September 7, 2019

At the Man-of-Destiny Café...


... you can talk all night.


"The twelfth of May, 1796, in north Italy, at Tavazzano, on the road from Lodi to Milan. The afternoon sun is blazing serenely over the plains of Lombardy, treating the Alps with respect and the anthills with indulgence, not incommoded by the basking of the swine and oxen in the villages nor hurt by its cool reception in the churches, but fiercely disdainful of two hordes of mischievous insects which are the French and Austrian armies...."

ADDED: The play is "The Man of Destiny" by George Bernard Shaw (at The American Players Theater in Spring Green). There's another performance today at 1 pm, and I see one ticket available. There are 2 more performances, one of which is currently sold out and another, on the 28th — also a matinee — that has one ticket available. The "man of destiny" is Napoleon. As the play begins, Napoleon will be sitting at that table...
NAPOLEON (intent on his map, but cramming himself [with food] mechanically with his left hand). Don't talk. I'm busy.

GIUSEPPE (with perfect goodhumor). Excellency: I obey.

NAPOLEON. Some red ink.

GIUSEPPE. Alas! excellency, there is none.

NAPOLEON (with Corsican facetiousness). Kill something and bring me its blood.

GIUSEPPE (grinning). There is nothing but your excellency's horse, the sentinel, the lady upstairs, and my wife.

NAPOLEON. Kill your wife.

GIUSEPPE. Willingly, your excellency; but unhappily I am not strong enough. She would kill me.

NAPOLEON. That will do equally well.

GIUSEPPE. Your excellency does me too much honor. (Stretching his hand toward the flask.) Perhaps some wine will answer your excellency's purpose.

NAPOLEON (hastily protecting the flask, and becoming quite serious). Wine! No: that would be waste. You are all the same: waste! waste! waste! (He marks the map with gravy, using his fork as a pen.)
What? No Sharpie?

"Hey, liberals... you're the NRA of mayonnaise!... Fat shaming doesn't need to end. It needs to make a comeback" — Bill Maher.

"It's not just about being able to see your doctor. It's also about being able to see your dick."

"Being a black man in America means navigating the racism of the majority, but it also has to mean understanding how our position within our culture affords us power to stand over others in that culture."

Writes Stereo Williams in The Daily Beast.
Two of entertainment’s most successful and controversial comedians have faced recent criticism for their inability or unwillingness to recognize the latter. Dave Chappelle and Kevin Hart have both been at the center of PR nightmares as the result of remarks they’ve made about the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ issues. Those controversies were back under the spotlight recently. In August, Chappelle’s latest Netflix special, Sticks & Stones, reignited what feels like an ongoing back-and-forth between the comic and the audience he seems to revel in provoking. And Hart, during this week’s appearance on LeBron James’ HBO series The Shop, sparked an uncomfortable exchange when rapper Lil Nas X explained why he’d decided to come out just as he was breaking big with the No. 1 hit “Old Town Road.”
Here's the clip from "The Shop":

Hart was just in a serious car accident, so the response to this clip has been muted. But Hart said "Hate what? Why? Why are you growing up to hate?" when Lil Nas X brought up homophobia in the black community. Lil Nas X answers Hart: "Come on now, if you’re really from the hood, you know."

"These kids today... they don't know how to wield the privileges of youth like we did back in the day."

"You're old, so you don't matter — that worked for us Boomers when we were young, but it doesn't work against us now that we're old. For one thing, it's too damned easy to look up any term or slang expression or song lyric. Is there any arcana of youth that's not searchable on the internet?"

That's me, carrying on in the comments to yesterday's post "And yet this isn't 'fake news' problem. (It's just a fake opinion that's a waste-of-time problem.)" The "arcana" in question is the term "NPC."

Also in that comments thread, Ken B wrote:
Wait. You knew the NPC term, but didn’t twig to the satire? You, who boasted of her acumen in just exactly that? You who implied your critics were stupid because their satire detectors were slower than yours?
My response:

"Pressure from the platforms at least has people thinking, This is something I shouldn’t be posting."

"A change in desire to post about a high-status product has consequences. The value of a status symbol plummets when people decide to reconsider how they ascribe status. Maybe it takes a journey on a stationary bike to realize the spiritual gangster was inside you all along."

The last few sentences of "People Actually Quit SoulCycle/Most boycotts fail. Why does this one seem to be working?" by James Hamblin. The answer to that question seems to be that where you were doing the thing to show off, it's rather easy to stop when it doesn't work for showing off.

But is "spiritual gangster" a term I'm supposed to know? (It reminds me of "the gangster of love.")

I see, at the beginning of the article, that someone is wearing a shirt with the words "spiritual gangster." Ah, I've figured it out: Spiritual Gangster is a clothing brand and it's one of the brands that you can buy at the SoulCycle shop. At the Soul Gangster website, the name of the brand is explained with these words (in all caps which I am to lazy to retype to spare you annoyance):


Okay, but stop yelling.

And now I'm stuck researching the term "high vibration." Yes, it's a term of art and it's not sex-toy-related. Here you can amuse yourself by trying to determine if you have the problem of "low vibration"?

Do you have "no real direction" and "repress lots of toxic feeling" and "feel like you don’t really care what happens to you" and "spend much of your time complaining about things" and "have an argumentative conversation style"? Or do you "feel like you live in the present moment... grateful for the resources, people and experiences you have in life" and "find yourself laughing at multiple points every day"?

And here's "How to Become the Best Version of Yourself by Raising Your Vibration/8 things you can do to raise your vibration and live your best life." You know what you can do? "Stop complaining." "Have fun." Etc. And here are "21 Tips for Keeping a High Vibration – How to Keep Your Vibrations High."
Raising your vibration, and aligning with your full light and authenticity is how you open to a new level of abundance, clarity, certainty, and self-love. This is how you not only align with fulfillment, joy, love, and harmony in your life, but this is how you step into your role as a way-shower for humanity. This is how you step into your role, ushering in the positive change and the return to greater love, light, and balance on earth.
I was going to research "way-shower." Let's just say I stopped when I saw there were 568,000,000 results. I think I'll take my energy elsewhere.

New Zealand is trying to kill all its rats — "Predator Free 2050."

It's the non-native rat against the native birds.  When the rats first arrived — via ship in the 1200s — there were no mammals at all in New Zealand.

And yet if I put it in the post title, Google will demonetize this page. And you're (half) censoring it in your tweet! And The Atlantic censors it in its headline.

From "The F-Word Is Going the Way of Hell/In today’s world, slurs are the real profanity, not the use of an 'F-bomb' to describe a mass shooting":
Why, then, would clean-scrubbed former Representative Beto O’Rourke pop off with the likes of “What the fuck?” in response to an annoying question from a reporter after the shooting in El Paso? Or, after the shooting in Odessa, “We don’t yet know what the motivation is … but we do know this is fucked up."
It strikes me as particularly shallow to use the word in that context. But the correct answer to McWhorter's question is that Beto is desperate at this point. He's got to do something. That is emphatically not what McWhorter says:
O’Rourke’s “F-bomb,” then, was less a matter of swearing than his seeking a note of sincerity. The F-word these days may not be truly profane to many of us, but it remains potent, a way of indicating genuine feeling. That is a common note from O’Rourke, paralleled by his display of his Spanish-speaking skills during the first Democratic debate in June. Related to this sincerity is that his F-bomb was downright articulate: “We don’t yet know what the motivation is … but we do know this is fucked up.” The word untenable would have sounded too formal; problematic too weak; troubling too uncommitted; egregious too Mr. Mooney. “Fucked up,” combining pungency with a streak of impatient dismissiveness, conveys exactly the sentiment O’Rourke intended, as well as precisely the one his supporters share.
Sincerity! I'd've never thought of that.

ADDED: This made me wonder if Trump uses "fuck" in his public speech. I found "The Profanity President: Trump’s Four-Letter Vocabulary" from last May in the NYT.
In a single speech on Friday alone, he managed to throw out a “hell,” an “ass” and a couple of “bullshits” for good measure. In the course of just one rally in Panama City Beach, Fla., earlier this month, he tossed out 10 “hells,” three “damns” and a “crap.” The audiences did not seem to mind. They cheered and whooped and applauded....

“No one has debased the civil discourse in this country more than President Trump, and the president really does set the tone in the country,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California. “We see it reflected in our offices by the hateful, belligerent, obscene and violent calls that we get now that we didn’t used to get.”...
Schiff has a personal beef: Trump called him "little Adam Schitt."
[Trump] has either coarsened the public discourse or reflected it, or perhaps both, depending on your view of him, but he is not alone....

During a campaign event in 2000, George W. Bush was heard over a live microphone talking with his running mate, Dick Cheney, calling a Times reporter he did not particularly like a “major-league asshole.” In 2004, as vice president, Mr. Cheney told a senator on the Senate floor to “go fuck yourself.” His successor, Joseph R. Biden Jr., was overheard in 2010 using a variation of that profanity to tell Barack Obama what a big deal passage of health care legislation was.
Interesting that the Times saw fit to print Cheney's "go fuck yourself" and not Joe Biden's "This is a big fucking deal."

Neither Cheney nor Biden were making a public remark. Here's Biden:

The Times article doesn't have any examples of Trump publicly using the word "fuck."

There is kissing in baseball.

September 6, 2019

At the Friday Night Café...

... yes, there is a café at long last.

And yet this isn't "fake news" problem. (It's just a fake opinion that's a waste-of-time problem.)

I'd never heard of NPC, so I thought this was a serious opinion and wasted time on it. If it had been interestingly funny, it wouldn't have been a waste of time.

"All the world's a staged" [sic].

"Just days after Scarlett Johansson made headlines for defending Woody Allen... the director... said he still believes he should be the poster boy for the #MeToo movement..."

Hollywood Reporter reports.
"I've worked with hundreds of actresses [and] not one of them has ever complained about me, not a single complaint. I've worked with, employed women in the top capacity, in every capacity, for years and we've always paid them exactly the equal of men,” he said in an interview with France24. “I've done everything that the #MeToo movement would love to achieve.”...

Allen said that the fallout from Farrow's allegations has not affected his work and he doesn't fear being blackballed by Hollywood. “I couldn't care less. I've never worked in Hollywood. I've always worked in New York, and it doesn't matter to me for a second. If tomorrow nobody would finance my films and nobody would finance my theater plays or nobody would publish my books, I'd still get up and write because that's what I do. So I will always work. What happens to it commercially is another matter.... I haven't thought of retiring. I don't have to make movies. If people didn't want to finance my movies I would be very happy working in the theater, or writing books, but I like to get up and write. I don't like to get up and do nothing.”
Here's what Johansson said the other day:
"How do I feel about Woody Allen?... I love Woody... I believe him, and I would work with him anytime.... I see Woody whenever I can, and I have had a lot of conversations with him about it. I have been very direct with him, and he's very direct with me. He maintains his innocence, and I believe him.... It's hard because it's a time where people are very fired up, and understandably. Things needed to be stirred up, and so people have a lot of passion and a lot of strong feelings and are angry, and rightfully so. It's an intense time."

I'm reading Filthyratbag at the moment.

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A post shared by celeste mountjoy (@filthyratbag) on

Because I just read "What Thumbelina Meant to a Young Girl/The artist Celeste Mountjoy, also known as filthyratbag, retells the story of the very tiny lady, and how sympathies can shift as one grows older" (NYT).

Imagine having a name as cool as Celeste Mountjoy and coming up with a second name for yourself.

"I am a sick man. I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased. I am one of those fanatics on the alt-right and the alt-left..."

"... the ones who make online forums so vicious, the ones who cancel and call out, the minority of online posters who fill the air with hate. I’m one of those radicals whose rage is intertwined with psychological fragility, whose anger at real wrongs is corrupted by my existential panic about myself."

David Brooks understands you from the inside!

"To know anything about me you have to understand the chaos at the core of my innermost being. I was raised without coherent moral frameworks. I was raised amid social fragmentation and division, the permanent flux of liquid modernity...."

Mmm. Liquid modernity.

"I yearn for order. Blunt simplicities. Politics provides the Manichaean binaries I can’t find anywhere else, and so I make everything political. Own the libs! Smash the racist right! A war of pure good and pure evil. I crave the single narrative that will make everything clear: Everything is race. Everything is class. Everything is moral rot caused by godlessness. They say that fundamentalism is rigid and authoritarian. I say to them: Yes! I want fundamentalism. Please wrap me in that rigidity...."

Wrap me in that rigidity... Now, I'm getting distinctly uncomfortable, David. This fantasy of the inside of other people's head... it's unsettling. And the semi-concreteness of you metaphor bothers me. In my world, things used for wrapping — blankets, aluminum foil, tissue paper — are flexible.

"From the abstract vantage point of my computer screen, I see a world in which my opponents are elite oppressors and my kind are oppressed. They have their exclusive cliques and I am disdained. And here we get to the ultimate injustice: Why are they recognized while I am not? This is the molten core from which my indignation flows...."

Molten! We're getting back to liquid.

"So my politics is not really about issues...  You stumbled? I delight in crushing you! Owning the libs spares me the terrifying ambiguity of actually getting to know one...."

The libs?! Suddenly the fiend Brooks is channeling is a right-winger? Initially, he was "one of those fanatics on the alt-right and the alt-left." Now, we know which one.

"I always imagined my anxiety as this little monster that would kind of attack my face or pull at my ears... and I would just go, hey, oh, hey, buddy... it's was like a little monkey and I would just go okay, sit on my shoulder, let's hang out."

Bill Hader talks to kids about anxiety:

"After causing a lot of #covfefe..."

Ha ha.

Anyway... I assume Howard Schultz can jump back in whenever he wants. Maybe wait and see who's the nominee and so forth. You can be out and get back in. That's what Ross Perot did.

ADDED: Here's Schultz's public presentation of his reasoning:
First... the exhausted majority has largely tuned out of political life online and in the news, leaving the extreme voices to define the debate. In addition, not enough people today are willing to consider backing an independent candidate because they fear doing so might lead to re-electing a uniquely dangerous incumbent president. There is considerable concern that four more years of a Trump administration pose a graver threat to our democracy than four more years of political dysfunction. I agree, but I’m also concerned that far-left policy ideas being advanced by several Democratic candidates will further alienate voters who believe those ideas will inflict more economic harm than good. The nomination of a far-left Democratic candidate could result in more votes for Trump—unless a moderate independent is also on the ballot.
I'm reading this after what I wrote above, and it reinforces my sense that he's ready to jump back in if the nominee is too left wing.
Unfortunately, election rules in each state and the way this Democratic nomination process has unfolded pose another challenge: It has become more likely that the Democratic nominee will not be known before the deadlines to submit the required number of signatures for an independent to get on the ballot.  If I went forward, there is a risk that my name would appear on ballots even if a moderate Democrat wins the nomination, and that is not a risk I am willing to take.
Perot was on the ballot in all 50 states, but Schultz is saying he doesn't want to be on the ballot if a non-lefty Democrat is the nominee.

Are Democrats about saving the family farm?

I've never understood why it's important to save the family farm, but I'll put that aside. Let's just look at what defeating Trump has to do with saving the family farm. According to the linked article, it's simply that Trump's dealings with China have affected farmers. So is the idea that Democrats would give China what it wants and that's a good idea because — farmers?

Now, it is easy to see that Democrats want to win Wisconsin and Wisconsin's got some farmers and they're in the parts of the state that went big for Trump in 2016. It's strategically valuable to Democrats to get the farm-country voters to feel that Trump has wronged them.
Dave Daniels, a corn and dairy farmer in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, voted for Trump in 2016 and still supports the president.... "The trade deals are in the back of everyone's mind right now," said Daniels, 64. "The thing everyone is saying is, 'we have to make some money this year.'"
As ever, there is long-term and short-term thinking. When it comes to trade with China, what do the Democrats have to offer — to family farmers, to the agriculture industry, and to all of us? Short term, we feel stressed out not to have trade peace, and I suspect the Democrats will only exacerbate that strife for their own power ambitions.

"'What I said was accurate!': Trump stays fixated on his Alabama error"/"Trump’s Sharpie-doctored hurricane map belongs in the Smithsonian."

Those are 2 headlines, both on the front page of The Washington Post, but not right next to each other.

I'm putting them side by side for humorous effect. Because: Who's fixated? Trump or the anti-Trump press?

Trump is hitting back, which is what he always does, and which the anti-Trump press likes to portray as mentally ill and unpresidential. (They're "fixated" on that characterization of Trump.)

So Trump hasn't dropped it — the subject of the Alabama-inclusive line on a map about the hurricane — but the press has also not dropped it. They seem to think it's a category-5 big deal. And now here's a WaPo column — it's by Eugene Robinson — portraying it as a monumental object worthy of display in the Smithsonian Museum.

So how is Trump "fixated"? He's just declining to sit back and take the beating like a turn-the-other-cheek Christian, in the manner of George W. Bush, who presided over the press's  Golden Age of Unanswered Attacks.

September 5, 2019

The "overly secularized Left" loses a lot of votes by treating people who believe in prayer "with mockery or condescension."

That's after she deleted her own post after it was mocked. Here's a screen shot:

Trump name-calls — "Bad 'actress' Debra The Mess Messing" — and challenges people to think again about the exile of Roseannne.

ADDED: What was the allegedly racist thing she said? "A black vote for Trump is mental illness."


"I know this sounds naïve... I didn’t think the left was so mean. I didn’t think the left lied like this."

Said Marianne Williamson (in a New Yorker interview).

I have not listened to the audio yet, but according to the summary at the link, she's talking about accusations that she's an anti-vaxxer and uses crystals and that sort of thing.

Of course, this is intensifying the right's very special love for Marianne. Breitbart's article on this topic has over 6,000 comments. The highest rated comment is: "The democrat party is in very deep trouble, because Marianne Williamson sounds much saner than the rest of the candidates....and Marianne Williamson is certifiably crazy." (The comments are threaded at Breitbart, so it's almost impossible to get to the second-highest-comment. Everyone seems to be jumping the time line by replying to the top-rated comment. Very boring!)

I'm glad to have a use for my old tag "meanies."

I know, I'm arriving late at the subject of Biden's blood eye.

What can I add to the discussion? How can eye help?

ADDED: Maybe you think that's a cheap pun, but I was influenced by "The Book of Prince" (blogged here yesterday):
Even in longhand, he wrote in his signature style, an idiosyncratic precursor of textspeak that he’d perfected back in the eighties: “Eye” for “I,” “U” for “you,” “R” for “are.”...

He’d written about his childhood and adolescence in Minneapolis, starting with his first memory, his mother winking at him. “U know how U can tell when someone is smiling just by looking in their eyes?” he wrote. “That was my mother’s eyes. Sometimes she would squint them like she was about 2 tell U a secret. Eye found out later my mother had a lot of secrets.”

Sea mammals need that extra layer of fat.

Walruses, whales, manatees... sailors:
For the Navy, the overall number of obese personnel was a shocking 22 percent. The other branches reported the following frequency of obesity:
  • Air Force: 18 percent
  • Army: 17 percent
  • Marine Corps: 8.3 percent
ADDED: Remember that the military excludes would-be recruits who are obese. From a report from 750 retired generals and admirals issued last fall:
According to... “Unhealthy and Unprepared,” an estimated 71% of all young people in the U.S. between the ages of 17 and 24 do not qualify for military service. Obesity disqualifies about 31% of youth, the report specified....

Retired Lt. Gen. Samuel Ebbesen said Mission: Readiness has been warning the country about the impact of obesity on national security for nearly a decade. He said acting now to address the issue was critical to the nation’s future defense....
So those numbers — 22% of the Navy, 18% of the Air Force, 17% of the Army, 8.3% of the Marines — those are all from those who did get in, who were not among the 71% who are disqualified. They are from the 29% least fat young people, and they are subjected to military training and discipline. There really is a problem, and yet the first comment on this post is an exemplar of denial:
Probably defined as obese by having a BMI > 30. Could be fat, could be muscle, or some combination of both, but my guess is a lot of these sailors spend a lot of down time in the weight room.
Another commenter says:
These new servicemen might be tubby, but I am a BMI skeptic. They say 30 is obese on the charts. A 6'0" man who weighs 215 has a BMI of 30. That could be a bit flabbly but also could be muscular/strong. It would rarely be obese if the man is at all active (can walk 5 miles, work outside for 3 + hours, do moderate sports activities, etc.).

On the other end, the charts say if that same man lost almost 100 pounds -- 135 -- he would be "normal." The very edge of normal, but normal nonetheless. Sorry, 135 is not normal weight for a 6' man. That's stick-like. What Arnold might call a girly man whose pants have to be cinched by a rope.

BMI is fake news. It's an uneasy comparison to think about, but obesity is a bit like pornography -- I know it when I see it.
BMI skepticism is, apparently, the new "I'm not fat, I'm big boned."

Most startling thing in my Twitter feed yesterday... gets the tags "naked" and "baseball."

I had to refresh my recollection of this "Body Issue" thing. Why don't I notice it every year? Possible answer: It's not in my Twitter feed and I follow just about exactly one sports-related account: the Milwaukee Brewers. (I say "just about" because I can think of at least one individual player that I follow... and I can't remember ever seeing him naked.)

Here's Yelich getting interviewed.

I love the line: "I'm not really worried about the whole being naked thing."

Of course, we love Yelich here at Meadhouse — naked Yelich, clothed Yelich... all forms of Yelich.

I'm creating a "Yelich" tag for this, so "naked," "baseball," and "Yelich."

September 4, 2019

At the Thursday Night Cafe...

.., you can talk about whatever you want.

Ivanka cut her hair.

What do you think of Ivanka's new hair? free polls

"The Trump Voters Whose ‘Need for Chaos’ Obliterates Everything Else/Political nihilism is one of the president’s strongest weapons."

Headline for a NYT op-ed by Thomas Edsall. I'm blogging this because an order-and-chaos theme has happened to emerge on the blog this morning and also because I think it suggests that Trump voters are not fascists. I'm assuming fascism is grounded in an excessive need for order.

Let's read:
Last week, at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, the winner of the best paper award in the Political Psychology division was “A ‘Need for Chaos’ and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced Democracies.”... [Michael Bang Petersen, Mathias Osmundsen, and Kevin Arceneaux argue] that a segment of the American electorate that was once peripheral is drawn to “chaos incitement” and that this segment has gained decisive influence through the rise of social media.
I don't know about "decisive," but otherwise this seems like a good observation. But I'm going to resist Edsall's idea of making the problem specific to Trump voters.
The circulation of [conspiracy theories, fake news, discussions of political scandals and negative campaigns] has been “linked to large-scale political outcomes within recent years such as the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
But that doesn't mean that only the winner's voters were susceptible to that sort of material! Also, I wouldn't limit the problem of "chaos incitement" to social media. Mainstream media does it too.
The authors describe “chaos incitement” as a “strategy of last resort by marginalized status-seekers,” willing to adopt disruptive tactics. Trump, in turn, has consistently sought to strengthen the perception that America is in chaos....
That sounds like an appeal to people who don't like chaos! Does Edsall even notice this blatant contradiction?

"British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a devastating loss Tuesday on his first key Brexit vote, setting up a legislative battle Wednesday that could lead to a snap general election."

WaPo reports.

We take years to crank through an election and then stick with our choice for years. The British approach is nerve-wrackingly chaotic:

About that disastrous race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination....

Some new polls (via Real Clear Politics):

What a mess! Biden is too old and too mentally weak to be President, yet he's just sitting there at the top, immobile. And the only other strong candidates are the distinctly lefty Warren and Sanders. Harris cannot advance to double digits. And the mayor of a small city is inexplicably parked in fifth place. What about all the governors? Have they all dropped out, or are some of them still in and invisible?

The polls are awful for the Democrats, who've exacerbated their problem with their structure for the debates — discussed in today's NYT podcast "The Daily" today: "The Sudden-Death Phase of the Democratic Primaries."

"You don't have to like it, but we don't go after people because we don't like who they voted for. We don't go after them that way."

"We can talk about issues and stuff, but we don't print out lists.... Think about it. Read about it. Remember what the blacklist actually meant to people and don't encourage anyone — anyone — to do it."

Whoopi Goldberg gets intense, pushing back Debra Messing (who talked about making a list of Hollywood people who attend a Trump fundraiser).

This clip from "The View" begins with a milder statement from Joy Behar who uses the joke that it should be called a "white list" not a "blacklist," but Goldberg — who, unlike Behar, is black — ignores the joke and uses the traditional term "blacklist":

Goldberg's intensity was excellent. I might fault her for 2 things, but the overall impression is so good, I almost don't want to say it. But I will:

1. Goldberg instructs Messing, et al., not to make a list "because the next list that comes out, your name will be on and then people will be coming after you," as if the morality in question is nothing but self-interest, but it's wrong even if you can feel certain that you'll never be on the receiving end.

2. Goldberg says that in the old Hollywood blacklist days "a lot of really good people were accused of stuff" and "nobody cared whether it was true or not." The "stuff" was left-wing politics, and these days it's the left-wingers who are trying to cancel the people they don't agree with. It's not so much that people back then didn't care about what was true or not, but more that those who made the blacklist had too much certainty and rectitude about their own political beliefs and — perversely — thought it was a good idea to frighten, destroy, and silence those who wanted to say something else. (I say perversely, because if you're so sure your ideas are right, you shouldn't be afraid to have them challenged and talked about by people who think something else and also because freedom of speech was part of the traditional values system they purported to defend.)

What was the premise of Behar's "white list" joke — that Trump supporters are white or that Trump supporters are white supremacists? I don't know, but I'm glad Goldberg stomped on it, because "white list" already has a meaning — a useful meaning. It's a list of what is good. Instead of naming the people or businesses you want to exclude, you name the ones you've checked out and approve of and want to reward with your business.

"Blacklist" is a strong word with a precise meaning: "A list of the names of people, groups, etc., who have incurred suspicion, censure, or displeasure, and are typically therefore subject to a ban or other punishment." That's the OED, which has examples going back to the 17th century. "White list," as a play on "blacklist" has been around since at least 1842. From Christian Remembrancer:
In the black list of Ludovicus Vives were ‘Amadis de Gaul’, ‘Torante the White’, ‘Lancelot de Lac’, ‘Paris et Vienne’, dice, and gay dresses. In the white list were Cyprian, Jerome, Augustine, and Ambrose, Plato, Cicero, Seneca's maxims and tragedies..and portions of Horace.

"Confined in a Soviet prison camp in 1941, Polish painter Józef Czapski chose a unique way to cope: He lectured to the other prisoners on Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time."

"In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll describe Czapski’s ambitious project and the surprising importance of literature to the prisoners of oppressive regimes."

Highly recommended! With no books and exhausted from deprivation and forced labor, prisoners preserved and reveled in their humanity by lecturing to each other about something they had in their memory. And Czapski lectured about what he could remember about a novel about memory.

ADDED: What if you were trapped somewhere with other people and you decided to keep yourself and the others going by lecturing from the knowledge stored in your head? What topic would you choose? Notice that these people were not thinking about preserving knowledge for the sake of all humanity. The books still existed and were not threatened with destruction. The prisoners were cut off. They were trying to preserve themselves. In that light, what would you select?

AND: From "Józef Czapski: painter, prisoner, and disciple of Proust/Czapski survived his incarceration in a Soviet prison camp and went on to produce vivid paintings and prose. But his life and work was haunted by the massacre that he escaped" (NY Review of Books).
In a stroke of genius, Czapski compares Proust with Blaise Pascal.... A 17th-century French mathematician and physicist... Pascal “considered all the ephemeral joys of the senses unacceptable.” For Proust, on the other hand, only the world of the senses existed and had value. In a letter to a friend, he confessed he desired only one thing: to take pleasure in life and physical love...

As much as any of Pascal’s Pensées, Proust’s monumental novel is a meditation on death and the vanity of life. Swann, “a refined and intelligent man of the world”, receives a sentence of death from his doctors. When he tries to pass on the news to his aristocratic friends, they tell the quaking cadaverous figure that he looks marvellous, then leave him standing in front of their magnificent townhouse as they walk off, talking of the mismatch between the duchess’s shoes and her ruby necklace....

Whereas Pascal turns from the world with disgust, Proust seeks salvation in its fugitive sensations.... Czapski was not mistaken in finding in Proust’s work a kind of religion: not a story of redemption, but a struggle to defy time and disillusion, and eternalise the passing moment in memories of meaning and beauty.
And here is Czapski's "Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp."

"One of the most commonly recurring issues involves the TSA’s full-body scanners, which require a TSA officer — often within seconds of seeing a traveler — to register that person’s gender."

"The scanner is programmed to look for male genitalia on passengers deemed 'male' by the officer and breasts on passengers deemed 'female,' which can cause transgender individuals to be flagged for additional security."

From "The gender issue posed by TSA’s body scanners" (WaPo).

"Funk is the opposite of magic. Funk is about rules."

From "The Book of Prince/Prince had grand plans for his autobiography, but only a few months to live"  (in The New Yorker), by Dan Piepenbring. This is about Prince's first interview with Piepenbring, whom he accepted as a collaborator for a memoir ("The Beautiful Ones," due out in October):
Behind his sphinxlike features, I could sense, there was an air of skepticism. I tried to calm my nerves by making as much eye contact as possible. Though his face was unlined and his skin glowed, there was a fleeting glassiness in his eyes. We spoke about diction. “Certain words don’t describe me,” he said. White critics bandied about terms that demonstrated a lack of awareness of who he was. “Alchemy” was one. When writers ascribed alchemical qualities to his music, they were ignoring the literal meaning of the word, the dark art of turning base metal into gold. He would never do something like that. He reserved a special disdain for the word “magical.” I’d used some version of it in my statement. “Funk is the opposite of magic,” he said. “Funk is about rules.”

[Prince said h]e thought I needed to know more about racism—to have felt it. He talked about hip-hop, the way it transformed words, taking white language—"your language"—and turning it into something that white people couldn’t understand. Miles Davis, he told me, believed in only two categories of thinking: the truth and white bullshit...

"'Magic' is Michael’s word"—meaning Michael Jackson. "That’s what his music was about."
ADDED: You can pre-order "The Beautiful Ones" at Amazon.

"Many people who take pride in their green lifestyles—perhaps they bike to work and always carry a travel mug—also happen to be frequent flyers."

"This incongruity grows in part out of cultural factors. A certain type (and I count myself in this category) aspires to be both worldly and socially conscious. We would never think of driving an SUV, say, but we’ve been known to drop the names of far-flung capitals we’ve visited. To be sure, our portable bamboo utensil sets and canvas grocery bags accord with our principles, but they also accord with our self-image, our aesthetics, our personal brands. In other words, those choices are not sacrifices. Opting out of flying, by contrast, requires actual renunciation.... Changing our lifeways means reassessing not only conference design but also our personal customs. It might mean some amount of sacrifice.... Renunciation conveys to those around us that the situation is serious. Especially in the case of climate change—where the effects are dispersed, gradual, and tenuously linked to the causes—this kind of social cue is crucial.... Universities that boast about their LEED-certified buildings but encourage excessive flying among their faculties; governments that neither tax jet fuel nor invest in low-carbon ground travel infrastructure—the people behind these decisions are the ones who really ought to get acquainted with flygskam."

From "Flight Shame: The Climate Hazards of Air Travel" by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow (NY Review of  Books).

September 3, 2019

At the Fallen Tree Café...


... there's progress since last night's slow-motion falling.

(And remember, you can progress through the Althouse Portal to Amazon, where untold goods await you.)

"The 4 Clods."

"A naked man broke into a Downtown apartment... a white man in his late 30s to early 40s, about 6 feet, 2 inches tall, very skinny and very tanned."

From "Naked burglar awakens Downtown resident, steals cash, Madison police say" (Wisconsin State Journal).

Why would you commit burglary naked? This happened at 6:15 a.m. Sunrise was 6:24, so it was already light out. The resident was asleep, and "When the naked man woke the resident, he told the resident he just wanted to wake him up." Naked man then asked for cash and got it. I note that with a naked man, you can see that he doesn't have a weapon and that he's not really mentally with it. Would you give him cash?

"A quick note about forest therapy guides... they’re not identifying trees or sharing historical facts."

"Rather, forest therapy guides lead participants on a quiet walk through nature, drawing them out of their heads and into their senses by inviting them to see, hear, feel, and even taste what is around them. One person may lean against a tree and smell the bark of a Ponderosa pine (which I discovered can smell like butterscotch) while someone else may splash in a stream, meaning each person has a different experience.... As calm and relaxed as I felt in the woods, I still struggled to quiet my mind. Instead of observing my surroundings and enjoying the peacefulness, I tended to over-analyze my reactions and turn experiences into metaphors for life in general. During an invitation to focus on the various sounds around us, my attention immediately went to the most dominant sounds, the water babbling in the spring and the rain drizzling onto the ground. Were the dominant sounds low hanging fruit in the world of sounds? Was this a metaphor for my laziness?"

From "Forget Weed. Colorado's Hottest Trend is Forest Bathing. The Japanese practice has become popular around the world, and the Rocky Mountains in particular are experiencing a surge in interest" (The Daily Beast).

By the way, the title got me ranting about how you shouldn't have to travel to Colorado to commune with nature like this and the whole idea seems to have more to do with a precise encounter with a smaller space so the advice should be to walk slowly and mindfully in a nearby woods or park. But then I got to the last few sentences of the article:
For those of us who don’t live near a forest, know that heavily wooded areas aren’t required to enjoy the benefits of forest bathing. Head to a local park, a nearby trail, your favorite beach, a lake, a river, or just about any natural environment. Step outside during your lunch break to notice the scents and sounds—just be sure to silence your phone! Simply be present and bathe your senses in nature.
The author, Cassandra Brooklyn, agrees with me. The headline is just click-bait bullshit. The concept "hottest trend" is so dull and so inherently unbelievable.

As for the "Forget Weed" part — there's nothing about marijuana in the article. The author refers to Colorado: it's where she did her forest bath and we're told there's "a forest therapy guide training program... this September filled up many months in advance." There's a career opportunity, but maybe that's because of the legalized marijuana. I would think that the "forest therapy guide" career is big in Colorado partly because of the marijuana. You've got the great scenery for hiking, but who's up for really really slow mind-focused hiking where you want a caring person to accompany you? I'm thinking it's old Boomers getting themselves to Colorado for a safe, comfortable weed experience!

Could you enjoy the job of Colorado forest therapy guide? I could see getting the training and doing it for a few seasons while keeping a journal about it and then writing a book. That is, the real career would be author. But you'd be a half-assed therapist if that were your agenda, and if I could bear to do it, I'd be beating myself up for my terrible ethics, and then that would get in the journal and I would know that nobody's going to want to read that, and the whole thing would be a bust.

How about you? Could you thrive as a forest therapy guide? Would you want to forest bathe with a forest therapy guide? Would you want to forest bathe without a guide? With or without weed?

If you had to forest bathe and you could only have one — forest therapy guide or weed — which would you pick? free polls

"What about the Dingell Norwood bill?"

I'm reading a post by my son at Facebook:
Jennifer Rubin argues in the Washington Post that Biden’s opponents shouldn’t expect to take the lead by beating him in the primary debates. She gives historical examples, but see if you can find a flaw in her argument about the 2000 election:
"There are precious few instances in which a candidate’s debate performance destroyed his chances. President Gerald Ford’s infamous remark “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe . . . I don’t believe the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union" was the rare exception to the rule that a single answer can doom a candidates. Then-Vice President Al Gore’s sighing, eye-rolling and obvious disdain for then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the 2000 general-election debates did him no favors, but it’s hard to conclude those debates were decisive in an election that was essentially a tie."
Here's how I responded to John over at Facebook:
It's maddening to hear that "it’s hard to conclude those debates were decisive in an election that was essentially a tie." If it is the case — and I think it is — that Gore ought to have won easily, then falling back to the tie position is a big difference. It's EASY to conclude the debates were decisive... or as we like to say around the house as shorthand for losing a debate "What about the Dingell Norwood bill?"

"Is modern Western life anathema to the effort needed for the kind of spiritual development you espouse?"/"Yes. Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts —"

"Those are the daily attention-grabbers that make it so that you can’t come from your mind to your heart to your soul. The soul contains love, compassion, wisdom, peace and joy, but most people identify with the mind. You’re not an ego. You’re a soul. You’re not psychologically full of anxiety and fear.... If you identify with the ego plane, you’ll find you’re in time, you’re in space, you’re a little body. But go to the spiritual heart, and there will be a doorway to the next plane of consciousness: soul land. My guru once called me over after I threw a plate of food at a Westerner at the ashram. Maharaji said: 'Ram Dass! Is something the matter?' I told him my complaints about the Westerners who were hanging around, and he got a glass of milk and fed it to me, and he said, 'Now, you do it for them.' So I fed the milk to every one of the Westerners. It made me feel good in my heart. Feed them. Love everybody."

From "Ram Dass Is Ready to Die" (NYT), where I learned that old lectures by Ram Dass — most famous for a 1971 book called "Be Here Now" — will be available in a podcast called "Here and Now." Ram Dass, a contemporary of Timothy Leary's, is quite old now, 89, and he is speech impaired (after a stroke).

The interviewer asks him if he worries "that all these individuals turning inward rather than outward are doing it as a way of avoiding political engagement?" He says:
Social action and spiritual work are not mutually exclusive. The witness witnesses the politics or the many games we play. In the long run, this is beneficial to individuals and the culture.
Yes, that feels like an explanation of what I've been doing here these last 15  years.

The interviewer pushes him about Trump. What would he say to Trump? Answer: "Identify with your soul." The interviewer snarks: "That would take some work." Answer: "No." The interviewer continues: "No? Am I being unfairly judgmental?" Answer:
On my puja table [altar] is Donald Trump. When I look at his picture, I say to him, “I know you from your karma, and I don’t know you for your soul.” And I am compassionate about that soul because he has heavy karma.
And let me give you the part that explains the title of the article. The interviewer says, "You’ve said that you’re ready to die. When did you know?" Answer:
When I arrived at my soul. Soul doesn’t have fear of dying. Ego has very pronounced fear of dying. The ego, this incarnation, is life and dying. The soul is infinite.... The soul witnesses the ego and witnesses thoughts. “Be here now” gives people an opportunity to reidentify outside of their thinking-mind ego and into that thing that’s called the soul. It is the perspective from which we could live a life without being caught so much in fear. To reidentify there is to change your whole life.
But what about political engagement?!

September 2, 2019

At the Slow Motion Café...


... everything is collapsing invisibly... or rising up. Be part of the uplift. The trees and the flowers are depending on you.

(And remember the Althouse Portal to Amazon, through which you can obtain desired objects.)

"Crystallization is the only place in nature where you see straight lines. Everything else is wobbly, round and wiggly."

"I think that we are innately drawn to order and organization in the midst of all this cosmic chaos."

Says a gem dealer, quoted in "What Draws Hundreds to This Lake Bed? Spellbinding Crystals/Welcome to Gem-O-Rama, California’s new gold rush" (NYT)(lots of cool photos at the link).

The coolest man in the world smokes.

That guy is Tony Tovar, who afterwards said he figured the guy just wanted drug money and wouldn't hurt him. Celebrated on the internet, Tovar advises: "It’s probably not in your best interest if they have a loaded firearm, I wouldn’t suggest that to just anybody."

"Mayor Bill de Blasio has aggressively pushed a bike-friendly agenda, adding about 100 miles of dedicated lanes for cyclists... but he’s done little to address the danger that bikers themselves pose."

"Since 2011, bicyclists have injured more than 2,250 pedestrians — including at least seven who died.... 'People are mad,' said Adrienne Rivetti Jensen, an Upper West Side resident whose 5-year-old daughter, Mabel, suffered a gash on her forehead when a speeding biker clipped the girl in Riverside Park on April 8.... 'She got hit while we were just walking on the pathway — and a lot of cyclists were speeding past us, yelling at us to get out of the way,' the mother recalled. 'In the Uber to the hospital, I started to feel really angry. He could have killed her. He was going really fast.... Every New Yorker I meet has a story about someone getting hit.... It should be a public conversation. All these bicyclists have lobbying groups and are getting expanded accessibility to the city.'"

From "NYC bicyclists are killing pedestrians and the city won’t stop it" (NY Post).

Bicyclists can be the worst. They think of themselves as vulnerable and virtuous, and they are, but from that starting point you can make a lot of errors.

"Is it like K-pop?"/"No, it’s based on Korean traditional singing. It was kind of like David Bowie bass and drums, and then this really wild South Korean traditional singing."

"It’s polytonal. It’s a different skill than we use, with more notes in it. And a lot of gender-crossing. It looked like I was seeing the future," said Linda Ronstadt, responding to the New Yorker interviewer after she mentioned a "Korean band... called SsingSsing" as seen in this "Tiny Desk" concert:

Here's the interview: "Linda Ronstadt Has Found Another Voice/The singer on living with Parkinson’s, the perils of stardom, and mourning what the border has become."

About the border:
I grew up in the Sonoran Desert, and the Sonoran Desert is on both sides of the border. There’s a fence that runs through it now, but it’s still the same culture. The same food, the same clothes, the same traditional life of ranching and farming. I go down there a lot, and it’s so hard to get back across the border. It’s ridiculous. It used to be that you could go across the border and have lunch and visit friends and shop in the little shops there. There was a beautiful department store in the fifties and sixties. My parents had friends on both sides of the border. They were friends with the ranchers, and we went to all their parties and their baptisms and their weddings and their balls. And now that’s gone....
About Parkinson's:
Well, I lie down a lot, because I’m disabled. I do a lot of reading... It’s hard for me to get out. It’s hard for me to sit in a restaurant or sit up in a chair. It’s hard for me to stand around, so if there’s a situation where I’m liable to be caught in a doorway talking to somebody for five minutes, I tend to avoid that.

"For men who are allegedly so 'proud' of being straight, they seem to show real incompetence at attracting women to their event."

"Seems more like a 'I-Struggle-With-Masculinity' parade to me. Hope they grow enough over the next year to support / join LGBTQ fam next #Pride."

Tweeted Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez in what I judge to be apt, light-hearted pushback (reported at The Hill).

Here's the video that accompanied her gentle mockery:

What's with "Make Normalcy Normal Again"? What a sad slogan! If you were genuinely proud of what you are, why would you need You, the Individual to also be the norm? And if you are genuinely needy, why would it be enough to be recognized as — of all things — normal?

Also, guys, when you're marching in a parade about your pride, don't be staring down into your cell phone. That's no way to express pride. It is a good way to express neediness. Has anyone "liked" me in the last few seconds?

And maybe refrain from giving the finger?

I mean, is that your plan for the return to normalcy?

By the way, "normalcy" is a word tightly connected to one President, the President most well known for being bad, Warren G. Harding. His famous quote:
"America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality."
From Wikipedia, "Return to normalcy":
Return to normalcy, a return to the way of life before World War I, was United States presidential candidate Warren G. Harding's campaign slogan for the election of 1920. Although detractors of the time tried to belittle the word "normalcy" as a neologism as well as a malapropism, saying that it was poorly coined by Harding (as opposed to the more accepted term normality), there was contemporaneous discussion and evidence that normalcy had been listed in dictionaries as far back as 1857.
I can't help thinking that whoever put the word "normalcy" in the straight-pridesters slogan intended to screw with the heteronormalists.

ADDED: In "A Hard Day's Night," Ringo, the original incel, is incited to go "parading," and seconds after he responds to the incitement to parade, Ringo gives the Hitler salute!

A President isn't supposed to hit back, but Trump does.

I'm seeing this:

I don't mean "A President isn't supposed to hit back" literally. Obama was supposed to punch back twice as hard... or at least have his supporters do doubly hard punching for him. There's something about Trump just doing it for himself...

There's something about Trump doing his own punching back that is (pick as many as you like): free polls

"A couple of Washington's top literary agents say President Trump's former personal secretary, Madeleine Westerhout, could make millions if she writes a tell-all of her time working for the president."

Axios reports.
But a source close to Westerhout says she has "no intention" of writing a book about her time working for the president. The source added that Westerhout had "very positive" experiences with President Trump and would have nothing negative to say.
Wait. Aren't there Trump fans who'd like reading a book of nice things about Trump? I guess it can't work like that because a money-maker book needs to be framed one way or another and pitched, and if the book is premised on a violation of trust and selling the access you once enjoyed, you've ruined the foundation for a positive framework. And that's why tell-all books are presumptively crap.

The Axios article quotes Sean Spicer, Trump's former press secretary, who turned down tell-all money and just wrote a book that didn't use material gained in confidence:
"Anyone leaving this administration that's interested in writing a book has a choice to make... Number one: Go for the big bucks, tell all, but then worry about whether anyone in the future will continue to trust you. Two is to share your story but maintain a level of loyalty, integrity and trustworthiness."
Notice Spicer does not embrace loyalty, integrity, and trustworthiness as core values. The core value is one's career, and the appearance of loyalty, integrity, and trustworthiness is a means to that end. Sad!

September 1, 2019

At the Sunday Night Cafe...

... you can talk all you want.

"Do not use this map to make decisions."

"Just four states are likely to determine the outcome in 2020. Each flipped to the Republicans in 2016, but President Trump won each by only a percentage point or less."

"The four are Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida. Many analysts point to Wisconsin as the single state upon which the election could turn."

Writes Dan Balz in WaPo.

As a Wisconsinite, I'm pleased and anticipating all the pandering, but I want to focus on this about Michigan, under the heading "Clinton lost big in Detroit...":

What happened in Detroit (and why won't that happen again)? The article doesn't really explain — except to refer to the declining population. Elsewhere in the column, there is talk about African American voters. Balz writes that there are 4 "demographic groups" that will be focused on, including "African Americans, and particularly younger African Americans, whose turnout levels will be critical to Democrats’ fortunes." And in talking about Milwaukee, there's this:
In 2016, Clinton suffered a falloff in the Milwaukee media market that was about double that of the state as a whole. Much of that erosion was concentrated in African American precincts in the city of Milwaukee. Combined with Trump’s big margins in the northwestern part of the state, that was enough to doom her chances.
Of course, we're deprived of any painfully honest discussion of how much the Democrats need black voters in big cities to control the electoral votes of the swing states and why they're having trouble getting these votes in the post-Obama era. Here's how Trump talked to black voters in Michigan in 2016:

"America must reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, who sees communities of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future."

"Germans love to get naked. They have been getting naked in public for over a hundred years..."

"... when early naturists rebelled against the grime of industrialization and then the mass slaughter of World War I.... [E]ntire stretches of German waterfronts are designated as nudist beaches. There is a nudist hiking trail. There are sporting events from nude yoga to nude sledding. German saunas are mixed and naked. People regularly take their clothes off on television, too.... 'It’s all about freedom,' said John C. Kornblum, a former United States ambassador to Germany, who has lived here on and off since the 1960s, and was once shouted at by a naked German for not taking off his swimming shorts in a whirlpool. 'Germans are both afraid of freedom and deeply desire it,' Mr. Kornblum said. 'But hierarchy and rules are so embedded that direct political or social dissonance is simply not thinkable. When people walk down the beach naked, it allows them to feel a little rebellious,' he said.... One key to Germany’s relaxed attitude toward nudity, said Professor [Maren] Möhring [a cultural historian and nudism expert at Leipzig University], is that from the start nudism was sold as something utterly asexual. Bikinis, the argument went, sexualize the body. 'Nudism is about the cult of the natural,' she explained. Or as Stefan Wolle put it: 'It’s the most unerotic thing in the world.'"

From "A Very German Idea of Freedom: Nude Ping-Pong, Nude Sledding, Nude Just About Anything" (NYT)(fit-to-print photos at the link).

This gets my "men in shorts" tag. My objection to shorts is long, but I don't think I've ever before blogged the objection to shorts in the form of you ought to be naked.

What's your personal history of being outdoors naked? I believe that I have never been outdoors naked! Is that possible?

If you were both afraid of freedom and deeply desirous of it, would you hit upon the solution of going outdoors naked?

When you say "Bud."

I'd like to know the story behind that commercial. Were they trying to do for beer what "I'd like to teach the world to sing" did for cola?

Why did I dig up that old Bud commercial? I was reading last night's "café" comments out loud when I came to some ravings about me, including "When you say Althouse, you've said it all free speech-wise."

Meade mused: "What is that commercial?"

I said: "When you say... you've said it all... When you say... Schlitz???"

Meade seemed to think I'd nailed it, but Google says, no, it's Bud.

It's such an absurd concept: "When you say Bud, you've said a lot of things nobody else can say. When you say Bud, you've gone as far as you can go to get to the very best. When you say Bud, you've said the word that means you like to do it all."

From a 2016 NPR interview with the artist behind "When You Say Bud," Steve Karmen:
KARMEN: I wrote the entire lyric. I did the orchestration. I'm, you know, a composer. I do my own productions, my own orchestrations. And that went on the air. And it ran for eight years with that lyric. (Singing) When you say Budweiser, you've said it all. And then the agency rewrote the lyric. (Singing) For all you do, this Bud's for you. And that has been on the air, basically, ever since in various different forms.

SIEGEL: How do you feel about that? I mean, this is your creation. This is your song. It's also a beer commercial. Do you feel as protective of it as if it were an aria in an opera that you did?

KARMEN: I do. I do. You know, the difference between a symphony and a jingle is symphony writers use more paper.... It's just as hard to write a jingle.
Karmen lets us know that the lead singer in the Bud commercial is Valerie Simpson — Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson: "Valerie wrote 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough,' 'Let's Go Get Stoned,' 'Solid As A Rock.' I mean, Valerie is a most prolific songwriter. But this was - you know, this is how she made a living before she did that."

Ah, let's remember "Solid":

I love the 80s styles in that — mullets and all. By the way, "Is the mullet coming back...?..."

BONUS: When you care enough to give your very best...

Karmen sued (and won).