at the heart of US thinking: not uncritically, because the US will still have serious issues with EU approaches on economic and security issues..”

    Kim Darroch, a former UK ambassador in Washington, who quit the post in 2019 after the leaking of diplomatic cables in which he criticised the Trump administration as “inept”, said Biden might even favour a US-EU trade deal over one with the UK.

    Darroch said: “Whoever wins in November the bedrock of the relationship – defence, security and intelligence collaboration – will remain as strong as ever. But if it’s Biden, there are likely to be some issues. The Democrats don’t like or support Brexit. They may prioritise trade deals with the Pacific region or the EU over a UK/US deal. They will block a trade deal with us if they think we are putting the Good Friday agreement at risk. And they remember and resent Johnson’s comments in 2016 about ‘the part-Kenyan president’ having ‘an ancestral dislike of the British empire’ – not to mention Johnson telling US diplomats that Trump was ‘making America great again’.”

  22. de stijl says:


    I play Crusader Kings 3 a lot. (And CK2 before that).

    Usually I always roleplay as a good person whenever possible, but CK3 is insanely good at making you play per the character stats and traits. You gain stress by acting against your nature, and stress in that game is very bad. It literally makes you insane and kills you in very short order.

    Tyr help you if you did not arrange inheritance laws properly and sway vassals to vote as you prefer.

    You always play as the dynasty head. If you die next turn you are the primary heir – son or daughter.

    If the new “you” is a scoundrel super high in intrigue you either play to character or the game punishes you.

    You use your kids to secure alliances via betrothals and marriages. You scheme against your nephew, you pay your court priest to fabricate claims over the duchy you want and need. You hoard piety and renown and gold.

    You cannot Mary Sue through it. The game forces you to play as the player character.

    You end up doing weird shit like scheming to kill your eldest heir if his stats and traits suck. Once I declared war on Denmark just because I wanted my idiot son to die. I sent him in with 100 troops to attack Aarhus against 2000 Danish troops just so they would gank him and then sued for white peace immediately thereafter.

    The game is fun and immersive, but the brilliance is that it assigns you a character that you have to figure out how to play as. And then she dies so you then play as her son with new stats and traits.

    It enforces roleplaying.

  23. CSK says:

    Trump referred to Johnson as “the British Donald Trump.” I never heard him refer to himself as the American Boris Johnson. Funny, isn’t it?

  24. Teve says:

    Weird story about the great British baking show: on the very first day, the producers tried to make it more of a reality show and get the contestants crying and ask them intrusive questions about their history etc., and Mel and Sue walked the fuck out of the tent and resigned, and said if it was going to be mean like that they weren’t going to be a part of it, and the producers changed gears. I don’t even want to think about how terrible that would have been.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:




    What a way to end a game.

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: It’s a great show (I think I’ve seen pieces of it twice at my son’s) precisely because the contestants are rooting for and supporting each other. Kudos to Mel and Sue.

    eta: @CSK: That’s a compliment. After all, doesn’t everybody want to be just like tiny hands?

  27. CSK says:

    Yeah; everyone wants to be a short-fingered vulgarian. It’s my life’s ambition.

  28. de stijl says:


    Tyrion had the cleverest lines. Arya had the best lines.

    I’ve been re-reading recently. Arya is superbae.

    One thing I noted was that most of the POV characters eventually go by multiple names. Arya in particular. Arya Stark, Arya Underfoot, Arya Horseface, Arry, Lumpyhead (or Lumpyface), Weasel, Mouse, “a girl”, Cat, etc.

    It’s quite fascinating.

    The saga is about Arya with a whole lot of meaningless stupid shit about how the Iron Islands choose a king, what people were eating or wearing, and some foolish rumor that The Others have returned north of The Wall. I’m sure the Blackwatch have it well in hand.

    Tell me more about Arya.

  29. Teve says:

    One year ago today


    We are not prepared for a pandemic. Trump has rolled back progress President Obama and I made to strengthen global health security. We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, and mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores.

    Most of the replies are intelligent but there are some conservative doozies


    It appears Mr. Hiddin’ Biden you knew something About the coronavirus a few months before it hit the US. it’s not a pandemic & it’s a planDemic; but you already knew that. #PerkinsForU.S.Senate Will help Pres Trump by confirming Fed judges. #ArrestsComing.


    The left won’t win by peddling fear


    Creepy Joe, the scare tactics and fear mongering doesn’t work anymore! WE THE PEOPLE are a lot smarter than you.. TRUMP 2020

  30. de stijl says:


    “The bees!”

    Nic Cage has had a really interesting life story.

  31. Sleeping Dog says:


    I know, and the math has become impossible to balance the budget with only reductions in spending. R fantasies of making SS a welfare program and Medicare a block grant that will never be increased, while at the same time continuing to capture the revenue from payroll taxes, paid by the riff-raff. Cutting all government transfer programs, while increasing defense spending… Forget for a moment that those cuts are politically impossible and simply look at revenue, there isn’t enough.


    I always smile at George McGovern’s comment on Loeb after the UL relentlessly attacked McGovern for weeks, “as long as he spells my name correctly.”

  32. Sleeping Dog says:

    Poking fun at Objectivism. Came across a couple of pokes this week.

    “I have always found it quaint, and rather touching, that there is a movement in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough.”
    – Christopher Hitchens on the followers of Ayn Rand


  33. Teve says:


    Mark Meadows on CNN: “We are not going to get control of the pandemic.”

    Says we will instead try to get therapeutics and vaccines rather than trying to control the spread.

  34. Mikey says:

    @Teve: Wow. I guess I was wrong…they ARE stating it publicly.

  35. de stijl says:


    I said this yesterday, but I construct my Saturday around TGBBS, America’s Test Kitchen, and Cook’s Country.

    I like the early seasons with Mel and Sue and Mary and Paul. That’s the proper crew.

    It’s so wholesome. Getting a proper handshake from Paul was akin to being knighted.

    I had such a telecrush on one of the early years contestants. She was northern.


  36. Mikey says:

    @de stijl:

    Nic Cage has had a really interesting life story.

    According to the Great British Bake Off, he even invented the caged tart!

  37. Barry says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Why do I get the feeling they are incapable of connecting the dots between their favored tax policy and the deficit?”

    No, unwilling.

  38. de stijl says:


    I miss Spy dearly.

    It was my fave magazine at the time.

  39. Teve says:
  40. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Oh, I do, too. Spy had Trump’s number long before the rest of the country did.

    It’s amazing the number of people who thought that The Apprentice was real life.

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Barry: As far as I can tell, they are unable because they are unwilling. But that is just semantics.

  42. de stijl says:

    When Anthony Bourdain went that hit me really hard. I identified with him straight up.

    Suicide is really frustrating.

    I am all for bodily autonomy, but so many suicides could be prevented by talking to someone and by just giving it another week.

    Bourdain’s death bummed me hard then and still now.

  43. Teve says:


    “Everyone thinks that Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat” — Trump


    I’m so goddamn tired.

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Viola Smith, pioneering swing and big band drummer, dies aged 107

    Viola Smith, a pioneering drummer and original “hep girl” of the swing and big band era, died on Wednesday in Costa Mesa, California. She was 107.

    Promoted in the 1930s as the “fastest girl drummer in the world” and credited with blazing a path for women in what had been a male preserve, Smith sat behind a giant drum set that included a double bass drum, an instrument that would years later become a tool for hard-hitting rock drummers.

    Smith took up drumming as a teenager in Wisconsin, when her father assembled the Schmitz Sisters Family Orchestra with his eight daughters. Her showcase was The Snake Charmer, a jazzy arabesque with explosive drum-fills.

    “There were 10 of us, eight of us were in the orchestra,” Smith told DrumTalkTV in 2017. “We all played the piano, we had two pianos and an organ at home, my two brothers were practicing the piano and overheard my dad say he was going to have an all-girl orchestra.

    “Well, when they heard that, that was the end of the practicing [for them], no more piano from then on at all!” Because she was the sixth daughter in the family, she said, her older sisters got the strings and brass.

    “My dad said, ‘Now, we need a drummer!’ Thank God, I was it.”
    In the same year, as men were being drafted to war and women taking their place in factories, Viola wrote a now-famous article for Down Beat magazine, arguing for the inclusion of women in the big bands of the day.

    “Many of the star instrumentalists of the big name bands are being drafted,” she wrote, under the title Give Girl Musicians A Break! “Instead of replacing them with what may be mediocre talent, why not let some of the great girl musicians of the country take their places?

    “We girls have as much stamina as men. There are many girl trumpet players, girl saxophonists and girl drummers who can stand the grind of long tours and exacting one-night stands. The girls of today are not the helpless creatures of an earlier generations.

    “Some girl musicians who are as much the masters of their instruments as are male musicians. They can improvise; their solos are well-defined and thought-provoking and show unlimited imagination.” Smith concluded what was effectively a manifesto with a provocative instruction to male bandleaders: “Think it over, boys.”

    Frances Carroll & Her Coquettes Featuring Drummer Viola Smith.

  45. Mikey says:

    Tumult at home, ailing alliances abroad: Why Trump’s America has been a ‘gift’ to Putin

    Under President Trump, the United States has abandoned international climate and nuclear arms agreements. It has announced its withdrawal from the World Health Organization, questioned the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and antagonized stalwart allies like Germany.

    America’s past presidents have long promoted democracy, human rights and the rule of law abroad, yet Trump instead has waged an assault on those values at home, where he has weakened institutions, shredded norms and declared without evidence that the upcoming election will be “rigged.”

    America’s moral authority also has been undercut by the devastatingly high death toll and wrenching economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with the racial reckoning that has convulsed the country.

    These highlights from Trump’s nearly four years in office read like Vladimir Putin’s wish list. Few countries have benefited more geopolitically from Trump’s time in office than Russia.

  46. charon says:

    Tweet from one year ago today:

    We are not prepared for a pandemic. Trump has rolled back progress President Obama and I made to strengthen global health security. We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, and mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores.

    This has been all over the net today.

  47. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    You must have read Kitchen Confidential. Great book.
    A startling number of writers, if they don’t drink themselves to death, commit suicide. A few days after my father died in 2014, I tried to get in touch with a writer friend, a fairly well-known guy, to notify him of my father’s death, since they had known each other and gotten along well. I found out my friend had put a gun to his head a week before my father went.

    Depression. It’s a killer. Literally.

  48. Kylopod says:


    It’s amazing the number of people who thought that The Apprentice was real life.

    Because it was called a “reality show.” That’s the irony of the term: what a lot of those shows were presenting was anything but reality. And by the mid-2000s the term had been stretched far beyond its original meaning anyway. The Apprentice wasn’t a reality show, it was a game show, and the “reality” element of it was based on the fiction that Trump built his public persona around.

    Yet I think when historians look back on the rise of Trump, the history of reality TV should be considered. It’s not so much that it led directly to his presidency as that it was a trend he used greatly to his advantage–especially the shows around that time which tried to resuscitate the careers of washed-out celebs, starting (I think) with The Osbournes. If not for that trend, he probably wouldn’t have lasted beyond Guy With The Bankruptcies.

  49. Teve says:
  50. Scott F. says:

    @Sleeping Dog: The editors threw in a pretty massive disclaimer to show their true colors:

    * While Joe Biden is the clear choice for president, it would be a disservice to the country to send him to the White House without a backstop. We suggest splitting the ballot and electing a healthy dose of GOP senators and representatives. The best governance often comes through compromise. The civility of the Biden administration will help foster such compromise, but a blue wave would be nearly as disastrous for this country as four more years of Trump. It would result in a quagmire of big government programs that will take decades to overcome.

  51. sam says:

    Everyone remembers Jerry Jeff Walker for Mr. Bojangles, but before that, he was a member of a group called Circus Maximus. Their song, with Jerry Jeff on vocals, Wind got a great deal of play in Boston back in the day. A very interesting piece.

  52. CSK says:

    Yeah; I know. The irony is striking to me, as well. I had always known Trump was, as someone put it, “a clown living on credit.” But I think you had to live in the northeast to be fully aware of that. I suspect many people hadn’t heard of him before he became a game show host–a show that, by the way, I never watched.

    The first reality show may date back to Jan.-March 1973, when PBS aired An American Family, featuring the Loud (yes; that was their name) clan. If you’re not familiar with it, look it up. I understand it caused quite a stir at the time; the eldest son, Lance, was the first openly gay person to appear on television. PBS says that the public loved Lance and the media hated him.

  53. de stijl says:


    Have you ever worked a kitchen?

    The amount of craziness can sometimes go off the chart.

    The likelihood that your non-Dominoes local pizza was crafted by an active hard drug addict is about 50-50.

    Waiting is a stupid movie, but it captured the spirit if not the depth of BOH shenanigans.

    Waiting had a fucking fantastic cast.

  54. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Scott F.:

    The UL will always be the UL and that paragraph was buried near the end. Far more readers will stop at the Biden endorsement or will only see a headline that the UL endorsed Biden. Besides, there is higher chance of Jeanne Shaheen dying in office and Sununu being able to appoint her replacement, than there is of her not being reelected.

  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: It’s always crazy in a kitchen. Even when things are slow they are crazy, because everyone working there is crazy.

  56. sam says:

    I see that Vice-President Biden will travel to Warm Springs, Georgia (pop. 400) next week to give a speech. Why this small town in Georgia? Warm Springs is the site of what was known as the Little White House during FDR’s presidency. He visited there quite often. He died at Warm Springs on April 12, 1945.

  57. Sleeping Dog says:


    An American Family as well as its contemporary Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, differed from “reality shows” in that they weren’t staged in any sense, the people involved, simply let a film crew follow them around. Reality shows create a milieu and the script is however people react to that milieu.

  58. de stijl says:


    I got away with so much subversive shit with mid 70s PBS shows because Mom thought it was educational.

    I, Claudius
    The Prisoner
    Monty Python

    Her loss, my gain.

  59. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Online Etymology Dictionary dates the term “reality television” to 1991. And that does seem to be about the time most people think of as the beginning of the modern era of reality TV. MTV’s The Real World debuted in 1992. There was an explosion of these shows around this period. It’s by the late ’90s that you get movies like The Truman Show satirizing the genre. And it didn’t abate in the years since; it grew even bigger.

    But yes, the concept is much older. In fact, depending on how you define the term, it may be practically as old as TV itself (Wikipedia defines Candid Camera as a reality show, and the first time it aired was 1948).

    The only reality show I ever watched with any regularity was Cops in the ’90s. My brother was into “real life” cop shows during his late teens while he was interested in becoming a cop (he never did).

    In the movie From Dusk Till Dawn, which came out in 1996, the boy says at one point, “Dad, I watch those reality shows. They never let anybody go.” I’ve wondered for a long time what shows he had in mind, and I’ve come to think maybe it was one of those cop shows my brother used to watch. I’m not sure whether Cops dealt with any hostage situations, and if it did, it was always from the standpoint of the cops, never the criminals or their victims. But there was another show my brother watched called Top Cops which did sometimes deal with such situations from the kidnappers’ end. It was not a reality show in the modern sense–it used an interview-and-reenactment format. But it’s possible people in the ’90s used the term “reality show” a bit more loosely than today, to refer to documentary shows in general, or even fictionalized true-crime shows. The irony is that shows like those sometimes had a lot more reality to them than many of the later shows called reality TV. It seems that the more time went on, the more gimmicky and artificial “reality shows” became.

  60. de stijl says:


    Concur. Absolutely.

  61. CSK says:

    Part of the appeal of reality shows, for the television business, is that they are, relatively speaking, cheap to produce. That they proved hugely popular with audiences was a bonus.

  62. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Very true. The show House Hunters is notorious for how staged and unreal it was.

  63. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    There is a strong likelihood I will be staring down Alzheimer’s and dementia a decade or two out.

    I will not go down that path. Nope. Not gonna happen.

    I will find an ice floe. I will go on that final hunt. I will overdose on hoarded meds.

    I will not, shall not, cannot walk far down the dementia path. It is too awful. I will assert my body autonomy then no prob no issue.

    I will not be a meat bag in a bed in a “home”. Nope. Never going to happen on my watch.

  64. Jc says:

    @Bill: Yep, almost guaranteed that half of that 700 billion in PPP loans were to businesses that did not need the funds. Shame people harp on the UE benefits when the real fraud was free money to businesses that did not need it and after loans are forgiven, will pay themselves fat bonuses. Extended UE benefits was like half the cost of PPP as well

  65. Mikey says:

    The University Medical Center hospital in El Paso, TX just announced they will be airlifting patients needing critical care to other hospitals in Texas, as well as setting up an overflow hospital at the El Paso convention center AND bringing in 100 additional medical staff to deal with the explosion of COVID-19 cases in El Paso.

  66. de stijl says:


    I do have a fondness for the pleasure yacht shows on Bravo. I like the captains and the spiky hair Brit chef.

  67. Michael Cain says:

    @de stijl: Just for information, not encouragement, your local welding supply shop can sell you everything you need to go quickly and painlessly.

  68. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    I discovered The Great British Bake-off on book tour in the UK. Britain is not good at hotels as a rule so I was in some dumpy little place in some dumpy town almost certainly drunk and unhappy. My publicist was into GBBO so I started watching probably season two? Anyway, for years after I had to download pirated versions, which made me uncomfortable – I live on copyright. So to assuage my guilt I send checks occasionally to Comic Relief, the go-to charity for comics in the UK.

    But never fear, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig did great taking over for Mel and Sue. Prue is not as fun (or as knowledgeable) as Mary Berry, but she’s fine. Now Sandi’s out and Matt Lucas is teamed with Noel, and seems fine in the two eps I’ve seen so far.

    It’s the kindness of the show that stands out for me. It’s the antithesis of all things American. It’s quiet, it’s decent, it’s co-operative. Also there are some damn serious bakers in the UK.

  69. Bill says:


    Yep, almost guaranteed that half of that 700 billion in PPP loans were to businesses that did not need the funds.

    I was writing a long reply to this but it suddenly got eaten. Here is a much shorter reply.

    Some businesses will do better than anticipated when they made loan application. Some businesses will have suddenly great fortune come upon them. That was what happened to me in between when I made application and before my loan money came. I used some of the $11,000 I got and have more reserved for payments to my editors. Otherwise I have about 6,600 still left. I will repay the loan in full when the time comes for me to start making payments.

    Yes there was plenty of fraud done by people.

  70. sam says:

    Always amazed me the British baking can be so good and British cooking so bad (or so I’m told. If it’s like Irish cooking, it is.) There was a British/French tv series called “The Tunnel”. The show was about British and French police forces on either side of the Chunnel and their investigations. At one point in the show, the French contingent has to go to England. The French chief says, “We’re going to England. Bring an umbrella and food.”

  71. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    My wife’s mother, Sue, is in full-blown dementia. She’s in Virginia and there’s a middle child who is a natural caretaker, so we write checks which is our preferred way of dealing with icky personal stuff. Katherine has these fantastic phone calls with Sue in which Sue is convinced that Katherine is her own long-dead aunt and demands the phone numbers of people who are, shall we say, no longer able to take calls. It’s bizarre and being us and not better people, we find the humor in it. There are half hour phone calls consisting entirely of the same conversation repeated almost verbatim six times.

    The thing is, Sue doesn’t realize she’s starring in a tragedy, she thinks she’s talking to her dead sister and is annoyed that she can’t get home to a place that hasn’t been her home for 50 years. She’s entirely forgotten her husband who died just a year ago, which is a blessing – he was a prick.
    The bitch of Alzheimers (as you surely know first-hand) is that it’s harder on the loved ones than on the victim.

    However, like you, I’d rather not. My preferred exit is a closed garage, a fine Mercedes engine spewing noxious fumes, and a bottle of Scotch. At age 66 I’m perfectly sanguine about my own death, so long as I get to go first. I just don’t want to survive my wife.

  72. Flat earth luddite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Mikey:
    Ok, further proof that I was right when I walked away from continuing the family dairy farm in northern Whatcom County…

  73. CSK says:

    The worst meals I ever had in my life were in the U.K. On the other hand, the bakeries–even chain bakeries such as Crawford’s–were wonderful.

    There’s a saying that good cooks are bad bakers and that good bakers are bad cooks. The second part of the saying was certainly true in England, Scotland, and Wales.

  74. de stijl says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I do not want the ice floe, but if it comes down to that choice, I absolutely choose the ice floe.

    I assuredly hope I dodge that particular bullet.

    I do the NYT crossword everyday. People think Sunday is the hardest. Sunday is the biggest. Thursday is usually the hardest.

    Monday and Tuesday are not easy-peasy but it is odd if I cannot finish. Sometimes on Wednesday I cannot do every square. It is so cool when you fill out the whole grid on Thursday. Yeah! My brain works!

    I am using hard crosswords as a check measure on neural plasticity and recall and non-linear thinking.

  75. Bill says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Post a link, dude.

    Are you sure you really want to read this? It is the story I described and its up at a website without my permission. HW’s editor is one of two who work with me today.

    BTW Danielle J isn’t my writing handle anymore.

  76. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    Also, while I have you here, I’m importing this from yesterday. You wrote:

    One thing no one ever taught me was that admitting your issues gives you power. You (the larger societal “You” not you you) can no longer shame me or intimidate me into silence. I feel more powerful now than I ever have. I feel braver.

    It is liberating and healthful to be able to acknowledge your issues and know that it will be not used to smack you down in a community forum.

    This would play out differently not so long ago.

    Due to the unusual circumstances of my life I spent two decades lying. Lying about my name, my background, my family, my work history, my education. And when the fugitive days ended in 2001 I discovered I had an almost physical revulsion against lying. Like I’d been gagging down bad egg salad for 22 years, but once I no longer had to, I was done with egg salad forever.

    But earlier than all that I’d told all the lies heterosexual males, at least Boomers, were required to tell. When I was liberated from fugitive lies I sort of went all-in, in part inspired by Howard Stern who will happily spend two hours discussing his bathroom habits with a million listeners. I don’t do that, (you’re welcome) but I saw the power in honesty. It’s amazing. You just say all the true things you didn’t think you could say and it’s like a cloak of invulnerability.

    So, I will play your game. I have anger issues. (Shock!) I’ve never been physically abusive, I’ve never been cruel, but I’ve been on a low boil my entire life. When I hit my late 50’s anger was edging into depression which scared fuck out of me. I got close enough to look down into a very deep valley and did not like the look of it one bit. Testosterone of all things knocked the depression back, and Wellbutrin took some of the edge off the anger which is why I’m the loveable, kindly, soft-spoken person (shut up, I am too!) you know now.

  77. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’m not guaranteeing I’ll get to it, I have a whole lot I’m supposed to be reading for work and I’m a slow reader. But if I can’t, others here might. Promo, dude, you have to do the promo.

  78. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    It’s bizarre and being us and not better people, we find the humor in it.

    My dad had pretty severe dementia the last few years of his life, and all us kids found a lot of humor in it. Sometimes it was dark humor, sometimes he was just funny. He’d go to medical appointments and try to flirt with the attractive nurses, but he was SO BAD, we would just crack up.

    The bitch of Alzheimers (as you surely know first-hand) is that it’s harder on the loved ones than on the victim.

    Many dementia sufferers have no insight into their situation and that is a sign nature can actually be merciful on the victims, once in a while.

    But yeah, in between the flashes of gallows humor, watching the man who was my dad die years before he physically died was pretty tough.

  79. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    My mom once told me the same story twice in one phone conversation.

    I did not even like her very much, but after we hung up I sobbed.

    No. Nope. Never. I will take active steps if needed.

  80. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: First Covid-19 death and now first Murder Hornet nest. Wa! My state is a leader in everything. 🙁

  81. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Truth is powerful. Truth is liberating.

    I lied most of my life. No more.

  82. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    President Trump is not always 100 percent wrong…

    True, but he comes the closest to it of any president we’ve ever had. That’s gotta count for something.

  83. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I should have figured it out decades ago. I did in a facile way. I witnessed more coming outs than weddings and christenings combined.

    But that was their truth. I was safe in my het-cis bubble. I would acknowledge and accept them wholeheartedly, but empathy is different than core knowing and feeling.

    I thought I was fairly well realized and actualized as a person a decade ago. I was not.

    I had not fully grasped letting go.

    I have proclaimed loudly that I do not give one shit what you think about me my whole life. It was a lie. At 17 that was my shibboleth my touchstone. I clung to that.

    So insidious a lie I did not even know it was false.

    Now it is true.

  84. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    The problem with that plan to avoid dementia/Alzheimer, is that you’ll forget the plan and/or the tools to execute it when the time comes.

  85. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The McEnany “gift” of the book of Trump “accomplishments” got me to thinking.

    What has Trump done that is a good, positive thing. An accomplishment.

    For RWers a metric shit ton of judges with lifetime appointments. For them, good. For me, super bad.

    The US maintained a decently good economy despite Trump induced trade wars. C+, B-. Despite his best effort Trump did not succeed in fucking that up.

    The UAE, Bahrain, Sudan – Israel rapproachment. Too early to tell, but it could be a very positive thing maybe.

    Other than that I have nothing but negatives.

    What have I missed?

  86. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Shush! I am ignoring all this implies.

    Actually I have thought this through pretty hard and think I have a plan to know when I am beginning to slip.

  87. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Although maybe true, that was kinda a dick thing to say from my perspective.

  88. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    Sorry, but this is fresh in my mind as we went through it this past year with my mother-in-law. The period between competency and dependency is fleeting. But the good thing is, you won’t know it happened. The new normal, will be normal.

    I believe that ALS would be a terrible way to go, dementia and Alzheimer’s not so much.

  89. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat earth luddite: Yeah. You definitely dodged that one, zeeb. 😉

  90. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Your ignorance about how Alzheimer’s progresses obviates your quite rude statement.

  91. Teve says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    My preferred exit is a closed garage, a fine Mercedes engine spewing noxious fumes, and a bottle of Scotch. At age 66 I’m perfectly sanguine about my own death, so long as I get to go first. I just don’t want to survive my wife.

    Make sure to have the catalytic converter sawed off. You want to die relatively painlessly from carbon monoxide, not painfully from carbon dioxide. You’re welcome 😀

  92. Teve says:


    My dad had pretty severe dementia the last few years of his life, and all us kids found a lot of humor in it. Sometimes it was dark humor, sometimes he was just funny. He’d go to medical appointments and try to flirt with the attractive nurses, but he was SO BAD, we would just crack up.

    Over the years in different capacities I have worked in hospitals in three different states. I can tell you that to deal with the shit they deal with, healthcare professionals often develop extremely dark senses of humor, to the point that behind the scenes they will casually make jokes that would get anybody fired from any job ever. And possibly run outta town.

  93. grumpy realist says:

    @Teve: I suspect any tribe of individuals dealing with nasty-situations-most-of-us-run-screaming-from end up developing their own mordant “in” jokes. I know my college roommate and I did so.

  94. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    Didn’t mean to be rude, sorry.

  95. Kylopod says:

    @Mikey: @Teve: When I was in my teens I volunteered in a nursing home, mostly to put on juggling acts, but I also visited people in their rooms. On my first day I talked with this guy, claimed to be 78 but I suspect he was quite a bit older, and when I mentioned I was a juggler he said, “You know, when I was younger I was an accountant. I would juggle my books.” The conversation went on a few more minutes, and suddenly he said, “You know when I was younger I was an accountant. I would juggle my books.” And it went on from there and he repeated the same line a little later.

    A few days afterward I got my dad to come with me, we visited the same fellow, and as my dad was talking to him he says “You know, when I was younger I was an accountant. I would juggle my books.”

    When my paternal grandma was cognitively tested at 84, she was described as fine apart from some short-term memory issues. (What my parents found funny was that the doctor who tested her was significantly older than she was and wore his pants real high.) By the time of her death at 92 her mind was mostly gone, though I don’t recall an experience like the one above, where she would repeat the same things in conversation, like Lenny from Memento or Dory from Finding Nemo (something I’ve occasionally seen in people who are extremely drunk; contrary to popular depiction that sort of thing is rarely due to a head injury).

  96. de stijl says:


    Scandinavian restaurants were pretty awful when I was there except for the super high end ones which were superb.

    If you enjoy fennel and unexpected sugar in savory dishes, Stockholm says hi. There was a Sbarro. I hate Sbarro pizza. I ate so much fucking Sbarro pizza.

    I was in one spot long enough and had an apartment so I had to shop and cook for myself for a few months. It was really fun and really weird. My Swedish was really basic. Navigating labels was difficult. I made some very regrettable purchases.

    Reykjavik was better. I knew better then. Buy fresh meat and veggies that you recognize. I now really like mutton and lamb. The fish was astounding.

    Street food was different. Good hotdogs. Meat in tube form always rocks per Anthony Bourdain.

    It will never happen, but I fantasized about opening an expat bar in Reykjavik doing burgers and BBQ.

  97. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    We’re cool. No worries.

  98. wr says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “An American Family as well as its contemporary Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, differed from “reality shows” in that they weren’t staged in any sense, the people involved, simply let a film crew follow them around.”

    True about American Family, but Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage differed from “reality shows” in that it was a completely scripted, fictional drama. Or did you think you were watching the real marriage of Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson…

  99. wr says:

    @sam: “Always amazed me the British baking can be so good and British cooking so bad (or so I’m told”

    That’s a stereotype that dates back to WW2 and the post-war era. Some of the most exciting food in the world can be found in London — as evidenced by the new Yottam Ottelenghi book that was just delivered to me today…

  100. Mikey says:

    @Teve: I was the on-site telecommunications guy for a hospital in Detroit for a couple years. Since I was the only guy from my department who worked there, I had to latch on to a group if I wanted to not eat lunch alone every day. Ended up hanging out with the docs who did the autopsies.

    I also ran videoconference court hearings for the psychiatric patients who were being involuntarily committed for treatment. That could get interesting.

  101. @Flat earth luddite: Whoa! I’m a graduate of Blaine High School. I spent about an hour this morning seeing if I could track down the exact location of that hornet’s nest, since the odds are good that I once set foot on the property, having grown up near Blaine.

    It’s strange, really, how often Blaine gets in the news given how small it is (pop. 3,000).

    But like you, I don’t live there any more. I probably enjoy visiting more than you do, but that’s because I spend more time at Birch Bay, where I grew up.

    (Though I do know of one very large dairy operation at Birch Bay.)

  102. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    In Edinburgh a place opened called the New York Steam Packet (God knows why) that purported to serve real American burgers with all the fixin’s. Two burgers (small) came with a baked potato. (Or maybe it was a burger with two baked potatoes.) I guess no one told them that French fries (chips) were the standard offering with an American burger. This always seemed odd to me, since fish and chips were a traditional dish, but it never occurred to them that chips went with burgers as well. But the place did a land office business amongst the trendy Scots.

    ETA: The place still exists, and lo and behold, going by the menu photos, they seem to have gotten the hang of French fries.

  103. CSK says:

    Trust me, Brit cooking wasn’t that great in the seventies and eighties. I realize things have changed drastically for the better.

    I can still do without pineapple on my pizza, thank you.

  104. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    The Union Leader’s endorsement of Biden made CNN. First time the paper has endorsed a Democrat in 100 years.

    And…Trump’s holding a rally at the Manchester airport.

  105. de stijl says:


    Maybe John Cassavetes’ Faces or A Woman Under The Influence?

    It isn’t real but it sure feels real. Yes, it’s scripted, but damn is it raw.

    I remember watching Falk on Columbo. Wow, dude. The allusions to the off-screen wife was genius.

    It’s cinema verite adjacent. Scripted real. Shot at home.

    Gena Rowlands was heart breaking.

    It’s scripted so it isn’t reality, but Cassavetes came damn close.

  106. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Having watched a number of people close to me go far down the path of old age, some reaching the end, I now realize that all my protestations that I’ll take myself out before I am too far gone are for naught. For the most part aging makes us simpler beings. Long before active senility sets in there is a regression to the basics. Hot buttered toast. Really comfortable shoes. Unreasonable anger at the neighbor noisily mowing their lawn at 7am. Doesn’t sound bad, but simpler beings simply are no longer spending time on the philosophical and ethical self debates that would result in taking action. My father-in-law had long term debilitating physical and mental illness in his family and made it very clear that he never wanted to get there himself. He made a living will with explicit instructions to that effect and made sure every child was aware, reminding us every few years. Then he developed a lung problem and required oxygen. Whether it was age or illness or poor oxygenation he became more… basic. And one day went into his filing cabinet and ripped up the living will.

    My mother in law for years insisted that, while she would like to remain in her house, she had an abhorrence of becoming the least bit of burden on her kids and would happily move to an assisted care facility if she became enfeebled. She is far from senile, remembering all the kids, grandkids and spouses and where they are at and what they are doing. But she is definitely a simpler person, and has a great deal of trouble moving about even with help. She now lives in one room of that house, the only that is reachable without stairs. She is obviously terrified of changing that in any way, and tells us obvious lies about falls and accidents. Every year or so she has a bad spiral and ends up in the hospital for days and then rehab for weeks, and all she can talk about is getting back home. All of her kids are far away, but she won’t move, and I find my incredibly strong wife in tears every few months exhausted from dealing with banks and insurance and aides that aren’t showing up and siblings that won’t pull their weight.

    At 60 I can’t imagine I would ever allow things to go that far, no matter how secure I am in the love of my kids and their commitment to care for me. But I know that if I live to 85 I’ll most likely get there.

  107. de stijl says:


    You gotta do fries right. Blanched then twice fried. British chips are usually garbage. Saggy and soggy. Pah! Hrrumph.

    The Belgians get it.

    That is an attractive fantasy. Open an American BBQ joint in downtown Reykjavik.

  108. Sleeping Dog says:


    Nearly 50 years is a long time, my memory is fuzzy on that, since I saw the US release when it came out and not since. What stood out was how realistic it was and that’s is why I remembered it as being actual. I stand corrected, thanks.

  109. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Just a different approach, my friend.
    Saggy soggy works fine if with a edge of well done at the same time (it’s an art; and, yes, twice done often best) with battered fish.
    OTOH Belgian chips perfect by themselves with a (proper) mayonnaise.
    Or with mussels, according to the Belgians (me, I’d throw away the mussels and eat the chips).

  110. DrDaveT says:


    I don’t even want to think about how terrible that would have been.

    Thanks for sharing that. One of the things that made that show special was the genuine camaraderie among the contestants, and between the contestants and the hosts. (And united against the worst assholery of Paul Hollywood.)

    On an odd tangent, for a really scathing take on the world of reality TV, read the very last of Donald E. Westlake’s legendary Dortmunder novels. (Read the other 13 novels first, preferably…) It’s called Get Real, and describes what happens when reality TV producers hire Dortmunder and his crew to make a reality show about thieves executing a heist.

  111. CSK says:

    I hope you don’t mind us slagging British cuisine. What the hell, you gave the world its greatest literature.

    You can’t have everything.

  112. Sleeping Dog says:


    There is a romantic notion of being able to stay in your home and more or less function, till one day you keel over. That is seldom the reality and most are like your MiL, where someone manages their care, but every now and then someone lives out their life independently then keels over, not often but enough to keep the fantasy alive.

    There is an elderly man near me who I’m guessing is in his 90’s, still active but visibly slower. Still drives, which is scary. Lived alone till last year someone has moved in, not so much as a caretaker, but likely someone the family found who would live there at no cost and keep an eye on him. If I don’t see him for a few days, I think the worse.

  113. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Just a different approach, my friend.
    Saggy soggy works fine if with a edge of well done at the same time (it’s an art; and, yes, twice done often best) with battered fish.
    OTOH Belgian chips perfect by themselves with a (proper) mayonnaise.
    Or with mussels, according to the Belgians (me, I’d throw away the mussels and eat the chips).

    Akshully, one of the good things about the EU (a little thing, but still emblematic of what we a losing due to fools) was the increasinf familiarity with different ways of doing everyday things.

  114. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    What have I missed?

    The criminal justice reform bill that started under Obama but was blocked by McConnell in order to deny Obama any legislative wins. It’s a good bill, and to Trump’s (slight) credit that he signed it.

    Apart from that, the GOP ran the table against America and sanity. Unfortunately, that will become obvious even to James Joyner within a decade or so.

  115. JohnSF says:

    Slag away, my man, slag away.
    The Empire walks in the clouds, above such petty criticisms. 🙂

    Akshully, the British discovery of European cuisine is one of the interesting tales of the post-War era; and the class differential in that process.
    Also, how English cookery was terribly damaged by the great displacement, the commercialized farming system, and the food costs of the Wars.

  116. de stijl says:


    I have had good chips in England. It was rare.

    I stand by my Pah! I stand my Hrrumph.

    Saggy and soggy is never acceptable in a fried potato. Maybe I always chose the worst take away joints. The fish was generally fried correctly. I appreciated that.

    British chips are what Americans call steak fries. Steak fries are when mid range steak places try to get fancy.

    The issue is surface area to interior. Belgian style frites have a higher ratio of surface area to interior space.

    You want a crisply crunchy exterior contrasting with a fluffy interior. With chips you get too much fluff and not enough crunch. The ratio is off.

    Side note: Jo-jo fries. Think wedges instead of planks. Like an orange segment.

    If done well and correctly jo-jos are absolutely the very best. If not treated with respect jo-jos are saggy and soggy and a fucking waste of time and a potato. It’s binary.

  117. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: The best jo-jo-type (you may not agree that they are authentic) fries I ever had were wavy cut planks dredged in panko and seasonings. Based on the crunch factor they’d been blanched at some point and fried at about 4-425 degrees.

  118. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    You have a point.
    Best chips I’ve ever had were in Blankenberge in Belgium.
    And the best beer in Bruges.
    (And you knew just how hard that last comes to a Brit…)
    I like Belgium.

  119. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    But, thing is with fish and chips as a dish, rather than chips separate, then stodgy, saggy chips are just right.
    So there!

  120. JohnSF says:

    With lots of salt and vinegar!

  121. de stijl says:


    I know I am outlier on this, but a well made Hawaiian pizza is sublime. Adding onion makes it even better.

    America does fruit + savory really infrequently and it is such a great combo. We’re missing out on so many chutneys.

    The Caribbean is right next door. Many of our neighbors are South Asian by birth or ancestry.

    We do pork + apples. Kindergarten stuff. Pah! Hrrumph.

  122. JohnSF says:

    Why in the heck have I got replicated (ish) posts?
    What is it with th cooment/edit thing? Aaargh!

  123. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    I love sweet and sour, and a great chutney is sublime. I love pork and apples as well.

    But, I’m sorry, pineapple atop tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parmegiano, and basil is…an abomination.

  124. wr says:

    @CSK: “I can still do without pineapple on my pizza, thank you.”

    I’m not sure you can blame that on the Brits. Seems pretty big in the States.

    Oh — just checked Wikipedia. It’s actually a Canadian invention. Huh.

  125. wr says:

    @CSK: “But, I’m sorry, pineapple atop tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parmegiano, and basil is…an abomination.”

    Whatever you do… never order pizza in Beijing. You’ll find yourself longing for a Domino’s Hawaiian.

  126. JohnSF says:


    And it’s probably them sneaky French Canadians inventing such things, then blaming us poor innocent Brits for their malarkey!

  127. de stijl says:


    Saggy chips are definitionally unacceptable. QED.

    The weirdest fish I ever had by fish and chips in the US was salmon. It was a bold choice by the chef and well made, but so wrong. So very wrong. At least I can say I tried it. So very, very wrong. I enjoyed the beer.

    The fish in f&c should be cod or haddock.

  128. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    You are correct on fish.
    You are wrong on chips.
    I propose a truce pending judgement by the Ducal Court of the Burgundian Netherlands.

    BTW: ever been to Bruges?

  129. de stijl says:


    I am an outlier on this, I know.

    Every now and again pineapple, ham, and onion hits the spot. Sprinkle some crushed red on top.

    Not all the time. Two or three times a year.

    We got sucky Anglo Canadians. Thunder Bay is essentially St. Cloud North, but the surrounding area is really beautiful. Winnipeg is … um. Um.

    Winnipeg is a really great hockey town if you ignore the Jets. They have pretty big lake too.

  130. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: I never got into the salt and vinegar thing with chips. But I’m sort of a purist in that I don’t normally put anything other than salt on them.

    Well, pepper, too, but you get what I mean.

  131. de stijl says:


    In the spirit on Transatlantic amity, I hereby accept your truce.

    Never been to Belgium.

    My favorite bar is an English pub downstairs and a Belgian beer joint upstairs. I prefer English beer so I always sit downstairs at the bar. Their list is amazing. Plus it is an old school proper pulled pint. Not that on/off American tap nonsense.

    Most Belgian beers are too sweet on my tongue. I prefer tarter.

  132. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Its a Brit thing, again. I think.

  133. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Hoo! You want tart, try Belgian lambic.
    Where’s this bar anyway?
    English downstairs, Belgian upstairs?
    Sounds like if I’d died and wound up in the good place. 🙂

  134. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: It’s not my fave, but I, too, like Hawaiian pizza and adding onions does make it better; you’re right on that.

    In Korea, I sometimes had pizza with kimchee on it. Usually radish kimchee was a side with the pizza, but occasionally cabbage kimchee was used as a topping. Interesting flavor addition, and very tasty. And the trip through the oven mellows the kimchee in interesting ways.

    This year, I expect kimchee to be so short of supply that a person might not get any at a restaurant. The cabbage crop failed in Korea from summer storms and Chinese export cabbage has at times been found to be contaminated. Big problem.

  135. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Well, I will agree that you can’t put pineapple on a Margherita pizza. Then again, basil is my least favorite herbing combination for sauce. I’m more of an oregano and marjoram guy.

  136. CSK says:
  137. JohnSF says:

    Italy declares war in 4…3…2…

  138. JohnSF says:

    The horror!

  139. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I knew some Italian students in Edinburgh, and what passed for a pizza there (including the damn pineapple) made them howl with laughter or faint in chagrin.

  140. CSK says:

    Damn straight, Vito.

  141. Mikey says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: This discussion reminds me of one of the strangest combinations of food items I ever put together that actually tasted really good (not just to me, to everyone in the house who tried it):

    Kimchee and Vegemite on a Ritz cracker.

    I can’t figure out how it works, it just…does.

  142. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Cool, was worrying it might end up like Oberyn vs Gregor!

  143. Mikey says:

    Re: pineapple on pizza

    My wife grew up in Germany and loves this thing she calls “Toast Hawaii.” It’s slices of toasted white bread with a piece of canned pineapple on it, and cheese melted over. She’s had this since she was a kid. Her mom used to make a big deal out of it and how it was special because Hawaii is this exotic faraway piece of America.

    When she got older, she realized that because her parents were divorced and she lived with her mom, there wasn’t a lot of money, and “Toast Hawaii” was just a really cheap way to make a filling dinner.

    But you know what? That shit is AWESOME. Back in the Before Time when we had a big crowd for dinner every Friday night, she made it for all our friends and it went over big.

  144. JohnSF says:

    And exactly what had you consumed beforehand, eh laddie?

  145. de stijl says:


    There was a tweak to the VA Cares Act that was good tweak.

    So far Trump’s positive accomplishments are:

    1. Not cratering the economy for 3 years and change despite getting into an unnecessary trade war with China and Canada.

    2. The UAE, Bahrain, Sudan / Israel agreement has potential. Notably, Sudan was coerced. We shall see how it goes.

    3. A criminal justice reform package that was a holdover from Obama years.

    Um… There has to more, right? What we missing? The cabinet cannot be that bare, surely.

    The NAFTA replacement / renaming has not blown up yet, I guess, but that is grasping at straws.

    Help? Anyone?

  146. Michael Cain says:

    @de stijl:

    British chips are usually garbage. Saggy and soggy. Pah! Hrrumph.

    And there’s no excuse. I manage to do crisp on the outside and non-soggy on the inside without a fryer and without a mess.

    Since I can’t be off topic, we have finished moving (less selling the old house but we have offers at the asking price) from one part of Front Range Colorado to another. The new oven control appears to be very accurate. And a foot of snow plus single-digit overnight low temperatures (°F) look like they may finally let the firefighters get the two big wildfires contained.

  147. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    No war with Mars!

    More seriously:
    – Israel has been de facto at peace and even effectively allied re. Saudi/UAE/Jordan and their associated states) since c.2000.
    – cratering an economy takes EFFORT for a govt.; usually they just ride along
    – US economy has been recovering since 2009 on slow uptrack; the thing is the underlying issues; deregulation/taxcuts can give a sugar-rush, but the fundamental problems of adjustment to an emerging new economic system remain.

  148. DrDaveT says:


    Whatever you do… never order pizza in Beijing.

    True foreign pizza story…

    My wife and I honeymooned in Iceland in 1992. At the time, there were only a handful of restaurants outside of Reykjavik. One of these was an actual pizza parlor in a town called Husavik, a whaling burg with a population of a few hundred. Despite the eye-watering prices of Icelandic restaurant fare, we couldn’t resist.

    The menu looked legit, with a long list of potential toppings. Cool! We had recently been experimenting with various combinations as grad students, competing with our friends for who could make the best unexpected pizza. We knew what we liked. So, when the waitress came to take our order, we asked for a normal tomato-sauce-and-mozzarella with:
    genoa salami
    pine nuts
    The waitress looked at us with confusion… and asked “How many pizzas did you want??”
    “With all of those!?”

    When she brought our drinks a few minutes later, she leaned over and whispered “The chef is making two — one for you, one for him.”

    When we paid our bill at the end of a (delicious) meal, she beamed at us and told us that the chef had decided to add our creation to the menu, under the name… “American Pizza”.

  149. de stijl says:


    The Royal Mile. 4th St. between Walnut and Court. Des Moines, IA USA.

    Selected as one of America’s best bars by The Atlantic.

    Full disclosure: I am a minority partner in the group that owns it. Extremely limited partner. I own a tiny slice of seven bars. That may have been a bad investment given current circumstances.

    For me not a big deal, but my friends are hurtin’ hard right now. That is their livelihood.

  150. de stijl says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Good thoughts to you on moving. Moving sucks.

    Good news on Colorado fires at least.

  151. de stijl says:


    I love that story!

    American pizza?!

  152. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Just googleviewed it. Looks like a cool place.

    Sad thing is, prob never get there.
    Even if I did have money, other places ahead in the queue.
    Still need to visit Rome, and Perugia, and Venice, and Prague, and Slovenian Alps, and Kilimanjaro…

    And what with covid and Brexit, (and lack of money LOL) chances of doing so not looking great.

  153. de stijl says:


    Yeah, Des Moines is pretty far down the list for world travelers – like in 8239th place. We’re warmer than Irkutzk.

    But it’s cheap and my gf lives here. So there you go.

    If ever you come, drinks and food are on me and you are welcome to my couch.

  154. steve says:

    “healthcare professionals often develop extremely dark senses of humor, to the point that behind the scenes they will casually make jokes that would get anybody fired from any job ever. And possibly run outta town.”

    It is probably worst in the ED and in the OR. Its kind of how you cope with things when the 3 y/o you are caring for is there because momma’s boyfriend was using them for entertainment buy putting his cigarettes out on them. When you are trying to save the life of the child molester who shot himself, and asking yourself why you are doing that. Both true stories, and there are lots more. In general, we believe that the less social value a person has the more likely they are to live. Actually, its an inverse ratio. So the serial rapist will survive almost any trauma. The Sunday school teacher who teaches kindergarten and volunteers at the soup kitchen? She is a goner. So we all knew Trump would live when he got Covid. No doubt about it.


  155. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    Actually I have thought this through pretty hard and think I have a plan to know when I am beginning to slip.

    Does it involve escaping a deadly trap once a week that requires using your wits?

    I’m envisioning you, with your Mohawk and Doc Martens, living in a house of doom right out of Poe, finding comfort in being able to navigate the countless deadly traps. Just don’t get a pet.

    “Fluffy stepped on the loose board on the third stair… no more Fluffy.”

  156. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    A couch? Yay! Luxury.

    Number of times I’ve just slept on the damn floor…
    (Thinking about it, maybe they were trying to discourage me! 🙂 )
    Bromsgrove not exactly a must visit either.

  157. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Speaking as one who watched his father sink into Alzheimers… Yeah, it was horrible. He knew he was losing it, even if he didn’t know what “it” was. I remember him crying for Jesus to came and take him. I learned to tell the comfortable lie that I was going to the bathroom for a quick pee, knowing that he would forget I had ever been there long before he wondered when I would be back.

    (Jeebus, my father with tears running down his face, begging me to take him with me so he could see his Mother again, and me playing the part of his long dead cousin)

    I had to learn to lie all over again. Not to save my ass (as I had found out in high school they could see right thru that bullshit) but just to impart a small, kind, comfortable fable that would console his tortured soul.

  158. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Been away for most of the day and don’t have time to read all the comments. Just want to say that as one who has dealt with depression to one extent or another every day of my life, I have no problem with offing myself, should the load ever get to be too much to bear. For those who think it is a thoroughly selfish thing to do, you’re right. It is. But so is wanting us to continue living with a pain that no amount of drugs can alleviate. (trust me, they suck) And yes, I know full well the pain of those who are left behind as I have been thru it 3 times. It sucks. But that is a selfish feeling too.

    For my ownself, I have promised my wife that I will not die before her. Having watched her absorb the fact of her father’s death from 6,000 miles away, I really and truly hope I am able to fulfill that promise. Know that 5 mins after her passing, I am gone as well.

    I also hope that I am not forced to survive the death of either of my sons. 3 times I have thought one or the other was gone and 3 times I have prayed for my own death. Having watched my father slowly kill himself after my sister’s death, I really don’t think that is a life worth living.

  159. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Yep. There comes a point where the little things are what gives one comfort, and as long as you have them…

  160. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Thanks. My reply ain’t meant to be snark! lest the translation fail.
    But beware!
    Some velvet morning, you might just get a tall whiskery and pissed Brit stumblin’ up to your doorstep.

  161. Gustopher says:


    Been away for most of the day and don’t have time to read all the comments.

    It’s just the usual Sunday Forum Suicide Pact stuff…

    However I go, I expect to be eaten by my cats.

  162. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: I should be so lucky.

  163. JohnSF says:

    In Soviet Russia, pussy eat you…

  164. de stijl says:


    It’s not a mohawk. It’s Joe Strummer cut. Wide and low. .5 on the sides and back. 4 up top.

    Until I get bored or annoyed and whack it all off.

    Doc’s are comfy. Actually, I am wearing Navy recruit boots that weigh close two pounds per with the toe box and sole.

    They are savage!

    I haven’t kicked anybody in years.

  165. de stijl says:


    No worries!

    If I recall I owe you major slack.

  166. JohnSF says:

    Hence the Leopards Eating Peoples Faces Party.

  167. de stijl says:


    Sorry. I turned the spare bedroom into my media room.

    Sofa is best you can get.

  168. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Back in the early 80’s when I wus young and foolish, and working in the scrap recovery and demolition business, had a reverse mohican sorta thing for a time.
    Wild times in London, LOL.
    Lost it when it became better that I fade into the crowd.

  169. JohnSF says:

    More recently, sort of re-capitulated (geddit?) due to just going damn bald.

  170. JohnSF says:

    And there’s a verse.

  171. de stijl says:


    Your Bromsgrove link goes to the Bromsgrove Black Pistons motorcycle club which is fucking awesome.

    Dude, are you not telling us something?

  172. de stijl says:


    Think of it as recycling. I’m sure they will wait one or two meal cycles before chowing down.

  173. de stijl says:


    I hear you brother.

  174. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:

    goes to the Bromsgrove Black Pistons motorcycle club

    Was not intended to.
    Just so happens my usual local is also the Pistons boozer.
    Hence my search term.
    Cool folks, mostly.
    Just don’t mess with them, they don’t mess with you.
    ‘sides, the Crazy Gang were there first.
    Not that there’s many left, of my old lot, these days.
    Most got civilised.
    Some got otherwise.

    And some of us made it but not smiling Michael,
    His black motorcycle got eaten by rust.

  175. de stijl says:

    One of fave lyrics from Paul Westerberg.

    I’ll drink a great big whiskey to ya anyway

    from Here Comes A Regular

    (Call out your name)

    Slow and mournful. So melancholy. So autumnal.

  176. de stijl says:


    Some got sidewise.

    I hear ya. [flicks index finger along nose knowingly]

  177. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Oh, I know how to make kimchee, but the Korean that the author used was interesting to me because I never lived anywhere where any Koreans that I knew referred to cabbage as “baechu.” Baechu is lettuce and perilla leaves that are served at galbi houses to wrap the grilled steak and whatever you put with it as you eat.

    Cabbage was always called only “yangbae.” Consulting Google translate, I see now that yangbae is an abbreviation of yangbaechu. Aha! Now why the restaurant would serve cabbage leaves along with the baechu–even though people mostly ignored it (too hard to wrap steak and rice in because the leaf breaks). It is part of the whole family of baechu. Thanks for both the recipe and the chance to learn a little more Korean. 😀

    (I don’t make kimchee for home use, btw. It’s hard to make and easy for me to buy at the grocery store. Also, the napa cabbage commonly grown in the PNW are a little smallish for making kimchee–at least in my opinion. Also, the author’s recipe is top notch for anyone who might consider making it. I’ve used several of Hyosun’s recipes, they always produce good results.)

  178. de stijl says:


    Reverse mohawk always makes me think of the A Flock Of Seagulls dude. He was creepy.

  179. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: To the best of my ability to remember, my Tuscan grandfather and Piedmontese grandmother never ate pizza at all. But that may have been as much because my grandmother didn’t care to bake bread and she and Grandpa usually ate grissini except for loaf bread to make sandwiches. From what I’ve heard over the years, pizza is more of a southern Italy thing. I have made focaccia with topped with various things from time to time. Sweet onion with a little lemon and a drizzle of olive oil and gorgonzola cheese is very tasty.

  180. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    * giggles*
    I like that song! But that haircut!
    Was in London when they were charting.
    Guy I knew had similar-ish hairstyle.
    But not quite that exaggerated.
    And was a hairdresser.
    Also an amateur boxer, and really nice guy.
    And made a habit of pulling posh women from salon he worked at; who turned up at a scuzzy party at a flat in Earls Court, not quite believing where they had ended up.
    London early 80’s; crazy times.

    I like to think I looked cooler than that.
    Probably didn’t though.

  181. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mikey: I asked a New Zealander I was teaching with once about how anyone in their right mind would eat Vegemite or Marmite. She explained that the problem that I had was that I’d never encountered anyone who knew how to use Marmite and made me a Muenster and Marmite on rusk sandwich so that I would understand. It worked and was delicious.

    Not good enough that I have ever bought Vegemite or Marmite for use at home, but…

  182. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Also, marmite used in a barbeque sauce for pork ribs = yum!

  183. de stijl says:


    Nancy Sinatra – These Boots Are Gonna Walk All Over You

    So much fruggin’. Descending dum dum dum dum dum

    Genius lyric:

    You keep lyin’
    When ya oughta be truthin’

  184. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl:”…break out the booze and have a ball ’cause that’s all there is.”

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 😛 😀

  185. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    What the &@#k is it with the edit? Eh?
    My version didn’t have the daft central flop-fringe thing; centre shaved, two strips grown, fringes shaved.
    AKA damn stupid. LOL

  186. de stijl says:


    A lot of people hate Morrissey. I kinda hate him too. Especially now. How soon is now?

    But, Hairdresser On Fire is pretty dope and quite clever.

    The cleverness sucked me in and keeps doing so. Damn you, Morrissey!

  187. JohnSF says:

    re. Nancy Sinat@de stijl:
    So, that’s two Nancy Sinatra songs referenced this evening.
    “Some Velvet Morning” is still one that sends shivers down my spine; but the Slowdive version, not the original.
    For similar reasons to The Police “Walking on the Moon”
    Some songs you hear in the cold early dawn hours of a party, when you are coming back down to Earth, really get under the skin somehow.

  188. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was relatively lucky on that. My dad always remembered who I was when I would come from Korea to visit. I don’t know why and Mom was always amazed, but that’s how it worked.

    It didn’t stop the whole same 3 questions at 5-10 minute intervals thing, but it was something. I wish my mom hadn’t called the paramedics to resuscitate him 5 or 6 times over the years he was sick though. My brother is understanding and sympathetic about her feelings and actions over those years. Me? Not as much.-

  189. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Morrisey: genius or asshole?
    But, look at all the other artists who have gone through an “this iz ze purple asshole watercolouur” phase an sometimes come out of it, sometimes not; Bowie; Townshend; Daltrey; Jagger; Dylan etc etc etc.
    And that’ s just rock types; look at painters (Dali) classical musicians etc.

    Being an artistic genius, or just an artistic artisan, is no guarantee your political philosophy ain’t a pile of pants.

  190. de stijl says:


    I fully admit Morrissey is a total utter shitbag.

    I know it. An aggressively shitty person.

    I still like Suedehead though.

    Even knowing what I know. Am I shallow in that?

  191. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: But was he a shitty person at the time, or did he grow to become a shitty person? If the latter, I don’t see the dilemma.

    (I’ve never been a fan, so I know little about him other than that he was a pretentious tw.t…)

  192. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Like e.g. Wagner.
    Artistic genius.
    Also, asshole.
    Not uncommon.
    I always thought ascribing moral virtue to artistic skill was daft.
    Which got me into trouble as a teenager:
    “What, you think *artist x* is mistaken in their opinion?”
    “Nope, I just think that their artistic quality, however judged, says nothing about the wisdom of their other opinions, on any subject, one way or the other.”
    I was an annoying kid. 🙂

  193. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    American pizza?!

    We might have been the first Americans they’d ever met. Husavik is a long way from Keflavik, and Iceland wasn’t yet a tourist mecca, especially for Americans. The stateside travel agency we worked with thought we were insane.

  194. DrDaveT says:


    In Soviet Russia, pussy eat you…

    Thanks for that. I just had a shitty evening, and the belly laugh you gave me did wonders.

  195. de stijl says:

    I was listening to Here Comes A Regular.

    That was off Let It Be- perhaps the ur-rock album. That was 1984.

    Androgynous was on that album.

    Androgynous is freakishly current now.

    That song is 36 damned years old and there is no cringey lyric.

    Paul Westerberg is a freak and a genius.

    He nailed it hard in 1984. It amazes me that song still stands proud today. No edits needed.

    There is a pretty cool cover by Joan Jett, Laura Jane Grace, and an upcoming talent who goes by Miley Cyrus.

    Laura Jane Grace is the writer, singer lead person from Answer Me! One of my faves and a storied band.

    Joan Jett is fucking brutal. Aaagh! Love her so hard!

    And a bright eyed newcomer named Miley Cyrus. She has a smoky voice. With seasoning she could break hard. I called it here first!

    It amazes me how well Androgynous holds up today with no edits needed.

  196. flat earth luddite says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    When I was growing up, 200 cows was a pretty large dairy operation. We had upwards of 300, off of Loomis Trail just outside of Lynden. Maternal grandmother was in Seattle, her two bachelor brothers had the farm there since they came back from The Great War, having enlisted at 15 and 17. Bounced between living with a widow who’d run a card room for the Chinese (I suspect) gangs in Seattle in the 40’s/50’s, and a couple of shell-shocked dudes who liked to blow up tree stumps and had 100′ coils of det cord stashed in the garage that held the tractors, bailer, and both COE Freightliners. All in all, good times.

  197. de stijl says:


    Suedehead is a really great song.

    All the cool kids love it. Something something peer pressure.

  198. DrDaveT says:


    Being an artistic genius, or just an artistic artisan, is no guarantee your political philosophy ain’t a pile of pants.

    I was (perhaps naively) genuinely startled to discover that the same Scott Adams who had so brilliantly parodied tech culture, tech management, and tech workers in his Dilbert comic strip was in real life a totally clueless Trumpbot.

  199. Kylopod says:

    @DrDaveT: David Mamet has perplexed and disappointed me in how much he’s shifted to the right, but at least he’s got a coherent belief system. Scott Adams is a self-centered, attention-seeking troll whose philosophy seems to boil down to the idea that if most people in the mainstream are saying something, then taking a different point of view automatically makes him an independent thinker who isn’t following the herd. He isn’t a “conservative,” he’s an empty-headed contrarian. It really is that simple.

  200. de stijl says:


    Rural Iceland towns are often tiny. Most are on farmsteads.

    My colleagues thought I was an idiot for renting a vehicle and bombing around out in the boonies on weekends. Best memories ever.

    I got a peak moment standing on the shore and looking up at the sky. I would not trade that moment for all the gold in the world.

    Iceland is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Haunting, stark, brutal. I felt so infinitely tiny.

    I need Sigur Ros in my ears.

  201. de stijl says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    You had a baller youth.

  202. de stijl says:


    Mamet has always contained a reactionary assertion. Especially on sexual politics.

    After he came out as a reactionary my evaluation of him went “Ah hah. This makes sense now.”

    I think Mamet stings the most. I really like his shit. Frank Miller too although the signs were there to be read. Miller writes fascism fan fic.

  203. de stijl says:

    In good news, David Byrne released American Utopia this week.

  204. Just nutha ignint crackerPer says:
  205. Gustopher says:


    It’s slices of toasted white bread with a piece of canned pineapple on it, and cheese melted over.

    What type of cheese?

    I love a Hawaiian/Canadian pizza, so this Hawaiian toast sounds great. Please tell me it wasn’t American cheese.

  206. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    I really like his shit. Frank Miller too although the signs were there to be read. Miller writes fascism fan fic.

    I love “The Dark Knight Strikes Again”, the pretty bad sequel to “The Dark Knight Returns”.

    It’s the story of a man witnessing the city he loved get attacked and irrevocably changed, and not being able to process it. That man then wrote a comic book where Batman flies the Batplane into a building. Also the ground is covered with ash. Etc. It is all about 9/11 by the end, although the initial script was before it.

    It’s right up there with Art Speigelman’s 9/11 book. Less hopeful.

  207. Mikey says:

    @Gustopher: Ack…I realize I completely forgot one component of “Toast Hawaii…” it gets a slice of ham! Which explains why my wife likes ham and pineapple pizza so much.

    Anyway, it was in fact American cheese. Germans could get American cheese after WW2, along with the sliced boiled ham. These came to Germany during the post-war years. And the bread was pre-sliced white “Toastbrot” which my wife says was “the cheapest one on the shelf.”

  208. Mikey says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: One of my favorite ways to eat Vegemite is on toast. Toast the bread, butter it, add Vegemite but not too much. If you slather it on there it’s awful, but spread veeeeery thinly over the butter it’s delicious. It’s so much umami, you can’t go too heavy or it’s just overwhelming.

  209. de stijl says:


    That makes a lot more sense.

    Pineapple on toast sounded sketchy that guests would rave about.

    Ham makes everything better.

    What cheese? I am super curious.

  210. de stijl says:


    Maus was a key life moment for me.

  211. Mikey says:

    @de stijl:

    What cheese? I am super curious.

    American cheese. Or the German equivalent, anyway. After WW2 the CARE packages that were sent to Germany had cheese in them, so Germans who grew up during and immediately after the war know what it is. And as with the rest of the ingredients for “Toast Hawaii,” it was cheap.

  212. de stijl says:


    I thought it was going to be that.

    I love the concept of Hawaiian Toast. Cheap and filling, but with the Mom twist of making up a cool thing to distract from the fact that I am doing my very best to keep you fed and clothed with limited resources.

    Give your wife a big ole hug. Good will to you.

  213. de stijl says:


    M A R S. Mars, bitchez.

    Black Bush was one of my favorite skits.

    Did Chappele Show ever get to Britain?