Monthly Archives: June 2013

Justice Anthony Kennedy is Not That Into You

He’s been ducking your calls, refusing to introduce you to his mom, describing you to his friends as “that stalker chick,” throwing out the toothbrushes you keep leaving at his place, and the last time he caught you doodling your names on a piece of paper HE SET IT ON FIRE.Take the hint. Go home. Have a drink, take a shower, get a haircut, and move on with your life.

A.

‘The Beginning of the End’

Edith Windsor, on her victory today:

I do think, in many ways, the fact that the federal government will no longer discriminate against us — I understand “us” is we who are already married — but that’s a huge step.

When people asked, “What do you think will happen if you win?” I talked about, in some ways, the beginning of the end of stigma. It’s the beginning of the end of a lot of internalized homophobia, it’s the beginning of kids and teenagers falling in love for the first time and knowing that they can marry someday.

It’s already showing in the community. We have different self-esteem and different hopes, and different hopes means different futures.

State by state, the prejudices will fall away. Things won’t get better, people will MAKE them better, and ten years from now we won’t be able to believe where we were today, the same way I can’t believe where we were ten years ago:

Hard electoral losses in 2004 were credited largely to opportunistic bigot groups pushing state anti-gay measures to turn out the Republican base. Conservative Democrats were quick to say I Told You So.

“I believe it did energize a very conservative vote,” Senator Dianne Feinstein said at the time. “I think it gave them a position to rally around. I’m not casting a value judgment. I’m just saying I do believe that’s what happened.”

“So I think that whole issue has been too much, too fast, too soon,” she added. “And people aren’t ready for it.”

Turns out lots of people were, in fact, ready for it. Ready to be treated as equals, ready to be protected under the law, ready to be alive and in love and a part of the story they wanted to tell. And they fought to get us here today, and they’re heroes, one and all.

A.

Friday Ferretblogging

Chicken’s a grump: 

 photo IMG_20130614_082940_zps3bc9aa3e.jpg

We have him on new meds, as his adrenal cancer’s really kicking his ass (his pancreatic cancer’s still under control) and they haven’t quite kicked in yet, so he’s really crabby, chewing on Claire and Bucky and giving me this ferret bitch-face like, “DON’T YOU FEEL GUILTY FOR TRYING TO MAKE ME BETTER GIVE ME A TREAT PINK THING.” 

The vet says give it another week or so. The treat supply will be exhausted by then. 

A. 

All in the Context

Print is dead, is dead:

For years, the digital zealots have been telling us that newspapers were dead in the water, a relic of the past destined to go the way of the dinosaurs and eight-track tapes.

But, in what must be a big disappointment for the digi-geeks, newspapers have stubbornly clung to life. Sure, some have closed, but the U.S. is still home to roughly 1,300 of them. And while these are tough times for the newspaper business, barring some wildly unforeseen calamity (say, an asteroid hitting the earth), it’s difficult to imagine all of them suddenly disappearing tomorrow. Or next year. Or even five years from now.

And papers haven’t survived simply because of a certain nostalgia some of us have for ink on newsprint. They’re around because they still make money. Indeed, they still get much more revenue from printed ads than they do from digital ones. (As I’ve written before, digital advertising has proven to be a major disappointment. One study found that for every $7 papers lost in print ad revenue, they gained a paltry $1 in digital.)

I will never understand why it’s so hard for us to grasp that there are certain contexts in which print can work. Why give up on something that works just because something else works, too? People pick up your paper and they read it, they buy ads in it, they like it. Why kill it in favor of something that other people also like and do? Why cut off your customers unnecessarily? Printing is not THAT expensive. (Distribution can be, if it’s badly managed, which it usually is.) Why not serve your customers?

Figuring out which audiences are best served by digital, and which are best served by print, and creating content that either works in both platforms or works in each platform should not be the impossible dream we’ve made it out to be. It’s not like the market research teams don’t exist. It’s not like we don’t already pour thousands of dollars down the maws of consultants who tell you to change the masthead font, like anybody gives a shit about that. Let’s take a few of those thousands and figure out where everybody is and then get our stuff to them there.

Just don’t suck. Don’t suck at getting the news to people. Don’t whine about how things used to be, don’t long for the days when Kids Today read the paper (they never will unless you stop insulting them), don’t be the bitter hipster talking about how print is more pure and film is the only true medium and people are too superficial to understand and here’s another package about Paula Deen. Just fucking go out there and do your job and don’t suck.

What most of the industry’s problems come down to right now is that news organizations suck. Newspaper web sites suck, the paper sucks, and if one half of that equation happens to not suck they will MAKE it suck in favor of the other half. And when customers have the temerity to point out that such things do, in fact, suck, news execs respond with marketing-speak about changing tastes forcing them to transition you to a suckier experience against your will, for which you should be grateful, hippie.

They people who figure this out will be the ones left standing in the end, while everybody else flails around cluelessly and runs their bloated, heaving sites into the ground and then laments how people don’t read anymore.

A.

Weekend Question Thread: FOODZ Edition

Have you ever lost your taste for something, either by growing out of it, an illness, or some other change in your life?

I used to loathe most vegetables, but now I love carrots so much I actually crave them if it’s been a while. Glazed carrots, raw carrots, steamed carrots all mashed up, OM NOM NOM.

A.

Sunday Morning Video: David Bowie’s Serious Moonlight Tour

David Bowie had a direct connection to the cultural zeitgeist for a very long time. He adopted a series of personas during the 1970’s and ’80’s, all of them successful and very interesting. In 1983, he decided he wanted to be the biggest rock star in the world and released Let’s Dance. It worked. This video documents the wildly successful and popalicious tour in support of that album:

There’s an app for everything

I just got an email from the AMC movie chain.They’re proud that their smart
phone/tablet app has added a practical but somewhat gnarly feature:

Plan potty breaks with RunPee. Click the ‘RunPee’ button on any movie page and find the
best times to go, so you don’t miss any crucial plot twists or action
sequences. We’ll let you know what you missed, and if there’s anything after
the credits.

Given the size of the big ass uber
diuretic sodas they sell this is practical, but calling it RunPee? Sheesh. It should, however, make New Orleanians feel like it’s Mardi Gras. Having a place to pee on the pee-rade route is a high priority in these parts…

Tammy Duckworth is a Badass

It’s been a great week for Democratic women. Real disabled veteran Tammy Duckworth eviscerated a fake disabled veteran at a Congressional hearing the other day. It’s a thing of beauty. I saw it on the Last Word last night, so I’ll let veteran name dropper Laurence O’Donnell provide you with the set-up:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday Night Music: Rolling Ocean

I’ve been on a bit of a Johnny Clegg bender lately. This song combines the African thing with the Ska thing. The result is pop magic:

The Governor Enema Watch

I’m back on the Bob McDonnell aka Governor Enema beat. I’m using the word watch literally because the latest questionable “gift”Bob and his grifter wife, Maureen, have received is a $6,500 Rolex:

A prominent political donor purchased a Rolex watch for Virginia Gov.
Robert F. McDonnell, according to two people with knowledge of the
gift, and the governor did not disclose it in his annual financial
filings.
The $6,500 luxury watch was provided by wealthy businessman
Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the people said. He is the chief executive of
dietary supplement manufacturer Star Scientific and the person who paid
for catering at the wedding of the governor’s daughter. The people spoke
on the condition of anonymity because of an ongoing federal
investigation into the relationship between Williams and the McDonnell
family.

Williams’s gift came in August 2011 — about two weeks after he met
with a top state health official to pitch the benefits of his company’s
health products at a meeting arranged by first lady Maureen McDonnell,
according to people who know of the meeting.

Williams bought the
watch at the urging of Maureen McDonnell, who admired Williams’s own
Rolex and suggested that he buy her a similar one she could give to her
husband, the people said. Her proposal occurred moments before the
meeting she had arranged with the state official, according to one
person familiar with the request.

The Rolex, engraved with the
inscription “71st Governor of Virginia,” represents the first
undisclosed gift known to have been used personally by McDonnell (R)
among tens of thousands of dollars of undisclosed giftsgiven to the governor’s family.

It’s nice to see that the WaPo is still capable of committing an act of journalism in the Stanley Kaplan/Fred Hiatt era. Of course, if Governor Enema were to spend more time agitating for military intervention hither and yon, Fred Hiatt might fluff him editorially.

Bob McDonnel is such a schnorrer. You know the type, he’s the political version of the rich guy who never carries a wallet and never pays for anything. You know, the guy Pete Campbell aspires to be. And Maureen McDonnell’s shopping expeditions with the Star Scientific guy make Mary Todd Lincoln look frugal. Virginia politics haven’t been this spicy since Chuck Robb got caught with his pants down.

No wonder McDonnell is into digestive system detox cleansings.He’s full of it.

Friday Catblogging: Bag Boy

This is an old picture of Oscar taken before he moved into Adrastos World HQ. I believe he just took a look at his receipt from Whole Paycheck and attacked the bag. Or maybe not:

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When JAMES SENSENBRENNER Thinks We Are Still Racist …

Broken clocks, blind squirrels, etc. But still:

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who was a key player in getting the Voting Rights Act legislation renewed in 1982 and 2006, said the Supreme Court may have ruled Tuesday to strike down a critical portion of the act, but the “threat of discrimination still exists” and he will put “partisan politics aide and ensure Americans’ most sacred right is protected.”

Looks like at least one Republican actually got the memo about the rebranding.

A.

Remember What The Rememberers Remember

When people are paying tribute to Nelson Mandela:

Really, I have no desire to hear them from leaders of parties who described his organisation as terrorist, who believed that sanctions were wrong, whose jolly young members wore T-shirts demanding he be strung up. Of course, not all Tories were pro-apartheid, but I can already feel the revisionism revving up.

[snip]

By 1984Jerry Dammers had written Free Nelson Mandela. But apartheid continued to exist, propped up by the Tories. Some of their elder statesmen, such as Norman Tebbit, still see Thatcher’s policy as a success.David Cameron denounced it in 2006, saying she had been wrong to condemn the ANC as terrorists and to have opposed sanctions. Too late for those veteran campaigners such as Peter Hain, who had seen the massacres in the townships and knew it was a life-or-death struggle.

We’ll have our share of hypocrites here, too, people who either did nothing when apartheid was the law of the land, or actively supported it, talking about Mandela as if they were close personal friends.

A.

I hope she invites the Chief to the wedding

Chief Justice Roberts’ openly gay cousin Jean Podrasky is itching to get hitched now that Prop-8 is toast. She hasn’t decided if she’ll invited him to the wedding but I really hope she does. He could also bring his cranky little friend Tony Scalia, who increasingly reminds me of Louie DePalma. Of course, Danny Devito is much better looking than Nino. Now that I think of it, don’t invite Nino to your nuptials, Joan. He’ll end up giving you The Wedding Bell Blues:

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Cornered

Dick Powellhad a remarkable film career. At a time when typecasting was SOP, Powell was able to move from being the star of light musical comedies to the tough guy roles he perfected in films like Murder, My Sweet and this week’s PFT entry, Cornered. It’s a multi-genre movie that hops from film noir to revenge flick to social commentary. It works on all those levels, plus the night photography is to die for. Here are the lobby cards:

Cornered_Cards

Here’s the trailer:

I Doubt He Grasps The Irony

From Album4

But after declaring “Texas value life and want to protect women and the unborn,” Governor Goodhair had Kimberly McCarthy executed, the 500th person since the death penalty resumed in the Lone Star State.

DOMA DOWN LOVE WINS

Oh baby, is it too early in the day to break out the champagne WHO THE FUCK CARES.

Marry me, Anthony Kennedy.

Marry each other, people everywhere! 

Dancing. Just dancing. 

A.

Then Sometimes You Win

Wendy-davis-TX-sebate-e1372184595671
This is what a badass looks like.

This bill was gonna pass, you guys.

I mean, come on. It had passed other places, this was a red state, and how many times have we lost these fights?

How many times have we had our hopes crushed already?

How many times have we heard people talk nobly about how they did all they could, and what more do you expect?

I’ll tell you what more I expect. I expect this. In every state legislature. In every state in the union. In every day of every month of every year in which there is something to stand for, I expect to see someone standing up.

Tens of thousands watched last night as Wendy Davis and Texas Senate Democrats filibustered, delayed, argued and fought for more than 12 hours to keep a bill restricting women’s medical care from becoming law. They fought it how these fights should be fought, with every last weapon, with every last breath. Not with the army they had, not with the powder that didn’t need to be kept dry, not within the bounds of reason. Within the bounds of necessity.

And when they were about to lose, when the odious Republican men in charge refused to hear the women demanding to be heard, something extraordinary happened.

The people in the gallery, the people in the statehouse, the people watching, the people outside?

They shook those windows and rattled those halls for 10 solid minutes so that no vote could be taken over the voices of those who’d been silenced, and the Internet erupted in joy, and the Republicans cut their mics and you could still hear them, calling out, from miles away.

And they won:

Although some Republican lawmakers later claimed the bill had passed in time, Democrats denied that the vote was completed before the clock ran out on the session.

A time stamp showing the vote completed after midnight was the deciding factor. “This will not become law,” Sen. John Whitmire (D), told The Austin American-Statesman.

Republicans are whining about how uncivil it was to not sit quietly while women’s rights were violated:

According to The Texas Tribune, Dewhurst was less than pleased by the evening’s turn of events. After ruling that the time on SB 5 had expired, he told reporters that “an unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics” had derailed legislation that was designed to protect women and babies.

And I’m sure our profession concern troll class is readying a series of columns on what that unruly mob should have been wearing in order to really be legitimate, but you know what? They can all eat a dick. Because what we saw last night was something we ain’t seen in quite a long time.

Nine times out of ten, you stand up and nobody listens. Nine times out of ten, you lose anyway, and everybody clucks about how foolish you were for calling attention to yourself like that. Nine times out of ten, you go home trying to convince yourself a moral victory is a victory, when you know damn well it’s not.

The tenth time, you stand on your feet for 10 hours, and your friends come to your aid, and in your moment of extremity a hundred thousand strangers raise their voices and lift you up, and the voices that are trying to silence you are drowned out, and what you’ve done echoes from sea to shining sea, and you win. Sometimes, you win.

A.

Wendy Davis is a Badass

THIS is what standing up for women looks like.

God, look and learn, lazy-ass lawmakers. Look and learn. This is what you do when something REALLY matters. This is what you do when you really want to fight.

Wendy Davis for president. This, now, today.

A.

Quote of the Night

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