Open Thread for Monday, April 15, 2019

I'm Jon Snow, and I know nothing about what happens after Season 7, episode 5!

I’m Jon Snow, and I know nothing about what happens after the fifth episode of Season 7!

Y’all can talk about what you want, but as for the suggested topics from me, I’m going less for today’s headlines, to talk about things I find more interesting:

  1. Don’t tell me what happens on Game of Thrones! — A couple of weeks ago, I signed back up for HBO Now after a two- or three-year hiatus, so I could watch Season 7 of GoT before the first episode of Season 8 came out. I didn’t quite get there, having only finished the 5th episode from 7 just last night. Jon Snow, the Hound and some others have just set out north of the Wall. But of course, today, everybody’s trying to tell me about the episode released last night. Why are they doing that? If you wanted to see it, you watched it — or, you’re saving it, and you don’t want people telling you about it. Right?
  2. Is America Hopelessly Polarized, or Just Allergic to Politics? — This is interesting. This study found that yes, increasing numbers of Americans don’t want their kids to marry someone of that other party, but it also measured their strong wish to just not hear about it, no matter what you think. In fact, lots of folks “aren’t happy with an in-law from the opposing party discussing politics, but many are just as unhappy with an in-law from their own party who insists on political conversation.” So just shut up, already…
  3. Trump and the Annihilation of Shame — Actually, this Bret Stephens column isn’t so much about Trump as about someone who was his opposite. It’s inspired by the passing of Charles Van Doren, a man who did something shameful and actually had the decency to be ashamed of it. How quaint, right? Loser! Sad…
  4. Keep the Aspidistra Flying — That’s the original title of a story by George Orwell, which Hollywood for some reason changed to “A Merry War,” which makes zero sense — it has nothing whatsoever to do with what happens in the film. Anyway, I’m sharing this bit of arcana because my wife and I stumbled over it on Amazon and watched it, which is one reason I’m still behind on Game of Thrones. Anyway, it’s about a guy who is a whiz at writing advertising copy who chucks it all to become a poet — but in the end chucks that to go back to earning a living. I sort of enjoyed it. It was instructive.
  5. Maybe Lloyd Webber should be in the hymnal — This is another episode of me not thinking about what I should be thinking about in church. Yesterday was Passion Sunday — Palm Sunday to you prods — and we sang a couple of hymns suitable to the liturgy. But as we held our palm fronds and heard the Gospel reading about the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, I kept thinking it would be great if we were singing “Heysanna, Hosanna” from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” It’s a great song, and really captures the moment: “If every tongue were still the noise would still continue; the rocks and stones themselves would start to SING…” I like the way that note on “SING” rings out…

That’s about it for now. What do YOU want to talk about?

A scene from 'A Merry War,' a title that makes no sense.

A scene from ‘A Merry War,’ a title that makes no sense.

24 thoughts on “Open Thread for Monday, April 15, 2019

  1. bud

    Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is burning. Spire has collapsed. I just watched the 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame. Damn shame.

  2. bud

    A great deal has been written by the “conservative” punditry about the so-called hate speech of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. This dangerous practice needs to stop. Yes Omar has some difficulties understanding the nuances of the language of her adopted country. But Omar is fighting for the American dream. She is a dedicated American by all rights and deserves more respect than some misguided pundits who call her a member of the “peanut gallery”. Really? These dangerous and grotesquely inappropriate comments need to stop. They just reinforce the harsh politicization of our president, a man who once shamelessly and falsely asserted he witnessed “thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the 9-11 attacks”. While I recognize some inappropriate nuance in Omar’s comments she makes sound observations about our inappropriate relationship with Israel. But judge for yourself if you believe Omar is some radical threat to the principles of the American way. Here are her closing remarks during the speech featuring the oft quoted out-of-context remarks related to 9-11.

    “And I know as an American member of Congress, I have to make sure that I am living up to the ideals of fighting for liberty and justice. Those are very much rooted in the reason why my family came here.
    “And so, regardless of how hard Washington might get for me, or your neighborhoods might get for you, you have to always remember that we have a mission as humans to love one another, to care for our neighbors, to raise compassionate children, and to fully, every single day, show up and make sure that we are furthering justice.”
    -Congresswoman Ilhan Omar

      1. Mr. Smith

        The 2018 elections brought new and often overlooked voices to Congress.
        Thank goodness for that.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I’m sure the folks who voted for the members of the Freedom Caucus feel the same way.

          New is fine, although completely inexperienced in politics is not. Overlooked is great, as long as they understand what they’re doing.

          Perhaps the “overlooked” part of your comment has to do with identity politics — demographics. We already have FAR too many white guys in Congress who shouldn’t be there. It doesn’t help one iota to add to the mix people from other groups who are just as clueless…

    1. Bart

      bud, you and others on this blog can defend her all you want and make excuses for her lack of “nuance”. However, remember this when you are rushing to her defense. She arrived in this country at the age of 9 in 1992. She was almost 20 when the Twin Towers were brought down by Muslim terrorists, not Quakers, Baptists, Methodists, etc. She is now 37 and if she doesn’t have a grasp of understanding how most Americans feel when it comes to 9/11, then she is either as freaking dumb as a lamp post or she knows exactly what she is doing and saying and cashing in on it. Since her “innocent remark”, she has raised over $800k. Me, I go with the latter.

      There was no “lack of nuance” when she said “some people did something”, she knew exactly what she was saying, it was not an off-the-cuff remark. Her education and political activity should be sufficient proof for anyone who is not drinking the Kool-Aid, wearing blinders or sticking their fingers in their ears and saying lalalalalalalalala.

      1. Mr. Smith

        “sticking their fingers in their ears and saying lalalalalalalalala”

        Yes, you should stop doing that.

        It’s altogether possible that group A hears one thing and group B hears something else in Omar’s comment. While her phrasing might be considered a bit flippant to some, I didn’t hear in it any intentional insult to our national experience, so it really shouldn’t be taken as such. Her perspective is a different one and deserves to be heard.

        1. Bart

          “Yes, you should stop doing that.”

          Mr. Smith, you could have replied without including a personal attack. Typical attempt at a nuanced and condescending reply from one who truly believes he is intellectually superior to all others. Why am I not surprised?

          And if you believe she didn’t intend it to be an insult, that is your interpretation. But this Boeotian hick believes it was intentional and meant to create more division.

          1. Mr. Smith

            Seems I can’t say a thing to you without you labeling it a “personal attack.” I suppose that gives you a feeling of moral superiority. But I was simply offering a useful suggestion about questioning easy assumptions.

        2. Doug Ross

          How about when she laughed with an interviewer about how silly people are to pronounce Hezbollah in a way that sounds ominous. She thought that was hilarious. I’m sure she’d laugh about Allah jokes with the same gusto.

  3. Bill

    It’s funny how Pete Buttigieg now comes across as the most wholesome,normal candidate in the race.His declaration was moving in a way I haven’t felt since the ’72 democratic convention(around 5AM) when openly gay members took the floor…,and I sense a seismic change in the Zeitgeist.
    Trump would stand no chance in a debate with this guy…

      1. Bill

        You’re right(didn’t need to click the link(did)),and I doubt he’ll be the nominee,but he’s good for the party,entertainment,etc.Black religious types are usually worse than their white counterparts,at least,that’s been my experience,BUT if they’re gay-friendly,black chicks are the best,and will help you pick up guys,find a mechanic or whatever.
        Speaking of music,go see,Dave Rempis this weekend at IF Art gallery.We’re talking top tier Chicago jazz.He’s one of the best saxophone players you’ll ever hear anywhere…

  4. Harry Harris

    The distractions and construction of straw men have already begun, and will be developed and pushed, Aborting and killing full-term babies. Democrats love Islam, and don’t care about the terrorists. Socialism behind every tree. I think the gun-defender stuff has lost its shine, so something else will have to take it place – maybe rising crime (whether it’s actually rising or not).
    The tax-advantaged top earners have to find some ways of getting the religious right to ignore the reality of an economy built on a credit card (public and private debt), deficits, and national debt blown up by tax cuts and advantages for the wealthiest among us. They will also promote an attack on the health care benefits of the most vulnerable among us and the retirement security of middle and lower income earners.

  5. Doug Ross

    In my Chris Farley voice:

    Remember that time when Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election and was impeached? That was awesome!

    Black drapes at CNN and MSNBC today… Sitting shiva on their collective loss of integrity. Imagine if Democrats had just accepted that Trump beat a lazy, unlikeable candidate and instead tried to do SOMETHINF productive for the country in the last two years?

    Instead it has been non stop hysteria. He’s going to be President for two more years. Get used to it and find a candidate who can win. Cue up the “but,but,but the electoral college isn’t FAIR!!” whining.

  6. Bill

    Good Friday arrived, the sky darkened on time
    Till he almost began to negotiate
    She held his head like a baby and said “it’s okay if you cry”
    Now he wants her to dress as if you couldn’t guess
    He desires to impress his associates
    But he’s part ugly beast and Hellenic deceased
    So she finds that the mixture is hard to deny…

  7. David T

    Forward to your people and your listserves.

    We as concerned faculty are urging you to join us at 3:15pm TODAY to protest the consideration of Robert Caslen as the next President of the University of South Carolina. Faculty should report to the Alumni Center (900 Senate Street Columbia SC 29201) at 3:15pm TODAY prior to the 4:00 pm press conference.

    In the event that Robert Caslen is selected as President, there is going to be a faculty walkout and protest MONDAY, April 29th at 11:45 am in front of the President’s House in the Horseshoe. Please forward this message to any and all members of the UofSC community.

    In addition, please share your VOTE during the GENERAL FACULTY MEETING at 2:00 pm in Gambrell.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oops. Sorry about that, David. I don’t know why you got held for moderation, but I didn’t see it until now.

      All kind of moot now, I suppose.

      What was your beef with this Caslen guy, by the way? Not the drinking thing, was it?

      To the extent I have an opinion on this process, it is this: No South Carolinians, or people with extensive experience in SC, was among the finalists.

      SC is not like any other place in the country, and I think anyone who takes on the task of running our flagship university should be fully prepped for navigating this place…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        To elaborate on that…

        I always saw him as a long shot, but I liked the idea of Vincent Sheheen. And I’m not just saying that because Kevin Fisher says the opposite… 😉

        Yes, I know the idea sets academics’ teeth on edge. Which of course is another great argument in favor.

        Hey, just kidding, academics! Sort of… 😉

  8. Bill

    So,it was next Monday and there’s still an open thread…,no that’s last week
    I forgot why I was mad at some guy on a blog and said I wished he was dead
    I didn’t mean it at all, then saw him in Food Lion picking up some bread
    It was white sliced, big loaf ,ready for mayonnaise,Bunny bread…

Comments are closed.