Category Archives: Geek Cred

Boys Only Want Love When It’s Torture: Game of Thrones Thread

Apologies for not getting this up Sunday night. We moved house Saturday and then I worked all day Sunday and got home very, very late and didn’t have it in me to do more than crash on the mattress which is on the floor right now because our bed is in pieces in the garage.

Spoilers.

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Every Winter That Ever Came Has Ended: Game of Thrones Thread

She’s a wolf. Forget that at your peril.

Spoilers within.

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Rummage sales are life. The rest is just details.

The reason this post is late is because I spent the last hour and a half looking up everything I could find on Carry-Lite Duck Decoys manufactured in Milwaukee.

Am I a hunter? No.

Do I care about becoming a hunter? No.

What the hell is wrong with me? A lot, it turns out.

I picked up six of these decoys at a rummage sale today, so duck decoys have become my obsession of the moment. A friend in California is a hunter and mentioned how to locate interesting and valuable decoys at one point. A friend here noted that a neighbor of his sold some for a pretty high price once.

A woman about my grandmother’s age had dumped a dusty box full of these things at the end of her driveway just as I drove up. She said she had no idea what they were, but her husband used them a long time ago. A price of six for $20, made of paper mache with a “Patent 1941” stamp on the bottom seemed like too good a bargain to pass up.

I scoured the Internet looking for various types of duck decoys and places to find them. I have yet to find one stamped like mine, so I either have a rare find or a box of shit. Eventually, I found myself going crazy so I stopped to write this post (Side note: I’ve stopped writing this a few times to go back to Google with the hope that maybe THIS set of search terms would yield an answer about who made these and when.).

It was at this point that a realization hit me: Rummage sale season is officially upon us.

This is a sacred time of year in Wisconsin, due in large part (I suspect) to the fact we spend nine months of the year housebound by snow and ice, so anything that gets us outside in sunny weather is worth doing. Neighborhoods get together to host 30, 40 and 50-family sales, in hopes of drawing massive amounts of traffic to their neck of the woods. Subdivisions are packed with trucks, vans and SUVs creeping along the winding roads in search of the next sale on the map someone at the last sale handed out.

Certain cities and towns are “known” for having certain citywide sales during certain weekends. Winneconne was two weeks ago, Omro was last weekend… I still have yet to attend the infamous “Irish Road Rummage” which is a cross between an insane asylum and an endurance test.

Rummaging was pretty much tattooed onto my DNA as a child, long before the “American Pickers” crowd made it trendy. Each summer, Mom would have off from teaching and I’d have off from school, so off we’d go every day we could find a sale. Estate sales, rummage sales, moving sales… It didn’t matter. If we were looking for bargains, at least she wasn’t making me scrape and paint the storms and screens around the house.

I still remember one find she made in the basement of a house that smelled like mold and cat pee: A 1950s-style grocery cart with two detachable wire baskets. The asking price was something like $12, so she had me haul that thing out of the cobwebs and somehow stuff it into the backseat of our 1979 Ford Thunderbird.

When we got it home, my father saw it and bitched up a storm: “The hell do you need that for? What the hell did you pay for that? Where the hell do you think you’re going to put that?”

Mom had an answer: She was going to have me spray paint it a couple bright colors and she was going to use it to shuttle stuff around her classroom. I think I was 16 at the time we bought the cart and I was more than 40 when she finally retired. The grocery cart was an integral part of her classroom for the quarter century in between.

To be fair, Dad wasn’t anti-garage sale. He just had his own way of valuing things that came from the sales. If you want to watch a 73-year-old man outrun Usain Bolt, just put some sports shit at a rummage sale and mark it “FREE!” I can’t tell you how many times we bought something on a Saturday and sold it for a profit on a Sunday at the card show.

My first and favorite big score was when I was 11. I rode my bike to a sale a couple miles from our house. I found a really cool flag I wanted and when I picked it up, I noticed a bunch of paper placemats under it with the box scores from Milwaukee Braves games. I asked the lady how much for each placemat.

“Take them all for $2.” So I did.

I had no idea what they were worth, but it was something I could show my Dad, so I tucked them carefully into a sack and rode home. He’d never seen one, so he went to one of “his guys” who happened to run a sports card place on Lincoln Avenue.

“They’re not worth much,” Leroy told my dad. “Maybe $5-6 bucks each…”

The next show, we put four of them in the auction. I watched as two guys went after these things until they finally sold for $26. The next month, we did it again. Same result.

I was thrilled to be getting $26 a month, but Dad had a better angle. He found the guy who lost the auction and asked if he wanted to buy some. We took him out to the car where we had the rest of them and Dad negotiated a price. I walked away with another $185 and a hyper-inflated lust for rummaging.

Over the years, we’d found a few things like that: Dad would see something of value, he’d ask what it would cost for all of the stuff there and then we’d resell the stuff at a profit. Still, nothing will ever top the Saga of the Beer Cans.

It was the weekend of my wife’s baby shower and we had come up from Indiana to Milwaukee so all of our family could attend. My mother took my wife for a spa day, leaving Dad and I to our own devices.

We decided to “take a walk” which usually led to us walking past rummage sales. At one in particular, we started poking around when a woman asked, “Hey, do you guys wanna buy a beer can collection?”

To this day, neither Dad nor I can figure what it was about us that said, “Hey, ask us about your beer can collection,” but there we were, looking at hundreds of cans stacked up in a row.

As if we knew the difference, the woman tossed in this pot sweetener, “I’ve even got some cone tops in there.”

Neither Dad nor I would have known a cone top from a Conehead, but for some reason, Dad asked, “How much?”

“Fifty bucks.”

“Nah.”

We started walking back home when I noticed we were both really quiet.

“Dad, I know you’re thinking about those cans,” I told him. “I can hear that gerbil on the treadmill in your head.”

“That’s only because I know you’re thinking about them too,” he told me.

We went home, looked up what the hell a “cone top” was and then decided to drive back. Just as we pulled up, a collector was there talking to the lady.

“No, no,” she said to the guy, as she pointed at us. “I promised these guys first.”

So, we essentially bought a beer can collection at that point, having no idea what we were going to do or how to sell it. Still, it seemed like we could make the money back even if we just scrapped the damned things, so we had that going for us. We had the entire SUV filled with several cases resting near Dad’s feet, when the lady said, “Don’t forget the ones on the side of the house.”

When we looked down the side of the house, we saw cardboard beer cases stacked four high as deep as the entire length of the house. It took us three trips to get all that stuff back to my parents’ house and it filled the whole garage stall.

Cutting to the end of the story, it took two trips with two SUVs to get all the stuff down to Indiana and we made more than $1,500 together from it.

Also, it was a miracle my wife didn’t murder me, even after I said, “I hope you get a lot of gift cards so we can take some of these cans home with us right away.”

Sorry, honey, but there are no “sacred cows” when it comes to rummaging.

I was once running late for church when I spotted a guy closing up a rummage sale. He had a lawn mower and a beer sign for sale, so I pulled a bootlegger turn in front of his house. He asked $3 for the beer sign and said the mower didn’t work. “Take the damned thing,” he pleaded. “Just get it out of here before my wife comes home.”

This led to me wrestling a push mower into the back of my SUV and spending an hour-long mass smelling like gasoline.

Mom and I will often be late for something but spot a sale and have to pull over. On Thursday, we were taking some furniture to a friend of hers when we noticed a sale. We almost tossed the stuff out of the truck on the lady’s lawn so we could get back there and look at the sale. I ended up with a liquor cabinet, a bench and a cuckoo clock. I also grabbed this gorgeous antique table that was about the size of dinner plate. It had an oval top with pressed flowers under a broken glass top. The top also flipped up so you could just display the art. I bought it for $12 and was thinking about how I could redo it and display it at our antique booth. As I was loading it into the car, Mom noted, “I want that. Can you refinish it for me?”

Again, no sacred cows. I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up pulling out of a funeral procession at some point because Dad spotted some bobble heads for sale.

Still, it’s not all about making money when it comes to garage sales. I can’t tell you how many times I ended up with a piece of furniture or something else because Dad found it at a yard sale and proclaimed, “I couldn’t buy the WOOD to make it for that cost!” My Mom loves to pick up cross-stitched pillowcases because nobody does that stuff anymore and she loves the details. Dad finds golf stuff and other stuff he already has three of but just “couldn’t pass it up at that price.” Eventually, when he stockpiles enough of the “had to have it” bargains, we do our own sales.

Each year, we have two sales: One up at my house and one down by my folks. I usually have tons of refinished furniture, sports memorabilia and rebuilt lawnmowers for sale, most of which came to me in damaged format from other rummage sales. It’s a good gig if you get a nice weekend, as people tend to flock to us in droves when it’s sunny out. Rainy weekends kill you and make you wish you’d never thought about doing one of these things.

This weekend is what we call a “half and half” sale: Friday is gorgeous without a cloud in the sky, but Saturday is supposed to bring torrential downpours. This leads to a great amount of self-deceiving justification on the part of people like me. I was headed to work at around 8:30 when I saw a sign for a “60-house rummage” in a subdivision. I was planning to do some writing for a book I’m finishing, submit my annual report information to my department chairperson and write this post.

Yeah, but… See… Rummage!

Obviously, the best stuff is available earliest on the first day and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so it’s clear I can’t go out tomorrow and it’s a beautiful day… Besides, I can do that shit later…

Thus, I spent the next four hours wandering through a subdivision, buying tons of stuff I might or might not need. A Blackhawks hoodie for my wife, a dresser to refinish for $10, a set of chairs for my buddy who has a buyer for a table we own if we could find chairs, a 1973 Bucky Badger Boxing decanter (sans booze), a couple tools and, of course, the ducks.

I had to have the furniture people hold the furniture for me after I paid them because I was driving Betsy and there was no way I’d get any of that stuff into her trunk. I was having an existential argument about buying a second dresser when someone else bought it first, so that ended up going that way.

Still, I eventually got the truck, got the furniture, got to work and got everything done, including this post, so no harm, no foul.

Speaking of fowl, time to figure out these ducks…

 

P.S. — Just for darrelplant

The One You Choose: 12 Monkeys, Trump, and motherhood at the end of the world

We’re in a place now, in our culture, where we’re talking about time travel a lot.

Those of us that aren’t talking about killer robots and how to screw them are talking about time travel. For a while we were talking about World War I a lot, which was understandable given the unwinnable, inexplicable wars grinding trenches through our public life. Then the trenches gave up their dead, and we talked about zombies for what seemed like forever.

Now we’re building time machines, trying to fill in the trenches before they’re dug. Trying to figure out if there is any way forward that doesn’t end up here. Can you blame us? Have you SEEN the world? David Bowie’s dead and Mitch Albom is alive and Coldplay is still making music; things are emphatically Not Good.

The destruction stories have gotten seriously tiresome, too. A few years ago maybe it seemed like fun, to burn it all down. In the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis and the seeming paralysis of anyone to do anything reasonable about it, it seemed prudent to read a lot of post-apocalyptic literature and stockpile dry goods for the siege.

All those stories, though, are about the people who magically survive and Become King in the new, desolated world. Let’s face it, the chances of that happening to you or me is pretty slim. And it’s always such a mean, small story: millions of people died, but let’s get invested in the five guys who could finally put their archery skills to good use!

So instead, we’re talking about a re-set. We’re talking about time travel. Which means I’m going to talk to you about 12 Monkeys.

Here’s SyFy’s description of it: 

Time traveler James Cole travels from the year 2043 to the present day to stop the release of a deadly virus by the enigmatic organization known as “The Army of the Twelve Monkeys”. That virus, in Cole’s future, caused the death of most of the world’s population. Led by a cryptic message from the past, Cole makes contact with the brilliant virologist Cassandra Railly, who he believes is the key to stopping the virus. Cole also enlists the help of Jennifer Goines (the insane daughter of the virus’ creator), and his best friend Ramse to stop the initial outbreak. As Cole journeys through time in an effort to stop the virus, he realizes the Army of the 12 Monkeys have a larger, more mysterious agenda.

Are you already bored? I was, too. I don’t blame you. Time travel shows make me exhausted in the way arguments about most trivia make me exhausted, like don’t make me do homework to enjoy something. If I have to build a conspiracy wall to figure out your story, generally, that’s too much work for me to do after a day of work, and getting all up in a fanboy argument about if you can kill yourself from the past or whatever is similarly not my idea of a party.

12 Monkeys isn’t about time travel, though. It’s about time.

The woman who invented time travel, who enlists Cole in this mission to undo the worst of humanity’s atrocities, is called Jones. Jones opens a box, midway through Season One. She takes out a blanket, embroidered with her daughter’s name. Hannah.

Hannah choked to death on the sickness, while Jones sang her a lullaby.

All Jones wanted was to make a timeline where her daughter didn’t have to suffer. All she wanted was for her child to be safe, and for that, she needed a clean slate. Cassie was trying to cure the plague, but Hannah was dead, and a cure wouldn’t change that. Jones needed to undo it.

Everything she did came from that impulse. She built a machine that ripped time apart. She killed dozens, maybe hundreds, chasing the moment when her daughter might have lived. She splintered men and women, sons and daughters, over and over and over again.

Wouldn’t you, in her place?

If you thought you could stop a war? If you thought you could save your child? If you thought you could save everybody’s children, in the few minutes a day that your breathless pain let you consider someone besides yourself, if you thought you could save everybody? I mean it, what wouldn’t you do?

You’d become a monster. You’d become a thousand monsters, and she did, Jones, only to find that timeline after timeline, splinter after splinter, the plague still came. She sent boys and girls back and forth until they literally exploded: Someone’s daughters, someone’s sons. She killed and killed and killed, and still it followed her, covering her footprints.

So she learned to live with Hannah’s ashes, finally, in Season Two. She learned to love and trust again. She found people she couldn’t sacrifice, not even for her blighted goals, not even for Hannah. Jones burned the world down and found nothing, and at that exact moment, when she’d exhausted every resource and spent every inch of herself, then Hannah stepped out of the darkness and into her arms.

The reason for everything, alive all along.

A lot of people thought it was a cheat, or that Jones should be shattered or angry or feel that she’d wasted something. That’s absurd. Nothing was wasted. A cure won’t save the dead and that’s still true. Hannah lived. So many others didn’t. What of them?

Do they not deserve every inch of Jones? Did someone else love her child any less? You don’t heal the world by loving you and yours. You heal the world by loving beyond family, beyond obligations of blood and bone.

This show is about time. There are so many other daughters.

When I first found this show, it was dark and cold, and I had a baby barely a year old, was working two jobs, and felt good about almost no part of my life at all. Insomnia addled the senses not already in a tailspin from the work schedule and the kid’s sleep strike, stress drinking got old pretty quick and so I wound up binging Jennifer Goines at 3 a.m., which is precisely NOT the time you really want to be hanging with this chick.

Jennifer is a very real person to me, almost as real as Starbuck. She’s been running forever. From her rich dad, from her doctors, from the voices she hears, from Cole, to Cole, time roaring in her mind like the ocean going in, coming out.

Her mother tried to kill her. Her father locked her up. She kept all his secrets and she never told a soul, and he left her in a cell to rot. She saw her co-workers die all around her, and she wept and raged, and she opened the door that ended the world. 

The eye of the hurricane, where the winds go still and the light pierces through, the speck of earth the tornado touches. Primary.

She’s used by the others, uses them, fights them, fights with them, and in the end she comes face to face with herself. Literally; Jennifer young meets Jennifer, old, and they stare at each other across the room. They’ll explode if they touch, if they get too close. It’ll cause a paradox.

If you met the you you’re going to be, 50 years from now, and the one you were, 50 years ago? If you met the person you needed to be to live in the world as it will be then, could you embrace that woman, that daughter, and sing her a lullaby?

Could you say to her, as Jennifer Goines did to her younger self, I know everything about you, every mistake you are ever going to make, every awful stupid cruel thing you’re ever going to do, and I don’t need to forgive you because there’s nothing to forgive?

Jennifer, in that room, owned up to how long she’d been running. How many times she’d stuck her fingers in the pages of the Choose Your Own Adventure books, trying to game the endings out, trying to get it right. And Jennifer said to her, there are many endings, and the right one is the one you choose.

You’ve got to pick, and if you let yourself go back over it and over it and over it trying to find a way out, you’ll scorch the ground you stand on. Jennifer’s been running so long. She’s been running in her head long before the world burned down. They put her in a cage and she built herself a wheel, turning and turning. The second season was Jennifer letting herself off, letting herself out.

We say you have to forgive yourself, and it always sounded like such a cop-out. Like sure, just tell yourself all your horrible things are okay, let yourself off the hook, how convenient. I never knew what that looked like until this show made it literal. 

Forget the costumes and the clocks. This show is about time, and what it does to you, and what you do back. 

Season Three starts with Cassandra Railly (separate from the entire character that is Her Hair) pregnant, frightened, cradling her belly. The beginning of anything is terrifying, and there is more ambivalence and fear than we admit, in childbearing. A child is optimism in its purest form, is hope embodied: Their world will be better than ours. But hope is helpless where we live now.

In Cassie’s world, everything’s on fire. Time is tearing itself apart. In ours, same, but so much more mundane: A small group of nasty people is destroying American government, has been for a while now, and has finally done enough damage to be noticed by those not directly targeted. Every damn day is a fight, about who we are and what we stand for, about things that shouldn’t even be a fight, like everybody’s full humanity, and if we can afford to teach people to read. The key attraction of the end of the world is its clarity: we dream of a single moment in which we could rise up heroes, instead of a thousand moments, every single day, which pass us by unnoticed.

My own daughter wants to right every wrong. Hearing a crying child in the store, she asks, “What’s the matter with that baby?” Seeing a schoolmate hurt she asks, “Are you okay?” We took her to the Women’s March in January, and she rode on her father’s shoulders, waving a sign that said, “Future President.” All I could think was that this would be the first world she would know, and if she would know that it was dumb and small and mean, then she’d also know that some of us fought back.

How do we raise our children, knowing the cruelty of the world? Knowing the plague is coming? They roll and twist inside us and we think we can protect them from their fate. Burn every spinning wheel in the kingdom and the princess still pricks her finger; build a wall of thorns a thousand feet high and someone will hack his way through. Save every penny and hide behind your bank account, hoard food in the cellar, weapons in the attic, ammunition in the coffee can under the bed. 

You can flash card them in Mandarin and drive them to piano lessons and teach them to swim and hunt and start a fire, but all you’re doing is arming them for the fight. You still have to trust their strength is greater than your own. You can’t protect your children. You can’t stand guard against the world. You can’t choose their endings for them; if you’re very very lucky you won’t even witness them. The unimaginable courage, in Cassie’s hands, to know everything about what her baby will become, and still hold him, and sing him a lullaby.

This is a story about time, and mercy, time and hope, time and fear. There are no clean slates. There is always forgiveness. And however long you have with your darling daughters, it’s never going to be enough.

Season Three of 12 Monkeys drops Friday. We may have more threads. Stay tuned.

A.

Fundraising Ends — Thank You All!

Thanks to the contributors who helped First Draft hit its goal. I’m informing the chinchillas that we are Making Them Great Again, by which I mean hit the road, we’re gonna get a lemur up in here.

In all sincerity, thank you all for supporting what we do here. On to the next debate!

A.

Sunday Final Fundraising Day

So, so close. We’re only $300 away from our goal right now! 

Do you want a paid van for the next debate and election night, that doesn’t smell like whatever the cats puked up when I took that hard left at Albuquerque? Do you want MOAR MOAR MOAR videos, pet pics, essays about bad cartoons and worse presidential candidates? Wanna carry us across the finish line and make sure you can stop seeing these posts?

Then CONTRIBUTE TODAY, and thank you! 

A.

Fundraising Final Stretch

The First Draft fundraising link is staying up through Sunday because, well, we only do this once a year. We don’t need tens of thousands of dollars ever quarter like the Freepi, because we don’t have as much of our souls to try to get out of hock, but we do want to keep the experience ad-free and pay for a nice van for election night so people stop getting kicked out and left by the side of the road. And right now our total stands short of that, less than half the number of contributors we had last year.

I don’t love admitting that. It’s not about guilting you into giving. It’s about feeling guilty I haven’t given people enough reason to support us. I know back when we started there were like six political blogs and whatever the fuck Andrew Sullivan was doing, and probably by now we should have all gotten real jobs and moved on.

But. Whenever I think about shutting the site down at some point in the future, I think about the people who read us and have for years, and who come around for every van we have, for whom we do what we do. It’s not just about having a place for US to talk (though, holy hell, without it I’m pretty sure we would have all gone crazy this election), it’s about having this place, for us to talk with you. I read every single comment on everything that gets published, even if I don’t respond, and you make us better, smarter, more open and compassionate and aware, every single day.

If you care about that, if you value that, consider contributing. If you think someone else already has and your support isn’t necessary or won’t make a difference, trust me, it is and it will.

If you’ve already contributed, thank you! If not, here’s the link.

A.

#NeverWingnuts

Watching otherwise intelligent people make common cause with scumbag assholes just because they both hate Trump is going to be the thing that ends me this election cycle. Jude and I have been texting this GIF back and forth to each other for like a year now:

varnish

Example one:

This deliberately stupid motherfucker was mocking Katrina victims AS THE HURRICANE WAS HITTING THEM. His mom made her bones convincing women to rat out other women in order to get likes back when likes were just dollars, and then he got a job appealing to the people even he thought were gross. And now, NOW, he wants to know who will speak up for him?

Buddy, you made sure anybody who would have been on your side was already six feet under politically. We tried to tell you this would eventually turn around on you, but you looked at the spreadsheet and called hippies smelly, called liberals fascist, called John Kerry a traitor and when called on your snide shit thought only of your sacred reputation.

Supposedly intelligent people should not be moved by pleas for sympathy from the likes of this. Jonah up there is the equivalent of those fratbros who buy a tiger as a pet and then are absolutely astonished when it grows up and rips their faces off.

Example two: ANYTHING Little Green Footballs tweets or posts regarding the unhinged-ness of Republicans and how awful and racist and crazy the party is now. I see people who are not otherwise idiots approvingly retweeting this site and again, forever, INTERNET GRANDMA, but  back in my day LGF was not something you went near without garlic and a big bag of sharpened stakes.

NEVAR FORGET: 

The man who was almost president shares a stage in Davos, Switzerland, with a rogue’s gallery of enemies, including the former president of Iran and his Iraqi puppet.

Nearly beyond belief. But this is John F. Kerry, doing what he does—giving aid and comfort to the enemies of America during wartime.

When reporter Jill Carroll was captured, then freed, by terrorists, this was LGF’s measured response: 

Note that even after her release, Carroll maintained that she had been treated well by her captors—so it would appear that this journalist for the Christian Science Monitor made these anti-American comments voluntarily.

Jesus H. Cuttlefish Christ. The “leftist-Islamist axis?” I almost forgot how fucking stupid everyone talked back in those days.

You don’t get to walk back from that and get anything other than a shortened wait time in purgatory. Like good for you for figuring it out before approximately 65 percent of your other wingnut friends, but I don’t think you’re due a parade. You certainly don’t get a cookie from people who at the time were looking at you and saying, “the FUCK, dude” while you were smearing your own poop on the walls and yelling about ISLAMOFASCISM.

I’m not saying people can’t come to Jesus. Plenty of them do and that’s fine, apparently, with Jesus. But I’m not Him and I don’t have to forgive, and with the Internet being a permanent record of everything ever, I’m certainly not willing to let anybody else forget.

A.

Even Their Gods Are Wrong: Game of Thrones Thread

As always, come for Robb’s fuzzy collar, stay for Catelyn’s OMG WE ARE SO FUCKED NOW face. All the Stark feelings.

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Everything Broken: Game of Thrones Thread

queeninthenorth

“Night work is not knight’s work,” Lady Dustin said. “And Lord Wyman is not the only man who lost kin at your Red Wedding, Frey. Do you imagine Whoresbane loves you any better? If you did not hold the Greatjon, he would pull out your entrails and make you eat them, as Lady Hornwood ate her fingers. Flints, Cerwyns, Tallharts, Slates … they all had men with the Young Wolf.”

“House Ryswell too,” said Roger Ryswell.

“Even Dustins out of Barrowton.” Lady Dustin parted her lips in a thin, feral smile. “The north remembers, Frey.”

— A Dance with Dragons

APPARENTLY NOT ALL THAT WELL.

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Full Circle: Game of Thrones Thread

drogon

Shorter Danaerys Targaryen: Me and THIS army, assholes.

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Through the Door: Game of Thrones Thread

jorahdany

This story is the worst of all fairytales, which is, they all come true.

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Please: Game of Thrones Thread

redwoman

You don’t go to your god with your certainty. That’s nothing. That’s not a sacrifice at all.

Spoilers within. Like, for real things, not just for things like me yelling OH YEAH and throwing pillows in the air.

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Going On: Game of Thrones Thread

Let’s get some stupid out of the way first: 

Do portentous birds and beasts appeal to you? Why not try spreading some fortune cookies around in your backyard and pretend they are pearls of wisdom bequeathed by Quizzilneck the Engimatic Gopher? That way you’ll still have 59 hours free to rotate your tires, clean out the gutters and complete all the various other chores associated with responsible adulthood.

My favorite Facebook comment on this “takedown” — as the URL describes it — was, “Which Hobbit hurt you, dude?”

This Northwestern prof seems really loud about how he doesn’t like Game of Thrones, and okay. I don’t like country music. I don’t go over to forums devoted to country music and yell I HATE ALL YOUR TWANGY WHINY OOOH SHE LEFT ME I’M SO SAD HORSESHIT AND I’M SO MUCH COOLER THAN YOU! Like what is the point of talking about which pop culture thing you do not enjoy? Did someone ask him? Was it not possible to simply say, “Not my scene?”

Fans can be annoying. My reaction to people who haven’t read The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is to shove a copy into their hands and offer to take care of all their work for a few days so they can devour it whole. I am evangelical on the topic of Our Lord and Savior Lin-Manuel Miranda. I do judge you if you’re not watching The Magicians.

I have things I’m sick of being told to love, too. Like the Beatles. Arrested Development. And church.

But instead of owning that you feel a little sad and left out because everybody likes this thing you’re not into, you write for the LA Times that that thing sucks and is uncool? I don’t … what contribution to the conversation does that make  beyond establishing you as a superior person not at all interested in clickbait?

Ugh. Moving on.

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In Case You Missed the 7,000 Posts Last Fall

First Draft has a book finally! If you didn’t contribute to the Kickstarter, you missed all the updates about the shipping for the first edition, which is almost done (will you last group of lazy people please fill out your surveys?).

Since that’s just about done, additional copies are on sale at Lulu.com, where you can read all about the bad early days of political blogging from me and our benevolent blogfather, relive the time Tena and I got wasted and liveblogged (there WAS NO TWITTER, YOUNGS) a presidential debate, and the origins of the whole “our fate is your fate” thing, which was all Scout.

Buy your copies up! If people want autographs maybe we’ll do a meetup in Madison or something in the fall, when hockey starts up again and life is therefore worth living again.

A.

Somebody Asked Harrison Ford What He Thought of Donald Trump

harrison ford wtf

And Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and my personal favorite, Mike Pomeroy, was perfect of course: 

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Trump praised Ford’s role as a heroic president in thriller Air Force One – and said that he ‘stood up for America.’

But in an interview with Australia’s Channel 10m, Ford jokingly suggested that Trump was unable to differentiate between films and real life.

‘It’s a movie, Donald. It was a movie’, Ford said in a mock patronising tone.

‘It’s not like this in real life. But how would you know?’

(Yes, I am going to see Star Wars, no, not on opening night I am old as fuck, yes I am insanely excited about it and we might have to have a thread next Sunday HOLY SHIT IT IS NEXT SUNDAY. The trailers make it clear the funny is back and I missed the funny, and also Leia is a general and you walking carpets can all suck it.)