August 26, 2014
"

And if Michael Brown was not angelic, I was practically demonic. I had my first drink when I was 11. I once brawled in the cafeteria after getting hit in the head with a steel trash can. In my junior year I failed five out of seven classes. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been arrested for assaulting a teacher and been kicked out of school (twice.) And yet no one who knew me thought I had the least bit of thug in me. That is because I also read a lot of books, loved my Commodore 64, and ghostwrote love notes for my friends. In other words, I was a human being. A large number of American teenagers live exactly like Michael Brown. Very few of them are shot in the head and left to bake on the pavement.

The “angelic” standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious “morality” to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of “twice as good” while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community “with rough patches” becomes part of a list of ostensible sins. Consider how easily “black-on-black crime” becomes not a marker of a shameful legacy of segregation but a moral failing.

"

— Ta-Nehisi Coates, being amazing.

August 26, 2014
"It is the spring of 1941 and I appear exceedingly pleased with myself, as though after much nagging I had finally persuaded her [my mother] to buy me a toy, although, unknown to either one of us, Hitler and Stalin and their armies had already made plans to turn me into an American poet."

Charles Simic, describing a photo of himself in Belgrade in 1941 while betraying a remarkable historical imagination. What an image!

ht: New York Review of Books

August 26, 2014
"He [Mike Ditka] thinks the name should always be Washington Redskins, as a source of pride? Take the word “Washington” out and I’ll agree the team name is a great source of pride."

— Sarah Palin, offering her take on the Washington NFL team name issue. So keep the racially insulting part but dump the part named for George Washington. Ah, patriotism.

August 25, 2014
200 years ago yesterday, British forces burned Washington, DC, during the War of 1812. 
One imagines the Tea Party wishes it had never been rebuilt.
(Scorched limestone on a north portico of the White House.)

200 years ago yesterday, British forces burned Washington, DC, during the War of 1812.

One imagines the Tea Party wishes it had never been rebuilt.

(Scorched limestone on a north portico of the White House.)

August 25, 2014
Dear New York Times:

We do not execute people in the United States because they are “no angel.”

We do not allow the police to summarily execute (e.g., kill on suspicion of committing a crime) people because they are “no angel.”

Why is this complicated?

August 25, 2014
Here’s a meme I bet you weren’t expecting! Remember when Americans cared about this, 17 minutes ago?

Here’s a meme I bet you weren’t expecting! Remember when Americans cared about this, 17 minutes ago?

August 24, 2014
Random observation #9845

It is basically impossible to read “The Grinch That Stole Christmas” to a child without trying to sound like Boris Karloff, at least in pacing and intonation.

Impossible.

August 24, 2014
"We all go a little mad sometimes."

— Norman Bates

August 24, 2014
georgetakei:

If you don’t know about this age-old controversy, it’s high time you became informed. Don’t know what I’m talking about (or do but need a good laugh), then read this.


Politicalprof: this is only funny because the colon is misused. The second sentence should read: "We invited the strippers: JFK; and Stalin."

georgetakei:

If you don’t know about this age-old controversy, it’s high time you became informed. Don’t know what I’m talking about (or do but need a good laugh), then read this.

Politicalprof: this is only funny because the colon is misused. The second sentence should read:

"We invited the strippers: JFK; and Stalin."

(via georgetakei)

August 23, 2014
Sarah Palin - ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (Politician) - YouTube

A Sarah Palin video I enjoyed ….