Steven L. Taylor
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
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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sadly, Fox News can’t be impeached
Gee, at first the Trumpkins were proud to take credit for invading the Capitol; they saw it as their duty as Great Patriots to sack the place and utter death threats.
Then they started getting arrested, and all of a sudden it was Antifa and BLM disguised as Trump supporters who were causing all the havoc and loss of life.
In 2040 We Will Collectively Decide to Flood the Atmosphere With Aerosols
Good piece by David Frum in today’s Atlantic:
Took my mother for her second Pfizer shot today at State Farm Stadium, appointment was at 4:57 am (the site has been operating 24/7 for the last month). We were on-site for 21 minutes (including the 15 minute post vaccine wait). Three weeks ago they were shooting for 6,000 a day and getting close, they are currently shooting for 9,000 a day.
There were a couple of tweaks to the flow through the site from three weeks ago. Most significantly, folks arriving to get their first shot are being scheduled for their second shot. We had been told three weeks ago that we would receive an e-mail “invite” within two weeks, but neither my mother or my wife’s friend (who had received her first shot five days before my mother) received one. My wife’s friend called the Maricopa County vaccine hotline to get her second shot scheduled, which was a multi-hour process. When she took her friend for the second shot, my wife asked one of the staff to check on my mother’s status, and was able to get my mother scheduled for today (despite marrying me, my wife is often quite clever).
Still a lot of murkiness as to how Arizona is going to vaccinate the multitudes of folks without easy transportation and internet access. My wife’s aunt in Abilene, TX has told us that she and her husband will be getting their vaccine at home, the plan is that a vaccinator (LE, EMT, Firefighter) will accompany “Meals-on-Wheels” delivery personnel on their routes, to administer the injections.
They were okay so long as they were accusing elected officials and unnamed election workers. Then they made the mistake of accusing the election machine companies of everything from shoddy workmanship to outright election fraud in the form of software patches that converted Trump votes to Biden votes. Fox is big enough to survive, financially. I’m not sure about the other networks or the individuals. Discovery is going to be absolutely brutal.
Good luck Palm Beach, you let the leach latch on and now he won’t let go.
Treasures of the Southwest: Red chili chocolate bacon donuts…
For the lawyers in today’s audience:
@Owen: Vaccine in arms process seems to be working pretty well here in San Antonio. The only limiting factor is supply. Several different processes are working now. I got my Moderna shot at the Alamodome. Straight drive through, didn’t have to get out of the car. Second shot schedule provided on the spot by card and immediate text.
They are just starting up working with Meals on Wheels to get out into the elderly population better, plus working to get to the folks on the other side of the digital divide. Also seems like the VA is getting more active as are the military Tricare community. Still, demand far exceeds supply.
Waiting for that second shot makes it seem like a long time.
@CSK: from that same article:
I wonder if on day 2 one of these guys will just walk up and take a dump on the podium just to prove nothing that is said will allow these Republicans to part ways with Trump.
@Joe: if I were Trump I wouldn’t even send lawyers to the process, I’d send a donkey and a guy with a stick to hit it in the ass and make it bray, just to show everybody who’s the boss. I’d do some Caligula shit. 😛
I’m pretty sure he did send an ass or 3. From what I’ve read, they sure did a lot of nonsensical braying yesterday.
I’m wondering if on Day Two (today) a different set of lawyers will appear.
And there goes the chance to claim the world’s only talking cat graduated law school.
Toonces must be spinning in his grave.
I found the perfect lawyer for Trump.
@Kathy: If Trump wishes to can Bruce Castor, he might consider replacing him with Austin Pendleton from My Cousin Vinny.
This is sort of an interesting piece, via WaPo:
A majority of the people arrested for Capitol riot had a history of financial trouble
Anyone else uses Scribd?
I ran into some trouble yesterday. I downloaded an audio book to my phone that has no SIM chip*. It played well for days, then around the end of the first third, it stopped. It marked an error, but it also indicated “buffering” (why buffering on a download??) I assumed the problem was lack of an internet connection.
Back home with WiFi, it did the same thing. I removed the download and tried downloading again, but it gets stuck at “Downloading 1 book 0% complete.” Yes, I tried closing and opening the app. I even rebooted the phone. No luck.
This book is inconsequential, about The Librarians and Aladdin’s Lamp (yeah, right). But next on the list is Pale Blue Dot by Sagan.
I’ve two phones. A mediocre one with 16GB issued by the company. That one has a SIM, and it’s the one I use as an actual phone (you know, to make calls), plus Waze, work email, and texting. I used it for audio books, but they ate up too much memory. The other is a nicer phone with 128GB I got from my mom (she gives me her phone when she renews her cell plan every two or three years), without a SIM chip. it can’t make calls, and can connect only with WiFi, but ti does everything else and I don’t need to worry about memory.
JFC he’s so goddam stupid.
@Kathy: I gave up on Scribd. Books randomly appeared and disappeared from the ones available. They state there is no download limit but the reality is that if you download even a moderately popular audiobook, many choices disappear from your list, until the next month.
And yet for some reason or other I never engaged in any seditionist attacks on governmental entities.
Of course, their money troubles are the result of someone else’s nefarious doings.
The conversion of the R party to the Trump Party will cause the claim that R’s are the party of personal responsibility to quietly go away.
At first, I thought the piece was just going to be another “economic anxiety” variation, but it’s different than that. There seems to be another layer to it, not just people who have had money problems, but people who also, what? Feel a loss of control, maybe?
I know a number of people who have struggled financially. One ended up with nearly a half-million dollars of debt after hospitalization, others have lost homes. Not one of them descended down on the Capitol (nor are they Trumpers).
Hmm. I did download like 4 books, well above my usual one. Perhaps I’ll try deleting them and start over.
@Jen: Saw that WAPO piece this morning. They quote people saying that the rioters were susceptible to Trump’s message because of their “precarity” and that famous economic anxiety. I would think it’s more that the lack of critical reasoning and sense of entitlement (my neighbor has a Mercedes, I’m entitled to one) that led to their financial problems also made them susceptible to Trump.
Inspirational quote/dialogue of the day:
“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“I think people would go nuts,” John W. Campbell.
How Asimov’s “Nightfall” got started.
@Jen: There could also be a feedback loop. People inclined to believe wild stuff they find on the internet may be more susceptible to getting into financial trouble
I’d take it one step further and say that people who have a lifetime habit of getting into financial trouble and believing all of the crackpot paranoid nonsense they see on the Internet are more likely to grab their guns, invade the Capitol, build a gallows, and try to hunt down Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi to execute them for “treason.”
@Kylopod: ” If Trump wishes to can Bruce Castor, he might consider replacing him with Austin Pendleton from My Cousin Vinny.”
I’m so happy whenever Austin Pendleton shows up in a movie or TV show. One of the great cultural highlights of living in New York was going to see a play in some tiny theater in the Village a few years back and discovering he was in it…
@CSK: The one acquaintance I know of who fits this profile would be better described as a person who consistently makes bad choices that get him into financial trouble. Basically, not “life happens” type things, but “I am going to buy way more house than I can afford, then pull equity out of it to pay off credit card bills (and then run them right back up), while working a consulting gig that could stop at any moment” type decisions.
@CSK: my favorite thing about all those videos of the capital being stormed were the idiots who run over to a binder on the house floor, and start flipping through it and saying things like ‘there’s got to be something in here that proves it!’ like they’re going to flip to a page that says in big bold letters NOTE TO SELF REMEMBER TO PAY STENY FOR HIS HELP IN STEALING PREZ ELECTION SIGNED NANCY P.
I lurk on a creationist website because I find extreme stupidity humorous, and that event was creationist-level.
Stupidity coupled with arrogance is no way to lead a financially secure life.
I can just see them doing this. 😀
@Kathy: my experience was once you’ve gone over the mysterious limit for the month, that was it. The choices might or might not return the next month
Still, I’ve a bunch of text books downloaded as well. Some I start reading and grow bored with, or lack the time and forget them. I’ll delete all and try again.
It’s not as though I lack other things to read. My Audible queue is rather lengthy.
@Teve: So much of the QAnon stuff feels like it comes from people who think they’re living in some kind of thriller–but when I hear stories like that it occurs to me that it’s a bad thriller.
One of the ur-examples of films connected to a real-life conspiracy theory is, of course, Capricorn One. (There’s a certain retroactive irony in the fact that one of the astronauts is played by O.J. Simpson, who would himself later become the subject of an entirely different school of conspiracy theories.) While the film is still enjoyable today, it’s extremely hard to take seriously, because it takes some of most basic conspiracy tropes–such as the black helicopters–and plays them absolutely straight. What I find most fascinating, though, is that the film points to some of the biggest flaws in such theories (including the fact that the conspiracy ultimately fails in the film itself), yet a lot of viewers apparently didn’t notice, and the film is credited with popularizing the faked-moon-landing theories. It’s kind of like the theme of Inception: once you plant an idea in someone’s head, nothing can dislodge it.
My wife gets her second dose of the Moderna vaccine on Friday. I get mine two weeks later. When I got my first dose two weeks ago, I was amazed by the efficiency and organization of the large drive up vaccine clinic. The line was massive just to enter the area where they check you in. Close to a mile and a half (we measured it), yet it only took 20 mins to go that mile and a half. Once in the lot, the one line became six, each running with military precision. Getting in line to out of the lot after being vaccinated (in my car, never had to get out), was 42 minutes. I was impressed. Very impressed.
If you are in Los Angeles, watching television, you can notice something interesting and telling. ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS all have the impeachment trial going live. Fox (channel 11 locally), has “Good Day LA at 9am) on. Next is Rachel Ray. Meanwhile, the other networks are going full time with the Impeachment trial. It’s not just Fox News. It’s the whole of Fox that are creating an alternate reality.
@EddieInCA: Seth Meyers said yesterday something like “the smaller the story Fox News is covering, the bigger the one they’re avoiding”
@CSK: according to the leftists at Jacobin, they stormed the capitol because of economically inequality. This will probably convince them that they’re right.
@EddieInCA: I got my 2nd dose of Pfizer yesterday. Here in Northern Virginia we have to go into a facility (no drive-thru vaccines yet). But wow, efficient! From the moment I parked my car to the moment I had vaccine in my arm was nine minutes and probably half of that was walking from the parking spot to the building.
I will say one thing, though: it must be working because it is kicking my ass today. Man, I’m dragging.
ABC Impeachment Trial
CBS Impeachment Trial
NBC Impeachment Trial
PBS Impeachment Trial
FOX Are Top Hats coming back in fashion? We’ll hear from Anna Wintour’s high school boyfriend…
@OzarkHillbilly: Re: lawyer panicking.
So in other words, the exact opposite of Nasume Soseki’s Wagahai wa neko de aru….
I’ve begun to wonder whether large numbers of people believe, perhaps not consciously, that the stuff they see in TV and movies is real. not that the stories literally happened, but that the worldview they see is in them is true.
Last decade much was written about a CSI Effect on juries, due to the exaggerated view of the exactness of forensics in the CSI franchise.
I mean something like that.
Take the trope of the corporate CEO involved in a massive plot for world domination, or some other criminal enterprise. As far as I can tell, CEOs of even smallish companies are too busy with their regular work to do much beyond running their companies.
There may be some view, too, that computers and software are almost omnipotent, and they can be hacked or taken over with no evidence left behind. Neither is true, of course. A regular user may not be aware their computer has been hacked, but even a small company with rudimentary cyber-security would notice.
In the movies you also do see successful conspiracies. Like in The Adjustment Bureau (not worth watching IMO) and many others.
BTW, about Capricorn One, no way a Saturn V can propel a manned ship all the way to Mars, even if all the water, oxygen, and food needed for the journey could fit in the Apollo capsule and service module. And even if it could, there’s no way the astronauts could ever return to Earth using only the Apollo LEM* and capsule. So the conspiracy blew its cover right off the bat.
*Lunar Excursion Module. It has two stages, one for landing and one for take off. It was designed for lunar gravity of about 1/6th of Earth’s Mars’ is 1/3rd. So that won’t work to get you off Mars..
BTW in movies and TV, it’s common to portray the whole LEM sitting empty on the Moon (See Futurama episode 2, and Men in Black III). That’s wrong. The take off stage took off, as its name implies, carrying two astronauts into lunar orbit to rendezvous with the capsule and service module. Only the landing stage would remain on the Moon. So those whole LEMs should have two dead astronauts inside 🙂
@Jen: Without boring you with the details I lost pretty much everything. Life is rough all over. Time to grow up.
good short story tho!
@Teve: Hmmm… I don’t wonder about that at all. I do see an acrimonious debate about who gets to shoot him breaking out, though.
I often refer to the Californication of the Republican Party, which refers to the history of the party in that state: First, very competitive and often winning control of the State Legislature as well as the Governorship. Next, sometimes competitive but still having enough votes to prevent Democratic initiatives. Finally, unable to even stop a supermajority of Dems from doing what they wanted. The cause was simple: a feedback loop developed where extremism in the party, anti-immigrant fever in this case, drove away moderates and attracted more extremists. These extremist primaried and defeated Republican legislators they deemed insufficiently pure, and their candidates then lost to reasonable Dems. Over the years the party became so extreme there were no sane people left in the party structure.
Oregon is giving it a run for the money in terms of being the exemplar of the Loon-ar Cycle. As recently as 2004 it was a battleground state in Presidential elections and Republicans won a significant share of the down ticket races. Today they have zero statewide offices, and only one seat in the US Congress. Both chambers of the State Legislature are controlled by Dem super-majorities. This article in The Atlantic goes a long way in demonstrating how this came about. While nominally about an ill advised and hastily repealed motion to condemn those Reps who voted for Trumps impeachment, it shows just how impulsive and frankly stupid the Party leadership is. Their resolution went off into crazy land:
As I read it I tried to imagine someone trying to recruit a bright up-and-comer into running as a Republican and then having him meet Tracy Honl, the vice chair of the Oregon GOP. Here’s a quote:
This is the mental level of the vice chair of the party! If that up-and-comer actually wants to accomplish things they are either joining the Dems or working outside elected office.
I’ve got some very clueless relatives (born in rural KY in the 50’s) and I’ve heard the most ignorant conspiracy theories from them. One of them told me a while back, “well, maybe the government really did go to the moon, but they might’ve gone 20 years before they said they did and just didn’t tell anybody.” I said, “you mean they went to the moon as a side project while we were fighting World War II?” “Well maybe not” she said.
@Kathy: I don’t want to send you down a rabbit hole, but I’m using a Samsung Galaxy Stellar SCH-1200 that my wife handed down to me in 2014 (she got it in 2011). I added a 32G memory card while she had it, and I still use it for phone and text (it does have a SIM), but also use it as a portable hard drive, camera, photo viewer, and to read text format (.txt) books. For the first few years I could download via WiFi but after 2016 it wouldn’t work. So I download whatever I want to a PC then use the charging cord to transfer it to the phone.
The end is near, the biggest issue I have now is the battery rarely lasts through the day. When I first started using the device in 2014 (after cleaning off all of the built up Verizon and Google Play power parasites) I only had to re-charge it every three or four days.
@Teve: Good thing you didn’t tell her about Hitler’s secret lunar missile base from which he was going to lob unstoppable A-bombs at us bit Patton’s 1st Armored division wiped it out.
@Teve: And I’ll be a mere 98 years old then. (Clearly, I don’t smoke or drink anywhere near enough yet.)
It took me a while to realize that, despite what the press says, 99.9% of CEO’s are far, far from being innovators or risk takers. To imagine them as leading plots to take over governance of the world is simply ludicrous. These aren’t the people that created these companies, these are the people who rose through the ranks, managing to the numbers and delivering them at every level and getting away from that level before the short term thinking caught up with them, and finally playing the McKinsey consulting game to a “T”. CEO’s are typically an example of the perfect employee, not of a revolutionary.
@OzarkHillbilly: One of them did tell me that when the war was over we found that Germany had developed Thermonuclear bombs but the US government hid the fact. I think he got that from some idiot liar on the Art Bell show.
Conspiracy theories almost always fail basic common sense, but their advocates don’t notice it somehow.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: it’s an interesting article, and I agree with the basic thesis that we’re going to wind up doing Geoengineering because there is not remotely enough political will to do anything substantial to actually affect global warming.
@Teve: My favorite part of the movie Snowpiercer was the explanation that the frozen wasteland was the result of an accident during attempted climate engineering to reverse global warming.
(Well, those closing credits were my favorite part, because then it was over, but that’s just because I don’t like movies where the events are subservient to the metaphors… it was well done for what it was, and if you like that kind of thing, it was likely excellent)
Mayor Trump? I has kind of a ring to it, n’est pas?
Was this directed at me? Or just a general admonition?
@Scott: @Owen: Glad to see that things are working in some places. Where I live it’s still “not taking appointments, not planning to in the future.” I assume that it’s probably because I don’t live in a population center like SA or Maricopa Co. Living in metro cities is a mixed bag, but probably better overall.
@Gustopher: my graphic novel friends rave about snowpiercer, and normally I can suspend disbelief like a mofo, but for some reason with that train I just can’t. The physics of it are so stupid that I just can’t bring myself to watch it. It’s a weird hangup.
Too late. I have a Nexus 7 2012 tablet, which quit being useful around 2017 or so. It still ran Kit Kat, because Lollipop bricked the poor thing. Everything is fine, but several apps quit working when the OS became too old to support them.
The company phone was fine for a while, and I did put in a microSD card. but I can’t transfer enough files or content to it. Audible does let me save to the SD, but Scribd doesn’t. And also the phone is starting to eat all its memory, regardless of what’s in it. I think in a few months I’ll have to retire it and switch the SIM card to my personal phone.
The thing is I use it a lot. Audio books, e-books, games, web browsing in bed, email, news apps, etc. The battery still holds, but not the way it once did. Fortunately I get a newer one in a year or two.
@Kathy: I apologize, I did create a rabbit hole, I don’t use Scribd, so should quietly return to my coloring book.
The funny thing about scientific advancements that lead to major military developments, is that the research carried out before the potential is discovered takes place out in public. It took decades of learning about the atom and nuclear reactions before Leo Szilard thought, “we could build a very powerful explosive using fission chain reactions.”
Prior to that, there were tons of papers published on fission. Same with rocketry, same with fusion, Radar, guided missiles, etc.
So, it’s easy enough to tell what was and wasn’t plausible at a given time. For instance, the most powerful liquid rockets in 1939 were those made by Robert Goddard in the US, which flew a few thousand feet.W. von Braun and co in Germany wouldn’t develop the V-2 for years. Talking about launching people to the Moon around that time is like claiming Edison designed an electronic computer in 1905.
I grant a degree of honest confusion, because sometimes an idea can be conceived well ahead of the time the technology exists to implement it. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was doing theoretical work on space travel and rockets in the late 1890s. But there’s no way he could have built a rocket even to take readings of the upper atmosphere, much less launch people into orbit.
Nah. You just stumbled into mine.
I am going to do that thing that some of us on this site do and say I do not speak for Ozark, but I bet he was directing this towards anyone who wanted to use the financial difficulties they experience as an excuse to blame others for their plight and to justify their bad behavior (such as storming the Capitol).
I really suspect it was not directed at you but yes, I saw the post and for a second I was like, whoa dude, that is a bit harsh, Jen is your friend.
I have my own story I may tell one day on this site of how I got out of a financial hole I dug for myself and it involves parents that appreciated that I met them more than half-way when it came time to dig myself out of the hole I was in. I certainly blamed no one but myself for running up my CC bill when I was unemployed…no one forced me to make frivolous purchases so blaming minorities, etc., for my stupidity seemed to be a pointless thing to do and would not have helped me out of the jam I was in anyway.
That’s a very important point.
I still think What’s Up Doc? is one of the great underrated comic films of all time — the last of the true screwball comedies — and Pendleton was a key member of that amazing ensemble.
@inhumans99: That’s what I’m hoping, but did wanted to clarify in case I had somehow offended–which was not remotely my intent.
When I was in my 20s and just starting out, I ran up my CC bills–and, had I ended up unemployed things would have gotten ugly fast. I realized that I needed to do something about it and ended up working two jobs for nearly 5 years, one full-time, one part time.
WE didn’t go to the moon during WWII.
The Nazis did.
Let me guess — they go to the same optometrist as Bernie Sanders?
Have you seen the Snowpiercer/Willy Wonka fan theory?
@Kathy: I don’t know which “fallacy” is most appropriate, Google is pointing me to the term “Composition Fallacy”, but absolutely most people are easily misled.
The “Ah ha” moment occurred for me when I was ten (in 1977). We were living in Iran through my father’s employment and I was attending an English language international school for younger kids of foreign workers. My mother had left before the end of my school year to meet my older sisters whose school year in had already ended in Britain. At the end of the school year I went to my grandparent’s in Austria, travelling as an unaccompanied minor (a much simpler process in the 1970s).
On the last flight of the journey I was sitting next to a Japanese man. We didn’t speak initially, but at the end of the in-flight meal I asked the flight attendant for a coffee. After it was brought, the man turned to me and said disapprovingly, “In Japan we do not let our children drink coffee.” I responded, “well, if I was traveling with my parents I probably wouldn’t have ordered coffee.” In the ensuing conversation, it turns out he was a sales rep for a Japanese optics company that had recently gone into partnership with the (now defunct) Projections Optics, Co. out of East Orange, NJ, and he had visited the company. I knew about Projections Optics and it’s location because I had read the data plates on my school’s overhead projectors. I was also familiar with the location of East Orange (but not much else) as my family had been living in Elizabeth, NJ before Dad took the position in Iran.
At some point, the man said that he really enjoyed visiting the U.S., and had great respect for the country, but didn’t think he could live there because it was such a violent place. I pushed back, saying that you have violence everywhere. He countered that he thought it was attributable to a violent sport, but he didn’t know the name of the particular sport in English. We went back and forth for a while, with me trying to deduce what sport he was referring to. For a while I thought he was talking about American Football, and asked him some questions about that. He responded, “No, it’s not football but they wear similar uniforms, and they wear roller skates.” It finally dawned on me, he was talking about rollerball, that was portrayed in the movie “Rollerball” (1975). He confirmed the motorcycles and the round arena. I had seen the movie shortly after it came out (my parents loved going to the movies, and always took us kids with them because they weren’t going to pay for babysitters). I tried to explain to the guy that not only was it a movie set in the future, a large part of the story centers around a game played in TOKYO. But why would he believe me, I was just a kid.
The mind works in mysterious ways.
Like the Mandela Effect.
@MarkedMan: If CEOs were going to cooperate in a conspiracy, it would be on transfer costs of B2B purchases for tax purposes….
I have given hundreds of vaccine shots now. I time everything because it is part of my OCD. We average about 18 minutes from the time a person enters our vaccination room until they leave. That includes time for making the appointment for the second shot. We occasionally get a small wave when a group of people arrive at one time but otherwise we dont really have lines. We have opted for many smaller sites rather than one large site. They are indoors so I think you could add 10 minutes for parking and then getting back to your car. Given that it has been 20 degrees outside dont see car lines practical. Especially with older people.
Heh. Not hardly. Just a thing we all have to do sooner or later, usually when we finally come to the realization that no, it’s not fair, it never was.
I have the same problem with time travel.
@Teve: I don’t mind the physics, I just can’t get my head around “all of humanity is on a train that circumnavigates the earth.” The premise is too stupid — and I recognize that the premise has little to do with the story, and is deliberately stupid to get you into a fantasy-level suspension of disbelief, but I just can’t get there. It’s the wrong level of real and fantasy.
Make it a generation ship in space, fleeing the dead earth, and then use that to explore class issues, and I’d be there for it.
I have similar problems with Children of Men. A movie many people love, but which I just can’t get into.
On the other hand, in GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, when the polar ice cap is breaking, and collapsing, and large boulders of ice are plummeting down into the undersea battle… that’s just a terrible movie with bad physics that might be saved by bad physics. Would I still remember it at all if it didn’t hinge upon ice sinking?
I recall people talking a lot about two movies in the mid-late 70s: Rollerball and Soylent Green. I eventually saw the former on cable, shortly after we first got it, in the one movie channel provided by the cable company (different times*).
I saw it again a couple of years ago, I think it was in Turner Classic Movies. It left me totally unmoved. It’s rather ridiculous in many ways (corporate anthem??), and the protagonist is like a blank slate people kept drawing stuff on.
But to think anyone would imagine this game was real, that boggles the mind.
BTW I saw Soylent Green in the mid-80s, at a crappy theater that showed old movies. I knew the big surprise at the ending. Who didn’t? And I still found it chilling. I haven’t seen it again since.
@Owen: The following is an actual movie that came out in Pakistan in 1990 (I remember it being described in news reports at the time):
There’s a story much told, which may not be true, that Faraday was asked, after giving a demonstration of electrical induction, “What good is it?” Faraday reportedly replied “What good is a newborn baby?”
Regardless of the veracity of the story, the question Faraday asked is relevant. Take a random newborn, and chances are they’ll grow up to live an unremarkable life, have a family, and then die. There’s a small chance they’ll live a remarkable life and achieve notable deeds. There’s no way to tell (aka the Gusteau-Ego Principle: a great person can come from anywhere).
Look at scientific discoveries, and much the same is true. All add to the sum total of knowledge about the universe, but few have practical applications, and fewer still revolutionary applications (we just had many of the latter come in rather quick succession over a relatively short period of time).
@Gustopher: I saw children of men and got absolutely nothing out of it. When it was over I was literally sorry that I wasted a couple hours.
@MarkedMan: “It took me a while to realize that, despite what the press says, 99.9% of CEO’s are far, far from being innovators or risk takers. To imagine them as leading plots to take over governance of the world is simply ludicrous. These aren’t the people that created these companies, these are the people who rose through the ranks, managing to the numbers and delivering them at every level and getting away from that level before the short term thinking caught up with them, and finally playing the McKinsey consulting game to a “T”. CEO’s are typically an example of the perfect employee, not of a revolutionary.”
Every now and then I think about 2010, when Obama invited 20 CEOs from the biggest companies in America to the White House to have a meeting about how to improve the economy and invest in the future etc. and they spent the entire meeting lobbying for corporate tax cuts. And I thought you stupid goddamn assholes. You had an opportunity to influence the country, potentially change the world for the better, and all you could think about was getting a few more dollars. Nothing was more important to you than your own greed.
@Teve: I’ve never even heard of that movie so I checked it out. I can’t do it either as physics and reality says no. I had to speed through it because I kept going “no that’s not how that works” and “no that wouldn’t still be working after 17 years” etcetc…
Trump will be banned from Twitter permanently, even if he runs in 2024.
And the angels sang from the heavens. It’s really been lovely without his particular brand of filth rocketing around the interwebs, even outside of Twitter. 😉
How much better off America would be today had Twitter done this in January 2017 rather than January 2021.
Here’s video of Capitol Police hero Eugene Goodman very likely saving Mitt Romney’s life. Romney was moments from encountering the mob.
@Matt: One of my new favorite “just crazy enough to be true” theories is that Snowpiercer is a sequel to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
@Mikey: Honestly, he’d have probably come a lot closer to winning re-election.
Also on the “good news” front, Georgia has opened a criminal investigation into Trump’s phone call asking them to “find” more votes. So even though we all know we’re gonna be disappointed with the results of the impeachment trial, there’s still hope he may be held accountable at least in SOME way.
@Jax: Maybe. But he would not have been nearly as powerful without it and America would be so much better off without the total debasement of every aspect of political discourse four years of Trump’s Twitterrhea caused. We will still be trying to undo the damage to the very concepts of truth and fact his use of that platform caused long after he’s dead and gone.
I’ve no doubts, none, that Trump is guilty of several actual crimes committed either before or after his election in 2016. IT’s as simple as he was an accomplice of Michael Cohen, who was duly convicted (or Cohen was his accomplice, works either way).
I’m far less certain he will face real justice for these crimes. I’m hopeful because one jurisdiction investigating him is the state of New York. But I don’t think the Garland DoJ will make prosecuting Trump a priority.
Ach. I get mine next week. Just in time for my 80th birthday (well, it’s a few days later). I hope it goes easy on me.
@Jax: i’m not exaggerating when I say that the world has become a better place with Trump removed from Twitter.
@Kathy: I read an article the other day that indicated Trump will not face any consequences for the payoffs to porn stars, despite Cohen going to jail for it. They’ve gone as far as returning the evidence, so it’s dead in the water. 😐
@Jon: did you see the theory that Mary Poppins and the creature in IT are the same species? It’s actually not a half bad argument.
That’s a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it.
That’s what I mean the Orange Ass won’t face federal charges.
Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen has introduced legislation to award Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal, and his bill is rapidly gaining co-sponsors.
It would be well-deserved. Goodman’s quick thinking and cool action under tremendous pressure doubtless saved lives that day.
@Kylopod: I lived in Taiwan in the early 1980s and had pretty much free reign (and my heartless parents didn’t let us have a TV), so I would go to the very inexpensive theaters often. Taiwan had a large number of cinemas to support so there were all kinds of movies to choose from. Large numbers were from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, occasionally there would be ones from other East Asian countries. But they would also show (mostly) English language films from just about anywhere. At the time (and possibly still) all movies shown in Taiwan had Chinese and English sub-titles. The Chinese sub-titles were necessary especially for Taiwanese films because it wasn’t unusual for a colloquial Taiwanese film to include characters, and cater to an audience, using multiple Chinese dialects that all use the same written language.
One English language movie I remember vividly was The Rise and Fall of Idi Amin (1981) that was mostly filmed in Kenya. I particularly remember the actor portraying Idi enthusiastically gobbling up sashimi made from one of his adversary’s liver. It had an interesting take on the Entebbe raid (I also watched Raid on Entebbe (1976) and Operation Thunderbolt (1977) while living in Taiwan). Idi Amin was shown as being more complicit in the raid than was publicly portrayed (those sneaky Israelis!).
@Owen: Another connection might have been Roller Derby, which was still pretty big in some parts of the US at the time. There was a Washington State auto dealer who was an owner of Roller Derby and he sponsored TV broadcasts of matches on a local station in Seattle. I remember vaguely that Madison Square Garden had it some nights, so he might have seen it on TV, in addition to having seen the movie.
Roller Derby may well have been the first foray into “sports entertainment.” By the 5os and 60s, all the teams were owned in common and the matches had become scripted, according to something I read on the internet a long time ago.
Off-topic gripe—I am so fucking tired of that idiotic “Albert Einstein Said the Definition of Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results.”
A, Albert Einstein never said that.
B. Because he wasn’t a moron.
C. Because that’s not the definition of insanity.*
D. And sometimes in experimental science you DO have to do the same goddamn thing over and over and over and over and over and over and then one day it finally works and you get “different results” and then you have to painstakingly figure out why it worked that time.
@Teve: Ha! I had not. Awesome.
@Gustopher: In The Rise of Cobra, the ice sinking isn’t really a suspension of disbelief thing. What you ignored was that Cobra was working on nuclear technology and had created massive icebergs of heavy water that naturally sank as they broke apart because they couldn’t float in sea water. 😉
@Kylopod: “The heroes defeat the villains and, as Rushdie attempts to flee the scene, three giant Qur’ans appear in the sky and fire lightning bolts at the writer, incinerating him.”
I’m reading Quishotte at the moment. Should I be assuming that the film makers took some liberties with real life or that it was published posthumously?
I had blood drawn this morning, and the results are in. I glanced at them, things seem to fall mostly within normal ranges*, but I’ve no idea what any of it means. I forwarded them to the doctor, but don’t expect to hear from him until tomorrow. One test takes longer and will be ready sometime next week.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: Roller Derby still lives, but for some reason it has never evolved beyond amateur and semi-pro, comparable in my view to some touring wrestling leagues.
I’ve wondered if William Harrison (screenwriter, and author of the original short story, Roller Ball Murder) had been influenced by a Roller Derby pinball machine, I recall one at the bowling alley my mother would go to for league bowling in NJ when I was little. In the movie, the device that shot the ball into the arena always seemed to me like an oversized plunger from a pin ball machine.
@Owen: Yeah, I’m aware. We have a modern-day roller derby league in the area here. They skate at an exhibition center at the largest county fairgrounds in the area, but I don’t follow it well enough know when they’ll be skating and always miss my chance to go. One of the skaters in our league has written a couple of YA stories about it that get good circulation at at least one of the middle schools in the area.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: Roller derby has become pretty popular even in these parts, I think Jackson, Wyoming has a team. It’s “all girls” though, and it’s pretty much a Suicide Squad mindset, with a lot of MMA on wheels.
The definition of insanity is to get upset over a non existent definition of insanity over and over again!!
Officer Goodman…Good Man…did Aaron Sorkin write the script? (President Andy Shepherd – the Good Shepherd of his people) A good man saving his flock