Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Goodbye, Pat

Pat Summitt has died. She was the winningest Division 1 coach ever, male or female. She was a class act through and through. She will be greatly missed.

Here's her obit in the New York Times.

And here's a video from WBIR, a Knoxville station.

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Week in Entertainment

DVD: Finished Grantchester season 2. I have decided that I really, really dislike Geordie. Really. Wallander season 4, the last one. They really did a fine job transferring those novels to film. Sad ending but oddly pleasing as well. Hail Caesar, which I wanted to see in the theater but never quite managed to. I liked it a lot. A whole lot.

Read: A Study in Charlotte, an excellent YA novel. Boar Island, the latest Anna Pigeon novel, pretty good. Began Lud-in-the-Mist, which I never read before though I'm not sure how I missed it.

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At 11:25 PM, July 03, 2016 Blogger andrea chiu had this to say...

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triciajoy.com

www.triciajoy.com

 

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

"The best we can do"

"The best we can [do is] to pray for the father and husband so he can work through this."

That’s what the sheriff said about a woman who shot and killed her daughters during a family argument.

She was apparently nice and cheerful and all the neighbors are shocked. However, deputies had been dispatched to the house on several occasions before this. But the gun stayed.

And now three women are dead and a man is hospitalized  (though not shot).

But prayers are the best the sheriff has.

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At 6:52 PM, June 26, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Sometimes requesting thoughts and prayers may be a euphemism for saying leave the *bleep* alone those who don't want to be contacted at a difficult time.

Not unlike the Southernism "Bless your heart," which doesn't mean that at
all.

 

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Monday, June 20, 2016

No, Miss Manners, that's not it

In a recent Miss Manners column, the reader says
When given devastating news, such as learning that a friend has Stage 4 cancer, my first thought is to say, “You will be in my prayers.’’

But if a friend is not of the same religious beliefs or is an atheist, this is not always appreciated. Is there another way of letting them know this?
I'm a little bit curious about that "this" that she wants others to know. I presume she means that she cares about them, but I can't really tell from the letter, where it sounds like she wants "another way" to let them know her first thought, which is to pray for them. However, I'm really writing this because Miss Manners manages to say that atheists ought be to be okay with that. Specifically, she says
"Miss Manners would think that a nonreligious person could appreciate a religious person’s seeking the solace in which he or she believes."
O fer... Sure. I'm happy if someone praying gets solace from it. The thing is, it's supposed to make me feel better that they're praying for me. That's why they tell me. That's what they're doing "for me" in my time of Stage 4 cancer. They're praying. They're not offering to bring food, or drive me to my chemo treatment, or take my dog for a walk, or cut my grass, or do my shopping, or look after my kids for an afternoon, or do my laundry.* They're praying.

And that's useless to me. And it's selfish of them. And yet I'm supposed to thank them for it.

I don't generally snark at it, but it doesn't do anything to give me solace.

*When I had cancer, it wasn't Stage 4, and I had neither kids nor a dog. But trust me: there was a big difference between the (very religious, by the way) coworker who showed up to drive me to chemo every three weeks and the ones who sent me cards praying for me.


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At 9:28 PM, June 21, 2016 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

Exactly. Talk and prayers are cheap, but that's about the extent of care that lots of people are willing to provide.

 

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Week in Entertainment

Somehow I scheduled this for the wrong day, so it's two weeks in one...

Live: Love Letters, which was a lovely, touching play.

Film: The Man Who Knew Infinity - a wonderful, brilliant movie. Terrific performances by Dev Patel (what a gifted actor he is!) and Jeremy Irons both. Lovely script. Highly recommended. Finding Dory, very enjoyable plus there was one moment where I actually teared up.

DVD: More Columbo. Some of Father Brown's third season. Some of Grantchester's second - does anyone actually like Geordie?

Read: The Man Who Knew Infinity, a very engaging biography. Dipped into Neil Gaiman's View from the Cheap Seats, which is collected nonfiction. One of them was a little intro essay for Diana Wynne Jones's Dogsbody, which led me to reread that and then move on the Eight Days of Luke, Fire and Hemlock, and Aunt Maria and then to two I had somehow missed before, Enchanted Glass and The Time of the Ghost.

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At 11:28 AM, June 20, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Well, the actor who PLAYS Geordie is kinda hot :-)

Last night we enjoyed the PBS trifecta: series finale of "Vicious," new series of "Endeavour," and a multi-parter called "The Tunnel" which opens with a victim found at the midway point in the Chunnel (won't give away any spoilers).

 
At 11:46 AM, June 20, 2016 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

I really went off Endeavour in the last season - all that murky Mason conspiracy, etc. Is season 3 good? Should I watch it?

Isn't The Tunnel a remake of The Bridge?

 
At 3:27 PM, June 20, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Yes, they said in the after-sequence to episode 1 that "The Tunnel" is an Anglo-French remake of "The Bridge" (never saw the original, however).

"Endeavour" 3.1 had nothing to do with Freemasonry (at least so as I could tell!) -- instead re the idle rich and carnies. Don't know yet re the rest of season 3.

 

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Reposted without comment

From Fred:

The New Yorker reached into its archives and resurrected this February 1996 piece from Henry Louis Gates: “Hating Hillary.” It is dismayingly timely.

Since 2008, I’ve dreaded that the 2016 campaign would see all this noxious stew resurrected and recirculated by those credulous or ignorant enough to think that Whitewater was a political scandal rather than a journalistic one. Remembering all the sleaze that Scaife et. al. were capable of fabricating pre-Citizens United, I wasn’t looking forward to what they could do with unlimited dark money at their disposal. The surprising — and deeply disappointing — thing turned out to be seeing so much of that sleaze recirculated by self-proclaimed “progressives” only a few years older themselves than that essay by Skip Gates. Rule-of-thumb: If you’re parroting 20-year-old lies from the Scaife Foundation, you’re probably not being “revolutionary.”

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At 2:17 PM, June 17, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Scaife is dead, and his survivors are at one another's throats in court over his estate.

 

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I know, but still

I know that companies don't want to/can't afford to hire enough people to answer their phones and deal with the things a phone menu can deal with.

I know that they don't want an upfront option for getting to a person - that defeats having the phone menu in the first place.

But if the "key code" is not on my bill, I don't care now many times the robot lady tells me to look for it and type it in. I can't do that. I need a human.

And I hate how long it takes to get that message through.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The banality of evil, slightly reformulated

This comment from Fred's place really hit hard:

"I knew we were well and truly fucked as a society when I realized what my high school students do after a mass shooting: nothing. They don't even talk about it the next day. For them, this is just how the world works."

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Thoughts and Prayers ... and nothing else

Yesterday, a little amendment about anti-discrimination protections for LGBT employees of federal contractors failed in the House. Yesterday. Two days after Orlando.

What are Republican "thoughts and prayers" worth, again?

Mood: ANGRY

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All Are People

I've seen a number of posts, comments, and even articles saying that it shouldn't matter that the people at Pulse were gay. We shouldn't divide ourselves up. It was, in the words of Mark Longhurst on Sky TV, a crime against “human beings” who were “ trying to enjoy themselves, whatever their sexuality."

This sentiment may be a wonderful one. BUT. This is not the time to trot it out (and that goes a hundredfold for people who have nothing but hate for LBGT people in their daily lives and politics).

When Marc Lépine walked into the École Polytechnique in Montreal and killed fourteen women, twelve of whom were engineering students, he wasn't killing "people" or even "people who were studying engineering". He was deliberately killing women.

When Dylan Roof walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston and killed nine black church-goers, he wasn't killing "people" or even "people who were Christians". He was deliberately killing blacks.

And when Omar Mateen walked into Pulse in Orlando, he wasn't killing "people" or even "people who go to clubs." He was killing LGBTs.

As soon as we say that the victims of a crime shouldn't be described as what they are that made them the target, we are begging off from confronting what it is that our society does to make people into misogynists, racists, or homophobes. Also, we remove our ability to understand what just happened. Julia Hartley-Brewer, another panelist on the Sky show, said that the killer probably hated her, “a gobby woman”, as much as he did gays. Maybe. Maybe he did; he seems to have also hated Jews and blacks. But dammit, he didn't walk into a Curves and start shooting, just like he didn't walk into a bar in his own town of Port St Lucie, or a black club or a synagogue. He walked into Pulse. Maybe he did it because he knew Pulse and knew who would be there; maybe he did it because he might not be noticed for a while (Port St Lucie has gay bars). The point is: of all the groups he hated, it was gays he decided to kill.

And pretending that he didn't target gays, or that Lépine didn't target women, or that Elliot Rodger didn't hate women and the men who "got lucky with them", means we're just saying that oh, gosh, crazy people kill people and what are we going to do about it.

Omar Mateen didn't kill "people". Omar Mateen killed gay people. It's important to acknowledge that.


ps - people's reactions to Owen Jones's argument and actions on that video are illuminating, I think.

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8 Comments:

At 9:09 AM, June 15, 2016 Anonymous Picky had this to say...

And there's a faint hint of "I know they were gay but they were still people" about that sort of statement (however unintentional).

 
At 12:48 PM, June 15, 2016 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Indeed there is, especially from the people who then turn around and vote down legislation for LBGT workers' protection - as our House just did.

 
At 5:34 PM, June 15, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

*Asterisk* He also killed a few non-LGBTs there who were supportive of LGBTs. But no doubt he considered them fair game as well, on account of their tolerance.

 
At 6:23 PM, June 15, 2016 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Yes. But I don't think he went there to kill straights. They were collateral damage.

 
At 6:34 PM, June 15, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Of course the gays were the targets, although I imagine he had hatred for anyone else who'd be there among them, as well.

 
At 10:55 AM, June 16, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

While the Montréal shooter specifically shot just women and the Charleston shooter only shot Blacks, some recent attackers have failed in their targeting of victims, who tragically are just as dead:

The gunman in the Kansas City, KS., area who hated Jews inadvertently killed only Gentiles (although presumably he disliked those who associated with Jews as well):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overland_Park_Jewish_Community_Center_shooting#Victims

The gunman in Colorado Springs who wanted to kill abortion patients and providers at a Planned Parenthood clinic killed instead a woman accompanying a friend to Planned Parenthood and two people who happened to be in the area but had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_Springs_Planned_Parenthood_shooting#Victims

In addition, Sikhs have been attacked because they were mistakenly assumed to be Muslims, since they also wear turbans.

 
At 11:13 AM, June 16, 2016 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

That's true. But my point is that we need to stop pretending that they don't have targets.

Many Republicans (not all) are trying to avoid saying anything about how the victims in Orlando were gay. Saying "they were people" or "oh, he killed a couple of straight people, too!" erases his intent. Once you're saying "he killed people" you can't address the elements of culture that made him feel killing his target demographic was okay.

It's like saying "NotAllMen" or "All Lives Matter". Yes. Yes, of course. But that is beside the point.

 
At 12:01 PM, June 16, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Totally agree re needing to stop pretending that they don't have targets. Of course they do.

But for the folks who say "He killed people," "NotAllMen," "All Lives Matter," etc., the collateral damage should be a wake-up call for them to recognize that Orlando, Montreál, Charleston, Overland Park, Colorado Springs, etc. were ALL hate crimes.

 

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