August 29, 2020

Mayhem and tussling.

WaPo reports:
Some protesters who stayed in the District after the March on Washington ended Friday afternoon continued to spread their message, and elements of mayhem, around the city by temporarily shutting down major roads and tussling with police, even while rain deluged the area at nightfall.
I had a hard time reading that sentence. Why is there a comma after "message"? It caused me to read "elements of mayhem" as the subject of an independent clause, and I had to backtrack to see that "protesters" is the subject and "message" and "elements of mayhem" are what the protesters "continued to spread." The "mayhem" seems to consist only of road blockage and "tussling with police." Tussling with police?

WaPo tells us that the protesters often "received gestures of support from motorists trapped in the sudden gridlock." The gesture of support is, I believe, indistinguishable from the gesture of please don't target me and my car, so I totally believe that lots of trapped motorists were acting as though they were pleased with their predicament.
Carrying a banner with the words “Total abolition for total liberation,” a group of about 75 people walked down Constitution Avenue toward Ninth Street. They hoped to block the entrance to the Ninth Street tunnel, to “choke the city,” one protester said....
Most of the protesters at Ninth Street wore all black, and many wore goggles and helmets on their heads. One person carried a bat, and another man wore what appeared to be a bulletproof vest.
And the choked-off, trapped motorists gestured their approval.
“You can’t stop the revolution!” they shouted. Marchers at the Wharf in Southwest Washington were blocking cars from proceeding shortly before 7 p.m. Some protesters urged a driver to get out and march with them, or at least show support. Others said to leave him alone.
To fail to signal support is to risk getting dragged out of your car.
Then, about 200 protesters began walking up the ramp onto I-395.... On M Street in Georgetown beside the former Dean & DeLuca store, protesters blocked the intersection for around 10 minutes.... An organizer lit a foot-long stick of palo santo as the group kept moving....
Similar to a tiki torch?
The group later moved on, blocking the Key Bridge. They soon became a target, not for police but for pedestrians interested in photographing them. Protesters called them out, fearing the photos would be posted on social media and used by police.

“I’m just documenting history,” a White man argued with them. He refused to delete the photo.
We're capitalizing "White" now?
“I just took a group shot,” he said. “I support you.”
Shades of Tim Carpenter.
"No, you’re not with us,” a protester snapped back, “because I’m asking you to delete that, and you won’t.”...
Why don't protesters want to be seen? Isn't that the idea?
As the sky grew overcast over Black Lives Matter Plaza on 16th Street, some protesters turned their attention to a group of about a dozen officers guarding St John’s Episcopal Church, where President Trump staged a photo opportunity two months earlier. Tensions ticked up after a male protester jumped over the concrete barrier, prompting two dozen more officers to arrive on the scene.

“Whose streets? Our streets!” protesters yelled, raising their fists in the air.

“Don’t you dare touch him!” one yelled at the officers as they jogged around the perimeter of the church, asking protesters to stay back.
That's where the article ends. That's awfully abrupt. Suddenly police are jogging around the church and one protester barks an order at them. Then what? Is this the tussling? I guess it's supposed to be meaningful that one guy jumped the barrier and three dozen police officers were there and one guy yelled something. But did the three dozen police leave the barrier-jumper alone? Did the barrier-jumper retreat? Are we supposed to regard it as ludicrous overkill that St. John's church had that level of police protection as 200 protesters converged?

I've read some of the most highly rated comments over there, and they are overwhelmingly about how the protesters are hurting their own cause and helping Trump get reelected: "Trump's most effective campaign rally"/"If it's an incoherent demand to burn 'it' down, the movement will certainly fail and the backlash will be worse"/"These characters are acting like a bunch of spoiled children, and working hard to help re-elect Trump"/"We’re moving to mayhem for the sake of mayhem. No coherent message. Too many protesters with helmets and goggles looking for confrontation. We don’t want Trump winning this battle for image"/"This kind of mayhem just plays into the hands of Trump supporters. I was in DC on the famous day 57 years ago, and there was no mayhem and violence. How times have changed." Sorry to copy so many. You get the idea. They're all saying the same thing.

99 comments:

Matt Sablan said...

"I had a hard time reading that sentence. Why is there a comma after "message"?"

-- Grammatically? Because the elements of mayhem part is an after thought. They just don't think the mayhem is important to the sentence and believe the full intent and meaning can be delivered without it.

Kevin said...

Shorter WAPO: Some people did something.

Wince said...

As the sky grew overcast over Black Lives Matter Plaza on 16th Street, some protesters turned their attention to a group of about a dozen officers guarding St John’s Episcopal Church, where President Trump staged a photo opportunity two months earlier.

Under the circumstances, you'd think the relevant reference would be when a group of "peaceful protestors" previously lit the church on fire.

Ann Althouse said...

"Grammatically? Because the elements of mayhem part is an after thought. They just don't think the mayhem is important to the sentence and believe the full intent and meaning can be delivered without it."

I'm talking about punctuation. The comma is wrong, and the wrong punctuation confuses the reader into thinking there's the beginning of an independent clause the subject of which is "elements of mayhem." Doesn't matter whether it's an afterthought or not. I'm talking about understanding what is said and not getting off on the wrong track. There's a reason the punctuation rules are what they are.

Ann Althouse said...

I do agree that the mistaken comma signals something about what the writers were thinking. It's the first sentence in the article, and you can see that they worked over it and intended it to be high-quality writing.

Meade said...

" Protesters called them out, fearing the photos would be posted on social media and used by police."

I'm just looting your visual image. It provides me with an imaginative sense of freedom and pleasure and helps me imagine a world that could be. I experience taking your photo as sort of joyous and liberatory.

tommyesq said...

Maybe these protesters do want Trump to win, he did more for the black community than anyone has in a long time. Maybe they don't care about hurting the dems chances, as they have done more harm to the black community than anyone else has. Maybe they stage these incidents only in dem controlled cities to make that point.

Wince said...

I think the WaPo writer(s) were trying to impart there was a "tad" of mayhem and "tussling".

But the word "tad" is too bourgeois.

Hmm. Smattering!?

Ann Althouse said...

She did say "liberatory," didn't she?!

tastid212 said...

The commas seem to substitute for parentheses. "and elements of mayhem" is really a parenthetical thought adding a tiny bit more detail. That said, the entire article doesn't have much coherence - something happened. The writer tried to get the narrative in there but ran up against a deadline and the copy editor was working on something else.

Steve said...

It reads like fan fic to some crappy romance novel.

Dying in Darkness: How I met true love amongst the mayhem.

Ann Althouse said...

I would have thought that "liberatory" isn't a word and that you need to say "liberating," but the OED has it going back to 1592 (and meaning "liberating").

Bob Boyd said...

They're capitalizing White and Black because they're using them as proper nouns now.
Those are the names of the tribes we're being designated to by the party of unity.

Kevin said...

I do agree that the mistaken comma signals something about what the writers were thinking. It's the first sentence in the article, and you can see that they worked over it and intended it to be high-quality writing.

The media is innovating in search of new and improved ways of saying “mostly peaceful”.

The violence isn’t going to stop and the phrase needs to be refreshed to remain effective.

We are witnessing Orwell in real time. What is poorly-phrased today can be edited into compliance tomorrow.

Ann Althouse said...

Title for an unwritten book: "The Liberatory Laboratory."

Matt Sablan said...

I think the author thought it was being used in the way Purdue lists here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/punctuation/commas/extended_rules_for_commas.html under reason 3 (3. Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to set off clauses, phrases, and words that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence. Use one comma before to indicate the beginning of the pause and one at the end to indicate the end of the pause.)

The problem being that it is a pretty big sentence and should have been two. I would have re-written it like so (without changing the tone or wording):

"Some protesters continued to spread their message and mayhem by temporarily shutting down major roads and tussling with police after the March on Washington."

Delete: "who stayed in the District" as that is unnecessary, as well as "elements of," as those are just weasel words. Delete Friday and the rain; the weather is not important enough to be in the lede and the article should already have a dateline. I assume the "some" needs to be left in front of protesters since it wasn't all of them, but it is a weasel word I dislike. I don't even like this re-write much because "tussling with police" and "shutting down major roads" are two very different ideas, and the attempt to say that this was "after the March on Washington" is an attempt to pretend the protest before was in no way part of the actions afterwards.

I think the whole first sentence/paragraph should be scrapped.

tommyesq said...

Re the comma, my guess is that the writers (there were 3) set forth a list of things the protesters were continuing to spread (e.g. rioting, harrassment of citizens, perhaps arson if that was the barricade-jumper's intent) and some higher-up edited out the other things to water it down.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

WaPo tells us that the protesters often "received gestures of support from motorists trapped in the sudden gridlock."

Would that be like "Oh, come rest here for a moment. Sit down upon my extended middle finger."

Matt Sablan said...

Like, just look at the first two sentences:

"Some protesters who stayed in the District after the March on Washington ended Friday afternoon continued to spread their message, and elements of mayhem, around the city by temporarily shutting down major roads and tussling with police, even while rain deluged the area at nightfall.

At various points in the late afternoon, protesters blocked the Key Bridge, the Whitehurst Freeway, M Street in Georgetown, and the ramp to Interstate 395 from South Capitol Street during the evening rush hour. Often, they received gestures of support from motorists trapped in the sudden gridlock."

We go from afternoon to nightfall... then back to late afternoon and evening rush hour. We then go back to "earlier in the day" in the next sentence/paragraph. It feels like the person writing this is trying to do a dramatic re-telling, not straight news. Then we get maybe the most interesting unnecessary words: "Most of the protesters at Ninth Street wore all black, and many wore goggles and helmets on their heads." Like... if you deleted "on their heads" would anyone not know how they were wearing these things?

Also: We're back to 7 p.m. now. It's also interesting Cramer's race isn't given, but random photographer guy is called out as White.

Also... ugh. The journalist uses "quipped" for said.

It's also weird they mention Trump's photo op... but not that people continue to threaten to burn down said church.

Ralph L said...

Dashes might have worked--but what are the elements of mayhem? Seems indivisible to me.

Megaera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"..., even while rain deluged the area"

"[E]ven while," a good choice when it is necessary to jam to sentences together and the now prevalent "amid" does not quite fit.

tcrosse said...

Title for an unwritten book: "The Liberatory Laboratory."

By Liberace.

Rory said...

So it seems this was written (maybe self-published?) about six years ago, now being rolled back out because someone saw a marketing window?

Leland said...

I thought mayhem was a white guy?

Whatever the case, I didn't get a sense of peace from the description of the protest. I didn't see a point where they were peaceful. "Blocking", "chocking", "snapped" are not suggests of peace and tranquility. The commenters may not like what's happening, but none seem to connect that it is the WaPo refusing to use the language that might condemn these protests. And as WaPo refuses to use it, so does it readers. Because condemning these protests also helps Trump.

Megaera said...

Might have been trying, however ineptly, for the rhetorical figure called zeugma (yoking) where one word stands in the same relation to two other. Pope used it frequently, cf. "obliged by hunger, and request of friends ..." If so, it doesn't sit easy with the balance of his style, just comes across as slightly precious. That "high-quality writing" you saw him striving for.

Matt Sablan said...

As a professional editor, I would have sent this back to the authors to completely re-work from the start. When I have to say things like, "write a clear lede," "be consistent in identifying individuals to show balance, either include race for everyone or don't," "follow a single organizing chronological structure," and the like, it's beyond something the editor can fix. There's no salvaging it without massively destroying the work product.

This is utter garbage journalism, just on a purely technical level, that the WaPo should never have published it.

Unknown said...

The problem is with the "continued to spread the message" part of the sentence.

It should read:

Protesters who stayed after the March ended Friday afternoon committed acts of mayhem. They shut down major roads and fought police, even while rain deluged the area as night fell.

"Tussled"--what a word....you'd otherwise use it to describe toddlers wrestling.

The use of the word "message" signals that the writer can't bring himself to say what's really going on--violent fanatics took over the streets and attacked unarmed civilians and battling outnumbered police officers during a torrential rainstorm.

Translation: Hell in the America's capital.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

AA: "...I had to backtrack..."

My argument against double possessives. "A friend of John" and "John's friend" are both clear and determinant. "A friend of John's" is not determinant until continued reading excludes something like "A friend of John's brother."

Abjure apostrophe abuse! Be a clarity crusader.

Meade said...

If anyone calls, I'll be in my Liberatory Lubratory Laboratory. Cardi B experiment.

Dagwood said...

Think I'll sit out on the back porch this afternoon with a nice tall libationatory refreshment.

Mattman26 said...

Tussling: that’s what my cats do. All in a spirit of good fun.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

To me, "tussling" has playful, or at least, innocent connotations. I think of a little kid roughhousing with his dad in the backyard or of the schoolyard fights I witnessed as a child, where the worst injury that happened was a boy getting a black eye.

Cops have been seriously injured by these scumbags. These encounters are not playful. WaPo is deliberately trivializing and minimizing them by calling riots "tussles."

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Matt Sablan: "-- Grammatically? Because the elements of mayhem part is an after thought. They just don't think the mayhem is important to the sentence and believe the full intent and meaning can be delivered without it.

Yes. My understanding at first reading. I halted momentarily to speculate if the diminishing of mayhem was intentional or subliminal.

Heartless Aztec said...

I blame the proofreader cum editor.

Mike Sylwester said...

Democracy Dies in Darkness!

Fernandinande said...

"Tussling" is what puppies do.

All of a sudden, several front yards here in Redneckville have these "Human-Kind / Be Both" signs.

Here's my take: watered-down BLM support with a rainbow to indicate affiliation with teh official party of oppressed homosexuals.

Tommy Duncan said...

"It was a dark and stormy night."

Meade said...

"Tussling: that’s what my cats do. All in a spirit of good fun."

Until someone loses an eye. — Dad

Gabriel said...

They set off "and elements of mayhem" within commas to minimize it. The commas tell people quoting the article where to put their ellipsis.

"Elements of mayhem" is a new accomplishment in weasel-wordery.

mikee said...

Liberatory / Laboratory? I recall my first grade teacher, Sister Mary Concilia, telling us on the first morning of first grade that it was time to go to the Lavatory. I thought it was time to do experiments after two whole hours of classroom work, and I was very excited. We walked down the hall to the Boys' and Girls' bathrooms. My disappointment was allayed by recognition that indeed, I did need to use those facilities. Sister Mary Concilia was one sharp cookie, as well as the best looking nun I ever saw in real life.

Liberatory / Laboratory / Lavatory. Each has its purpose in a well-lived existence.

mikee said...

If ever trapped in my vehicle by protesters, given any opportunity to do so, I'm retreating from the likely violence of such a mob in the street, even if it means driving where the protesters are standing. At 3 mph they can move out of my way, I'd think.

Stephen said...

M. Sablan's rewrite "Some protesters continued to spread their message and mayhem by temporarily shutting down major roads and tussling with police after the March on Washington" is a more powerful sentence. It's clear that the writers wanted to use the word "mayhem"--the phrase has alliteration!--but someone in the rewrite wanted to de-emphasize the word by setting it off with commas. Parentheses would have worked, too, but IMHO dashes best get the points across.

Speaking of points, the lowly period at the end of sentences is fraught with meaning in case you missed it. Per a 2016 post from Marginal Revolution: "the period is being deployed as a weapon to show irony, syntactic snark, insincerity, even aggression."

The use of proper grammar is a Boomer thing.






https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2016/06/the-evolution-of-the-period.html

narciso said...

the bigger picture,


https://medium.com/@georgeeliason/chalupas-animal-farm-why-blacks-need-to-toss-the-skinny-white-antifa-terrorists-1f1775a4fb66

jaydub said...

People still seem to be thinking of this anarchy in terms of who the anarchists support politically. They don't give a flying crap who benefits in either political party - these people are revolting, not protesting, and they intend to destroy society not elect someone. BLM, Dems, Trump - none of that is anywhere on their agenda. Why do people not recognize a Marxist uprising when it's slapping them in the face?

Sebastian said...

"spread their message, and elements of mayhem"

As Gabriel said, the comma serves to minimize the mayhem. But as Althouse shows, it produces a punctuational Streisand effect. By trying too hard, they help the close reader see: the mayhem is the message.

Which I hereby TM, with apologies to Marshall McLuhan.

Big Mike said...

They get away with threatening drivers because DC has some of the most insane anti-gun laws in the country. Do you have as much as an empty (expended) cartridge case or shotgun shell anywhere in your car? You’re looking at jail time! A loaded gun? You evil minion of Hell! A few weeks back a pack of protestors in Austin, Texas, tried to pull a driver out of his car, and one of the “mostly peaceful” protestors had an AK-47 to back up their demands. The driver pulled out his own legally-carried handgun and sent the man with the AK to the morgue. In DC there is no way an ordinary driver could defend themselves without serious legal repercussions.

Anyone interested in DC’s gun laws and the hoops they put in place to legally own a gun you can order Emily Gets Her Gun from the Althouse Amazon portal.

Johnathan Birks said...

WaPo killed its copy desk years ago Ann. It's just take you this long to notice.

wendybar said...

The Progressives in WAPO don't even try to hide their intentions anymore. They condone this behavior, and relish that it is happening. Cloward and Piven of their dreams!!!

Balfegor said...

The idea is to intimidate, not to be seen. I mean, "protesters" have already been going to private residences to blare out their message at midnight. The DC corps marched through Georgetown chanting slogans at midnight August 8, although I haven't heard they were targeting any specific people. I think the Portland corps did the same with the added intimidation factor of shining flashlights into peoples' houses on August 21. These aren't tactics designed to communicate their "public" message. These are tactics designed to communicate the message that "Nowhere is safe. We know where you live."

These protesters are genuinely evil people, or have fallen under the influence of evil people.

Birkel said...

Officers, I feared imminent bodily harm and have PTSD and feared for my life.

Or some combination of same.

hombre said...

“Sedition: incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.”

“18 U.S. Code § 2384. Seditious conspiracy
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.”

Is there something ambiguous about this? One could argue spuriously, as Comey did, that Hillary’s email shenanigans or that her and the Bidens’ grifting or that Biden’s extortion of Ukraine are not clearly criminal. The sedition in Congress and the Deep State may be debatable, but the sedition in the streets of America, particularly where federal property and officers are the target is undeniable.

What is the argument against bring in the buses and taking these assholes down? We know Democrat pols are somehow immune from prosecution. Does the immunity extend to their Brownshirts as well?

Rick said...

You get the idea. They're all saying the same thing.

Of course. As much as they want to pretend this is about police brutality we all know it's about trying to get more Dems elected.

hombre said...

I am shocked, shocked, that WaPo is gaslighting ungrammatically!

hombre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iman said...

Don’t forget to hit the Amazon link!

Iman said...

Oh they're ready for a tussle
Gonna kick some leftwing asses
'Cause law enforcement have the muscle
And so it goes and so it goes
And so it goes and so it goes
But where it's goin' no one knows

Ann Althouse said...

"To me, "tussling" has playful, or at least, innocent connotations."

I felt like that too. It seemed like "rassling" — slangy and backwoodsy. But I looked it up and it's got a very old Scottish lineage: "probably diminutive or frequentative of touse v.: compare tousle v., in northern dialect toozle." Toozle! That sounds really silly.

Anyway, "tussle" goes back to the 1500s. The meaning works pretty well with what WaPo was trying to say: "To struggle or contend in a vigorous and determined way; to wrestle confusedly; to scuffle."

Mark said...

The comma's not the problem.

It is the use of "and" when they should have written "as well as".

Meade said...

Comma la.

Bob Boyd said...

As a shameless comma abuser and neglecter, I can't say much about punctuation controversies like this'n here. Just remember, we're people too, and we're hurting.

Joe Smith said...

@Althouse

I can't diagram a sentence to save my life, but I have been known to write a thing or two.

I think the author is using the commas as parentheses, rightly or wrongly. Maybe it's just a style thing but it didn't bother me.

Besides some, people don't know the correct use, of commas.

Michael K said...

The BLM/Antifa had their best chance at Republicans after the ceremony at the White House Thursday night. They harassed Rand Paul and some others but seemed to realize they were on TV. Now, all they have left are resident Trump haters.

Bob Boyd said...

Besides some, people don't know the correct use, of commas.

,truer words was never spoke.


How do you capitalize a comma? Asking for a friend.

JAORE said...

Why don't protesters want to be seen? Isn't that the idea?

They want the mass visual. It says, "See how many! See how powerful!"

They don't want the individual shot that says, "See, THAT guy is the one torching the store".

rcocean said...

"Some protesters who stayed in the District after the March on Washington ended Friday afternoon continued to spread their message, and elements of mayhem, around the city by temporarily shutting down major roads and tussling with police, even while rain deluged the area at nightfall."

Had they been Right-wing, it probably would've been rewritten to read something like:

"White Right-wing extremists shut down major roads into Washington late Friday. Hiding behind masks, they attacked Police and shouted hate-filled messages. Even rain could not stop their lawless desire to disrupt the lives in the 80% Black District. To help the police, some brave Black motorists attempted t0 photograph the suspected Neo-Nazis but were browbeaten into submission. Other motorists, many of them Black and Brown people of color, were strong-armed into showing tepid gestures of support. The ADL and SPLC suspected the rioters were members of XYZ group. The WaPo has opened an on-going investigation, and will soon publish an in-depth story providing the names, organizations, and addresses of those involved."

rcocean said...

The first sentence makes sense if you imagine commas in the right places.

Narayanan said...

Ann Althouse said...
Title for an unwritten book: "The Liberatory Laboratory."
------------============
you actually have institutional infrastructure for it :
University : "The Liberatory Laboratory."

Mark said...

The message and the mayhem are two separate actions. They need a separation indicator.

That said -- the bigger problem is the use of the word "mayhem."

"Mayhem" has a specific meaning, which is to maim someone, that is, to seriously wound, mutilate or disfigure a person, including crushing or removing body parts.

The related word for property damage is "mischief."

Rick said...

Balfegor said...
These are tactics designed to communicate the message that "Nowhere is safe. We know where you live."


Which is why the response should be to identify them publicly. Follow them back to their cars and take pictures of their licenses. Follow them home. Catch them without their masks and learn their names. Find out where they work.

It's not that hard. Left wingers have a network to identify a person's employer withing a couple of hours. Learn to do the same.

J Severs said...

"Elements of mayhem" makes it sound like 'mayhem' has various parts or components. What are these components, and which ones were present/not present?

AZ Bob said...

hombre said...
I am shocked, shocked, that WaPo is gaslighting ungrammatically!

LOL!

JaimeRoberto said...

Tussling. They probably were just giving each other noogies and wedgies.

n.n said...

The Liberatory Lavatory

Exactly. These protests are sociopolitically constructed progressions from Water Closet. Democracy dies in a black hole... whore h/t NAACP.

John henry said...

Wince,

"Tad" is bourgeois?

I think perhaps pretentious would be a better description in this context.

It is a commonly used word in the south, particularly in working class language.

John Henry

n.n said...

This article reports truth to power. The alleged color supremacist, the diverse police officers, and the civilian collateral damage, rather than fleeing, should have honked, bumped in gay consensus with the protestors. But I'm progressive! never harmed anyone.

Michael said...

With respect to punctuation, the commas should have been dashes: "...spread their message - and elements of mayhem - around the city..."

You're welcome.

Paco Wové said...

"elements of mayhem"

Just tiny bits of mayhem, nothing serious. Mere molecules of mayhem. Atoms of mayhem, even.

Michael said...

With respect to punctuation, the commas should have been dashes: "...spread their message - and elements of mayhem - around the city..." Parentheses could also work, but that's weaker.

You're welcome.

Rabel said...

"By Michael E. Miller, Samantha Schmidt and Tom Jackman."

"Michael Brice-Saddler, Marissa J. Lang, Jessica Contrera and Rebecca Tan contributed to this report."

Cleared for publication by editors in the "Local" section in both print and digital editions.

The genesis of the displeasing comma, like an offensive odor in a crowded elevator, is difficult to credit.

Rosalyn C. said...

Nowadays DC has the most sophisticated and discriminating activists. On Friday evening they held a protest with a soupçon of mayhem.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

There's going to be a time when motorists will not stop for these "protestors." They will stop at red lights, then start up again. The protestors will be tossed around like ten-pins. After that happens, the local authorities will stop letting them block the roads. This happened in Seattle, late at night, when one person drove the wrong way on an I-5 offramp, then drove through a George Floyd protest group. He killed one woman and injured another.

Another possibility is a concealed-carry license holder will fire into the crowd to get away from the intimating crowd. Self defense. Case closed.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

To me that brought to mind this recent XKCD. (Still frequently brilliant, though dissapointingly woke lately).

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Trying to persuade them to stop because they may elect Trump is useless. They don't care about Trump. Or Biden. Or elections. Liberals think they are on their side and that they can reason with them, get them on the goal of winning in November.
It's not about Trump. It's about their desire to dismantle the entire political and economic system. Until liberals understand this and say enough - not because it will help Trump but because the protesters goals are not acceptable - it's going to continue.
And it is interesting that the commentators want them to stop because it will help Trump and not because it's thuggish and fascist-like behavior.

Jim at said...

Gesture of support? You mean like this?

....................../´¯/)
....................,/¯../
.................../..../
............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`·¸
........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\
........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
.........\.................'...../
..........''...\.......... _.·´
............\..............(
..............\.............\...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, a few weeks ago, the WaPo decided to capitalize "White" as it already did "Black." They've effected the change all over the paper, even to op-ed columns (it was a real shock seeing George Will calling someone "White.")

Megaera, yes, it looks a bit like a very lame zeugma. The idea of a zeugma is to use the same verb with two different objects, whose natures require the verb to be read in two different ways. But "spreading a message" and "spreading mayhem" are maybe not different enough. "Spreading a message" and "spreading manure" would be better (and possibly more apt!).

Eugene Volokh, some years back, sent out a call for examples of zeugmas, needing one to illustrate the concept in his Academic Legal Writing. The one he chose was a dialogue between two 19th c. British politicians (I forget which). A says, "Sir, you will die either of the pox or on the gallows; B replies, "That will depend, sir, on whether I embrace your mistress or your principles." Very neat!

Hammond X. Gritzkofe, IIRC, "a friend of John's" isn't a double possessive, because one of the possessives is actually partitive; it's equivalent to saying "one from among the set of John's friends." In this way it suggests more strongly than "a friend of John" (and much more strongly than "John's friend") that there are many of John's friends. Also, it seems, to my ears anyway, to make the relationship more reciprocal somehow. Try it with Dorothy: "Aren't you a friend of Dorothy's?" vs. "Aren't you Dorothy's friend?" vs. "Aren't you a friend of Dorothy?" The last of these is, quite commonly, used in a context that in no way implies that Dorothy is a friend of you, particularly.

And the whole thing falls apart when the noun isn't "friend" or anything else interpersonal, but simply an object. "I borrowed Steve's violin" vs. "I borrowed a violin of Steve's" vs. "I borrowed a violin of Steve." The last is very stilted American English, and in the other cases, one clearly implies that Steve has more than one violin, while the other doesn't.

John henry, "tad" is like "mite" -- more common in the UK than here, and so it makes the reader pause momentarily.

Michael, you're right: Dashes would be far better than commas.



Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

JAORE, you have it right. The protesters/rioters/looters do not want themselves photographed except at a distance, where the massive size of the crowd is all you can see. What they emphatically don't want is the existence of photographs from which individuals can be distinguished and identified, because then there's a clear visual record on file of what specific people actually did, and a lot of it is illegal.

That everyone is supposed to be masked anyway at the moment would help, you'd think, except that the "protesters" are discovering the obvious, which is that a properly-worn mask makes strenuous physical activity exhausting. So a lot of the masks are in fact dangling around people's necks most of the time.

Clyde said...

The Normies are losing their patience. And there are a lot more Normies than there are BLM/Antifa assholes. And Normies VOTE.

Clyde said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caligula said...

“To fail to signal support is to risk getting dragged out of your car.”  Yes, and hello, Godwin! We’ve been here before, haven’t we? Places where failure to return “the salute” would likely get you beaten down in the street?

“Protesters called them out, fearing the photos would be posted on social media and used by police.”  Protesters love cameras: what’s the point of a protest that no one sees (it’s the proverbial tree in the forest)? Therefore these are not protesters.

“Why don't protesters want to be seen? Isn't that the idea?”  Not so hard to figure out, is it? A simple way to divide “protesters” from people who are not there to “protest.”


As for why we get such execrable "journalism," it's mostly because the "journalists" who cover these events volunteer to their editors to do so, and not because they want to find out what's going down, but because they are advocates who wish to present events in a manner sympathetic to the advocacy they share with the "protesters."

The larger question is, why do editors not make the effort to find more neutral observers to do the reporting? Are there no such reporters left, or do these editors just not care about the integrity of their product?

Michael K said...

Clyde said...
The Normies are losing their patience. And there are a lot more Normies than there are BLM/Antifa assholes. And Normies VOTE.


And normies have guns and CCW permits, at least in red states.

Bunkypotatohead said...

The writing was as bad as the rioting.

ken in tx said...

Using proper grammar is middle class bigotry. I heard an Educations Professor assert that at the University of Alabama in 1967. I didn't know enough then to recognize that he was a Marxist.

Hercules, not that one though said...

Argentinians learned to not stop at red lights. 2005. Americans never thought this would happen here. We talk about misplaced 'commas'. We want things to be normal. We want to believe things are normal.

Things are not normal.

Our corrupt cesspit of a Capitol City has $4 Trillion flowing through it every year. People flock to DC to wet their beaks. NO! We are better than that ! No, we aren't.

Gahrie said...

Ann, a few weeks ago, the WaPo decided to capitalize "White" as it already did "Black." They've effected the change all over the paper, even to op-ed columns (it was a real shock seeing George Will calling someone "White.")

I've been doing that forever. I didn't realize it was a thing. I just assumed since I was referring to a group of people, it should be capitalized.

tim in vermont said...

“Tussle” has a light hearted and humorous connotation. Like “Bugtussle” the fictional town in Green Acres. Dictionaries are not perfect. For instance if you tried to look up the word “baby” for the sentence “I felt the baby kick” in Websters, you would not find the correct definition “Not yet born child.” You simply can’t trust them completely.

Rory said...

“"Bugtussle” the fictional town in Green Acres."

That's Hooterville. The Beverly Hillbillies were from Bugtussle.

Hercules, not that one though said...

Haven't heard of Bugtussle, but I know where Boogaloo comes from. Buy me a beer, I'll school you.

3john2 said...

Mostly peaceful mayhem?