Weekend Question Thread

Since Athenae’s out, I’m usurping the Question Thread. It’s getting unfortunately cold outside for those of us in civilized latitudes (lookin’ at you, Adrastos). What do you do for entertainment when it’s too cold to just go drink a beer on the porch in a t-shirt? I’ve hauled out the knitting and bought a 1000-piece puzzle; there will also be much roasting of poultry and making of soup. If it deigns to snow this year, I’ll haul out the cross-country skis, but the weather has been somewhat fickle in that regard the past few years. Continue reading Weekend Question Thread

‘Color-Blind’ Racial Attitudes

I’m taking a class this semester to learn how to teach; specifically, I’m taking a class to learn how to deal with the challenges and opportunities inherent in a classroom with a diverse student body. What exactly is meant by “diverse” ranges from national origin to race or ethnic identity, or from gender to sexual orientation to even just your mastery of the English language. It’s a recognition that every student in your class is coming at your subject from a different place from every other student, and ignoring that background diversity can impede your ability to actually get a … Continue reading ‘Color-Blind’ Racial Attitudes

Weekend Question Thread

Since Athenae’s out, I’m usurping the Question Thread. It’s getting unfortunately cold outside for those of us incivilized latitudes (lookin’ at you, Adrastos). What do you do for entertainment when it’s too cold to just go drink a beer on the porch in a t-shirt? I’ve hauled out the knitting and bought a 1000-piece puzzle; there will also be much roasting of poultry and making of soup. If it deigns to snow this year, I’ll haul out the cross-country skis, but the weather has been somewhat fickle in that regard the past few years. Continue reading Weekend Question Thread

Explaining our “normal”

I had a meeting with our dean last week to talk about various facets of life at the U. We had recently undergone salary equity issues and I found that apparently our administration felt I, unlike 92 percent of my college-wide colleagues, was equitable enough to not merit any additional dollars. The discussion was awkward for me, as I grew up in a home that was populated by a teacher and a factory worker. Talking to anyone about my salary in any way always made me feel like Latrell Sprewell bitching about how $21 million wasn’t enough to feed his … Continue reading Explaining our “normal”

The Fog of History: The Oswald Enigma

Frontline is consistently one of the best non-fiction shows on teevee, so it’s not a big surprise that Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald is one of the best entries in the macabre 50th anniversary sweepstakes. Did I really say sweepstakes? Yeah, just deal with it. The Frontliners give us a comprehensive look at one of the most baffling aspects of the whole story: what drove Oswald to do what he did. The puny and unimpressive nature of the man himself is one reason that so many people have a hard time believing that he killed a great man like Jack … Continue reading The Fog of History: The Oswald Enigma

PBJ blows with the wind

Bobby JIndal is a human weather vane. He walks around with his index finger extended at all times to see if it’s time to change positions.The prevailing wind in the GOP right now seems to be gusting pragmatism: Republican governors’ leader Bobby Jindal turned on his party’s national leadership on Wednesday, calling on the GOP to suggest alternative ideas for healthcare and immigration reform rather than simply defining itself as the “party of no”. Amid signs of a growing backlash among Republican moderates since the failed government shutdown and the landslide re-election of centrist New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Jindal … Continue reading PBJ blows with the wind

Threatening Their Way of Life

Whet explains some of the venom directed at bikes and bikers: And transit is at the dead center of this shift, perhaps literally—in 2012, economists from Berkeley and Oregon State argued that rising gas prices popped the housing bubble, as the quick, steep mid-2000s increase pushed families past their financial breaking points, forcing them to reconsider or involuntarily abandon long, expensive commutes. All this sounds like a nightmare scenario if you live in the suburbs. Gas prices rise and housing prices fall, eating into liquid capital and equity. Families with the ability to move return back to the city, depressing … Continue reading Threatening Their Way of Life

The Fog of History: The Umbrella Man Meets Abraham Zapruder

No such meeting ever occurred but the Umbrella Man was spotted in the Zapruder film, which led to some wild speculation since it was a gorgeous sunny day in Dallas 50 years ago today. Errol Morris did a short film for the NYT 2 years ago, which contains the answer as to why this guy had an umbrella. The film also features one of the most interesting and engaging figures in JFK assassination buffdom, Josiah Thompson, philosophy professor and gumshoe: Speaking of Zapruder, one of my favorite non-fiction writers, Ron Rosenbaum, has an excellent piece in October’s Smithsonian Magazine about … Continue reading The Fog of History: The Umbrella Man Meets Abraham Zapruder

‘Color-Blind’ Racial Attitudes

I’m taking a class this semester to learn how to teach; specifically, I’m taking a class to learn how to deal with the challenges and opportunities inherent in a classroom with a diverse student body. What exactly is meant by “diverse” ranges from national origin to race or ethnic identity, or from gender to sexual orientation to even just your mastery of the English language. It’s a recognition that every student in your class is coming at your subject from a different place from every other student, and ignoring that background diversity can impede your ability to actually get a … Continue reading ‘Color-Blind’ Racial Attitudes

Malaka Of The Week: Joel DiGrado

Joel DiGrado is Rep. Bill Cassidy’s campaign manager. Cassidy is the Red Stick based GOP challenger to Senator Mary Landrieu. I’d never heard of DiGrado until today.He got on my radar screen by tweeting this image of, uh, “MussoLandrieu” after the Senator voted aye on filibuster reform: The image comes from the right wing Louisiana political blog The Hayride, and is actually kind of funny. Joel DiGrado’s malakatude is not in finding this amusing but in tweeting a link to the image when he’s her main opponent’s campaign manager. It, of course, makes it look like the Cassidy camp thinks … Continue reading Malaka Of The Week: Joel DiGrado

The Fog of History: The Umbrella Man Meets Abraham Zapruder

No such meeting ever occurred but the Umbrella Man was spotted in the Zapruder film, which led to some wild speculation since it was a gorgeous sunny day in Dallas 50 years ago today. Errol Morris did a short film for the NYT 2 years ago, which contains the answer as to why this guy had an umbrella. The film also features one of the most interesting and engaging figures in JFK assassination buffdom, Josiah Thompson, philosophy professor and gumshoe: Speaking of Zapruder, one of my favorite non-fiction writers, Ron Rosenbaum, has anexcellent piece in October’s Smithsonian Magazine about the … Continue reading The Fog of History: The Umbrella Man Meets Abraham Zapruder

Racing Towards a Milestone

From Album 5 Tomorrow officially marks 50 years since fate and a remarkable set of coincidences met up in Texas. While I no longer believe in any conspiracy theories — I honestly think Oswald had motive and opportunity, and while not exactly of means, he managed to scrape enough together to purchase a rifle and pistol. History has plenty enough similar twists of fate. Anyway, I’ve been enjoying the ride through what’s now, well, the past (not to sound flippant, but some of the television footage looks almost like a cinema verite version of Mad Men). Apast that in some … Continue reading Racing Towards a Milestone

Occasionally Ladies Drink, and Dance, Which Makes Their Daughters Drug-Addled Sluts

Once you have children, having any kind of fun sets such a bad example: The trend toward hipper, hotter moms has already been prevalent among Hollywood types. Dina Lohan used to famously go out clubbing with daughter Lindsay Lohan. Madonna and her daughter, Lourdes, Demi Moore and her daughter, Rumor Willis, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and her mother, Helen Polizzi, are just some of the famous mother-daughter duos seen out together. On Bravo’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” family matriarch Kris Jenner and her Kardashian daughters are seen as nightclub regulars. But not everyone agrees that mothers and daughters regularly partying … Continue reading Occasionally Ladies Drink, and Dance, Which Makes Their Daughters Drug-Addled Sluts

PBJ blows with the wind

Bobby JIndal is a human weather vane. He walks around with his index finger extended at all times to see if it’s time to change positions.The prevailing wind in the GOP right now seems to be gusting pragmatism: Republican governors’ leader Bobby Jindal turned on his party’s national leadership on Wednesday, calling on the GOP to suggest alternative ideas for healthcare and immigration reform rather than simply defining itself as the “party of no”. Amid signs of a growing backlash among Republican moderates since the failed government shutdown and the landslide re-election of centrist New Jersey governorChris Christie, Jindal opened … Continue reading PBJ blows with the wind

Headline Of The Day: Oh, Canada Edition

It comes a Slate article by Dahlia Lithiwck who is herself Canadian: Canadians Secretly Loves Rob Ford Because He Makes Them Feel Less Dorky I’m not sure if the Mayor has body slammed anyone today yet, but I’m sure he’ll do something weird now that the whole world’s watching. I’ll miss him when he goes off to rehab or otherwise disappears from the scene. He’s a big city Mayor who makes C. Ray Nagin look slightly less embarrassing… Continue reading Headline Of The Day: Oh, Canada Edition

John Doe 2: The Walkening

Hat tip to Jude for the heads-up: Eric O’Keefe, the director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, told the nation’s most widely known conservative editorial page he received a subpoena in early October. O’Keefe said at least three targets had their homes raided, according to the newspaper on Friday. The opinion piece said about 30 groups had received subpoenas, including heavy hitters nationally. It named eight of them: Walker’s campaign; the Wisconsin Club for Growth; American Crossroads, a group co-founded by Karl Rove, the former adviser to President George W. Bush; the Republican Governors Association; the Republican Party of Wisconsin; … Continue reading John Doe 2: The Walkening

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Manchurian Candidate

The 1962 version ofThe Manchurian Candidate is one of the best political thrillers of all time. (The Jonathan Demme remake is pretty good as well.) It was pulled from circulation in the wake of the Kennedy assassination by star/producer/former JFK pal, Frank Sinatra. The story has a few superficial similarities to Oswald’s but many, many more differences. But it was still wise to pull the movie when the country was numb over the events in Dallas. Here’s an early cover of Richard Condon’s 1959 novel: Here’s the poster for the re-release of John Frankenheimer’s brilliant 1962 film: It’s trailer time: Continue reading Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Manchurian Candidate

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Manchurian Candidate

The 1962 version of The Manchurian Candidate is one of the best political thrillers of all time. (The Jonathan Demme remake is pretty good as well.) It was pulled from circulation in the wake of the Kennedy assassination by star/producer/former JFK pal, Frank Sinatra. The story has a few superficial similarities to Oswald’s but many, many more differences. But it was still wise to pull the movie when the country was numb over the events in Dallas. Here’s an early cover of Richard Condon’s 1959 novel: Here’s the poster for the re-release of John Frankenheimer’s brilliant 1962 film: It’s trailer … Continue reading Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Manchurian Candidate

Racing Towards a Milestone

FromAlbum 5 Tomorrow officially marks 50 years since fate and a remarkable set of coincidences met up in Texas. While I no longer believe in any conspiracy theories — I honestly think Oswald had motive and opportunity, and while not exactly of means, he managed to scrape enough together to purchase a rifle and pistol. History has plenty enough similar twists of fate. Anyway, I’ve been enjoying the ride through what’s now, well, the past (not to sound flippant, but some of the television footage looks almost like a cinema verite version of Mad Men). Apast that in some ways … Continue reading Racing Towards a Milestone

John Doe 2: The Walkening

Hat tip to Jude for the heads-up: Eric O’Keefe, the director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, told the nation’s most widely known conservative editorial page he received a subpoena in early October. O’Keefe said at least three targets had their homes raided, according to the newspaper on Friday. The opinion piece said about 30 groups had received subpoenas, including heavy hitters nationally. It named eight of them: Walker’s campaign; the Wisconsin Club for Growth; American Crossroads, a group co-founded by Karl Rove, the former adviser to President George W. Bush; the Republican Governors Association; the Republican Party of Wisconsin; … Continue reading John Doe 2: The Walkening