September 20, 2018

"'Piano & a Microphone 1983' contains nine songs that were recorded on a cassette at [Prince's] home studio..."

"... the year before 'Purple Rain' would multiply the size of his audience. It’s just Prince on his own (with an engineer) for about 35 minutes, brainstorming while tape ran, segueing from song to song until it was time to turn over the cassette.... The album feels like eavesdropping, as Prince the songwriter delves into nuances and Prince the pianist cuts loose. He’s exploring and playing around, not constructing taut commercial tracks.... The album includes familiar songs (a brief excerpt from 'Purple Rain'), B-sides ('17 Days,' which was the B-side of the single 'When Doves Cry' in its band version), album tracks ('Strange Relationship,' 'International Lover'), covers (Joni Mitchell’s 'A Case of You,' the gospel standard 'Mary Don’t You Weep'), and previously unreleased songs and sketches ('Wednesday,' 'Cold Coffee & Cocaine' and 'Why the Butterflies.')... For Prince, it was just another night in the studio, an unfinished rough draft he saw no reason to release. Now that he’s gone, it’s a glimpse of a notoriously private artist doing his mysterious work."

Writes Jon Pareles (NYT).

You can buy "Piano & a Microphone 1983" at Amazon — here.

Christine Blasey Ford communicates that she “would be prepared to testify next week" on "terms that are fair and which ensure her safety."

The NYT has obtained the letter from her lawyer to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But the letter also says that a Monday hearing "is not possible and the Committee’s insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event" and — backing off from an earlier demand — that Blasey just has a "strong preference" for an F.B.I. investigation before she testifies.

"The 33-year-old Kipchoge, who is 5 foot 6 and weighs 115 pounds, had run 26 straight, blazingly fast, 4-minute and 38-second miles."

"I’ve always said of world-class marathon times like this that if I didn’t know it could be done, I wouldn’t believe it was possible to run that fast for that long. 'It was a performance so far superior to anything we’ve seen before that comparing it to another marathon feels inadequate,' the running-news website said of Kipchoge’s new record. 'This was Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in basketball, Usain Bolt’s 9.58 in the 100-meter dash.... Kipchoge’s run was so remarkable it’s hard to give it its proper due... In today’s age of hyperbole, this run deserves every accolade said about it. The lower the world record gets, the harder it is to be broken, and the less it should be broken by. Yet Eliud Kipchoge just broke the world record by more than any man in the last 41 years, and he ran the last 10 miles by himself.'... If I didn’t know that Kipchoge had run a marathon in 2:01:39, I wouldn’t believe it was possible. But now that I know he’s done it, I believe I’ll still be running marathons when someone—possibly Kipchoge himself—runs 26.2 miles in less than two hours."

Writes Vernon Loeb in The Atlantic.

"We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law."

"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men — not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular."

I'm reading "Edward R. Murrow: A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy/See it Now (CBS-TV, March 9, 1954)" not because I was looking for old content that resonates with current troubles. I found it because I was looking for a recording of Edward R. Murrow's voice:

The reason I wanted to hear Murrow is that — as I sit at my desk — I'm overhearing the television news, and some of the voices annoy me. There's a modern way of speaking that is informal and often harsh and strangled. I said out loud that I wished they'd get vocal training, but immediately realized that the trained, open, resonant voice I was thinking of would seem old-fashioned and radically uncool.

Then I had my idea. Feel free to steal it and make this for me: A cable news channel with old-school voices, like Edward R. Murrow's. Embrace the uncoolness.

I think this could be very popular, because I see how much people of today love to listen to The Report of the Week ("Review Brah"). Here's his newest:

Like many people, I love listening to this man talk. I don't care what he talks about. Often it's fast-food items that I would never eat, but I like to listen. Get some new people like that, and it's a plus if they're unconventional looking. Review Brah is proof that it doesn't matter how you look if you figure out an approach to visual style that's neat, clean, and retro.

Can I get that in a cable news channel? And while you're at it, you who are stealing this idea I am trying to foist on you, please use language in the more literary, elevated style exemplified by Murrow... and Review Brah.

Remember that we are not descended from fearful men —not from men who feared to write, to speak...

"Her dress of sleazy silk was bright burned orange painted with black sail-boats sailing over purple trees and red football players playing over steeples and..."

"... white skiers skiing over sail-boats cascading to the hem and locked acrobats, the entire field of outdoor sports, it seemed, being on her body, for her scarf was painted with spidery tennis players and tennis nets and ice-skaters skating on silver ponds and red polo riders riding red horses, and there were little footballs hanging from her charm bracelets, tennis rackets and ice-skates and golf clubs and numerous other trophies, some of field and stream, satin fishes running around the hem of her chiffon petticoat edged with yellow lace, butterflies embroidered upon the keens of her thin silk stockings…"

From "Miss MacIntosh, My Darling," a 1198-page novel written by Margurite Young, published in 1965, quoted in "The Most Unread Book Ever Acclaimed," a Paris Review essay by Meghan O’Gieblyn, who actually read the whole thing and recommends that anyone hoping to read it should "abandon all hope of destination" and "Accept that the bus is going nowhere." That's not a metaphor. There's actually a bus: "A young woman, Vera Cartwheel, is traveling by bus through southern Indiana, looking out at an endless expanse of gray mist." She's wearing the dress you see described in the sentence partially quoted above.
The description of her dress does not end there. More sports are named. It’s hard not to feel that something has gone wrong; the record is skipping; whoever was manning the controls has stepped out for a cigarette—or a very potent joint. Why must the pattern contain every conceivable sport? Would not three, or four, or a dozen, have been enough? In a similar vein, one might ask why there needs to exist ten thousand types of birds or 350,000 species of beetles....

Racializing the confrontation between Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh.

I think we've got a confrontation between 2 individuals whose lives got launched within lovely economic advantage. Both of them, as far as I can tell, are life-long elite. The dispute is deeply (and shallowly!) gendered.

I say "deeply" because — whatever happened between these 2 young people — we need to contemplate how the subordination of women can happen and the psychological burdens that arise out of the complexities of sex and the fear of violence.

I say "shallowly" because there is a political, partisan game going on, and the serious questions are getting appropriated and exploited for political power.

I'd like feminism to operate independently: I'm a believer in the separation of feminism from partisan politics. But I don't expect the world to arrange itself around my belief. So I'm just an observer and a writer in a style I call "cruel neutrality." I've been writing about the gender politics of the Blasey/Kavanaugh matter. And I'd add class politics, because we're dealing with the elite and the political community reacting to and serving the needs of the elite.

But to drag in racial politics when everyone is white is blatant confusion and misappropriation of racial problems, which are important on their own and don't deserve to be tossed in with every other problem.

I'm reading, "Joy Behar Accuses 'White Men' on Senate Judiciary Committee of Protecting 'Probably Guilty' Kavanaugh" (IJR): "These white men, old by the way, are not protecting women... They're protecting a man who is probably guilty."

I know, she also said "old" and "probably guilty." Maybe Behar prefers a shotgun approach. Something might hit.

Is it just Behar? The Free Beacon presents it as a standard talking point: "MSNBC and CNN anchors and reporters are fixating on the optics of Republican 'white men' on the the Senate Judiciary Committee publicly questioning a woman who has accused Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault." Many examples at that link ("Once again, it will be all white men on the Republican side of the Judiciary Committee...," "It is a lineup of white guys over the age of 50," "Are these Republican white men essentially going to ask her if she's telling the truth?," "worst-case scenario for a bunch of white men...," "a bunch of white men once again defending another white man"). The woman is white, and white men have been defending white women for a good long time, often to the disadvantage of black men.

This is a despicable talking point, deliberately and eagerly inciting racial discord over something that isn't racial. Why not spend a little less time on this one news story and forefront some stories that really are about race? I'm sure we haven't run out of them.

McDonald's buys cure to viral criticism for $50,000.

Pranksters do a great job of identifying themselves as the place to put the money to gain absolution.

So everybody wins. Right? Everybody feels good. Even Ellen.

"Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has agreed to contribute $10 million to women's organizations but will not face any other punishment..."

"... stemming from what NBA commissioner Adam Silver called 'disturbing and heartbreaking' allegations of harassment and violence toward female employees within the organization, the league announced Wednesday. The NBA launched an investigation seven months ago following a Sports Illustrated report in February which described 'a corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior' that spanned decades in the Mavericks' organization... 'First, just an apology to the women involved,' Cuban told ESPN. '... This is not something that just is an incident and then it's over. It stays with people. It stays with families. And I'm just sorry I didn't see it. I'm just sorry I didn't recognize it.' While Cuban himself was not cited in any of the incidents of harassment or misconduct, the NBA said that he didn't pay enough attention to the business culture within the Mavericks' organization...."

ESPN reports.

We were just looking at the 2020 election odds, and Cuban was on the list, with 50-1, trailing Beto O'Rourke.

And here's a post from February 2017, "Trump is trying to figure out who's going to run against him in 2020":
It's really hard to figure out:
Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, asked consultants to scour the backgrounds of four outspoken Democrats — Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, two sources close to the administration said....

The White House believes both Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are “too old” to mount a serious campaign three years from now, sources said....
Have we ever had such a vulnerable President and so few credible contenders?

"I keep hearing that the Dems are trying to delay the vote on Kavanaugh with a view to defeating his nomination."

"Isn't it clear that delay advantages the Dems only if Kavanaugh is confirmed? The theory that explains every action the accuser and the Dems have taken is: they want the confirmation to occur as close as possible to the midterm elections in order to enrage the Dem base into turning out in huge numbers. If Kavanaugh is defeated close to the midterms, it is the GOP base that will be enraged into turning out. Same result (though likely to a lesser extent) if the Dems induce Kavanaugh to withdraw or delay the vote past the midterms. And Kavanaugh's confirmation will not move the Court so significantly to the right as to outweigh the potential advantage of controlling both houses of Congress. The Dems want Kavanaugh confirmed, under circumstances that will enrage the Dem base as much as possible, and as close to the midterm election date as possible. "

That's PJ in last night's open thread.

I disagree with "And Kavanaugh's confirmation will not move the Court so significantly to the right as to outweigh the potential advantage of controlling both houses of Congress," but there's a lot of interesting analysis about the goals and the timing that I think will get a good conversation started.

September 19, 2018

At the Wednesday Night Cafe...

... keep up the conversation.

The sex-ed teacher at Georgetown Prep had filled Mark Judge's "vocabulary with words like clitoris, orgasm, and ejaculation."

"What he hadn’t prepared me for was falling in love with a real person. To be sure, hormones were driving me to have sex with Donna. But it was also something more transcendent. As Saint Ambrose once put it, lovers embracing seem to be attempting to breathe their souls into each other. Again, rock ’n’ roll seemed to describe the powerful parallel world I was entering. Where my parents and their generation considered lovemaking a wonderful taboo not to be spoken of in detail, and [the sex-ed teacher] Mr. Ward reduced it to Marxism and moving parts, the songs I loved told me that it could be both—the swiveling hips of Elvis and the tender ballads of the Fab Four; the erotic dynamism of Little Richard and the moonlit romance of Van Morrison. To put it in theological terms, the music made the connection between agape, the love of God, and eros, physical desire. At night, from Joe’s room, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, the Allman Brothers, and the blues musicians he loved would serenade me with the wonder of love."

From "A Tremor of Bliss: Sex, Catholicism, and Rock 'n' Roll," by Mark Judge.


Mark Judge was the other boy in the room with Brett Kavanaugh and her, according to Christine Blasely Ford.

Do liberal media notice the elitism oozing from their discussion of the credibility of Christine Blasey Ford?

I'm overhearing the television, so I'm not going to link to anything, but I keep hearing the indicia of elite status — notably, that Blasey is a college professor.

I'm trying to think of how her allegations should be handled, and I want like cases to be treated alike. When will one allegation from long ago justify delaying the Senate confirmation process and the opening of new investigations?

The answer cannot be: when the accuser has elite status!

I'm thinking of how Paula Jones was denigrated 20 years ago. "If you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find," James Carville said famously.
[Carville] with Hillary's assent — set the tone on how the Clintons would treat women who dared accuse former President Clinton of sexual harassment....

[Paula Jones] wasn't fancy or rich, just a working woman sexually harassed by Bill when he was governor of Arkansas. But she was denigrated by Clinton's top advisers as "trailer park" trash, as someone so craven she'd crawl on dirt for the cash to slander Bill.

She was telling the truth. It was a straightforward sexual harassment case. If Bill had been a private-sector CEO, he'd have been fired.

But Hillary and Bill fought back, using the "nuts and sluts strategy," denigrating Jones and others, including Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and the intern Monica Lewinsky.
So what is the standard we are creating? How will we apply it in the future? I'm seeing analogies to Anita Hill, but how is Christine Blasey Ford like Anita Hill other than that she's challenging a Supreme Court nominee? Anita Hill worked with the nominee (Clarence Thomas) in a professional context. That was not in question. With Blasey, we only have her assertion that she was once in a room with Brett Kavanaugh. How will we treat other women who assert that they were once with the nominee? What is the principled plan that we can agree on?!

"How Connected Is Your Community to Everywhere Else in America?"

The NYT has an interactive map that lets you click on counties in the U.S. and see what other counties are connect to it through Facebook friending.
Even in Washington, D.C., nearly half of friendship links extend to people who live within 100 miles. Nationwide, in the average county, 63 percent of friendship links are that close, probably reflecting that many people on Facebook know one another through real-world sites like grade schools, colleges and offices....

If we were to divide the United States into two regions, merging counties that are most closely connected to one another, we would get a very simple map. It would not show the coasts versus the heartland, or red America versus blue America.

It would show, simply, all of the continental U.S. and Alaska in one region, and far-off Hawaii in the other. Divide the country further, and cohesive regions become clear at different scales. Northern Florida merges with southern Georgia. Texas and California splinter. Divide the country into 50 regions, and you get something that looks like how we might redraw our state borders to reflect the social worlds people in America inhabit today....
Go to the link to see that vividly depicted.

Does having a large head make you look short?

I'm thinking of this question a propos of Stormy Daniels's discussion of Donald Trump (blogged here). I've never thought about this question before, even though I have a large head, which I've only ever thought of as a problem when shopping for hats...

... which is the main point of that video. But I'm seeing some discussion from body-builders who worry about the distortion of perception from a large head: Your body will be perceived as smaller.

And here's a woman angsting over the opposite problem (in Elle, a fashion magazine):
I'm convinced that [my head is] too small for my body, and only if I'm at an impossible-to-maintain weight (for me that would be 123 pounds for my 5'7" height) do I look balanced....
Hmm. There's a benefit to having a large head. You can weigh more. (Also factor in the added weight of the head itself!)
Actors are known to have large heads, which are thought to translate better to the screen, and the actress as determiner of beauty ideals has never been stronger....

"Hmm," [says casting director Meredith Tucker], "I saw Carey Mulligan in The Seagull on Broadway and thought, Here's this amazing actress, but she'll never make it on screen; her head is too small. Then she did. So I think it's a myth." She pulls away from the receiver to consult her associate. "Yes!" she hollers. "It is true." I hear the words "Philip Seymour Hoffman" in the distance....
Actors are big heads on the screen, and it doesn't seem to matter too much if they are short. Maybe it's preferable for them to be short. And once you get some shortish, big-headed actors in the movies, you don't want to bring in actors who will distract viewers into thinking about head size.
[T]he head, the female head in particular, it turns out, is a locus of much social meaning. Stanford professor Londa Schiebinger... tells me that... [c]apacious skulls were viewed as a sign of greater intelligence and thus the ability to reason. Women, who have smaller skulls than men on average, were said to have limited reasoning capacity, a belief presented during the suffrage era as an argument against our getting to vote. The theory hit an impasse when data grew and it became evident that women have proportionately larger skulls than men. But science in the service of the patriarchy found a way out. "Who else has proportionately larger heads?" Schiebinger asks. "Children! So this became a way of labeling women as more childish than men, rather than smarter."

One could argue that figures such as Betty Boop were a particularly reassuring sex symbol. As unchallenging and loving as babies. Have I not always coveted a bouffant, or at least more hair, because it inflates the head and helps achieve the sexy baby effect?....
The sexy baby effect... That doesn't sound right.

Nate Silver creates anxiety and allays it.

'It sounded like you said 'robot waffles.'"

Me, responding to Meade, who re-articulated: "'Robot brothels.' They're 'dehumanizing and dangerous.'"

Me, looking for the link to whatever he's reading: "Are you really reading 'dehumanizing and dangerous'?" Because I was Googling that phrase and not finding the article. Suddenly: "Oh! It's in a British paper!"

The headline in The Sun: "BAD BOTS Sex robots BACKLASH as brothel workers reveal fury over ‘dehumanising and dangerous’ droids."

Me, looking at the photograph and laughing: "It's funny how they look standing up because they're trying to make room between their legs."

But don't worry, guys, the robot woman won't laugh at you.

Another angle on The Era of That's Not Funny.

Isn't this how we know Bill Clinton exposed himself to Paula Jones?

"When Daniels came out of the bathroom, she claims Trump was lying on the bed in his underwear. They had sex. She then describes his genitalia in great detail. 'His penis is distinctive in a certain way,' she writes. Proof, her attorney Michael Avenatti says, she is tired of being called a liar by Trump’s people."

From "CNN’s Jake Tapper Dedicates Segment to Trump’s Penis" (Breitbart).

Oh, look! It's Roseanne. 1998. Dragging out the penile details:

Is the woman lying? To ask the question is to express a desire for corroborating evidence. If the offense is sexual, I'm afraid the evidence might trigger your ickiness reaction. Too bad! How would you like it if you stopped by to see the governor and he whipped it out, erect, and said "kiss it"? You're only hearing about it, not suffering through it.

From "Clinton scandal: Privates on parade as sex harassment case turns ugly" (November 7, 1997):
[Paula Jones's] lawyers have... named... women believed to be former girlfriends of the President, including Gennifer Flowers. She is the woman named during the 1992 election campaign as his long-time mistress, who has steadfastly refused to speak against him.

The strategy is two-fold: to show "a pattern of behaviour" in Mr Clinton's past and to demonstrate the veracity of an affidavit Ms Jones reportedly swore when she first brought her case three years ago that could prove her case. In the affidavit, Ms Jones apparently describes "distinguishing characteristics" of Mr Clinton's "genital area".

Last month, it seemed the puzzle of the distinguishing characteristics had been solved, when newspapers quoted "sources" as saying she referred to a curvature of the President's erect penis - a phenomenon said to be caused by Peyronie's disease. The theory was backed up by more "informed sources" saying that Mr Clinton had been tested for this condition during his annual medical examination the previous week.
Did we ever find out if Bill Clinton is really bent like that? The Onion had the story in 2005: "Bill Clinton Finally Just Shows America His Penis." Funny, right? It was 2005, and #MeToo hadn't clicked in yet. But time's up now. And it's not funny anymore.

ADDED: You may have reached the end of this post with the question what is "distinctive" about Trump's genitalia. And good for you if you didn't. What a fine person you are! If you did, you don't have to by Stormy's book to get the answer. The NY Post has it. Should I just send you there, or should I quote "He knows he has an unusual penis... It has a huge mushroom head. Like a toadstool…like the mushroom character in Mario Kart"?

Hillary, I will accept your good faith on this subject if you will do just one thing first: Denounce your husband.

I cannot watch the video without screaming at the screen. Having turned it off after a few seconds, I will blog from the text:
MADDOW: “If the Brett Kavanaugh nomination is now hurdling into the suns..."
"Hurdling" or "hurtling"? Is the nomination running on its own and jumping over obstacles or has it been thrown with great force?
"... which is what I think, and that’s just my take on it. I don’t know if that will be proven right or wrong, there is the question about how the Senate should handle this matter going forward. I mean, there is this screwy precedent now where Republicans would not let President Obama fill an opening on the Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Scalia for nearly a year until they got another shot at the White House in the 2016 election. Some Republican senators during the election campaign said that if you were elected in 2016, they fully intended to hold that seat open for all four years if necessary to give a Republican another shot at holding it. Given that extreme recent history, do you think that Democrats should play that kind of hardball too, be prepared to use those kinds of tactics so as not to be sort of the Patsy being pushed around on this, or do you think Democrats should just go through regular order with whoever Trump has to put up next if the Kavanaugh nomination fails?”
(Funny to capitalize "Patsy."*) But that's a great, well-framed question by Rachel Maddow. I just have a problem with the interlocutor, Hillary Clinton, who worked hard to push back the women who accused her husband. She has no credibility on this issue. Make her talk about Juanita Broaddrick first!
CLINTON: “What I would like to see is a democratic majority that actually has the chance to make that choice right now the Democrats have very few tools at their disposal to stop the Republicans from going full speed ahead and engaging in the kind of unprecedented behavior as they did with the Garland nomination. So I’m not in favor of either unilateral disarmament or Defcon-10."
I had to look up "Defcon-10." Urban Dictionary, with lots of down votes, says it means "awesome." Wikipedia has an entry for "Defcon," showing levels of military readiness that begin at 5, the lowest level, normal readiness, and go up to 1 — "maximum readiness," "imminent nuclear war."

Why would Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, say "Defcon-10"? What is that, one tenth of normal readiness?! Does she not know Defcon is a 5-point scale and that the lower the number, the more intense the situation? Saying "Defcon-10" is stupider than saying "It goes up to 11" or "I support him 1,000%," because she not only got the scale wrong, she had it going in the wrong direction.
"I think there has to be some effort to try to get back to regular order, try to get back to having a system, a process in place so that we are not subjected to the hardball behavior of the Republicans.... I mean, there can’t be one set of rules for Democrats and one set of rules for Republicans...."
That is, we need to play hardball, because they play hardball. We'd be foolish to unilaterally disarm.
That’s one of the reasons why people don’t have any confidence in the Congress. How can you? You don’t know what’s going to happen from day to day. I remember back in the Thomas hearing when senator bird...
Patsy Bird?!
... was asked what he was going to do....
"He" = him:
... and he said in a situation like this we should give the benefit of the doubt to the court and the country. And that’s what the Republicans should be doing right now, from the White House down Pennsylvania avenue to the Senate, give the benefit of the doubt to the court and the country. And that means have an investigation that will then lead to a hearing that will then lead to a vote if appropriate.
This is the new move of the Democrats: After Republicans acceded to a hearing, they demanded an investigation. To be followed by hearing. And with the words "a vote if appropriate," Hillary reveals the planned goal: There will never be a vote. Make that happen.
And instead, they are playing the hardest of hardballs...
They are playing hardball. You're playing, what? Rope a dope?
... to try to pack the court with, you know, another nominee, regardless of the questions....
Everyone is always trying to pack the Court. The other side will always have more questions. It's challenging to play from the down position, but the Democrats are trying. It's working pretty well too!

But do I need to hear from Hillary on this subject?

That's — and I'm choosing my words carefully — looney tunes.


* "Patsy" is a common noun. It means, to quote the unlinkable OED, "A person who is easily taken advantage of, esp. by being deceived, cheated, or blamed for something; a dupe, a scapegoat." But it originated as a proper noun, in the context of — surprise! — a minstrel show:
1889 H. F. Reddall Fact, Fancy & Fable 404 A party of minstrels in Boston, about twenty years ago, had a performance... When the pedagogue asked in a rage, ‘Who did that?’, the boys would answer, ‘Patsy Bolivar!’... The phrase..spread beyond the limits of the minstrel performance, and when a scapegoat was alluded to, it was in the name of ‘Patsy Bolivar’..the one who is always blamed for everything.
My favorite "patsy" quote is — "Patsy" being a nickname for Patti/Patty — something Patti Smith sang about Patty Hearst:
And I was standin' there in front of that flag
With a car bomb between my legs
You know, I felt so free of death beyond me
I felt so free, the F.B.I. is looking for me baby
But they'll never gonna find me, no
They can hunt me down like a dog
And I will stay on the run
And they can speculate what I'm feelin'
But daddy, daddy, you'll never know just what I was feelin'
But I'll tell you
I am no little pretty little rich girl
I am nobody's million dollar baby
I am nobody's patsy anymore
I'm nobody's million dollar baby
I'm nobody's patsy anymore
And I feel so free...
And now the F.B.I. is looking for Brett Kavanaugh... in the Democrats' dream. Well, 60 days ago, he was such a lovely child...

AND: I had a feeling I'd riffed on "patsy" before. Here: "Let's look at the word 'patsy' — used yesterday by Donald Trump to describe the United States" — back in 2015. Look how similar my stream of consciousness was, complete with Patti Smith. BUT: In the old post, I had Lee Harvey Oswald. That was suggested by Meade though, and didn't come out of my stream of consciousness. My stream got diverted.

A montage I'd like to see on YouTube: TV characters watching TV and talking about how TV is like or not like real life.

For example, in "Friends," the friends are watching TV, and the character Joey — who is an actor (played, of course, by an actor) — says: "It really hit me last night. I'm gonna be on 'Days of our Lives.' And then I started thinkin' about all of you, and how these are the days of our lives.”

That's from "The One With the Lesbian Wedding" in Season 2. As you may know, I've been given the box set of the complete episodes of "Friends" and I am watching them all. Here's the uncut script of that episode.

There must be a hundred examples of characters on TV watching TV and speaking as if they are real people and saying something about the TV/reality distinction, giving us the joke of seeing them on TV while we're here in reality. For all I know, there's a sitcom where the characters are watching that episode of "Friends" and hearing and commenting on that very line "these are the days of our lives."

Could somebody else collect all those examples and make a montage for me?

By the way, back in the 90s, that line would be called "going meta," and it was a very popular comic device. Maybe it got overused and trite and was largely abandoned, and I'm liking it in a kind of retro-throwback-ironic way. Nostalgic for going meta?! What a concept!

There's other going meta just in that episode. For example, Marlo Thomas is playing Jennifer Aniston's character's mother, and Marlo ("Mrs. Green") keeps enthusing about how she wants to live like her daughter ("Rachel") — single, free, in NYC. This involves getting a divorce from Rachel's father. Rachel says, "Couldn't she have just copied my haircut?" That's funny because in real life, the Rachel haircut was the rage. A photograph of Rachel was probably the most-shown-to-a-hairstylist photograph ever.

If you think too much about "going meta" you'll be ready to close the door on it again too. Go ahead, shut that door. It's over there. In the fourth wall.

Ever have one of those Facebook exchanges that make you think, I need to stay out of Facebook for a good long time?

I have!

I'm used to being the blogger, and readers come to me, and they comment here. Over on Facebook, I'm a passive reader and an occasional commenter. I do very bland posts of my own sometimes, mostly of the here's-how-Lake-Mendota-looked-today kind.

I should probably never comment on a political thread (other than my son John's posts, which are feel very much like a blog I'd love to read outside of Facebook). But I do sometimes see awful things that other people have written and feel called to say, for example, as I wrote yesterday (not on one of John's posts), "Eliminationist rhetoric. Humans visualized as insects. Is this where you want to go?"

The response I got from this person made me want to sign off Facebook and never look back.

IN THE COMMENTS: rhhardin said:
So there's some insect-related hot button so far unrevealed.
Thanks for prompting me to add my "insect politics" tag.