Steven L. Taylor
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
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).
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Gordon Lightfoot– RIP
Hey, I’m on strike! Got my choice of places to picket — today outside Rockefeller Center or tomorrow at Netflix. Gonna be a long haul…
@wr: Have fun!
@wr: Best of luck. Fight the good fight!
Fortunately, none of my income for the last few years has come from writing for American companies, so I’m a lot better off than many writers…
The Dust Bowl Returneth?
The NWS said it would be bad and they weren’t just a woofin’.
The image I retain from last night’s dreams:
Chickens on a tricycle.
@Mu Yixiao: Snort!
I just saw this.
Far from being a one-hit wonder, as many people think, his songs have been covered by the likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Harry Belafonte, the Grateful Dead, Olivia Newton-John, and Jim Croce.
RIP good man.
Fight the good fight!!!
My favorite MAGA Congress-critter, MTG, is now calling for porn sites, like PornHub, to be outlawed.
FYI…in 2014 Georgia ranked #9 in per-capita online porn consumption.
@wr: Fight hard, fight fast. My son is a PA in LA and very concerned how this will affect his gigging.
@daryl and his brother darryl: She just wants to keep Gaetz all to herself.
Joe Biden playing the MAGAt’s in Congress, just right.
Highlight their incompetence thru ridicule and satire.
So as not to derail the strike thread, I’m responding to this comment by @James Joyner here:
I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately.
The esthetic rationale for shorter seasons, is that a single story is told in 8 to ten eps. Fair enough. But some stories are simple enough that they shouldn’t take as many as 8 eps, never mind ten. Worse, I’m discerning a trend to set up a mystery early on (either secondary or primary to the plot), and milking it by getting close to a solution, or appearing to, and then drawing back, or revealing a red herring instead.
Sometimes this gets so extreme, that when the central mystery is revealed it needs to be hurried along. The last season of Picard felt like 8.5 eps waiting for something to happen, and then 1.5 eps of hurried resolution. All drenched in fan service* (Worf! Data! Deana! Will! Geordi! Beverly! Even Moriarty!)
Also, I fail to see this rationale in non-episodic shows, like Strange New Worlds. There was much better, tighter continuity than in past Trek incarnations, but they could easily have done 15 or 20 eps in the first season.
The same goes for non-arc shows that nevertheless kind of keep an arc story in the back burner. Say Rick and Morty, or Lower Decks.
The proliferation of original content, it seems to me, has more to do with the disappearance of schedules that streaming permits, and maybe the need to keep people subscribed. also the current trend by competing services of chasing market share off a cliff.
*IMO, fan service was handled better in season 1. We had Deana and Will mix with new characters. We got Data on dreams and flashbacks, and then later at the poignant end of his life.
Taylor Swift, with 96.2M followers on Twitter, goes after Marsha Blackburn.
AI has been revolutionizing translation, including real time or near real time translation. But it occurs to me that it could benefit someone like me in a different way: as an endlessly patient language instructor. One who is willing to spend fifteen or twenty minutes on variations of “drop me before the cross street”, “drop me just after the cross street”, “two streets up”, “the middle of the next block”, and all the hundreds of ways a taxi driver might reply
@Kathy: A notable exception to this trend was “The Good Place”. One of the writers said that Michael Schure (so?) told them right from the beginning, “when the reveal is ripe, go for it, and don’t worry about where it is in the season.” What a difference it makes. There is one reveal that a lesser show would have milked for multiple seasons and virtually all shows would have made at least a season one climax. Instead they dropped it at exactly the right time, with just enough build up and no more.
I’ve no complaints about The Good Place. It was a joy to watch and then rewatch a year or so later. I’ve even wondered if I should get it on DVD.
I’d say next to Babylon 5, it’s the only show I’ve seen that had a multi-season arc*. I don’t know if it was planned that way, but that’s how it developed and ended.
*There may be other shows with multi-season arcs. If so, I’ve never seen them.
@daryl and his brother darryl: One of the most bizarre fixations of white supremacists is their years-long belief that Taylor Swift secretly supports them.
Well of course…because they are the superior race.
Who wouldn’t support them?
And that widespread support is why the pussy-bois have to wear masks to hide their identities.
@Kathy: “There may be other shows with multi-season arcs.”
If you want to check one out, I strongly recommend the German science-fiction series Dark. Three seasons on Netflix. Unbelievably brilliant plotting first episode to last.
@daryl and his brother darryl:
But they’ve long believed this about Taylor Swift in particular, not just any white pop star. It was this 4chan/8chan meme I think that was going around for years where they went around calling her an “Aryan goddess.” I guess it was because she’s tall and blonde? And maybe it’s helped by the fact that she does a style of music that isn’t as obviously rooted in African American music as, say, Adele. But they took her failure to make any public statements on the matter as an implicit endorsement. Indeed, to my knowledge she didn’t publicly talk about politics at all until 2018 when she posted an endorsement of Democrat Phil Bredesen and made a strong statement against racism and homophobia–pretty much settling the matter for those in reality.
Now, I know the Q people are always interpreting “signals” they think they’re getting from various public figures. The thing is, when white supremacists engage in this kind of code-breaking, they’re not exactly wrong to think there are public figures out there with private sympathies toward them who avoid making it explicit. But it’s still a recipe for seeing what one wants to see.
In the words of Darth Vader, “Charlottesville has taught you well.”
I think “Aryan Goddess” explains it. It’s all genes and blood, right?
In the case of Swift, though, she’d long been sympathetic to her many LGBTIQ+ fans. That should have been a tell.
It will be months before I subscribe to Netflix again. If I don’t forget, I’ll look it up.
I must admit I pay almost no attention to Taylor Swift, much to the consternation of many of my nieces. I’d be hard pressed to recognize a song if it came up on the juke-box.
But if you are going to pick an Aryan Goddess…you’d be hard-pressed to do better.
I suppose it’s similar to politicians playing songs at their rallies that are actually counter to the message their rally is trying to sell.
Like “Born to Run”…the furthest thing from the nationalism Trump is trying to sell.
As Kathy points out…Swift’s support of LGBTQ causes is the furthest thing from Neo-Nazism.
@daryl and his brother darryl:
It’s not my cup of tea either. But I take some interest in the way the alt-right latches onto various aspects of pop culture to claim it for themselves, including their total appropriation of the term “red pill” from a movie series created by two trans women. And when it comes to appropriating songs from musicians who despise them, it’s practically a cliche at this point. (And why not? They can’t always be playing Kid Nugent.) One of my favorite recent examples came last year when a Kari Lake rally used the song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister. Now, I’m not much a fan of that band either, but I did enjoy Dee Snider’s response on Twitter:
ATTENTION QANON, MAGAT FASCISTS: Every time you sing “We’re Not Gonna Take It” remember it was written by a cross-dressing, libtard, tree hugging half-Jew who HATES everything you stand for. It was you and people like you that inspired every angry word of that song! SO FUCK OFF!
2:59 AM · Aug 26, 2022
I have enjoyed watching Taylor Swift come into her own and starting to use her voice and her platform. It is APPALLING that was her father talking down to her like that in the video, but yeah, it’s force of habit. I’m 53 and my dad still does that to me sometimes.
I think a lot of the incels and Q-boys liked Talor was her early stage costuming, Blouses, wide skirts and cowboy boots and playing a big dreadnaught acoustic. For her probably a parody but for them a 50s CW goddess come to life.
And in other news, “Man Bites Dog”…
Pornhub blocks Utah.
I am sitting at the Panera like I do most days drinking cheap coffee and using the free internet wifi. When I looked up I saw that the Illinois State Police had stopped a car in the right hand traffic lane of the street just outside the Panera window. There were two cops. One at the driver side and one at the passenger side. After a short while the driver, a black male adult, got out of the car and was escorted to the back seat of the police car. As far as I could tell he was never cuffed. Then a black woman got out of the front passenger seat and the other cop had her stand a few feet away from the car as he got a black child out of the back seat of the car.
The two cops proceeded to search the car including the trunk, removing the spare tire.
After the search the cop released the black male from the police car. He and the the black woman and the black kid reentered the car. As the car pulled away the driver stopped, got out and had to secure the spare tire as the trunk lid was not fully shut. Then they drove away in one direction and the cops did not follow them.
I am surprised that the cops didn’t give him a ticked for blocking traffic when the guy had to stop to fix the spare that they had failed to properly secure and close the trunk.
I watched pretty close and it did not look like any citations were issued.
My guess: Driving While Black.
I don’t listen to Pop music and can’t even begin to opine on TS’s song writing, but dayum… What a F’n voice. The first time I heard it, it was not at all what I was expecting.
@Mister Bluster: Guaranteed.
@daryl and his brother darryl:
I’m not a Swifty (I would recognize maybe two of her pre-pandemic songs…), but during the early part of the pandemic, she and Bon Iver recorded a simple, stripped down album, folklore that has no obvious hit songs and is just beautiful, personal and emotional.
The production and style of most of her stuff does nothing for me — it crushes the core of the song and adds a lot of distance — but there’s something somewhere under there. Her most recent album, Midnights lets a bit more of that through.
I think she’s going to age into an absolutely amazing musician.
@Jen:..I’m 53 and my dad still does that to me sometimes.
It was right about 20 years ago so I was in my mid 50s that my retired parents let me stay in their Chicago apartment and sleep on their couch in the living room in lieu of having to rent at a motel while I worked a job in the area. I left for work before they got up and returned after they had had dinner and one or both of them was in bed so there wasn’t a lot of face time but there were rules.
I had to eat my dinner before I came home. I couldn’t even bring home carryout. My dad did not want my mom to hold dinner for my late arrival. Once a week if I got home early enough and made a reservation I could eat with them. I was working six days so on Sunday I took them out. There have always been all kinds of places to eat in Chicago that I would have taken them but their favorites were some steam table buffet and Kentucky Fried Chicken so that’s where we went.
I was grateful to actually live with my parents again after 30+ years and I didn’t want to upset their applecart.
After maybe six or seven weeks the job ended. They were actually a little disapointed when I told them that I had a new job in Wisconsin and wouldn’t be staying with them any more. However I’m sure my mom was glad that she didn’t have to tell me to pick up my underwear off the bathroom floor after I took a shower one more time.
The VPN services are going to see a bump in Utah based business.
A Black History lesson:
This was all news to me. Grew up Catholic in a predominantly white suburb of STL. When I left the church I had no interest in any other denomination as I figured god was just a dick who enjoyed toying with people. I want to give the “nice lady”* the benefit of the doubt but find it hard to believe that she hadn’t noticed “her church was so white in a city that’s 40% Black & 40% white and also never even wondered why there was a Black church of the same denomination ACROSS THE STREET.”
As to, “Were they “the REAL racists?”” I really couldn’t say as again I don’t know near enough about the racial politics within Christianity, but I do know the way white Republicans were talking about the Rev. Raphael Warnock during the election would certainly make me wary of walking into a white church as a black man.
*when first I moved out here, whenever I would meet someone for the first time they would invite me to their church without ever even mentioning the denomination (I assume proselytizing on the sly) and once I let them know I was a godless heretic they got… not exactly unfriendly but their was an iciness to the conversation. Which, introvert that I am was fine with me.
@wr: Good luck! Hope Joyner is wrong and that they accede to you demands. Too many unions have been broken to date during the reigns of the “moderates” and “good” conservatives. 🙁
@daryl and his brother darryl: That’s problematical. While I don’t care to support anything MTG related, I have low concern for the plight of pornographers. Banning online porn is not exactly censoring the local newspaper.
Injuries! Injuries! Rah, rah, rah!!!
@Kylopod: I don’t think his statement impacts the QAnon MAGAts as much as he’d like to hope. From their perspective, using his song may well be pwning him–turning his own hatred of them against him.
Hypocritical? Who GAF?
@Mister Bluster: If black people didn’t drive, it would be possible for State Police to never stop on the highway except for accidents and stalled/abandoned cars.
@OzarkHillbilly: Where I’ve lived in the PNW, black churches didn’t need to identify as “Second ___ Church.” We’re so heavily redlined out here that black churches are easily identified by 1) being in pretty exclusively black neighborhoods (whites and Asians are so poor sometimes that they can’t afford to live anywhere else) and 2) being small frame buildings with clapboard siding.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: “Hope Joyner is wrong and that they accede to you demands.”
My guess is it’s at least three months before there’s a deal. The studios like the first couple of months, because at the end of them they get to force majeure themselves out of a lot of expensive deals. And everyone’s going to have am inventory of shows that can last through the summer. At some point the strike starts costing them money, and then they get motivated to bargain.
My first strike — my second year in the Guild — lasted 22 weeks, and I believe was the longest in our history. I’m not sure this one won’t be longer.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
But it IS banning a multi-billion dollar industry that employs thousands of people.
Yes – I did see that response and approve 1,000%
@OzarkHillbilly: The real racists are always the ones asking who the real racists are, as if it is some kind of brilliant gotcha.
@OzarkHillbilly: That was literally the first I’ve read/heard of this. I grew up Catholic, but since we lived abroad much of my childhood, we weren’t even regularly practicing Catholics except for the years we lived in the US.
@OzarkHillbilly: A bunch of years ago (10?), my father promised God that he would go to church every week, if his wife didn’t die from cancer. His wife was not a big fan of this, but figured it wouldn’t last that long, as she had only six months to live. Thanks to experimental drugs, she’s still chugging along. All praise experimental drugs.
My father toured all the churches in the area, looking for something tolerable. The black church was too black, he couldn’t understand what they were saying at the Ukrainian church, he could understand what they were saying at the hate church, the Unitarians didn’t even believe in God and so he felt compelled to go find a late service somewhere else to actually live up to his deal with God, the Lutheran Church had too narrow of spaces in the parking lot (what good is salvation in the next world if you have door dings in this world?), all in all about twenty churches were found lacking, and other churches were ruled out as being too far, … it was a grand spiritual and lifestyle quest.
Last I heard, he was going to that Black church because they had better music and better parking.
Racism melts away when confronted with the horrors of narrow parking spaces. At least for a couple hours on a Sunday. He’s still pretty racist the rest of the time, although it’s taken a bit of the edge off.
Oh, jeez, not a good look for His Supreme Orangeness’ favorite strongman:
Nope, a whole bunch of snarky comments come to mind, but I’m gonna save ’em. All y’all go ahead without me.
@daryl and his brother darryl: So what? Street drugs is a multi-billion-dollar industry that employs thousands of people, too. And it’s not banning anything, merely driving it back underground. Personally, I don’t approve of underground/black market situations or societies creating conditions where underground/black market situations are necessary to fill economic voids. But the “good citizens” of her district elected MTG and are entitled to whatever legislative service that entails for them.
The fact that two incompatible lifestyles are competing for the same physical/economic/social space is something that I am no more capable of solving than when the two opposing sides were white settlers vs. tribal societies or agrarian slave holders vs. industrial employee holders. I’m just so old and so tired of the bullshit that I no longer care which side wins.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
Porn is a legal, tax-paying, industry.
So I don’t understand the comparison.
@Kathy: Season 3’s mystery box structure annoyed the shit out of me. I almost prefer the shaggy dog story structure of Season 2 where the plot just kind of meanders about*.
With ten episodes, there was space to develop the villains more than TNG ever did in an episode, and that would have been great and interesting, but it would have required opening the mystery box earlier, and letting the audience know more than the heroes, or separating the heroes to give us a pov character (doesn’t have to be a TNG hero, since you don’t want to split them… by ep 4 we love Shaw)
*: Season 2 had a problem with some of the meandering being boring as well.
@daryl and his brother darryl:
Emphasis added to help clarify my position. It’s not always been legal to be a pornographer–liberalized definitions of obscenity date from the 6os though, so it’s likely you’ve never lived in an America where porn was illegal.
And like you say. Whatever. You and I don’t agree on much anyway. Good luck defending your rights in a nation where your opponents will be willing to kill you to have their way. We’ve been their before. We’re headed back, too.
@Mister Bluster:..Driving While Black.
It just occurred to me that the entire duration of the DWB traffic stop there was a black panhandler just a few yards away from the ever vigilant State Police playing his harp and taking money from motorists. I don’t know if this is “his” corner but he is there most days.
The cops never even looked in his direction. I never see any local, county or state authorities hassle the guy. Or the other panhandelers in town for that matter.
I honestly don’t know what the local take on panhandleing is. Although I think it may be a free speech issue as in the government can’t stop people from asking for money. I do know that private property owners can keep people off their land.
¿Panhandleing While Black ≠Driving While Black?
@daryl and his brother darryl: Many “old” people — as he described himself — think sex workers are subhuman, and thus easy to dismiss, stigmatize, and dehumanize. So they’re out of touch on related issues, as they are on so many other issues where younger or more open-minded people are more evolved.
It’s not worth your energy defending porn / sex work to people whose age and/or ideology means they just don’t, won’t, and can’t get it.
Of course you are right that sex workers deserve care, human rights, and employment protections just as those in other labor movements.
Shaw got me thinking about the trope where a fictional character comes to life somehow (if it happens enough to be a trope, that is). I can imagine fictional Shaw gaining a real existence, and suing the pants off the show runners and writers for infliction of emotional distress.
Multiple people reported hearing someone ‘orgasm’ during the L.A. Philharmonic’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony on Friday. It’s not clear what happened.
@DK: And I wouldn’t disagree with anything you just said either. Where my objection comes into the conversation is in the faulty logic that porn is different from street drugs because porn is “legal.” Porn only has evolved into a “legal” phenomenon because people in temporary political power allowed it to become open. At this particular moment in time, other people holding just as temporary political power are moving another direction. It’s a conflict between two divergent lifestyles trying to occupy the same polity. This type of conflict is beyond my ability to adjudicate as to outcome. Beyond that, not being a consumer of porn*, I have no stake in the outcome of the discussion. Whoever wins is fine by me.
*For the record, I’ve never been a consumer of street drugs either. I brought that point up because it is another billion-dollar industry that employs countless people that is where porn once was–and can go again because “freedom of speech” means what the people in power say it means. “Right to privacy” has the same problem. After Dobbs, the people with political power have been working on curtailing how much privacy citizens have. It’s a problem. As you note (and I admitted), I’m old and have no stake in how that argument evolves either. It seems that “malice toward none and charity for all” has become an outmoded thought–and may well have had the same meaning even in 1860whatever as “blah, blah, blah.”
You youngins are gonna have to get moving on getting all of us old guys out of power before we wreck this as bad as we have the idea that everyone should be able to have a place to live. You’ll have a lot of work to do before you undo all the damage we did while we were (as I tell students when asked) failing spectacularly to make the world a better place. Sadly, my March/April issue of Mother Jones quoted Ali Breland as saying “My reportind reaffirmed that Gen Z and young millennials will not inevitably produce a better world” when asked “What is something surprising you learned while working on [Streams of Noxiousness (on page 12 of the print version*)]. So far, I’m not optimistic for all y’all. But I am rooting for you (and Daryl, surprised as he might be).
*I don’t possess the wild interweb skilz that will allow me to make a hot link for everyone. You’ll have to find it yourselves to see if you agree with Breland.
@Gustopher: My one experience with a black church was after the Cliff Cave rescue. I won’t go into what I did or didn’t do except to say I never laid hands on a body but every second I was under ground we were under threat of more torrential rains.
Afterwards, I felt the need to go to each of the counselors wakes and the children’s’ memorial.
At the black counselors wake, I was the only caver there (it was on North Grand, blackity black black) They welcomed me like family, as tho I had a personal connection with their son/brother/uncle/cousin even tho I had never touched this child of god’s body. But it was an uplifting service and I walked away feeling good about his life and whatever small part I played in his body’s recovery (all but none).
Next i went to the white female counselor’s wake, several other cavers were there and I can tell you that within 5 minutes of walking in I wanted to slit my wrists. It was sad. It was overt. “How could our child die like this???”
The difference between a black family’s loss and a white family’s loss couldn’t be more stark. For one, it was just another step on the road to Jordan, for the other it was the end of the world.
The difference was stark, a slap in the face, my very white face. One people was used to loss or at least not surprised by it. The other was ripped asunder by loss.
And FTR, I was the only caver who went to the memorial for the children. And yeah, I was embarrassed by the racism inherent in that showing.
@Kathy: Shaw was the best new character Picard gave us, and I’m disappointed they didn’t find a way to keep him around. His death was pretty pointless. Even if they want to set up a Seven led show, it would have been totally in character for him to say “screw this command shit, I’m going back to engineering.” and then be a problem for everyone there.
I would be happy to never see Raffi again. Both she and Shaw are defined by their pain and are broken, but Raffi… ok, I’m shocked that she worked so well with Worf. I think she completed her character arc and keeping her around just risks breaking that.
Rios was charming and handsome and made parts of Season 2 mostly work through sheer charisma. Less a great character than a delightful actor — they should find the stupidest reason to keep using him (transporter duplicate? two transporter duplicates?) as he has shown he can do very stupid things very well.
Elnor was fun but a one-joke character, and Jurati was kind of a mess. Jack is 80% plot element.
Texas murder suspect in custody.
(The arrest was made in the town of Cut and Shoot, Texas,..)
I think it’s helpful to stroll down memory lane. The Left has won on every social justice issue, ever, from long hair on guys and co-habitation, to gay marriage. The GOP exists to define and attack vulnerable minorities, and their current choice of victims is trans folks. Republicans will fill their pockets with cash from morons, and when that stops working (see gay marriage) they’ll find another vulnerable minority to attack.
@dazedandconfused: LOL, I feel almost rickroll’d in a way