January 7, 2009

It's the new Bloggingheads — with me and Glenn Loury!

They've called this one "Slippery Issues." Topics:
Glenn decries Israel’s attack on Gaza
Will Palestinian nihilism end the Israel experiment?
The case for Senator Roland Burris
Caroline Kennedy and American plutocracy
Sex and politics in “Milk”
Ann detects a pedophilia trend in the Oscar-bait films
I'll pick out some choice clips and expand this post pretty soon. Meanwhile, you can watch the whole thing, if you like, at the link.

AND:
00:00: Hey, look how similar the backgrounds are. Does he always have that background, or did he copy mine as a subtle joke?

03:25: I ask a question that Glenn first calls "very good" and then calls "a part of this Orwellian discourse."

12:12: Glenn says "The Jewish state is an experiment." A complicated discussion follows, and you tell me if he's suggesting that the Palestinians can, by abject nihilism, cause the experiment to fail.

17:15: We both say that Roland Burris is the Senator from Illinois.

21:57: "The South Side became a steppingstone in the march of Obama into history," says Glenn, who's from the South Side of Chicago and who wonders whether the appointment of Burris reflects the ambivalence of all those the old Chicago politicians that Obama left behind. [ADDED: How do those old pols feel? Song cue.]

26:10: Why is there no more talk about Valerie Jarrett for the Senate position? I say: "I wonder what's in the tapes" — the Blagojevich tapes.

32:14: Glenn, the economist, answers all my questions about the stimulus package.

44:45: Glenn thinks "Milk" failed to depict the "ferocity of male sexual appetite."

52:26: I do my rant about prettified pedophilia in the movies:



55:10: I'm talking about Ricky Gervais insulting black people, and Glenn says: "Well, as a person who is obese..." And I'm all: Oh, no, you shouldn't say it. We're just heads here....

61 comments:

jdeeripper said...

A Senator Roland Burris now equals a Republican Senator from Illinois in 2011.

ricpic said...

Loury uses the word marketing in connection to Caroline Kennedy. I frankly have been astonished at the lack of concern with marketing her, either on her part or on the part of her "people," the army of advisors and PR types who, I assume, surround any Kennedy. Example: she was rendered almost speechless by the simple question," Why do you want to be a senator?" Wouldn't it be PR 101 to have prepared her for such a question? The only explanation I can come up with is that she expected to be named senator by Patterson with such lightning speed that she wouldn't have to face the peasantry at all.

Salamandyr said...

44:45: Glenn thinks "Milk" failed to depict the "ferocity of male sexual appetite."

I wasn't aware that was what the movie was supposed to be about.

traditionalguy said...

Where does Brown U. come up with a Professor Loury? His only skill seems to be repeating the obvious back to the other person with a hint of moral superiority. I never heard an original thought from him. Professor Althouse threw out every idea with excellent new insights added by her, while Loury just Rope-a-Doped with an added nuance of superiority. I thank God I did not have to recieve my education from Prof. Loury's type of teachers. Good job Professor A.

Henry said...

I'm not sure I buy into the paradigm of Loury's "legitimate and historically viable" test for Israel's success as a state. It's not just the fact that legimitacy and history have absolutely no connection. It's the idea that there is some static point of "viability" that Israel must attain.

History laughs at that conceit.

Between 1864 and 1870, the country of Paraguy (independent only since 1811) suffered utter defeat in the War of the Triple Alliance. It lost over 50% of its civilian population and perhaps 90% of its male population.

Yet Paraguay exists today in "legitimate and historically viable" fashion.

Even those states that fail do not lose the fact of their successful existance. Today, the Jewish state is a success. Some day, like every other state, it will cease to exist. Then it will have been a success.

Ann Althouse said...

"I wasn't aware that was what the movie was supposed to be about."

He's saying it was sanitized. If you depict an era and eliminate a component, that's something significant, even if the filmmaker did it on purpose. They show the violence against gay men, but not the violence of gay men.

AlphaLiberal said...

Earlier this week Ann highlighted a factually challenged partisan rant from the Wall Street Journal, attacking MN Secretary of State and the Elections Board.

Well, today a member of that Board sent a funny letter in to the WSJ, blasting them.

I won't hold my breath waiting for Althouse to highlight the letter to balance out her promotion of false right wing memes.

From the letter:
One can only assume, based on the tone of the editorial, the numerous inaccuracies, and the over-the-top slam at Al Franken ("tainted and undeserving?") that had Norm Coleman come out on top in this recount, the members of the Board would have been praised as "strong-willed, intelligent, and perceptive."

Palladian said...

"I won't hold my breath waiting for Althouse to highlight the letter to balance out her promotion of false right wing memes."

Oh please, please, please hold your breath! You might want to put a plastic sack over your head to help you in case you get the desire to start breathing again.

Salamandyr said...

He's saying it was sanitized. If you depict an era and eliminate a component, that's something significant, even if the filmmaker did it on purpose. They show the violence against gay men, but not the violence of gay men.

That's fair. A whole lot of general media about gay culture avoids depiction of the hustling, the bath houses, adult theatres, and such. But is that necessarily really important to "Milk"? Perhaps it is, in that a fair depiction would show the parts of gay culture that most shocked straights.

Chip Ahoy said...

Bah.

* moves on *

Palladian said...

"He's saying it was sanitized. If you depict an era and eliminate a component, that's something significant, even if the filmmaker did it on purpose."

Funny, I had similar complaints about "You've Got Mail".

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said... well, whined... "why isn't Althouse blogging about what I want her to blog about?!" (I'm paraphrasing, but that was the thrust of it.) And what does it say right above the comment box? "Please don't tell me I should be blogging about some other subject"! Are you dumb or disobedient?

Ann Althouse said...

"That's fair. A whole lot of general media about gay culture avoids depiction of the hustling, the bath houses, adult theatres, and such. But is that necessarily really important to "Milk"? Perhaps it is, in that a fair depiction would show the parts of gay culture that most shocked straights."

Yes, if you're going to make the people who didn't want gays in their neighborhood look like bigots, you ought to show the aspects of gay culture that may have rightly disturbed them.

"Funny, I had similar complaints about "You've Got Mail"."

If you listen to what I say in the clip, you'll hear me object to the general prettification of sex in the movies.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: "AlphaLiberal said... well, whined... "why isn't Althouse blogging about what I want her to blog about?!" (I'm paraphrasing, but that was the thrust of it.) And what does it say right above the comment box? "Please don't tell me I should be blogging about some other subject"! Are you dumb or disobedient?"

You are absolutely right, and I was contemplating deleting it, but:

1. I do briefly mention the Minnesota recount in the diavlog.

2. Palladian responded to Alpha in an amusing fashion. He followed the "Amuse us!" rule and that trumped.

Simon said...

Salamandyr said...
"Perhaps it is, in that a fair depiction would show the parts of gay culture that most shocked straights."

That's exactly the point, isn't it? You have a biopic about a man who fought for a cause, a biopic intended to make the audience think that this guy was just swell; if you don't show what that cause was, isn't that a problem?

Imagine a biopic of [insert preferred dictator's name]'s last hours that depicted the frantic leader's realization that it was all over, his self-pitying rants about how he had tried to do the right thing, and yet entirely missing is any reference to the surrounding context. Perhaps you can get away with that if you were doing a biopic of Hitler or Stalin, because their causes are all-but universally known. Then you're not avoiding the context, you're assuming, reasonably, that the audience was aware of it. When the cause is not so well known, however, to leave it out of a picture that is deliberately designed to evoke sympathy -- I don't understand, why isn't that disingenuous?

That's what Pogo was getting at the other day, I thought, in raising the whatever it was called, the parade of obscenity or what have you. If you're going to try to glorify a crusader - be it Harvey Milk or Saddam Hussein (you know that biopic is in the works), it seems wrong - sanitized is a good word for it - to leave out what they were fighting for and what came of their efforts.

Simon said...

Why is Hollywood pushing out beyond moral boundaries on pedophilia? Here's one theory.

Palladian said...

"Why is Hollywood pushing out beyond moral boundaries on pedophilia?"

Complete decimation of morality is a necessary precursor to the advent of the Worker's Paradise.

Palladian said...

"2. Palladian responded to Alpha in an amusing fashion. He followed the "Amuse us!" rule and that trumped."

See?! Even the most boring and pedantic of trolls can be turned into fodder for the hilarious comedy that is the Essence of Althouse™.

Henry said...

See?! Even the most boring and pedantic of trolls can be turned into fodder for the hilarious comedy that is the Essence of Althouse™.

I didn't know Althouse had a perfume.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm expecting a vial of that perfume for my birthday.

Justin said...

Ann Althouse said...

Yes, if you're going to make the people who didn't want gays in their neighborhood look like bigots, you ought to show the aspects of gay culture that may have rightly disturbed them.

What about a movie that makes the people who don't want blacks in their neighborhood look like bigots? Should such a movie show the aspects of black culture that "may have rightly disturbed" the KKK?

Is this comparison apt?

traditionalguy said...

Hollywood is without any boundaries anymore in the sexual mores it is free to show as its vision of American life. Surprise me again. But in the interest of defining any remaining human "boundaries": The word Pedophilia misses the mark here. Sex with post-pubescent humans is is not correctly called Pedophilia. certainly we can agree that it is a power abuse practiced upon the 12 to 18 year age group by older predators. Welcome to the new age of socially acceptable Love soon to be free to reenact its own special form of child slavery.[What about the child labor laws here?] But the real pedophile is the sick personality who seeks out Pre-pubescent children to act out his sick fantacies and who I am told can NEVER be rehabilitated.

jdeeripper said...

Justin said...What about a movie that makes the people who don't want blacks in their neighborhood look like bigots? Should such a movie show the aspects of black culture that "may have rightly disturbed" the KKK?

Yes, there are plenty of reasons to not want low end black "culture" in your neighborhood regardless of the race of the cultural carrier.

Same with gays. Not all gays are the nice, underweight interior decorator guy with the scarf.

Almost all groups have strongly repellent people in them and sometimes the worst ones find each other and congregate. Which is great if you don't have to live near them.

Ann Althouse said...He's saying it was sanitized. If you depict an era and eliminate a component, that's something significant, even if the filmmaker did it on purpose. They show the violence against gay men, but not the violence of gay men.

If Americans want to see violence by a gay male they can watch American Idol and see Simon savage some poor loser.

It's a movie, it's not a documentary. People want to be entertained not traumatized by the horrors of gay male behavior.

Ann Althouse said...

"What about a movie that makes the people who don't want blacks in their neighborhood look like bigots? Should such a movie show the aspects of black culture that "may have rightly disturbed" the KKK? Is this comparison apt?"

Yes, I think the better artistic choice is to show complexity and to humanize everyone, even the people who the viewer will see as bad. I think "Do the Right Thing" is a good example of a movie of high artistic quality where there are racist characters who don't like black people in their neighborhood and where some of the black people do things that exacerbate their feelings. There's cultural complexity.

Now, "Milk" does have a fair amount of complexity, as I say in the diavlog. And there's is a surprising amount of empathy for the murderer -- he is humanized.

And by the way, many, many movies have negative characters that we are asked to understand -- all sorts of criminals and vicious murderers, people who are worse than run-of-the-mill racists.

siyeh pass said...

"Why is Hollywood pushing out beyond moral boundaries on pedophilia?"

Writer's live in the same world as you and I, see the same news, etc., and I think their work reflects the time's we live in. What might be going on here is a meld of our culture's biggest scariest boogymen - the pedophile and a strong distrust (by many) of our national 'father-figure'.

It's 'sanitization' means that it can, be in these mainstream movies, otherwise it's too real. People still want to be entertained.

Ann Althouse said...

There some non-bigoted reasons why you might not want your neighborhood to become the gay neighborhood:

1. The rents will go up, and the ethnic groups who have long lived in the neighborhood will be displaced.

2. Shops you like will be displaced by shops you don't use.

3. There might be a lot of late-night noise.

Justin said...

jdeeripper said...

Almost all groups have strongly repellent people in them and sometimes the worst ones find each other and congregate. Which is great if you don't have to live near them.

I agree. But highlighting the "strongly repellent" in a group perpetuates stereotypes. That's really my only point here.

Ann Althouse said...

Yes, I think the better artistic choice...

I guess my concern is the less artistic choice. I can see your standard [Yes, if you're going to make the people who didn't want [group] in their neighborhood look like bigots, you ought to show the aspects of [group] culture that may have rightly disturbed them.] becoming an excuse to perpetuate nasty stereotypes.

Justin said...

That was an unfortunate use of brackets in my last comment.

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Yes, I think the better artistic choice is to show complexity and to humanize everyone, even the people who the viewer will see as bad."

Do you think that the choice to sanitize reflects anxiety on the part of the filmmakers that if they don't sanitize, if they present a more complex, realistic picture, they risk some viewers reaching the "wrong" conclusion? Does it, perhaps, reflect a lack of trust in their audience, and a subconscious, unacknowledged awareness that the story is susceptible to more than the interpretation they believe to be the right one?

chuck b. said...

"Essence of Althouse™"

Oh, no.

No, no.

Did you see the movie Perfume?

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"And by the way, many, many movies have negative characters that we are asked to understand -- all sorts of criminals and vicious murderers, people who are worse than run-of-the-mill racists."

Indeed, by your account, Milk itself has a negative character to whom the filmmakers show some degree of empathy and a desire to humanize: the murderer.

sean said...

"What about a movie that makes the people who don't want blacks in their neighborhood look like bigots? Should such a movie show the aspects of black culture that "may have rightly disturbed" the KKK?"

I think that is what artists who are admired as such did. Try reading, for example, James Baldwin's "Blues for Mister Charlie," which certainly portrays some of the moral and social complexity of the situation. Compare that with the typical TV drama, which would show, for example, a saintly black neurosurgeon trying to move into a neighborhood of white yahoos, and you will understand why James Baldwin is remembered, and the average TV drama is not.

chuck b. said...

I haven't seen Milk yet so I'm avoiding discussion. But hasn't been mentioned that in real life Dan White was a teetotaler (spelling?) and Harvey Milk campaigned against taxes?

chuck b. said...

I mean, Has it been mentioned...?

Jason said...

Isn't blogging yourself immoral?

Palladian said...

"I'm expecting a vial of that perfume for my birthday."

Uh oh. I think that's a hint.

Ann Althouse said...

"Did you see the movie Perfume?"

Uh oh. Should I be afraid of Palladian???

chuck b. said...

I would be very afraid.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlphaLiberal said...

Simon, oh so full of shit:
AlphaLiberal said... well, whined... "why isn't Althouse blogging about what I want her to blog about?!"

The hell I did you lying sack of shit. I said "she won't, so here it is."

Let me paraphrase you now:

Simon sez "Well, I can't find anyway to respond to well-reasoned, factual and humorous arguments. So, I'll make some stuff up, pretend someone said it and then act like it makes me all morally superior. Fuck you."

OK, I'm paraphrasing.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"Let me paraphrase you now: Simon sez "Well, I can't find anyway to respond to well-reasoned, factual and humorous arguments. So, I'll make some stuff up, pretend someone said it and then act like it makes me all morally superior. Fuck you.' OK, I'm paraphrasing."

Well, I'll tell you what: you go ahead and make a well-reasoned, factual and humorous argument sometime - it'd be a first for you - and I'll try to make some stuff up, pretend you said it, and then act like it makes me all morally superior. Besides, how much of a n00b are you? Don't you know that the Althouse blog bylaws require all mockery of Simon to include reference to pretentious overuse of latin?

HelenParr said...

I agree with Trooper York about "The Wire"; however, they had sixteen hours per season for 5 seasons to cover the terrain.

My personal fave was Omar.

Jason said...

"Did you see the movie Perfume?"

Someone just gave me that movie to watch today; and yesterday I was responding to the Obama/Doctor analogy post in a Doctor's waiting room.

Fortunately I read a blog post earlier this week on synchronicity, so I know what to call it.

Jen Bradford said...

I became frustrated enough with Loury's laziness that I've already hit pause at 6:42. First he pretends that Israel hasn't attempted many avenues other than "slaughter" to protect its citizens, and second that they are perpetrating anything resembling say, Assad's attack on Hama - that's what a slaughter looks like. Ignoring the fact that Israeli ground troops are losing their lives when the IAF could simply flatten Gaza from the air is so intellectually lazy I feel embarrassed listening to him. I'll try to finish, but something tells me he doesn't go on to acknowledge what kind of slaughter we'd be discussing if Hamas had Israel's arsenal.

Jen Bradford said...

p.s. I should add that I normally enjoy him, which is partly what makes this so excruciating. He is so visibly resentful of being asked to think beyond his cartoon of Israel crushing innocent Palestinians and leaving it at that.

Ron said...

Is Essence of Althouse a gender-neutral fragrance? Whom would I be attracting with it? Dab behind each ear, a little down the cleavage, anywhere else?

Do lawyers use Eau du Tort, and lawprofs use "Penumbra"? (which might indeed be a good name for a fragrance!)

blake said...

I have to admit, I'm not in the mood to listen to someone attack Israel for defending itself.

Great thread, tho'.

AA: "He's saying it was sanitized. If you depict an era and eliminate a component, that's something significant, even if the filmmaker did it on purpose."

Palladian: Funny, I had similar complaints about "You've Got Mail".


The component eliminated in You've Got Mail being...what? Testosterone? Humor?

AA: If you listen to what I say in the clip, you'll hear me object to the general prettification of sex in the movies.

Aha. So it's true that Althouse never has seen porn.

Simon: Imagine a biopic of [insert preferred dictator's name]'s last hours that depicted the frantic leader's realization that it was all over, his self-pitying rants about how he had tried to do the right thing, and yet entirely missing is any reference to the surrounding context.

We hardly have to imagine that. But they don't confine themselves to last hours, they just skip the bits they don't like. You could go see Che, if you can sit still for the 12 hours it takes.

Simon: (you know that biopic is in the works)

HBO has been running "House of Saddam" for a while.

What about a movie that makes the people who don't want blacks in their neighborhood look like bigots? Should such a movie show the aspects of black culture that "may have rightly disturbed" the KKK?

Is this comparison apt?


The comparison is apt-ish, but your drawing of it is warped, or at least very shallow.

jderipped: If Americans want to see violence by a gay male they can watch American Idol and see Simon savage some poor loser.

If Simon's gay, he's putting up a pretty convincing front. Though, hmmm, I'm pretty sure the hard-ass critic stuff is an act, so maybe it's all an act?!?

AA says:
1. The rents will go up, and the ethnic groups who have long lived in the neighborhood will be displaced.

2. Shops you like will be displaced by shops you don't use.

3. There might be a lot of late-night noise.


(Nothing to add here that shouldn't be obvious, just thought it was worth repeating.)

Jen Bradford said...

That makes me think of the Onion gag about how homosexuals make straight guys look bad:

They're no slouches at home, either—they always have to be fixing something. Homosexuals are the first ones to go into a bad neighborhood, buy a beautiful old building, restore it to its former grandeur, and then wait until a coffee shop opens on the block. Or they open one themselves! Do you understand? They don't even have a coffee shop when they move into the neighborhood. I can't get anything done without a cup of good coffee.

rhhardin said...

Loury does not see that human rights, seen as a priori, are a creation of the West, and a fairly recent one.

The idea is not enforced a priori, however, nor is it self defending.

It defends itself against its other the only way it can.

When he talks about slaughter of innocents in this situation he has to remember as well that his disgust is supported entirely by those who are at that moment defending it.

It's not hard to remember that; you almost have to will yourself to foget it. That's a mark of the left.

rhhardin said...

Milk wasn't assassinated. He was murdered, by a mentally unbalanced friend of his, over some perceived slight or other.

At least as it was reported by Armsrtong and Getty, a talk show in SF. Hmmm, I was going to link a here but there new year seems to have eliminated the podcast listing. It would be the 11/26/2008 show hour 3, or the 11/18/2008 show hour 2, to judge from my saved index.

Trooper York said...

I agree with you HelenParr, the time they had is what let them do it right. But even a stand alone episode let you get the gist of what they were doing. I had three favorite characters.

Omar is one and you are right on the money. They were really true to his character especailly in his demise.

I also enjoyed McNulty because he reminded me of a younger me.

And I liked the Steve Earle drug counsler guy. I thought that was a great character.

All in all it was the best show ever presented on television.

Eclecticity said...

A fine summary. Now I don't have to watch! E.

Ann Althouse said...

If the Israel stuff bothers you just move a third of the way in. I think this is an excellent diavlog....

Jen Bradford said...

It's sort of a shame it started there, since it got me so irritated with him right off the bat. He can be so clear-eyed about other things, I guess I was disappointed in him. I'll fast forward.

Duscany said...

"They only thing they got wrong was the journalists. One of them was a decent professional human being."

Ah, Trooper York, you sly dog.

Palladian said...

"Uh oh. Should I be afraid of Palladian???"

Yes, but for other reasons of course. I didn't see "Perfume" because I thought the premise of the book silly.

blake said...

The movie is basically a serial-killer movie with a rather surreal twist ending.

"Preposterous" would work as a descriptor. I liked it, but then I have extraordinary suspension-of-disbelief skills.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Why did they call it "Slippery Issues"?

Brit said...

Just saw the Israel clip with Professor Loury.

1)Someone should tell him using big words does not an intellectual make

2)One could argue every historial decision is an experiment. Was the end of slavery an experiment? Not saying it wasnt right decision but is that too according to Loury up for reversal like the state of Israel?

Adam said...

Not familiar with your blog yet, but I did think your half of the discussion articulated some important questions about the meaning of power, ones that go beyond the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Eric said...

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/01/09/opinion/1231544842105/bloggingheads-israel-s-end.html

The New York Times website currently features a video (see above) in which two professors accuse Israel of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. To be fair, one professor explicitly accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing, while the other seemingly agrees with him (or at least says nothing to refute his charges).

Professor Glenn Loury, of Brown University (http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Glenn_Loury/louryhomepage/), specifically accused Israelis of ethnic cleansing in 1948 on the Times' popular "Bloggingheads" page in a segment entitled "Israel's End?"

He spoke of the Palestinians' reaction to "...the historical wound of what was ethnic cleansing, I mean, um, what was a dispossession of hundreds of thousands, what was a horrible historic crime. Uh, again these are very harsh words and I will be judged for them, but let me just say them anyway. Their refusal to accept that fait accompli, and to simply allow it to pass, and to move on, does have them in a death embrace with the Zionist project, with the State of Israel. They do dance 'the dance of death' together...but there you are. That's how they have chosen to deal with what history has dealt them...I don't know what i would do, if I were in that situation, what politics I would embrace."

It is difficult to know where to begin. Is Loury speaking from ignorance, or does he know the facts and choose to ignore them in service of a cause? Loury neglects to mention the great Arab hostility that existed against the Jews in the Middle East even before Israel's war of independence. History for Loury starts in 1948. He doesn't tell his viewers that the Jews accepted a partition plan put forth by the UN, while the Palestinians and Arabs rejected it and instead opted for a war whose openly stated goal was genocide ("pushing the Jews into the sea," as some prominent Arab leaders said). The Palestinians joined with several other Arab armies and set to work trying to exterminate a people who had just collectively survived the Holocaust. Meanwhile, it is well documented (by Time magazine, as well as by many other sources) that prominent Arab leaders instructed Palestinian civilians to relocate during the war, because they didn't want them to get hurt/killed during the violence.

None of this was mentioned, because Loury's Palestinians are totally passive actors who have no role in shaping their own destiny (the familiar condescending attitude that Western academics so often apply to Arabs and Palestinians). Palestinians have no moral responsibility, they are like children reacting to events beyond their control. Indeed, in the above quote we see that Loury isn't sure what he would do. Maybe he too would join a fundamentalist movement like Hamas and blow up a bus filled with children because his genocidal war in 1948 failed, if he were a Palestinian.

One would hope that the other academic would inject some wisdom into the silliness of this historical alteration and propaganda. Unfortunately, Ann Althouse of the University of Wisconsin Law School (http://law.wisc.edu/profiles/index.php?iEmployeeID=97) sat comfortably. She didn't challenge Loury's re-writing of history. Instead, she basically agreed with him. My reaction when thinking about terrorist violence is not ''what are those crazy people thinking?'" said Althouse. )

Apparently she too understands why the Palestinian terrorists have been firing rockets at Israeli civilians for the last eight years, even after Israel completely withdrew from Gaza.

It is certainly "interesting" to watch professors try to re-shape history while the war for public opinion once again plays out between Palestinians and Israelis. Maybe The New York Times should reconsider having uninformed amateurs speak about subjects they clearly are not well-versed in.