December 28, 2006

In a glitzy but filtered place.

I'm here at my car dealer's getting a glitch in the window fixed. Yesterday, I got in my car -- an Audi TT Coupe -- and saw that the driver-side window was down an inch. It refused go up. The service guy on the phone said it needed to be reprogrammed. How could it get unprogrammed? I asked. He didn't know. Cars aren't mechanical so much anymore. They have their own minds, and they make their own decisions. In the future, look out. That thing might do... who knows what? If it can think, no, I want to keep the window cracked at all times, what else might it decide to do? I know, there are 12 Stephen King books I haven't read on this theme.

Anyway, the new Zimbrick European is pretty glossy. Get your special Quattro Starbucks coffee...

Audi showroom

And sit down in the lounge or -- I like it here -- at this work station...

Audi showroom

See that convertible? That's what I'm getting when my lease on the coupe expires. But not silver. What's with all the silver? Everyone wants a silver car, the service guy informs me. Enough with the silver! And enough with the roof.

Well, get to work. There's WiFi here, but it won't let me get to Blogger to post or even to read my blog. ("Your organization's Internet use policy restricts access to this web page at this time. Reason: The Websense category 'Message Boards and Clubs' is filtered.") But I can read blogs that don't have comments. Hmmmm. I'd like to upload these photographs but I can't get to Flickr. ("The Websense category 'Personal Network Storage and Backup' is filtered.") And I can't get to BloggingheadsTV -- no streaming media -- and I can see that Mickey Kaus is saying that he took Bob Wright to task for going easy on Andrew Sullivan. I definitely want to see that when I can. I've watched the Bob & Andrew Show and found Andrew insufferable. Frankly, I have little patience for just about anyone who fancies himself a theologian, but what on earth makes Andrew Sullivan think he's credible as a theologian? The claim that Jesus speaks to him?!

• • •

Okay, I'm now in a place where I can get on the unfiltered web, so let's watch the part of The Bob & Mickey Show about Andrew. Noting that Bob pursued Andrew about Darwinian theory, Mickey says:
Why didn't you bring up that [Sullivan's] whole book was about wanting to rationalize gay marriage and to smite the opponents of gay marriage. And that is his Darwinian impulse that is underlying his whole very interesting, cogent theological discussion....

Having a discussion with Andrew Sullivan where you don't talk about gay marriage is ignoring the sexual drive that underlies human nature.
They get into a nice big fight about whether -- to put it more bluntly than they actually do -- Sullivan's theological posturings are all a manifestation of his sexual drive. "He's driven by his sexuality and the political dilemmas that puts him in as a conservative," says Mickey. Bob seems disgusted by the idea that everything a gay man thinks is driven by his sexuality. But Bob thinks everyone is always driven by sexuality, Mickey asserts. Bob wrote a book about that ("Moral Animal"). I wonder whether there's some reason to feel different about heterosexuals and homosexuals when it comes to making these big Darwinian claims. It's easy to say things about heterosexuals, but you worry that saying equivalent things about homosexuals is actually going to hurt people by stirring up hostility and prejudice. Mickey seems to realize this and throws in a "Not that there's anything wrong with that" as he glides on to the next subject.


Paddy O. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paddy O. said...

Frankly, I have little patience for just about anyone who fancies himself a theologian.

So what makes a person a theologian? Is anyone religious a theologian or does it require doing ministry?

A theologian is a lot like a musician I suppose.

Sullivan finds himself in a bad spot really. He has too much integrity not to realize there's two incompatible sides of him. So one side has to go. Some folks are willing to give up religion or give up what their religion considers a sinful behavior.

Sullivan, however, is unwilling to reject either side, so he has to reshape one or the other in order for him to maintain some semblance of inner coherence. This means he must make the intellectual attempt to reject the established religious theology by creating himself as the authority over that establishment. They who judge him he now judges.

The problem is he can only do so by avoiding the core subjects and players, depending on the ignorance of his primary audience to both see him as an authority and not be able to name a single credible, real, theologian.

On the other side Pat Robertson has established himself as an authority through much the same method.

Anonymous said...

Wow, should these comments be about cars or Sullivan? Personally, I find cars far more interesting.

I don't much care for silver either, but it sure is popular. A poster at a forum I frequent recently said she had to show her children how to make the windows go up on down in an old car by using the handles. I find that fascinating. I have a (newly re-engined) 1978 Mustang that is about as basic as you can get; it has a rear-window defroster, which is constantly failing and twice shorted out and shattered the window. Other than that, the only in-car navigation system is a map.

Goesh said...

You'll constantly be brushing your hair if you get a convertible

reader_iam said...


Clearly, Althouse subliminally is considering naming her new car Andrew, when the time comes.

Dear God, save us!

reader_iam said...

So fitting that the car in question is "convertible," given the theology references in this post.

It all hangs together!

reader_iam said...

Convertibles aren't actually "roofless", ploopusgirl. They're, well, convertible. And they still get dirty.

Betcha the autoworkers who help build the car model in questions are just as happy that someone can buy/lease one.

I find your comment sort of unappealing in its silliness (see above), but I wouldn't feel compelled to go over to your blog (if you have one, somewhere) just to tell you that.

Goesh said...

Good grief! Poopus has returned.

reader_iam said...

Oh, good--you caught the "rooves" thing, ploopusgirl. A sharp one, you are.

Kev said...

""Your organization's Internet use policy restricts access to this web page at this time. Reason: The Websense category 'Message Boards and Clubs' is filtered.""

Bleh. I do a little bit of private instruction in public schools, and I've all but given up on using their computers during breaks because of that Websense filter. Besides the Message Boards and Clubs thing (my experience is consistent with yours; I could read Instapundit from school, but not you or Dave Barry), it would also "censor" any banner ad which had, say, a good-looking woman in a bikini (Websense category: Pornography, Level 1. Acceptable level: 0).

There is one funny element to the web-filtering in my schools: If you try to navigate to a restricted page, it goes instead to a graphic of an old-fashioned-looking teacher at a desk (big hair, half-glasses perched on nose) wiggling an animated finger in your direction, as if to say "Uh, uh, uhhh!"

But it never crossed my mind that the filters the dealership has in place for its employees would also affect the customers using wi-fi.

Simon said...

I'm short of time today, but I have to catch this:

Paddy O. said...
"[W]hat makes a person a theologian? Is anyone religious a theologian or does it require doing ministry?"

I had thought that a theologian was a religious scholar - particularly someone who studies and writes about religious texts? I would have through that the theologian is to the religious man or the priest as the law professor is to the lawyer or the judge.

ShadyCharacter said...

ploopus writes: "LOL LOL LOL ono!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish that your sense of humor had matured in my absence though :< !"

Well, you could always give it another shot. I suggest you stay away another 6 months and then check back in on goesh's sense of humor.

Henry said...

Good grief! Poopus has returned.

reader_iam said...

Oh, Ploopus--you're just too fun to tweak. I mentioned the "rooves" thing only 'cause you deleted and reposted your comment to make that change while letting stand other stuff which you could have re-thought at the same time. I don't care about your typos, or whatever: I make them all the time, myself, in blog comments, which I consider more conversation than writing.

You brought up the "old people" in convertibles thing, which was just a gratuitous physical swipe. Why whine when people respond gratuitously in kind, to make that precise point about being "gratuitous"?

You brought up the economic/class issue, as well. I was suggesting that it's a bit more complex than what you were implying. Once again, why whine when people respond in a way similar to the way YOU first responded, to make a precise point about the way YOU responded?

You've got a goose/gander problem, and I'm not the one who created it for you.

(And yes, I took almost no time in composing this comment, though probably more time than it deserved. It doesn't bother me in the least if you spend 1.346 seconds, or whatever, on it. As for "fair"? Oh, that concept with regard to a blogosphere value gotten beaten out of me sometime last summer. I'm so over that.)

Goesh said...

P(l)oopus! Quit acting like a lippy stable wench. You have more to offer than sass and nettle.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...



emphasis left to the reader


Silver hides dirt, a great low maintenance investment. Before you buy, drive the car on the highway with the top down on a windy day. Modern ragtops are pretty good at deflecting wind but If I had to guess you're going to become a big fan of scarves or scarfs, heh.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Reader i am writes: "Clearly, Althouse subliminally is considering naming her new car Andrew, when the time comes."

What about Sully? Silvio and Sully. Then it won't matter what color it is. Except Sullivan is not a convert[ible], so it might not work.

Professor A: Was the coffee good? I haven't had much luck with coffee at car dealerships.

Joe Baby said...

We had the droopy-window problem on the convertible TT...on that model, the windows shift upward about an inch or so when the roof clicked into the closed position.

After awhile, the windows ceased doing the shift, which left an open gap while driving around. Made a nuisance of ourselves at the Audi shop, and even they got tired of dealing with it.

When the lease ran out, so did the problem.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Oh, and...

someone missed that post.

ploopusgirl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pogo said...

The convertible is a pretty design; one wants to touch it, drive it, and turn the radio up loud.

Ploopus, not only is Althouse the style manual of the Internet, Althouse is the the judge, jury, and executioner for lazy, argumentative, and ignorant posts. And you've been yellow-carded.

(For example, your economics class-tease about carwashes is so bad it's funny. It makes no sense whatsoever, and is so far from how the world actually works, I suspect you copied it from some goofy socialist pamphlet from 1971. Doofusses of the world, untie! )

reader_iam said...

I Am In Awe!

(Intoned thunderously, of course.)

What I meant was that you can either be a rabid, kneejerk defender of Althouse, or a casually disinterested browser. Not both.

How about neither?

reader_iam said...

For the record, I think people in convertibles with the tops down (or off, as the case may be) should wear shorts.

I simply cannot defend Althouse's blanket position on shorts--in fact, I oppose it!--so I choose, instead, to avert my eyes when she goes off wrongheadedly on that topic.

ASX said...

The car didn't "think," first of all.

Second of all, it didn't think "I want to keep the window cracked," and it did not "decide" anything.

You're personifying.

The car's computer lost track of where the top of the window was. It keeps track of distance up and distance down. When you push the "up" button to raise your window, it raises it as much as it was lowered -- bringing it back flush with the frame.

But the window could have slipped within the mechanics, for example, causing the computer to lose track of where the top of the frame was.

This could (and does) happen even with fully mechanical devices.

Pogo said...

Re: "Lock the convertible in the garage, Althouse...etc."

Very weird. Very. Weird.

Are you perhaps typing every other word you think of, and leaving out the parts that actually lend coherence, like some particularly pointless performance art?
Or is your computer connection at fault, causing an intermittent Tourette-like transmission, resulting in posts that read like a poor translation from the original Slavic?

Or maybe your internet tubes are just plugged, and you need a good plunger and a flush? A little NetDrano might work. Let me know.

Joe said...

Car colors have historical background. Pre WWII, Formula One racers incorporated national colors - British Racing Green, French blue, Italian Red. Germany was traditionally white until the 3d Reich, where they went to silver. Audi and Mercedes both raced in F1. BMW of course was only making motorcycles at that time.

Joe said...

My bad. BMW built cars in the '30's but did not race in F1.

Dale B said...

Who the he11 is ploopus? I've been here for several years and don't remember the name. Maybe I wasn't paying attention, again.

My last two cars were silver. It's not that I like silver all that much but that silver's the best color to camouflage road salt and dirt. I'd prefer a darker color but then the car would only look nice for about two blocks after I leave the car wash.

Maybe that's why ploopusgirl brought up the car wash.

The TT rag top is available with the 3.2 liter, 256 hp V6 quattro AWD, if you feel like parting with the extra dollars. This setup is an awesome car to drive.

Ann, is your RSS feed still working? All the Blogger feeds to Bloglines were down yesterday but all were back up this morning, except for a couple, yours included.

Ann Althouse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gerald Hibbs said...

There are no filters for the savvy. One simple solution is to go to a proxy website such as Enter your desired url into the form and the website will filter the banned website through their own website.

al said...

The TT ragtop is a sweet looking car. There is one in the lot at work. Belongs to a 50-ish Physics PHd who smiles every time she walks out to it. I imagine it's a nice decompression chamber.

As for silver - my first new car (~25 years ago) was silver and when the paint was damaged it was near impossible to match properly. This car begs to be bright red.

S.T. Steiner said...

I posted this back in August when we were talking about Katrina.


"was du nicht willst was man dir tut, das füg auch keinem andern zu"

Seek help, if you don't understand.

Ann Althouse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Derve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
amba said...

To pretend all that never happened . . . (it was like watching a shadow-boxing match)

Anyone who takes a Darwinian line about people being driven by their sexuality will stumble over the Darwinian arguments surrounding homosexuality (in itself it's not conducive to reproduction -- though perhaps the taboo against it is, as it forces homosexuals to reproduce heterosexually as a disguise -- thus ironically passing on any genetic predisposition to homosexuality that may exist). So there has to be some other indirect advantage for a Darwinian explanation to hold. If you are one of those people who thinks that survival and reproduction of the fittest must ultimately explain the existence of everything. Saying that God created gays would seem simpler, to me -- after all, God's an unaccountable fellow, er, being, and could have created gays out of boredom with heterosexuals, or just to stir up trouble . . . to freak out fundamentalists . . . It's more fun to speculate about that than about the laboriously indirect Darwinian advantages of any "gay gene."