For the record, I have never seen this show either.
A. Am I the only one who hasn’t seen this show yet?
B. Should I start watching this season cold or should I accept that I’ve Missed The Boat and go the Netflix route instead?
(Note: the Netflix route could take me awhile. I’m still halfway through Season 3 of The Wire and Season 2 of Six Feet Under.)
Yes, you’re the only one. Yes, you should go the Netflix route. The VOD route may be equally effective.
- Carney: You look nice!
- Bakes: Thanks! I was too lazy to put an outfit together so I just threw on this dress.
- Carney: No, it's perfect. I always say, when in doubt, go slutty.
- Bakes: (blinking)
- Note: Reblogged from Katie Bakes. (Not sure why there isn't a link here.)
Sometimes I half expect Barack Obama to announce that he’d like to buy the world a Coke, and keep it company.
IT Guy: It looks like your hard drive will have to be completely wiped to get rid of this malware. Where do you keep your files so we can burn them to a disk?
Girl: I don’t know.
IT Guy: Please try to be helpful.
Girl: Okay. On my computer.
IT Guy: Thanks.
IT Guy: I’ll look for your files. Is there anything very important?
Girl: My documents and pictures of cats.
IT Guy: Are you starting a blog or something. Why do you have pictures of cats on your computer?
Girl: Kittens really. I think kittens are so adorable.
Verlyn Klinkenborg’s complaint about Twitter is the clearest demonstration I’ve seen in a while of “the press” not getting “the internet.” Here’s how he describes Twitter: “The idea is to send short messages — microblog entries of 140 characters or less — to a group of people who are ‘following’ you.”
Wrong, Verlyn. That’s not the idea at all. The idea is actually to receive short messages from the people you are following. Reading Twitter is what its all about. It functions as a kind of smarter RSS feed, a news aggregator, a market research application (ask Mike Hudack), a way to keep up with friends and a way to discover new people and ideas. Sure you can send messages about your own ideas and experiences but the true value of Twitter comes from reading it and having others reacting to what they’ve read of your contributions.
Klinkenborg’s mistake is a pretty typical one for people who have spent their lives in old media. For him Twitter is a form of publishing, a way for him to project his thoughts and experiences to others rather than pick up those as others. Every tool on the internet is not a publishing tool. Or, rather, it’s not just a publishing tool.
He describes a Twitter entry as a “microblog,” which probably means he doesn’t understand blogs either. As anyone currently making their living from running blogs will explain, blogging is about a lot more than simply publishing your thoughts at others. The best sites work as conversations and communities.
On a side note, Klinkenborg even misses the pleasure of “secret sharing” on Twitter. Twitter is rife with friends sharing public posts with private jokes, items of interest to everyone but of special interest to those people who get the joke. Far better than Klinkenborg’s “private notebook,” these are like knowing looks friends give each other across a crowded room.
But I suppose if you look at Twitter as a one way push application, a sort of miconewspaper, you’ll miss all this.
The first time I saw my father fishing was on Nobadeer beach in Nantucket. Nobadeer is a difficult to reach spot south of the airport, at the end of a long, unpaved sandy road. It was about twelve miles from the cottage my family rented just outside of the village of Siasconset. We formed a sort of camp with the families who spent the summer in neighboring cottages. On fishing nights the entire camp would drive out to Nobadeer for a bonfire. We’d cook, roast marshmallows, the adults would drink, the younger children would play on the dunes as the sun went down and gather around the fire when the long grasses became to seem menancing in the dark, and the older children would flirt with each other in the darkness. But most importantly, the men would fish.
To my mind, there was no greater fisherman in Nantucket than my father. With bright blue eyes and dark, wavy hair, my father was an athletic man who played football in college and had become a runner, golfer and tennis-player later. He fished calf-deep in the surf with a long, thick rod armed with a heavy silvery lure. His cast was a big, powerful thing. He held the rod with both hands, one near the base for leverage, the other just about the reel. He’d throw the rod behind him and then loop it forward. On a good cast—and most of his casts were good casts—the lure would hit the Atlantic just beyond the wave break, where the bluefish lurked for food. It looked to me like one swift motion but I know now it was really a series—the bail flipped, the thumb on the line to hold it in place during the backstroke, the pull of the rod backwards, the pause as the line reached its full extension behind him, and then the pull forward with the lower-hand and the release of the line. Finally, as the lure struck the sea, a turn of the crank to flip back the lure and lock the line.
He fished for blues on the Nobadeer. In July these ranged from two to seven pounds, but as the summer went on, the fish gained weight and power, some weighing up to twenty pounds. When a blue took the line, his reel would let out a spray of whirls and clicks as the fish pulled against the drag. The sound was unmistakable and would bring everything else at the bonfire to a halt while he began his contest with the fish. Beaching a bluefish in late summer involved not just skill-—keeping the line tense enough so that the fish couldn’t shake loose but not so tense that it risked breaking in the crashing surf—-but power. The reels and cranks were sturdy mechanicals but didn’t offer that much in leverage for bringing in a blue. The technique involved pulling the rod backwards, literally yanking the unwilling fish shoreward, then releasing the rod forward and reeling in the slack of the line. The bluefish were predators and did not willing submit to this conversion into prey.
As he reeled in the fish, my father would back up onto the beach. The bluefish were known to attack their captors as they were brought in, so he didn’t want to be standing in the surf when his fish was brought close. Dragged out of the water, the fish would performs fantastic flips and bends, its blue-green and silver scales flashing moonlight in what I sometimes imagine to be a protest against this early demise. Other times I thought it was a tribute to my father’s fishing.
There is so much wonderful and good about Choire’s post on Radar about this latest kerfuffle that I am having trouble picking out my favorite part, but I do love his line about how “she thinks some crazy things, like that people can have their talent “stripped” from them (as if this were Dungeons & Dragons).”
Heath Ledger’s indulgent, cartoonish performance ruins Dark Knight. In a movie filled with restrained performances, Ledger’s slow-chatter Joker comes off as not just deranged but deranging.
Like a malevolent poltergeist, Ledger moves the film’s furniture into nonsensical patterns. He unbalances the film. Although critics are lionizing his performance as darkly brilliant, the truth is that his Joker is all surface evil with no depth. It isn’t frightening, except in the way that a glass of spilled red-wine is frightening. It gets all over everything and the stain won’t come out.
As the Joker he seems to be channeling that stupid clown from Stephen King’s insipid It. This would be a career ending performance if it weren’t already too late for that.
People say Ledger’s death was untimely but it couldn’t have been better timed. He’s the only person involved with his movie who’s lucky enough not to have to see his performance in it. And death seems to have been a great career move. It’s hard not to suspect that the film’s editors were spooked out of cutting his performance down to size.
(WARNING SPOILERS: I haven’t actually seen the film, and so I formulated this opinion without any basis whatsoever. I just figured it was about time to start the backlash and no one else seemed willing to do it. Speaking ill of the dead is a nasty business but someone had to do it.)
I’ve found that the best VCs — the ones I want to work with — understand that the dating process is mutual. That is to say that they understand that as they’re evaluating the company the company is evaluating them. The best VCs know this instinctually and help the company evaluate them. The worst VCs never say anything about their fund or how they view the world. They just assume you want their money.
You can learn a lot about a firm and a partner from how they treat you during and in-between your dates.
An important point to keep in mind about any investors. You are entering into what will be a complex and fraught relationship. You need to impress them but they need to impress you. If you don’t understand their internal processes, including where their money comes from and what their own investors expect, you increase the risk of things going badly wrong in the future. If they are hesitant about opening up to you, take this as the first sign that this might not be someone you want to work with.
I think my aversion to that quiet Sunday afternoon that so many people seem to idolize might stem from my vaguely religious upbringing. Before there was CB’s on Sunday afternoons there was Mass in the Roman Catholic Church. For those of you unfamiliar with Mass in a Catholic church, it involves wine, incense, community, and celebration. Sundays, even outside of church, should be for celebrating.
Another week has passed and I’m alright. Another week has begun and it’s beautiful. Let’s greet it like a strong runner comes to a race. Another week to win!
(Also, this, apparently, is what I sound like after a weekend of sobriety and sleep before midnight. I apologize and promise to be more hungover, morose, self-loathing and existenially angst ridden in the future.)
Republican politicians have been greatly aided for decades by the condescending and sometimes hateful attitude of liberal Democrats to the concerns of certain segments of the population of these United States. Even Democratic attempts to demonize the Republican strategy of not hating, for instance, Southern whites demonstrate a very strange theory of electoral politiics.
Take this column by Juan Williams in the Wall Street Journal today. Williams complains that conservatives are lionizing the the recently dead Jesse Helms, who he makes out to be a sort of anti-Ronald Reagan. “Helms did not invite people into the party; to the contrary, he seemed to delight in excluding people and played on the anxieties of rural, older Southern whites,” Wiliams writes.
If you read that closely you’ll notice that “rural, older Southern whites” don’t count as “people” for Williams. They are, in fact, so subhuman that they can’t even be invited into the party. They have “anxieties” (rather than issues or concerns) that are “played on” rather than taken seriously. Basically, they’re twitchy little animals who will come running if you use the right kind of call.
I’m not going to get into an argument with Williams about whether or not those “anxieties” were or are justified. Let’s not even get started about whether the Republicans actually do anything about the issues that concern rural Southern whites besides make sympathetic noises near election day.
Instead, I just want to focus on Williams treatment of these people as subhuman. If he saw them as people, rather than animals, it would be impossible to say that Helms didn’t invite people into the party. In fact, Helms invited lots of formerly Southern Democrats into the Republican party. This was a key part of the strategy for Republican victory.
The problem with the Williams theory of the inhumanity of Southern whites is that it isn’t shared by the Constitution. Shockingly, the Constitution gives exactly the same amount of votes to each Southern, rural white as it does to each of the classes of people Williams prefers. Having a view of electoral politics that is very different from that of the Constitution is a recipe for failure.
Another amazingly healthy morning today. After going to home and to sleep directly after the Brazilian Girls show in Prospect Park, I woke up feeling excited. Sent out pitches to a couple of editors, then settled in for breakfast of yogurt, fresh blueberries and granola. Washed it all down with coffee from Gorilla Coffee here in Park Slope.
Lot’s on the agenda today. [Edit note: “Lot’s”? Yes. That’s right. It’s short for “A lot is” so suck it.] Putting together furniture, heading to midtown stores for more domestic hunting and gathering, picking up a new iPhone (or, if the store is still a mess, just ogling the consumerist masses even as I scheme to join them), sorting through closets. It’s basically spring cleaning 3 months late. I get excited about days like today because I rarely have them. Going to midtown Manhattan is like a safari for me, and I know I’ll come back for of stories about the strange habits of the natives. I’m literally packing a notebook and bringing a camera for the voyage from Brooklyn.
I may stop by one of my favorite Union Square haunts, also. My patterns of life these last few months have confined me to a narrow band of Lower East Side, Nolita and three areas of Brooklyn, that I’m actually getting nostalgic for other places. How’s Old Town? It’s been forever since I sat in the garden at Revival. I wonder if the pool table at 119 is still off-kilter. My geographic confinement has been so pronounced that I don’t think I’ve even been out in the East Village for months.
(Also, apparently Alex Balk is slightly less of a dick now that he’s had a vacation. Or, at least, he’s still got a couple of good hours before recovering and re-claiming his status as leader of the haut-dickoisisie. I want to see this for myself. I’ll give you six-to-one that I prefer the, uhm, full shaft than the half limp version. Ugh. Sorry.)
All this stuff needs to get done today because tomorrow is Bastille Day on Smith Street.
I usually reserve my Tumblr political ranting for Obama. This isn’t because I suffer from the delusion that one politician is better than the other. It’s just that I don’t feel comfortable as part of any amen-corner, and bashing McCain or Republicans on tumblr feels a bit like preaching to the choir.
But I’m doing it today anyway because, really, praising Crocs is simply going beyond the Pale.
Today was actually a pretty slow news day on Wall Street, with the markets refusing to commit either way, trading volume on the low side, lots of people still on vacation and not a lot of breaking news.
But we kicked ass today at DealBreaker anyway. Lots of posts, including some really good, original reporting we did on Lehman Brothers. Sometimes I really like my job and right now is one of them. Bess managed to crack a joke (several) about a pretty sad story without being tasteless (harder than it looks). And even interns Andrew and Travis got fired up. We put 22 items up today. Go team!
“Barack Obama’s time as an organizer in Chicago has figured prominently in his life story, though it is clear that the benefit of those years to Mr. Obama dwarfs what he accomplished,” is how the New York Times describes it’s long story on “Obama’s Organizing Years.”
This article raises an important question about Obama and a revealing point about community organizing and other do-gooder activities.
First of all, how does Obama explain his failure to achieve any real accomplishments as a community organizer? I’m sure lots of his tumblr fans (he sure seems to have a lot of them) will reblog this with answers. You’ve become pretty reliable proxies and defenders of Obama
I predict the Tumblr Obama proxies will be tempted to claim that as a mere community organizer Obama lacked the power to really accomplish anything. Never mind that this is a typically standard “failing upward” argument: every failure is a sign that the failed nearly needs more money or power. What’s really interesting about this claim is that it makes Obama look terribly naive. If Obama was bound to fail because there wasn’t much he could do as a community organizer, why didn’t he know that to begin with? In general election terms, this claim raises serious problems for Obama’s ability to accomplish change in Washington. If he was wrong about Chicago, couldn’t he also be wrong about DC? One of the raps against Obama is that he’s arrogant, and this claim seems to indicate a mistake possibly arising from arrogance.
The revealing point about community service here is that many people engage in it despite its fruitlessness. Why? Perhaps they want to do “something” even if that amounts to nothing. But I suspect the answer really is that community service is a social-status indicator among a certain class of people. Being “involved” is a way to indicate that they are a certain type of person (generally, “liberal with leisure time”) with a certain attitudinal disposition (basically, “full of caring”). In short, what community service accomplishes has very little to do with those who are allegedly being helped. Instead, the real beneficiaries are the do-gooders who get to feel good about themselves, meet potential mates of their own social class, and brag to friends about the good they are doing.
A system of special interests buying influence, subsidies, protection from competition and favors unimaginable, I’m not sure I’d it “capitalism.” But that’s neither here nor there. It’s certainly the system we got, and if you want to call that capitalism have fun with it. For a recent expose on how this system works, I suggest you buy this book on the Fourth of July.
Here’s how Publisher’s weekly describes it: “When it comes to the corporations that dominate the US economy, says Carney, there’s no difference between Big Business Republicans and Tax-and-Spend Democrats. No matter who’s in charge, Big Government and Big Business team up to create a quasi-fascist collective designed to extract maximum revenue from the common citizen.”
Oh, and it’s written by my brother Timmy.
I kind of love twentysomethingtales. Her tumblr is very frank and open about her life, and she writes with an easy, economical and natural style.
Early this morning, after a bout of insomnia, she found herself thinking about her time in Paris. Somewhere in a Paris kitchen she found herself talking to an older French girl about their ambitions. The Parisian wanted to start a jewelry company, while twentysomethingtales wanted to start writing for women’s magazines. This prompted mockery from the Parisian.
“Are you serious? You want to write shitty crap for publications that make society a horrible place?” she said
The irony of that girl’s put down is that she was hardly working to make the world a better place, unless selling pretty bangles counts. (And maybe it does.) A girl who wants to start a jewelry company shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss a girl who wants to write for women’s magazines.
What’s more, it’s a subtle kind of sexism to believe that women’s magazines make the world worse while men’s magazines don’t. And by “men’s magazines” I don’t even mean GQ and Esquire, much less Playboy or the like. I mean even the news magazines and political commentary magazines. (Yes, I know women read these things but traditionally they were considered “men’s” magazines.) These often give people, especially men, the illusion of knowledge, allow them to have strongly formed opinions that they mistake for well-formed opinions.
In Plato’s dialog, “The Gorgias,” Socrates confronts a man named Gorgias, who is said to have taught the citizens of another city to be able to answer every question boldly. They have become the kind of people who lust after wisdom, according to the popular description of Gorgias’ accomplishment.
I hate to say this, but it helps to look at the ancient greek to understand why this is a put-down in Plato’s view. For Plato, philosophy (love of wisdom) is the highest human activity, and it’s basic cognitive activity is questioning. It involves an awareness of the permanent questions of human being. But Gorgias hasn’t make people philosophers. He has taught them philo-erasty. The greek word for a desirous, lusty seducer is erastes. He has made the citizens erastics for wisdom.
Too often we fall into the same trap, mistaking identifying the problem of ignorance with finding a solution to it. We’re very down on ignorance but forget that the alternative is often arrogance rather than knowledge.
Uhm, I forget where this was going. Oh, right. I’m not sure that magazines which encourage women to concentrate on fashion or beauty are worse than magazine that encourage men to become dogmatically ideological about things that they don’t really have much influence over, don’t really effect their lives that much and may distract them from their friends and family. Actually, if the end effect is to make women pretty and men politically committed beyond warrant, I’m pretty sure women’s magazines are better.