January 8, 2011

At the Frozen Playground Café...

P1050860

... all you cold-hearted bastards can have your fun. Nice people... be careful!

74 comments:

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

First thing I thought of looking at the frozen playground is The Shining. That scene in the book where Danny is out in the playground, and there's someone in the snow covered tunnel there who wants Danny to be his best friend and play with him forever.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Frankly, I'm kind of disturbed by some of the discourse on the Giffords posts. The sheer crap espoused by Alpha Liberal, followed up by Florida, was so predictable. You would think that anyone with any respect for his own credibility woud wait a couple of hours before leaping to so many baseless conclusions. Sarah Palin's crosshairs, indeed. I don't think I've ever seen such ignorant partisanship in comments here, and that's saying something. I, for one, back Trooper's counsel to hold off on the accusations until we get some details that don't read like the News of the World. If the MySpace posts are real, the guy was a paranoid schizophrenic, whatever his politics.

Chip Ahoy said...

Nice people, could you use something fluffy? How about a chocolate soufflé fluffier than any you've had? It took two tries but I nailed it.

If failure amuses you, here's the first try.

edutcher said...

Something sad about a playground without kids.

Even in this kind of weather.

PS Troop, don't bother with someone like that. They ain't worth it.

Agree with Ty. At the end of the day, this guy won't really belong to anybody but himself.

David said...

Chip, I looked at your failure page first. Never left it. A chocolate pancake!

Meade said...

A little secret about Alpha Liberal: He isn't a liberal at all. His whole schtick is to make all liberals look bad by playing the all to common Liberal Who Believes He's One Of The Good People, completely unaware of the maliciousness in his good intentions, highly intelligent but not smart enough to realize that he's nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is.

chickelit said...

The photo brings me back to my grade school playground in the mid 1960's at a school not too far from Madison.
The "monkey bars" were shaped like a Mercury space capsule (conical bottom topped with a cylinder).
Two or three of us boys stood around in a circle on the cold steel bars on a freezing-cold morning during recess. Yes, one of us touched the bar with his tongue.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

This winter's Global weather is not as fun as it was when we had warm weather all but about four weeks in the last 10 winters. We have already had freezing storms for 4 weeks with 8 weeks to go. And Happy Birthday on Wednesday, sweet Professor Althouse. Your birth has blessed many already and there are great years coming.Did I ever tell you that my wife has the same birthday as you and El Rushbo? That was a very good year for babies.

Florida said...

"A little secret about Alpha Liberal: He isn't a liberal at all."

That's correct. He's actually a fascist.

JAL said...

chickelit -- you think that's why they seem to be regulating the disappearance of good old fashioned monkey bars / jungle gyms?

The helicopter parents can't stand the idea of a kid getting stuck to the things by his tongue? (<--- "Ewww!")

More than once (sad to say) I touched the nose of my Flexible Flyer ....

I lived. And so did my tongue.

Florida said...

How Quest Field rips off its beer customers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xSDI9Gg63I

Paddy O said...

So, I'm curious. Was there a highpoint to the commenter quality here at Althouse? Seems like so much these days is the very uninteresting characters playing predictable partisan roles.

I'm thinking 2005-2006.

Maybe the earliest appearance of Sir Archy. Back when whatever the topic there would be an actual expert talking intelligently on the subjects.

Althousia now feels a little too much like the local Irish pub after the nearby junior college has discovered it. Still serving up good food and drink, but the company just isn't the same as it used to be, and the people who made it the most interesting are the people most easily driven off by the poseurs.

1jpb said...

I think the anti-AL and anti-Florida stuff is over done.

Screed after screed related to these two are, in their own way, offensive to me.

Why not write a comment sharing an impressive/ unique/admirable characteristic related to one of the victims, or write nothing at all? I've learned so much about this wonderful congresswoman today--but none of it here.

IMHO, commenters who rant against the unkindness/inappropriateness of other commenters are boring. (The one exception is the mocking of Cedarford, some of that is funny.) Tell us what you think...what you know...what matters to you. Why are folks motivated to state that they are morally superior to other commentors? Are they trying to reassure themselves? If their superiority was so obviously true, you'd think there'd be no reason to state it. For example, how often do you need to be reminded that you can't ice skate on a lake that isn't frozen?

Florida said...

AlphaLiberal doubles down on stupid - continuing to blame Sarah Palin:

"Here is a video of an interview with Rep Giffords from last March, after her office had been vandalized.

She addresses the violent rhetoric and imagery from Sarah Palin and others in strong terms. She was right.

And... yeah. You guys always say the shooter was a nut when a Dem or liberal gets shot. But we sure have a lot more people getting shot, or attempted shootings (as in Tides Foundation attempt).

All as the rhetoric from the right has gotten increasingly threatening and violent, creating a volatile political atmosphere."

Michael said...

JAL: I was thinking the same thing and I can't tell from the picture if this is a pc playground with all child friendly materials or one of the old fashioned horrid right wing metal playgrounds with the really fun high swings with chains. The new playgrounds really suck. There is nothing more dispiriting than to visit a playground today and see the horror in the mothers' eyes when one of their own falls down. Doubtful that a modern kid would know to test the tongue to metal trick in the winter.

chickelit said...

Sixty Grit said...
Chick, how'd they get you off the monkey bars?

The old warm water thaw trick applied by an experienced & caring teacher.

edutcher said...

From the Holly post (didn't seem right to comment there)

"when I sojourned in Cincinnati and lived, for a time, in a little love nest with Meade."

16 years ago, I first saw The Blonde. In the next year and a half, we had a similar existence as I lived outside Philadelphia and she loved coming out, partly to get away from a homicidally-inclined ex. I appreciate the fondness Ann has for her Ohio summer. Times like that are very special.

chickelit said...

Paddy O said...Still serving up good food and drink, but the company just isn't the same as it used to be, and the people who made it the most interesting are the people most easily driven off by the poseurs.

I have heard from former regulars that the proprietor(s) appear vastly incurious as to "why" this has occurred.

I don't really buy the theory that fighting is good for hits and to discourage it would be bad for the bottom line somehow because I don't think there's much of bottom line for Althouse besides self-esteem. I would easily believe this for other bloggers whose sponsors value hits of blog.

My favorite theory is an old one borrowed from academe: "The politics are so vicious because the stakes are so low.' It fits the academic meme going here.

JAL said...

Over on Instapundit the other day there was a discussion about the horror some folks feel at driving a minivan and the uncoolness of enjoying parenting. That led to some reader comments, and a link to an article about "Intensive parenting" ... (not to be confused with Chinese Mothers) ... or something.

The reader being quoted referred to "Free Range Parenting" and I laughed out loud. That's me, without the caps. ("Will you get out of the house please!")

We bought our first house because it had a creek running through the yard. The house wasn't much, but the creek ... I knew the kids would live in the creek.

:-)

AJ Lynch said...

It is a shame that Americans increasingly look to Washington DC to fix our problems. I think that tendency has become a dependency and is the cause of many of our problems. THe Beltway churns out bad idea after bad idea in an effort to make everyone's life safe & boring and without any risk.

A blog,this blog, is interesting when commenters, from all over, share different stories, experiences and anecdotes from their part of this very big country. If the present trend continues, one day, the entire country may resemble one big national cookie cutter franchise.On the bright side, we will all be covered by crappy healthcare and be in the same Ponzi scheme [social security].

Bottom line re this blog, Althouse is not your babysitter or your internet censor or your personal concierge for free & fun blogertainment. If you are tired of her blog, stay away or do like Roger J. and act all mortified and above the fray at least once a month.

Ann Althouse said...

"I have heard from former regulars that the proprietor(s) appear vastly incurious as to "why" this has occurred"

That is, of course, an irrational opinion to maintain.. If they are off somewhere saying that, they are not talking to me. How presumptuous to assume I have no analysis of the situation! Do they think I would talk about them here on the blog, when they are not here? Perhaps they are incurious if it has not occurred to them that there's no good reason for me to do that.

Ann Althouse said...

People wh o imagine I do things for the "hits" may very well be people who can't understand why they don't have more readers.

Freeman Hunt said...

I have heard from former regulars that the proprietor(s) appear vastly incurious as to "why" this has occurred.

Why don't they just come and say why it's occurred? Why is the onus on Althouse to track them down, especially when that would be extremely intrusive?

"Dear Commenter,

Why aren't you visiting my blog as much as you used to?"

That would be weird. Very.

Freeman Hunt said...

Bottom line re this blog, Althouse is not your babysitter or your internet censor or your personal concierge for free & fun blogertainment. If you are tired of her blog, stay away or do like Roger J. and act all mortified and above the fray at least once a month.

Ha ha.

AJ Lynch said...

Do any of these commenters ever define what "the hits" even means in dollar & cents to the average website? Commenters say "for the hits" often yet I bet most could not quantify the significance of 100 versus 100,000 hits per month. I admit I can't. And actually, it's no one's business anyway. If you don't like the food or the service at a restaurant, don't eat there. But you usually dont blame the owner's profit "for the hits" motive for the bad food or service.

Freeman Hunt said...

I especially like a lot of those former regulars, but I've never understood their beef with Althouse. It's never made sense to me.

If you want a tightly controlled commenting environment, this ain't it. So what? Other places have that. This blog is what it is.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Freeman. Yeah, its really a bit creepy to think of them brooding over my failure to try to understand them. Life goes on, with the people who are here. The sense that the past was golden and these kids today are so much worse than we were is a common mental distortion. In my view, whether the past was better or not, we live in the present, and we should love that.

c3 said...

IMHO, commenters who rant against the unkindness/inappropriateness of other commenters are boring.

And that is the ultimate sin, being boring.

In hearing background about Mr. Loughner, one classmate states that he had had several disturbing outbursts in class. If true, I would hope someone not only expressed to him concern but also to someone else who might intervene.

So 1jpb I agree that "ranting" does little good. But stating the obvious as many did during these awful comment threads is worthwhile.

c3 said...

And as for the picture, what is it about a bright winter day that feels cold?

There's something about the light, particular late in the afternoon.

Penny said...

We agree,c3.

Do you suppose that latitude and attitude need further study?

HDHouse said...

I'm too tired of all this to write out the code...http://www.opusonemedia.blogspot.com/2011/01/sorrowful-songs-representative-giffords.html...

let's tone down the rhetoric everyone.

Clyde said...

How about those Seahawks! Nobody gave them a chance of winning, but they went out and knocked off the defending Super Bowl champs. I was talking with my dad at lunch on Friday and while we agreed that a Seahawks win seemed unlikely, I told him, "Any given Sunday... or in this case, any given Saturday." I'd love to see them run the table, although winning again next week will again be unlikely. Go Seahawks!

Pogo said...

I should be insulted, or at least chastened.

Apparently I am not interesting enough to have left in a huff, or rued those Better Times. Alas, not of the Golden Age, just along for the ride.

So be it. I still learn quite a lot at Althouse, and it remains fun for me. Perhaps I get more from it than I contribute, but such are my limitations.

And Mr. Eastwood warned I must know mine. Regardless, my apologies to our hostess, Meade, and readers all.

Clyde said...

@ Freeman Hunt @ 10:52

That sounds almost like the stuff I see in the mail that companies send to customers; I saw several last week from the local casino. They usually say something like "We miss you" although in truth it's more like "We miss your money."

c3 said...

Do you suppose that latitude and attitude need further study?

Isn't that a jimmy Buffet song?

This would be nice right about now

Freeman Hunt said...

I would argue that it's better now than before. There are so many excellent commenters now who weren't around before.

Penny said...

"I should be insulted, or at least chastened."

No need to run off, Pogo.

May I suggest a broad chest?

If you don't come by one naturally, Instapundit's salon may pump you up?

Irene said...

I agree, Freeman.

Pogo said...

Maybe I'll just leave in a huff for like a half hour every day.

Revenant said...

I really and truly despise AlphaLiberal.

Meh.

The Crack Emcee said...

Happiness Is A Warm Gun - Bang Bang, Shoot Shoot (Lenin Always Got It Right On The Money)

One of my superior contributions.

Carl Vero said...

Kudos to Ms Althouse for sharing such a wonderfully tranquil scene, contrasting nicely with the political playground.
Information control is wrought with hazards. Some liberal media outlets received their talking points memo before the Tucson shooting broke in the news. Soon they won't recall that, which raises a variant of a pertinent question from the Iran-Contra scandal; 'When did you remember that you'd forgotten?'
Info out of Tucson is so adeptly contained that even MSM are complaining about the scant trickle. At least Obama dispatched FBI Director Mueller to Arizona to lead the investigation, that political savvy REMFs can process the public image.
The liberals blame game is playing out so well that the main message might be obscured; Blue Dogs should toe the party line.

Almost Ali said...

How "crazy" is Jared Lee Loughner?

Well, he's refusing to cooperate with the authorities and has invoked his Fifth Amendment rights. Doesn't sound too "crazy" to me.

Almost Ali said...

How "crazy" is Jared Lee Loughner?

NYT: "Mr. Loughner had exhibited increasingly strange behavior in recent months, including ominous Internet postings — at least one showing a gun — and a series of videos in which he made disjointed statements on topics like the gold standard and mind control." Link

Yup, sounds really, really "crazy."

AllenS said...

Meade said...
A little secret about Alpha Liberal: He isn't a liberal at all. His whole schtick is to make all liberals look bad

Nonsense. AL knows exactly what he's doing. He's here solely to disrupt the conversation. I used to think that Titus wasn't homo, because of the same schtick, but since you and The Althouse Woman have stated that he's one of the best commenters because, evidently, he expresses outrageousness, or performance art, or some such silly nonsense is why there is an Alpha Liberal, Florida, Loafing Oaf et al.

HDHouse said...

...Arizona......

AllenS said...

Liberals see violence even if there is absolutely no fucking evidence of it:

"I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base." -- Hillary Clinton

shoutingthomas said...

I cannot help but comment on my own post.

This strange, self-serving crap that Althouse hatched over white guilt is the reason that politics is completely useless.

Althouse really is an intellectual, and I'm sure a very competent intellectual in her field of endeavor.

When it comes to politics, she just another yokel (as we all are) struggling to find a way to play everything to her own advantage so that she gets more swag.

She's good at it, too.

tim maguire said...

Allen, I like Titus too. His posts are performance art of some sort, and he's an enjoyable twist to the semi or wholly serious stuff the rest of us post (and I have not once seen him attack someone else or defend himself here, he just does his thing).

I think Paddy is right that the level of discourse is not as high as it once was. But it would be improved greatly if people could learn to ignore the trolls.

All too often, a thread starts off fine, then AlphaLiberal or one of her fellow travelers shows up spewing hateful nonsense and the thread is quickly derailed as too many people can't help arguing with her.

Over time, people started to anticipate the arrival of the trolls and o that the thread often spun off even before they got here.

We all know who and what these people are, nobody thinks they're talking sense, so there's no need to refute their posts. And yet we can't help ourselves.

Just stop responding to them and they'll get bored and go away. Make them the focus of the thread and they win.

rhhardin said...

Alpha Liberal I assume is aware of his rhetorical effect.

I don't get the strategy though.

AllenS said...

I have to question your judgment concerning his posts are performance art of some sort because of your inability to see the art that was expressd in the video of the father and his daughter whistling and singing, the other day.

Freeman Hunt said...

and a series of videos in which he made disjointed statements on topics like the gold standard and mind control.

Yes, that does sound crazy.

k*thy said...

I still learn quite a lot at Althouse, and it remains fun for me. Perhaps I get more from it than I contribute, but such are my limitations.

Same here, but switch out "Definitely" for "Perhaps".

Freeman Hunt said...

Anyone who is doubting that the killer was insane might want to take a peek at his YouTube videos.

I've only watched one, and that was enough.

Paddy O said...

"Life goes on, with the people who are here. The sense that the past was golden and these kids today are so much worse than we were is a common mental distortion."

Indeed. I don't know if my comment was a mental distortion, though it may be, I suppose. More like a person who studies history and theology. I'm curious about the past, not because it's a golden age we should replicate, but because the problems of the past were different than those of today. It was much more of a curious question than a complaint.

I honestly don't think there's anything to be done. Commenters come in different waves. Trying to make it so rigid as to have a single preferred type takes away the freedom, and requires far too much work. It is what it is.

And there certainly are a lot of interesting people here, who bring a lot of wisdom, insight and special knowledge to topics.

So, maybe what I was expressing was more wistful than complaining, as I surcame to an idealistic longing of some never achieved past thread.

Mostly, I think I was just frustrated by the Giffords' threads. Not because of the comments, but just because the partisanity became just so boring and predictable in its non-conversation.

"Apparently I am not interesting enough to have left in a huff, or rued those Better Times. Alas, not of the Golden Age, just along for the ride."

You and me, both, Pogo. I've tried to leave in a huff a few times, but this blog really lacks a door to slam or a phone to angrily hang up. So I wander back... still interested...

tim maguire said...

Oh Allen, that fairly simple post of mine has gone on to be one of my most misunderstood. I never commented on the art aspect of it, did I?

Pogo said...

".. a door to slam or a phone to angrily hang up"

Perfect!
The internet needs sound effects.

"...frustrated by the Giffords' threads. Not because of the comments, but just because the partisanity"
Me, too. The rush to pin blame on one side or another was here and in the media and by some officials says quite a lot.

Some of it was done to refute any association, and avoid partisan blame. I suppose it's a good thing that no one wants this guy on their team.

But it makes me fearful as well. We seem to be at a crisis point in history, where things could change very quickly, set off even by a minor event, like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand before World War I.

It's a lack of leadership, for one thing. The US is acting like a hydra, pulling in multiple directions, each head biting at the other. There is no calming voice, no reassurance, no vision, no hopefulness.

Not yet.

Pogo said...

tim maguire's 8:24 was wonderful.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think Paddy is right that the level of discourse is not as high as it once was."

It's very hard to compare the past with the present. The mechanisms of memory are selective, and you preserve the good things in a special way. The dross of the past is forgotten. The old posts are there. Go back to 2005 or 2006 and find at random a post with a long comments thread. Research outside of your own memories and feelings. I think you remember some characters, some of whom are gone but some remain. We have some new people now who are also great characters. For example we have The Crack Emcee.

Meade said...

Pogo said...

Maybe I'll just leave in a huff for like a half hour every day.

Pogo gold.

Paddy O said...

The old posts are there. Go back to 2005 or 2006 and find at random a post with a long comments thread.

See, Frozen playgrounds are the ideal environment to think about getting an ice core

Paddy O said...

Not that this is a long thread, but it is a post worth remembering, at the very least: The Gender Mysteries of Don Knotts, from early 2006.

In heaven, Crack Emcee and Sippican Cottage and VBSpurs and sane Downtownlad and Simon and Sir Archy and single Ann and married Ann and so many others will all comment on the same thread.

Almost Ali said...

Anyone who is doubting that the killer was insane...

Of course he's "insane," insane enough to have been duped into action. But not so "insane" that he'll give up the ghost.

So far this is playing out like a cheap novel, particularly the selection of the 2nd man - whom I suspect will be rather promptly exonerated.

Difficult cases always bring out the biggest lies. And I believe FBI Director Mueller flew to Arizona to solidify and promote an official lie: Crazy, lone gunman. Very, very "crazy," lone gunman.

Meanwhile, I'd be on the lookout for an army of very "crazy" lone gunmen.

Pogo said...

Meade made my whole day.

Now I will leave for an hour and a huff.

HDHouse said...

well Almost Ali...there's one....there's another...look over there!! another!...and that one behind the tree and that one on the grassy knoll....look over there, look up in the sky...is that a bird? a plane?

Your post are the seeds of conspiracy as you are ready to believe nothing when this is solved. there is NO reasonable explanation for a murder and a murderer.

stay perfectly still. don't move move a muscle. if you blend in there is every chance it will pass right by you and .....

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

It's just rock and roll. But I like it.

Well it may not be "just" rock and roll, but rather "only" rock and roll instead. But I like it too.

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

Trooper York said...
..not as good as when some of the posts with people like Ruth Anne, Michael H, Simon, Darcy, and Theo were contributing every day.

Viva la Twitter--and your blog too!

Almost Ali said...

HDHouse,

Is the [lone] shooter "insane," or simply crazy?

Meanwhile, when was the last time the FBI solved a crime, that is, as opposed to creating dozens and dozens of paper-pushing careers?

Anyway, let's just watch it play out, you know, with all the nuance of broken down jalopy.

Almost Ali said...

Re: particularly the selection of the 2nd man - whom I suspect will be rather promptly exonerated.

Talk about "prompt," I barely had time to get the word out of my mouth:

NYT: "The second man that the authorities were seeking was a cabdriver and not involved in the shooting, according to the Pima County sheriff."

Moral: Mueller to Pima County Sheriff: It was a 'lone' gunman, understand?

And "'Cheap' novel" was an understatement.

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